Hey, guys. I have to admit straight out I like it better than the Great March. The Great March is nice don't get me wrong but the MD10 sounds better to me, perhaps it's my taste or system synergy. Like I said before it's just a really cool little unit in such a compact size. It does compete with my Zhaolu 2.5, no doubt about it. It has excellent resolution with a big open/layered/wide sound. It's tonality is very neutral to my ears, it's full and musical but also quite open up top with detailed highs. When I listen to it I don't ever find it to be too warm or laid back but yet never bright or edgy but it is quite open and revealing. The midrange is very nice, bass is solid and tight, and the treble is controlled. I'm always left with the impression of the MD10 sounding punchy and solid.
It has a likeness to the Zhaolu 2.0 and 2.5 more so than the 1.3 to my ears as the 1.3 to me was, while very open and airy sounding, a bit more lean down low and could be a hair bright but it depended on opamps used. That's the whole thing with the Zhaolu's, it's like - which Zhaolu are you talking about? I hear clear differences between the 1.3, 2.0 and 2.5. I hear clear differences between the CS and AD DAC chips and then there's the matter of opamps which is yet another means to make the Zhaolu's sound different. I think they have really taken advatnage of the CS4398 DAC chip in the 2.5. I had been using all OPA2107's in my 2.5C and had been really liking it but had recently thought it maybe sounded a bit too warm and ill defined in the bass at times. I rolled in a DY2000 and wow, the thing just sparkled and opened up, better attack and defintion but because there is still an OPA2107 in the analog output (there are only two opamps in the 2.5's analog stage now), and an OPA2107 in the power supply, It still had that full and warm influence they impart. It maybe sounds a bit more like the 2.5A AD1852 as it has a really nice definition of the treble range with a clear and crisp quality. The Musiland to me sounds fairly similar to my 2.5's current configuration, or maybe somewhere between a 2.5A and 2.5C in it's overall impression and tonality. I'm getting too carried away here.
I have not done any critical comparisons but to me the 2.5C, with the noted configuration, perhaps sounds a tad more refined with a bit more fullness down low (fuller midbass) and maybe has more depth. Nonethless the MD10 is great sounding indeed and is extremely competitive.
Like I said before, the headphone mini output drives Grado's very nicely. I believe the manual says the headphone out, while Class A in design, is designed for low to mid impedance cans so Senn HD580-6XX's likely aren't going to work here. Quite a bonus though for low impedance cans as it's an extremely competant headphone amp. The interface and display really is quite cool. I kind of touched on the menu options in the other post. The digital volume is what has me most perplexed though as I don't hear degredation on the headphone output. As I had said before the RCA analog output is volume controlled as well but again I couldn't hear any degradation but it's a moot point if you just set the volume to zero attenuation and then use your amp's volume. Obviously a nicely done digital volume. Interestingly enough the unit can be used a preamp as a result which is a nice bonus as well.