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Questyle CMA800 Current Mode amp - Page 38

post #556 of 589


Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

Here's my writeup on the HA-200: http://www.head-fi.org/t/724153/review-nuforce-ha-200-affordable-class-a-monoblocks

Is yours posted yet?


I keep thinking I need to upgrade my dac, because I can feel it's a bottleneck now. Except I just know that as soon as I do that, I'm going to start looking at upgrading the amps... and then it'll be back to the dac, or the next flagship headphone will come out, etc :rolleyes:


(though I am very tempted by the Yulong DA8 that I've paired with it on a couple occasions now, and also kinda curious about the Centrance M8 even though I've never heard it but have enjoyed their other gear in the past)



Originally Posted by jacal01 View Post


You might consider waiting for the Schiit Yggdrasil DAC, whenever it's released.  External interpolation filtering (18K+ taps) via DSP programmed algorithm and discrete multibit (R2R) ladder conversion, I have fairly high expectations of it, relative to its price point.


The Centrance M8 is a well sounding DAC/amp, but its basic claim to fame is the substantial power available for a portable rig to drive most if not all dynamic and planar headphones.



The DA8 is really good, it's a shame people get put off by its Chinese pedigree. It uses a Sabre chip, but it seems to have been voiced towards the warmer side of neutral to give it a more natural tone while still maintaining the microdetails and air that the Sabre is known for. IME, it has been able to avoid the glare that a lot of other sabre implementations seem to have. You also get DSD support if that's your thing. Though, the Yggdrasil has still piqued my interest and I will keep my eye on how that shakes out.

Edited by EraserXIV - 7/21/14 at 11:43am
post #557 of 589

The Yggy has caught my interest, even though I haven't been too enthused with Schiit gear in the past (I don't actively dislike them; they just didn't suit my tastes). I'm also intrigued by the upcoming Bottlehead DAC and the DDDAC 1794. For some reason those three and their particular implementations has piqued my curiosity.


I do think I need a dac with higher output potential, but at the same time I like to have a small form factor (which is one major appeal of my Echo2, which is tiny yet still has 4 channel output as well as 2 channel input).


Of course, if I get something higher up then I'm going to be tempted to get some Questyle monos...

post #558 of 589

The Yggdrasil will be a radical departure from their previous DAC offerings, no doubt all chip implementations, but I don't think it'll be small.


You want a small form great sounding DAC, you might might try a Chord product (e.g. Qute Ex, Hugo), but they ain't cheap (relatively).

post #559 of 589

You mean there's nothing out there that's small, good, *and* cheap? :rolleyes:


The nerd in me wants to make a chart to calculate the size/weight/cost ratios of various dacs and amps. Anyone know how much the Questyle weighs?

post #560 of 589

It's all relative, as you know.  At one level pretty much all DACs are various chip implementations + I/O selection & protocol conversion.  And everyone has their faves, depending on their budget.


Dunno off the top of my head, but it's light (stackable).  <4 kg?

post #561 of 589
That chart can get quite complicated once you start factoring monoblock vs no-monoblock and bring other amps into the comparison that have truly balanced topologies. It'll be comparing apples to oranges at that point.

Frankly, the reason I haven't purchased a CMA800R already is because it doesn't have balanced support without the mono-block scheme. While it does get my tech enthusiast side excited (MORE gear!), realistically speaking, I don't want to fiddle around with the L and R channel volumes separately, and also don't want to have my volume control in the digital domain with my DA8. My practical side is telling me to stay away because getting 2 of these things means 2x more space, 2x heavier, 2x the heat, 2x the electicity bill, 2x the money, and most likely not 2x the performance. Monoblocks are more suited for 2-channel setups IMO. I hope Questyle's next offering does not go down this path, or at least puts speaker taps on them to make it a more practical product.
Edited by EraserXIV - 7/21/14 at 4:02pm
post #562 of 589

Well yeah, but maybe I just like making spreadsheets... And then it gives me yet another worthless spec and metric upon which to base my make-believe purchases. :biggrin: Although weight isn't that bad of a metric. Hefty power supplies and transformers are important to any design, and those are rarely cheap or lightweight.


But I agree with the sentiment about twice as mush space/etc. As much as I love the tech toys, I also like to have desk space. The HA-200 are pushing it for me in terms of size already. It's ok on the dining room table, but the bedroom desk not so much. I'm really really curious about the Questyles, but that's moving up another notch on the size/weight scale. I'm hoping Project86's review of the Nuforce over at innerfidelity will share some more comparisons.


My Echo2 is tiny. It's barely the size of a paperback book. If only I could find an amp somewhere in that size range (which would probably push towards class D), but heck there are power bricks out there that are bigger than that. .

post #563 of 589

If the HA-200 is pushing it in size, you definitely don't want the Questyle. Unless we're talking about their Q192 integrated DAC/amp unit which is really compact and does a great job for sensitive headphones and IEMs. Not enough juice to do planars right though.


Dual HA-200 at $700 compared to a single CMA800R at $1500 is a good question. I'd say the NuForce combo is more visceral and punchy sounding, while the CMA800R is faster, more nimble, more resolving and clear. As always, the improvement is not linear relative to price, but I'd probably still take the CMA800R over the dual HA-200 combo. Having said that, the HA-200 combo is really very good for the price class, and a single HA-200 might be my new favorite amp in the sub-$500 range. I'd have to compare it directly to the Matrix M-Stage mkII though. 

post #564 of 589

Does the CMA800R run hotter than the HA-200?

post #565 of 589
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

Does the CMA800R run hotter than the HA-200?


Nope, nice and cool. There's just a slight warmth during extended use but nowhere near as hot as the NuForce. The CMA800R does have significantly more interior volume, as well as a much thicker chassis. So it probably soaks up heat a lot better. 

post #566 of 589

In your review you gave the nod to the Taurus vs the CMA800R in single ended mode, but didn't really elaborate once you went to monos with the Questyles. Do you feel it closes the gap or surpasses?

post #567 of 589
Originally Posted by deadie View Post

I've been reading up on the CMA800R to pair with my LCD-X and soon to arrive Chord Hugo.  


I recently demo'd the GSX-MkII and Senn HDVA600 at the SoCal meet, and the Auralic Taurus MkII at Stereo Unlimited here in San Diego.


At $1,500, the CMA800R and the Senn amp are the cheapest of the bunch.  The Master 9 is in that $ ballpark as well.


With my LCD-X the GSX sounded amazing, very full, and is just a beauty.  It's very expensive, and the wait is just too long.  The Taurus had massive balls, bass galore, and very musical.  


I currently have the Senn amp at home, and it sounds quite good, musical, has great synergy with the LCD-X and of course Senn's HD800, but the Taurus has considerably more power and is able to punch with greater bass impact at equal volume.  The bass is very strong, hits hard, hits fast and then fades instantly.  It's worth the $500 premium to me, and so the Senn is likely going back.


I only listened to the Taurus in balanced mode, and regret not switching over to SE given what I've read about that output's distinct character.


I've been chatting with Mr. Alden Zhao of Questyle and he informed me today that the company will be exhibiting at the upcoming T.H.E. Show next month in Irvine, CA. 


Hopefully the CMA800R will have that musical essence / character I'm looking for, with decent power.  As Project86 cited in his review, one can always add another unit for greater dynamics.  I'm really hoping Questyle will have that mono-balanced setup at THE Show.


Ah, such problems to ponder.  Buy a single CMA800R now, and perhaps scale up in the future.  Or pay a bit more for the Taurus... 

Do what I did and just loan the Taurus from The Cable Co for roughly $85 (it comes burned-in) and they give it to you for a week (http://www.thecableco.com/Product/category.aspx?cid=401).  Also if you like it you can use that money (the $85) toward the amp and buy it from them.  I have the Taurus sitting at home right now as I'm auditioning it.

post #568 of 589

I was curious if any CMA800R owners has heard the new Bakoon HPA-01 and might comment? Particularly using the current output with planars such as LCD-X? I've been reading through the HPA-21 thread but there is precious little about the HPA-01. I also read the 6moons review, but I fear that Srajan's reviews are becoming even more unsubstantial.


I did hear the HPA-21 with the HD-800 briefly but it was long ago and all I can recall was that it sounded very good. 


Anyways the same vendor where I bought my CMA800R has a great deal on the HPA-01 and I think I may not be able to resist.

post #569 of 589
Just wanted to post that I had a VERY good experience with Bruce Ball and questyle in general. I brought a used CMA800R. One of the screws on the top plate wasn't fitting correctly and looked out of place. Amp was working fine. I contacted questyle initially to get a replacement screw and they decided to replace the whole unit for me for free. I should be getting the unit today. Great customer service in my book!
post #570 of 589
Edited by gsr108 - 7/25/14 at 8:31am
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