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MHDT Havana DAC - Page 138

post #2056 of 2494

The caps value depends very much on the rig - in my case Chris Venhaus recommended 3,3 uF for deeper bass and was right - you can try with some cheaper brand for a test.
 

post #2057 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by mako44 View Post

:) 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).

 

0.47 is correct in place of the 2.2/2.0uF output caps and it works great.  CuTF only goes up to 1.0uF and I think would be too large to fit.

 

I'm sure the Tantalum provided some of the improvement I heard, but I have no doubt most of it came from the CuTF.  Based on my past experiences with this cap the sound is consistent (and gorgeous).  I've gone ahead and added another .01 CuTF for C12, so output caps + C12-C14 all CuTF.  bigsmile_face.gif  The little ones aren't super expensive like the output caps so I figure what the hell.  I am a believer in these caps.

 

Thanks for the heads up on the Auricaps.  I'll have to think about buying them from Audiocap as I'm in the USA and considering the exchange rate and number of caps for 2 DACs the cost is very steep, upwards of $450.  blink.gif  Is the improvement in this mod worth that much?

post #2058 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by mako44 View Post

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

 

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).

 

I don't think if you can find CuTF in these parameters. Search on site, or trying to contact Mr. Chris VenHaus. On the other hand, make sure to fit in.

 

Sit easilysmile.gif  Teflon capacitors are burning-in extremely hard, and will have the opportunity after a few hundred hours (but minimum 300 hours!), to compare each contribution. But you're right, of course. I remember that I adored the change in sound on Shinkoh T. resistors. They have contributed to a better perception of the effect given by the tube, "with better textures, silk sound, fluent".  CuTF not only bring this improvement at higher rates, but provides support where this DAC is most deficient (the really critical points): transparency, scene depth&layering, the background,  micro-details, a superior resolution and LOTS OF AIR - around instruments (coherence).  All these are present naturally and completely with these capacitors.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robeeert1 View Post

I had green ones and sold them, did not like them much. Korean K are better,

These from Technics are better than Korean. This is my opinion only... you may feel different.

 

I broke a pin on K-grade Korean chips  triportsad.gif when I removed of the socket.  The socket on the right side was very close of V-Cap capacitor... Ufff... Then I installed the Japanese chips from Technics, to get over anger. After a few minutes of listening, I can forget the Korean chips becouse those from Robert are clearly better! Are better in terms of transparency, speed and resolution (superior layering, also).

Robert, you were absolutely right. These chips are welcome, and I couldn't imagine the audition without them. Anyone who wants to upgrade the output capacitors with CuTF, should take into serious account these chips. With these, Havana came very close to its topology. Is all it can give in terms of resolution. smile.gif

post #2059 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimchee411 View Post

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.

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

 

@ kimchee411,

 

I'm glad to hear it. I must confess that I gave suggestions with V-Cap CuTF (absolutely determined) just when I was least 250-300 hours of burning-in. Breathe deeply! They will sound completely different at the level of coherence&resolution!, after 300 hours (it will disappear completely any trace of harshness in sound) and will sound as harmonious ...

OIMP's was a kind of child's play, seriously.

 

PS: I repeat what I said before: these chips from Robert emphasize even more potential (of CuTF)!!! High's are so well highlighted, crystal sound. Piano and flute, guitar, violin, all sounds more natural and superior in terms of credibility. Micro details of background noise scene, are shown separately. ..What? Come on!... This one I've never heard it before, quite frankly. smile.gif

I think it would be a shame to not try these chips, believe me! I conclude: V-Cap CuTF & K -"grade" Japanese chips "prepare your trip to the moon" like he told me Robert. 

I have to say, I never thought before as Havana is capable of such a thing! ... so clear, so homogeneous & coherent sound, lots of micro-details, and such a resolution. It's awesome!


Edited by loserica - 10/1/12 at 1:21pm
post #2060 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimchee411 View Post

 

0.47 is correct in place of the 2.2/2.0uF output caps and it works great.  CuTF only goes up to 1.0uF and I think would be too large to fit.

 

CuTF 0.47uF used in Havana circuit  as output caps gives 85% of improvement, shinkoh tantalum resistors 15%.

0.47 seems to be optimum value.

 

Bass response is great with 0.47uf, much better than from OIMP's and Mundorfs 2,2uF or higher... with 0,47uF is deeper and faster and much better quality...

bass is not slowed by a big capacitance,

You will never believe until you try...

 

I'm not going to persuade anyone to buy CuTF, no way, like Niamex said, test cheaper ones like Mundorfs, Jensens, etc...

But you will never reach the maximum qaulity of this DAC without CuTF

Differences are huge with or without these caps.

 

 

Chips PCM56P-K from Technics SL-P1300 are the best I tried so far.


Edited by robeeert1 - 10/1/12 at 2:42pm
post #2061 of 2494

@ Kimchee : i felt several times on available Auricap Xo caps on internet, the new caps from auricap, they're a bit longer and expensive than common ones but may be it could solve your problem ?

post #2062 of 2494

I saw the Auricap XO, but think I will hold off until some reasonably priced original Auricaps pop up, or just forgo them altogether.  The XO are a fair deal larger in diameter and some of those 0.1uF polys are already a tight fit with the stock ones.

 

Installed the R-core transformer, eight 100uF/25V Elna Silmic IIs, three 0.01uF CuTF, and C12 Clarity Cap ESA last night.  Back tracking a little, I listened to the DAC before doing the work and the sound had improved substantially than 2 days prior when I last listened -- more open, coherent sound, natural tone -- it was sounding fantastic.  Now after the next mods I have gotten great improvements in micro and macro dynamics, temporal and spatial precision, and even more detail!  I can now say with confidence that this surpasses the Berkeley Alpha DAC Series 2 in every way except maybe, MAYBE image precision, micro dynamics, and soundstage depth, and if not it is VERY close.  Soundstage is widest I've ever had in my system and lateral separation of instruments is superb.  This is with the aforementioned parts pretty much fresh out of the box and other mods including output caps not fully broken in.

 

Parts coming: five 47uF/25V + four 100uF/50V + three 470uF/16V Silmic IIs, Elna Tonerex 3300uF/35V, WBT 0210-Ag Ms RCA connectors, Vampire BNC connector, and Japanese PCM56P-K chips from vintage Technics (thanks, Robert!  Currently using new stock Malaysian K grade).

 

I am absolutely floored that the neat little Havana that I have known and loved can sound like this serious piece of high end gear.  Anyway, I will save the hyperbole until everything else is installed and burned in.  bigsmile_face.gif

post #2063 of 2494

Precision and micro details are not the strong points of havana (more musical than precise/pro dac) having said that it can still be improved on your setup with cutf caps, oscons or the parts you'll receive soon. The tube plays too : 2c51 ericsson is very opened and precise wheras JW WE396A or Bendix 6385 are less (but I still prefer 6385 on my system for its musicality).

 

At the moment I wouldn't recommend my havana to someone who wants a particularly precise and analytical dac, but I still have several things to change that should improve at least resolution and air, so I would be able to judge at this moment. In any case havana's musicality is great, I can't listen to it for 12 days as my hdd is broken but last time I listened to it i was seduced by its sensuality, something I find just hard to find without losing too much precision & realism. 

 

Regarding Auricap, I'm afraid common ones are now discontinued and replaced by Xo so thay may be hard to find.

post #2064 of 2494

Agreed, those are not the strong points of the Havana, but they can be vastly improved with mods and become quite good nonetheless.  I have CuTF caps at output coupling and C11-C14 and although I am not in the best position to say that these alone provide extreme benefits since I did many mods at the same time, it has been said before and I am not inclined to disagree.  But, I am a bit fanatical about them in general.

 

I am not seeing where those Oscons go from the photo on page 126/137... are you guys adding these directly at arbitrary places in the trace (no holes)?  I have the 4.7uF/16V versions and they will just *barely* fit if lying sideways under the board.

 

Also, I tried removing C5 and while it did liven things up a bit, images lost an appreciable amount of depth and weight so I put it back.  I am using this in a speaker set up so it is more important to me than through cans.  It does tell me that the 0.1uF polys make a noticeable difference so I may consider the Auricap XO after everything else is done and settled in.

 

Anybody experiment with internal damping?  Especially those that have inserted large components that "float" off the board?

post #2065 of 2494
Quote:

Originally Posted by kimchee411 View Post

 

I am not seeing where those Oscons go from the photo on page 126/137... are you guys adding these directly at arbitrary places in the trace (no holes)?  I have the 4.7uF/16V versions and they will just *barely* fit if lying sideways under the board.

No holes for Oscons smile.gif This is an unconventional up-grade, of course. It is advisable to leave in the hands of electronics (someone who knows and has done this) to mounting these capacitors. Should be studied carefully the scheme and know exactly where her stick.

From my point of view, this upgrade gave me the best value for price. Micro-details are highlighted better and it is extremely important for Havana, it is deficient in micro-detail rendering.

post #2066 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimchee411 View Post

Also, I tried removing C5 and while it did liven things up a bit, images lost an appreciable amount of depth and weight so I put it back.  I am using this in a speaker set up so it is more important to me than through cans.  It does tell me that the 0.1uF polys make a noticeable difference so I may consider the Auricap XO after everything else is done and settled in.

 

Anybody experiment with internal damping?  Especially those that have inserted large components that "float" off the board?

 

I also use it with speakers and I don't remember I lost depth or width but I made it a long time ago. Anyway it's ok (could be better especially in depth but not a problem). Regarding Xo Caps if you take the 0.1uf 400v they're 0.59"D x 0.55"L so I think it should fit into. 0.1uf 600v must be too long. I tried with 0.1uf Jupiter HT and it doesn't fit everywhere on my dac (not really too wide but too long).

 

I think you'd better solder these caps first as you'll may have to desolder other ones after to put them inside.


Edited by mako44 - 10/7/12 at 7:49am
post #2067 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimchee411 View Post

Parts coming: five 47uF/25V + four 100uF/50V + three 470uF/16V Silmic IIs, Elna Tonerex 3300uF/35V, WBT 0210-Ag Ms RCA connectors, Vampire BNC connector, and Japanese PCM56P-K chips from vintage Technics (thanks, Robert!  Currently using new stock Malaysian K grade).

 

You will see that WBT 0210-Ag and the Japanese K-chips you will make a more accurate stereo image. Coherence of left and right sound channels and depth of sound field will be better!


Edited by loserica - 10/8/12 at 11:46am
post #2068 of 2494

So I've combed through this thread several times and still can't solve an essential problem—the Havana, in my speaker system, still has a bit of edge and hardness in the low treble. Here's what I've tried to ameliorate the problem—NOS tubes (WE JW 2c51, Tung Sol, GE, Russian 63NP-DR), Halide Bridge, Stello U2 (bought but haven't tried yet—arriving soon), Synergistic Research Basik and JPS digital power cords, fancy USB cables (Wireword, Larry Moore, Voodoo), fancy Toslink cable (Lifatec glass). USB-SPDIF conversion does sound better than direct USB or Toslink, but also brighter. Can anyone suggest a way to tame the Havana a little more? It's the best DAC I've heard, and I can hear it's promise, I just need to get the tonal balance right. Many thanks in advance. Alex.

post #2069 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink70 View Post

So I've combed through this thread several times and still can't solve an essential problem—the Havana, in my speaker system, still has a bit of edge and hardness in the low treble. Here's what I've tried to ameliorate the problem—NOS tubes (WE JW 2c51, Tung Sol, GE, Russian 63NP-DR), Halide Bridge, Stello U2 (bought but haven't tried yet—arriving soon), Synergistic Research Basik and JPS digital power cords, fancy USB cables (Wireword, Larry Moore, Voodoo), fancy Toslink cable (Lifatec glass). USB-SPDIF conversion does sound better than direct USB or Toslink, but also brighter. Can anyone suggest a way to tame the Havana a little more? It's the best DAC I've heard, and I can hear it's promise, I just need to get the tonal balance right. Many thanks in advance. Alex.

 

For your situation I would lean in the direction of interconnects, speaker cables, and to a lesser extent power cords.  Try some that are known to be more relaxed on the top end.  From my experience I say avoid JPS and Audience, also anything silver.  Maybe Cardas.

 

Again, JKSPDIF Mk3 helped me with this issue vs. Audiophilleo.

post #2070 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink70 View Post

So I've combed through this thread several times and still can't solve an essential problem—the Havana, in my speaker system, still has a bit of edge and hardness in the low treble. Here's what I've tried to ameliorate the problem—NOS tubes (WE JW 2c51, Tung Sol, GE, Russian 63NP-DR),

 

Try Russian 6N3P (not DR version) to tame the DAC.

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