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Cheapest way to connect Matrix M stage to a PC?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

As the title says, if I buy a Matrix M stage now ill be absolutely broke. I need a good enough way to connect the mstage to my PC to use power HE-4 properly. And if you're asking I am very new to this.

post #2 of 12
Don't know about a PC I use a MAC but I run a Schitt Modi ($99) to the M-Stage and it works really well. Not sure of a cheaper decent Dac?
Others might be able to help more.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicman74 View Post

Don't know about a PC I use a MAC but I run a Schitt Modi ($99) to the M-Stage and it works really well. Not sure of a cheaper decent Dac?
Others might be able to help more.

 

WOW. Not only do I have to spend 250$ on an amp, I need a 100$ DAC too?

 

If there is no cheap way to connect the mstage to a PC will an Audio Technica AT-HA26D work by itself and will it be good enough for the HE4?

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaian1 View Post
 

As the title says, if I buy a Matrix M stage now ill be absolutely broke. I need a good enough way to connect the mstage to my PC to use power HE-4 properly. And if you're asking I am very new to this.

 

Heya,

 

3.5mm (TRS) to 2x male RCA cable.

 

Plug it into your motherboard's line out to the back of the M-Stage.

 

I highly recommend you get a basic, inexpensive, USB DAC to output from instead of the motherboard of a PC though.

 

HifiMeDIY Sabre USB DAC

Hifiman HM-101 USB DAC

 

A short 3.5mm to 2x RCA cable.

A long 3.5mm to 2x RCA cable.

 

Also... you realize the HE-4 needs about 2.5watts of power at 38ohms to be fully driven, right? The M-Stage does about 900mW. Not even a watt. Just a heads up. It will work, you'll hear audio. But the HE-4 takes a ton of amplification that typical headphone amps cannot produce, most people use speaker amps for the HE-4 and HE-6 for this reason. They're super inefficient.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 9/10/13 at 5:46am
post #5 of 12
Sorry can't help ya with PC, I've no idea about sound cards or any of types of add ons, Mac guy, I don't have to worry about that sort of things:D I just plug the Modi in my slot and I'm set.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
 

 

Heya,

 

3.5mm (TRS) to 2x male RCA cable.

 

Plug it into your motherboard's line out to the back of the M-Stage.

 

I highly recommend you get a basic, inexpensive, USB DAC to output from instead of the motherboard of a PC though.

 

HifiMeDIY Sabre USB DAC

Hifiman HM-101 USB DAC

 

A short 3.5mm to 2x RCA cable.

A long 3.5mm to 2x RCA cable.

 

Also... you realize the HE-4 needs about 2.5watts of power at 38ohms to be fully driven, right? The M-Stage does about 900mW. Not even a watt. Just a heads up. It will work, you'll hear audio. But the HE-4 takes a ton of amplification that typical headphone amps cannot produce, most people use speaker amps for the HE-4 and HE-6 for this reason. They're super inefficient.

 

Very best,

 

Thanks for the quick response ^^ . Would a AT-HA26D (DAC + Amp) be better though since it has a DAC? Will it work better than just connecting the mstage to the motherboard (Note I cant afford a DAC and probably won't buy one).?

Thanks again :3

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaian1 View Post
 

 

Thanks for the quick response ^^ . Would a AT-HA26D (DAC + Amp) be better though since it has a DAC? Will it work better than just connecting the mstage to the motherboard (Note I cant afford a DAC and probably won't buy one).?

Thanks again :3

 

Heya,

 

The AT-HA26D is a DAC. So you're fine. You don't need to buy anything except an RCA to RCA cable. I simply didn't see that you had this already in your first post. The AT-HA26D is a DAC/AMP combination, but if you look on the back, it has line out that is meant to output to a separate amplifier. In your case, this will be the M-Stage. It's RCA output. The M-Stage has RCA input. So you need a 2x male RCA to 2x male RCA cable.

 

All you need is a cable:

 

Option 1: Short cable (RCA to RCA)

Option 2: Longer cable (RCA to RCA)

 

Very best,

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
 

 

Heya,

 

The AT-HA26D is a DAC. So you're fine. You don't need to buy anything except an RCA to RCA cable. I simply didn't see that you had this already in your first post. The AT-HA26D is a DAC/AMP combination, but if you look on the back, it has line out that is meant to output to a separate amplifier. In your case, this will be the M-Stage. It's RCA output. The M-Stage has RCA input. So you need a 2x male RCA to 2x male RCA cable.

 

All you need is a cable:

 

Option 1: Short cable (RCA to RCA)

Option 2: Longer cable (RCA to RCA)

 

Very best,

 

Oops sorry thats not what I meant!


I can either buy one of these, I don't have them now.

 

AT-HA26D which is supposodly a DAC/AMP for 200 bucks right now or an matrix mstage which will cost me 220 bucks with JUST the RCA cable to my mobo, no DAC. Im using a HE-4 so I need quite the juice!.

 

Thanks!

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaian1 View Post
 

 

Oops sorry thats not what I meant!


I can either buy one of these, I don't have them now.

 

AT-HA26D which is supposodly a DAC/AMP for 200 bucks right now or an matrix mstage which will cost me 220 bucks with JUST the RCA cable to my mobo, no DAC. Im using a HE-4 so I need quite the juice!.

 

Thanks!

 

Heya,

 

Hold the phone, friend. Do not spend a dollar right now.

 

The AT-HA26D cannot drive the HE-4. That thing is just not going to give you even close to enough power.

The Matrix M-Stage is a good amplifier, but it's still not powerful enough for the HE-4. The M-stage doesn't even push 1 watt. The HE-4 needs about 2.5 watts at 38ohms. This is speaker amp territory.

 

Not to sound patronizing but you really should have researched the HE-4 a lot before you acquired it. Maybe you got a good deal on it and lept on impulse. You can share that story if you wish. But to drive the HE-4 properly, it's an 86db/mw inefficient headphone, this is like a speaker more than a headphone, it needs a lot of current throughput to drive from an amplifier, on top of being 38ohms, combined it takes a ton of energy, hence me saying 2.5 watts at 38ohms which most headphone amps simply cannot do (some can). The M-Stage does not produce this much.

 

So before you drop more money and literally waste it, please, stop and take a moment to know what you  need for the HE-4. The HE-4 and the HE-6 are two very unique headphones in the sense that they are more like speakers in terms of how much power they need due to their incredibly inefficient design (HE-6 being even harder to drive at 83db/mw). The HE-4 is 86db/mw.

 

If you want an all-in-one solution for the HE-4, the best option for the cash is going to be the Audio GD NFB 12 (used), or 11.32 or 15.32 used/new. They will run you $150~250. But they have a good DAC, and the amplifier will hand out over 2 watts at 38ohms which is what is needed for the HE-4.

 

Very best,

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
 

 

Heya,

 

Hold the phone, friend. Do not spend a dollar right now.

 

The AT-HA26D cannot drive the HE-4. That thing is just not going to give you even close to enough power.

The Matrix M-Stage is a good amplifier, but it's still not powerful enough for the HE-4. The M-stage doesn't even push 1 watt. The HE-4 needs about 2.5 watts at 38ohms. This is speaker amp territory.

 

Not to sound patronizing but you really should have researched the HE-4 a lot before you acquired it. Maybe you got a good deal on it and lept on impulse. You can share that story if you wish. But to drive the HE-4 properly, it's an 86db/mw inefficient headphone, this is like a speaker more than a headphone, it needs a lot of current throughput to drive from an amplifier, on top of being 38ohms, combined it takes a ton of energy, hence me saying 2.5 watts at 38ohms which most headphone amps simply cannot do (some can). The M-Stage does not produce this much.

 

So before you drop more money and literally waste it, please, stop and take a moment to know what you  need for the HE-4. The HE-4 and the HE-6 are two very unique headphones in the sense that they are more like speakers in terms of how much power they need due to their incredibly inefficient design (HE-6 being even harder to drive at 83db/mw). The HE-4 is 86db/mw.

 

If you want an all-in-one solution for the HE-4, the best option for the cash is going to be the Audio GD NFB 12 (used), or 11.32 or 15.32 used/new. They will run you $150~250. But they have a good DAC, and the amplifier will hand out over 2 watts at 38ohms which is what is needed for the HE-4.

 

Very best,

Well im not too fond of this he 4 anyways :D . I bought it cause a used HE400 was snatched before i could take it and I bought this cause I thought they were similar. 

My second choice is the HD 650 but I heard its different from my previous headphones the HD 598. After 3 hours of auditioning headphones, the 598 was perfect for me. I have owned Ms1i and dt 880s and i disliked both and sold them.

 

So basically my story is I want something that is similar to the 598 at that 400-500 sweetspot. Ill start another new thread on what I should get soon after I sell my HE-4s. I give up on it and ill prob sell it for 300$++

post #11 of 12

Heya,

 

The HE400 and HE-4 are not similar. The HE-4 is much older and fairly different sounding. And it's design is very, very different. The HE400 can run off your cellphone. The HE-4 requires serious amplification. Huge difference. Only similarity is that they're planar magnetic and made by Hifiman.

 

The HD650 is very different from the HD598. The HD650 has less treble, and more mid-bass.

 

If the HD598 was perfect for you, then you should just stick with the HD598.

 

Going into the $400~500 area opens doors, but you'd have to audition them to know what your'e getting. They're all going to be different. Headphones in this price range really are going to be things like the HD600, HE400, used HE500, Mad Dogs, higher end AudioTechnicas that are closed back (2000X, W5000, etc). Shure SRH1440 & 1840, etc. All of which are way, way easier to drive than the HE-4 and will not require a nuclear reactor to power.

 

Very best,

post #12 of 12

If your are up for DIY I would recommend the GrubDAC. I was unable to find a difference in sound between it and the Modi - at about half the price. 

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