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MHDT Havana DAC - Page 137

post #2041 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink70 View Post

I'm a very recent Havana owner, and last week, based on the recommendations in this thread, I picked up a WE JW 2c51 tube (1949 date code) and a Halide Bridge SPDIF converter. I've listened and made some interesting observations. First, the WE tube, compared to the stock GE, is richer, bassier and more realistic in almost every way, bit it's also brighter, adding more of a strident edge to recordings. (The Tung-Sol is brighter still.) And then, more surprisingly, the Bridge, with its asynchronous protocol, made the Havana sound more detailed, propulsive and pristine, but at the expense of the rich, gooey tone I've been getting with a direct USB connection using a Larry Moore (double-stranded) USB cable. In comparison, it made the recordings sound more digital—thinner, tilted up, and lighter. Not at all what I expected. 

 

I realize that this is a question of synergy, and that my speakers (Tannoy Ardens) are fairly unforgiving of brightness and treble edge. I love the sound of the Havana, but I'm trying to banish the last bit hardness in the highs. So far, the WE tube and the Bridge seem to be busts in my application. I've experimented with polarity, switching USB ports on my MacBook Pro, and power cords (all create audible changes on the Havana). I have some Russian 6N3P-DRs on order. Can anyone recommend any other ways to relax the highs on the Havana? I'd love to make the Havana work in my system, and I'm deeply grateful for any suggestions.

 

Try the JKSPDIF Mk3 USB-SPDIF converter.  It has an easy, relaxed sound, yet detailed, transparent, and natural.  I much preferred it to the Audiophilleo, which I found hard in the upper mids/lower treble.  Actually I will have one to sell in a few weeks if you're interested.

 

I don't think I've ever heard this DAC described as bright.  What amp/pre are you using?

post #2042 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by loserica View Post

 

I want to confirm what he said Robert, ..CuTF sounds great at Havana (bass is present in audition both quantitatively and qualitatively, with 0.47 uF).

The next mod providing the most impact...well, Robert is again quite right: shottky diodes, R-Core transformer, Shinkoh Tantalum resistors, electrolytic caps, ...and I would add the Sanyo Oscon capacitors implementation on the back of the motherboard (page 126). Havana is quite limited in the resolution section from my point of view, quite low in micro detail rendering of sound. For me, these Oscon capacitors helped me to gain micro details and to open the sound considerably across mid and high frequencies. Differences in terms of sound-transparency and micro details are large between the stock and the full upgrade Havana. Yes, and you may take into consideration quality connectors (eg. WBT, + Silver hook-up wire from DH-Labs).

 

Can you tell me exactly where you placed the Oscon caps?  Sorry if it's already been explained, but I didn't see that info.  Are they soldered to the same joints as other caps in parallel?  Also, were they a really tight fit in terms of height?  I bought some 4.7 uF from eBay but realized they are 16V, which are 2.4mm taller.  Hopefully they will fit!

post #2043 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimchee411 View Post

 

Can you tell me exactly where you placed the Oscon caps?  Sorry if it's already been explained, but I didn't see that info.  Are they soldered to the same joints as other caps in parallel?  Also, were they a really tight fit in terms of height?  I bought some 4.7 uF from eBay but realized they are 16V, which are 2.4mm taller.  Hopefully they will fit!

 

Return to previous post: You need Sanyo Oscon, 4,7uF, 10V; 10 pcs. Six were implemented on digital section and four on analog section of the dac. Usually they are excellent on digital section only!!

 

What is new about this movement? Enough to deserve. Notable differences are in terms of texture and micro details. Layering and micro details,...I'm glad because Havana is capable of its! Ambient noises, are finally present in audition. Higher frequencies, they are more present, but played very natural. I think we can speak of a slight widening of the resolution at this time (it takes several days of burning, of course ...) Once they were installed there, you will perceive more shades of high frequencies, they will be quantitatively more present in the audition;

 

I understand that 10V Oscon's no longer in stock..and the same problem: space and matching.

Idea is that if he had a different model, you could mount them otherwise (I chose normal, or standing, but it can and invert to 90 degrees, only to carefully measure the available space in height, approx. 6 mm). Mine are the right ones, as you've already noticed.

 

Obvious, I recommend this upgrade.

 

 


Edited by loserica - 9/27/12 at 9:17am
post #2044 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by robeeert1 View Post

No CuTF, no top-end sound, Mundorfs, Jantzens, Jensens or whatever you install there are not even close the CuTF, in my opinion the caps have their own the highest quality class possible not reachable for others for a while :))

 

I'm back to CuTF impressions:

After about 300 hours of burning-in, CuTF really reveals their potential! smile.gif

Not only a substantial opening sound and the texture to die for, but  "much better depth (no seperated layers), all layers are combined creating breathtaking better DEPTH of the image, the soundstage is much deeper and coherent with V-caps CuTF. (I never heard so well coherent soundstage)" It is absolutely gorgeous, and these layers of instruments... and the "life-like" feeling... V-Cap CuTF seems almost to perfection and do wonders on this DAC, without any reservation.

PS: differences between the first 50 hours and after 300 hours of burning-in are huge!!

post #2045 of 2502

I'll buy two 0.47uf vcap cutf for output next month, do you think it's worth to put this caps elsewhere on havana for example on C12, or even c14... ? (currently i have mundorf s/g/o, clarity cap mr, jupiter so quite good ones).

post #2046 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by mako44 View Post

I'll buy two 0.47uf vcap cutf for output next month, do you think it's worth to put this caps elsewhere on havana for example on C12, or even c14... ? (currently i have mundorf s/g/o, clarity cap mr, jupiter so quite good ones).

 

@mako44,

I suggest you, if you decided to make this upgrade, just change the output capacitors; let the remaining components as they are. CuTF will bring you the maximum resolution that is capable Havana and they are placed exactly in the critical section... You have a very good chance to be happy with the final result, just by changing the 0,47 uF capacitors. However, be sure it's the best upgrade possible compared to others that I've done so far  (convince yourself of this after 300 hours of burning-in).

All the best,

post #2047 of 2502

ok thanks Ios ! Some money saved then

post #2048 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by loserica View Post
PS: differences between the first 50 hours and after 300 hours of burning-in are huge!!

 As I told you, they need burning in like fish need water :)

 

I adore the quality with CuTF.

post #2049 of 2502

I know the topic on this thread seems mostly to be about capacitors, but I'm wondering whether anyone can weigh in on a strange issue. I've had my Havana, bought used, for a few weeks, and I have to admit that I can't figure out what's happening. Fact is, it's sounding different from day to day. When I first listened to it with a WE JW 2c51 tube a week ago, from a Mac over USB, it sounded kind of edgy and still wiry in the treble, as it had with the other tubes I've tried. After a few days, the sound changed to the point where the WE tube began to sound very soft, with rolled off treble, reduced dynamics and detail. I figured it had simply burned in, so I popped in a Tung-Sol, which restored dynamics and grunt, and also made the treble a little edgy. When I went back to the WE, it was sounding forward and big again, with an edgy treble. NOTHING else had changed. This has been the story all along. Some days the Havana sounds lush and lovely, others it's edgy and harsh—even when nothing else has changed. I'm listening to Amarra 2.4.1 on a MacBook Pro. Could something be up with the Havana, or perhaps something on the computer/software side? I know this sounds weird. Has anyone experienced anything like this?

post #2050 of 2502

Who can I contact to perform these upgrades for me for a donation?

post #2051 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink70 View Post

I know the topic on this thread seems mostly to be about capacitors, but I'm wondering whether anyone can weigh in on a strange issue. I've had my Havana, bought used, for a few weeks, and I have to admit that I can't figure out what's happening. Fact is, it's sounding different from day to day. When I first listened to it with a WE JW 2c51 tube a week ago, from a Mac over USB, it sounded kind of edgy and still wiry in the treble, as it had with the other tubes I've tried. After a few days, the sound changed to the point where the WE tube began to sound very soft, with rolled off treble, reduced dynamics and detail. I figured it had simply burned in, so I popped in a Tung-Sol, which restored dynamics and grunt, and also made the treble a little edgy. When I went back to the WE, it was sounding forward and big again, with an edgy treble. NOTHING else had changed. This has been the story all along. Some days the Havana sounds lush and lovely, others it's edgy and harsh—even when nothing else has changed. I'm listening to Amarra 2.4.1 on a MacBook Pro. Could something be up with the Havana, or perhaps something on the computer/software side? I know this sounds weird. Has anyone experienced anything like this?

 

One problem is that it's hard to make an objective evaluation without prior testing of all setup components (matching, synergy, influence of cables, transport, etc). Taking now only the DAC, we mostly recommended upgrades that we personally tested into Havana and have given some of the best sound results. But again we face the problem of balance the whole setup...

Solution of digital signal output from Mac over USB is good, my only clear suggestion that I can give now is to replace Amarra with Pure Music! (http://www.channld.com/puremusic/). From my point of wiev, PM offers a superior sound stage and transparency. Of course you may do some optimizations on your Mac, but the player remains the base.

post #2052 of 2502

OK, so I replaced V-Cap OIMP output caps for 0.47 uF CuTF last night... HOLY SMOKES you guys weren't kidding.  These caps just raise this DAC to an entirely new level!  I took the caps out of an amp I had just put them in but decided not to keep and they only have about 100 hours on them so I'm sure things will continue to get substantially better up to 300-500 hours.

 

I also installed the Shinkoh Tantalum resistors at the same time so I'm sure that was a contributing factor.  Aside from that I installed the Vishay 200V diodes and 1000uF Elna Silmic II a few days ago.  Anyway I am going all-in with this DAC now and am going to buy another one.  It already has better tone and texture than the Berkeley Alpha DAC Series 2 and is getting there in terms of transparency and image precision.

 

On the way:

- R-core transformer

- 470uF 35V Elna Silmic II

- (4) Elna Tonerex 3300uF 35V

 

Just ordered:

- (2) V-Cap CuTF 0.01 uF 600V ksc75smile.gif

- WBT 0210-Ag RCA connectors

- Vampire BNC connector

- (5) Elna Silmic II 47uF 25V

- (8) Elna Silmic II 100uF 25V

- (3) Elna Silmic II 470uF 16V

- (2) Elna Silmic II 100uF 50V

 

- Clarity Cap ESA 0.22uF 630V

- Russian silver mica 0.01uF 250V

 

 

Unfortunately I can't find the Auricap 0.1uF/400V or the correct size Oscons for the underside.  Any recommendations for other 0.1uF caps that are small enough to replace all those little MHDT caps?

 

I have seen discussions of replacing 2 of the 47uF/25V caps with 100uF values, which I have accounted for.  Any other cap values recommended for changing?   Aside from that I pretty much just looked at the existing Nichicons and planned to replace with Elna Silmic II.

 

The Elna Silmic II appear to be too big for the 2 little 100uF/50V caps behind the TOSlink input.  Anybody change those and if so, with what?

 

Thanks to all the contributors to this thread.  I am in love with this DAC all over again.

post #2053 of 2502

I'm going to buy another CuTF 0.01uF to try on C12 instead of the Russian silver mica, but because of the size it would pretty much be sitting on top of the resistors around it.  Could this pose any heat issues with the cap or resistors?  Doesn't seem like those small resistors would produce a lot of heat but just thought I'd ask.

post #2054 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by mako44 View Post

I'll buy two 0.47uf vcap cutf for output next month, do you think it's worth to put this caps elsewhere on havana for example on C12, or even c14... ? (currently i have mundorf s/g/o, clarity cap mr, jupiter so quite good ones).


I am sorry I am not following the tread but do you mean replacing the output 2,2 caps with CuTF 0,47 ?

post #2055 of 2502

:) you're absolutely right I don't know why I wrote 0.47 uf I meant 2.2uf of course bigsmile_face.gif

 

Kimchee I hesitate to buy a vcap cutf for c12 too but Ioserica thinks it's not necessary. Currently i have a Clarity MR cap on c12 which is quite big and it works fine : 35x25mm. If I'm not wrong 0.1uf vcap cutf are 30x11mm so it should fit without problem but the others will confirm it's not dangerous for other components. It's like this for 4 months on my dac and it's ok but of course the clarity cap is above all the others : it doesn't look made for being here.

 

Take care about your impressions on vcap cutf if you changed shinkoh tantalum as well, i remmeber that they have a big impact on sound and immediately (no burn in) so the change you hear on sound is also due to them, not only vcap (if i'm not wrong it had to do with better textures, silk sound, fluent).

 

Regarding Auricap on Audiocap they say they sould receive new ones in 2-3 weeks. I tested Silver mica caps but the ones I got were disapointing : i didn't hear a lot of improvements with them at the opposite of clarity mr caps (very opened) or jupiter (very good too).

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