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Matrix Quattro amp: unboxing and initial impressions - Page 4

post #46 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

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. 


This is relevant to the V-200 as well?

 

post #47 of 229
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acix View Post




This is relevant to the V-200 as well?

 


For the most part. I liked the V200 more than the V181, so the gap between it and the Quattro is even larger. The V200 can match or even exceed the clarity of the Quattro, although that is still not the focus of the Violectric unit. Quattro still has the slight edge with respect to sounding open and spacious (when used in balanced mode). 

 

post #48 of 229

Thank you! i hope you don't forget.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post




 

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. 

 



 

post #49 of 229

Guys thanks for answering the question. I am going to use the amp for my hd650s. It should be good enough in terms of power then.

post #50 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdhfdy View Post

Guys thanks for answering the question. I am going to use the amp for my hd650s. It should be good enough in terms of power then.



Especially in balanced mode, it should be more than enough. 

 

Seriously contemplating getting one myself now, and pick up a pair of balanced cables from the Quattro to my DacMagic plus a converter for the LCD-2s (have to get some balanced cables for the LCD-2s as well then). Won't be cheap, but I sort of suspect that the matrix m-stage has a bit of a hard time driving the LCD-2s, even if I'm extremely satisfied with the sound coming from the setup already. 

post #51 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post




For the most part. I liked the V200 more than the V181, so the gap between it and the Quattro is even larger. The V200 can match or even exceed the clarity of the Quattro, although that is still not the focus of the Violectric unit. Quattro still has the slight edge with respect to sounding open and spacious (when used in balanced mode). 

 


 


This is interesting...the Quattro keep this sound character when used in unbalanced mode as well? BTW, when you say open and spacious, do you mean to the sound stage and the image, or to the treble /top open, or both?


Edited by Acix - 8/30/11 at 7:17am
post #52 of 229
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acix View Post




 


This is interesting...the Quattro keep this sound character when used in unbalanced mode as well? BTW, when you say open and spacious, do you mean to the sound stage and the image, or the to the treble /top open, or both?


It diminishes somewhat when used single ended, but the general idea remains. 

 

I mean both, thanks for helping me clarify. 

 

post #53 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post




It diminishes somewhat when used single ended, but the general idea remains. 

 

I mean both, thanks for helping me clarify. 

 




Have you had the chance to hear the DAC 1, from the look of the Quattro and your impression the DAC 1 keep jumping in my mind. lol, can't help it. redface.gif

post #54 of 229

Is a test of the Quattro and LCD-2 with balanced cables in the pipe, project86? 

I'm very curious as to how the sound is transformed when using balanced cables (that would also mean running balanced from dac to amp). 

 

I'm pretty close to just order a matrix with the appropriate cables, and get a q-audio balanced cable for my LCD-2s. I really suspect my phones arent getting enough juice from the m-stage. It sort of flats out effect-wise at three o clock with some gain. It's not that I'm frustrated or disappointed over the sound I get at the moment, FAR from it. It's more a fact that I've got a decent chunk of cash I really don't see anything else to splurge at than a new amp - and going all balanced "would" be pretty nifty. 

 

Thoughts? I gotto say again, though, that I'm extremely happy with what tam is doing with the amps he's making, and I also hear great things about his dacs and matrix mini, so I'm pretty confident about the quattro as well. I'm just waiting for some input on the thoughts of spending about 800'ish usd on balanced cables, connectors and the quattro. 

 

Ninjaedit - seems I will answer this myself in due time. Just ordered up all the cables (including q-audio LCD-2-cables) and the quattro-amp. REALLY looking forward to this :) I'll try to write some sort of review of the whole shebang after I recieve it all, and also try to give a short text on what it felt like going from rca to fully balanced mode :) 


Edited by Vargtass - 9/1/11 at 6:17am
post #55 of 229

well after a ton of reading i'm gonna pull the trigger and order the amp.  Not gonna get the balacned cables until i can get a better answer on how the amp sounds in balanced mode with a unbalanced source.

post #56 of 229
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acix View Post






Have you had the chance to hear the DAC 1, from the look of the Quattro and your impression the DAC 1 keep jumping in my mind. lol, can't help it. redface.gif



I used to have the original DAC 1, and from memory I think this Quattro DAC is better. This is probably similar to the newer DAC 1 units like the Pre and HDR, which should also be better than the original. New opamps, and other tweaks. 

 

I think someone in the Quattro DAC thread has both units and is saying they are very comparable. 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vargtass View Post

Is a test of the Quattro and LCD-2 with balanced cables in the pipe, project86? 

I'm very curious as to how the sound is transformed when using balanced cables (that would also mean running balanced from dac to amp). 

 

I'm pretty close to just order a matrix with the appropriate cables, and get a q-audio balanced cable for my LCD-2s. I really suspect my phones arent getting enough juice from the m-stage. It sort of flats out effect-wise at three o clock with some gain. It's not that I'm frustrated or disappointed over the sound I get at the moment, FAR from it. It's more a fact that I've got a decent chunk of cash I really don't see anything else to splurge at than a new amp - and going all balanced "would" be pretty nifty. 

 

Thoughts? I gotto say again, though, that I'm extremely happy with what tam is doing with the amps he's making, and I also hear great things about his dacs and matrix mini, so I'm pretty confident about the quattro as well. I'm just waiting for some input on the thoughts of spending about 800'ish usd on balanced cables, connectors and the quattro. 

 

Ninjaedit - seems I will answer this myself in due time. Just ordered up all the cables (including q-audio LCD-2-cables) and the quattro-amp. REALLY looking forward to this :) I'll try to write some sort of review of the whole shebang after I recieve it all, and also try to give a short text on what it felt like going from rca to fully balanced mode :) 



Good choice, I do not think you will be disappointed. I won't get a chance to try balanced LCD-2 since I'm just borrowing it. I do plan on having Smeggy build me a Thunderpants, and I'm going to get a 4-pin XLR put on that so I can use it with the Quattro. Based on my observations with my custom YH-1 Ortho, the balanced mode makes a significant difference with these power hungry models. I suspect it is probably less significant with some other models like Grados and such.



Quote:
Originally Posted by RiceEatin2010GT View Post

Thank you! i hope you don't forget.
 



 



xlr.JPG

 

Double checked today, it does in fact work. 

post #57 of 229

thank you!  did you do any listening?

post #58 of 229
Thread Starter 

I did listen back and forth but not extensively since I ran out of time. The balanced mode was obviously louder (4V output to the amp instead of 2V) which made it sound obviously more full and "big". To do a proper comparison you have to match levels, which makes a lot of the advantage disappear, but still not all of it. There also seems to be a minor increase in layering and instrument separation which I would love to explore further when I have the time.

 

Still, both methods sounded quite good. 

post #59 of 229

very cool my one major concern was right off the bat something wasnt going to sound correct which you answered for me.

post #60 of 229

I was advised by the manufacturer not to roll op-amps for obvious warranty issues..frown.gif

 

>>>Recommend that you do not replace the op amp, because if you want to replace the op amp,
 
need to adjust some of the original device's operating voltage, if improper adjustment,
 
it may damage your other equipment, resulting in loss of warranty.<<<

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