Originally Posted by Boogirl
Hi there. I mainly listen to classical music. Given this, could someone recommend the best Headphone/Dac Combi to go with my Q701s. I am looking in the Schiit Vali or Matrix M-stage price range, but am unsure if either of these two combos are particularly suitable for classical music listening. I read somewhere also that although the Schiit Vali is nice sounding amp, it however lacks on soundstage. I am concerned about this as I want to make the most out of the soundstage these headphones have to offer. Please advise me as I have very little actual knowledge regarding this so any help will be very much appreciated.
Welcome to head-fi!
I actually own both of these amplifiers sitting side by side, and my Q701 are on my head right now! Based on your post, looks like you've done a lot of reading about these amplifiers. Here's how I would compare them.
Schiit Vali: Better sounding tonality, far better texture (if that makes sense), and a more "natural" sound. It's truly a stellar amplifier, and I was shocked when I first had it warmed up. The Schiit Vali's bass is also a little looser than the M-stage. This works out fairly well with the Q701 which is a bit bass shy. Definitely a smaller soundstage than the M-Stage. But, the Q701 is such a large open sounding headphone, that it doesn't have a huge negative impact. Also the Schiit Vali does have the ringing (which I'm sure you read about).
Matrix M-Stage: Not as natural sounding, but in the larger scheme of headphone amplifiers, a very very good amplifier. Definitely wins out on soundstage, and bass control. Something to consider with the M-stage is that it is a "jack of all trades" amplifier. It has a very low noise floor which means it plays well with just about any headphone you throw at it.