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MHDT Havana DAC - Page 162

post #2416 of 2665

Thanks for this info Horace. Nothing new for the moment with me, I'm changing my cables with more high-end ones and will change my usb/spdif converter too because it seems those 2 elements were the reason of my sound "problems". With cables I tried I noticed an improved presence and richness in music that made Rike-s less "disapointing" on these aspects. I must make longer listenings and try back audyn TC to have a definitive opinion however. Will give you my thoughts back later !


Edited by mako44 - 2/10/14 at 2:52pm
post #2417 of 2665

I made the following changes today:

 

- I switched Elna Silmic II (on the digital section) with Sanyo Oscon (470uF/16V);

 

 

- Black Gate F series (100uF/25V) with FK series (the same value, 5 pcs.)

  About two weeks ago I changed the four Black Gate F series near the tube (100uF/25V) with FK (220uF/25V).

 

 

Follows a little bit of burning-in ...

The preliminary conclusions:  Black Gate FK are the best for the analog stage section while Oscon's works perfect for the digital stage section!

These upgrades have a strong impact. High frequencies are extremely detailed, medium & low frequencies have a consistent texture, they are meaty and rendered authoritative with a higher attack and pulse; very good energy and dynamics; There are highlighted the finest micro-details along the whole spectrum. The sound is more natural.

 

I highly recommend Oscons there (higher capacity, minimum 470uF).

 

I have implemented supplementary, ten Sanyo Oscons on the back of the motherboard (4,7uF, 10V; 10 pcs). Six were implemented on digital section and four on analog section of the dac. Usually Oscon's work perfect in the digital stage section, but in this case it was been necessary for extra micro-details.

 

 

Havana is now the most transparent DAC that I have heard so far, even more transparent than ARC Dac7! :D

I like Havana more than DAC7 as timbre and harmonic texture. It is by far, one of the most realistic DAC that I've heard in my electrostatic headphone setup.

It has just something special in its sound, but those Rike S-Caps and BG FK series are a must.


Edited by loserica - 11/27/14 at 9:06am
post #2418 of 2665
post #2419 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by robeeert1 View Post
 

Your Havana looks great , FK are the highest grade of BGs, they are very rare these days. I didn't directly compare F with FK 1000uF in Havana, I only had 1000uf FK and  the improvement was great, BGs you can buy blind if the price is good even STD grade.

 

So are you saying that you think BG FK is probably worth the large premium over regular BG F for 1000/16 and BG N >> BG F in the digital section?

 

I think it is not worth it, but small differences can be heard between F, FK and N. (in digital section you better use N if possible).

 

This is an older post. For me, the differences between F and FK series are very consistent.

FK has a better texture (the richest), great definition/superior articulation and generates the blackest background. I can't imagine Havana without Black Gate FK! :ksc75smile:

I have not felt the full effect of film capacitors (what is said about Rike S-Cap regarding the dynamics, texture and naturalness) until I installed these electrolytics.

post #2420 of 2665

Hey ...

 

Does anybody know where I could source four replacement screws to hold the Havana cover on? Somehow, when tube rolling a bit back, I misplaced the four screws for the DAC cover....

 

I've emailed MHDT but have never heard back ... so thought I'd try and find the screws myself ...

 

Any information would be helpful.

 

Thanks,

Joel

post #2421 of 2665
Been using the Havana stock for nearly a year, and have been satisfied but now looking to get more out of it (upper end detail?) Would like to replace the easier parts first such astubes, chip, etc.. Please PM me if you have spares unused, or even if you have an already fully modded Havana that you're thinking of selling.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
post #2422 of 2665
Sorry! Where are my manners? More than a year ago, I purchased a second Havana looking to displace my Monarchy m22c in which the last attempt failed with a Benchmark DAC1. Without going onto the audio technical lingos, and repeat what has already been praised about this DAC. In stock form, the Havana is the most musical sounding I've heard. Deinitely hooked on NOS now! There are so many posts regarding modifications, and would take a lot of time for me sort out, but from the few that I've read, 1). Change stock Chip. 2) Tube 3) Fuse ? My chip is the J grade Japanese, how much is the K grade Japanese or Korean as these are not easy to source. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
post #2423 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by supra28 View Post

Sorry! Where are my manners? More than a year ago, I purchased a second Havana looking to displace my Monarchy m22c in which the last attempt failed with a Benchmark DAC1. Without going onto the audio technical lingos, and repeat what has already been praised about this DAC. In stock form, the Havana is the most musical sounding I've heard. Deinitely hooked on NOS now! There are so many posts regarding modifications, and would take a lot of time for me sort out, but from the few that I've read, 1). Change stock Chip. 2) Tube 3) Fuse ? My chip is the J grade Japanese, how much is the K grade Japanese or Korean as these are not easy to source. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!


I had both of, the "J" Korean grade chip and the "K" Japanese chip. There are perceivable differences between all. But for me, speaking so subjective - differences are smaller compared to other changes like: film capacitors (0,1uF, 0,01uF, 0,22uF, 0,47uF) and all electrolytic capacitors. This is the really critical change for this DAC!

I am one of those who made extreme changes (where I was able to make it..) and I can say that the differences between the stock and the full-upgrade version of Havana are high.

But once again - it is my opinion confirmed by Robert, this DAC has a big minus on the bass side... Low frequencies appeared for me just as I wanted only after I replaced  all film capacitors and the most critical electrolytic capacitors with Black Gate FK!! After these, bass become much more authoritative, more vigorous, better defined.

Once again: the differences between "J" - grade and "K" grade chips are really small compared with the change of capacitors. The fuse, doesn't matter (not relevant).

 

PS: Don't forget about Sanyo OSCON in the digital stage section (large capacity)!! There are stock models that come without Oscons (on SPDIF interface), just as was mine. :smile: 

post #2424 of 2665
Loserica, thank you for the pointers. I would like to replace the caps but don't have much experience with electronics. Do replacing the caps, require more than a steady hand at soldering?
post #2425 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by supra28 View Post

Loserica, thank you for the pointers. I would like to replace the caps but don't have much experience with electronics. Do replacing the caps, require more than a steady hand at soldering?

 

Did you have a friend who has done or practiced electronics? :smile:

post #2426 of 2665

Supra28,

 

If you are anxious about desolder/solder capacitors on the circuit board,you can expeiment easily and quickly caps rolling by using some tiny screw terminals.

It's not the best solution for the sound,of course,but you can get a big improvement from the stock caps without taking any risk to domage the printed circuit.

You must to cut the legs of the stock caps the shorter you can (near the caps) and use the cuted legs to connect the new caps with the screw terminal (if possible lug to lug connection with one screw only).

With this method,you can experiment several capacitors (and values) until you find your favorite one and,finally,properly solder it to the circuit.

 

If you want to start expermiments with cheaps caps,I recommend to you the russian K73-16 capacitors on ebay (63v must be ok for the havana but 100v or higer is safer).

These capacitors are very inexpensive,sound way better than the stock caps and are easy to use in the Havana (small size and light weight for a russian capacitor).

A good capacitance meter is usefull for pairs matching because you,ususally,need to buy a lot and measure it by yourself.

 

I use this one and be quite happy with it,inexpensive,easy to use and accurate (and cool looking too):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Latest-Capacitance-ESR-Inductance-Resistor-LC-Meter-NPN-PNP-Mosfet-M168-Soldered-/181334758798?ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

 

 

Loserica,

 

I'm very interested by your electrolytic caps rolling in the Havana.

I have the intention to replace the capacitors in the analog area with Black Gate (three FK serie 100uf 25 V for the critical ones and some Standard and PK serie for other ones).

And use Sanyo Oscon SP in the digital area.

 

I need your help to identify the two kinds of caps.

Apart the fourteen BG capacitors in your dac,is there other capacitor to change in the analog area? How about the two bigger (50v) in the front?

Is all the other electrolytics placed in the digital area ? (the 470uf in the back too?)

 

Unfortunately,the Oscon SP don't exist in appropriate (stock Havana) voltage with the needed capacitance.

Can I swap all the Muse caps with 16v/20v Oscon without risk to damage the Havana?

 

Thank you,

Eddy

post #2427 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVeye View Post
 

I'm very interested by your electrolytic caps rolling in the Havana.

I have the intention to replace the capacitors in the analog area with Black Gate (three FK serie 100uf 25 V for the critical ones and some Standard and PK serie for other ones).

And use Sanyo Oscon SP in the digital area.

 

I need your help to identify the two kinds of caps.

Apart the fourteen BG capacitors in your dac,is there other capacitor to change in the analog area? How about the two bigger (50v) in the front?

 

Mine two bigger in the front are Black Gate F - series (220uf/50v). They aren't so important compared to the others. BG F series are good enough here, I find them better from ELNA Cerafine or Silmic II. The most important electrolytic capacitors they are located near the tube and near the chips. Here the FK series is a must (IMHO).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TVeye View Post

Unfortunately,the Oscon SP don't exist in appropriate (stock Havana) voltage with the needed capacitance.

Can I swap all the Muse caps with 16v/20v Oscon without risk to damage the Havana?

 

I would not do that! There is a risk to spoil the sound for a least...

 

My advice is: put Sanyo OSCON just in these three locations as in the picture. I would not bet on Sanyo OSCON elsewhere.

The capacitors on the left (marked with arrows) are for the usb interface, so the most important is the capacitor on the right if you use the SPDIF interface.

 

post #2428 of 2665

I happened to get my hands on a Stockholm V.2 DAC recently ... the one that MHDT bypasses the PCM56K DAC chips internal opamp on ... and it's far and away a better listen than the unmodded Stockholm v.1 and definitely the un modified Havana ... (mostly in regards to clarity, micro detail and especially sound stage!). Not sure if it's the bypassed DAC opamp, the larger power supply, the higher output voltage or what ... but it's quite noticeably better.

 

Still not planning on modifying anything as I haven't the time nor $ ... but for what it's worth. The 2nd version Stockholm is very nice.

 

I'll be doing a short write up/review of it in the near future which will really only be supplemental to the fairly long review I did already for the 1st version Stockholm, but the differences are obvious enough that some sort of review needs to happen.

 

The hotter output of the Stockholm v.2 is also a nice change ...

 

More later .. 

post #2429 of 2665

Thank you very much for these advises Loserica.:smile:

post #2430 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVeye View Post

Supra28,

 

If you are anxious about desolder/solder capacitors on the circuit board,you can expeiment easily and quickly caps rolling by using some tiny screw terminals.

It's not the best solution for the sound,of course,but you can get a big improvement from the stock caps without taking any risk to domage the printed circuit.

You must to cut the legs of the stock caps the shorter you can (near the caps) and use the cuted legs to connect the new caps with the screw terminal (if possible lug to lug connection with one screw only).

With this method,you can experiment several capacitors (and values) until you find your favorite one and,finally,properly solder it to the circuit.

 

If you want to start expermiments with cheaps caps,I recommend to you the russian K73-16 capacitors on ebay (63v must be ok for the havana but 100v or higer is safer).

These capacitors are very inexpensive,sound way better than the stock caps and are easy to use in the Havana (small size and light weight for a russian capacitor).

A good capacitance meter is usefull for pairs matching because you,ususally,need to buy a lot and measure it by yourself.

 

I use this one and be quite happy with it,inexpensive,easy to use and accurate (and cool looking too):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Latest-Capacitance-ESR-Inductance-Resistor-LC-Meter-NPN-PNP-Mosfet-M168-Soldered-/181334758798?ssPageName=ST>

Sounds good! So if I can use basic functions with a DMM and use a soldering to solder\desolder then no problem right? Thanks for the advice!
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