Questyle CMA400i Review

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Phoebus7, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. Phoebus7

    Phoebus7 Rando

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    I was looking for a Questyle CMA400i review for a very long time but didnt come across many, so I decided to take the risk and buy it blindly. My past experiences with DACs are LHLabs, Chord Hugo and Mojo and Arcam. So I am not into super high end stuff so take my review with a pinch of salt ;)

    I hooked up my Sony Z1R and Focal Elear with CMA400i and was immediately astonished how powerful this little versatile Amp is , Bass is punchy and treble is well extended. I must say my Z1R sounded better than Focal Elear specially Treble retrieval and Bass notes. Mid range is also very detailed and sublime.

    I would call this a fairly neutral dac/amp and like any other transparent dac/amp I did noticed if the song is not well recorded that you immediately feel the spike in treble. But after A/B with Focal Elear and Z1R and different recordings I was convinced it was not an issue with either and recording was the main problem.

    For 700+ bucks this is a phenomenal value.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  2. drgumbybrain

    drgumbybrain Science Nut

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    Good morning Phoebus, I think the best place to get those info it’s in the general advice thread. Really don’t think it was necessary to open a new thread. Please take a look in the new member recommendations, and you will probably have a much better and warm reception. Cheers
     
  3. Phoebus7

    Phoebus7 Rando

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    OK Thanks for pointing out and apologies for posting in wrong forums, should have read the guidelines. will delete and move it, or better option is to delete last paragraph and make it as a review so others can benefits since there is no review thread for CMA400i do you agree !
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
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  4. drgumbybrain

    drgumbybrain Science Nut

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    No problem mate. Really don’t know. Let’s wait a friendly moderator to decide. About the cma400i, it’s ok, maybe good, I have tried then in my brother in law house. but for 800 -1000 dollars you can get a mojnir and a momby and other that are much better imho
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    It's fine.

    I haven't heard the CMA400i, but the other CMA*** stuff I've heard is pretty horrid. See here for some quick comments: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...er-hd800-2017-edition.3408/page-9#post-119681

    Now horrid as in dull, boring, flat, closed-in. Yes, the power was there. The control was there. The refinement was there - no typical solid-state nasties - but maybe slightly too smoothed over and slow. But just boring for the price. It's possible the lowest end model might have incorporated sonic improvements that the higher end models didn't have.

    There was a meet a last year at Pasadena with the CMA600 or 800? (I've also heard these many times before). I think I listened to it once and quickly left the table. I didn't wan't anyone to ask me about it. No one else publicly talked about it. A good SBAF member was a rep for Questyle during that time, so we were being super polite. Yeah, we all whispered to each other how much it sucked, even compared to the more affordable amps there. I think there might be one photo of the Questyle.
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...ples-canjam-pasadena-impressions-thread.4720/

    @brencho and @insidious meme were at that meet too. Maybe you can ask them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
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  6. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    I can confirm. I left comments about not liking the Ether + Questyle pairing but not blaming it specifically on the amp since I was trying to be a bit vague but I didn't like it at all.

    If only I could have tried out the O2 + S19 pairing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The O2 and S19 pairing were strangely synergistic.
     
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  8. dpump

    dpump Rando

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    I own the CMA400i dac/amp and I consider it to be a very nice sounding unit. I haven't heard any other Questyle products, but you can't say anything good or bad about the 400i if you haven't even heard it. Whether you like or dislike any other Questyle products has nothing to do with the 400i. Think about the Schiit Asgard/Asgard 2; Lyr/Lyr 2; Mjolnir/Mjolnir 2: can you predict how the 2nd versions sound before you hear them just because you are familiar with the sound of the originals?

    A lot of time and effort went into designing the 400i and it is a newer design than the 600 and 800. It deserves a fair evaluation, not hearsay from people who haven't even heard it.
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    You want to send it to me for evaluation? I can cover shipping both ways.
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    To a certain extent you can predict based on the topology of the circuit. Lyr 1 and 2 had similar topologies - not a big fan of either - I think that output stage is just hopeless. Liked Mjolnir 1 (tweaked running higher bias) and Mjolnir 2, although the 2 was much warmer sounding than I expected given the 6922s.

    I don't think the 400 amp section is that much different from the 600/800. Magic eight ball tells me it probably sucks. Willing to be proven wrong. I've been proven wrong before. Just that somebody's got to do it.

    Not spending SBAF funds on this one. Magic eight ball has been right more often than not.
     
  11. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    Either this is hilarious, or I am confused. Likely both.
     
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  12. Jerry

    Jerry Friend

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    If you read above, he did specifically point out that he was referring to other questyle amps. I also don't like both the 600 and 800 series. I have never heard two monoblocked 800R though. Someone said they sounded good. Even if it is true, that pricing would be absurd and in big boys amp territory.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Again, willing to be proven wrong. Somebody feel free to send it in. It doesn't have to be me as long as it's another respected member with some history and known preferences. Will cover shipping both ways and even throw in a $50 inconvenience fee (if Friends and Contributors feel this is OK).
     
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  14. BaconBits

    BaconBits Acquaintance

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    Somebody just give him the amp. purr1n doesn't seem like the guy to take for ever. I for one would like to see more "formal" reviews of this amp. Looks so nice with the stand.
     
  15. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Yet, it was.

    People set it up as a joke. I got a listen, expecting to laugh at the result, but I couldn't hear anything wrong with it and thought the pairing was quite good.
    Granted, I thought everything sucked at this meet (either I was tired or the power quality was bad), sounding bright, etched or thin.
     
  16. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    Well, negative x negative is positive, after all, right?
     
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  17. PassingThrough

    PassingThrough Rando

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    Was searching for info for CMA400i on Google and this thread came up on page one. Everyone involved in this thread needs to reread it as a whole to realise how far up your own arses you are. Have a nice day.
     

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