Questyle CMA600i first impressions thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by jodet, Apr 22, 2016.
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  1. up late
    i first encountered the cma600i several months ago when i went to audition and compare the stax sr009 and sr007 at a local hi fi store. the cma600i's dac was being used in conjunction with a stax amp. after trying the staxen i gave the fostex th900 and grado gs2000e a listen via the cma600i. my focus was on the headphones rather than the cma600i at the time but i do recall how lively, detailed and dynamic they sounded.

    that hi fi store had a sale this week and as i'm on the look out for a solid state amp/dac combo to pair with the focal utopia, i thought that i should give the cma600i a try. i've since made a second trip to the store to confirm my initial impression of the pairing. the cma600i immediately impressed. It definitely has wow factor. it was as though the utopia had been turbo-charged. bass presence was noticeably increased and so too the treble; the mid-range seemed slightly recessed, however. the utopia is an extremely resolving headphone but it had become hyper-detailed with insane dynamics, enhanced instrument separation and a larger "soundstage". it was an intense headphone listening experience to be sure.

    and therein lies the problem with the cma600i for me - it made the utopia fatiguing. i listen at low to moderate levels and when i increased the volume, it quickly became apparent that this combination was too highly strung for anything but the shortest of listening sessions. cymbals sounded glassy and the upper mid-range became bothersome. my second audition and comparisons with the burson conductor V2+ and the sennheiser hdvd800 confirmed this for me. they both sounded relatively unforced and less "artificial" to my ears, making for an easier if less spectacular listening experience.

    i hope that this doesn't come off as overly critical because i think that the cma600i is a terrific piece of audio kit, and i could imagine it pairing well with other headphones that would benefit from its "current drive" amplification.
     
    Ragnar-BY likes this.
  2. Gipss
    Thank you for the little review.
    I tested my Dharma with 2x cma "800R" if my memory is correct it was a "wooohh " effect .

    I would like CMA 600i and maybe, after, upgrade for an Utopia ... But your review "freeze" me.

    I think i will buy an 600i ASAP and test the combo utopia-questyle in my shop . I will write my first impression here .

    Have a good day and happy new year.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  3. Ragnar-BY
    Anybody had a good experience with CMA600i + Fostex TH-900? Would appreciate any feedback on this pairing.
     
  4. cubed4life
    Yup, CMA600i and TH-900 are pretty amazing. Together, super transparent, detailed, fast, and the bass is there and correct. Highs could be proven to be fatiguing in long sessions. Definitely a must listen to amp with the TH-900.
     
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  5. Ragnar-BY
    Thank you. What about volume control, does it have convenient range? TH-900 are pretty sensitive and there are no gain settings in cma600i.
     
  6. cubed4life
    Don't recall very well, pretty sure I didn't get close to half. It was fine for me.
     
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  7. Satcher
    I'm loving the CMA600i, but I have a couple of issues I would like to be addressed by other owners: when music playback is off for about roughly 15-17 seconds, I'll hear a subtle pop and hear it pop twice quickly before I initiate a track. Is this the same thing as the popping issue people referenced a few pages before? Should I be worried or is this considered normal? Haven't been an audiophile too long. The serial number for my unit is at the XXXX420-430 mark (can't remember exactly), which is before the XXXX500 mark where units were described in this thread as having the issue resolved.

    Also, using the ifi iEMatch and my IE800 connected to the CMA600i, when I turn the volume knob more than halfway, at around the 3 o'clock spot, the music skips/ cuts out. Is this clipping? The iFi iEMatch makes me turn the volume knob higher to achieve the same listening volumes I like if I weren't using it. This is listening to music via the USB connection. Did I damage my unit? Does anyone else experience this when they use the iFi iEMatch?

    Sorry about the barrage of questions, kind of getting nervous if my unit is faulty or not. It was purchased off of Amazon as a returned unit from an authorized dealer who stated it was free of faults in the listing, but I'm having doubts.

    EDIT: Wanted to state that the popping issue is also present with my HD800 via the balanced 4 pin XLR output.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  8. King CATalyst
    I owned th900 at one point and paired it with cma600i ANF had no problems just need to be more careful than usual while turning up the volume (so turn slowly)
     
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  9. Ragnar-BY
    Well, right now I`m using Violectric V200 and my volume usually is set between 9 and 11 hours. It`s not the most comfortable situation, but acceptable. If Questyle would be something like this - it`s not a problem. If I have less than hour of regulation - it could be a deal breaker. Also, do you recall any problems with sibilants on this setup? I expect some offensive treble from CMA600i, but do it makes the "sss" sounds stronger on th-900?
     
  10. vincent1
    edited
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  11. King CATalyst
    I don't own the th900 any longer I sold them about 3 weeks ago but I left them between 8 and 9 o'clock....the cma600i has ALOT more power than the specs say, I think it may have something to do with current mode amplification tech that it uses...and for the sibilence that's why i chose to sell my th900 but the treble wasn't any better or worse on my cma600i compared to anything else I listened to them on.
     
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  12. up late
    that was my impression too from memory
     
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  13. Moogs
    Can someone that owns the 600i help me understand how to switch between the rear XLR outputs and the headphones? The 400i unit has a function button to switch between these outputs. Some units, like the Schitt Jotunheim, don't have switchable outputs and you have to physically unplug the cables which sucks. I need to be sure this has a selectable output like the Oppo or the Violectric. Thanks!
     
  14. esauseesaw
    As with the 800i, the 600i line outputs stay active all the time. Connecting to a headphone output does not disable them. You have to make sure whatever you are connected to is unplugged, turned down or off.
     
  15. esauseesaw
    There is no official cut off. If you are experiencing a problem it is best to contact your local importer, or failing that the dealer it was purchased from. There is a firmware update to fix it.
     
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