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MHDT Havana DAC - Page 171

post #2551 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkorten View Post
 

 

Well I am not that regular, but do have both the Steeplechase and the Pagoda. These two models by the way are the only ones that put out 24 bit resolution that is converted to analog. The Havana and Stockhom are 16 bit output format. So those are relegated to bluebook CD playback in my opinion. The Pagoda and Steeplechase are HD format capable (192kHz 24 bit). So I'd think that would be a worthy comparison. As I mentioned earlier, I have also a Rega DAC and a Mytek192. So I'm thinking of having a DAC shootout and my two audiophile buddies over to help discern differences and render in words. I have a fairly revealing system. Are there other qualifications for reviewing?



Did you ever make that DAC shootout? I'm curious of what you and your buddies think.

post #2552 of 2665

I did compare the Steeplechase to the Rega. Although the Rega has a very nice soundstage, there is so much more information that the Steeplechase retrieves that it wasn't really a comparison. (Rega too rolled off at the high freq.) In fact we didn't have to go back and forth more than once to determine that the Steeplechase was WAY better than the Rega.

 

Keep in mind the Rega needs a USB to S/PDIF converter in order to play 192kHz files. This degrades the sound somewhat (have done a USB converter comparison using the CM6631A on my Pagoda). But this is a minor difference in sound compared to the overall difference between the Rega and the Steeplechase.

 

The Steeplechase does not have the low frequency heft of the Pagoda. The Steeplechase has a somewhat synthetic kind of sound compared to the Pagoda. The Pagoda has a true hi end sound of silent capability. High frequencies are effortless and wonderful and the bass is powerful and has an immediacey. My buddy brought over an M1 (Musical Fidelity) and couldn't believe how effortless the Pagoda sounded in comparison (complex passages with strings in classical music he could follow easily on the Pagoda, not so much the M1).

 

I use my Mytek for recording purposes and haven't really used it in my stereo system. I'll try this some day. No Linux driver for it, so it would not be in the running (or I guess I could use the outboard USB to S/PDIF converter again). But I'll try hooking up my laptop that runs windows with foobar and see if the Mytek driver works well enough to make a comparison to the Pagoda.

post #2553 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkorten View Post
 

I did compare the Steeplechase to the Rega. Although the Rega has a very nice soundstage, there is so much more information that the Steeplechase retrieves that it wasn't really a comparison. (Rega too rolled off at the high freq.) In fact we didn't have to go back and forth more than once to determine that the Steeplechase was WAY better than the Rega.

 

Keep in mind the Rega needs a USB to S/PDIF converter in order to play 192kHz files. This degrades the sound somewhat (have done a USB converter comparison using the CM6631A on my Pagoda). But this is a minor difference in sound compared to the overall difference between the Rega and the Steeplechase.

 

The Steeplechase does not have the low frequency heft of the Pagoda. The Steeplechase has a somewhat synthetic kind of sound compared to the Pagoda. The Pagoda has a true hi end sound of silent capability. High frequencies are effortless and wonderful and the bass is powerful and has an immediacey. My buddy brought over an M1 (Musical Fidelity) and couldn't believe how effortless the Pagoda sounded in comparison (complex passages with strings in classical music he could follow easily on the Pagoda, not so much the M1).

 

I use my Mytek for recording purposes and haven't really used it in my stereo system. I'll try this some day. No Linux driver for it, so it would not be in the running (or I guess I could use the outboard USB to S/PDIF converter again). But I'll try hooking up my laptop that runs windows with foobar and see if the Mytek driver works well enough to make a comparison to the Pagoda.

 

This makes me want to buy a Pagoda.

 

;-)

post #2554 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkorten View Post

The Pagoda has a true hi end sound of silent capability. High frequencies are effortless and wonderful and the bass is powerful and has an immediacey. My buddy brought over an M1 (Musical Fidelity) and couldn't believe how effortless the Pagoda sounded in comparison (complex passages with strings in classical music he could follow easily on the Pagoda, not so much the M1).


Interesting. Effortless was the exact same phrase that instantly came to mind when I experienced two different discrete r2r-ladder dacs, the TotalDac and the Discreet Monica. Those two dacs made every other sigma-delta dac sound like they are struggling.
I even owned the Discreet Monica for three months but had to send it back as I discovered a design flaw, making it distort with low level music such as solo piano. But the holographic 'house sound' was to die for.

How does the Pagoda handle the fading notes of solo piano music? Any detectable distortion?


Edited by SebastianL - 3/17/15 at 1:16am
post #2555 of 2665

My MHDT Pagoda is producing hiss sound (high pitch) when I turn the volume on my Leben CS600 amp to 9 o clock. I am using LCD-3. The higher the volume, the louder the hiss. If I use my Harbeth M30.1 speakers, I start hearing the hiss at 12 o clock. The same apply here. The higher the volume, the louder the hiss.

 
The hiss is interfering with the music and quite frustrating. If the Pagoda is not connected to my Leben CS600, the amp is dead silence even at max volume with LCD-3 or M30.1.
 
I have tried changing the tube. Same hiss sound with the stock and Bendix tube. I have even tried disconnecting the USB or Toslink cable from my MacBook Pro just to make sure that the hiss does not come from my MacBook Pro.
 
Have you guys experience the same issue before? I read some hum or hiss is cause by grounding issue. How do I test the grounding issue?
post #2556 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by weitn View Post
 

My MHDT Pagoda is producing hiss sound (high pitch) when I turn the volume on my Leben CS600 amp to 9 o clock. I am using LCD-3. The higher the volume, the louder the hiss. If I use my Harbeth M30.1 speakers, I start hearing the hiss at 12 o clock. The same apply here. The higher the volume, the louder the hiss.

 
The hiss is interfering with the music and quite frustrating. If the Pagoda is not connected to my Leben CS600, the amp is dead silence even at max volume with LCD-3 or M30.1.
 
I have tried changing the tube. Same hiss sound with the stock and Bendix tube. I have even tried disconnecting the USB or Toslink cable from my MacBook Pro just to make sure that the hiss does not come from my MacBook Pro.
 
Have you guys experience the same issue before? I read some hum or hiss is cause by grounding issue. How do I test the grounding issue?

 

Haven't  heard anything like that on any of the MHDT Labs DACs that I've used ...

 

You should  contact Juin at MHDT via mhdtgang@yahoo.com and describe the issue to him; they are very responsive to problems like this and will most likely simply send you another unit immediately ...

 

Good luck ...

Joel

post #2557 of 2665

I would suspect the issue is with the Leben, not your DAC.

post #2558 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by weitn View Post
 

My MHDT Pagoda is producing hiss sound (high pitch) when I turn the volume on my Leben CS600 amp to 9 o clock. I am using LCD-3. The higher the volume, the

 
Have you guys experience the same issue before? I read some hum or hiss is cause by grounding issue. How do I test the grounding issue?

 

I guess you use a computer for audio. If so, try to put some distance between the DAC and the computer. The hiss should disappear.

post #2559 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post
 

 

Haven't  heard anything like that on any of the MHDT Labs DACs that I've used ...

 

You should  contact Juin at MHDT via mhdtgang@yahoo.com and describe the issue to him; they are very responsive to problems like this and will most likely simply send you another unit immediately ...

 

Good luck ...

Joel

 

I have sent an email to Juin and he replied is less than 10 minutes. That is really fast. He will be sending me a tested pc board for replacement.

post #2560 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by levlhed View Post
 

I would suspect the issue is with the Leben, not your DAC.

 

The issue only exists if the Pagoda is connected to my Leben CS600.

post #2561 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by robeeert1 View Post
 

 

I guess you use a computer for audio. If so, try to put some distance between the DAC and the computer. The hiss should disappear.

 

I use MacBook Pro as the source. I have even tried disconnecting the USB and Toslink cable and moving the MacBook Pro 10 feet away. I have also tried changing the power cable and plug and unplug Shunyata Venom Defender which I plug next to the Pagoda's power cable on the wall plug.

post #2562 of 2665

Set the hiss issue aside. Below is a photo of my Leben CS600 and Pagoda (far top). With the carefully selected 9 tubes (NOS Sylvania and Tung Sol KT120) in Leben CS600 and a NOS 1964 Bendix tube in Pagoda, I can confidently say that this system sounds natural, lush, sweet and musical.

 

post #2563 of 2665

Quote:

Originally Posted by jkorten View Post
 

The Steeplechase does not have the low frequency heft of the Pagoda. The Steeplechase has a somewhat synthetic kind of sound compared to the Pagoda. The Pagoda has a true hi end sound of silent capability. High frequencies are effortless and wonderful and the bass is powerful and has an immediacey. My buddy brought over an M1 (Musical Fidelity) and couldn't believe how effortless the Pagoda sounded in comparison (complex passages with strings in classical music he could follow easily on the Pagoda, not so much the M1).

 

 

I had a look at Pagoda. Great DACs inside, PCM1704. One of the finest DAC's chip ever made. There is a chance for a great sound.


Edited by robeeert1 - 4/2/15 at 12:06pm
post #2564 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post
 

I'd like the opinion of any of the more technically minded guys here ...

 

As you all know, I'm a long time user of the MHDT DACS ... the Havana for many years and now the Stockholm for the past two or so. I've used them in the totally stock configuration because this is adequate for me and I'm not a DIY guy (and I am just satisfied with the sound in general and so don't want to mess with it).

 

Anyway, I'm considering buying a Musical Paradise MP-D1 tube DAC to compare/review against the Stockholm... 

 

I've been intrigued by it ever since discovering it and the price is rather affordable; also, the reviews that are out there, mostly with speaker rigs, are very good.

 

...

 

 

...

...

 

 

...

 

I'm curious about it because it supposedly uses true analogue tube output for each channel, as opposed to being a simple single tube buffer stage.  Also, it uses 5670 tubes, like the MHDT DACs but the main thing I'm interested in is seeing how much of an influence the tubes make on the sonics (especially when tube rolling) since according to the designers site, the DAC actually uses the tubes for the actual output stage of each channel.

 

"Our goal is to achieve the most analog sound in the digital world. In order to meet this goal, the analog output section only employs "vacuum tubes". No cheap op-amp or transistors. Also, no global negative feedback loop. This special design provides very musical listening experience."

 

I'm curious what any of you who know about circuit design might be able to say about how this design looks. 

 

???

 

Here's the main page where you can read more about the design:

 

...

 

Musical Paradise MP-D

 

$480.00 with a 7 day return window. 

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks.

.joel

Hi s1rrah, 

I was also interested by the MP-D and was ready to order one for mods until I read this post http://www.head-fi.org/t/740362/lite-dac60-pcm1704-r2r-tubed-dac-mod-project

As a former Havana owner (destroyed during an ultime mod...) you should consider ths DAC for serious mods ;)

post #2565 of 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaccio View Post
 

Hi s1rrah, 

I was also interested by the MP-D and was ready to order one for mods until I read this post http://www.head-fi.org/t/740362/lite-dac60-pcm1704-r2r-tubed-dac-mod-project

As a former Havana owner (destroyed during an ultime mod...) you should consider ths DAC for serious mods ;)

 

Thanks for the link ... oddly, I was just reading that mod project thread a few days ago...

 

Unfortunately, I'm without any mod skillz and so stick with stock configurations. I'm still really wanting to hear that MP-D as just about every review I've read is glowing.

 

Also, it's interesting because unlike the Stockholm v2 that I currently use (and the Havana and Stockholm before that) ... the MP-D uses actual and true tube output as opposed to just using the tubes in a buffer stage. Even without any real knowledge of circuits one can deduce that this is going to yield a sound far truer to the particular tube one uses. Not that buffers are bad; I love my Stockholm v2 .. but I'm genuinely interested in hearing out the real tube output would sound when feeding my solid state Headamp GS-1 and Grado PS1000's.  It's also interesting that the DAC has two individual power supplies, one for the digital input and one for the analogue output ... 

 

So I might just order one of these very soon ... glad you reminded me of it, totally forgot.

 

Best

Joel

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