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Matrix Quattro DAC and amp loaner program - Page 6

post #76 of 160

Seems like a good study on how we end up enjoying a tube amp in our systems. tongue.gif

 

Not only has this been a good thread on the Matrix combo, it has really been an education on the process of getting to know some gear.

 

I know that some people just won't read so much copy, but for someone really shopping or wanting to know what it is like to concentrate on source...pretty great/real thread here!

 

 

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post #77 of 160

It's not necessarily a "tube" thing, there are some good solid-state amps, just that this isn't one of them. The M-Stage from Matrix was good.

 

I think once you get your Super 7, you'll never want to consider another solid-state again.

post #78 of 160
Thread Starter 

 

 

Purrin - Interesting to see your impressions from before you opened the case and after. Initially it seemed that you liked a lot of aspects about it ("excellent bass control", "good resolution", "smooth treble") despite having a big issue with the upper midrange. But then later you basically say it is crap based on the components. 

 

Do you ever think your knowledge of components and design, and what levels of quality you expect to see, gets in the way of your listening? Because I know that's something I struggle with. I realized that I was judging stuff based on the "guts" without letting my ears make the final decision. Example: USB implementations that had sounded utterly transparent to the SPDIF inputs started becoming "inferior" because they were not async. Or on the flip side, having high expectations just because the device uses discrete components instead of opamps, even though discrete is no guarantee of superior performance. 

 

Note that I'm not accusing you of being wrong with your assessments.... It's just an interesting topic to discuss. I DO feel that Matrix could have done more to make the Quattro gear really excel. I think it is good gear, with lots of benefits, but it missed the opportunity to become exceptional/standout gear. 

 

 

post #79 of 160

My initial impressions were good until I heard the midrange hardness. It's one of those things that if you hear briefly, there is no problem. Just that over time - two, three, four tracks - it starts to really hurt. This was a serious showstopper issue for me. I couldn't figure it out because the M-Stage wasn't like that at all. These impressions were from before I popped open the case.

 

After popping open the case and seeing Matrix go completely backward from the M-Stage only confirmed why I heard what I heard.


Edited by purrin - 11/18/11 at 10:37am
post #80 of 160

I guess I should have made it more clear - when I said SHOWSTOPPER in the impressions before I opened the case - I basically meant GAME OVER.

 

Also the POS comment was meant more for quality of components. But it I guess it could apply to the sound quality too since I can't stand it for more than 10 minutes. I'm not against op-amps nor a proponent of discrete. But putting in little SMT caps and resistors is going way too far backwards than what they had with the M-Stage. These kind of parts are known to cause the poor kind of sound that I mentioned. As I said, the components of the Quattro, despite being a balanced design, costs no more to manufacture than the M-Stage.

 

What I'm getting at here is this: Does the quality of components used in the Quattro meet minimum standards for entry-level audiophilia or do they meet those of consumer crap that can be found at Best Buy?


Edited by purrin - 11/18/11 at 10:41am
post #81 of 160

Well thank you for giving me the opportunity to review the Matrix gear! Based on what I heard with the M-Stage amp @$250, I was expecting a lot more. My reception the Quattro DAC was lukewarm and the Quattro Amp, err... I'm sorry I couldn't be more excited about the Quattro stuff, but I just couldn't be.

 

I wish I had comparable equipment to review it with, unfortunately the Bifrost is still 4 weeks behind, and I couldn't obtain a Lyr. BTW, I'm not a big fan of the Lyr, Burson, nor of any amp below $800. Basically what I am trying to say is that I am an extremely tough customer.

 

I'll be packing everything up and shipping the equipment to next person in line.


Edited by purrin - 11/18/11 at 4:20pm
post #82 of 160
Thread Starter 

Purrin: Thanks for spending your time and energy on this. I agree that you are a tough customer, but I don't feel that you were overly harsh or unfair - you just called it the way your heard it. It's nice to have alternate points of view in all things. 

 

Do you already have the address for the next person to ship to, or do you need me to handle that?

post #83 of 160
Thread Starter 

Working on finding someone else in or around California who is interested in a demo of the Matrix Quattro stuff. Any takers? As long as you have feedback/can be considered trustworthy, I'll consider you.

 

Trying to have it shipped out by Purrin in the next day or two, so now is your chance to speak up!

post #84 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post


 

Finally, given the cost of the DAC, I would have liked to see better parts and discrete output stages. If the Bifrost (at $450) can do this, I don't see why the Quattro can't at $699. Although it should be noted that the Quattro also provides rudimentary headphone outputs and a variety of digital inputs.

 

 



Bifrost is not discrete, FYI.

It's a lie (or a marketing trick)

It uses opamps. Those opamps are integrated into the DAC chip, that's why we don't see them.

post #85 of 160

Either you are being a smart ass or don't know what you are talking about.

 

The AKM are voltage output and don't need a I-V converter after the chip. Indeed you can run them passive, although it's not optimal under most conditions (tried that before). A good buffer / post filter after the digital stage yields overall better results. If you've ever played with it, you would know.

 

Other DAC chips such as the Wolfson WM8741 also integrate the I-V converter onto the chip. This is not lie or marketing trick. The spec sheets of these chips make it clear that they are voltage output and that a buffer / post filter are still necessary.


Edited by purrin - 11/22/11 at 9:31am
post #86 of 160

FYI. The Matrix gear is heading to Juman. I plan on hand delivering the items this week.

post #87 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

Either you are being a smart ass or don't know what you are talking about.

 

The AKM are voltage output and don't need a I-V converter after the chip. Indeed you can run them passive, although it's not optimal under most conditions (tried that before). A good buffer / post filter after the digital stage yields overall better results. If you've ever played with it, you would know.

 

Other DAC chips such as the Wolfson WM8741 also integrate the I-V converter onto the chip. This is not lie or marketing trick. The spec sheets of these chips make it clear that they are voltage output and that a buffer / post filter are still necessary.



there's nothing wrong with the dac-chip design, of course.

and, of course, it's wouldn't be a lie  if Schiit guys would say that "Bifrost has no opamps because opamp's job is partly done by the DAC-chip itself"

it wouldn't be a lie if they said that this so-called "fully discrete design of theirs is not their achievement, but mostly of Asahi Kasei's engineers".

instead - they play with words.

it's like showing your biceps, grown on steroids, to your girlfriend.

she will think that you work a lot on yourself and will like it for sure.

will the biceps be big? yes. will it be _your_ achievement? no.

 

 

the same here.

they show us their steroid-grown-biceps.

these guys are good in marketing.

and, yup, that still doesn't stop me from waiting and saving money for their "statement DAC" with "a never seen before technology and redefining of everything", even though i'm pretty sure that it will not actually be unique.

these guys are too good in marketing, imho.


Edited by kr0gg - 11/23/11 at 7:05am
post #88 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

FYI. The Matrix gear is heading to Juman. I plan on hand delivering the items this week.

 

purrin told me he'd either send the package or drop them off this week, so I'm waiting on the gear. 

 

Thanks again for the opportunity, John.

post #89 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by kr0gg View Post



there's nothing wrong with the dac-chip design, of course.

and, of course, it's wouldn't be a lie  if Schiit guys would say that "Bifrost has no opamps because opamp's job is partly done by the DAC-chip itself"

it wouldn't be a lie if they said that this so-called "fully discrete design of theirs is not their achievement, but mostly of Asahi Kasei's engineers".

instead - they play with words.

it's like showing your biceps, grown on steroids, to your girlfriend.

she will think that you work a lot on yourself and will like it for sure.

will the biceps be big? yes. will it be _your_ achievement? no.

 

 

the same here.

they show us their steroid-grown-biceps.

these guys are good in marketing.

and, yup, that still doesn't stop me from waiting and saving money for their "statement DAC" with "a never seen before technology and redefining of everything", even though i'm pretty sure that it will not actually be unique.

these guys are too good in marketing, imho.

 

Little bit OT, but I agree with your assessment on their marketing of the mysterious "statement" DAC. However, I don't think your criticism of the Bifrost is fair though. The "discrete" aspect is obviously referring to the analog output stage (buffer / post filter). Whether the Bifrost's discrete implementation is any better than a simple opamp implementation (as found in the Quattro) is what should be up for debate.

 

post #90 of 160

Purrin, question?  Did you spend much time listening to the line outs of the Matrix DAC?  I ask because that's where I did most of my listening when the siblings were here.  I heard none of the issues with the line outs that you describe the headphone amps as having.  I do agree that the character is tilted towards "dark", no question there.  But, midrange hardness, congestion, and thin treble?  Not to me, not through the line outs.  How did you find the DAC to sound through the line outs, through speakers?

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