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First delve into Head-Fi, component comments? HD650 / Matrix mini-I

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I've been yearning for a decent hi-fi for years I currently live in a flat and have therefore opted for a Denon DM38 with some JBL Control 1s cheap & cheerful until I know what space I'll eventually have for some serious kit.

 

In the meantime I'm thinking of opting for decent headphone set up. I'll primarily be listening to CD audio and DVD audio ripped to FLAC.

 

I'm thinking of the following set up, purchasing the HD-650 to start me off and a matrix mini-I

 

 

PC Ubuntu on board sound card > USB / Tos link > Matrix mini-I > XLR > HD-650 

 

PC Ubuntu on board sound card > USB / Tos link > Matrix mini-I > RCA > Denon DM38 > JBL Control 1s

 

With plans at a later date to put a headphone amp between the Matrix mini-I and the HD-650. Possibly a Schiit Valhalla.

 

Any comments on this setup for a starter would be welcomed.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 7

I'm using the Matrix Mini-I as a DAC and it's really good value with excellent performance. I think you will need a more powerful amp to drive the HD 650s properly though.  I have the HD 600 and although they sound very good with the Mini-I, they sound much better when connected to my tube amp.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

what amp have you got them running on?

did you try before you bought / can you recommend anywhere in London for testing?

post #4 of 7

I have a modified/upgraded Musical Fidelity X Can V2 tube amp, which pairs really well with the Mini-I and HD 600.  You wouldn't be disappointed with the Mini-I, it has received excellent reviews and is a superb DAC.  Maybe give Ampcity a call (www.ampcity.co.uk) as they have many amps and also offer a 30-day return policy.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

good advice on the 30 day return policy, I'm not sure how much I'm going to appreciate the HD-650's and the mini-I due to hearing issues.

 

What's the HD-650 like direct from the mini-I, not sure I can drop £750 in one go on Amp, Phones and DAC. Cheers for your advice.

post #6 of 7

M-Stage might be the best value for solid state ampery I've ever bought in my head-fi career!

 

That being said I do like the X-Can line of tube hybrid amps w/ their corresponding opamp/cap upgrades and the Hifiman EF2A or EF5A with glass upgrades....

 

I haven't heard the latter pair yet, but a few people have told me they're more interesting than one of my reigning favorite, the Meier Concerto...

 

Either way it's a win/win scenario with those headphones and any of those amps, I think Sennheiser specs 500mw per channel, but you can make do with even half of that just as long as your SNR is high so you don't get a lot of noise or your treble doesn't get all tinny on you haha (which is what happens when you try to overdo it with an OK portable amp)

 

The NuForce HDP is also a great one and it'll actually satisfy the amp requirement as well, it's a little powerhouse!

 

 

Out of the box the Mini-i will definitely please, but the M-Stage is a wonderful companion for it.

post #7 of 7

Yep, I had the Mini-I and M-Stage combination for a while and it was very good and great value for money....the M-Stage must be one of the best bang-for-your-buck s/s amps out there.

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