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Musical Paradise M2-D2 AK4490 Balanced Dac Reviews?

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by stuart1927, Mar 22, 2016.
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  1. brooster
    Dont be put off by Gary's Mundorf fetish. Lol. The Max copper is a good cap, and about 2/3 the price of the SGO'. I had the SO's in my system and not the SOG's although I think there is a pretty strong family resemblance. The So's are basically unlistenable straight out of the box, which is probably why I didnt like them. From reading they require 300+ hrs to break in so I am going to go back and revisit them. I may change my mind about them, but I have no issues with the coppers and they dont require extensive break in.
  2. brooster
    As far as I know MK111? status only applies to the USB board which is going to be coming out with DSD 512 capability and probably some clocking enhancements. But who knows their may be some other goodies.
  3. darcman
    When I had the lid off I just did a quick measure and the space between the binding posts is a little less than 60mm
    The Audyn true copper max is 60mm in length so may not fit.
    The Audyn true copper is 52mm in length so will fit
    The Audyn true copper max in 2.2uf is slightly more $ than the Mundorf SGO
    I will have to do some more measuring as the Copper Max would be my preferred choice.
    The sonics of SGO or the C MAX both do things that I would want, its a toss up.

    in another forum quite a while ago Gary talked about the updated USB board he was working on.
    Hopefully the new USB board will be available for MKII owners

    I must have a few hundred hours on my MP-D2 with the ES9038 and with the vintage GZ34 it sure sounds awesome.
    Listening to the Cowboy Junkies - Trinity Sessions Revisited and Above and Beyond - Acoustic, the sound keeps getting better
  4. brooster
    Hi darcman Ive seen you over on cam.

    My copper maxs are 1.5 uf and they are a tight squeeze. I dont see any way that the 2.2's will fit. The 1.5's will run you about 150CDN a pair. Sorry I wasnt thinking about 2.2 in both caps.

    Absolutely the new board will be available to current owners. There has been a few of us who have recently updated our D2's from MK1 status to Mark2. I dont think Gary is the kind of guy who would hang us out to dry by introducing a completely new architecture in a MK111. Not for the foreseeable future anyway. ( My 2c) One of the joys of the D2 is that it is so modular. So I am thinking an updated retrofittable usb board, and probably some firmware optimization through the MCP board which might involve reprogramming the processor.

    To my ears the D2 sounds amazing, but I have no reference point and havn't really read about anybody comparing it to something like a Yggdrasil 2. Im glad your enjoying those Sabre chips. The Sabre delta sigmas dont seem to get a lot of love amongst the audio hoity, toitys.
    Sheesh, The Cowboy Junkies @ Trinity, I havnt heard that in a long time. I might have to go and see If I can dig up a copy somewhere.
  5. darcman
    Hey Brooster,

    I think I read some posts of yours over on CAM. Didn't you do some crazy modding to your D2?
    Gary told me he tried 1.8uf Audyn Coppers (not the max) but he didn't like the sound...too slow for him.
    He recommended the Audio Note 1uf copper (anything above 1uf gets really big).
    Gary said they have sharper details/more dynamic vs the smoother sounding Mundorf SGO.

    I am running balanced right now, so I need all 4 caps.
    The Audyn copper max all have the same 60mm length from the 0.56uf right to the 4.7uf, they get a lot fatter though.
    So your Audyn copper max 1.5uf fit right between the binding posts. I was thinking 1.8uf Copper Max for $67 US each, the 2.2uf are $109 US each

    I was going to go for the AKM 4497, then thought ahh just go for the Sabre 9038
    AKM was coming out with new chip sets every couple years. Sabre made the 9018 for years and the 9038 was in development for 7 or 8 years.
    Anyways I figured the 9038 must be a fairly substantial upgrade after many years of research, I am glad I got it...Gary said it is the better overall chip

    The MP-D2 with the ES9038 sounded great. Then I threw in some 1991 6n23p voskhods tubes. They were pretty cheap and improved things.
    I was most surprised by the Siemens GZ34 (might be late 1950s) rectifier. Everything improved volume, details, bass, soundstage...very impressed
  6. brooster
    That you are running balanced changes things a bit. I am single ended which allows me to remove 2 caps, and in my case the binding posts as well. I get a nice install that way but balanced is going to be a different deal. You are really going to have to study the dimensions to find a way for 4 boutique caps to fit in there, if you dont want to do the SGO's.

    Ive done a lot of work to my D2 and loved every minute of it. There is not much left on it that is stock.
    Output tubes, rectifier, output caps, electrolytic's , resistors, chips, fuses, everything seems to have an impact in the D2. The GZ34 looks like a good one.
    Out of all the ( crazy, lol) stuff I've done to my D2, the one that really stands out for me is the substitution of the Kaisei bipolar on the dac board. Its one of the cheapest mods and one of the best.
  7. jekjek
    Anyone using 12sn7 with adapter for this dac?
  8. darcman
    Measuring and Experimenting

    I popped the cover off today to do some measuring. I am running balanced so the Audyn Copper Max wont fit, a little bit to big.
    I could go for the Audyn Copper or there is always the Mundorf SGO...the SGO are supposed to have great soundstage depth and I would like that.

    I was using the MP-D2 with my Simaudio i7 Integrated, I think it sounds great.
    Today just for fun I thought I would try out the MP-D2 preamp section. I have a Classdaudio SDS-470C amp that was laying idle.
    You know it actually sounds pretty good for considering the preamp/preout section of the MP-D2 is basically free.
    The sound may not be quite as transparent and refined as with the Simaudio, but its a lot better than I thought it would be.
    The SDS-470C and the MP-D2 make for an awesome value combo.
  9. marvda1
    a friend who owns the mp-d2 sent me this.

    This weekend (Sunday) i could not get the Auralic mini to see the MP-D2 DAC [​IMG]
    tried everything, even put in the old tubes etc..tried different USB cables and both of the jacks on back of the MP along with a optical cable no luck..

    When I fired up the MP the USB blue light would flash several times as it warmed up then stay lit as would the DSD light..but now the DSD light never lit up and the Mini could never see it [​IMG]

    any thoughts?
  10. darcman
    I wish I could help, but I don't know anything about the Auralic mini
    So it worked before and not now. Hard to say if its a software or hardware based problem.
    The only thing I would say is to hookup each the Auralic and the MP-D2 separately on there own...process of elimination
  11. brooster
    Your right the preamp out is pretty good. A useful upgrade if you want to use it that way, is to swap out the volume control for a TDK. It smooths things out quite a bit. Im not sure its worth the money because the vc is quite expensive, but it does sound good.
    So many options for caps. One that I would like to listen to is the Arizona Cactus.:musical_score:
  12. brooster
    If your still having problems, your best bet is to get a hold of Gary.
    It can take him a day or 2 to respond, but hes usually pretty good.
  13. darcman
    I tried a different rectifier tube, a Bendix 6106...I like the GZ34 much more
    While the Bendix 6106 is most likely better than the stock rectifier, it isn't up to the GZ34
    I find the GZ34 to have better bass extension, better in the high frequencies, and smoother too.

    I was using a brown base Siemens GZ34 F33 X9I, I couldn't resist buying another GZ34.
    I didn't expect the GZ34 I bought to sound much different than my other one.
    It is a black base Amperex Bugle Boy GZ34 F32 X9F with original box and tested new.
    The GZ34 F32 might even be better than the GZ34 F33
    I think the bass is about the same, but might be a little more extended up top...an awesome tube anyways
  14. tkcha
    Hi darcman If you like your GZ34, You have to try metal base . I dodnt use for M2-D2 , I use with my Woo audio headphone amp but I think it will same effect. Metal base is expensive but sound much better than any plastic brown or black base and If you willing to go that far try GZ37 cock bottle shape too.
    But for my experience best of bunch rectifier tube is U52 NOS tube. I have U52 Marconi It better than everything mention before.
  15. darcman
    I have read that the metal base GZ34 are the best, unfortunately they are about $300 or more.
    I would like to try one for sure...got to know how much better they are now.
    I just may give the GZ37 a try.
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