Mola Mola Kula, anyone?


Just acquired one of these and am enjoying it a lot.  Great speed, transparency, and body.  Expansive and deep soundstage.  It can play with finesse and punch, effortlessly.  I was worried about the class D amplification before it arrived, but its performance put all that to rest.  I also have a Boulder 866 and actually find them more alike than different.  The built-in Tambaqui DAC is great, of course, but the pre/power amp combo is fantastic as well.  I also use it with a dCS Network Bridge and Paganini DAC, which I'm very familiar with, and the Kula really lets the dCS combo shine.  In fact, I prefer the sound this way vs the Tambaqui, but I think I'm turning into a bit of a dCS fanboy.

Any other owners out there?  What do you think?  I wonder how it compares to others in the price range as I'm just entering this territory.  D'Agostino Progression, Vitus RI-101 and SIA-025, Bel Canto Black ACI 600, T+A PA3100 HV come to mind.

I look forward to listening to it when I'm not around, which is a good sign, but time will tell if it's the one (as if such a thing exists).
eugene81
I have the Makua pre with onboard Tambaqui.  I love it.  I first used it with a pair of Kaluga amps.  Beautiful set up, dynamic and punchy for sure.  I have since replaced the Kaluga Monos with a pair of Audionet Max mono amps.  To me, much better.  Both were great; the Max's are simply amazing.  Not any more punchy, but much more finesse, speed, delicacy, soundstage and sparkle. I had the Max amps in another system, so lugged them upstairs just to try.  They never moved again!
The pre section of the Kula and Makua are excellent.  The Tambaqui is world class. If I had not tried the Audionet Max amps with it, I would still be raving about the Kalugas as well!  Ken.
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Kindly ask for the impression on how kula compare to boulder 866?
I'm also searching for those all in one boxes for my floorstanding.
I really think it’s a matter of preference between the two. I’ve only had the Kula for a few days, but here’s my initial impressions. As previously stated, I think they are more alike than different. They are both pretty neutral, highly detailed, and very well balanced and extended top to bottom, with superb separation and depth. Comparing both using the dCS Network Bridge + Paganini, the most apparent difference in my system is that the Boulder presents substantially taller images which are a bit more recessed while imaging with the Kula is shorter and more anchored. I believe it was the Stereophile review that with the 866 the images appear to float in space, and I get this sense too. The Boulder is sweeter, a tad darker and warmer, and more relaxed than the Kula, with more extended decay and a bit more body. The Kula is maybe a bit more transparent and a little more crisp and effervescent. I get the sense that everything is a little tighter, faster, and well controlled with the Kula while the Boulder has a greater sense of ease and flow. The Kula controls the bottom end better with more authority. I suspect most would say the Boulder is a little more musical and analog sounding. I keep saying "a little" and "a bit" because . I don’t want to give the impression that the Boulder is at all soft and tubby sounding overall or that the Kula is clinical and edgy, because the truth is that the Kula is absolutely musical and can deliver a sweet, emotional performance and the 866 is very transparent and incisive as well. They both play with ease, precision, and are a joy to listen to for hours. I kind of think of them as standing close to each other on opposite sides of a line that represents a theoretical dead neutral. The Boulder is more of a cozy blanket while the Kula is more a breath of fresh air, neither done to a fault. Using their built-in DACs is where they diverge further. The Tambaqui DAC in the Kula gives it even more clarity, transparency, and precision over the dCS while the Boulder DAC is warmer, a little less dynamic, and provides a more diffuse presentation than the dCS. The Boulder DAC is very, very good, however, and I can see how one could ditch a $10k DAC for it.

Bottom line is that I feel they are in the same league and it comes down to preference. In terms of value, Boulder wins hands down with the DAC. If analog only, it’s more of a toss up.
Thanks bro, that's really precise and detail impression sharing ~~

Hello,

i am in the exact same spot, except i do not have any of these but i am tempted by the same devices.

I want to simplify my system to get something working flawlessly and with less surface to be touched by the little hands coming into our life next month!

So for listening to bowie lullabye, @Eugene, do you have more insight since you spent mor etime with both? I am not living in a country where i can listen to them, so i have to make up my mind on paper... or going to another direction like integrated hegel with a dac, or a spec corp M99 with their own dac, audionet Watt+dac, indeed T+A PA3100 HV +dac (which also has great reviews) etc.

So sorry that i can not add any info... but just more questions :-)

AUDIONET WATT + TAMBAQUI!!!  Both amazing.

Gives you flexibility:

 

DAC is separate so you could change either (but you won't!)

Could add amps later if wanted...Watt is world class preamp.

 

I have heard this combo.  I have not heard the spec corp or T+A

Many thanks for sharing your experience fastfreight ! This comforts me in the idea that all these choices will be anyway highly enjoyable.

i think this total shoot out could only be done in Sweden at perfect sense, this would be quite an afternoon 😉

Please keep us posted!  Happy Holidays!

Sure, Happy Holidays too !
The last trend would be Tambaqui + Boulder, so I can decide whether the 866 is gorgeous enough on its own or even better with the mola2… (this is a spoiled child choice) let’s see, this is linked to local opportunities that need to be confirmed, it could be totally different tomorrow according to new phone calls I could receive with the availability of devices…😋