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Matrix Audio Mini-i Pro 3 Review (Streamer & DAC)

restorer-john

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#21
Notice use of USB-C for USB audio which we have rare (if ever?) seen in a desktop DAC.
What do you think of USB-C for longevity? It's a fragile little thing as a chassis mount.

All I know is the sheer number of USB-C charging cables I have replaced for the boys' phones have outnumbered the Apple lightning cables now. Don't think I've ever had a failed USB-B.
 

PeteL

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#22
Hi Amir, same price (more or less) than Minidsp SHD, same performance but half DAC capability and no Dirac...
which of the 2 would you recommend? According to you which is the best (overall) dac streamer around 1k€ today?
many thanks for your reviews and videos. Pls keep science (ex. share aes papers) as NDA of this place.
My best
Lorenzo
depend if you need a headphone amp.I guess, that said, to me, for a streamer, it seams that dirac is much more relevant than a headphone amp. How many people use headphone other than either at a desktop, or in situation where a portable device is needed? At your desktop it seems usb is adequate and this obviously not a portable device. Anybody would care to share his use case for a combo like that?
 

ENG

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#23
Matrix MA player doesn’t support Deezer, Qobuz or Spotify. And ROON is really expensive in Europe. There is also reported many bugs in MA player. The Matrix hardware is excellent though.
 

PeteL

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#24
Matrix MA player doesn’t support Deezer, Qobuz or Spotify. And ROON is really expensive in Europe. There is also reported many bugs in MA player. The Matrix hardware is excellent though.
Roon is very expensive in North America too
 

sam_adams

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#25
What do you think of USB-C for longevity? It's a fragile little thing as a chassis mount.

All I know is the sheer number of USB-C charging cables I have replaced for the boys' phones have outnumbered the Apple lightning cables now. Don't think I've ever had a failed USB-B.
From the standpoint of a port for charging, it's not the best. Small connectors with small contacts mean high wear rates and increased failures. The number of Lenovo and Apple devices we—meaning me at work—deal with that have broken and or worn out USB-C charging ports is ridiculous. For a data transfer port that does not get cycled much, it's okay.
 

Music1969

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#26
Really? Is that the recommended headphone low impedance or the headphone output? Can't imagine it producing this much power with such high output impedance.
Hi @amirm , why was headphone output impedance not measured?

And 50mV SNR?

I thought this would be part of your standard 'checklist' measurement items, for headphone amps?
 
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SunnyRehde

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#28
Matrix MA player doesn’t support Deezer, Qobuz or Spotify. And ROON is really expensive in Europe. There is also reported many bugs in MA player. The Matrix hardware is excellent though.
This DAC is Not supported by the MA app anyway.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #30
Hi @amirm , why was headphone output impedance not measured?

And 50mV SNR?

I thought this would be part of your standard 'checklist' measurement items, for headphone amps?
I had to run to UPS before they closed...
 

martijn86

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#33
A number of filters are provided:

I have a question for those that have the option to use filters. I assume that 5, 6 and 7 are for music (44.1khz and multiples of that) and 1 and 3 are for video content (48khz and multiples).
What are filters 2 and 4 for?
Do filters make an audible difference to you? Maybe hybrid which is 12dB down at 20khz sounds less airy or do brickwall filters prevent issues with equipment matching?
 

respice finem

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#34
What do you think of USB-C for longevity? It's a fragile little thing as a chassis mount.

All I know is the sheer number of USB-C charging cables I have replaced for the boys' phones have outnumbered the Apple lightning cables now. Don't think I've ever had a failed USB-B.
USB-B is "slightly" bigger, too, and for me it has the "cosmetic" drawback, I mostly think it's only half plugged in, because it's loose in the socket. USB-C is small and thus more fragile. IMHO, USB-C lifespan (as well as HDMI/DP) depends much on the user. I have two daily used devices (a laptop and a phone) with USB-C plugged in/out at least once a day, the phone sometimes more. No problems, the phone being now approx. 4 years old this means at least 1460 times plugin/out. Would I live long enough to break it, if my DAC had one? Probably not. Another USB-C issue are crappy "noname" cables, I've seen two that were (new out of the box) suitable for charging, but not really for data transfer.
 

respice finem

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#35
depend if you need a headphone amp.I guess, that said, to me, for a streamer, it seams that dirac is much more relevant than a headphone amp. How many people use headphone other than either at a desktop, or in situation where a portable device is needed? At your desktop it seems usb is adequate and this obviously not a portable device. Anybody would care to share his use case for a combo like that?
My use case is a DAC+HPA+preamp at the desktop as well as in the living room, I'm a daily headphone listener, but sometimes you need those speakers ;) What I don't need is a built-in streamer. For MiniDSP SHD: there is a version with a headphone amp too - but no analog line out despite having a DAC :p https://www.minidsp.com/products/streaming-hd-series/shd-studio
 

Matias

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#36
Are you saying the analog input can be fixed level for HT bypass from an AVR preouts? Would be a great feature to have
Fixed is a plus, one can manually raise the volume to a given value where it was previously calibrated levels with the other speakers, as I currently do.
 

Tks

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#38
Reminds me of the RME, but instead of the DSP and a swath of creature comforts, you get far more connectivity (Bluetooth, Wifi+Ethernet networking, I2S, Analogue input which is rare as hell in these devices, Roon and MQA certified for those that care, larger screen, internal power supply, and most importantly: Balanced Output).

Also running on ESS chip, so you get a decent brickwall filter.

This device would have been $900 before all these price hikes with supply shortages and Chinese tariff expiration's on imports here in the US. But seeing as how RME has also raised it's prices (I recall back in 2018 or 2019 you could get the RME DAC for like a thousand, but it's not I see on many sites $1,300+). So I'd probably swing for this at this junction. While the RME is nice and all, I really wish they would simply move on with a revision that supports balanced out, adding 10 more PEQ bands, add Bluetooth input at least, and drop AKM if there wasn't enough reason already. Instead of doing a revision that instantly plummets the value of a prior offering with the V2 DAC release due it it being incremental and not different enough while retaining the same MSRP.
 

pierre

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#39
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When I saw the review, I thought nice, Amir is reviewing some different stuff. For some reason, I associated its picture with the buttermake limiter.
Time to go back to bed.
 

respice finem

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#40
Reminds me of the RME... ...10 more PEQ bands, add Bluetooth input...
My RME (ADI2-DAC v.2) which I had bought in Germany at sales start for 989€, is now even a bit cheaper at 966€ https://www.thomann.de/de/rme_adi_2_dac_fs.htm. The PEQ should better have more bands, optimally freely programmable, yes. I ended up EQing my monitors in foobar2000. My guess regarding BT: they might have omitted it to boost SINAD. Same for the external power supply.
I think one can rarely find a "Swiss army knife" to precisely fit a complicated use case, though it's easier today than a few years ago.
 
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