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I recently upgraded my MP-D2 MK-1 to the MP-D3 Deluxe. For those with the MK-1 this is a fantastic upgrade at a very reasonable price. I also upgraded the USB board and splurged for the Crystek clock. This upgrade has taken a very good DAC to another level with much better separation, detail, PRAT and transparency. I stuck with the AK4490 and it sounds great but looking forward to trying the ES9038 PRO and the new AK4499.If you're on the fence about this upgrade just go for it; you won't regret it, it's a game changer.
Out of curiosity, has the power supply and main casing changed at all since the MK-1? I know all the boards can be swapped out, which isn't too hard. And I know the MK-3 got some larger tube openings on the top, but that's about it right?
All,I have recently ordered the MP-D2 with Sabre Chip, wanted to know what options there were with the output and rectifier tube upgrades to get a warm organic holographic sound without loosing detail.
It sounds like you should have gone with one of the AKM chips instead of Sabre since they're closer to the sound qualities you're after. The output tubes have a greater impact on sound in this dac (in my experience). Perhaps NOS Amperex tubes here.For rectifier tubes, a NOS Mullard GZ34...rare, and pricy. For new tubes, I've been happy with the Psvane 5U4G.
The output tubes have a greater impact on sound in this dac (in my experience). Perhaps NOS Amperex tubes here.For rectifier tubes, a NOS Mullard GZ34...rare, and pricy. For new tubes, I've been happy with the Psvane 5U4G.
If you're looking for any sort of warmth to the sound I would stay away from the 6H30 tubes. What I would suggest having owned a Mk I and now a Mk III Deluxe is to concentrate on finding a good NOS rectifier tube and it isn't required that it be an expensive NOS Blackburn Mullard. In fact the Japanese Matsushita 5AR4 tube that Andy at VTS sells for under $70 is a great alternative. It was built in the Japanese Matsushita tube plant that was setup and tooled by Mullard. Other alternatives that I like are the 5R4 and the 5AS4 tubes from RCA.The supplied 6H4 tubes supplied by Garry with the unit are actually quit good and are the sister tube to the 6H30 and designed for Audio use unlike the 6H30 which was an industrial tube made popular by Victor from BAT as it was cheap for him to buy in bulk. I tried close to two dozen 6 and 7 volt tube combos plus multiple NOS 6N23 tubes and ended up back with the supplied tubes. The worst sounding to me was the EH 6H30. So I would suggest you get the NOS rectifier and then break in the unit with the supplied input tubes and give them a chance.
Just a suggestion, buy some socket savers and you can roll tubes without pulling the lid and it allows for ST shaped rectifiers with the extra height. You can see your tubes lit up at night too. Just a FYI. Warmer sound can be had with Mundorf Silver/Gold/Oil caps. Running balanced will be more expensive unfortunately. Read Dubstep Girl post about rectifiers here: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/dubstep-girls-massive-5ar4-5r4-5u4g-rBeware, you will want to try many different rectifiers. I did.Very enjoyable dac. I may buy another one some day.
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