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MHDT Havana DAC - Page 2

post #16 of 2474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Towert7 View Post
It seems that the Havana has arrived at my home. I get home tomorrow. This should be a fun week!

I'm very excited.
Wow that's very nice, do you know if there any more available? I'm interested in a comparison between the Stello DA100 signature and this one, they're in similar price tags as well...
post #17 of 2474
Towert7, hope you like it.
I'd be keen to hear how you rate it's sound, especially since I have the Woo WA6 as well.

Happy listening
post #18 of 2474
Sadly, I'm a college student and *maybe* get 5 hours to really listen to music a week, so don't expect anything from me anytime soon unless it's very obvious.

I have no idea if they have any more units. Best thing to do is check their e-bay account or send them an e-mail.
post #19 of 2474
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmind View Post
Towert7, hope you like it.
I'd be keen to hear how you rate it's sound, especially since I have the Woo WA6 as well.

Happy listening
Thanks, I hope it's another solid upgrade.
post #20 of 2474
It arrived fast mid week last week, but I only got home on Friday. I brought it back to my system today and just started to listen to it.

You know, this is the first DAC where I can actually A/B it with another DAC and notice an instant difference.
On one song I listened to the opening and noticed that the Havana threw a sound to the far right, whereas the Paradisea+ really didn't focus on this (it almost went unnoticed). As such, the Havana created a different 'effect' that was not present on the Paradisea+. If this is any indication of what's to come, I will be very happy.

The highs also sound a little more present and detailed vs. the Paradisea+.

I'm going to keep listening and see what else I noticed.

^_^!!!!!!!!!

Some pics:







The brushed aluminium is very fancy! It is very similar to my GS-1, and will look very nice stacked on top.
Overall build quality is top notch as always.
post #21 of 2474
You know, I gotta say that I'm very giddy. You know when you go through your music collection at random, and each song sounds new..................... Yup, that's what it has been so far.
post #22 of 2474
how much does this dAC cost include shipping to usa?

from what i can tell the layout looks pretty much like the paradisea. what are the differences? any jitter spec?
post #23 of 2474
Great looking DAC Towert7, glad you are hearing improvements over your Paradisea+. Which input have you been using it with?
post #24 of 2474
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmind View Post
Great looking DAC Towert7, glad you are hearing improvements over your Paradisea+. Which input have you been using it with?
Thanks musicmind.
I use the coax input.
post #25 of 2474
Playing another song and A/B'ing between the two I noticed the same effect happening as before. Sounds that are placed a far distance away carry with them the sense of space on the Havana, while my Paradisea+ doesn't highlight them (they are almost not even there). This gives the music a new sense of dimensionality, and can create a whole new effect to the music that wasn't there on the Paradisea+.

I am amazed that I am able to hear these night and day differences on certain songs with my headphones. I wonder how it would sound on speakers.

The Havana is a more detailed and spacious sounding DAC vs. the Paradisea+ with overall better sonic refinement. Most certainly an upgrade in my book.
post #26 of 2474
towert7, next step, you need to do compare your havana to the popular dacs such as lavry da10 and benchmark dac1.
post #27 of 2474
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLA View Post
towert7, next step, you need to do compare your havana to the popular dacs such as lavry da10 and benchmark dac1.
Haha, you arrange it so that I can get a hold of a Lavry da10 and benchmark dac1 and I would be happy to. ^_^
Sadly, that is not too likely.
post #28 of 2474
Doesn't the tube buffer output make the sound somewhat slow?
Or is the tube in this DAC working different than the tubes in amplifiers?
post #29 of 2474
Picked one up and been listening to it since Wednesday.

A very definite upgrade from the Paradisea+ and I agree with TowerT7's comments about spaciousness, detail and refinement. I'm using the USB input from my computer.
post #30 of 2474
I also have been listening to the MHDT Havana for about six weeks. I don't have the Paradisea but I do have both a Benchmark DAC 1 and a Lynx Studio 2B. I'll chime in with some observations.

First, I swapped out the stock tube with one recommended on the MHDT web site, and this has made somewhat of a difference in detail and overall tonal balance. I did a lot of listening back and forth between the Havana and the Benchmark. While the Benchmark didn't seem to care much about what input is being used, the Havana sounds slightly cleaner using the coax input over the USB and optical inputs. I can also hear differences between sources using the Havana even when driving the same coax input on the DAC, I suppose this is because the Havana does not resample and reclock the input stream as the Benchmark does.

Regarding a comparison between the Benchmark and the Havana, the Havana is very nearly as detailed as the Benchmark, has more midbass presence (or midbass thickness, depending on your point of view), and more midrange presence. While I can't pick out background noise with the Havana, music still appears to emerge from a quieter background when listening through the Benchmark, although for me this difference disappears when using a source such as the M-Audio Delta 410 card in my PC. I think this is again probably due to the Benchmark being less sensitive to jitter.

It is worth mentioning that in the crude measurements I took of both DACs, the Benchmark measures far better than the Havana. Hence I think the Benchmark would excel at it stated purpose, which is primarily a DAC for monitoring while mixing and mastering.

I've briefly described some of the qualitative differences I hear in the two DACs, but haven't yet described which DAC I prefer and why. In my opinion, the Havana is a far more satisfying DAC when sitting back and listening to music. The first reason is that the added presence in the midrange sounds closer to what I hear in live venues. Both percussion instruments and stringed instruments sound like real instruments in space rather than being thin and wispy. The second reason has to do with timing, and is harder to describe. In comparison to the Havana, the Benchmark seems to homogenize subtle timing details and dynamic inflections to the point that they are not noticeable. The Havana reproduces such subtle details extremely well. I am a drummer, and when I listen to excellent percussionists through the Havana, I can hear the sticking so well that I can see, in my mind, the type of sticking that the drummer must be doing in the performance. I can't pick out the same timing and dynamic details when listening through the Benchmark. I think it is these details that allow me to easily get into the music and the groove when listening to the Havana. When listening via the Benchmark, I tend to focus on the sounds, but not get into the music.
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