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The amp should be arriving to the next person on the list today via "signature required".
Yup!!! Got it. Stay tuned
Excited! Does anyone here by chance have a balanced hd600 cable I could borrow to use to test the unit. Was going to order one on Massdrop yesterday but the wife’s Christmas present ended up costing more than I planned on spending
Thank you Todd for the loaner program
Todd The Vinyl Junkie
Packaging is very well done. All items nicely secured in a well presentation.
Construction and finish demonstrates its high quality.
Accessories include manual, drivers cd, power cord, and remote. Power cord also was of great quality. Remote seamed a little fragile and when used did not perceive good feedback. Nonetheless was cool that you can adjust volume at your finger tips.
Single ended sounded excellent but Balanced allowed 600i achieve what it was trying to do!!!
Only used via coaxial input
Compared against current setup Modi Multibit and G109-A the 600i immediately sounded more refined. Clearer, defined seperation, greater resolution, and improved sound stage. Bass more transparent with great power allowing clean accurate frequencies. Mids a little pushed back allowing nicer sound stage. Very clear and very detailed vocals. Highs were very present and detailed. Hi hats and cymbals were preferred on Modi, seam more natural when singled out. Airiness on 600i provided great detail and clarity. Highs were awesome with Electronic music.
Movies and Games
There was so much clarity and separation that content did not feel organic. Case where 600i is too good for its own in this category.
This is a SUPER dac/amp combo
Any news on the general whereabouts of this unit?
Still enjoying it!!! Waiting on Todd to ship to next person
I sent Todd an email asking/reminding him about it (I'm the next person).
Any word yet?
On it's way to Zark
Received! Will have my review up after I ship it out.
I have sent the 600i to DoctaCosmos (the next participant). I will post my review of the unit hopefully some time today.
As is necessary thank you Todd for allowing us to demo this wonderful unit, and thank you to Questyle for supplying it.
Questyle CMA600i - Detail Powerhouse
Packaging and Build Quality
When first receiving this my expectation were high on the performance of this unit by looking at the price tag ($1299). The CMA600i was incredibly well protected; double-boxed with foam cutouts in the second, retail box. In the box was the CD drivers, the remote, and the surprisingly short power cable. The machined aluminum body is exquisitely crafted and stunning to look at. The dial, despite being digital, feels fantastic to use if not a little firm.
Power and Sound
After only using the Modi 2U, Magni 2, and Aune X7S extensively as my home drivers, I can confidently say this is by far the best Amp or DAC I have heard. The cans I used tried with the 600i are the LCD-X, HD600, HE 400i (minimally), and the TH-X00 Ebony (with a broken headband unfortunately ).
The DAC is unequivocally superb to my usual setup unsurprisingly. I never quite adjusted to just how crisp snares and hi-hats would sound despite putting easily 20+ hours onto the unit. As the others before have mentioned, the DAC does have extreme separation, I didn't think it sounded insanely unnatural though it was very odd being able to feel the physical space between instruments at first, the farthest I would go would be to say it lacks some amount of musicality. Once I adjusted to it, the DAC sounded very accurate and neutral, and I often wished I still had my HD800 so I could have the most analytical setup possible. As you have probably noticed in my image I have a Valhalla, which I have connected to the 600i. Once again the DAC goes above and beyond anything I have heard outputting into my Valhalla 1.
The amp, with it's quad chipsets for the balanced output, was more than enough to drive my HD600 and LCD-X of course. Like the DAC, it sounded accurate and lacked some musicality (though I prefer a slightly more analytical sound) though I wouldn't fully expect a solid state amp to be musical, that's what tubes are for. The night before I was going ship the unit to the next person I received my CA Andromeda in the mail, I was excited to try them with a DAC/amp this nice however I soon realized that there is not a low power mode which is rather odd considering the lower end CMA400i has a low output impedance 2.5mm balanced output for IEMs. This was pretty much the only complaint I had about the entire unit. Of course, one of the most important things I wanted to compare was the difference between the standard 1/4" output vs the balanced XLR. I had the XLR for my LCD-X as well as created a XLR cable for my HD600 specifically for reviewing the unit. There was definitely a difference, that much I'm certain of. Though it wasn't huge or worth going completely balanced for. I would also say it varied between my two headphones, with the LCD-X feeling slightly more separated through balanced. Other than that, it mattered very little whether the headphones were driven through a 1/4" plug or a XLR plug.
Overall the unit has given me a dangerous taste of higher end DAC/amps that before this, I had no way of trying. This has me seriously considering the CMA400i that is up on Todd's website.
Thanks for the review zark I enjoyed your thoughts and am now eagerly awaiting the unit more so. I’ve not heard too many, if any setups that put the lcd-x into an overly analytical nature. Did the 600i manage to do so or was it enjoyable to listen to still?
It was still definitely enjoyable, however like I said I enjoy an analytical sound a bit more.
Can you share any impressions on TH-X00 with CMA600i? Was there enough volume control range? How was the sound in general?