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MHDT Havana DAC - Page 148

post #2206 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by mako44 View Post

 

I may also try Black Gate too if you think they're better on havana (cleaner but I read silmic have better timber shades....). However on Jack Johnson direct comparison it was night & day : A1 was on another class. Anyway MR caps (well I hope this is them) distort eveything so I need to put them away before comparing further.

 

BG are better than Elna for Havana! Eugene's post is very convincing to figure out why:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/310441/mhdt-havana-dac/2145

 

quote: "I've installed 1000/25 F, 8x 100/25 F, 2x 470/16 FK, 100/50 K, (4) 47/25 VK and they are surely a worthwhile upgrade!  I can see what you guys mean buy "not huge, but significant".  Definitely more open, clear, and direct, better attack, substantially more air, more micro detail, and more accurate timbre, especially percussion.  I was afraid they might sound thin but that is not the case.  The imaging retains 99% of the weight of the Elna Silmic II but much cleaner sounding.  Very musical and engaging!  The *K are new and not burned in so I will see how they evolve.  I would not pay current N series prices to fill the DAC, but what I paid for the F and *K caps I am very happy!  I may slowly add N caps here and there.   I can see how in some systems BG might be "analytical" or "hi-fi" sounding but for this warm, organic sounding DAC and in my system, which is all tube (6SN7 + 6550) with Tannoy Turnberry SE, the openness and clarity are much welcomed".

 

Probably you will have a big surprise if you decide to put CuTF of 0,01uF to the input. After the complete burning-in (minimum 500/600 hours) the sound will be changed substantially in better dynamics and texture. You will hear a richer sound with better precision, extremely well separated instruments. CuTF have much better timbre and refinement (compared with Rusian Silver Mica for example). I think, CuTF will be better than ClarityCap MR, also smile.gif

post #2207 of 2502

mako44, I'd be surprised if your issues are really related to ClarityCap MR.  My experience is that this cap is probably as neutral as any component or part I've ever heard. Definitely no brightness or hardness in the treble.  It is very open, detailed, and clear sounding.  I agree whole-heartedly with the comments quoted by loserica from the AC thread.  I think this best describes my impressions of ClarityCap MR:

 

The MRs are even handed and neutral. They are really quite close to some the most neutral and transparent performers. Ultimately they just lack that last ounce of "the vocalist or instrument is in the room" characteristic, so the last fraction of magic and intimacy isn't quite there, there's a depth of soul that the very best capacitors have a part in portraying, and this is missing. For many this will be a wonderful capacitor when neutrality and transparency are priorities. No harshness was observed. Some capacitors have character, I place the Jupiter in the character category whereas the ClarityCap is neutral it however does not have the depth of soul of the more complete and expensive capacitors.

 

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/diy/0511/coupling_capacitors.htm

 

Technically hard to fault, but just doesn't have that magic/emotion that you pay top $ for.

 

These caps are easily my 3rd choice next to Duelund CAST and V-Cap CuTF, at a much more reasonable price.  I have used them in all my speaker x-over upgrades (with Duelund/CuTF bypass) with great results.  If replacing all the 0.1uF Auricaps with MR is feasible I will almost certainly end up doing it some day.

 

I would be looking at Mundorf SGIO as a possible suspect of hard treble.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post

 

The Neko DAC, to it's credit and though not technically a NOS design, was still very reminiscent of the Havana/Stockholm DACs with perhaps a bit better, tighter and deeper bass.

 

 

I auditioned the Neko Mk2 a bit and agree with this.  The Neko does have that "organic" and "musical" sound like the Havana.  Stock for stock, I would take the Neko over the Havana (if price were not a factor!), but at least compared to the modified Havana the Neko sounded more homogenous with less distinct timbre between instruments.  Not quite as delicate and refined as the Havana, but quite dynamic with good detail, clarity, and separation.  

post #2208 of 2502

I don't know, I remember when I had Clarity MR cap on c12 I already heard "a lot" of harshness and no musicality in sound, then I decided to put Jupiter HT instead and the result was much (much) more musical and better. More balanced, pleasant, I'd say analogic.

 

When listening to my dac I'm not satisfied, for me it's harsh, dry, lifeless... I have exactly the same feeling than when I had Mr caps on c12, I know I already heard it. So that's why I greatly suspect them to bring this bad sound but may be I'm wrong. I hope not because it would mean I have no issue to improve it.

 

It's not by chance I borrowed A1 dac, I wanted to listen to it because something was missing on my ears, something was not balanced, there was a problem. Amp, dac , cables ?... Always difficult to say. At the moment I'm listening to Nils Lofgren - Acoustic Live and I have to admit I never heard him like this. A1 brings life and musicality compared to my havana it's obvious.

 

I read that some others find MR caps are soft/neutral (not in my opinion, at least in havana), an explanation could be that they highlight limits of havana ? Or they're not compatible with my system (reputed to be neutral however) ? Or may be the problem comes from somewhere else I don't know, I'll try with silver mica tomorrow, I'll tell you !

post #2209 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by mako44 View Post

I don't know, I remember when I had Clarity MR cap on c12 I already heard "a lot" of harshness and no musicality in sound, then I decided to put Jupiter HT instead and the result was much (much) more musical and better. More balanced, pleasant, I'd say analogic.

 

Jupiter HT are pretty well known to be quite warm and rich so perhaps they are compensating for harshness from another source.  I'm interested to see what happens when you swap them out for silver mica.

post #2210 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimchee411 View Post

 

Jupiter HT are pretty well known to be quite warm and rich so perhaps they are compensating for harshness from another source.  I'm interested to see what happens when you swap them out for silver mica.


If he get better results with silver mica, ...it worth changing the silver mica with CuTF (for surprisingly good results!).

I think I'm obsessed with CuTF; I think I need to take a break. etysmile.gif

post #2211 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimchee411

 

I would be looking at Mundorf SGIO as a possible suspect of hard treble.

 

Mako44,

I would tend to agree with that, replace Mundorf SGIO with something PIO (paper in oil), the harsh treble should dissapper.

 

C11and C12 are responsible for your problems.

 

Replace C13,C14 with 0,01uF Vcaps CuTF.


Edited by robeeert1 - 3/22/13 at 11:34pm
post #2212 of 2502

I swapped Clarity MR caps with Silver Mica it's better ! Highs are a bit shortened but it sounds less dry, much better from what I heard. I just listened to 2 tracks so too short to be really sure but I can't listen to more at the moment, i'll make a longer listening & direct comparison tomorrow.

 

I think the combination of more extended trebles and some properties of the sound of Mr caps created this but will verify this tomorrow.

post #2213 of 2502

Mhh it's not easy to decide between havana and A1, they're very close from each others on my system...

post #2214 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by mako44 View Post

Mhh it's not easy to decide between havana and A1, they're very close from each others on my system...

 

Well upgraded Havana easily handles 3.000 Euro priced stock DAC.

post #2215 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by mako44 View Post

Mhh it's not easy to decide between havana and A1, they're very close from each others on my system...

 

I recently compared a DIY "OS" category DAC with Havana and I realized how important is the implementation. Audition was performed on DIY standing-floor speakers. I can not do into details about what components were used.
So, which were the differences between the two DACs? First, the "OS" dac was able to render a wider stereo image and superior dynamics also. Differences were not large, but immediately obvious. This was revealed very well at medium frequencies; I felt that the voice was more extensive and filled better the room space. Compared with it, Havana sounded slightly inhibited (and this is not due as the V-Cap CuTf capacitors aren't burning-in enough… they actually have over 500 hours). The sound texture was slightly better, also. Afterwards, the "OS" dac was able to play better with greater accuracy the fine micro details. I believe that these differences (with few exceptions) are actually the architectural differences: "NOS" versus "OS".
On the other DAC are mounted (for the most part) Elna Silmic-II capacitors. Havana certainly benefited by Black Gates capacitors, but not in the radical way! I think the opening sound and a better resolution are given in a largely way by the topology and less matter the capacitors if you compare a non over-sampling with a "OS" dac very well and carefully implemented!!
In other chapters, both DAC's have sound refined and musical, far to the analytical and digital sound and the differences between them were not great at all.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robeeert1 View Post

Well upgraded Havana easily handles 3.000 Euro priced stock DAC.

 

So i think that (the full) upgraded Havana is in this price category, it may overtake even more expensive DAC's but the converse is also true: Havana can be surprisingly beaten by cheaper Over sampling Dac's performed in a DIY project (very well implemented).

post #2216 of 2502

I agree with your vision of NOS and OS dacs, NOS are reputated to be less extended, less resolving but more analogic : favouring musicality vs technical aspects (3d, details and so on). I find back havana in this description (if you compare with zodiac gold range for example).

 

Regarding Havana vs A1, none easily beat the other on my system. Remember also that A1 was sold nearly 4000 euros few months ago and price has been dropped because a new model is now available. Anyway, i'm very pleased to see my havana, which can still be improved, can compete with a good 3000 euros dac normal_smile%20.gif.


Edited by mako44 - 3/24/13 at 4:25pm
post #2217 of 2502

Regarding the change of Clarity Mr caps by silver micas on input as I said previously I lost some highs as expected and also a bit of air and may be very slightly less atmosphere feelings (ambiance of recordings) but it's marginal. The real change is less extension (less trebles). But the harsh, unpleasant and dry sound, also tiring, I always heard on my havana has disapeard. It was particularly true on classical music, compressed recordings and classical/acoustic guitar.

 

I made the choice to extend trebles and try to open more havana by keeping these caps on input, even if I knew they brought some harshness and un-musicality on my system, it was a mistake. I feel this need of more extended trebles but at least it's pleasant to listen to. I had the same bad experience with them on C12.

 

My floor standing speakers have ribbon tweeters reputated to be soft and precise, and I already heard my speakers + amp with several highly opened CD players (which provide more trebles than havana) : it was very nice and pleasant so I'm sure the problem doesn't come from here. My system is (very) neutral so may be it highlights some defaults of MR caps ? I didn't change many electrolytics caps on my havana  then may be MR caps highlights stock caps limits ? May be it comes from my source (pc) or some of my cables ? I don't know, what is sure is that implementing them doesn't work on my system.

 

If one of you wants I can send my caps to him and try (I live in europa).


Edited by mako44 - 3/24/13 at 7:01pm
post #2218 of 2502

I'm looking at BG caps on ebay their price is insane..... blink.gif

 

I'm going to order 4 vcap cutf yet : 3 x 0.01uf + 1 x 0.22uf (for c11) if I'm not wrong.


Edited by mako44 - 3/24/13 at 6:30pm
post #2219 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by mako44 View Post

I'm going to order 4 vcap cutf yet : 3 x 0.01uf + 1 x 0.22uf (for c11) if I'm not wrong.

 

Have you ever tried Jupiter Vintage tone of 0,22uF (with Russian silver mica on 0,001uF point)? I want to try it and compare it with CuTF, to see if the financial effort and the "pain of CuTF burning-in" worth (but it can take a few weeks until). So at this point, we can not know exactly how good is here CuTF compared with Jupiter VT and probably not less true that it depends on everyone's taste. I must confess that CuTF (of 0,22uf) is burning-in terribly hard, meaning that up to 400 hours will be often disappointed on the way that sounds. Only after four hundred hours beginning to let go and prove themselves.

The two capacitors on the input section (0,01 uF) are very important and I haven't the slightest doubt that not doing their job (for hundred percent..)

So once again, be tested both combinations: CuTF of 0,22+ 0,01uF (one pieces) and Jupiter Vintage tone + silver mica. I think, both are winning solutions but not yet know which is the best...

post #2220 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by mako44 View Post

I'm looking at BG caps on ebay their price is insane..... blink.gif

 

I'm going to order 4 vcap cutf yet : 3 x 0.01uf + 1 x 0.22uf (for c11) if I'm not wrong.

 

BGs prices are indeed insane.

My suggestion:

Order 0,01uF x 2  for input only at the beginning. (C13,C14)

For C11 (0,22uF) try Jupiter VT (its very cheap) or TF3 Russian (cheap) or something PIO like Jensen,

and Silver Mica 0,01uF (C12).

I don't trust Vcpas everywhere, but who knows.

 

Jupiter VT has really vintage tone at the beginning, after burning-in period it's hard to beat, very good synergy with CS8414 (frankly speaking I didn't find aything better for this place - my favourite)

FT3 is silky, good cap to tame the trebles. (hard to install in Havana due to its size)

Jensen Copper - very musical, much air around, withdrawn trebles.


Edited by robeeert1 - 3/24/13 at 11:42pm
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