Never mind @Torq, I just found your sailing away thread and see you are traveling. Enjoy.
not Torq but how about a tube amp? The Feliks Echo works well with both the Element X and VC; it’s on the warm side so if you want neutral probably would need to look at their other amps or other brands.
If it’s bass dynamics you’re looking for, from a SS perspective the iFi pro-iCAN gives that to the VC. You’ll lose a little of the detail that the Element can bring but gain a lot of punch.
Those are just ones I can speak on from my experience.
Hi Again bigshel99. Thanks for the suggestions. I will research both. If I am just adding onto the Element X I need to shop for value as I have nearly maxed what I can spend on this hobby.
I guess I am just looking for something to bring out a more visceral side to the VCs. It is perfect for acoustic, solo piano, small ensemble jazz. But I also listen to music where I just want a bit more punch in the face.
Maybe I should be thinking of a second set of headphones rather than a different amp? I don’t know.
Thanks again, I will look into these. The Feliks in particular looks like a good value.
It hasn’t been overly popular as of late, but I think that’s because it’s just been around for so long…
Mjolnir 2. King of slam.
If there is any amp that has a visceral nature and engaging sound to it, that’s the MJ2. I found my personal preference was with some good Philips Miniwatt SQ, or Amprex / Seimens A frames.
I loved mine, and only moved on from it when I got my Eddie Current Black Widow 2 (which is nearly unobtainable nowadays).
You will definitely want a balanced 4 pin XLR headphone cable.
I have been seriously considering getting another one to pair with my Meze Empyrean. It depends on how the 3F does, which I hope to get back in my stack soon.
If you go this route, get the Focal Stellia - it will punch you in the face and will do that with outstanding clarity! The main reason for this recommendation is it’s efficiency which makes them super duper easy to drive with almost any source, the Element X would make them sing with ease.
The downside is that they reveal the noise floor and get loud real quick with medium to high power headphone amps.
@MrCypruz and @ProfFalkin Thank you both for the suggestions. I was just yesterday looking at the MJ2 and wondering…hmmm. It is nice because it is balanced on both ends so I would not need new cables or an adapter, and I could run it as a pre-amp straight into my amps also and that might add some tube goodness to my Class D. And its under $1K. There is also a WooAudio WA6 on eBay but I think the MJ2 might have more power.
The Focal Stellia sounds interesting also. However, those would come at the expense of my VC because I cannot have two $3K headphones! But I appreciate the advice. I’ve grown attached to my VCs for acoustic music and not sure I can ever let go of them.
Thanks again, I really enjoy the civilized and generous nature of this forum!
Just incase anyone was wondering about sound differences between these two I am going live tomorrow 2/27/2021 at 1pm PST hope to see you there!!!
Recently acquired the Matrix Audio Element X. When I first tried it (single ended) my response was “meh”. It sounded good… but not great. That all changed when I used XLR balanced output and applied a bit of EQ. Now it does sound great!
I had the same experience with the Matrix Audio Element X and my ZMP Verite Closed. But when I changed from single ended connection to balanced XLR, and applied a bit of EQ via Roon, what a difference! Now it sounds terrific!
Glad you found a solution and EQ worked. And yes, as I remember, the Matrix balanced had more umph. I ended up selling my Element X and getting a tube amp, but I remain a big fan of the Matrix Audio and miss a lot about it.