Orchid vs. Istanbul — anyone compare these MHDT DACs?

Hi folks,
I'm comparing the MHDT Orchid with MHDT Istanbul.

Here are the differences I can see (as detailed on the LTA company's website):

Istanbul: chip PCM56P-K R-2R digital to analog output.
Orchid: chip: TDA1541A R-2R digital to analog output.

Istanbul: tube buffered output, tube installed is A Tesla 6CC42 military tube.
Orchid: tube buffered output, tube installed is GE5670 3 mica tube.

Istanbul: Output level: 2.6 Vrms
Orchid: Output level: 3 Vrms

Finally, FWIW:
Istanbul: barely any discussion of this product
Orchid: tons of discussion

They seem very similar, but I know with DACS the details of the chip make a big difference.

Anyone with experience with both or opinions about those distinctions?

While I don’t normally refer to other forums/threads, page 23 on the Head-Fi Headphone Review forum, thread (MHDT Labs: R-2R NOS Tube DACs) speaks to the updated Stockholm > Istanbul, Orchid, some Pagoda . I’ve only heard the Havana, Pagoda, Orchid - the main differences people shoot for is "which chip" and "SE vs. Balanced/XLR", and tubes can flavor sound in different directions. This thread may help to look around, scroll down some internal scree photo compares too. I enjoy my MHDT Labs Orchid with Philips TDA1541chip, and prefer R2R Ladder DACS for my ears. I have all of these Various tubes and more to fine tune the different models starting with GE 5670 5-Star Triple Mica (neutral but smooth), WE396A Western Electric (soft), or Tesla 6cc42 (smooth, not too veiled over - my pref), Bendix 2c51,  all have different characteristics, good fun, easy to taylor sound to your liking.


Hi, Its over a year later from OP.  Anyone have any updates, experience, impressions, etc on the MHDTs?  I am contemplating R2R, and interested in any info and impressions on MHDT product line versus Denafrips product line...

And like OP, have same question about the Orchid and Istanbul...

I've really enjoyed the Orchid but have not had a chance to compare it with others. I'm curious to hear if anyone has things to add.
I just purchased the Istanbul from a seller on eBay for a really good price. I really like it, I can't compare it to any of the other MHDT DACS, but I will say she sings a beautiful love song along with my Lyr 3 and Loki.

I'm waiting for a 6SN7 TO 5670 adapter to arrive, so I try some of my 6SN7 tubes on her.

Right now the tube that I have in her is a Raytheon 5670 with the windmill getter