Author Topic: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp  (Read 2125 times)

Offline Ram18

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Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« on: July 12, 2020, 13:14 »
Hi All

Am new to this Forum. Hoping to get new insights and connect with fellow audio enthusiasts here

I just pulled the plug on getting the  tube Musical Paradise 701 Mark II preamp. Its gonna arrive soon. There have not been many reviews about this but the few which I have come across had reviewed this preamp favourably. Its Canadian based design and assembled in China. It also allows for tube and cap rolls.

This will be a new experience for me on two fronts.  I am new to the concept of a preamp and am gonna use tubes for the first time. Currently am having Klipsch 6000f RP speakers, Marantz CD/SACD player a bluesound node 2i for streaming and XTZ A2 300 Class D power amp. These are my connections for stereo.  Was previously using my Onkyo RZ 830 AVR for movies and stereo but now decided to get a dedicated preamp to go separates for stereo and keep the Onkyo AVR purely for movies. Hope this decision leads me to better audio experience. I decided to go for a tube preamp as I guess I wish for a more holographic emotional feel and added soundstage to match my  clear and detailed as well as bass punch sonic feel of my Class D power amp. I understand the MP 701 is more of a neutral  with slightly or hint of warm which suits my taste. Not into too warm amps which supresses clarity and details.

I wish to seek your opinion of those who have used tubes; on what would be a good match to the sonic  preference I have stated. Am looking at 12AU7 tubes. The amp can take the following tubes:

 6.3V signal tubes: 6N11, 6N1P, E88CC, E188CC, CCA, 6922, 6H23, 6H6, 6H30, (6SN7 with 6SN7 to 6922 adapter).

4. 12.6V signal tubes: 12AU7, 12BH7, E80CC, (12SN7 with 6SN7 to 6922 adapter).

More details of this amp can be found here:https://www.musicalparadise.ca/store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=103

By the way am curious if anyone has one of these amps or similiar ones. Perhaps you could share your experience as well

Appreciate your views and opinions.

Best regards
Ram

Offline ajitmoses

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Re: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2020, 23:06 »
http://singaporehifi.blogspot.com/2020/07/musical-paradise-mp-701-mk-ii-tube.html

You may want to follow this blog as the blogger seems to have his hands on one of these.

My suggestion would be to first run them stock. I recently bought my first tube setup and I had the option to audition the stock vs upgraded amp and the upgrade sounded better for about 300 dollars more so it was a no brainer for me.

Robert from Live Accoustics does all sorts of upgrades should you wish to go down the path. But in my opinion if you are buying an amp because it is cheap then better to enjoy it the way it is. Because upgrading them will take you down the rabit hole and you might end up spending more than you should.

Live with these and once you feel that the tube sound is what you like then you might actually look at a different upgrade path all together.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 23:14 by ajitmoses »
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Offline malsound

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Re: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2020, 07:38 »
My suggestion is not to do surgery on your set just yet, leave with it for some time after that invest in some herbie tube dampers or footer and you will be surprise.

why is it so dam  hard to obsoleted this turning pieces of equipment ?

https://youtu.be/y3RIHnK0_NE

https://youtu.be/FELbmXdS4xM

Offline headfiman

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Re: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2020, 14:40 »
I agree with the suggestion to run the stock tubes for a while first, as a baseline, before rolling the tubes. This will help you better differentiate the sonic impact of using different tubes.

I have had very good experiences with the PSVane 12AU7 (and 12AX7) tubes. In the amps that I have tried them on, they bring about a more detailed and realistic timbre to the music over the stock tubes.

Do read up on impedance matching for pairing with power amps too.

I had the MP-301 as a first "proper" tube amp. I think their products offer excellent value for the money in the price bracket they are competing in.

Offline zephyr11

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Re: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2020, 08:46 »
My suggestion is not to do surgery on your set just yet, leave with it for some time after that invest in some herbie tube dampers or footer and you will be surprise.

sorry to hijack the thread, but i think it is related.

i recently upgraded to a hybrid amp, with tube pre, using 6922 x 2, i was reading up a bit about tube dampers, (footers i suppose is to replace the amp feet which i have used some already), will it make significant differences?

thanks.

Offline malsound

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Re: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2020, 13:20 »
sorry to hijack the thread, but i think it is related.

i recently upgraded to a hybrid amp, with tube pre, using 6922 x 2, i was reading up a bit about tube dampers, (footers i suppose is to replace the amp feet which i have used some already), will it make significant differences?

thanks.


If you can detect different in sound by changing cables, you can detect changes by herbie footers, take for example the tenderfeet great for use on amp preamp and specially under DAC, give sharper image and height , firmer bass, for pre and dac the softer compound will do, for power amp go for the firm compound.

why is it so dam  hard to obsoleted this turning pieces of equipment ?

https://youtu.be/y3RIHnK0_NE

https://youtu.be/FELbmXdS4xM

Offline zephyr11

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Re: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2020, 17:59 »
i'm using wood blocks on my amplifier, works quite nicely.

would tenderfoot have better results?

also the tube dampers, possible future upgrades to test seems quite interesting.

Online watchdog

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Re: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2020, 18:21 »
Tube dampers ? Big difference to the sound. Whether you like the difference is another matter. Herbies is one of the better products out there. You can experiment with the silicon damping rings that many manufacturers install with their equipment.

If you are lucky, you get a quieter and more refined sound. If you are unlucky, you kill off the air and suck the life out of your tubes. How you place your damper is very important too. The effect is strongest when the ring / damper is used firmly on the middle of the tube. You can get a halfway-house effect but having the ring barely on the tube, just firm enough not to fall off.
Less is more !

Offline zephyr11

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Re: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2020, 11:52 »
^^^^^^

mine looks like that now.




Offline Ram18

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Re: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2020, 10:20 »
Hi All

Sorry for the delayed response. Was caught up with a few things. Thank you for your suggestions . Its very useful. I have decided to go with stock  tubes and caps based on measured views here and elsewhere. Will try stock and see how it goes if i need to upgrade. The link eric hi fi is a useful link. I went there too. He does review the MP 701 highly. My amp is due to arrive. So cant wait to test it out. Just got a set of canare quad star RCA cables so getting ready .

Offline Ram18

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Re: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2020, 14:52 »
Just wanna share about my new acquisition - MP 701 Mk2 tube preamp in case any of you are considering this amp (which may rival the  likes of Schiitt Freya +).  Got the MP  about a week now. In terms of delivery, the tubes came  with it intact.The packaging is excellent from China. Double boxed and well cushioned with foams and it came in perfect condition. Impressive! The customer service support from MP is excellent too. Handled all my queries promptly.

I must say the MP is a fine piece of build for the price. To me, it looks muscular with a certain presence on my deck. It has a solid feel and good stable connectors with quality parts at a reasonable price.

I initially had the gain at 4 which is the lowest gain on the MP and then moved it up to 1 - the highest gain. The gains are adjustable to match your accompanying equipment such as a power amp or integrated amp which is a pretty good thing. So you can tailor the gains  to suit your needs without wondering if your current accompanying equipment feeds too much power or less into the preamp; the gains on the MP help adjust.

Something minor, there is no light on the power switch. So the tubes lighting up is the only indication that the amp is on. The tubes light up quickly and warms up reasonably fast. It looks really nice lit up with the tinge of orange glow.

As said earlier, I had the gain set on my MP at its highest. I adjusted the gain dial on my power amp ( my power amp has a gain dial too) about half way on my XTZ (class d power amp) to match. I felt setting the gain at the highest for the MP was the best for my equipment. I run Klipsch speakers. Thereafter, I fiddled with the volume on the MP to vary the loudness. But do take precautions when adjusting gains; so have volumes (and if your power amps has gains) set it at min first before adjusting; just as a caution

The amp is pretty quiet. No hum issues. So that was great.

Having been used to Class D amps, the tube MP amp certainly gives a different feel. I would describe it as warm-neutral. Not very warm; slightly more than a hint perhaps. Largely its neutral. The sound is clear, has an airy feel and adequate bass: good punch especially with my class D power amp as a combo. It shines best with jazz, very smooth and melodic. Its still early days, but it takes sometime (as a few days) for the soundstage to really open up. Having being opened up, you can feel  the soundstage come alive in terms of width and depth. My MP is all stock. You can roll the tubes and caps of this amp easily to match your tastes; that's another good thing. But I have decided to experiment with stock first before heading for upgrades.

Vocals sound pretty smooth. Bass wise its got a good punch, controlled feel and rather smooth . However with all Class D, I was getting a slightly stronger bass punch. Clarity wise the MP does hold its own ( am sure better tubes will lead better results). The Class D which is my only comparison has a slight edge over the MP; ( but again its stock tubes and hardly being run in). However, in terms of dynamism, smoothness, a certain warmish texture and airy holographic feel, the MP scores. Its non fatiguing and comes across as musical. Pleasant to immerse into. Highs are slighty rolled off  as expected with tubes. The difference is the immersive feel which you cannot quite  get with all Class D. This is where the MP shines. It gives you an emotional connection to the music, as compared to Class D. For the price, this amp is a keeper.

Well, these are my initial views, I hope to run in more and experiment further.  If anyone owns this preamp please feel to share your thoughts as well. And anyone who knows good tubes to match, chime in as well. 

Online watchdog

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Re: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2020, 15:48 »
I've updated my article on the MP-701 II BTW.

The only thing missing is the observations on the improvements when a no holds barred approach to tweaking. I have a few things to try out on the signal tubes, likely to be a mix of either the 6N1P or 6N6P / 6H30P tubes.
Less is more !

Offline Ram18

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Re: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2020, 12:21 »
Hi watchdog, may I know where will I be able to find the article.

Online watchdog

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Re: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2020, 12:49 »
The link is in the reply by Ajitmoses above.
Less is more !

Offline Ram18

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Re: Muscial Paradise Mark 701 Mark II tube preamp
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2020, 17:11 »
Thanks watchdog. A very insightful and informative review.

 

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