• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Mola Mola Tambaqui Measurements

anmpr1

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
3,689
Likes
6,332
In response to precisely that remark on my part they’re suddenly getting inquiries relating to "old design" etc etc... It’s odd that people might think that the development timeline should affect the performance of the product but there you go.
Back in the day, for example, McIntosh would keep a product in their catalog for what seemed like forever. People bought them and left them in their cabinets until they died. They were happy. Dealers loved it, because it was a high profit sale not requiring much long term service.

Back in the day, for example, Audio Research updated their SP3 every couple of months, or so it seemed. People who bought them had to return to the dealer for the latest 'updates' as needed. And they needed it a lot. Owners were unhappy, became neurotic. Dealers hated it, because they had a warehouse full of 'old' stock, and Harry Pearson was telling customers about the latest update, and that's what customers demanded--they didn't want what was in the 'old' boxes.
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
2,909
Likes
6,149
Location
Singapore
The audio DAC has been a mature technology for years, there are plenty of DACs that predate the development of this Mola Mola that are audibly transparent and perform entirely satisfactorily.
 
OP
Matias

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
4,937
Likes
10,599
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
Here are some more third party measurements by Paul Miller at Hi-Fi News comparing the Mola Mola Tambaqui to the best measuring DACs I could find.

For comparison let us consider both the 1 kHz and 20 kHz 24 bit distortion versus signal level (lower is better). Ranked best first.

Chord Dave (£7,950): "S/PDIF 1kHz, red; USB input 1kHz, black and 20kHz, blue", best on both 1 and 20 kHz distortion levels.
Dave.JPG


Mola Mola Tambaqui (£8,999)
Tambaqui.JPG


dCS Vivaldi One (£55,000): tiny higher 1 kHz distortion overall (black), slightly lower 20 kHz distortion especially at -10 dB (blue).
VivaldiOne.jpg


Matrix Audio Element X (Price: £2795):
221matrix.lab1.jpg


dCS Rossini (£17,089): consider red and blue for 1 and 20 kHz resp, both higher.
Rossini.jpg


Benchmark DAC3 HGC (£2,349): different Y scale, very good for the price.
Benchmark DAC3 HGC.JPG


Mola Mola Makua (£7,499 + 4,299 DAC module = 11,798): uses the same DAC module as Tambaqui, slightly more distortion though.
Makua2.JPG


Weiss DAC501 (Price: £7,200): higher distortion still.
DAC501.jpg


dCS Bartok (£11,999): red and cyan for 1 and 20 kHz, again higher distortion overall.
Bartok.jpg


MSB Premier + Powerbase (£19,500 + 7,500 = 27,000): some 20dB higher distortion overall on 1 kHz...

Premier.jpg


The Mola Mola DAC is expensive but is among the very best.

Interesting that dCS have very low output impedance on the XLRs: <1 ohm.
 
Last edited:
OP
Matias

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
4,937
Likes
10,599
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
Edited the post above with Chord Dave and Mola Mola Makua too. Very interesting.
 

pierre

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 1, 2017
Messages
958
Likes
3,012
Location
Switzerland
How does they compare wrt a rme adi 2 pro or a benchmark dac? Are they audibly better than a 10$ dongle?
in the various speakers review threads, we are explaining that 1% thd is not an issue ...
 
OP
Matias

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
4,937
Likes
10,599
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
How does they compare wrt a rme adi 2 pro or a benchmark dac? Are they audibly better than a 10$ dongle?
in the various speakers review threads, we are explaining that 1% thd is not an issue ...
Added Benchmark DAC3 HGC, quite good actually, specially for the price in this high end league.
 

Ro808

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
83
Likes
82
Thanks! Actually I just got pinged by the folks at Mola-Mola. In response to precisely that remark on my part they’re suddenly getting inquiries relating to "old design" etc etc... It’s odd that people might think that the development timeline should affect the performance of the product but there you go. To save my former colleagues from having to answer these queries, I thought I’d quickly resurface to respond in public:

The DSP and DAC boards (common to the Makua and the Tambaqui) were indeed developed in 2013 and first presented to the public in 2014. The response from the market was rather muted which was odd considering that new DACs in general quickly become hot property among audiophiles. It transpired that people simply wouldn’t consider a DAC as a serious proposition unless it was presented in its own chassis. Reviewers wouldn’t touch it for the same reason. We could of course have simply bundled the boards into a box but by then it became clear that folks wanted network connectivity and a plethora of other inputs. The development got delayed because by 2015 both myself and Bart left Hypex/MM to fan out and start new projects. Hypex/Mola-Mola then had to train new staff (Ruud, Jan-Willem, Sjoerd and Jurjen, you've read it here first), to take over the project. I helped oversee this from a distance as a consultant and must say am quite pleased with all four of them. The addition of a network input further forced a rethink of how what part of the process ran on what processor, which didn’t speed things up either. The finished product has been available for about 2 years now. Although I still help out occasionally I’m not much involved with Mola-Mola anymore. That said, I’m rather happy with the product as you can imagine.

Back into hiding…


In these times of 'incremental updates' and (semi-) annual launches of 'new' mobile devices, people tend to believe that recently introduced products should be better.
While this applies, to some extent, to ICT, one could nevertheless dispute the net performance gain of say, the i5-8265U over last year's i5-8250U.

Although semiconductor advancement has been slowing down industry-wide since around 2010, Moore's log-linear relationship between device complexity/size/performance and time is so widespread that its impact on consumer perception cannot be denied.

Contrary to (digital) electronics, in my personal field of interest - loudspeaker technology - Hoffman's Iron Law applies, which ao has prevented breakthrough inventions from happening since the 1920s (Rice & Kellogg) and 30s (Wente & Thuras).
That's why exceptional products and subsequently long life cycles are not uncommon. An example is the Revel Ultra Salon 2, it's still a benchmark product, even though it hasn't been upgraded since the introduction in 2008.

Genuine improvement is not so much about individual components, but rather about a concept, or paradigm.
This is where market(ing) power often conflicts with technology (science). History has shown many examples of superior technology that eventually failed to 'beat' prevailing standards.

According to Buckminster Fuller:
"Change doesn't come from fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

Bruno seems to pursue a similar objective, not only in development of the Mola-Mola DAC, but definitely also regarding amplifier technology.
This interview sprang to mind while reading Bruno's post on the development phase of the DAC.

Speaking of longevity, I have a couple of older Class-D amps, one of which has been on >95% of the time since 2004.
I'm sure Bruno will immediately recognize the bipolar comparator/power stage that's at the heart of these amps.
TDA8938JRN1C_200.jpg
 
Last edited:

anmpr1

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
3,689
Likes
6,332
Yes I can. They have never made a successful racing car in their history :)
There's always a first. And a second. 1 and 2 in the GTD class at Daytona. Huracán photo courtesy of C/D.

lambo.jpg
 

Frank Dernie

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
6,431
Likes
15,715
Location
Oxfordshire
There's always a first. And a second. 1 and 2 in the GTD class at Daytona. Huracán photo courtesy of C/D.

View attachment 48092
That is a tuned road car, not a racing car.
The fact that somebody decides to race a modified road car does not make it a racing car.
Porsche makes road cars, tunes certain models for racing and also makes racing cars.
Putting marble all over your house doesn't make it a palace.
 

anmpr1

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
3,689
Likes
6,332
That is a tuned road car, not a racing car. The fact that somebody decides to race a modified road car does not make it a racing car.
Ok, Frank. I guess we can define it out of existence. I wasn't thinking like that, but if that's the rule... I would ask, however, whether it is really fair to limit what we consider a 'race car' to Top Fuel, LMPs, F1 cars and the like? That is, pretty much one offs? However it is, for a car, any car, to go all out for 24 hours at a place like Daytona, or Le Mans, requires some some pretty good tuning regardless of whatever anyone decides to call it.
 
OP
Matias

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
4,937
Likes
10,599
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
Move this discussion to another topic please...
 

beantownT

Member
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
26
Likes
28
Look at 2nd harmonics of the Tambaqui and compare to those of the D90. They are lower. 3rd and 5th are similar. PS noise both are null so tied too.
Full scale is the rated 6.15 Vrms I mentioned. I wonder how those harmonics would change at ASR's default 4 Vrms output but I would guess equal or better. The review shows -20 dB FS with almost no harmonics so that's a hint.
how do you like your Makua with apollon amps?
 
OP
Matias

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
4,937
Likes
10,599
Location
São Paulo, Brazil

Omar Cumming

Active Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Messages
108
Likes
337
Location
New York
Considering the price, they should call it the Moola Moola:)

Cheers
 
Top Bottom