Matrix MS-1: Versatile music streamer unveiled

The all-new M Series marks a major milestone for Matrix Audio in its journey towards traditional hi-fi systems. The series includes the MS-1 music streamer , MP-1 preamp and MA-1 power...

Matrix MS-1 - Music streamer
Matrix MS-1 - Music streamer
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The all-new M Series marks a major milestone for Matrix Audio in its journey towards traditional hi-fi systems. The series includes the MS-1 music streamer , MP-1 preamp and MA-1 power amplifier , forming a complete flagship Matrix Audio system that demonstrates our understanding of hi-fi audio. The M Series is the first range to adopt the new Matrix design language, serving as a harbinger of future developments in Matrix Audio products.

Matrix Design
Evaluating audio products in terms of “listening” and “look” has always been their ongoing philosophy. From concept to design, every step contains a love of music and a passion for beauty. The MS-1 is Matrix Audio’s all-new flagship music streamer. Its industrial design demonstrates their concept of simplicity. Hundreds of round holes of varying sizes and depths are arranged on a simple hexagon, resembling rhythmic beats dancing and appearing on the surface.

Focus on the software experience
The source device is the soul of the audio system. The hardware forms the body of the MS-1, while the software is the soul. We not only prioritize audio quality, but also focus on user experience. We simplify human-machine interaction and focus on displaying information about music on the device screen. We insist that you can conveniently control your entire audio system from your listening position using your phone or tablet via the MA Remote app, rather than having to get up to touch the device every time. From basic functions such as changing volume, selecting a track and playing, to setting filters, operating modes and display brightness, you can do it all in the application. All this is supported by our carefully developed MA Player software system.

MA Player
is a simplified and optimized Linux-based software system specifically designed for Hi-Fi audio playback, available exclusively for Matrix Audio products. Today, MA Player has reached a new level, not only improving playback performance, but also introducing many new features, enhancing the interactive experience.

MA Remote App
It serves as the main tool for managing your music streamers. By installing the MA Remote app on your iPhone, iPad or Android phone, they become the most convenient control centers, allowing you to view and playback

PCM Upsampling and DSD Conversion
You can let the built-in asynchronous upsampling and DSD conversion engine process all audio data at the digital stage. Thanks to asynchronous resampling and interpolation operations, jitter will be isolated and details will be improved. The DSD converter converts all played audio to DSD, improving sound density. The processing engine features customizable PCM or DSD conversion configurations, allowing you to experience differences in sound across different settings.

Digital output
IIS-LVDSMS-1 also works as a high-level audio transport that can output all playback audio as high-quality signals through the IIS-LVDS port. Includes audio signals from analog input and phono preamp. This allows you to connect to other DACs for different audio experiences.

Matrix MS-1
Matrix MS-1

Analog Input and Phono Preamp
The MS-1 has two pairs of line inputs and one pair of phono preamps. With XLR and RCA line inputs, allowing you to integrate any device with an analog output into your digital audio system. The built-in phono stage supports MM and MC modes, allowing direct connection to a turntable. All analog audio inputs are converted to digital audio via a high-precision ADC, combined in a digital processing unit, and PCM filters are applied. These signals can also be output through the IIS-LVDS port.

Digital Audio Input
Equipped with extensive digital input ports, the MS-1 can be used as a high-quality DAC. With USB, optical, coaxial or IIS-LVDS digital inputs, it can be connected to computers, CD transports, set-top boxes, game consoles and other devices, allowing audio from these devices to be output through a high-quality DAC into the MS-1, creating a high-quality audio experience in all aspects.

Preamp and Dual Balanced Output
The MS-1 Pre features a built-in preamp and precision resistor array for volume control. The preamplifier consists of multi-stage operational amplifiers that have +10dB gain and can output audio signals up to 16 VRMS. It is compatible directly with power amplifiers or active speakers. Provides excellent channel coherence and distortion performance even at low volume levels. In addition, the MS-1 Pre offers a pair of fixed XLR line outputs that can be used simultaneously with the preout. Allows you to connect it to other recording and monitoring devices.

Matrix MS-1 Rear panel
Matrix MS-1 Rear panel

Dual DAC with independent channels
The first Matrix Audio product based on the AKM D/A solution, equipped with two flagship DAC chipsets AK4191 and AK4499. Each chipset operates in parallel in mono mode. The left and right channel PCB assemblies are installed separately on both sides of the device, forming a full dual mono design. The goal is accurate signal reproduction and outstanding dynamic range, you can capture every micro-detail of the sound, deeply capturing the essence of the music.

Precise Volume Control by Resistors
Volume control is a critical factor in audio quality, providing lossless attenuation and consistent volume levels between channels – a prerequisite for good sound. The MS-1 Pre has a built-in preamp that uses a voltage divider volume control via a resistor array. The four high quality volume control units consist of 64 precision 0.001 resistors and 32 fully sealed relays that are quickly switched by the MCU. This control method not only minimizes any impact on sound quality, but also ensures excellent consistency between the two channels. The operating noise of the relay is practically inaudible even with constant changes in volume.

High Precision Clock DPLL
Clocks are the basis of digital audio systems. Unlike previous Matrix Audio products, the MS-1 features a high-performance DPLL clock synthesis circuit. The ultra-low phase noise reference clock works with the DPLL circuit to generate a clock signal with just 45fs jitter in real time, providing a reference for the entire digital audio circuit. If you have a higher precision 10 MHz external clock, you can connect it to the clock input port to improve the performance of the internal audio clock.

Expandable Fiber Optical SFP Port
To isolate high frequency interference from switches and network devices at the cutting edge, we added an SFP interface allowing the music streamer to connect to the local network via optical fibers. With the electrical isolation properties of optical fiber transmission, the electrical connection between the front-end switch and the music streamer can be completely disconnected, providing clearer sound. Of course, we also retain the Ethernet port for easy connectivity without changing your network structure.

To avoid the hassle of frequently plugging and unplugging USB storage devices, we’ve included an NVMe SSD slot at the bottom of the MS-1 case. You can install a high-speed SSD as internal storage, avoiding the use of 2.5″ or 3.5″ HDD, completely eliminating the impact of HDD vibration and noise on the sound quality. Music resources stored on the SSD can be maintained via network sharing, or copy music files from external storage to internal storage via the MA Remote application.

Square Copper Transformer and Line Power
Power is the starting point of an audio system. We designed two high-power, square-copper toroidal transformers for the digital and analog sections of the MS-1. Compared with traditional round wire toroidal transformers, square copper wire has larger conductor surface area, higher current capacity and lower resistance, resulting in better transient response and rich low frequencies. Combined with MUNDORF M-Lytic AG series filter capacitors, this adds silky smoothness and softness to the sound. Dozens of low-noise and ultra-low-noise LDOs provide ample power to every circuit block, including the SSD, striving for perfection at every stage.

H Shaped Body Structure
The H Shaped Structure is a unique design created by Matrix Audio for the M Series products, emerging after two years of continuous optimization and improvement, taking into account various aspects such as mechanical relationships, circuit layout and appearance. The 20mm thick CNC aluminum plate becomes the supporting structure of the entire device after dozens of procedures, serving as the core of the H-shaped structure. All components are mounted on the aluminum plate, and the entire weight is supported by stable legs mounted on the main beam, making it solid and stable. Once the panels are installed, many isolated cavities are formed with the main beam. Different chain modules are properly placed in each cavity, effectively reducing mutual interference between chain modules. Circuit modules for left and right channels are arranged symmetrically on both sides, creating a balanced visual impression.

Elegant design and high quality finishing
Engineering design is an integral part of their product, reflecting the completely new Matrix design language of points, lines and surfaces. Each component undergoes a variety of fine CNC operations and surface treatments, providing an exquisite and comfortable matte texture, allowing you to experience unique craftsmanship, showing a distinctive elegant temperament.

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