Questyle CMA800 Current Mode amp
Mar 2, 2014 at 11:49 AM Post #301 of 754

00lunar

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  I just spoke to Questyle and confirmed a few things. Figured I should update here so everyone knows the latest info.
 
First, the Q192 is not being redone. I think there was some speculation about it, possibly being refreshed to add DSD. They decided that it needs to keep a low price point (low for a good all-in-one device) rather than add features. So the Q192, which I really like, stays the same. 
 
Next, the CAS192 is getting a minor update in the near future, with "True DSD" capabilities. What it won't be getting is volume control. So the CAS192 driving dual CMA800R, as pictured a few posts ago, would require software volume control. Which may not be such a bad thing, I don't know. 
 
Lastly, Questyle has a few more products on the horizon, but nothing finalized yet. There is a higher-end DAC positioned above the CAS192, and then a monoblock speaker amplifier. Neither have prices, finalized specs, or anything else worth mentioning, so I don't have much else to say yet.
 
Anyway, I'm still enjoying the heck out of the CMA800R. Need to write up my thoughts regarding the differences between them - it's a small improvement, but worth mentioning since the CMA800 is already so damn good. 

Same thing I've heard, from the same person. Let me just give you guys picture, which confirms what project86 just wrote : http://www.questyleaudio.com/uploads/allimg/140123/1-1401231IH3106.JPG
 
You can see there two monoblocks, speaker power amps. And above them there's a DAC. Yes, it has volume knob, and yes, it's Questyle. But I promised I won't tell what it is, at least untill official release. But that brick is above CAS192.
 
Mar 3, 2014 at 3:51 PM Post #302 of 754

igormsk

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their CAS192 is an exceptional DAC. It's not the focus of this article, so I'll just say it's very transparent, open, and natural sounding. Definitely competitive with the best I've encountered in that price range or even beyond

 
Can you please tell us how the CAS192 sounds in comparison with Yulong DA8 and Invicta? I'm currently awaiting my already ordered CMA800R (HD800 already on hand) and looking for a nice DAC (usb input only) to use it with instead of the current Audio-gd NFB 10.32. I'm listening mainly to classical music.
 
Mar 3, 2014 at 4:51 PM Post #303 of 754

project86

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Can you please tell us how the CAS192 sounds in comparison with Yulong DA8 and Invicta? I'm currently awaiting my already ordered CMA800R (HD800 already on hand) and looking for a nice DAC (usb input only) to use it with instead of the current Audio-gd NFB 10.32. I'm listening mainly to classical music.

 
 
I'm still fleshing it out. So far it seems closer to the Invicta than the DA8 in terms of signature - neutral, detailed, but not bright or edgy at all. DA8 has more warmth which could be good or bad based on system matching. I haven't messed with filters or upsampling much, so theoretically I might be able to tweak the CAS192 a little. I believe the filters are the stock Wolfson options, and historically I have always preferred the minimum phase apodizing filter. Which is what I've been using with the CAS192. But there's always the possibility I might like one of the others in this particular unit. Same with upsampling - I've been leaving it engaged, but should try to disable it just to see.
 
It's actually very close to the Anedio D1 and D2, which of course is a good thing in my book. Need to break out my D2 and see how they differ. 
 
Mar 4, 2014 at 11:39 AM Post #306 of 754

Sonido

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How well does this amp (CMA800R) work for lower impedance headphones? It has a very low output impedance so damping factor shouldn't be an issue right?
 
Mar 4, 2014 at 12:06 PM Post #307 of 754

project86

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How well does this amp (CMA800R) work for lower impedance headphones? It has a very low output impedance so damping factor shouldn't be an issue right?

 
Correct. The only thing possibly holding it back is the higher gain, which could be too much for some really sensitive headphones. This usually translates to less precise control with the volume knob, but I could see a few headphones maybe showing hiss - Ultrasone Signature Pro comes to mind, though I no longer have a pair to test that theory. 
 
Mar 4, 2014 at 12:40 PM Post #308 of 754

Sonido

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Correct. The only thing possibly holding it back is the higher gain, which could be too much for some really sensitive headphones. This usually translates to less precise control with the volume knob, but I could see a few headphones maybe showing hiss - Ultrasone Signature Pro comes to mind, though I no longer have a pair to test that theory. 

Thought noise and hiss was all related to sensitivity? How would you say the AKG K812 would fare at 110 dB/V, 95.6 dB/mW, and 36 ohms?
 
Mar 4, 2014 at 1:01 PM Post #309 of 754

igormsk

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Noting wrong with that. DA8 is an excellent DAC as well. 



I hope so. A month ago I made a comparison between Matrix X-sabre (after 20 hours burn in) and my Audio-gd NFB10.32 (dual Wolfson WM8741, $600). I was using Stax 507 headphones and SRM 600 limited energizer. To my surprise I could not tell the DACs apart in a A/B comparison in 3 sessions on different days (I was switching the inputs on SRM 600 while playing the same music through both DACs) - they sounded absolutely the same to me.
 
A week later I made a brief comparison in a headphone shop between ASUS Essence III and my NFB10.32 - on first impression STAX 507 with Essence III had better defined bass than on my NFB10.32. But as it wasn't the goal of my visit (I was comparing HD800 to my STAX 507 and  because I liked HD800 even with Burson Soloist so much more (better bass, wonderful instrument separation and stage width, much more transparent-clear on passsages with many instruments sounding in a symphony), I sold my STAX 507 the next day and bought HD800 and now I'm waiting for CMA800R to arrive in a week or two and am thinking about a better DAC for it). I might have chosen even Eccence III as a DAC, but at $2500 it's to overpriced here - $1200 for DA8 is much more welcome after the headphones/amplifier replacement, which also required some money.
 
By the way - HD800 pluged directly into my NFB10.32 sound much worser than on Burson Soloist and the same NFB10.32 as a DAC. The main difference is the lack of instrument separation in space on the NFB.
 
Mar 4, 2014 at 2:29 PM Post #310 of 754

project86

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Thought noise and hiss was all related to sensitivity? How would you say the AKG K812 would fare at 110 dB/V, 95.6 dB/mW, and 36 ohms?

 
On paper, yes, it's easy to predict. In practice, not always. I think some of these companies give us incorrect numbers on their headphones, or maybe the numbers are from testing a pre-production model and the end product is different. Anyway, I'd think the K812 would be fine, but it's hard to say for sure. Ultrasone doesn't give proper specs for their headphones so the Sig Pro is probably an anomaly, but when I had it I got lots of hiss with various amps. 
 
 

I hope so. A month ago I made a comparison between Matrix X-sabre (after 20 hours burn in) and my Audio-gd NFB10.32 (dual Wolfson WM8741, $600). I was using Stax 507 headphones and SRM 600 limited energizer. To my surprise I could not tell the DACs apart in a A/B comparison in 3 sessions on different days (I was switching the inputs on SRM 600 while playing the same music through both DACs) - they sounded absolutely the same to me.
 
A week later I made a brief comparison in a headphone shop between ASUS Essence III and my NFB10.32 - on first impression STAX 507 with Essence III had better defined bass than on my NFB10.32. But as it wasn't the goal of my visit (I was comparing HD800 to my STAX 507 and  because I liked HD800 even with Burson Soloist so much more (better bass, wonderful instrument separation and stage width, much more transparent-clear on passsages with many instruments sounding in a symphony), I sold my STAX 507 the next day and bought HD800 and now I'm waiting for CMA800R to arrive in a week or two and am thinking about a better DAC for it). I might have chosen even Eccence III as a DAC, but at $2500 it's to overpriced here - $1200 for DA8 is much more welcome after the headphones/amplifier replacement, which also required some money.
 
By the way - HD800 pluged directly into my NFB10.32 sound much worser than on Burson Soloist and the same NFB10.32 as a DAC. The main difference is the lack of instrument separation in space on the NFB.

 
Personally I like DA8 a lot more than the Soloist. Your results may differ. Hope you enjoy whatever it is you end up with though - CMA800R with HD800 is going to be very transparent, so DAC differences may become more clear than ever. 
 
Mar 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM Post #311 of 754

PETERCALV

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So you know money isn't everything, one of the best DAC's I have heard with the dual CMA800R is the Teac UD-501 using XLR. Be patient though, it needs A LONG burn in period. at the other end of the scale, I also tried a Weiss 202 that sounded horrendous.
 
Mar 4, 2014 at 3:20 PM Post #312 of 754

project86

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  So you know money isn't everything, one of the best DAC's I have heard with the dual CMA800R is the Teac UD-501 using XLR. Be patient though, it needs A LONG burn in period. at the other end of the scale, I also tried a Weiss 202 that sounded horrendous.

 
 
Agreed that price is not always proportional to performance. Also, keep in mind that individual preferences and perceptions often differ. For example, I don't much care for the Teac UD-501, but do enjoy the Weiss gear - though I can certainly see why some people find it too clinical. 
 
Mar 4, 2014 at 4:54 PM Post #313 of 754

jespersen

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First, the Q192 is not being redone. I think there was some speculation about it, possibly being refreshed to add DSD. They decided that it needs to keep a low price point (low for a good all-in-one device) rather than add features. So the Q192, which I really like, stays the same. 

 
Hello! Saw the reviews on Innerfidelity of the Q192 and the Concero HP; both getting great reviews and both are in the same price bracket; and with build-in DAC. I'm in the mood for a HD800 set of headphones and contemplating Q192, Concero HP and CMA800R. Since the CMA 800R plus a suitable DAC is substantially more expensive I presume the sound is somewhat "better"; not sure how much; no chance to pre-listen beforehand any of these products so I would appreciate a comparison of the three products with the HD800 - and I'm sure several people would find your comments very interesting indeed.

Best.
jespersen
 
Mar 4, 2014 at 5:26 PM Post #314 of 754

igormsk

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CMA800R with HD800 is going to be very transparent, so DAC differences may become more clear than ever. 

Please allow me an other question on DAC choosing for matching with single CMA800R & HD800 (stock cable). Leaving Auralic Vega & Questyle CAS192 out (too expensive for me at the moment) Now I'm choosing between DA8 & Firestone Tobby & Schiit Gungnir. They will be pluged directly into usb of a laptop and as I already noted I'm listening mainly to classical music, mostly elder (60-80) recordings not always of audiophile quality (most recording done prior to 1960 sound on my current system so bad that I skip them at all).
 
In the Tobby review you stated that you liked it a lot for classical music. But later on you have written that it's a bit on the bright/analytical side and not the best choise for not top quality recordings. Won't it sound bright/unforgiving for not top quality recordings on my system with CMA800R & HD800? Would DA8 be a better choise in this scenario?
 
In the DA8 review you also mentioned that DA8 sounded noticable better with Audiophilleo or Auraliti PK90 (that I don't have) than straight of the usb on a macbook, at the same time Tobby sounded best over usb even straight from the macbook.
 
The Tobby will cost me just 50-60% of what I would have to pay for DA8, so DA8 has to be definatly superior for my system to make up the extra expense.
 
It's sad but I have no other choise than buying them without auditioning first - that's why i'm asking so many questions.
 

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