MHZS  CD 66 & CD88
Are we really looking at the new KING OF HIGH-END ????!

Updated in November '08 - on the bottom of the page.

MHZS CD player

What a happy day to celebrate for mister Lampizator!  After some boring machines it is time for an encounter of a third degree with a NEW kid on the block. A new entrant on the high end arena. The Heavy. The Beautiful. The super duper MHZS!!!!

Actually, I started the encounter from a second degree - indirectly - by reading about it. Below are some findings as well as an exciting final real encounter. If you have patience to read all that ...

Finally someone made something revolutionary, new, fresh and great. A no compromise CD player from China.
Lets reveal if it will kick ass of the old and tired kings...

MHZS CD88 CD player

MHZS CD88 CD player DAC chipLook - the mysterious can covers the new DAC !!!!

Here is what the  ebaystore says about the product:

Brand New Version
HDCD (24 bit / 192 kHz) Vacuum Tube CD player


Item Features

High Quality Tube Accurate Optimized Output

Optimized For 44.1KHz To 88.2KHz and 176.4KHz

Wow, this looks mighty cool. Vacuum Tube Player. That's what we have been asking all the time. Tube player and high-end audiophile. It seems like this is it.
I am not so sure what HDCD TUBE CD stands for, but I trust them it is a hell of a feature. But thank God for the Accurate Optimized Output !!!!

WHAT IS MOST EXCITING that they have a new, unknown, proprietary DAC chip !!!
To the non-believers - I will repeat their claim:

Do you get it folks? no more domination of Burr Brown, Crystal Semiconductors, etc. Since these two companies are best, I guess that as a result of MHZS innovation - the other makers like Analog Devices, Sony, Matsushita, Philips, Wolfson - they can all start packing their bags.

Boy it had to be a big effort to make a completely new chip. It took the other industry peers 20 years to optimize their DAC circuits to arrive at wonderful DACs like CS4397, AD1855, BB1794 and Wolfson 8740. And imagine - Texas and Sony have unlimited resources, laser machinery, deep-blue computers, R&D teams of the size of a university. And yet the MHZS clever Chinese people managed to jump start ahead of all others and revolutionize the industry.

One thing puzzled me though, a suspicion crept in my mind - why only their own maker - MHZS - uses this chip. I guess, that Revox, Levinson, Krell, Harmann, Marantz , Bang-Olufsen - should be lining up at the MHZS door to get OEM of that chip.
But nooo - MHZS is a no compromise company - they made better than BB, Better than CS  (or maybe this means - better than Birgitte Bardot and Claudia Shiffer - could well be !)
Do they have economies of scale? Return on R&D -  if selling just hundreds of CD players - not millions ?
Mr. Fikus - you are too picky, too nosy, stop looking for flaws on the beautiful face of MHZS player.

I was so excited - I started reading interesting reviews on the web. My comments are in red.

MHZS CD88 CD player

MHZS CD88 CD player

The MHZS CD 88 is the answer to
audiophiles who still yearn for the sound of
vinyl but enjoy the convenience of CDs. The
4 vacuum tube technology blends the
warmth of classic tube sound with the
benefits of cutting-edge circuitry.

Hugh! this is getting interesting. It blends, cutting edge, the warmth of the classic - very elaborate description. I wish I could write this good.

Analog and Digital Wizardry
MHZS CD 88 uses two 12AX7s for signal processing, a 6Z4 and WY2 tube for rectification.

Interesting and innovative - tube is used for signal processing.

 Along with the CD 33, and the CD 66, the MHZS uses its own chip design, which allows for filtering, conversion and
upsampling in one single chip.

See !!! I told you how innovative the new own chip design is. No more "me too " crap. Innovate you lazy people !

 This greatly contributes to the unmistakable sound of this CD player. The special low pass filter contributes to the pure and natural tonal
quality that breathes new life into every CD.

This is almost too much of the good stuff. The filter is special, and it contributes !!!  The quality which breathes new life is pure and natural. And not just some CD, but EVERY CD.

Selecting the upsampling frequencies on these players allows you to change the characteristics of the digital filter resulting in
different sound presentation each frequency (44.1 kHz, 88.1 kHz and 174.1 kHz) The fully balanced design with high-quality
XLR-type connections takes maximum advantage of the MHZS’s impressive audio capabilities.

Ultra-Quiet Power Supply

Like other MHZS products the CD-88 boasts an exceptionally quiet power supply. The oversize torodial core transformer
contributes to the silent background, allowing musical details to emerge with realistic nuances intact.

Could life get any better than this? Oversized transformer contributes to the silent background.
Can you just imagine how loud must be the background on different transformers than oversized MHZS ??

Other features include a quality detachable IEC power cord and replaceable rear panel fuse. The gorgeous brushed aluminium front
panel is available in black or silver and includes a well laid out complement of controls plus indicator lights, fluorescent
display and unique blue light and window over the vacuum tubes.

I will have mercy and NOT comment on the blue LEDS that back-light the tubes. What I think of this "decor". And they call this player "for professionals". Professionals in WHAT if I may ask?!?
The whole description is so sexy, like new Audi S8 advertisement.

MHZS tube valve

Solid Transport
The MHZS CD 88, like the CD 66 is a top loading unique with a SONY transport and Phillips controller of exceptional quality
aimed at rotating your CD with minimal error correction. The reduced error correction allows for a more life-like
presentation of details especially in the lower registers.

Oh no, lets listen to this beast !!

MHZS CD88 CD player

-MHZS CD-88F 2008 Latest High End top loading Tube based CD Player (HDCD compatible)
-SONY 213Q transport, Philips SAA78241 servo chipset, low jitter version
-MCap capacitor, MultiCap and ELNA silmic capacitor
-MHZS self developed 8217 chipset which perform filtering, conversion and upsampling in one single chip

DIYGENE is also very excited - they underline self developed chipset. I am really impressed.

From US distributor - Pacific Valve (Chicago)

Outputs RCA and XLR Balanced
Digital Outputs: Coax and Toslink
Frequency Response:  20Hz~20KHz (+-5dB)
Harmonic distortion : <0.005%
Dynamic range : 100dB
Output Voltage : 2.3Vrms

I am not too impressed with 20 Hz - 20 kHz range, especially the low range. And plus-minus 5dB than means that this player can have ups and downs on characteristics of 10 dB peak to peak ? Wow. This is a promise of a no compromise design.

Vacuum tube CD player, the CD 66,  that sets a new standard in  CD playback. 

I am absolutely sure of that.

Equipped with 2 12AX7 vacuum  tubes, the CD 66 extracts every last detail from  Compact Disk. 

This is very good news. I am not sure how they arrive at 2,3 V rms output of the player with a DAC that has 3,1 V on the output, then connected to op-amp, that amplifies the signal roughly 20 x and then a 100 x amplification of 12AX7. But I must be patient to understand.

The CD MHZS CD 66 uses MHZS’ proprietary 24  bit DAC chip, capable of a sampling frequency of  up to 192 kHz,

the MHZS CD 88 removed some of the “raspy” digital qualities in the
midrange and extended the bottom end significantly"

Wow, I know how my ex girlfriend extended the bottom end significantly, but how the MHZS removed some qualities while extending the bottom end - I have no clue.

"Onlinemart - Leshelemart" from Hong-Kong goes even further in poetic expression of his joy with the MHZS - apparently the excitement spreads around the world like a bush fire - it is addictive and contiguous:
(spelling below is original)

This baby can produces a stunning nice sound you've ever heard.
Cool metallic Hi-End appearance, internal built with 2 CLASS A 6N3 tubes along with SONY laser pick up and PHILIPS servo system.

      Can boost your CD signals from 44.1KHz into 88.2 KHz or 176.4KHz.
      Sony 213Q highly accurate laser pick up, stable and excellent signal picks up.
      Special designed 24Bit 192KHz D/A.
      Uses OPA2604 to totally filtered the digital sound.
      Simulates sound close to the original singers.
      8 independent A .C voltage regulator to produce high power and detailed sound.
      Covered with 1.5mm steel plate to minimize the vibrations and makes sound pure.

High quality model for professionals in auction now. Take your chance before somebody took it home at a flea market price!!

Wow! I am speechless !

From Lampizator:
The pictures below tell all the sad end of this story. I made minimum comments because I do not have vocabulary for what I think about MHZS.

A disclaimer - I was JUST ABOUT to purchase the MHZS to check it, when some friendly person from the web (Greg) whom I shall be grateful - sent me this photo which prevented me from feeding these thieves from MHZS:

From Kiko (who had the curiosity and guts to open the can. Bravo Kiko !!!)
MHZS CD player DAC

Now I have absolutely no prejudice against China. And especially I have nothing against Chinese people trying to make success on the highend arena. I like the Music Angel, the Lampucera, and many wonderful products like Zhalou etc. But this is an absolute scandal. These people are liars and deserve to be condemned. They think that the western customers - whom they are obviously targeting - are a stupid bunch of morons whom they can cheat and rob blind.
We will not take this shit.

Making fake stories and selling them to naive western crowds reminds me - with striking similarity - to the policemen of China preparing to wear Tibetan buddhist clothes - with heads shaven bald. They will make riots and hope to let the western journalists film the "vicious Dalai Lama clique" being violent and aggressive. Just look at this photo from Lhasa a month ago.

tibet, china, fake monks

Apparently, in China things not always are what they appear to be.

PCM 1742KE - make no mistake about it - is the cheapest DAC ever made by Burr brown. So by definition it is Better than BB.  ;-)

Even B-B own white paper claims it is a boombox DAC not even mere hi-fi.

From BB paper:

DAC burr brown MHZS

As you can see, this DAC (which maybe even plays well, I am not arguing) has already a preamp inside with proper 3,1 V output stage.
Why would anybody want to add an opamp (no need for conversion I/U)? Maybe they added an op-amp to give me something to write about?
Anyway, to be able to call the player tubed, they also added the God Knows What For tubes - which sadly - can not re-create what is lost in the op-amp.
As I explained - if the op-amp makes shit out of music, adding a tube does not help. It makes the shit squared.

Please - stay away from this player. Even if it is not really bad player, the people who sell it are liars and do not deserve to be respected.
There is so many wonderful products out there which are honest, even from China - for the same price you can buy the shanling 300 which is miles above this MHZS.

Also for the same money (circa 600 USD) you can  have one of the best DAC units ever made - just LOOK AT THIS WONDER!!!
and inside:
Actually I think that I will end up having this dac (with lampizator) as my new reference.

I have no more time to waste for this MHZS player. Enough said. I will  go to take a walk. It is springtime in Poland and 20 degrees for the first time this year.

(may 08)

It was only a question of time and the MHZS CD66  has landed on my work-bench. I decided to try to improve its sound, even if I can't improve the bad taste that the hidden cheap DAC leaves.

There are so many people out there who have this CD and some rescue advice will be a nice gesture, or so I think.

So I opened it up and took a looong second look.

1. Packing: this player is packed professionally, I must say - I am VERY impressed. It is fit for a flight from Asia, it is almost UPS-Proof!

2. AC cable - is the shittiest cable that exists. Its cross section can be only seen under microscope. Change it for real copper PC cable at least.

3. First look - it looks great, the brushed aluminium top plate is great, but it STINKS with machine oil ! I mean it stinks real bad.

4. The blue light - totally horrible. But killable - just put black tape over the led.

5. Sound out of the box: actually very good. Well worth the 500 USD it costed. NOTHING I could detect that's wrong with the sound. It is not too exciting either. it would be a 10/10 for people who know no better.

6. internal execution: the PCB engineering is FANTASTIC. It is so good that I must say - it is in top of my list. First class PCB layout, part quality, power supply, regulation, filtering, star grounding, neatness, etc. It is an abyss between MHZS and the Vincent shit. And only one opamp per channel - VERY good for a chinese monster.

7. Tube arrangement - I was shocked to see European tubes - ecc83 from JJ. No golden dragon. Hmmm...
The use of two tubes is questionable - while the first one is a plate follower - triode amplifier, the second is a cathode follower buffer -  unnecessary in my subjective opinion.
I removed the second tube (closer to back wall) and the sound marginally improved while power consumption dropped.
The anode supply is 80 V DC which is VERY LOW but typical for chinese CD players.
The heaters are dead on 6,3 V REGULATED DC. Bravo ! Good job.

8 MODIFICATION: I opted for the simple, lazy man modification. So no real LAMPIZATOR inside - we use  the tubes already built in.
I bypass the whole unnecessary op-amp stage and filter. The Burr Brown PCM DAC has internal op-amp and built-in output stage ready to go.
I took the signal IMMEDIATELY after it leaves the black Lenin Mausoleum sarkofag. (there is no direct access to DAC legs because it is mounted on surface - no soldering points on under-side of PCB.)
I connected the signal directly to two foil caps after cutting them off the PCB on one side - the side closer to DAC.
From coupling caps the signal goes to tube in standard way. It hits the two stereo grids - legs 2 and 7.

The second tube is just unplugged.
At this stage you can change the supplied ECC83 to 81. It is more dynamic sounding.

I soldered the wire to triode - anodes - legs 1 and 6 - and send the signal via a capacitor (min 0,47 uF, min 100 V) to RCA (after removing RCA cable to PCB).
The RCA ground got wired to star ground screw in the middle of PCB.

That is ALL FOLKS. The player now is a direct DAC amplified by a single ended triode straight to outputs. Pure, simple, kosher, musical and elegant. Not the best tube operating point but nonetheless a real tube.

The sound is less loud than before, it becomes 2 x as wide, 2 x as deep, and 2 x as high as before. The trebles  are less of tsss tsss tsss and more a freely hanging, slowly decaying real sounds. The voices emanate from natural background. Sound is easy, non aggressive, pleasant, generally - very nice. Definitely better than already very good original. The mod just improved the only aspect that was wrong with the original - being very closed in and civilized - and made it free, open and wide while keeping all the good aspects. I swear to God that I hear that the opamp is gone. The difference is like between an orange drink and orange juice.

A great clock circuit. Very professional.

The PCB is full of well designed voltage regulators - one of the most important things ! One large cap, one LM chip, one smaller cap, and each electrolyte with the bypass. Bravo. Good job.

Under the mechanism (spring suspended) is a black and heavy block on which it all is mounted. VERY GOOD approach. Heavy slab and light mechanism on springs.  Bravo.

The laser is a SONY KSS-213Q. Very cheap and flimsy but it reads.

Arrows point to ferrite noise blockers - very RARE touch, to be found only in the finest designs !!! Bravo.

The transformer is probably 4 x oversized, which is unnecessary but it doesn't hurt.

The AC power input has great filter of RFI noise - a CLC type with a ring and common mode filtering. Just like my SILK filter. A high end feature. Bravo.

New solution proposal from June 3rd.

My lampization signal stealing points - see below on the photo:


These stealing points are the CLOSEST to the DAC chip.

I would CUT the traces leading up and to the right from there.
I recommend to REMOVE the opamp.


These are two stereo points where we take the signal AFTER tube stage and send it to RCA sockets via a good capacitor at least 1 uF by 63 V.

The tube operating points are another story altogether. They arte WRONG, as well as wrong is the selection of tubes. Horribly wrong.
ECC83 is the LAST tube I would recommend here.  Who needs 100x amplification here ??? 2x is plenty!

the real scheme of non-radical solution - to be done in 20 minutes. Success GUARANTEED. Just look below. The part we CAN'T SEE on the other side I painted with yellow and blue crayons. So to do this mod we need two caps (output) and 4 pieces of wire. The input caps we can steal from the player's PCB.


The similar tweaking goes on on another HIFI forum:

And I took one image from them:

What we have here is from the left: a DC blocking cap (ugly cheap electrolyte) followed by op-amp which is a low pass filter, followed by anode follower triode with local; feedback via resistive network, followed by triode in cathode follower buffer followed by a DC blocking C14 and a high frequency killing C=330pF.
I would change the R1 to 15K, R2 to zero, the R=1K in cathode - to 500 Ohms, the R=5k6 to 1K, the cathode follower 33K in cathode - to 1K. C14 to 2uF PIO or MKP, 330pf out, and power B+ caps from 100uF to 220 uF or more, .
Short-bypass all op-amp section , from DAC chip to the left side of C8 and C7.
Add a 0,22uF cap between first and second tube.

Alternatively, just bypass the first triode and go to second tube grids directly. From DAC via one cap to   tube two, leg 3 and 7 respectively.

.... to be continued ...


The new output - my MKP 2,5 uF caps.

The horrible blue led for lightening of the CD compartment.

DEAR MHZS. IF YOU ARE READING ME - can you please build a new player, with good dac WITHOUT A CAN and choose BB-1794 or CS4397 and without opamps and with one good triode? It will become your biggest market hit ever. Please ....

Enter MHZS CD88G

November 2008
I have no idea if they were paying attention at MHZS but probably they did.
Not enough to make a DAC to Tube direct player, but at least they stopped faking the genuine MHZS DAC chip under the metal can.

What a progress ! I must applaud it . MHZS - you are going in the right direction. Keep going. And by the way - your front panel with goldish decor is super cool. I rteally like it now !!!

Just look at the LATEST product from MHZS - the MHZS CD-88G proudly displaying the Burr Brown chip origin .....



No more mysterious can above DAC chip !!!

Still - 6 opamps - 3 per channel.