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Matrix Quattro amp: unboxing and initial impressions - Page 3

post #31 of 168

@guido 


Please share the response from Jeffrey.


At the moment I got the DAC on the top. Gonna get some extra big feets to elevate it a bit more. 

post #32 of 168

I will do...

 

Also waiting for some clarification as to which way to configure the system for best results..i.e DAC in variable output mode [DAC\pre ]  feeding into the amp [with remote disabled] thus the amp works purely as a power amp

 

...or DAC as a standalone DAC feeding into the amp and using the amp's volume [pre ] section
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoqi View Post

@guido 


Please share the response from Jeffrey.


At the moment I got the DAC on the top. Gonna get some extra big feets to elevate it a bit more. 



 


Edited by guido - 8/18/11 at 12:57am
post #33 of 168

still no clarificationblink.gif

post #34 of 168
Thread Starter 

I'm not using quotes because it would make this post more confusing... So I'll just paraphrase here.

 

fdhfdy asked about comparisons to the Violectric V181. Without having the V181 here for direct comparisons it is a bit hard, but here goes:

 

The obvious difference is that the V181 is significantly more powerful. It would be better suited for an HE-6, and would probably be better for the entire power hungry HiFiMan lineup. Also the AKG K1000 would be a good match as well, based strictly on power numbers. 

 

As far as sound signatures, the V181 has a bit more of a warm, almost tube like character to it. Strong points include an exceedingly smooth top end and outstanding bass. The Quattro has more of a solid-state feel to it without veering too far into clinical/boring territory. High points are the open/well defined soundstage and excellent clarity. 

 

They really are fairly different sounding amps, each with their own focus. The V181 seems more focused on overall musicality. Single ended, it can sometimes feel a bit constricted, but balanced mode takes care of that. The Quattro is more focused on inner detail and linearity. It is slightly more lit up on the top end, which sometimes comes across as more detailed and other times seems a bit grainy (often depending on the recording). When both models are used in balanced mode, the Quattro has a more open/spacious feel to it. 

 

Both are excellent performers. I give the overall nod to the Violectric but it could really come down to matters of taste, as well as system matching. That's a big accomplishment for the little $400 price tag of the Quattro. 

 

 

 

guido is asking about the setup: On the amp, the "remote" switch has nothing to do with volume levels. Whatever the volume knob says, that's the setting. "Remote" just enables remote control of the volume knob. By switching it to OFF, you are just telling it to ignore the signal. 

 

Variable on the DAC does adjust the output, like you said. "Fixed" gives it a wide open output with no limitation. "Variable" uses the volume knob to trim the levels. The remote does operate the knob in this mode.

 

Variable mode on the DAC seems most useful in the context of a pre-amp mode - powering a (non headphone) amplifier. When using the Quattro combo, I always leave the DAC on "Fixed" mode and use the volume knob on the amp, since I'm sitting right there anyway. This means there is just one potentiometer in the chain. Remote on the amp is more of a novelty for me, but I guess some might find it useful if their chair is at a distance. 

 

Does that clarify? I know the manual can be a bit confusing. 

 

 

Regarding stacking the components: I asked JTam about heat, since both units run fairly warm to the touch. He said this was accounted for in the design, and both use components that are able to withstand these temps. The surface temp is roughly 60 degrees celsius which is about the same as the Benchmark units. Note that the older Benchmarks didn't have an "off" or "standby" mode and I don't recall them having reliability issues. As far as stacking, I've been doing it ever since I got them, without issue. I don't use any extra footers or spacing and it doesn't seem to effect anything, although it couldn't hurt either. 

post #35 of 168

Thanks Project86...it does make sense to switch the DAC's output to fixed and use the volume control on the amp.

 

The remote defeat switch should probably have been on the DAC though...

post #36 of 168

any recommendations for possible op amp rolling?

post #37 of 168
Thread Starter 

I haven't had a chance to try yet. This amp has a separate dual-channel opamp for single ended use, and quad mono opamps for balanced. Stock configuration is four OPA604 and then a single OPA2604.... but I don't think it would be a problem to use a non-matching model for single ended compared to balanced. 

 

When I get a chance I might try OPA627 or AD797 to replace the 2604s, and then probably an LM4562 for single ended mode. I guess you could always get a dual adapter to run two OPA627 or AD797 on single ended mode as well, if you wanted to match. 

post #38 of 168

little bit of a noob question. I did some reading around and it seems like you can feed some amps a unbalanced source(in my case line outs from a stx) and use a balanced amp if its set up that way.  Have you tried this? would it work? and would it be better? since im basically doubling my power.  Thank you so much for answering all our questions!  

post #39 of 168

First off - thanks for a great review! 

 

I currently own and run a matrix m-stage with the class a-mod, and I'm very happy with it's performance driving my Denon AH-D7000. 

 

The thing is, though, I just ordered a pair of LCD-2s, which I am really looking forward to as a pair of open phones to compliment my 7000s. 

 

My question is, probably on the weird side. What amps do you consider to give the LCD-2s a real boost up from the admittedly cost-efficient Matrix Quattro? To clarify - how much do I "have" to spend to really step above the Quattro. I'm seriously considering getting the Quattro and some balanced cables / connectors for my LCD-2s after breaking them in and if I feel the normal m-stage just isn't up to it. 

 

Don't really know if that came out as clearly as I wanted it. I'm just pondering the difference between say the quattro and for instance, the Violectric V200 (admittedly a HUGE price-difference). 

 

I'd also like to take the time to thank tam for his fantastic work on very good amps for a reasonable price. Both the amps and support has been top notch! 

post #40 of 168
Thread Starter 

First off - if you really are a "starving student", you can get by quite well with just the M-Stage and LCD-2/D7000 combo. M-Stage is one of the only budget amps that I believe does a pretty good job on both of those. Certainly room for improvement, but that can come down the road when you aren't as poor.

 

I wish I had a balanced cable to try with the LCD-2. Listening single ended is nice, a small but noticeable improvement over M-Stage, but I suspect balanced mode would be a substantial benefit. If nothing else, the doubled power delivery would certainly be welcome. But I have a hard time saying exactly how good it would be, or what other amps are better, without hearing it myself. Violectric V200 is my personal favorite match with the LCD-2 but as you said, quite a bit more $$$. 

 

So bottom line - my advice is to pick up some used LCD-2s on the forum and try them out. The original version is going for less and less these days as people want to try the new model. Take advantage of that and give them a shot, using just your M-Stage. You might find that it is plenty good. Then someday down the road (this could be 2 months or 2 years depending on your situation) you could try a better amp, such as balanced Quattro, and get another boost from your LCD-2. 


Edited by project86 - 8/22/11 at 3:03pm
post #41 of 168


Any idea if the OPA227 could be a suitable candidate?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

I haven't had a chance to try yet. This amp has a separate dual-channel opamp for single ended use, and quad mono opamps for balanced. Stock configuration is four OPA604 and then a single OPA2604.... but I don't think it would be a problem to use a non-matching model for single ended compared to balanced. 

 

When I get a chance I might try OPA627 or AD797 to replace the 2604s, and then probably an LM4562 for single ended mode. I guess you could always get a dual adapter to run two OPA627 or AD797 on single ended mode as well, if you wanted to match. 



 

post #42 of 168
Thread Starter 

I don't see why not. The good thing is that folks in the M-Stage thread have already tried many opamps, and their findings should be somewhat applicable to the Quattro amp too. 

post #43 of 168

I'm using the 627 myself, and I guess some consider it expensive at 30 dollars, I found the increase in sound-quality delightful. 

 

I've been meaning to send tam a mail and check in with him regarding the posibility to swap op-amps to the 627s all around in the quattro, or something else if he's got a feeling that'd be even better. 

 

 

post #44 of 168

any feedback on this?  I emailed tam audio and he came back to say its a recommended way of running the quattro, id like a bit more feedback on it though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiceEatin2010GT View Post

little bit of a noob question. I did some reading around and it seems like you can feed some amps a unbalanced source(in my case line outs from a stx) and use a balanced amp if its set up that way.  Have you tried this? would it work? and would it be better? since im basically doubling my power.  Thank you so much for answering all our questions!  



 

post #45 of 168
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiceEatin2010GT View Post

any feedback on this?  I emailed tam audio and he came back to say its a recommended way of running the quattro, id like a bit more feedback on it though.



 


 

I haven't had a chance to specifically try it for you yet. I'll try to remember. It seems like I've done it and it did work, but I want to double check to be sure.

 

Running a balanced amp from single ended inputs is not unheard of though. Many (most?) balanced amps have that ability. They simply use a phase inverter to split the signal. HERE is a somewhat helpful thread about it from a few years back (ignore page 2, it is just bickering). The consensus seems to be that you still do get a benefit from a balanced amp even if using a single ended input. In my opinion the added power is probably the cause of this. 

 

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