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Mhdt Lab Paradisea and Constantine DAC gets rave review - Page 4

post #46 of 89
The person who did the bypass also changed the output caps. He's supposed to e-mail me the details... I'm a bit wary about modding a $500 DAC myself but I will definitely post the results if/when I do.
post #47 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn&cough View Post
But sadly, it now appears that the best sounding tube for the Paradisea may be no tube at all. I heard from reliable sources that bypassing the tube buffer will yield more detail, tighter bass and a better soundstage without sacrificing the warmth.
Eh..ah...uhm... !!! Does this modified Paradisea qualified as a Constantine on steroids?
post #48 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose Garcia View Post
Eh..ah...uhm... !!! Does this modified Paradisea qualified as a Constantine on steroids?
Could be - All I'm doing here is relaying what I'm picking up elsewhere. The fellow actually did recommend that prospective Paradisea buyers should consider getting the less expensive Constantine then swapping the AD826 for an LM4562, decoupling power to op amp and a few other tweaks.
post #49 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn&cough View Post
Could be - All I'm doing here is relaying what I'm picking up elsewhere. The fellow actually did recommend that prospective Paradisea buyers should consider getting the less expensive Constantine then swapping the AD826 for an LM4562, decoupling power to op amp and a few other tweaks.
That's very interesting! I bought a Constantine about one month ago and I founded that it was marginally better ( to my ears) than my player/transport. My Sony SCD-C2000ES sounds brighter and less resolving in details, but it's clearer than the Constantine. I got better performance after seating the Sony over a device I made with roller bearings and concave drawer pulls(top and bottom). Now the MHDT is clearer, detailed and dynamic with a musical sound and none fatiguing. Previous to the device it had a fussy cloud around highs and mids. Lucky me, that is gone now but any modification is well receive..

Jose
post #50 of 89
The thing about comparing the Paradesia to the Pandora is that the Pandora is double the price.
post #51 of 89
That is okay if it sounds around once-and-a-half to twice as good. I wonder, and so I ask.
post #52 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn&cough View Post
The person who did the bypass also changed the output caps. He's supposed to e-mail me the details... I'm a bit wary about modding a $500 DAC myself but I will definitely post the results if/when I do.
Turn&cough, before you do something crazy to your Paradisea+, make sure you've sufficiently burnt in the Paradisea+, also if you haven't done so, go get yourself a decent power cord. I've tried 3 different tubes, stock GE, WE396a, and Sylvania 2C51. I haven't heard the Bendix. Anyway, even though the DAC sounded different with all 3 tubes, with WE396a the best overall, I found that there were other things that would make a bigger difference to the sound.

1. A good power cord. This by far made the biggest difference that was immediately noticeable. Resolution was better, bass punchier, highs more extended, mids sweeter. If you are going to spend $599 getting the Paradisea+, don't cheap out on the power cord. It will make a bigger difference than rolling the tubes.
2. Interconnects that fit your system. I was using a pair of IXOs RCA interconnects at first, then I switched to a pair of DH Lab silver sonic. The resolution and clarity once again improved.
3. Burn in the DAC sufficiently. This DAC sounded good from the beginning, but it would sound even better after at least 1 month of burn in, maybe more if you change your tube often. After listening to mine for a few months now, I can definitely notice a deeper soundstage, an even sweeter mid, and also a deeper bass.

Finally, the Paradisea+ is a TUBE dac, and it's designed to provide that sweet tube sound. It will never be the last word in resolution and clarity. My PS Audio Digital Link III for example will beat it easily in resolution and clarity. But you will have a hard time finding a solid state DAC that can touch Paradisea+'s mid-range sweetness. If you find yourself still wanting to mod your Paradisea+ to be tubeless even after you've done all 3 things I suggested above, then maybe tube dac is not for you. You might want to consider selling the Paradisea+ dac and get yourself a solid state dac instead. You will be able to find a solid state dac easily that has better resolution and clarity than the Paradisea+. Benchmark, Lavry, PS Audio, just to name a few...
post #53 of 89
Don't get me wrong - I really like this DAC. As for the mod(s) - I still haven't heard from the guy yet and therefore will probably leave everything as is, at least for now.
BTW - This is the same guy who did mods on the original Paradisea which were later adapted by MHDT on the "+" and new non-USB versions.
I'm using a Volex 17604 PC with Anti-Cable ICs. What PC are you using? I don't want to spend a fortune on a PC upgrade - I'd rather put the money towards a new amp.
post #54 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn&cough View Post
Don't get me wrong - I really like this DAC. As for the mod(s) - I still haven't heard from the guy yet and therefore will probably leave everything as is, at least for now.
BTW - This is the same guy who did mods on the original Paradisea which were later adapted by MHDT on the "+" and new non-USB versions.
I'm using a Volex 17604 PC with Anti-Cable ICs. What PC are you using? I don't want to spend a fortune on a PC upgrade - I'd rather put the money towards a new amp.
i'm sure good mods can be done on every dac to make it sound better. however, based on your description, the goal of the mod seems to be on how to convert a tube dac to a non-tube dac and make it sound less tube-like. that just makes me wonder why bother? wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to just go out and buy a non-tube dac when you figure in the cost of the original tube dac + the mod? anyway, that's just my opinion.

regarding the power cord, i'm using an used audioquest RF stopper power cord i got off audiogon for cheap, i think it probably costs around $150 new. i don't have any experience with the volex, but based on what i found, it seems to be a hospital grade stock power cord. i also own some zu cable birth power cords that seem to be decent. they made a noticeable difference on my dacs out of the box, and i'm sure the difference will be even greater once they are burnt-in. you can get them on ebay for less than $50 based on length. another power cords that i want to try are the signal cable magic and magic digital reference. they are also really popular and affordable, and used ones get snatched up within minutes on audiogon.
post #55 of 89
Well my Paradisea + came on Tuesday. However its just a paper weight at moment, still waiting for the headphone amp.

Very, very small issue, does everyone else's feet on the Paradisea (all 4) stay in contact with the table its on? Find I have to add a bit of felt to rear right foot, as its just a few mm shorter then the rest.

o3ric
post #56 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by o3ric View Post
Well my Paradisea + came on Tuesday. However its just a paper weight at moment, still waiting for the headphone amp.

Very, very small issue, does everyone else's feet on the Paradisea (all 4) stay in contact with the table its on? Find I have to add a bit of felt to rear right foot, as its just a few mm shorter then the rest.

o3ric
mine seems pretty even. you might want to check the feet to make sure all 4 are attached correctly. since it's pretty much 1 person building all these dacs, sometimes little details might be missed during the assembly. for example, on mine, the screw on the torroidal transformer wasn't completely tight, i had to tighten it myself.
post #57 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by happybob View Post
i'm sure good mods can be done on every dac to make it sound better. however, based on your description, the goal of the mod seems to be on how to convert a tube dac to a non-tube dac and make it sound less tube-like. that just makes me wonder why bother? wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to just go out and buy a non-tube dac when you figure in the cost of the original tube dac + the mod? anyway, that's just my opinion.
I'm the first one to admit that there's a certain "cool factor" about tubes - especially vintage ones. This may be one of the reasons I consciously/subconsciously fell for the Paradisea. If someone where to have told me that the tube was more or less a marketing tool and that it did nothing to improve the sound then I probably wouldn't have spent the extra $$$. I have not tried the mods myself so I cannot confirm whether or not bypassing the tube buffer will actually produce a better sounding DAC and I certainly didn't pay more for a tube DAC plus a collection of NOS tubes with the intention of ripping out the tube buffer afterwards. I think at this point I'm sort of in denial and don't really want to know the truth.
"You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!!!"
Sorry about that.

PS - o3ric - Mine seems level.
post #58 of 89
happybob;

Yeap, made sure they where all OK, still a few mm off. It`s OK though (as you do not actually have to physically use it).

There are a few slight little blemishes with it, however I got it for the sound, and that (I hope when I get that headphone amp) I will be able to listen to.

o3ric
post #59 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by o3ric View Post
happybob;

Yeap, made sure they where all OK, still a few mm off. It`s OK though (as you do not actually have to physically use it).

There are a few slight little blemishes with it, however I got it for the sound, and that (I hope when I get that headphone amp) I will be able to listen to.

o3ric
i just checked the feet of my paradisea+ again. they seemed to be screwed on. you might want to check all the screws to make sure that none of them is crooked. also if you noctice any damage to the feet or the screws, you can just contact mhdt lab. they will send you a replacement part really quickly.
post #60 of 89
My paradisea is on the way

I'll compare it to my constantine and Njoe Tjoeb when it gets here (so.. exact same review as enjoythemusic's really..)
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