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Old 01-22-2017, 09:30 PM
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Weirdcuba Weirdcuba is online now
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Default Magnum Dynalab 108T - SE Upgrade

Well, I packed up the baby this afternoon and am sending it back to have the following done:

- gold faceplate (to better fit with my Accuphase gear)
- changing out the distracting blue lights which are TOO bright for amber, and toning them down,
- changing the blue (TOO bright) lights on the MD205 to amber, and
- the SE upgrade (which replaces many of the internals). Here's a write up of the upgrade:

http://magnumdynalab.com/pdfs/HIFI+1...Dynalab_LR.pdf

I'm also going to investigate a surprise upgrade. If it works, I'll give a full report. If it doesn't, I'll wish I had the $$ back (and will give a full report, but I won't be as happy about giving it).

Also, for those of you on the fence about an MD Tuner ( . . . Dan, calling Dan), the case that comes with the MD is incredible. I think I moaned and complained and wanted several hundred dollars back when I got this thing and found the wonderful metal, fully padded, case inside the box - huh, why is that there? Well, it was there so that when you ship it, you have absolutely no worries (not no worries, but I feel lots better about shipping it inside this custom case than I would practically any other way). See the photos below for a sampler.

Oh man, let's hope that all of my favorite FM stations (which I'm sure are hanging on by a thread) stay in business!










Attached Images
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File Type: jpg IMG_0722.jpg (47.8 KB, 234 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0723.JPG (91.9 KB, 232 views)
__________________
Main Rig: (waiting on room to be built)

Amplification > Accuphase A200 (2) / C3800 / C37
Sources > PS Audio DirectStream DAC > DirectStream Memory Player > Silenzio by -E- (via Roon/NAS) > Magnum-Dynalab > MD-108T SE / MD-205 > ClearAudio / Innovation / Universal > Lyra / Kleos
Speakers/Cables > TAD R-1 MKII > Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement Copper (1), Gold (1) // REL 212 SEs (2x)
Power > Accuphase PS 1230 (2) / 3 dedicated lines with PowerPorts
Foundation > Rix Rax > Hoodoo / Amp Stands > Stillpoints under as much as my bank account can then accommodate
IC/PC > Power // Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement HC, Grand Illusion Statement > ICs // Verastarr Grand Illusion Signature XLR > Digital // Verastarr Nemesis USB
Other > Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro

Rental (while the room is being built): Accuphase E650 replaces the C3800 and A200s. All of the other stuff above that's usable, except the turntable stuff. Using TAD CR-1s, rather than the R-1s.

Portables and Cans:

Cans > Sennheiser 800
IEMs > Westone W50, Bose QC20
Amplification > Auralic Taurus
Sources > Auralic Altair, Onkyo DP-X1
IC/SC/PC > Sennheiser Balanced / AQ Yukon XLRs / Shunyata Venom 3 (2) / Black Dragon Balanced


Kitchen:

KEF LS50 Wireless
Wyred4Sound Modded Sonos Connect

Last edited by jdandy; 01-23-2017 at 12:54 AM. Reason: enlarge photos
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2017, 12:57 AM
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jdandy jdandy is online now
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Jim.......Man oh man, you are going for the gusto. I am really looking forward to reading your report once the MD108t is back in your possession. You are right about the shipping case. That is the way all manufacturers should ship high-dollar audio components.
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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A
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  #3  
Old 02-09-2017, 11:31 PM
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Weirdcuba Weirdcuba is online now
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There could be a freshly upgraded 108T in my weekend . . . with the "surprise" upgrade!
__________________
Main Rig: (waiting on room to be built)

Amplification > Accuphase A200 (2) / C3800 / C37
Sources > PS Audio DirectStream DAC > DirectStream Memory Player > Silenzio by -E- (via Roon/NAS) > Magnum-Dynalab > MD-108T SE / MD-205 > ClearAudio / Innovation / Universal > Lyra / Kleos
Speakers/Cables > TAD R-1 MKII > Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement Copper (1), Gold (1) // REL 212 SEs (2x)
Power > Accuphase PS 1230 (2) / 3 dedicated lines with PowerPorts
Foundation > Rix Rax > Hoodoo / Amp Stands > Stillpoints under as much as my bank account can then accommodate
IC/PC > Power // Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement HC, Grand Illusion Statement > ICs // Verastarr Grand Illusion Signature XLR > Digital // Verastarr Nemesis USB
Other > Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro

Rental (while the room is being built): Accuphase E650 replaces the C3800 and A200s. All of the other stuff above that's usable, except the turntable stuff. Using TAD CR-1s, rather than the R-1s.

Portables and Cans:

Cans > Sennheiser 800
IEMs > Westone W50, Bose QC20
Amplification > Auralic Taurus
Sources > Auralic Altair, Onkyo DP-X1
IC/SC/PC > Sennheiser Balanced / AQ Yukon XLRs / Shunyata Venom 3 (2) / Black Dragon Balanced


Kitchen:

KEF LS50 Wireless
Wyred4Sound Modded Sonos Connect
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  #4  
Old 02-09-2017, 11:46 PM
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jdandy jdandy is online now
Merry Christmas to all



 
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Jim.......Hot diggity dog. .
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Dan



STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2017, 10:00 AM
tunes tunes is offline
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Cool! Let us know what you think of the upgrade. Considering this myself
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  #6  
Old 02-10-2017, 06:50 PM
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Weirdcuba Weirdcuba is online now
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Omg, supposed to be "out for delivery". Could be a long night.
__________________
Main Rig: (waiting on room to be built)

Amplification > Accuphase A200 (2) / C3800 / C37
Sources > PS Audio DirectStream DAC > DirectStream Memory Player > Silenzio by -E- (via Roon/NAS) > Magnum-Dynalab > MD-108T SE / MD-205 > ClearAudio / Innovation / Universal > Lyra / Kleos
Speakers/Cables > TAD R-1 MKII > Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement Copper (1), Gold (1) // REL 212 SEs (2x)
Power > Accuphase PS 1230 (2) / 3 dedicated lines with PowerPorts
Foundation > Rix Rax > Hoodoo / Amp Stands > Stillpoints under as much as my bank account can then accommodate
IC/PC > Power // Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement HC, Grand Illusion Statement > ICs // Verastarr Grand Illusion Signature XLR > Digital // Verastarr Nemesis USB
Other > Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro

Rental (while the room is being built): Accuphase E650 replaces the C3800 and A200s. All of the other stuff above that's usable, except the turntable stuff. Using TAD CR-1s, rather than the R-1s.

Portables and Cans:

Cans > Sennheiser 800
IEMs > Westone W50, Bose QC20
Amplification > Auralic Taurus
Sources > Auralic Altair, Onkyo DP-X1
IC/SC/PC > Sennheiser Balanced / AQ Yukon XLRs / Shunyata Venom 3 (2) / Black Dragon Balanced


Kitchen:

KEF LS50 Wireless
Wyred4Sound Modded Sonos Connect
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  #7  
Old 02-10-2017, 10:42 PM
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Weirdcuba Weirdcuba is online now
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Posts: 1,889
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Initial report tomorrow, but unbelievable as of now. And, the surprise upgrade has absolutely blown me away.
__________________
Main Rig: (waiting on room to be built)

Amplification > Accuphase A200 (2) / C3800 / C37
Sources > PS Audio DirectStream DAC > DirectStream Memory Player > Silenzio by -E- (via Roon/NAS) > Magnum-Dynalab > MD-108T SE / MD-205 > ClearAudio / Innovation / Universal > Lyra / Kleos
Speakers/Cables > TAD R-1 MKII > Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement Copper (1), Gold (1) // REL 212 SEs (2x)
Power > Accuphase PS 1230 (2) / 3 dedicated lines with PowerPorts
Foundation > Rix Rax > Hoodoo / Amp Stands > Stillpoints under as much as my bank account can then accommodate
IC/PC > Power // Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement HC, Grand Illusion Statement > ICs // Verastarr Grand Illusion Signature XLR > Digital // Verastarr Nemesis USB
Other > Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro

Rental (while the room is being built): Accuphase E650 replaces the C3800 and A200s. All of the other stuff above that's usable, except the turntable stuff. Using TAD CR-1s, rather than the R-1s.

Portables and Cans:

Cans > Sennheiser 800
IEMs > Westone W50, Bose QC20
Amplification > Auralic Taurus
Sources > Auralic Altair, Onkyo DP-X1
IC/SC/PC > Sennheiser Balanced / AQ Yukon XLRs / Shunyata Venom 3 (2) / Black Dragon Balanced


Kitchen:

KEF LS50 Wireless
Wyred4Sound Modded Sonos Connect
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  #8  
Old 02-11-2017, 12:29 AM
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This is good stuff.
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McIntosh C2300, MC601 (2), MCD1100, MR88, MPC1500, MCLK12. Tannoy Canterbury GR, Tannoy GR SuperTweeter. REL Acoustics 212/SE (2). APC S15 (2). Sonos Connect. Duelund. Wireworld. Transparent. Shunyata. Synology. ASC. GIK Acoustics.
HT: McIntosh. Tannoy. REL. Oppo.
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  #9  
Old 02-11-2017, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weirdcuba View Post
Initial report tomorrow, but unbelievable as of now. And, the surprise upgrade has absolutely blown me away.


Time to spill the beans! The anticipation is killing me.
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Randy (1158) - Wilson Sophia 2; BAT VK-600SE, BAT VK-52SE, Esoteric K-01; JL Audio F113 x3; Sound Anchor Stands; Exact Power EP-15 and SP-15; Oppo BDP-83 SE; Bryston SP3; Emotiva MPS-1; Sony VPL-VW285ES 4K front projector; 92" Stewart Firehawk; Rocket 200, 300, 750; ASC Tube Traps; WireWorld Silver Electra 5^2 PC's, Silver Eclipse 6 IC's and Silver Eclipse 6 SC's; Shunyata Sigma HC (x2) amp to wall; Shunyata Hydra 6/Black Mamba CX-HC and Shunyata MPC-12/Venom HC power distribution and conditioning; Stillpoints Ultra 5, Ultra SS and Mini isolation; Clearaudio Concept (MC) turntable; PS Audio GCPH phono stage; Bryston 10B-SUB active cross-over; Sonos streaming; W4S Remedy upsample and clock; Silenzio media server; WireWorld Platinum Starlight USB.
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  #10  
Old 02-12-2017, 10:43 AM
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Weirdcuba Weirdcuba is online now
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Default Two Days, and it sounds awesome ...

I got the tuner on Friday night after a long day of travel.

Shipping went off without a hitch and many thanks to Magnum Dynalab for expediting shipping. They're in Canada somewhere, so if you send yours back, it's best to coordinate timing with them. You ship to a freight forwarder in Buffalo, which worked just fine for me. As discussed, the flight case for the tuner is absolutely wonderful for shipping - no muss, no fuss, and lots of protection. (see pictures above).

I love the fact that MD will upgrade its tuners. It greatly reduces the chances that you get stuck with something that's somehow out of date and makes repairs (if needed), etc. much less worrisome. I started thinking about retrofitting a gold faceplate to the 108T when I got the Accuphase gear which is (of course) the famous muted/matte gold. I also did not like the blue lights on either the 108T or the Sleuth, much preferring amber. MD still has photos on their website of current models with amber lights, but they don't ship with amber lights as a matter of course now, so be sure you tell them which you want. Of course, if I'm going to send it all the way back to Canada, I thought about the SE upgrade, about which I had heard great things. I suppose, in for a penny, in for a pound (and god, I hope FM doesn't go away (which I really don't think will happen in the foreseeable future)).

Then, the SURPRISE upgrade - I had heard that they would include a DAC, so I had that done at the same time also. My basic theory was that even if it wasn't the greatest DAC in the world and it was difficult to upgrade, if the signal was running through that luscious upgraded analog output stage, it would sound pretty good. My system is precise and neutral, not clinical or harsh, but I thought it would be nice to add tubes into the output path. Boy, was I ever right about that. FYI - I had USB and Toslink connections installed (part of the price of the DAC). I would have had a coax installed, but the Silenzio does not have a coax out. Good news is, I can always ship it back and have it changed.

The chip is a Burr Brown PCM 1794, so it's a well respected chip. Of course, it's not software upgradeable and won't play DSD, but for $750, it was well worth it. The sound is just absolutely wonderful - it adds that analog feeling/sound/mystique to the tunes coming from the Silenzio perfectly. I haven't extensively compared the 108T DAC to my PSAudio DSD, but if I were stuck on a desert island, with no DSD and no moving formats, etc. and had to choose between the two, I would likely go with the 108T. The PSAudio is magnificent (particularly for the $$) and clearly reveals more detail, but the upgraded 108T output stage is just absolutely gorgeous - so smooth, so analog, just wonderful. That's not the world we live in though, so I will enjoy and benefit from having both.

Then, there's the FM, which was the point of the entire exercise. The review that said that the SE upgrade to the 108T was like Usain Bolt shaving a few tenths of a second off of his world record was absolutely right. What was the best tuner I had ever heard took an exponential leap forward. Had I to do it over again, I certainly would have gotten the SE edition the first time around (much cheaper to do it that way). First, the fundamental sound is richer, without being rolled off. Then, all of the things that we look for are there in spades - more depth, more width, more clarity, blacker backgrounds, just more, better, bigger, richer, smoother (without sacrificing any detail). I don't know exactly what they did, but it worked a charm. This is all via audio memory, not via an A/B, so take it for what it's worth (but it sounds lots lots better to my ears).

One interesting thing though is that I originally got the Sleuth because there's a jazz station that I had problems receiving clearly. Even though I didn't think that the upgrade changed the FM reception, I can no longer get that station at all (the Sleuth used to bring it in perfectly before the upgrade). There may have been an atmosphere change or something happened with my antennae or something, but I truly don't understand that one.

The aesthetics are much better when it counts, with the lights down. With the lights up, it's a flashier gold than the muted accuphase and it's OK, but if I didn't have the accuphase gear, I would have stuck with black or silver. With the lights down though, it's much much nicer to my eye. The amber lights (even though the meters are still blue) are just much more pleasing to my eye and the overall fit with the Accuphase amber/red/orange/aqua lighting is much better. The crappy iphone photos make the meters look white, but they're actually blue.

I also changed to a Verastarr Statement power cable and Verastarr XLR interconnects from WW. The Verastarr have had a very positive impact on my system, so that's another change that would alter the sound between the 108T as I used to run it, and the upgrade. The 108T is by far a good enough component to manifest power cord and interconnect changes, so it's worth the time and $$ to find something you like. I'm also benefitting from having changed the WW PC from the wall to the PSAudio P10s to double foil, high capacity Verastarr a few weeks ago, which added a shocking amount of body to the overall sound of the system. Crazy that a change from the wall to the P10 which regenerates the power would have that much impact, but true. I have every confidence though that without any cabling changes, I'd still be making roughly the same positive comments as to the sound, but I wanted you guys to know about those differences.

I got everything I wanted. Unfreaking believable FM, fabulous new analog sounding DAC for not that much money, better aesthetics, and no shipping hassle or worry. If you're a fan of FM and on the fence (Dan, calling Dan ...), it's just a wonderful piece that will likely reside in your system a very long time. Well done Magnum Dynalab.
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__________________
Main Rig: (waiting on room to be built)

Amplification > Accuphase A200 (2) / C3800 / C37
Sources > PS Audio DirectStream DAC > DirectStream Memory Player > Silenzio by -E- (via Roon/NAS) > Magnum-Dynalab > MD-108T SE / MD-205 > ClearAudio / Innovation / Universal > Lyra / Kleos
Speakers/Cables > TAD R-1 MKII > Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement Copper (1), Gold (1) // REL 212 SEs (2x)
Power > Accuphase PS 1230 (2) / 3 dedicated lines with PowerPorts
Foundation > Rix Rax > Hoodoo / Amp Stands > Stillpoints under as much as my bank account can then accommodate
IC/PC > Power // Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement HC, Grand Illusion Statement > ICs // Verastarr Grand Illusion Signature XLR > Digital // Verastarr Nemesis USB
Other > Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro

Rental (while the room is being built): Accuphase E650 replaces the C3800 and A200s. All of the other stuff above that's usable, except the turntable stuff. Using TAD CR-1s, rather than the R-1s.

Portables and Cans:

Cans > Sennheiser 800
IEMs > Westone W50, Bose QC20
Amplification > Auralic Taurus
Sources > Auralic Altair, Onkyo DP-X1
IC/SC/PC > Sennheiser Balanced / AQ Yukon XLRs / Shunyata Venom 3 (2) / Black Dragon Balanced


Kitchen:

KEF LS50 Wireless
Wyred4Sound Modded Sonos Connect
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