The Six review on the Mhdt Labs Orchid DAC just went up

This morning the review on the superlative Mhdt Labs Orchid DAC was just posted on Six  It gives all the details why I have made it my reference DAC.  I also share my position, with flexibility, that all all the hype regarding high resolution formats as being superior sounding to 16/44.1 kHz or 16/48 kHz R-2R ladder DACs is just that "hype".  

Hope you enjoy the review.

Showing 7 responses by teajay

Hey Mrdon,

How did you know that I was married three times!

I find this somewhat amazing.  About a year ago I review a DAC (Lab12) that was at least the equal or better then DACs that  were in the 10K to 20K price range for around 2K.  I then review a DAC (Mhdt Labs) which is half the price of the first "giant killer" which is even a better performer and you sound upset with me for being honest.

As a reviewer I'm always looking for products that give the greatest ratio of performance/build quality vs cost.  Nothing stays the same, including great new products in high-end audio.

What you refer to as the "curb", were the Lab12 DAC-1 was placed is a terrific reference level SET based system and the Lab12 sounds great in it (take a look at the review again so you can see a picture of the system that we are talking about).  The Lab12 DAC-1 is still a wonderful piece, just because it was bested by another DAC does not make it worthless/inferior.

I never claimed that either DAC is the "BEST" in the world.  Based on performance vs price the Orchid is terrific, and for my tastes offers a higher level of performance then the Lab12 DAC-1 for less money. I would assume this is information that would be helpful to my readers.    
Hey celo,

Actually, I had my Magnepan 20s for over 18 years until I replaced them with Lawrence Audio Cello speakers.

I get two major perks out of professionally reviewing:

1) I get to hear/audition equipment in my home environment, which is quite different then at show or store space.  It's a great pleasure to hear gear that I'm very interested in to see how good or different it is compared to my own reference pieces in my own two systems.

2) Yes, a great perk is then be able to purchase at a reduced price a review piece if I'm so inclined.  The cynics would and have accused me of being "bought off" or being payed to write a positive review.  I can honestly say I have never written a review for financial gain.  

I still get great pleasure of finding killer products at reasonable prices and sharing this information in my reviews.

Hey jaybe,

For my ears it does justice to all types of music.  Your Sigma Delta based DAC can be very detailed/dynamic, but tends to be more electrical sounding device with out the tonality/color of most R2R ladder DACs that I find much more natural/musical on all types of music styles. 
Hey janehamble,

You have made some comments and sharp criticisms about me and my integrity based on false representations of what was actually written in my review on the Lab12 DAC.

1) In the review I never stated what year Lab12 started the original production for the DAC1. I did state, "last six months, the internet has been a buzz" regarding how many listeners really loved the performance of the DAC1.  So, when you state I have "no clue/a little shocking" about this or I'm an idiot for not knowing when the DAC1 was originally manufactured that's based on your false assumption.  It was not part of my review, and I knew that it had been in production for some time.

2) I was informed by the company that they had made some internal part changes during this production run and the DAC sent to me was the upgraded SE version. Again, I never stated when they had made this change. Unless, they lied to me, I stated what they had shared with me about the different generation change.  Therefore, for your personal attack on my honesty is your "BS" towards me.

3) Never called the Lab12 DAC1SE the best in the world, claimed that it competed with DACS that cost over 14K more, it replaced my reference that cost 10K and was a great bargain. Wrote the review for HTR and started one thread to share this GON members. True, if I was asked a question on thread I would respond to it.  So what, yet your words," full-on brand disciple" implies that I'm some type of lacky for this company.
Hum, six months later I discover and review the Orchid which performs at a higher level and costs half the price, and honestly share this information.  That sounds like I'm beholden to LAB12, does it not?

Lastly, your term "influencers" would imply I'm told what to write or payed off to give positive reviews.  Of course you have a right to your opinion. However, I have a day job, write for fun, and nobody ever tried to make write anything other then what I heard regarding a piece of gear in my auditioning process. 

The most amusing comment that you made about me is, " TJ's affections can be somewhat transitory".  If you mean that if I find a great piece of gear that out performs my reference and that I tell the truth and share the information, I guess you are right!   
Hey janehamble,,

Sorry, you wore yourself out over my "absurd drivel". Then you were "too tired" to address the rest of what I stated on this thread, not in an Email. What I would expect from someone who slings mud and then cops out over the objective details of what they had said.

Thanks, for wishing me well in my future endeavors in my career. 
Hey Toolbox,

I have heard your PS Audio DAC and the Orchid, tubed the right way, does everything better that you like, plus absolutely no hash around any instruments/vocals at all.
Hey waterclocker,

Congrats!  The performance of the Orchard is a delight to listen to and when you figure in its very low price is a terrific bargain.