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Reviews by: Maxvla

Matrix Mini-I Refreshed

Posted

Pros: Price, features, design

Cons: Lacks detail, too laidback

Greetings, this is a comparative review of the recently updated Matrix Mini-I and Mini-I Pro. Also compared will be the Matrix X-Sabre (DAC only duties) and Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 (headphone amp only duties). The X-Sabre and M-Stage are meant to test each function of the Mini-I independently, and then also as a combination unit. Introducing the new Mini-I and Mini-I Pro: Let's start off with the name. Upon opening the first Mini-I box, I was surprised by its' size. While it is a small device, it is really not very 'mini'ature. At nearly 8 inches wide, 6 ½ inches deep and nearly 2 inches tall, it's more than a handful. I don't begrudge it's size, however, as the feature list more than...
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Matrix Mini-I refreshed and taken to the next level

Posted

Pros: Price, features, design, energetic sound

Cons: Aggressive, harsh, but tameable via resampling

Greetings, this is a comparative review of the recently updated Matrix Mini-I and Mini-I Pro. Also compared will be the Matrix X-Sabre (DAC only duties) and Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 (headphone amp only duties). The X-Sabre and M-Stage are meant to test each function of the Mini-I independently, and then also as a combination unit. Introducing the new Mini-I and Mini-I Pro: Let's start off with the name. Upon opening the first Mini-I box, I was surprised by its' size. While it is a small device, it is really not very 'mini'ature. At nearly 8 inches wide, 6 ½ inches deep and nearly 2 inches tall, it's more than a handful. I don't begrudge it's size, however, as the feature list more than...
(read more)

The original budget companion to the HD800

Posted

Pros: Sound quality, relatively small size, value, pre-amp

Cons: Optional DAC

Greetings, this review will be a comparison between both generations of M-Stage amps with optional DACs. It will be copied and posted to both products. First the HPA-1: Matrix M-Stage HPA-1 w/USB DAC This is the original M-Stage based on the Lehmann Black Cube Linear. It is a far cheaper version while still using high quality internal parts, and shares most of the sonic attributes of the Lehmann. It's become a popular economic amplifier that works well with all headphones, and has synergies with certain headphones that make it punch well above it's price point. As this amplifier is designed to run high impedance loads this comes as no surprise that it would favor some headphones over...
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Near-perfect update to an already incredible product

Posted

Pros: Updated DAC; Sound; Pre-amp; Improved cosmetics; Continues HPA-1 synergies with HD800, etc.

Cons: Unexpected change to fixed gain; Buzzing with IEMs; Increased heat output

Greetings, this review will be a comparison between both generations of M-Stage amps with optional DACs. It will be copied and posted to both products. First the HPA-1: Matrix M-Stage HPA-1 w/USB DAC This is the original M-Stage based on the Lehmann Black Cube Linear. It is a far cheaper version while still using high quality internal parts, and shares most of the sonic attributes of the Lehmann. It's become a popular economic amplifier that works well with all headphones, and has synergies with certain headphones that make it punch well above it's price point. As this amplifier is designed to run high impedance loads this comes as no surprise that it would favor some headphones over...
(read more)

High quality DAC nearing the end of it's life cycle, and it shows.

Posted

Pros: Smooth and sweet, yet not glossy. Detailed, but laidback. Many inputs, manual oversampling control. Build quality.

Cons: Lacks aggressiveness, USB input is noticeably worse, Sweet to a fault.

I was sent the V800, V181, and V200 to demonstrate at the Austin Head-fi meet last weekend so I thought I would put up a short-ish review of these items. I've already finished the comparison of the V181 and V200. Please search for those reviews if you are interested. This review will only be posted on the V800 but it will be a comparison of the V800, the Matrix X-Sabre, and the Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 (USB). Unlike the other reviews I will limit my headphone choice to HD800 as it is my primary headphone. I am also limiting the amp to the M-Stage HPA-2 as it is my favorite amp currently in my possession for the HD800. The V181 and V200 are able to run other headphones equally well as they run...
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Capable, well made amp with some shortcomings.

Posted

Pros: Smaller physical size than expected. Top notch build quality. Stays fairly cool even when on 24/7. Texture/detail better than V200.

Cons: Smaller soundstage than V200, but better layering. Performance could be better for the price.

I was sent the V800, V181, and V200 Violectric products to demonstrate at the 2014 Austin Head-fi meet, so I wanted to drop a short review of the 3 items before sending them back. This review will be copied for both amps and I will review the DAC separately. I have had several days with these products in my home, testing with multiple headphones and comparing to products I own and other products I have for demonstration from other companies. The setup I used for the bulk of my listening was using the V800 as DAC and switching between the V181 and V200. Occasionally I would toss in a different DAC or a different amp to confirm what I was hearing.Click the spoiler for a copy of my...
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Capable, well made amp with some shortcomings.

Posted

Pros: Smaller physical size than expected. Top notch build quality. Stays fairly cool even when on 24/7. Soundstage larger than V181.

Cons: Smears detail in comparison to V181. Textures have little depth.

I was sent the V800, V181, and V200 Violectric products to demonstrate at the 2014 Austin Head-fi meet, so I wanted to drop a short review of the 3 items before sending them back. This review will be copied for both amps and I will review the DAC separately. I have had several days with these products in my home, testing with multiple headphones and comparing to products I own and other products I have for demonstration from other companies. The setup I used for the bulk of my listening was using the V800 as DAC and switching between the V181 and V200. Occasionally I would toss in a different DAC or a different amp to confirm what I was hearing.Click the spoiler for a copy of my...
(read more)
Head-Fi.org › Maxvla › Reviews by Maxvla