Review - Musical Paradise MP-D2

Discussion in 'All Things Digital' started by billfort, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. billfort

    billfort Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, I keep thinking I should try some alternative caps and still think the Mullard CV378 rectifier is more to my taste than the Bendix for the kind of music I listen to most often, but I really don't mess with this DAC anymore - it's just the perfect piece for me.

    The MP-D2 is one of the best investments I've done in audio as the kind of system you can wrap around it has let me realize a level of enjoyment from digital that I never thought possible. I don't pine away for vinyl all the time anymore and the amount of new music this has opened up to me is phenomenal.
    opa1 and marantzfan like this.
  2. After going thru all the comments on this thread, i also purchased the MP-D2 DAC. And to upsample my Redbook format files to DSD I also purchased HQPlayer. The music have been transformed from good to great!

    It was mentioned in this thread that the DAC's DSP can be bypassed if feeding it with DSD data. How can I accomplish this with HQPlayer? Or it can only be done with Room? Here are my HQPlayer settings:

    IMG-20180312-WA0014.jpeg IMG-20180312-WA0012.jpeg IMG-20180312-WA0016.jpeg
  3. billfort

    billfort Administrator Staff Member

    Welcome to HiFiHaven Lukas!

    Glad you are enjoying the MP-D2; I feel this is a really remarkable DAC with a lot of possibilities for squeezing the most out of your dollars spent and huge potential for tailoring the sound to suit your ear. I love this piece and it's transformed my listening - I'm still a vinyl guy for the most part but the world of music that has opened up for me via this approach to digital has been very satisfying.

    If you are already passing this DAC it's highest/native supported DSD rate - DSD256 - then you are bypassing it's internal DSP, and your settings show that you are doing that. Roon is all about making HQPlayer more 'livable' for me (it becomes a background process) and integrating Tidal, Internet radio and my local content in a great interface - HQPlayer works just fine without Roon. Roon does have the option of doing upscaling to DSD256 on it's own and is damn good at it, just not quite as good as HQPlayer (IMO). Killer combination and I wouldn't want to be without either in my system.
  5. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

  6. Thank you folks for the warm welcome. Cheers and happy listening!
    MikeyFresh likes this.
  7. marantzfan

    marantzfan Administrator Staff Member

    Glad to have you with us @Lukas Luis.

    Do you have the newer version that you can roll DAC chips or the older version where they were soldered in? I (and likely @billfort) have the older version and I'm curious to know if anyone that has bought the new one has tried different DAC chips in it.
  8. I have the new version with the AK4497 chip. I see that that the chips are just plugged in. I may try the Saber Chip in the future but for now I'm just enjoying my music collection. Even mediocre recordings are fun!
  9. Thanks Bill.

    BTW, I found poly-sinc-xtr-mp-2s and AMSDM7 512 fs+ more open and more dynamic sounding than the combination I attached in my previous post. I still upsample to DSD 256 into a SOTM sMS-200 NAA. Have you tried this combination before. Let us know your thoughts. Thanks.
  10. Well after nearly 200 hours of listening, the music has expanded big, wide and deep! I couldn't be happier. I'm still using the stock output tubes but changed the rectifier tube with a generic USSR tall bottle tube.

    With Hqplayer, I umsample everything to DSD 256 using Poly-sinc-xtr-2s and DSD7 256+fs
    billfort, marantzfan and MikeyFresh like this.
  11. marantzfan

    marantzfan Administrator Staff Member

    Ill have to give that combination of settings a try in HQP.

    This DAC really is quite phenomenal, I don’t think that can be overstated. Especially considering the cost!
    Lukas Luis likes this.
  12. Audionut

    Audionut Next Round Is On Me

    There’s a nice unit on their site “demo model” and thinking of pulling the trigger. Any noticeable difference from this and their model listed below?
  13. marantzfan

    marantzfan Administrator Staff Member

    None that I can tell. Looks like the newer version then mine with the replaceable DAC modules. Very nice
  14. Please let us know how it turns out in your system.
  15. billfort

    billfort Administrator Staff Member

    Good the hear this DAC has only gotten better with time for you Lukas - I too found the sounstage opened up quite a bit after a lot of hours and with the right recording, it fills the room like I never thought digital could.

    I've been messing with several types of source material into Roon of late and if anything, it just drives home how good the basic formula is here; Roon+HQPlayer>DSD256>this DAC. Feed it well; maybe some DSD64 from old analog tapes, a native DSD recording, high-res PCM, some good 16/44.1 FLAC, a DSD128 vinyl rip or even Internet radio streamed as FLAC (thanks Roon!) and this DAC used this way is mesmerizing.
    MikeyFresh likes this.
  16. What's the longevity like for you gents that own this DAC? Mine blew up shortly after receiving it, then promptly (again) after getting it repaired. Maybe I was just unlucky.
  17. marantzfan

    marantzfan Administrator Staff Member

    Mine hasn’t had a single hiccup since I got it. Sorry to hear that you’ve had so many issues.
  18. That's good to hear.
  19. billfort

    billfort Administrator Staff Member

    Wow, "blew up", twice? Sorry to hear this.

    I've rolled 20 or so different tubes through mine with varying heater voltages, messed with the coupling caps, used both USB inputs, passed it PCM and DSD natively, left it on for days on-end and have hundreds of hours on it - never missed a beat. If anything, I'm more happy with it now than I was over a year ago when I posted this review.
  20. Yes. Well, first time it was just a loud pop and it fried the rectifier tube. The second time there was a pop, smoke and the smell of burning circuit board.

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