I cant answer that one since i never had them side by side.
When I was recently searching around here for a SS recommendation for my K701s to replace my MKIII, and ran across many M-Stage reviews (I now own the amp), I noticed more than one person claim that while the M-Stage is a great fit with the K701s it was quite a bad fit with the HD650. The HD600s are different, sure, but keep that in mind.
Oh, and the Class A Mod/OPA672AP combo replacement thingy for the the stock op-amp is not worth it. With my K701s it was noticeable less warm.
You just roll opamps once, lol. Not that the amp is bad with the stock OPA2134 jellybean. Thing is, people keep ordering OPA627 from Tam Audio and then when they compare them to authentic OPA627 chips bought from Farnell/Digikey/Newark, shock! Tam Audio sells fakes. Buy a pair of AD797ANZ and a 2x1 socketed adapter and you are set. (No soldering required.)
I don't mean to butt in, but I just wanted to clarify...you mean you pull out this chip, and replace it with the adapter/other two?
Precisely. It is the only opamp, used for voltage gain.
And that opamp isn't soldered to the PCB, you can just pull it out? You just pop the adapter in and you're good to go? Sorry for all the questions haha I'm still learning!
Yep-it's just plug and play. Don't try and pull the base off though even though it protrudes from the main board. Just pop out the opamp and plug the new one in. Or plug in the Browndog then the opamp if you have both.
This is a brilliant thread. Thanks all!
Edit: So is there an authorized dealer of Matrix M-stage? There are a ton for sell on ebay...are many of those clones? Where do I go to get the "real" thing? Any discounts to be had? Thanks again!
get both n sell the one u like less lol.. i have the schiit asgard and it is really good.. it is warm, both sonically and physically (since its class A) and it mainly improves the bass.. i find the improvements quite linear.. it doesnt really boost or reduce any areas accept for the bass
I currently own both amps and i agree with the general consensus of the room, The Matrix is a better sounding amp for my phones (K702, DT 770 250ohm, and ATH W1000x) all the way around. I have paired of with a number of DACs and while I like the Asgard, it doesn't quite have the presence or soundstage of the Matrix.
Yes, to my taste I also feel that the stock M-Stage is warm, a bit too much mid-range, veils the details of the music, and the sound stage is a little congested, unreal.
But after I changed the opamp to AD797 (dual AD797BZ on a brown dog adapter) the sound totally changed, and I am completely satisfied: feels like there are 2x more details, frequency response is flat, much more transparent, and much better spatial resolution, sound stage is natural.