Matrix M-Stage DAC

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lukeroberts
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Matrix M-Stage DAC

Post by lukeroberts » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:31 pm

I've owned the Matrix M-Stage DAC for around 2 months now and have been extremely happy but as I was upgrading from a $35 Fiio DAC, I'm not really sure what other good DAC's compare other than the Cambridge Audio dacMagic 100 which I auditioned in store. Just out of curiosity, has anyone else tried out the M-Stage against other similar priced offerings?

FLAC/320's > iTunes > BitPerfect > Matrix M-Stage DAC > NAD 3150 Integrated > Beyerdynamic DT880pro (250ohm) & Wharfedale Diamond 10.1

BusinessEvolution
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Re: Matrix M-Stage DAC

Post by BusinessEvolution » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:43 am

I hate itunes for various reason lol, just thought I would put that out there.

The BB PCM1792 is fairly similar to the wm8741, though in the right implementation it may handle 192mhz material better. Implementation is going to be what makes a difference, then preference. Then it becomes an issue of preference. I was going to suggest looking at amp options but the NAD 3150 and DT880pro (250ohm) probably go well together.

In the Solid state realm, diminishing returns can kick in pretty fast. My Meier stage dac has some really cool features that are pretty hard to work out what they do unless using really high end headphones.
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Marcus
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Re: Matrix M-Stage DAC

Post by Marcus » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:09 am

I think it's a fantastic performer for the price and combined with the M-Stage amp you get ~$1500+ commercial brand product performance for $550 :D
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lukeroberts
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Re: Matrix M-Stage DAC

Post by lukeroberts » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:42 pm

From memory alone, I don't remember my DT880's sounding noticeably better through the M-Stage compared to my NAD 3150, as it's an amplifier praised for it's headphone stage by some others as well. It also has an outstanding phono stage and vinyl has been even more of a pleasure to listen to since buying the DT880's although crackle can be a little too much sometimes on my records in poorer condition.

The combo can at times be a little harsh/bright in the high end, but that is easily solved by just turning down the volume a tad below my favourite "energy level". It would be for this reason that I'm just a tad interested in investing in a dedicated headphone amp unless that is a trait of the DT880's that others have also experienced?

lukeroberts
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Re: Matrix M-Stage DAC

Post by lukeroberts » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:57 pm

BusinessEvolution wrote:I hate itunes for various reason lol, just thought I would put that out there.
I happen to be quite akin to iTunes, I find the combination of the Macbook's trackpad and the interface to be silky smooth as well as it's aesthetically pleasing design. But my experience with ITunes on a PC has been terrible with abysmal and stuttering performance. As far as sound EQ's go, I just run BitPerfect in the background to easily manage my up sampling and filtering options to my Matrix M-Stage.

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Re: Matrix M-Stage DAC

Post by Marcus » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:13 pm

lukeroberts wrote:From memory alone, I don't remember my DT880's sounding noticeably better through the M-Stage compared to my NAD 3150, as it's an amplifier praised for it's headphone stage by some others as well. It also has an outstanding phono stage and vinyl has been even more of a pleasure to listen to since buying the DT880's although crackle can be a little too much sometimes on my records in poorer condition.

The combo can at times be a little harsh/bright in the high end, but that is easily solved by just turning down the volume a tad below my favourite "energy level". It would be for this reason that I'm just a tad interested in investing in a dedicated headphone amp unless that is a trait of the DT880's that others have also experienced?
The 880s can be picky with amplification - depending on how loud you listen and to what kind of music they shouldn't normally be especially harsh in the top end, but they are fairly detailed in that regard.
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lukeroberts
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Re: Matrix M-Stage DAC

Post by lukeroberts » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:51 pm

BusinessEvolution wrote: I was going to suggest looking at amp options but the NAD 3150 and DT880pro (250ohm) probably go well together.
I see you've previously owned the NAD 3150, how would you say it compares to sub $500 headphone amp offerings, such as the Matrix M-Stage and Meier Audio Jazz?
From my testing in the store with the Matrix, I would say I prefer the sound of my NAD, but I didn't bring it it to test alongside.

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Re: Matrix M-Stage DAC

Post by Belial » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:36 pm

I've got a 3150 and DT880s (tho unfortunately the preamp stage has died on the 3150 so now it's just used as a power amp). To my ears it sounded better than the T-31H I bought a while back, although the 31 doesn't seem to be held in very high regard.

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Re: Matrix M-Stage DAC

Post by Benno1988 » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:28 am

A/Bing this with my Audioengine D1 at the moment through some speakers (Dynaudios). Can't really pick much difference.

Much larger and heavier than the D1, but very similar in sound.

Anyone else compared them?

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Re: Matrix M-Stage DAC

Post by bleeding » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:16 am

Benno1988 wrote:A/Bing this with my Audioengine D1 at the moment through some speakers (Dynaudios). Can't really pick much difference.

Much larger and heavier than the D1, but very similar in sound.

Anyone else compared them?
I have the same setup but with Audioengine speakers, would like to know if it would make a difference also...

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