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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 5:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:57 pm
Posts: 56
Location: Calgary, AB, CA
Two weeks ago I received my Musical Paradise MP-301 Integrated Amplifier and I am very happy with my purchase.

I just wanted to write a quick post about my impressions and leave some room for others who recently bought this same amplifier to leave some thoughts. The MP-301 seems to be a Modern Classic and is well loved here on Canuck Audio Mart I think due to it being designed in Canada and having a bit of a following that way. I live here in Edmonton and that seems to be even more true as Gary the owner of Musical Paradise lives here and is a member of the local HiFi club.

The MP-301 has been out for a while now but these impressions are from the Current Version: MP-301 MKIII 2018 Deluxe Version.

First of all this amplifier arrived quickly from China after it left the factory, but that was weeks after I paid for it and about a month before I decided to purchase the amplifier, let me explain.

On April 5th, I emailed Garry to ask if he had a sign up or an automated email notification setup for when the new version of the amplifier became available as the MP-301 was currently sold out in all forms as it was being revamped and the factory was not currently producing the MP-301.

The email response was short and abrupt telling me to check back at the website closer to the end of the month.

I looked on April 17th, to see that the MP-301 was listed for sale in it latest and updated form. I purchased the amplifier only to receive an email that stated again briefly and without any ceremony that I should not expect the amplifier to ship until the end of the month as the amplifier was currently not being produced.

I accepted this. I thought of cancelling my order since I was a bit put off by the communication style that Musical Paradise used to talk to me with but I also am assuming that this is a pet project of an already busy man with a day job who is making inexpensive and widely lauded tube amplifiers and other Hi-Fi devices, who is hopefully better at designing circuits that interacting with his customers.

The amplifier shipped from China on April 30th and arrived on May 2nd, exactly as Gary said it would... so what can I say? He delivered and I can excuse Musical Paradise for what I perceived as being curt, for being efficient as he delivered on the schedule that he promised on April 5th.

So kudos, thanks for keeping your promise.

The amplifier arrived in good condition, double boxed, clearly marked "Fragile", and with plastic corner pieces. This package could have easily survived a trip around the world and I suppose that was what was intended.

The amplifier is sturdy, has clean lines and a great fit and finish. This was one of the things I was worried about but I shouldn't have. This amplifier is well assembled and well finished. It looks great. I have no complains on fit and finish.

Now to sound. I have a pair of Klipsch 1977 Heresy Speakers that I bought this amplifier to pair up with and it is certainly a better fit for these speaker than the Rega Brio (2017) that I was previously using. The Klipsch Heresy Speakers came to life.

Some highlights:
- wide soundstage
- brought forth as much bass as to be expected from the Heresy Speakers
- oodles of detail in comparison to my Rega Brio (2017)
- no audible hum from even these very efficient horn speakers
- excellent tone and extension
- it made some of my music sound new again, and I heard detail in a way that I hadn't before on the Heresy Speakers in particular
- what jumped out at me initially and stuck with me was the way this amplifier sounds so natural, especially with the vocals

I also connected the MP-301 to my Focal 705V bookshelf speakers that I have. These speakers gave off a lot more enjoyable sound with the MP-301 as opposed to the Rega Brio, I especially noticed more natural sounding mids, deeper detail retrieval and more firm and quick control of the base (which I did not expect) (and again needless to say these are bookshelf speakers so the quantity of the base was restricted by this fact as well).

The next thing I did was take some advice from the forums and bought some Tung-Sol 7581A, this really changed things for me. I had read that these tubes paired with the MP-301 are detailed, neutral and can make quiet listening/near-field listening much more enjoyable. This all happened and transformed this amplifier to something that took my breath away with its convincing realism, tone and detail retrieval. I am speechless and I am looking forward to many enjoyable musical experiences with this amplifier. Who knew you could get so much excellent sound for so little money... and I thought that the Rega Brio was a great deal...

Another thing I did the other day was some headphone listening. I used my Mr. Speakers Aeon Closed Backed headphones and I was blown away by how they sounded with the MP-301. The headphones were driven with authority and sounded the best that I have heard them. I typically use my Chord Mojo with these headphones, and during the testing I compared them side-by -side using the Chord Mojo as a DAC into the MP-301 to try and only test the MP-301 as best that I could. The MP-301 clearly did a better job and I got a better grip on the base, more detail and extended highs from the MP-301 versus only using the Chord Mojo.

I am currently listening to this amplifier and enjoying it greatly.

The amplifier is running the Tung-Sol 7581A's that I previously mentioned along with NOS RCA Black Metal 6SJ7 that shipped from Musical Paradise with the amplifier. The first tubes which I deemed to potentially be lacking were the EL34s that are an option on the Musical Paradise website (EL34-B 'Electron Tube' MADE IN CHINA), only a $5 upcharge but probably not worth it now that I hear the Tung-Sols... but I digress.

If you are thinking about buying this amplifier I would say go for it, so long as you understand its limitations being a tube amplifier with only ~6.5 Watts depending on tubes. This amplifier in my mind represents excellent value for money.

Thank you Musical Paradise ! ! ! ! ! :D :D :D :D :D :D

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:11 am
Posts: 110
Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
It seems your patience was rewarded, a happy outcome!
I have had my MP-301 for two plus years now, and it is always unfailingly musical.
I suspect many folks write this amp off due to the low power output, a bit of a shame that.
Mine has been paired successfully with Totem Mite and Mite-T (older 4 ohm versions) and Linn Keilidh.
Currently the amp is employed in my computer rig with K701 phones and an old faithful Wadia 12 DAC.
My only disappointment has been unacceptable levels of hum with some recent NOS preamp tubes, 6SD7GT and 6SH7. No such hum happens with either pair of 6SJ7GT or the stock 6J8P that I rotate. (Faves are the Raytheon 6SJ7GT)
I’m one of the proponents of the Tung-Sol 7581A power tubes with this amp, a great performer with speakers.
I consider the MP-301 to be an epic value and can’t imagine parting with mine.
Modding maybe!
(Watch out for the “Mods for Musical Paradise MP-301” thread)

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 8:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:34 am
Posts: 329
Location: Ardrosssan, AB, CA
Check out the MP 301 mod thread.

It is a lovely little amp as you have discovered that can be even better with a few mods.

Garry may have updated a few things on the latest version but not sure on that.

You have lots of options for tube rolling too.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 7:22 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:26 am
Posts: 96
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
dlodewyk wrote:
The amplifier is running the Tung-Sol 7581A's that I previously mentioned along with NOS RCA Black Metal 6SJ7 that shipped from Musical Paradise with the amplifier. The first tubes which I deemed to potentially be lacking were the EL34s that are an option on the Musical Paradise website (EL34-B 'Electron Tube' MADE IN CHINA), only a $5 upcharge but probably not worth it now that I hear the Tung-Sols... but I digress.

I am currently using Telefunken EF86 and GL KT88 reissues on mine.

Mod it :D

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