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ISAC69's picture
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Matrix Mini-i DAC
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Hi Fi : Proac Studio 140MK2 / Rotel RC 1580 / Rotel RB 1582 / Rotel RCD 1520 / B&W P7 / Tellurium Q & WireWorld cables   

 

quadpatch's picture
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RE: Matrix Mini-i DAC

I haven't heard that one but I have the Yulong D100 mkII which is similar on features. Well the inputs are, the USB of the Matrix only supports up to 48khz, but it's a fair bit cheaper and can have an optional remote control (for £10 extra). I think it uses the same DAC chip and op amp as the Yulong (I know that doesn't mean a lot), they're both Chinese too :). 

I just got the Fostex HP-A3 to play with this weekend, in case you're curious about that one too. I will be playing with it this week, but I've read good things about this one also. Unlike the Yulong and Matrix, the Fostex it's USB powered only.

Did you know that you can get Yulong and Matrix stuff from Europe here?:  http://www.pc-hifi-shop.com

ID.'s picture
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RE: Matrix Mini-i DAC

I'll be interested ti hear your thoughts on the Fostex. Do you know if it uses the Asahi Kasei DAC chip? I was considering it, but never ended up auditioning.

I'm a fan of the brand, mainly from hearing their speakers, but they used to only sell speaker components and pro-audio gear outside of Japan. Good to see their DACs and headphones being made available too. 

Stuff.

quadpatch's picture
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RE: Matrix Mini-i DAC

Hey ID,

I'm giving it a bit of a listen now. It's nice that I can carry something of this quality around with my laptop. so far I have been impressed by the soundstage and clarity of detail. It's a little on the cold side, but I think that is a bit of a Fostex thing. The HP-A8 is like it too. It's not horrible, it's really personaly preference, but although it's not quite for me there is a lot here to appreciate.

I love the metal volume dial and build is stunning! The connections are cool (digial out, RCA line-out), but I'm not convinced about having an optical input with a USB powered unit, that seems complicated. 

I will be playing with the HP-A8 and TH900 headphones mostly first (as they have to go back soon). In the mean time here is a pic I just took of all the Fostex gear I am playing with...

http://noblehifi.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/fostex-flood-coming-soon.html

Oh and rather weirdly the default driver that Win7 installs for the Fostex HP-A3 only accepts 96khz (don't know if there is another driver or if this is a rule for the HP-A3). Windows itself just upsamples everything, but with Foobar and Jriver it's a bit more tricky as it has to me manually changed if you're using WASAPI. I've had one DAC that wouldn't take the standard CD bit-rate (had to be up-scaled to 24bit), but this is the first time the sample rate has needed to be up-scaled. 

ID.'s picture
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RE: Matrix Mini-i DAC

Interesting. Weird. I have been admiring the HP-A8 in whenever I've seen it in store, and it sounded OK through some serious Marantz amplification.

I've seen the headphones around, but avoided checking them out. Not really familiary with Fostex electronics.

Their speakers that I've heard have been very smooth and very detailed. Full bodied, but a little bass light (not that I've listened to the full range).

Stuff.

Anonymous
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RE: Matrix Mini-i DAC

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Anonymous
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RE: Matrix Mini-i DAC

Yes the HP-A3 only accepts 16/96 and 24/96. Looking forward to your review!

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RE: Matrix Mini-i DAC

I've have Matrix Mini for about 9 months in my system and this little device left me with very good impressions. For this money one can hardly find similar performance and such an extensive features list. The DAC was a bit on a smooth side, relatively detailed and very pleasing to my ears. I never planned on using it that long in my system, but when I got it I struggled to find a replacement to it that would produce measurable improvements to the sound. The only drawback of Matrix Mini is its basic USB implementation, so if your source is PC/mac/laptop, then a USB-SPDIF converter is a must.

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