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Audio-GD NFB 15.32 vs Matrix M-Stage with HRT Music Streamer II?

Poll Results: Which would be the better choice?

 
  • 80% (8)
    Audio-GD 15.32
  • 20% (2)
    Matrix M-Stage with HRT Music Streamer II
10 Total Votes  
post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey guys. I am wondering what your thoughts are on the Audio-GD NFB 15.32 vs Matrix M-Stage with HRT Music Streamer II? I am looking for the overall best sound quality. I am perfectly fine with having an all-in-one system like the NFB 15.32 or a separate stack like the M-Stage/HRT so I do not have a preference there. I am also alright with the fact that the M-Stage combo is USB only compared to the NFB which also has coaxial and optical since I will most likely use USB. I will be using either setup with the HE-400 and the HD600. I know the NFB is cheaper but once you figure in the shipping and paypal costs, it falls within $50 of the M-Stage combo. 

 

Also, if you have any other suggestions on what you would think is a better DAC to go along with the M-Stage please let me know. I am not set on this combo. I have just heard good things.

post #2 of 17

I own the 15.32 but I have used the Matrix M stage I have not used the HRT music streamer 2 tho, but Both M-Stage and the NFB15.32 headphone amp is very strong and they be able to drive most headphones that req alot of power. The good thing about the NFB15.32 is that its all one unit so you don't take up much room, It does have digital filters which you can change the sound signature, only a few of the settings i can tell the difference between, while the rest I can't.  The Default Digital filter is a tad warm, but the Digital filter I using now is hard to explain.  Now the Matrix M-Stage Default op-amp  I did not like so I changed it out depending on which headphones I was using with it. The M-Stage has room around the op-amp socket for using op-amps that are on a dual to single adapter which is common used for using two single channel op-amps  or cap's.  The M-stage if I recall gets very hot, as well as the NFB does get hot as well both make perfectly good heaters when winter comes.  II recall that the HRT streamer 2 has a op-amp socket,from pictures of the inside.

 

The good thing about the USB input on the NFB15.32 most people don't know this, is that the NFB 15.32 supports Full blu ray audio in it glory meaning you wont get down-mixed blu ray audio when your using the USB input thx to the USB32 transfer chip, it works as I tried a couple of my blu ray movies. I only have minor issues with the USB issues but i think that relate to my motherboard usb issues that I have and not the device it self. There are M-Stage models that come with dac's inside of them but they cost more and I don't know how good it would sound.  I would say just get the cheaper of the two option's or if you lack room get the one or combo that take up less space.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post
 

I own the 15.32 but I have used the Matrix M stage I have not used the HRT music streamer 2 tho, but Both M-Stage and the NFB15.32 headphone amp is very strong and they be able to drive most headphones that req alot of power. The good thing about the NFB15.32 is that its all one unit so you don't take up much room, It does have digital filters which you can change the sound signature, only a few of the settings i can tell the difference between, while the rest I can't.  The Default Digital filter is a tad warm, but the Digital filter I using now is hard to explain.  Now the Matrix M-Stage Default op-amp  I did not like so I changed it out depending on which headphones I was using with it. The M-Stage has room around the op-amp socket for using op-amps that are on a dual to single adapter which is common used for using two single channel op-amps  or cap's.  The M-stage if I recall gets very hot, as well as the NFB does get hot as well both make perfectly good heaters when winter comes.  II recall that the HRT streamer 2 has a op-amp socket,from pictures of the inside.

 

The good thing about the USB input on the NFB15.32 most people don't know this, is that the NFB 15.32 supports Full blu ray audio in it glory meaning you wont get down-mixed blu ray audio when your using the USB input thx to the USB32 transfer chip, it works as I tried a couple of my blu ray movies. I only have minor issues with the USB issues but i think that relate to my motherboard usb issues that I have and not the device it self. There are M-Stage models that come with dac's inside of them but they cost more and I don't know how good it would sound.  I would say just get the cheaper of the two option's or if you lack room get the one or combo that take up less space.

Thanks for the reply. Lots of good info here. I know the differences between these two setups and probably most setups is minimal but I have a bad habit of making sure I have exactly the right product before I throw money into it. I am always afraid that I will spend X amount of dollars and then be unhappy with my purchase. On the topic of the M-Stage getting very hot; was it the original version that you used? My understanding is that the original version had a solid body but the newer versions have multiple vents on the amp. I do not know how well these vents work though as they are on the sides and heat rises. I would think the vents would work better if placed at the top but idk. 

post #4 of 17

I had the orginal verison which did not have the vents, I argee that the vents should be place at the top, but I guess with them being on the sides make it a tad harder for stuff dropping into the vent and harming the amp.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post
 

I had the orginal verison which did not have the vents, I argee that the vents should be place at the top, but I guess with them being on the sides make it a tad harder for stuff dropping into the vent and harming the amp.

I agree with the vents on the top adding risk to the amp. I don't think I am too worried about the heat from any amp. I think it is just something that you expect from a piece of equipment like this. That said, I don't want something that is going to burn through my desk :|

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post
 

I own the 15.32 but I have used the Matrix M stage I have not used the HRT music streamer 2 tho, but Both M-Stage and the NFB15.32 headphone amp is very strong and they be able to drive most headphones that req alot of power. The good thing about the NFB15.32 is that its all one unit so you don't take up much room, It does have digital filters which you can change the sound signature, only a few of the settings i can tell the difference between, while the rest I can't.  The Default Digital filter is a tad warm, but the Digital filter I using now is hard to explain.  Now the Matrix M-Stage Default op-amp  I did not like so I changed it out depending on which headphones I was using with it. The M-Stage has room around the op-amp socket for using op-amps that are on a dual to single adapter which is common used for using two single channel op-amps  or cap's.  The M-stage if I recall gets very hot, as well as the NFB does get hot as well both make perfectly good heaters when winter comes.  II recall that the HRT streamer 2 has a op-amp socket,from pictures of the inside.

 

The good thing about the USB input on the NFB15.32 most people don't know this, is that the NFB 15.32 supports Full blu ray audio in it glory meaning you wont get down-mixed blu ray audio when your using the USB input thx to the USB32 transfer chip, it works as I tried a couple of my blu ray movies. I only have minor issues with the USB issues but i think that relate to my motherboard usb issues that I have and not the device it self. There are M-Stage models that come with dac's inside of them but they cost more and I don't know how good it would sound.  I would say just get the cheaper of the two option's or if you lack room get the one or combo that take up less space.

>.> I am a big AUdio GD Amp fan... and at the price point... seriously it's a great deal. I loved my M Stage but... just the sheer bargin of an AGD amp is priceless... they are just excelllently built amps and the deal is... well top notch 

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

>.> I am a big AUdio GD Amp fan... and at the price point... seriously it's a great deal. I loved my M Stage but... just the sheer bargin of an AGD amp is priceless... they are just excelllently built amps and the deal is... well top notch 

It seems that Audio-GD has a very large fan base. You said you loved your M-Stage so brand loyalty aside...based on pure sound/quality...which would you go with?

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darko9989 View Post
 

It seems that Audio-GD has a very large fan base. You said you loved your M-Stage so brand loyalty aside...based on pure sound/quality...which would you go with?

The M Stage was warm... much warmer that I thought so it's hard to compare the two, seeing as the sound signitures where different. I Sold my M Stage the day after I got my NFB 10ES2 it was that much of an upgrade, and I'm talking about SE vs SE 

 

the balanced out is another level 

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

The M Stage was warm... much warmer that I thought so it's hard to compare the two, seeing as the sound signitures where different. I Sold my M Stage the day after I got my NFB 10ES2 it was that much of an upgrade, and I'm talking about SE vs SE 

 

the balanced out is another level 

I am wondering if I might like the warmth of the M-Stage since the HE-400s can be harsh if improperly paired with an amp. I sometimes find it fatiguing to listen to a setup that is very neutral and analytic. 

post #10 of 17

Don't forget the M-Stage does have a op-amp socket if you are into rolling op-amps. So you can pop a op-amp in that will tone down the harshness.

post #11 of 17

Any other websites that might have a large Audio-GD following?

post #12 of 17

Not that I know off.

post #13 of 17

I had the M-Stage amp with no vents, and while it got slightly warm after a while, it never got hot. If anything, my current D100 DAC gets warmer.

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post
 

Don't forget the M-Stage does have a op-amp socket if you are into rolling op-amps. So you can pop a op-amp in that will tone down the harshness.

That is definitely something that I would be interested in if I were to choose the M-Stage. I like to tinker. 

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post
 

I had the M-Stage amp with no vents, and while it got slightly warm after a while, it never got hot. If anything, my current D100 DAC gets warmer.

How did you like the M-Stage? What did you use it with? Why did you sell it?

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