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Questyle CMA800 Current Mode amp - Page 38

post #556 of 633

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 #557 of 633

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 #558 of 633

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 #559 of 633
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 #560 of 633

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 #561 of 633

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 #562 of 633

Does the CMA800R run hotter than the HA-200?

post #563 of 633
Quote:
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 #564 of 633

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 #565 of 633
Quote:
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 #566 of 633

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 #567 of 633
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 #568 of 633
Deleted
Edited by gsr108 - 7/25/14 at 8:31am
post #569 of 633
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

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?

 

Yeah sorry, I'm trying to keep my reviews from being sooooo long winded these days... for your benefit and for mine. But that format sometimes omits desired details, so I'm always open to questions like this.

 

I think the dual mono CMA800R setup is better than Taurus in several instances. HD800 (obviously), but also LCD-3 and LCD-2. Taurus still has the edge with HE-6 and possibly with Alpha Dogs too. The sound signature of the Questyle monoblocks is more airy and quick, while the Taurus has a bit more tonal richness. Different strengths for sure, but neither of them has significant weaknesses to speak of. And that's what makes both options so exceptional. Even though Taurus is better with HE-6, the CMA800R combo is very good. And the monoblocks with with LCD-3 and HD800, but the Taurus is excellent with those as well. So it's not like one blows the other out of the water. 

 

I suppose I give the ultimate sound quality nod to the monoblock Questyle setup, thought Taurus wins on value (ie pricing) and simplicity of connection.

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanlitun View Post
 

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.

 

I liked the SQ of the HPA-21 but the short battery life was a dealbreaker for me. Not sure if later revisions had better performance or at least allowed one to listen from AC power while the battery charged. So I'm curious to hear how much of that SQ the HPA-01 can manage. But no, so far I haven't heard it yet. 

 

If you pick one up, definitely let us know your thoughts. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsr108 View Post

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!

 

That's great to hear. I've dealt with Questyle a lot but never with Bruce Ball (he's a relatively new add on). I seem to recall him being a top dog at Halcro so he's been around for a while and knows the biz. Glad they went out of their way to help you out. That says good things about their service and even has a theoretical impact on resale value. 

post #570 of 633
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsr108 View Post

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!


Another update.  So I received the amp back.  Instead of sending me a new one they either sent me a refurbished model or replaced the screw on my old amp.  I can tell because the amp that was sent back seems to be an older model (the faceplate is slightly different).  This is after Mr Ball emailed me and offered to exchange my old amp for a new amp due to the faulty screw.  I've emailed him multiple times in the past 4 days without any replies.  Hopefully he will email me back soon but, so far, I feel let down by their customer service. 


Edited by gsr108 - 8/1/14 at 10:31am
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