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I've had this DAC for 3-4 years I think. It's pretty good for the price. Don't think anything else is as good for the price. It's not bad as a preamp (I used Beyer dt880s 600ohms with it).
But it does sound better if you use only the DAC and turn the preamp off. Sound is a lot smoother.
I also have the NAD m51, and if you don't want to spend 5x the price, the Matrix Mini is probably the best option.
And from the other comments, the sampling rate is only 44.1 on my one, but I think it's an older version.
Just my 2 cents.
Thanks for the mini review. I was looking for something like this (never heard of it until now), I just need basic volume control for my Genelec M030 monitors. Though I'm bit concerned if you say the preamp doesn't sound smooth. Is there anything else that I might be better off with? I'm mostly looking for simple digital gain control, the DAC is secondary but of course would be nice too.
Hmm, I think what you should look for is just a DAC, without any extra features. Because you will be paying extra for them. However I think the Mini Matrix I DAC is pretty good.
But with my mini matrix i, the difference between the pre-amp and DAC is pretty negligble. Like you can hear it, but it's nothing to be worried about.
And sorry, I haven't really researched low end DACs ever since I got my mini matrix i :P
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe most DACs do NOT have any volume control.
...however, all amp/dac combos (such as this problem) have volume controls.
Is there really a DAC with volume control?