The Mhdt lab Balanced Pagoda DAC

In the last couple of months I have received numerous Emails from readers regarding could I fine a truly balanced R2R DAC that would sell for less then $2,500 to review. Since, I am a fan of the very reasonably priced, but very well built and terrific sounding DACs from Mhdt Lab I requested from the them the Balanced Pagoda model that retails for less then $2,000. In the past I have reviewed the Orchid DAC and found it to be a superlative music maker, raved about it and thought it was a great bargain at it’s price point of $1,200. Take a look at the threads here on AudioGon, where the DIY/modders have shared how they improved the performance of the standard Orchid to a higher level.

The Balanced Pagoda uses four, two per channel, highly regarded NOS Burr Brown PCM 1704-J grade chips. Of course all circuity is doubled and it uses a pair of NOS WE 396 tubes in the analog conversation section, compared to the Orchid’s single tube.

If you run a balanced system and are looking for a "honey" of a DAC, the Balanced Pagoda might be the DAC you are looking for because of its performance vs cost ratio. It takes the beautiful tonality, 3D imaging, wonderful air around instruments of the Orchid to a higher level and adds more transparency/micro-details, with dramatically more powerful overall dynamics/ bass extension. Yet it never becomes analytical in its presentation and draws you into the music.

There are two caveats to be mindful of to get the magic out of the Balanced Pagoda: 1) Drive it with an AES/EBU balanced cable. 2) Only use the XLR outputs. Otherwise you will lose the ultimate performance of this DAC in your system.

I’ll be writing for the Stereo Times website the full review with all the details about the Balanced Pagoda in the next couple of months. For now, this "heads up" hopefully provides to the individuals that were seeking a balanced DAC in this price range enough details to seek out an audition of this excellent performer.

Thank you gentlemen,

Regarding the kind words towards me and the information I try to provide here on AudioGon and my professional reviews.  I grew up on AudioGon and have always remained an active member because I think the forums can be a place of respectful sharing and helping everybody get what they are seeking in their systems. 

I hope this thread can go back to either information, questions, or feedback on the Balanced Pagoda and what it has to offer to a music lover seeking a true balanced DAC at a very reasonable price point.
Post removed 
Hey denism,

I don't represent anybody else but me.  If you want to trash the whole profession of individuals doing reviewing, because of the misbehavior of a few that's your right to over generalize in a bigoted fashion.  

I never post to hi-jack any thread to promote gear I like, unless the author asks for direct information regarding that piece.  Unlike a few dealers who are always pushing their wares on threads that don't ask about product lines that they carry.

Well, my desire that this thread would go back to its original purpose was very shorted lived, indeed!   
Well I can’t speak to teajay’s reviews, I don’t read anything on sixmoons. I know that from reading his posts here that Srajan must be quite a busy bee with the editor’s pencil. But that’s neither here nor there.

However, I do have a Pagoda in the non balanced version. It was modified by the previous owner with better caps and resistors so I can’t speak to what a stock one sounds like. But if a balanced Pagoda sounds anything like what I hear, then Terry definitely has a good point about this DAC. It certainly brings out the best digital sound I have ever heard in my system. I thought long and hard about bringing in a Toubedour for an audition, but I’m afraid that might be a lateral move at best.