Musical Paradise MP301mk3 mods

Discussion in 'Modifications and Tweaks' started by bobboxbody, May 11, 2017.

  1. bobboxbody

    bobboxbody Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Chicago
    Last weekend I did some of the mods described about half way down the page here on the MP301:
    http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=45210

    I replaced the main filter caps which were 180uF 450v with larger 390uF caps, and the large cap on the underside of the board with one of the removed 180uF caps. Then I clipped the driver tube cathode bypass caps as recommended above. My amp had no ground issues and used a different connection method than the example on CAM, so I skipped that.

    Subjective impressions after a few days break in are:
    Less euphony, more neutral sound - guessing this is due to cathode bypass cap removal, thus no longer overdriving the tubes, fewer added harmonics.
    Less headphone hum, quieter speaker background - It's an impedance missmatch with my Senn 558's causing the hum, but it's reduced anyway to nearly nothing. The musical background through speakers seemed quiet before, but now seems perfectly so.
    Better dynamics - slight increase in bass slam, and slight increase in micro/macro dynamics

    Here's some pics of the process:

    [​IMG]
    This is the view with the bottom of the case removed. The caps highlighted in green are the cathode bypass, easy to clip with a pair of small wire clippers/sturdy nail scissors. The cap boxed in with pink is the one that will be replaced with one of the main filter caps being removed.

    [​IMG]
    The red circles show where to desolder one of the main filter caps on the top side of the board, these were hot glued down on the top side and needed to be wiggled vigorously while flowing the solder connection shown here. I used desoldering wick to remove the excess after the main caps were out. The pink arrow shows the 150uF cap which got replaced with one of the 180uF main caps. I desoldered the connection shown by the blue arrow so that the board it's connected to and the associated tangle of wires could be pulled back for better access to the board underneath. The green arrow shows one of the cathode bypass caps that got clipped.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, the red box highlights the main filter caps on the top of the board, I checked these and the other large cap with a DMM and discharged with a 47k resistor before touching anything for safety. The pink box shows the solder connection for the 150uF cap on the other side.

    This is all basically the same info as on CAM, but with a slightly different version of the amp and a little more step by step of how it's done. I'm noob at electronics, but a little reading and picture taking got it done, put back together, and sounding nice. Hope the post helps somebody.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
    Cspirou and msommers like this.
  2. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,056
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Thanks so much for posting this!
     
  3. bobboxbody

    bobboxbody Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Chicago
    Glad somebody likes it. I hope to upgrade amps this year but may do some more cap rolling before then. I'll add it to this post if I do.
     
    msommers likes this.
  4. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,056
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    I’m thinking about one of these to tinker with. Someone also compared this (on CAM) to the Mogawai and it seemed to compare or beat it! That’s mighty impressive for the price of entry.
     
  5. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,640
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    I had one of the older versions a couple years back. No complaints at that price point at all. It's also where I found out transformers can sing.
     
  6. brooster

    brooster Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Im not sure if you did it as part of your mods, but changing the output caps is really helpful with the MP301.
     
  7. bobboxbody

    bobboxbody Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Chicago
    I may do that this year, I'm skeptical of changing caps with the same values having an effect and I like the voicing currently so I wouldn't want to change values. Is there really an audible difference between stock caps vs same value mundorf silver/oil or something like that?
     
  8. brooster

    brooster Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    There is a considerable change in sound quality when swapping out the caps. Guys have used the very expensive caps, but really I think if you go for something like the Obligato Golds that you hit a good price performance point that is inline with the rest of the MP301.
     
  9. bobboxbody

    bobboxbody Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Chicago
    At $40 for 4 caps it's worth a try, thanks for the recommendation.
     
  10. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,056
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Rolling caps is a good idea to tweak things. Just keep a sane mind about it or it ends up like tubes. Takes longer to burn-in too so you end up buying more LOL

    That said, Jupiters are end-game if you want a bit rolled top and very rich, organic midrange with a pitch black background. Have not heard the Obligatto Golds so I can't comment.
     
  11. brooster

    brooster Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    I run the Golds in my own 301. The Jupiter is a lovely cap from what Ive heard and has been used in the 301 , but the caps are worth almost as much as the amp. LOL
    I guess my thought on modding the 301 is to spread your expenditure somewhat evenly through the power supply, the caps, the tubes, and not get too carried away in any one area.
     
    msommers likes this.
  12. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,668
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Irvine,CA
  13. brooster

    brooster Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    You are welcome. In its final modded form its a really good little amp. I own several other more expensive amps. The 301 does not embarrass itself in any way.
     
  14. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,056
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Decided to pick one of these up and try some modding. Poorly timed with moving back to Calgary at the end of the month, but should be fun to learn some new skills - and to compare to the MCHT I use now.
     
  15. bobboxbody

    bobboxbody Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Chicago
    Well, Partsconnexion is having a film cap sale until the end of the month, so I have some Obligato Golds on the way, I'll report back after they're in.
     
    kray likes this.
  16. brooster

    brooster Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    That should be fun. It will be interesting to hear what you think.
    If you like the sound of the 301 there are other mods to improve it further.
     
    bobboxbody likes this.
  17. bobboxbody

    bobboxbody Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Chicago
    Well, I just puts the golds in. I'm assuming it will take a while for burn in. Right away listening on my DIY full range speakers, there is more treble (and detail or just a trick of emphasized HF?), vocals/center image seem further back in space and the stage has more width. I was skeptical about hearing much of a change but it is certainly noticeable. Hoping the HF calms back down a bit, but otherwise I enjoy all of the changes.
     
  18. brooster

    brooster Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    The top end of the golds is actually pretty good, you should be ok on the HF with a little break in.
     
  19. kray

    kray Rando

    Joined:
    May 10, 2018
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Denver
    I did the whole slew of mods on my MP301, and it really opened it up. Interesting how it sounded good out of the box, but with all the mods you can really tell it's a great upgrade.

    - Removed C6/C6a
    - Replaced top two Filter Capacitors with Rubycon 470uF @ 450V
    - Replaced C8 and C8A with Panasonic 250v 150uf High ripple current caps
    - Replaced coupling capacitors with .22 Mundorf Supremes

    Thought about the Mundorf Silver Oils, but decided to just do the supremes due to cost vs amp cost. And the Supremes are no slouch, but at $11ea, better bang for buck for this amp.

    Nice site with reviews of almost all major caps: http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/Cap.html
     
    msommers likes this.

Share This Page