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Author Topic: Matrix Mini 1 2014 and pro  (Read 2296 times)

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Offline raymonda

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Matrix Mini 1 2014 and pro
« on: February 20, 2014, 10:06:56 AM »
Folks may already be aware of the updated products from Matrix.....the 2014 Mini-1 and Pro. I recently sold my mini-i for the 2014 version due to the updates they made, mainly 24/384 asynchronous USB interface. The prior unit was native 24/48. This allows me now to bypass my firewire end around. Meaning I now have one less box when mixing from multi-tracks sources. Their white papers report a number of other claimed improvements.....we'll see. They kept with the dual 1955 DA's, which is a good thing, IMO. Also, for what ever it is worth,  the shell is now made of very solid aluminum. The over all presentation is now well beyond its price point.

I've been burning it in over the last couple of days and have not done any serious listening. However, a brief listen to the USB gave immediate positive impressions over the prior USB interface. I also listened briefly to the headphone section, however, I'll wait to report on that after the unit has had an opportunity to settle in.

I did not opt for the pro-version with DSD capabilities and a different DA chip. I just don't record in DSD and really don't buy much pre record music in digital format, as I tend to stick with vinyl for my preferred commercial playback media. However, for what it offers at $500.00 it really should be considered, as Matrix often receives high praise and reviews for their products.

BTW. these units can be purchased here in the US from Tam Audio and be shipped to your door in a matter of a few days. I paid 375, including shipping. I'll give upates as I begin to do more work on it.

Here are some shots from the manufacturer's copy.

Offline H₂O

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Re: Matrix Mini 1 2014 and pro
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2014, 12:03:40 PM »
There are so many of these ESS Sabre 9016 based dac's it's insane.

Teac offers the the UD-501 based on it (@ about $700), these units (@ $520 with the ESS chip), Sony's portable  PHA-2 (@ about $540), and 1 million chinese versions and DIY kits out there now

Good market for DSD if your into that.

IMO DSD (and 24bit 96khz+ PCM) quality trumps vinyl and eliminates all the hassles - cleaning, RIAA filtering, rumble (which is the reason RIAA filtering is used in the first place), manual intervention (side flips, record changes), etc

so my rule of thumb is buy DSD/SACD if avail, next hidef download (24bit 96khz or higher), next vinyl, next CD
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 12:10:52 PM by H₂O »
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Offline raymonda

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Re: Matrix Mini 1 2014 and pro
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2014, 01:33:26 PM »
I have yet to hear a digital front end that can compete with a well set up TT. Yep, digital can sound real good.......and I really enjoy my recordings and releases. Actually, Im very lucking to engineer and record multi-track sessions with national and international artist and get some really nice recordings, while getting paid for it. Really, at times, I can't believe that I get paid to do what I do....when I would do it for free. But that is another story. However............analog runs supreme in my home and vinyl creates more of a real sense of instruments, timbre, dimension and engagement.

But I understand that for others it does not and for what good digital can offer is more to their ultimate liking.

Regarding DSD, I will most likely never have an interest in chasing that format or buying a processor that offers that as a selling feature. I don'r record in it and don't listen to it in its playback form. Higher rez PCM is what I use and mix down to.

That being said, I have heard great things about the Teac model from other professionals and it too seems to be a great value. Now that the ESS/Sabre chips have been out a bit longer and have been used in the field people seem to be getting more of an idea of what they like about it and its short comings. Again, it is most likely more dependent on how the chip is implemented than the chip. I won't comment since I never had any longer term exposure to it. Actually, I only have had limited listening to a device using that chip and it sounded pretty nice to me.

Anyway, I hope I have as positive experience with the new mini i as I did with the older model. If it ups the the sound even marginally it would  prove to be a slam dunk recommendation and a force to be reckoned with at its price point. $375 with shipping for what it offers in flexibility, sound and construction is just plan silly. I compared the original mini-i to a hot-rodded MSB gold link and quickly sold my MSB after feeling that the mini i was at least as good as, if not better.....plus it had way more features than the MSB. I also made a few hundred on the transaction.

So, let's see if after this is burned in, if it adds to the already proven value of the mini i.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 04:09:05 PM by raymonda »

Offline H₂O

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Re: Matrix Mini 1 2014 and pro
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2014, 02:22:51 PM »
to each his own - I find that the mastering of the original source makes more of a difference then Analog vs Digital - for example MoFi smokes any other versions I compared too

But on playback I definitely here better results using DSD vs vinyl - I would venture to guess Reel-to-Reel 15ips would be better then 2.8Mhz DSD but at this point I don't think I could tell the difference (maybe if I was 16 again I could)
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