Review - Musical Paradise MP-D2

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
Prime Minister;n52015 said:
This weekend????
I know!

This DAC takes up an entire shelf, so I had to move the PC out of the audio cabinet. Which means, I'm waiting on the 2 Meter USB cable I ordered to get here as the only other ones I have are too short.

The struggle is real people. ;)
 

billfort

Administrator
Staff member
marantzfan;n52016 said:
I know!

This DAC takes up an entire shelf, so I had to move the PC out of the audio cabinet. Which means, I'm waiting on the 2 Meter USB cable I ordered to get here as the only other ones I have are too short.

The struggle is real people. ;)
Yes, it's big and a little awkward, as it's so much fun rolling tubes and such, that you kind of need easy access to the internals - I don't think I've had the cover on mine since I put it on my rack.

I too had to re-arrange things - computer went to the bottom of the rack, 1m USB cable up to the REGEN which is hard-connected to the MP-D2, the REGEN kind of perched on that tube box which happened to be the right height, LPS for the REGEN is on the floor . I keep thinking I'll clean this up and put the cover on but nah, I'm not done in there yet. :)
 

Jack

Junior Member
I finally put the cover on mine for now after finally settling on a set of tubes after months of swapping. Unless one fails I am planning on sticking with this combo for a while so dampers in place and button it up.

Thanks for the welcome Eric. As you can see I have been here a while just never posted. Recognize most of the members from AK.
 

Jack

Junior Member
1978 Voskhod 6N23P's and RCA 5AS4A. I actually forgot I had the Voskhod's and had already settled on the Relektor's. Was going through a box in the "audio closet" and found the quad in plain white boxes with only markings on the ends. I bought them on Ebay over a dozen years ago and never even tried them. The were kind of a sweet spot between the Siemens and the 6H6's, which I did really like though. To my ears and in my system the tube I cared for the least was the Gold Pin EH 6H30. Too brittle on the top end for me. I tried tubes from the 6dj8, 7dj8, 6n23 and 12au7 families before settling on input tubes. Tried most of the rectifier tube types too and it was close between the Mullard 5AR4 and the RCA 5AS4A. In the end the RCA imparted a little more classic sound.
 

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
billfort;n52040 said:
Yes, it's big and a little awkward, as it's so much fun rolling tubes and such, that you kind of need easy access to the internals - I don't think I've had the cover on mine since I put it on my rack.

I too had to re-arrange things - computer went to the bottom of the rack, 1m USB cable up to the REGEN which is hard-connected to the MP-D2, the REGEN kind of perched on that tube box which happened to be the right height, LPS for the REGEN is on the floor . I keep thinking I'll clean this up and put the cover on but nah, I'm not done in there yet. :)
I haven't even taken the top off yet. My USB cable is supposed to arrive tomorrow so, I have a feeling that Thursday night will be play time. :)
 

billfort

Administrator
Staff member
Anthony; I know you are approaching this from a very similar place, so here's something to try as a starting point.

I'm assuming you loaded the MP drivers so HQP should show Backend; ASIO, Device; WaveIO ASIO Driver. I've gotten into the habit of starting HQP and confirming play there first, then starting Roon - just seems to work perfectly till I shut it all off that way.

The settings that I've kind of found to be my sweet-spot for SDM defaults are; Oversampling; poly-sinc-sht-mp, Modulator; DSD7 256+fs, Bitrate (/Limit); 11289600 - the bitrate shows as 'Auto' in HQP when Roon kicks in and Roon will show everything as being output as DSD256 to the DAC when playing.

This is really set it and forget it time for me and these settings just work across the board to my ear with this DAC. I'll sometimes tweak around with different Oversampling filters, which can have a subtle effect on soundstage, air and 'bite' - kind of depends on the recording. Flexibility is cool (software, tubes, caps, wires, etc.) but I'm more about just settling down for an enjoyable listen now and this DAC is really proving to be great at delivering that.
 

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
I've been listening this morning with the settings you're using Bill. Certainly a bit darker and even more dynamic then the settings I was using before; so far I'm really enjoying it. Thanks for sharing!

My previous settings were poly sinc shrt, ADSM7 and 11289600, in case your curious to try those settings.

I'm still getting used to the cojones this DAC has in the low end. It's really a pretty substantial difference from the ifi Micro iDSD in that regard.

Things are still settling in, especially the treble which was a little harsh and in your face right out of the box; much less so now. I'm starting off with the obligato stock capacitors and the EH 6h30pi tubes. I figure I've got about 5-6 hours so far and even in that short amount of time I can tell that this DAC is something special.
 

Jack

Junior Member
Anthony

Anything new to report on the MP-D2? Curious to see your longer term reaction to the 6H30 tubes as they to me were not a favorite. The stock 6H6 tubes are from the same family of tubes but with more warmth.
 

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
Jack;n52357 said:
Anthony

Anything new to report on the MP-D2? Curious to see your longer term reaction to the 6H30 tubes as they to me were not a favorite. The stock 6H6 tubes are from the same family of tubes but with more warmth.
Will report back when I've got more.

I'll give it a good long listen again this weekend but may not get another opportunity until then, sadly.

I skipped the stock tubes and went straight to the 6H30's, but will likely cycle back to them just for comparisons sake at some point.

Jack, I'm curious what all you have in your system. If you get a moment, would you mind sharing with us what your using in the Member Systems section?
 

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
billfort;n53901 said:
So Anthony, how is the DAC settling in for you?
Quite nicely, actually. It's mellowing a bit, but that's not a bad thing at all. It certainly has warmed up a little and lost what little digital edge it seemed to have to it on the highs. Just gorgeous.

Mind you, I'm still using the stock Obligato capacitors but with the EH 6h30pi's. I've never been blown away by these capacitors in the past, so I'm certain there is still some room for improvement there.

I figure I'll get another weekend or two of listening in before making any more changes. Just to make sure it's completely burned in.
 

billfort

Administrator
Staff member
It's been a while since I've been able to have a good listen to this DAC but some free time this weekend and I think I've found the mix of parts that suits me best and will let me settle in for the long-term with it. The most recent software upgrade for HQPlayer brought along a few new filters I really like and its nice to have this level of tune-ability around this good core sound & balance using simple settings too; I think I can leave behind rummaging through that box of tubes so often.

The mix I like best is kind of a cold-war missile parts list; a BENDIX 6106/5Y3WGTA rectifier, Russian Reflektor 6N23P-EV (6H23N-EB) line-level tubes and Russian PIO coupling caps. It is a balancing act and hard to give all combinations a fair listen but this mix has good extension, big dynamics and nicely leverages that immersive soundstage and presence that seems to separate this tube output DAC from the others I've tried.

I think I'm ready to screw the cover back on now. :)

 

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marantzfan

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Staff member
Spent some more time last night listening to this DAC and it's starting to really come into its own now that it's got about 50+ hours of burn in time.

Again, listening to DSD64 files, converted to DSD256 is really something special. I still can't get over just how good the bass is with this DAC!

Might be time to start considering a capacitor upgrade....I was looking around and you know what, I lied billfort; I don't have any Russian PIO's! What I have are Russian PETP caps. Ah, heck! May give them a shot just for the heck of it. I have like 20 of them in 2.2uf.
 

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
After all this time, I forgot to try some different caps. Still running the stock obligattos.

I guess that’s a testament to how good this DAC is.
 
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