Review - Musical Paradise MP-D2

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
#81
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.
Which tubes and output caps did you settle on, or have you settled just yet?
 

billfort

Administrator
Staff member
#82
I pretty much stuck with the mix mentioned here Mike; BENDIX 6106 rectifier, Reflektor 6N23P-EV (6H23N-EB) line-level tubes and Russian PIO coupling caps. The Mullard CV378 rectifier sounds a little better to my ear but they are reserved for amp duties where they have more of a positive effect.
 
#86
Well I am just started to select the matching quad of tubes. I am using the VTV tube tester for the balance and noise. I happen to have 4 matching Infinicap 5uf 450v. The tubes that are in the DAC are stock tubes. The owner never use them and just put them back now. First impression is very smooth and sense of space. Some CD seem be much more engaging. I will burn it in for longer before I start tube rolling.
 

Attachments

#88
First round of tube rolling. I swap the 6N6 with a set of Sovtek 6922 that I took out from my Audio Research Ref 1 and replace the rectifier with a straight body 5U4gb. I got more air and space but the gain was too high. I am going to try using 6H30 tonight hope to get the magic of 6N6 mid and the high of the 6922.
 
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Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
#90
Thanks for posting your impressions and upgrade choices/outcome @Tleung . I am seriously considering this DAC, that and the Schiit Gunni & Yggy. I really like the tweaking/upgradability of this unit though and not to mention cost.
 

billfort

Administrator
Staff member
#91
I just love this DAC - just seems to get better and more at home the longer I live with it.

Tony; you got me tube rolling again (dammit ! :) ). Went back and tried a GE GZ32 and yeah, it's nice - maybe even better than the Bendix in the mids. Not quite up to the Mullard CV378 (which is SO good in this DAC) in extension and 'space' but real good - and I feel much better burning the life off that GE than the Mullard.

Finally got a chance to do a little comparative listening to the best digital I have (via this DAC) and the best vinyl, and I'm still at the point where a great pressing of a good recording on my turntable beats the digital in areas of presence, space and 'whole-ocity'. In 1 case in particular, re-mixes and digital re-releases certainly do things like punching up bass and putting the mid range more in your face making it all sound louder (MQA being the worst offender at this to my ear), but that great old vinyl just has the music in the room in that big magic bubble that lets me listen - not anal-ize the sound.

I'm not going back in and messing with the Reflektor 6N23P-EV in the line stage as I already know they made the best compromises to my ears with regards to detail, presence and bass, but if you get somewhere with those 6H30s - specifically in the areas of extension and air without messing with the lush mids of the 6N23P - I may have to borrow a pair!
 

Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
#92
I just love this DAC - just seems to get better and more at home the longer I live with it.

Tony; you got me tube rolling again (dammit ! :) ). Went back and tried a GE GZ32 and yeah, it's nice - maybe even better than the Bendix in the mids. Not quite up to the Mullard CV378 (which is SO good in this DAC) in extension and 'space' but real good - and I feel much better burning the life off that GE than the Mullard.

Finally got a chance to do a little comparative listening to the best digital I have (via this DAC) and the best vinyl, and I'm still at the point where a great pressing of a good recording on my turntable beats the digital in areas of presence, space and 'whole-ocity'. In 1 case in particular, re-mixes and digital re-releases certainly do things like punching up bass and putting the mid range more in your face making it all sound louder (MQA being the worst offender at this to my ear), but that great old vinyl just has the music in the room in that big magic bubble that lets me listen - not anal-ize the sound.

I'm not going back in and messing with the Reflektor 6N23P-EV in the line stage as I already know they made the best compromises to my ears with regards to detail, presence and bass, but if you get somewhere with those 6H30s - specifically in the areas of extension and air without messing with the lush mids of the 6N23P - I may have to borrow a pair!
Bill do you think there’s enough of a difference between your model and the latest? They are touting some changes but they don’t seem to be that extreme. $100-200 in savings if going with the 2 versus the 3. I’ll have to read up more on DAC chips to see if there’s a benefit in one over the other. A big thank you in advance!
 

billfort

Administrator
Staff member
#93
I don't know what to think about this (hows that for a cop-out? :) ). In trying to go back and summarize the DACs I've heard with various chips, I think my preference runs toward the AKM SD sound over the Sabre/ESS - kind of vinyl-like lushness over big and bright detail 'hi-fi', but there are so many other factors involved it's probably not fair to over-simplify like this. I do think it's very cool that this DAC allows you to choose - even roll - DAC chips like this, and I may just try that someday to see if my bias holds.

And with the rectifier, driver tubes and coupling caps to mess with, lord knows I need another variable like DAC chips to add to the mix. :D
 

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
#94
Bill, you do know that the ability to roll DAC chips wasn’t built into the older version that you and I have? In order to do that you’d need newer version.
 

billfort

Administrator
Staff member
#95
Haven't really been following along but I thought there was an upgrade path for the version 1 that got you to a point were it used the latest AKM in a configuration that allowed chip-swapping to the sabre? Think it was about a $250 upgrade to the version 1?

I believe the only one currently available though (even the demo units) feature this chip swap option.
 
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