Hello All -
I'm a brand new member here. I have what I’d consider an above-average sound system, but hardly what many members here would consider truly audiophile. I do have a pretty good ear, however, as I have been playing jazz piano for over 40 years (and trumpet now for about 8).
My stereo system currently contains a CJ-6 pre-amp, a Perreaux PMF1150B amp, a pair of Maggie III-b speakers, all connected by MIT cables. When I got a Samsung Smart TV last year, I bought an Oppo BPD-103, which I’m now using also to run my stereo, as I don’t have room for my old Sony CD player, and the technology of the Oppo is certainly a lot newer.
About 99% of what I listen to is instrumental small combo acoustic jazz (which is also what I play). I have a decent size collection of CD’s, which I’ve converted to lossless and stream to my stereo via my Logitech Squeezebox (why did they stop making this?!). But also, in the last couple years, I have started to gather a collection of HD Tracks, primarily 192/24’s. (I don’t get why they even bother with 44.1/16, but that’s a whole other discussion).
These downloads reignited my interest in improving my listening experience. So a couple months ago I picked up a couple SACD’s. Better than lossless, but IMHO, not close to the HD downloads. Around Xmax however I took a flyer and bought some XRCD24’s, which thus far I’m enjoying even more than the HD Tracks.
As you can undoubtedly tell from my components, I put this system together (except the Oppo) some time ago. As I’m now semi-retired, I may start looking at upgrading my stereo system generally. But presently, all I want to do is get a headphone amplifier so I can listen to my music without disturbing my wife. The plan is to attach it to the Oppo, which lacks a headphone jack, to drive my Grado SR225’s (which I bought years ago mostly to listen to my iPod when traveling. I imagine that might be my next upgrade, after a little more time exploring the Forums).
I’ve looked at a number of the top rated amps here, and at this point, I’m leaning strongly toward the Matrix M-Stage. But in looking at the listings on eBay, it looks like there are different versions released about every year. Can someone explain (in simple terms please) what, if any significant differences there are between the different vintages?
Also, I see some models appear to have a dial that tunes between 44.1 and 192. Does that really work? If I got a model without such a dial, what would I be missing?
I guess while I’m at it, I should ask if there’s any reason why the M-Stage, whichever iteration, wouldn’t be a good match for my Grados, given my musical taste, etc.
Thanks in advance for any assistance.