Musical Paradise M2-D2 AK4490 Balanced Dac Reviews?

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by stuart1927, Mar 22, 2016.
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  1. gkr7007
    For rectifier, as long as you guys seem to want to try everything, Kevin at Upscale Audio has a killer NOS Phillips branded, Holland made 5R4GYS that simply put everything together for me for both my Primaluna pre and MP DAC.
    fishzoo likes this.
  2. akltam
    11 Nov is a web shopping day for China.

    The MP-D2 Mk 2 was on special. I want to try out the AK4497 DAC and also I want to try a digital crossover from miniDSP where I need another DAC. So I bought another MP-D2 Mk2 and this time with AK4497. It arrived today. I will be burning-in this DAC for the next 1-2 days before I upgrade the tubes, rectifier tubes and caps.
    fishzoo likes this.
  3. fishzoo
    I am also at the fence between the two. Looking forward for your comparison, thoughts about AK4497 and ES9038PRO
  4. akltam
    I am afraid it may not be possible to do an objective comparison because I have done all sort of mod on my MP-D2 Mk2 ES9038 Dac. (like adding separate Chokes to the power supply on both the left and right channel, changing the working parameters of the output tube, plus all sort of tube rolling and capacitor upgrade. And the MP-D2 MK2 AK4497 DAC is still on stock form. So far the ES9038pro beat the Stock AK4497 with more body weight of music. The bass of ES9038 is more substantial. The ES9038 clarity is better. But this is probably all due to the mods and better tubes I put there. Remember the ES9038Pro has 8 dacs in parallel in driving the tubes. The AK4497 has only one.

    I know this is not very helpful.
    motberg likes this.
  5. akltam
    To all the MP-D2 Mk2 User,

    I wouild like to ask a favour from these users. Can you check if the Coaxial input with 24/96 source work on your MP-D2 Mk2 ? Both of my ES9038Pro and AK4497 does not work on this type of input.
    I checked this with another DAC using Coaxial 24/96 input. The display say it is 24/96 and it plays fine. While both MK-D2 Mk2 I got cannot play that same source.

    This has suddenly become a serious problem for me as my digital crossover only output 24/96.

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  6. fishzoo
    I am currently using USB on D2 with source feeding from Linux board (UDOO/rasberry pi3 - volumio player) . I use to have coaxial from my PC Windows, but since coaxial support only up to 24/96, so it's retired now. I could setup my PC (which I haven't been touch for 2 + years) to test on the D2 coaxial output. Just give me some time as I am working on tube damping and DIY USB cable now.. :)
  7. fishzoo
    I installed 3 dampers Ultrasonic Rx from , 2 damper on each of 6H30pi (also tried seimens ECC88) - RCA setting, 1 damper on Rectifier (Brimar 5Z4GY, Winged "C" 5U4G Valve Art 274B)
    with quite noticeable improvement. Everything just get more focus, bass more define and punch without losing anything.
    It really works as describe/reviews on their website.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  8. darcman
    Hey Everybody...Happy New Year

    I wanted to buy a DAC. I did a lot of reading, then heard about the MP-D2 and have been following this thread.
    I had decided on the AK4497 version, but changed my mind and went for the stock unit with the ES9038 upgrade.

    My system is Dynaudio Focus 340 speakers, Simaudio i7 integrated, and had an Oppo 95 with a hard drive and lots of flac files.
    I built an Intel NUC7i5 for the flac player into the MP-D2 and HT. I tried Foobar, but I like Musicbee better (an awesome free program)
    I just got the MP-D2 today. I had it up and running in about 10 minutes.
    NUC7i5 to the MP-D2 with a Silnote Audio Posiedon USB cable and balanced HT Magic link II interconnects to the i7

    I have to say right out of the box I think its sounds awesome.
    I will let it get some hours and throw in some 6N23P tubes that I bought.
    Eventually I will go for some Audyn copper caps or the Mundorf SGO or maybe some Jupiter coppers

    Wow I really like the sound...listening to Above & Beyond Acoustic II right now
  9. john8105
    My MP-D2 arrived yesterday. I eagerly unpacked and connected to my amp and PC.
    I followed the instructions to install foobar2000 but couldnt get it to work. All of the track names were coming up in Chinese and every time I played a track I got errors even though I had installed the drivers and followed the instructions. I gave up last night as I only had an hour or so and went to bed disappointed.

    This morning I abandoned foobar and went to Roon/HQPlayer as i know this works. After a bit of tweaking all I can say is I was blown away with the sound quality! tracks that I had heard 100's of time before now sound so rich and detailed, the sound stage fills my room like never before. Ive been into hifi for 30 years but never have I made one change to the system with such a dramatic improvement. My girlfriend had tears in her eyes when I played her some of her favorite tracks as it just sounds so real, its like have the artist in the room. I was thinking that I would need to change the tubes/caps etc but it just sounds so amazing straight out of the box. The best $899 I have ever spent.

    Does anyone have any experience of HQPlayer and the best settings for the MP-D2?
  10. gkr7007
    Trust me....I know you are liking what you are hearing (i did too) but tube change brought a HUGE positive result and I quickly tossed the stock tubes aside in the output circuit. I also changed out the rectifier to an NOS RCA that was pretty inexpensive ($40) and got much better dynamics and punch.
    I'm glad you're happy with the sound but, without spending too much, and without a ton of tube rolling, there's a lot more to be had in that thing. All the best.
  11. motberg
    I found the HQPlayer manual was a very good reference for settings ideas... but after much testing, I found native files via JPlay (Hibernate mode) sound better in my setup.
    Which version DAC chip did you decide upon ?
  12. john8105
    I don't need much convincing as if it's possible to improve the sound quality then im up for that.
    Some time ago I had a tube preamp with some Jan Philips they sounded good, but I also read good things about bugle boy. Any one make any recommendations on good tube/rectifier combinations?
  13. john8105
    I've spent 3 days messing around with hqplayer trying just about every combination but can't find a setting I like. I've gone got jriver and fidilizer now and that's sounding good. I will take a look at jplay, is there any way to use it with jriver?
    My dac has the basic chip that came with it I haven't upgraded anything yet.
  14. gkr7007
    It's all subjective to your listening but I went with a pair of nos Telefunken e88cc and a good ol' 1950's era RCA rectifier and i was able to get that nice balanced clarity all the way up the scale, a nice sparkle on the high end, and great dynamic punch on the bottom. Brent Jesse Recording or Vintage Tube Supply have great stock and good advice for NOS tubes. And you get time to try them to see how you like the tonal change. I also have tried a set of Raytheon branded Siemens tubes in the output circuit that were very nice and less expensive than the Teles.
  15. Thetubeguy1954
    I've had my MP-D2 DAC for just over a year now and love the Bendix 6106 rectifier tube ($60) with a combo of 6H30-DR (in the single-ended sockets) and 6H30-PI tubes. I could never go back to the stock tubes again after hearing this...

    I'm finishing listening to: Wild For You by Karrin Allyson

    Thetubeguy1954 (Tom Scata)

    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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