Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Questyle CMA800 Current Mode amp
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Questyle CMA800 Current Mode amp - Page 5

post #61 of 586

It's certainly not as bad as it could be if there was more weight involved. Yet the light weight also means the device can easily slide when doing stuff like pushing buttons or plugging in cables. Sliding causes scratching. I believe these are the same feet as used on the Anedio D1. They ended up changing those when they redesigned it as the D2, to a more traditional footer with padding. I believe this was done because of complaints of scratching. 

 

The cone feet sure look nice though. Very "HiFi" if you know what I mean.

post #62 of 586

Yeah, it's one of the things that initially made me think "quality".

 

No sliding/scratching issues yet, tho.  Altho you've now raised my level of consciousness where I'm going to be cognizant of not letting the amp move whenever I plug or unplug my headphones.  I have the impression that the feet are dug just enough into the wood to resist surface sliding with ordinary plug/unplugging effort.

post #63 of 586

I'd be sold on this amp if it had more than one input.  I listen to mostly vinyl, but have a big CD collection as well.  Currently using a Shanlin PH300.  Why-oh-why can they not add another input?!?!?  It also irks me that some DAC headphone amps don't have an additional analog input.  I guess you have to love just analog or digital - can't be both,

post #64 of 586

I received the reference version of this amplifier yesterday. As you can see from the picture below, the daft spiked feet have been replaced by something more sensible:

 

 

 

Below are a couple of internal pictures that show changes made to the layout of the amplifier:

 

 

 

I haven't had time yet to give this a listen (will probably be the weekend now). However, the unit is very well presented, and built like a tank! If it sounds as good as it looks, it will be a good purchase.

post #65 of 586
Quote:
Originally Posted by PETERCALV View Post
 

I received the reference version of this amplifier yesterday. As you can see from the picture below, the daft spiked feet have been replaced by something more sensible:

 

 

 

Below are a couple of internal pictures that show changes made to the layout of the amplifier:

 

 

 

I haven't had time yet to give this a listen (will probably be the weekend now). However, the unit is very well presented, and built like a tank! If it sounds as good as it looks, it will be a good purchase.

Glad to see you got your replacement safely delivered, lets hope this one works.

Looking forward to your impressions.

post #66 of 586

Those pictures look great, the Questyle looks like a winner for hard to power cans.

 

As I am looking for the best (detailed, airy, precise, powerful enough) reasonable priced headphone amp for my HE-6s, I would love to read a comparison between the Questyle and the EF6, Soloist or Audio-GD Master X. Currently the Soloist and Master-X are in my short-list being a little bit more inclined towards the Master.

 

I am currently using the speaker taps of a Leben CS300XS but I am not completely satisfied, particularly because of the precision of the bass compared with a good solid state amp.

 

Cheers

post #67 of 586

Will have to spend more time with the HE-6 when I can. But at the moment, I'm using my Thunderpants, which seem just a bit less power hungry than the HE-6 (but not by much) and the CMA800 is knocking my socks off. Amazing clarity but definitely NOT in the analytical/sterile camp. Bass impact is nothing short of top class, price be damned. Of course, it takes a good system to bring this out. I tried a few different $500-1000 DACs and didn't really feel the magic. Switched to the Questyle CAS192 or the Resonessence Labs Invicta and BANG! It all came together.

 

Can't wait to hear the CMA800R monoblocks at some point. I can't imagine how good that will sound. 

post #68 of 586

Thanks a lot for the quick answer, your findings look really promising. 

 
Are you saying that the Questyle CAS192 DAC is top class? Mentioning other DACs that you know, at which level would you position it?
 
I will be waiting for you to spend more time with the HE-6s.  :popcorn:
 
Cheers
post #69 of 586
Quote:
Originally Posted by victorcc View Post

Thanks a lot for the quick answer, your findings look really promising. 
 
Are you saying that the Questyle CAS192 DAC is top class? Mentioning other DACs that you know, at which level would you position it?
 
I will be waiting for you to spend more time with the HE-6s.  popcorn.gif
 
Cheers

From my somewhat limited time, the CAS192 seems at least on par with some of my favorites like Matrix X-Sabre, Yulong DA8, Anedio D2. I need to spend a lot more time with it, but so far it is very impressive. Not so amazing on features though - no DSD, no preamp or volume control, no built in headphone amp.... Just a straight PCM DAC that sounds really good. They tell me a DSD capable version is coming eventually. Not sure in time frame though.
post #70 of 586

Wow, thanks for the info. 

 

I wonder how their Mini DAC, which cost 3 times less, will stand against its big brother:

 

Differences between CAS192 Mini and CAS192:

CAS192Mini has canceled the Toslink input and add the Coaxial output. 
CAS192Mini has canceled the balance output 
CAS192Mini fix the digital filters on IIR (MP) 
CAS192Mini has canceled the dual clock integral up sampling 
CAS192Mini use the custom-designed military level transformer which is full sealed ultra-low noise and ultra-low magnet-loss

post #71 of 586

The CMA800 Reference sounds like a very promising amp indeed. I tried it last night with an Eximus DP1 and Naim V1 DAC. The clarity is superb.

 

At the moment, I much prefer it with the Naim, as it has given the strong bass and 'Naim' soundstage huge openness and clarity. This is exactly what I hoped it would do.

 

Although the Eximus is a very good headphone amp/DAC combination with superb clarity, it has always been lacking in bass for me. I think that to get any added value from the Eximus, you may have to risk the cost and use two CMA800R amps as monoblocks, but I suspect the bass would still be lacking.

 

Still, early days yet as far as listening goes....

post #72 of 586
Quote:
Originally Posted by PETERCALV View Post
 

The CMA800 Reference sounds like a very promising amp indeed. I tried it last night with an Eximus DP1 and Naim V1 DAC. The clarity is superb.

 

At the moment, I much prefer it with the Naim, as it has given the strong bass and 'Naim' soundstage huge openness and clarity. This is exactly what I hoped it would do.

 

Although the Eximus is a very good headphone amp/DAC combination with superb clarity, it has always been lacking in bass for me. I think that to get any added value from the Eximus, you may have to risk the cost and use two CMA800R amps as monoblocks, but I suspect the bass would still be lacking.

 

Still, early days yet as far as listening goes....

Maybe we should organise a Cheshire mini meet :wink:

post #73 of 586
Quote:
Originally Posted by victorcc View Post
 

Wow, thanks for the info. 

 

I wonder how their Mini DAC, which cost 3 times less, will stand against its big brother:

 

Differences between CAS192 Mini and CAS192:

CAS192Mini has canceled the Toslink input and add the Coaxial output. 
CAS192Mini has canceled the balance output 
CAS192Mini fix the digital filters on IIR (MP) 
CAS192Mini has canceled the dual clock integral up sampling 
CAS192Mini use the custom-designed military level transformer which is full sealed ultra-low noise and ultra-low magnet-loss

 

I was thinking the same thing.... but looking at the internal pics, I think there's more to it than that. The power supply alone is very different - CAS192 has over twice the capacitance, massive transformer, more regulation, not to mention physical layout helping separate it from the rest of the circuitry. That said, the CAS192 Mini could still be quite good in its price range. Sure is pretty, with a sort of Ayre QB-9 look to it. 

post #74 of 586
@jacal01 could you make a comparison between the CMA800 and the Bakoon HPA-21? Especially driving the LCD-2.
Thx.
post #75 of 586

You have to understand that there are no losers here.  The nice thing about current driven amps is that they appear to be tolerant with most if not all headphones, regardless of impedance. Impedance matching does not seem to be all that essential, very likely because the output signal current drives the heaphones ("push"), rather than the output voltage inducing the signal current through all the system impedances ("pull"), implying impedance matching is more critical.  Or so it once made sense to me...

 

Comparing the CMA800 and HPA-21 amps, using the same DAC and source material, the CMA800 seems to be somwhat brighter, more airy, with the HPA-21 darker/warmer.  The HPA-21 seems to have more body and texture in the mids and middle bass regions.  However, the CMA800 appears to have slightly more bass extension, however thinner.  Weird that.  And the CMA800 seems to actually have less distortion than the HPA-21; the notes and vocals are crisper, more articulate.  The HPA-21 also seems to run a bit hotter, for what that's worth (Class A?).

 

Having said all that, there seems to be a special synergy with the CMA800 and my LCD-2s. I believe this extraordinary match is because of pairing a brightish amp with darker headphones.  Remember, we're talking nuances here, not glaring attributes.  But it's a very good resulting tonal meld which is quite pleasing to the ear.  Of the two amp pairings with the LCD-2, I feel the CMA800 combo is more euphonic, at least to me.

 

However, I think that the HPA-21, because of producing fuller audio in the mids and mid bass frequencies, does offer the advantage of better approximating the euphonic tube sound of lots of mids bloom.  If you relish more the warm lush sound of tube amps, then the HPA-21 ascends over the CMA800.

 

I think that the CMA800 offers exceptional SQ value at whatever price point it's finally introduced at in the US.  I anticipate a US distributor to be in place and product exhibition by RMAF 2014.  Meanwhile, you can most likely purchase one factory direct by contacting Questyle (Alden Zhao) and inquiring.  Payment will need to be via bank wire transfer.


Edited by jacal01 - 10/28/13 at 6:42pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Questyle CMA800 Current Mode amp