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Mhdt Labs Pagoda Review (R2R Tube DAC)

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 265 91.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 4 1.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 20 6.9%

  • Total voters
    290
What the artist / recording engineer intended?

Sounds like we need "Artist / Recording Engineer" approved gear....that is gear that can actually provide the experience that was intended.

Otherwise who knows what they intended something to sound like...do you?

Oh excuse me while I finish making my appointment....LOL:p
You can disengage from trolling behavior now before it gets ugly.
 
What the artist / recording engineer intended?

Sounds like we need "Artist / Recording Engineer" approved gear....that is gear that can actually provide the experience that was intended.

Otherwise who knows what they intended something to sound like...do you?

Oh excuse me while I finish making my appointment....LOL:p

I can tell you that what you hear through MHDT DAC isn't it.
 
You may like all your food with a lot of salt, or your wine mixed with vinegar. There's no accounting for taste, but if you want to hear what an artist / recording engineer intended, then you'll want a DAC that's objectively transparent. If you don't care, then enjoy your salt and vinegar!
It's worth noting that more often than not the audio signals in the studio have already been "spiced up" with tube gear (or emulations), tape saturation, etc.

Personally, I think the goal of "wanting to listen to what the artist intended" is as reasonable and valid as striving to get the best possible personal illusion experience even when it's "wrong", technically.
 
I think you're going off the deep end here. Enjoy your day.

Now I can't enjoy my day, I just found out that I'm insane....you've been clinically diagnosed can you share the name of your shrink?
You can disengage from trolling behavior now before it gets ugly.
You guys need to lighten up...A LOT....you take yourselves and these topics way too seriously. Trying to get you [people] to see the humor and light side of this stuff is actually a good thing....not trolling. But I get it....bye
 
OMG..!?!?!:facepalm:o_O

Now I really have lost it, I'm as looney as Woody Wood Pecker. That explains everything....LMAO
No man! Don’t worry. It’s not just you who’s lost it. It’s the rest of humanity as well. So consider yourself more or less in good company :cool:

There are two basic options here: either you embrace the madness and go with the flow, or you realize what is going on and try to counteract it in the best way possible.. either way can make you happy I guess.
 

De gustibus non est disputandum

 
Now I can't enjoy my day, I just found out that I'm insane....you've been clinically diagnosed can you share the name of your shrink?

You guys need to lighten up...A LOT....you take yourselves and these topics way too seriously. Trying to get you [people] to see the humor and light side of this stuff is actually a good thing....not trolling. But I get it....bye
I actually have a good sense of humor except when getting into intellectual fisty cuffs with the interwebs. I only warned you about the trolling because i didn't want someone to jump the gun and report you and have ban hammer come down.
 
I just visited their web-site. They are:

- non over-sampling
- no digital filter
- no op-amp
- no feed back

It would be interesting if Amir could provide a listening test. :)
Tubes, proprietary caps... Pushes ALL the audiophool buttons. No doubt it will be praised profusely by the subjective "reviewers"...
 
Not trying to be snarky here, and I know subjectivity isn't a thing on the forum, but with test performance so bad, it would be interesting if there were included a listening test to at least determine if any of this is audible, and if so, by how much. The state of the data would seem to dictate such an audibility test verses a cleaner performing SOTA DAC.
 
I had to extend the response way out to see any filtering. [...] This heavily impacts our THD+N versus frequency with its 90 kHz bandwidth:
index.php

Why is THD+N vs Freq measured to 20kHz with 90kHz BW here, but for example the Topping PA5 is measured to 15kHz with 45kHz BW:

index.php


Where the PA5 seemingly has the highest bump in THD+N under the same conditions:

THDN-Ratio-vs-Freq-6.jpg


Not an accusation of malfeasance, but spontaneously it seems like we're stretching the measurements in one case to show something, while not doing it in the other case.
 
A month ago I listened to MHDT ORCHID DAC. The sound was very good. I didn't have a better one at home. Compare Tooping D50, E30, Denafrips Ares, AudioGD R11.
 
Why are products like this one made? Seems like such a massive waste of materials, time, logistics and effort. I don't understand it.
Doing something so badly requires effort. I'm convinced they did it on purpose.
In the 21st century it is very difficult to design something so bad unintentionally.

As you rightly say, the question is why?
What is the point of designing a product to be objectively bad?
 
Not trying to be snarky here, and I know subjectivity isn't a thing on the forum, but with test performance so bad, it would be interesting if there were included a listening test to at least determine if any of this is audible, and if so, by how much. The state of the data would seem to dictate such an audibility test verses a cleaner performing SOTA DAC.
It would be fun to have a recording of some copyright free music samples on this one vs D90se (or another SOTA DAC at hand). People can do an ABX themselves.
 
It would be fun to have a recording of some copyright free music samples on this one vs D90se (or another SOTA DAC at hand). People can do an ABX themselves.
I agree that would be interesting to see if there is a consensus that the much higher distortion is in fact audible. Might even throw in a recording from that infamous '$5 dongle'. ;)
 
What the artist / recording engineer intended?

Sounds like we need "Artist / Recording Engineer" approved gear....that is gear that can actually provide the experience that was intended.

Otherwise who knows what they intended something to sound like...do you?

Oh excuse me while I finish making my appointment....LOL:p
All you can hope for from a HiFi component is accurate reproduction of the signal.

The reality, IME, is that recordings vary in SQ far more than electronic components anyway.

This device is clearly not very good at converting the recording you have bought into an electrical signal you can amplify, feed to speakers and sound like the recording that was released by the record company. It adds quite a lot of spurious artefact.

No reason why if somebody likes the sound it makes not to buy it, but pretending it is high fidelity to the recording or in some way makes it more real than actual accurate reproduction is wildly bonkers.
 
I agree that would be interesting to see if there is a consensus that the much higher distortion is in fact audible.

I already did something similar with 'The Truth' preamp, but no-one took me up on the challenge:


Mani.
 
It's worth noting that more often than not the audio signals in the studio have already been "spiced up" with tube gear (or emulations), tape saturation, etc.

Personally, I think the goal of "wanting to listen to what the artist intended" is as reasonable and valid as striving to get the best possible personal illusion experience even when it's "wrong", technically.

Even for an illusion, I prefer a "tunable" device that can be used to dial in the right amount. Always adding a heaping tablespoon of salt to every dish just doesn't appeal to me :)

Something like this might work:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...us-bluetube-v2-adjustable-hybrid-preamp.8795/

Or this: https://distortaudio.org/pkharmonic.html
 
All you can hope for from a HiFi component is accurate reproduction of the signal.

The reality, IME, is that recordings vary in SQ far more than electronic components anyway.

This device is clearly not very good at converting the recording you have bought into an electrical signal you can amplify, feed to speakers and sound like the recording that was released by the record company. It adds quite a lot of spurious artefact.

No reason why if somebody likes the sound it makes not to buy it, but pretending it is high fidelity to the recording or in some way makes it more real than actual accurate reproduction is wildly bonkers.
Marketing departments are chock full of such wildly bonkers individuals. :facepalm:
 
index.php

Why is THD+N vs Freq measured to 20kHz with 90kHz BW here, but for example the Topping PA5 is measured to 15kHz with 45kHz BW:

index.php


Where the PA5 seemingly has the highest bump in THD+N under the same conditions:

View attachment 169134

Not an accusation of malfeasance, but spontaneously it seems like we're stretching the measurements in one case to show something, while not doing it in the other case.

One's a DAC, the other is a power amplifier. One is an implementation of the sampling theorem to reconstruct analog signals from digital (sampled) signals, the other just amplifies analog signals. One introduces out-of-band spuriae that alias into the audible output as a fundamental characteristic of its operation, the other doesn't (at least in this context). Apples and oranges.
 
One's a DAC, the other is a power amplifier. One is an implementation of the sampling theorem to reconstruct analog signals from digital (sampled) signals, the other just amplifies analog signals. One introduces out-of-band spuriae that alias into the audible output as a fundamental characteristic of its operation, the other doesn't (at least in this context). Apples and oranges.
But in this case it's the introduction of high frequency crap (mirrors?) that could re-appear in the audible band, in the case of an amplifier it would be the introduction of harmonics that could intermodulate and introduce crap in the audible band? Wouldn't it be better to avoid both?
 
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