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Meier Corda CLASSIC: Impressions!!

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by swatcsi, Dec 29, 2011.
  1. Swatcsi
    I didn't see a thread, so I thought I'd make one.
    My Corda Classic just came in the mail today, and I've listened to it for around 3 hours, I have to say so far this a great sounding amplifier, and a very small one at that!
  2. achristilaw Contributor
    Happy Holidays! Keep us posted.
  3. Swatcsi
    So now that I've had more time with the Classic, I'm here just to post some impressions, others can chime in, and post their feelings about the amp. This is just an opinion, and I'm sure others will disagree with me, but its my first time so bear with me!
    Build Quality:
    The amp is definitely built quite good, the switches are very stable, and can see them lasting a long time, as well as the casing looks quite nice, very simple. One nitpick I have with the amp though is that when turning up the volume, you are able to hear the electronic steps of the volume knob, somewhat annoying but it's hardly audible.
    Some features that really made the amp stand out were, the crossfeed & tonal balance (bass booster). I liked the crossfeed implementation of the amp, it either made songs more enjoyable, or had virtually no effect. It sounds as if it's bringing the sound closer, i.e. less from left and right of you and more in front. Though when using the crossfeed it felt almost as if the soundstage was a bit smaller, not sure if it's just me but, either way it definitely made most of my music more enjoyable. The tonal balance was a love/hate feature for me, on my headphones (T1/SRH840), it didn't really add to the low end as much as it made everything sound a bit darker. When listening to more bassier songs it did add to the fun of the song, but still not my cup of tea.
    Sound Quality:
    Since I've only spent a good amount of time with a handful of SS amps, their is not much I can do besides compare previous amps to the Classic, and remark as to how the Classic faired against them. When I listened to the Heed Canamp with the T1's for the first time, I really enjoyed the sound it was a good pairing IMO, but the next week I got the Classic in the mail and it was by far superior with the T1. The Classic is very detailed, on my SRH840 the sound was unparalleled to as it was before, the bass had tightened up especially in the midbass area, and had much better treble extension, it became more transparent and really made the SRH840 sound like a new phone! On the T1's the pairing is great, particularly because the Classic was built around the T1. It doesn't really add anything to the sound of the T1, it lets it be its own headphone, and easily drove it. Though in my opinion this is not the best pairing that can be had with the T1. I've heard the T1 with tube amps, and I thought it really let them shine, I'm sorry as I don't remember the actual amps I tried (it was a while ago), but can say, that I remember they had more body to the T1, not to say it sounds lean with Classic, but it tubes are more musical with the T1, you could sit back and really enjoy their sound. In the end though I am glad I picked the Classic, its still analytical, but without ever sounding overly clinical, and really holds its own in the SS amp category, out of all the SS amps I've tried (all under $1000) I can by far say the Classic is the best I've yet to lay my ears on!
    Just some other stuff:
    Most of the music I listen to is electronica (not Dubstep, more House/Nu Disco) / Modern Rock (i.e. Red Hot Chili Peppers), and I make sure all the music used is encoded in AIFF, and was well recorded. The DAC, I used with the Classic was Meier's own StageDAC, I spent time listening to the StageDAC on many of my speakers so I could get a feeling as to what the StageDAC sounded like, so I would not confuse it with the Classic. 
  4. EvanK
    Has anyone tried the Meier Classic with HD650s yet? I'm rather interested in this amp and would like to know whether or not the two would compliment each other.
  5. yeemanz
    Does the Classic run hot after extended usage Swatcsi? Also, does the amp make any hums or noises?
  6. elipson73
    Hello Yeemansz,
    I see that you've got Corda classic + AKG K 702. Is it a good pairing ?
  7. yeemanz
    The AKGs do match well with the Classic, but the Classic doesn't do very much to improve the AKGs lack of bass imo.
    I actually don't use my AKGs much anymore since I got the T1s.
  8. Shubar
    Are the T1s really that good???? @@??
  9. Swatcsi
    T1's are very good, IMO HD800 is the more technically proficient headphone, and superior in many regards, and rightfully so. But really the T1's are a hell of a lot more fun to listen to in just about every way [​IMG], theres something about the T1 that just makes me come back to em.
  10. Szadzik
    Wrong thread
  11. Trey36
    The Corda Classic does make a clicking sound when the amplifier is on and you turn the volume knob and it does not run hot with continuous use. This noise cannot be heard through the headphones so not an issue for me. The power coming out of this amplifier is extremely clean and I've only noticed a slight buz listening to one recording. I'm assuming it was the recording and once I changed the crossfeed feature from Stereo to medium the bus went away. Based on all the information provided about crossfeed I chose not to have my headphones re-cabled.
    At the moment I'm running my Corda Classic with a Hifiman 901 as my DAC and I have the HD800 and the ED8's. I'm not to happy with Ultrasone at the moment but when I plugged my ED8's into this amplifier I really started to question a lot of peoples reviews and opinions. Since the ED8 only has 32 ohms of resistance it can be used with a portable player (which I'm assuming a lot people who buy from Ultrasone do as well, based on the love hate relationship) but wow the difference in clarity from having it plugged directly into my 901 is extremely noticeable.
    I now understand why people stay away from high end headphones because to get the best out of them you want an amplifier that is running extremely clean power and they are not cheap, but when Alan says this amplifier offers great value for price he is true to his word. The amplifier does not come with a power cable (three prong, everyone has them lying around) but I'm assuming that is because you can use it with either 110 or 220 and a lot of amplifiers do not offer that ability that cost twice as much. 
    This amplifer offers pure simplicity, you flip the switch to cut it on and turn the nob to increase the volume. Flip a few other switches for the other features and it produces amazing clean sound. For me an LCD display is not needed, a remote control is not needed, a build in DAC is not needed, USB port is not needed, flashy case is not needed etc..... you get the point. Buy this amplifer if you haven't already it's worth far more than what he charges. 
  12. plakat
    Thats due to how Jan Meier implemented the volume setting: the Classic is using an array of relais and fixed resistors, reading the potentiometers position and translating that into a volume setting by switching on/off different resistors to avoid channel imbalances that often occur at either end of stereo potentiometers. What you hear are the relais at work. That occurs only when changing volume.
  13. Jodet
    The classic is getting a little long in the tooth, I wonder if there will be an updated model sometime soon? 
  14. plakat
    How do you come to that conclusion? Being on the market for some time does not make a product obsolete... its still a well executed, clean design that drives a lot of headphones very well. Meier Audio is a small company, Jan won't refresh his top model every other year I guess. Plus I happen to like stability in a product portfolio.
  15. lithium1085
    Analog equipment has a much longer life than others.....there is no need for frequent updates without meaningful improvements. Frank just put up a review of the GS-X mk2 on part-time audiophile as he compared the corda classic to it. $ 700 vs new model $ 3000 and in his words -
    "The Meier was the surprise sleeper in the mix of this review. The Meier is designed by Jan Meier in Germany and built in China. The single ended amplifier is very impressive for a single ended design with an exceptional sounding cross-feed feature. The Classic performed extremely well in single ended mode when comparing it to the Mk2 single ended circuitry. The Classic was a little less transparent but had the same excellent way of not getting in the way of the music. The Classic is well designed and engineered, and is a nice solution for people on a budget looking for single ended amplification. The Classic did not embarrass itself against the GSX Mk2. But playing some of the same recordings, and then switching to the balanced side, really showed that the GSX was superior. The GSX sound stage and instrument separation outdistanced the Classic by a large margin. There was more transparency and a deeper silence to the background."

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