Musical Paradise M2-D2 AK4490 Balanced Dac Reviews?
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stuart1927

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Hey guys
 
I just saw this:
 
http://www.musicalparadise.ca/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=61&product_id=80
 
Looks like a powerhouse tube dac. Having recently bought the MP-D1, I can only imagine this must be excellent!
 
Anyone heard it?
 
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aneep

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Hi Stuart1927, I also happened to look upon the musical paradise mp-d2. On paper it looks fabulous and with the ability to roll tubes and capacitors, wow. I am looking at information regarding the dac but nothing much on the web to enable a decision. What is you impression regarding the D1? Have you been able to compare it to any other dac? Perhaps I can pull the trigger based on your D1 feedback :) ?
 
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stuart1927

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Aneep....I just got the D2 last week. I don't think you have to look any further.....this thing is nothing short of amazing. I got the top of the line caps installed and rolled in some of my own tubes. A Philips nos rectifier and some gold lions. The build of this DAC is in line with the best I have seen. The sound is spectacular.....extremely dynamic and powerful.... Yet detailed and nuanced. I'm planning a video review, hopefully this weekend. The D2 pretty much destroys my modded lks mh-d03 DAC and my emotiva dc-1.although it's not really a fair comparison, the D2 is in a different class altogether.
 
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aneep

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That sounds fantastic Stuart. I have been very interested in this dac the moment I saw it. I will await your video review just to get a better idea and put in an order with Gary.
Cheers,
 
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stuart1927

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A few photos
 

 

 
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aneep

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Wow! Beautiful Innards 
. Are those tube adapters that you are using? What are the tubes?
 
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stuart1927

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aneep   no tube adapters. The output tubes shown here are the Russian 6H6 tubes and the rectifier is the stock Shuguang. I replaced all tubes....the output tubes to the gold lion E88CC and the rectifier to a Philips NOS 5R4GYS. Lovely sound. I'm using this dac as my main unit now, but over the past few nights have been using it to supply my headphone amps....an ICON HP8 mk II and the Doge 6210 mk II. I have a DNA stratus arriving in a few weeks so can't wait.....I expect it will be sublime!
 
I ran the dac to my main rig....Doge 8 pre-amp, Doge 9 monoblocks and my Tekton Pendragon speakers......holy **** what a sound. Dynamic is the underlying impression....just so much definition. I'm still trying to process it. 
 
 
 
sbb
 
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aneep

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Soon as I read the comments above, I pulled the trigger. Sent payment to Gary. Now the wait begins. I am keeping my fingers crossed. So far, other than audio-gd gear, nothing really has kept me satisfied for a long time. But a fully balanced tube output stage and the ability to roll tubes and capacitors at will is too good to ignore. 
 
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stuart1927

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Well done aneep..you won't be disappointed! Great thing is when it does ship, it only takes a few days. Dhl are the best!
 
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Thetubeguy1954

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Aneep....I just got the D2 last week. I don't think you have to look any further.....this thing is nothing short of amazing. I got the top of the line caps installed and rolled in some of my own tubes. A Philips nos rectifier and some gold lions. The build of this DAC is in line with the best I have seen. The sound is spectacular.....extremely dynamic and powerful.... Yet detailed and nuanced. I'm planning a video review, hopefully this weekend. The D2 pretty much destroys my modded lks mh-d03 DAC and my emotiva dc-1.although it's not really a fair comparison, the D2 is in a different class altogether.
 
Hi Stuart!   I was looking to purchase a DAC to replace my Audio-gd Reference 7.1 I sadly had to sell recently to pay some medical bills.   I was going to purchase the Gustard X20U to replace it after I heard it in both friend's and my system vs the Audio-gd. For only about $850 the Gustard is impressive. However I came across this Musical Paradise MP-D2 while checking out DACs on eBay and felt it matched the Gustard's capabilities while using tubes to boot!  I have a quad of 6H30-DR tubes that I'd use as the 4 output tubes, but I'd like to know which tubes you're specifically using in your unit.  For example would you tell us all specifically what tubes are the Philips, Gold Lions and any other tubes you're using? In your MP-D2?  Also as the days have passed are your sentiments for the MP-D2 unit increasing, staying about the same or waning?
 
TIA for your time & reply...
 
 
Thetubeguy1954 (Tom Scata) 
 
My System:  A YBA Genesis CD-4 CDP/Transport, a 135Lb, 40W/ch., Mastersound Reference 845, integrated SET amp, a pair of Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S speakers, all ICs and digital wires are diy, made of Neotech silver/gold alloy ---{this wire sounds amazing and replaced $5K ICs}--- and my speaker wires are made of Belden 9497 wire that Shindo used.

Central Florida Audio Society -- SETriodes Group -- Space Coast Audio Society -- Full-range/Wide-range Drivers -- Front & Back-Loaded Horns -- High Sensitivity Speakers
 
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aneep

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I would recommend it whole heartedly. I puchased it and liked it so much that I have been rolling tubes and capacitors endlessly. I use an Audio-gd M9 as my preamp/headphone amp and my speakers are ATC Phoenix (active). Since my speakers are super sensitive, I have been using mostly 12au7 (Radiotecnique / Siemens) and 12ay7(GE) tubes and love the sound. The capacitors are Jupitor caps. Rectifier tube is bendix / Psvane WE274B replica. The MP-D2 is way better that my Audio-gd NFB-29 or even the Luxman DA250 that I had a chance to listen to recently IMHO. The small catch is that the dac does not use any filtering (I think) and the better your source, the better you music. 
 
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  I would recommend it whole heartedly. I puchased it and liked it so much that I have been rolling tubes and capacitors endlessly. I use an Audio-gd M9 as my preamp/headphone amp and my speakers are ATC Phoenix (active). Since my speakers are super sensitive, I have been using mostly 12au7 (Radiotecnique / Siemens) and 12ay7(GE) tubes and love the sound. The capacitors are Jupitor caps. Rectifier tube is bendix / Psvane WE274B replica. The MP-D2 is way better that my Audio-gd NFB-29 or even the Luxman DA250 that I had a chance to listen to recently IMHO. The small catch is that the dac does not use any filtering (I think) and the better your source, the better you music. 
How are you able to use 12au7 tubes in the MP-D2 ?  I thought it ran the 6DJ8 family of tubes, I'm confused !
 
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aneep

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The dac gives you the choice to use either the 6922 equivalent tubes or the 12au7 family. All you do is flip a switch. Same with rectifiers 6x4 or 5u4g.
While you can use the volume with the rca outputs, i use xlrs outwhich send out the signal directly without going thru the volume pot and sound better to my ears.
 
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stuart1927

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I'm using the gold lion e88cc output tubes the the Philips 5R4GYS from upscale audio.
 
http://www.upscaleaudio.com/vacuum-tubes/rectifiers/philips-5r4gys-made-in-holland/
 
I love the sound of this tube combination, but haven't yet experimented with other options yet.
 
I got the full Mcap gold silver oil upgrade from new so can't comment what difference this made V's stock caps.
 
My initial impressions have not diminished with time....it's a great dac. I'm now thinking about this:-  https://www.baetisaudio.com/Prodigy-M.php to improve my source,  as my olive one player is really starting to annoy me now with it's poor software implementation and touchscreen issues. The USB implementation is also poor on the olive one and I can have the prodigy-M customized to include an AES output which would match well with the MP-D2.  Baetis claim that both their AES  and custom SPDIF connections are superior to usb. I'm interested in that,  as I've always found USB to be buggy. 
 
I can't imagine a scenario where I'd want to "upgrade" from the MP-D2....it has sublime sound, is customizable and has pretty much future proof specs. I also happen to think it looks awesome as well!
 
Stuart
 
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nikonf

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Can one of you experts help me get this DAC working on my Windows 10 laptop?
 
I cannot for the life of me get it to work following the instructions for running it with Foobar2000.
It crashes and I can't get volume into my system using USB out.
 
Many thanks,
Mike
 
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