MHDT or Border Patrol


I've been switching between a DACmagic Pus with an LPS, and a Schiit Modi Multibit DACs and while the sound is decent/acceptable I would like to "upgrade" to a non-OS tube DAC just to see if it adds more body and texture to the music without losing detail. Has anyone had a chance to compare the MHDT and Border Patrol DACs and can comment on their sound quality?  I have Bluesound Node2 feeding the DAC, into an upgraded Aric Audio tube preamp, McIntosh MC2200, and Vandersteen 2Ci speakers. I'm actually looking for more texture in the low/high treble and mid/low bass. Aric's preamp gives plenty of body/texture in the midrange spectrum.
Thanks in advance.  
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The Parasound ZDAC for $200 is crap. I had one and it was not very good. Arcam irDAC was a far better value, though slightly more expensive. I would never recommend anyone purchase the ZDAC v1 or v2.

jeenam77
posts01-12-2019 7:14pmThe Parasound ZDAC for $200 is crap. I had one and it was not very good. Arcam irDAC was a far better value, though slightly more expensive. I would never recommend anyone purchase the ZDAC v1 or v2.

Now having owned the MHDT Orchid for a bit, looking back my prior Arcam irDAC and irDAC-II units were pretty solid values IMHO. Each with their own signature sound. While the later irDAC-II version was more open and airy (tad brighter, more forward) with it’s ESS chipset implementation, I probably should have kept the prior irDAC Burr Brown version - it was smooth, no glare (tad softer, more laid back presentation). Both were kinda tunable with simple quality Copper or Silver over copper IC changes for Analog out to my preamp. The new owners were pleased to buy either and I got the feeling afterwards they knew "better" than I did at the time of sale :)
I agree the original Arcam irDAC is a good value at the current used prices. However, after stepping up to a NAD M51 I would not go back if you can afford to spend $700 on a used M51. I previously owned a MHDT Paradisea and after reading through this thread I may consider purchasing another NOS DAC (MHDT or Metrum) at some point. However, I really wish the MHDT units were offered without the tube buffer stage as I run a tube preamp and don't really need/want more 'tube' sound in the signal chain.
01-14-2019 7:23pm
...I really wish the MHDT units were offered without the tube buffer stage as I run a tube preamp and don't really need/want more 'tube' sound in the signal chain.

fwiw, my MHDT Orchid DAC plugs into a Cary SLP-98 tube preamp with four NOS Sylvania 6SN7 front end tubes and I find the sound to be clean, musical, and fast as-long-as I don't run overly syrupy tubes in the preamp or the DAC or my tube amp.  All tube.  Sounds nice and natural - no edge.  The MHDT factory suppled stock GE 5670 5-star Triple Mica tube works out nicely in this particular Orchid DAC. The ability to tune sound with different tubes in the DAC is a nice feature I prefer, actually.






@jeenam 

If you're not wanting "tube sound", I would recommend the Pagoda. Mine doesn't sound like a tube DAC at all. It is the most neutral and revealing is the MHDT DACs.

I didn't and don't want a tube sounding DAC either. The Pagoda fits the bill. And it's modifiable for even better performance