Matrix Mini I3 Pro - Good to use as a preamp?

Seems to be a good DAC for the money. Someone had tried to use it as a preamp directly connected to a power amp ? How is the quality of volume control ?

How would it compare to a NAD C658 for sound quality ?


You can totally use the Mini-i Pro 3 as a preamp. I ordered mine this weekend from APOS Audio and it should be delivered in about 2 weeks. Regarding SQ, I haven’t read even a single bad review about the Mini-i Pro 3. On the other side, almost all reviews I have read about the C658 keep pushing me away of it. The Mini-i Pro 3 will be replacing an ARCAM ST60 which I’m returning to my dealer because it’s not Roon Ready yet.

Hey Sylvain,

Yes The mini works fine as a pre-amplifier in my study. I have connected it through RCA with my XTZ A-300 amplifier. Total control, no issues what so ever. I have no experience with the NAD C658, there are a some issues going on in smooth operation between Roon and NAD, read it in the Roon NAD threads. The sound quality from the mini is nice, Happy with it.

Cheers John.

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It is possible for me to separate the pre-amp and amplifier in my Rotel Integrated amp by pulling out the “U” connectors that link pre-amp and amplifier circuits. I have considered pulling the connectors out and trying out my Mini-Pro I3 out as a pre-amp to hear how it sounds. The issue is that the Mini-Pro I3 sounds so good as a source plugged into the Rotel Integrated amp using XLR cables that I can’t get motivated to mess with the system.

I’m using mine with a vintage Naim NAP 110 amp, connected with a Moon Audio RCA to DIN cable. Sounds fantastic. The volume control is a bit fiddly in that it takes way too many turns to go up and down it (doesn’t hold a candle to the volume control on my Naim DAC V1) but that would be my only complaint about the unit, and the volume knob feels solid otherwise. One gets used to it pretty quickly and there’s always mute for the real extreme. I would highly recommend it be used as a preamp.

You are right Charles way way too many turns for the volume, that’s why I control the volume in Roon. Maybe a firmware update can fix this.