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Objective 2 vs Matrix M-Stage

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 

Has anyone reviewed both of these?  What are the comparisons/differences?  I tried searching but can only find reviews for each, I'd like a head to head setup?  Thanks!

post #2 of 50

Bump, I would love to know also. 

post #3 of 50

I had both for a period of time.. we did extensive A/B blind testing, including myself, a fellow audiophile and another person. We were very, very careful with the blind testing... and, as it turns out, we couldn't tell the difference between the two amps whatsoever.

 

In fact, the blind testing was comparing the O2 coming off just my motherboard vs. the Matrix M-Stage and Gamma 2..

 

However, both of us felt like we got a bit more detail out of the O2, without blind testing and just A/Bing the two amps and both of us felt like the DAC did make a small deference, once again in detail.. and I was able to consistently pick out the DAC in a second blind test, using only the matrix as the amp. 

 

This left me feeling like the matrix was either on par, or below the O2.. I kept the O2 and sold off the M-stage.

 

Take my results how you will. The O2 is a great amp and I have no regrets about selling my M-Stage.

 

 

I guess I should mention that we used high quality FLAC recordings (Open Your Ears (an album made for headphone testing) from HD Tracks and we used foobar2k with WASAPI as the player. 


Edited by chrislangley4253 - 2/1/12 at 3:12pm
post #4 of 50
Thread Starter 

Amazing, thank you!

post #5 of 50

I currently have both.

 

O2 was built recently, completely stock.

 

My M-stage has had some mods done by me ncluding...

-recapped in signal path

-Replaced resistors in signal path

-Opamp rolled to LME-somthing or other (I'm at work and can't remember)((plus I've tried other opamps))

 

I keep the M-stage as my bedside rig. The 2 cans I use the M-stage with are stock HD600's and modded Fostex T50rp's. So far I have really only compared the O2 in that setup using an Ipod with a LOD.

 

My humble opinion is that the M-stage trumps the O2. For what it's worth I find the O2 too lean and thin. Sure bass is there and I can't fault the highs but the midrange just lacks emotion. No matter how many times I go to the O2, I always end up feeling unsatisfied and go back to the M-stage.

 

Also for what it's worth I have an AMB Labs Mini^3 (stock high performance build) and I also find it far more satisfying than the O2. This comparison was done with all my more portable cans (see profile for inventory list)

 

I really wanted to like the O2. And have really tried to stay out of the debates on its merits, but have to admit that it just doesn't do it for me. This is the 1st post that I've written my general opinion on it. If I wasn't at work I might expand a little more but don't have the time.

 

-Dogwan

post #6 of 50
Thread Starter 

That's funny.  Two good reviews going from liking each amp.  My friend Kouzelna said he likes the O2 better, but they can't drive his k702 as well as he'd like.  I really want to try out the M-Stage now.  But for now the O2 is a really nice amp for the money hands down.  But after reading the guy before this post said he likes the Mini 3 better than the O2, I just can't buy into that.  I don't know which post to believe but I really like the O2 and so do 2 other people.  Some day I will compare them both myself, I am sure they both do great.  I am adding a bass boost option to my O2, so that should bring out the bass a little nicer.

post #7 of 50

How can a bass boost option be added to the O2 jsc44?

post #8 of 50

I can 100% see where dogwan is coming from, and I don't see either amp as the solution for people who want an amp to drive hungry cans, esp when one of the M-Stage's biggest fans (and a reseller) actively points Head-Fiers elsewhere when they are looking for a powerful amp to drive cans like the 70*.

post #9 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

I can 100% see where dogwan is coming from, and I don't see either amp as the solution for people who want an amp to drive hungry cans, esp when one of the M-Stage's biggest fans (and a reseller) actively points Head-Fiers elsewhere when they are looking for a powerful amp to drive cans like the 70*.


Thanks for the backup. However, I do have to say that I find the Matrix and O2 both drive the Fostex's well. I just prefer the sound of the Matrix. (unless you were referring the Mini^3 which is not quite up to it).

 

Caveat: I don't have any extended experience with better amps...yet. I do have a tube based ASL-MG head OTL amp that works very well with my Senn's and Beyers, but not so well with the Fostex or AKG's.

 

post #10 of 50

My setup is like chrislangley4253's I also have the same source, the AMB Gamma2.

 

I have the O2 in bone stock build and a self built Lovely Cube (which is also another Lehmann BCL clone like the M-Stage)

 

Stock for stock the M-Stage/LC is a bit warmer. When I swap the O2's opamp into the LC they sound nearly identical to me.

 

Personally, I prefer the LC a over the O2. It's a nicer desktop size and more tinker friendly. I feel it has a little more oomph, but this maybe due to the fact I'm using a slight larger transformer than the stock M-Stage.

 

The O2 is awesome for the price, and it's ability to operate over battery power is a nice plus.

 

I think it really it boils down to the ergonomics, do you like a large desktop amp or a smaller one.

 

 


Edited by francisdemarte - 2/4/12 at 4:16pm
post #11 of 50
Thread Starter 

At DiyAudio a guy is helping me do it.  Once I get it completed, I will do a write up on it here.  This was something I found out after I made yours, sorry :).
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deviusdragger View Post

How can a bass boost option be added to the O2 jsc44?



 

post #12 of 50
I did see it on diyaudio. Maybe I can replace that empty charging hole with a bass boost button :-)
post #13 of 50
Thread Starter 

Good idea, I am replacing that hole with a 1/4" headphone input.  I am placing my bass boost probably on the side if I can't fit it anywhere else.  Above the source input it might fit the guy said, I will have to see once all the parts come in.

post #14 of 50

if you prefer Mini3 over O2, you must like the sound of distortion, non-flat frequency response/coloration, and poor crosstalk.. hey it's a "free" crossfeed. lol, i own both the O2 and Mini3, they are not even comparable, the O2 beats it so bad. I actually built both of them. The mini3 cost me more too.


Edited by MikeW - 2/5/12 at 6:34pm
post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post

if you prefer Mini3 over O2, you must like the sound of distortion, non-flat frequency response/coloration, and poor crosstalk.. hey it's a "free" crossfeed. lol, i own both the O2 and Mini3, they are not even comparable, the O2 beats it so bad. I actually built both of them. The mini3 cost me more too.


I guess I must. No arguing with logic like that.

 

Edit: I thought about this post again this morning and realized why I found it slightly offensive. Taking an opinion and turning it into an "either/or" when it really is a matter of "degrees of" does a disservice to people trying to gather opinions.

 

Sure the Mini3 may have some of the above mentioned qualities. It may even look worse on a scope. But it is not a bad amp for portable use (in my opinion). And I never said the O2 was a bad amp. It's actually quite good especially for the money. What I was trying to illustrate is that I do find the O2 too sterile sounding to enjoy for long periods of time. Does that mean I enjoy distortion? Not necessarily, it may just be that a hint of distortion adds a little life to the amp. If I may offer the analogy of tube vs. SS. Most tube gear can be found to have measurable distortion far and above SS gear. But lots of people enjoy the sound of tube more than SS. If you look at only the measurements then you might reach the conclusion that tubes are bad and people that like them like distortion. The reality of the situation is that tubes distort at different levels of harmonics than SS (odd vs. even). That makes them a lot more enjoyable for some people to listen to.

 

Or maybe it's all due to the fact that I'm a vinyl lover and the O2 combined with digital music either on the go or as a bedside amp is just too much sterility for these aging ears (analog has been in my life longer than digital).

 

Back to the OP's question; my vote is for the Matrix over the O2. That being said, they both have their merits.

 

-Dogwan


Edited by dogwan - 2/6/12 at 8:52am
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