I hereby anoint this to be the official thread for the Musical Paradise MP-D2 tube DAC.
I had been looking for a new DAC for the last year or so. Finally it came down to the R2R Holo Spring, or the MP-D2. I've been scouring the forums and haven't found any negative words about the MP-D2 whatsoever and that includes some high end forums where owners of much
more expensive DACs have lavished praise. My main concern was that the MP-D2 might sound too "tubey" but from careful reading of the reviews I've concluded that this wasn't an issue. IMO this DAC explores the outer limits of the price to performance ratio.
I took delivery of this behemoth (27 lbs.) about two weeks ago. When I first fired it up, it was very harsh with unbalanced channels but after about 40 hours it gradually smoothed out and gave indications that it was going to satisfy my expectations. I replaced the stock cheap looking 6Z5P Chinese rectifier with an old GE 5R4GB but immediately didn't notice any difference probably due to the ongoing burning in process. This DAC supports both 6.3V and 5V rectifiers with just a flip of a switch.
6.3V series: 6Z5P (stock), 6X5.
5V series: 5R4, 5AR4, 5U4G, 5Y3, GZ34.
I'm still using the stock signal tubes. This DAC is a tube rollers delight. It also supports a variety of the signal tubes with a simple switch.
6.3V series: 6N11 (stock), 6H6, 6H30, E88CC, E188CC，6922, 6DJ8.
12.6V series: 12AU7, 12BH7, E80CC.
So how does it sound? Well after ~200 hours its a very large step above my former DAC (MHDT Constantine). It's dead quite in my rig. The MP-D2 fills the room much more than my reference. The imaging is more precise. The amount of detail resolution is far beyond the Constantine. It does Classical very well with excellent layering and I'm having a lot of fun noticing the different sections of an orchestra having dialogs with each other. Holographic and 3D are words that come to mind when describing this big, bold and colorful DAC. Tone monster too.
The other night I cued up one of my favorite live albums.
" target="_bl and it almost brought tears to my eyes. A truly great live recording and the D2 did it justice. This DAC has a lot air and gives you a nice sense of the venue. When she pushed her pristine soprano long and high the MP-D2 followed her with ease. All the other players were spread out clearly on the soundstage. The proverbial Veil of Maya has been lifted another notch. I'm really looking forward to rolling in some quality NOS tubes.
BTW cap rolling is easy too. It came with Obbligato Golds which are a quality cap but I'm sure I'll want to roll some others in too.
Quality construction. Notice the separate shielded aluminum box below the main board which encloses the beefy
150W toroidal transformer for the analog section and an additional 80W toroidal transformer for the digital sections.
I hope that this thread encourages others whom are in the market for a DAC in the 1K range to give the MP-D2 a look. I know of two other Audio Circle members who have taken the plunge and are happy with their purchase.http://www.musicalparadise.ca/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=61&product_id=80
I also would be pleased if this thread would function as a platform for a tube/cap rolling discussion.