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MHDT Havana DAC - Page 3

post #31 of 2665
Originally Posted by aljordan View Post
I am a drummer, and when I listen to excellent percussionists through the Havana, I can hear the sticking so well that I can see, in my mind, the type of sticking that the drummer must be doing in the performance. I can't pick out the same timing and dynamic details when listening through the Benchmark. I think it is these details that allow me to easily get into the music and the groove when listening to the Havana. When listening via the Benchmark, I tend to focus on the sounds, but not get into the music.
Fantastic comments.

I stumbled around saying very nearly the same thing earlier today when a certain acquaintance of mine expressed curiosity regarding the difference between oversampling and non-oversampling DACS.

My words, comparing an oversampling DAC to my Paradisea+, were thus:

"Bottom line, I constantly found myself being wowed by the sound effects as opposed to the music. Like I was playing a video game instead of listening to my favorite band."

I'm a long time musician and studio recording guy myself and I'm now on the non-oversampling DAC team.

I want to hear music and my own MHDT Paradisea+ provides it quite richly.


Funny thing ...

I quite nearly groveled trying to get the MHDT folks to mail me a Havana to demo against my Paradisea+. Needless to say, they didn't bite ... but otherwise have been exceptional folks to deal with.

I remain utterly intrigued by what differences the Paradisea's OPAMP-free, bigger brother might render to my ear, though and once my bills are caught up, I'll most likely be trying to devise some means of getting on.


Thanks for your comments ...
post #32 of 2665
As a proud owner of a paradisea+, I didn't even know the Havana existence until now. Just email the guys in TW, and hopefully can make the purchase soon.

A NOS tube DAC without opamp, are there even other similar DAC out there with the same architecture to compare at all?
post #33 of 2665
Make sure you order an LM Ericsson or Tung-Sol 2c51 tube now also, or you may be disappointed. The stock tube they supply sucks.
post #34 of 2665
I have a pair of NOS Raytheon 5670 and tungSol for paradisea, haven't try the WE. Since I intend on using full tube, not sure if the WE w/ its high price is good in a already full tube system.
post #35 of 2665
I have a WE. I prefer the TungSol in my MPX3 to it. And the LM Ericsson in the Havana and also in the Extreme, more than the WE. But of course it could well be dependent on the rest of the system.
post #36 of 2665
Just got the quote from the guys. $799 including shipping (promotional price).

Now I have no idea how much better it is than the Paradisea, but if its like some comments on audioasylum say, I believe it's worth the $200 extra.

Was gonna get the Keces 151 for the office, but now with this. Gonna use the paradisea+ for office, and Havana at home. Oh my...

Plus from some of the history price I saw on audiogon, paradisea never dip below 20% (actually most 10-15%).

And after hearing NOS against over sampling, I'm a believer.
post #37 of 2665
Good job, bravo! We'll be interested in hearing your thoughts on the Havana vs. the Paradisea.
post #38 of 2665

Havana Preview

Man the guys in Taiwan sure got their stuff together, got my Havana and been listening to it for the last couple hours.

And it's just one word, SWEET!!!

I don't know what they do, but man this thing got some nice sound.
The BIGGEST difference I notice right away is the fluidity, the dynamic, have improve over paradisea+. I have both a SS and Tube amp, in both cases, I can tell the sound is more fluid(which itself is already a tall order comparing to paradisea). Female vocal come across as more musical (I only had time to test female vocal, since I listen it the most).

Since I already have another Raytheon 5670, the next thing right away is to roll it in to replace the GE stock.

Immediately it improve the detail, there are more air to it. I can imagine how the singer move their mouth/lips when singing. It is definitely a audible step up with this little tweak. Also the gain increase slightly.

Since I only got it for 2-3 hours, more time is needed to really A/B it with paradisea+. Plus I'd need to pair this up with a Trafomatic Head One(still waiting) to breath some life in the DT880.

But I feel like in this mid-fi setup of mine where price/performance is #1 goal(warm and musicality is second), this pricy little DAC is still reign king. The $200 is worth the price just for that detail and air it brings.

My thinking is this: a good USB->SPDIF card is $150 itself, a good tube amp is 6-700 (an 10 yr old Cal Lab Sigma 12ax7 DAC is selling for 4-500 on the bay). OR to go another route, a good SS Dac like a Keces 151 is 370(no USB) + a good tube buffer/impedance matcher is a good $200. You get all these in one package for a good 750 (800 shipped).
I don't have the privilege to attain shows to audition other highend DAC, but from what I hear the paradisea Non over-sampling DAC's performance can blow everything else less than 1k away musicality wise. In Paradisea it was already true, now with a bit more resolving power and air, I don't know where else I can get all this for this price.

P.S. since I do not have a decent CD player, I just used Amarok with CD-rom for CD testing.

System used:
Linux Flac, Linux CD
Havana (Zu Cable Bok, Zu Cable oxyfuel RCA)
Jolida 1501 100WTube/SS
Jolida JD1000A 100W 8xEL34 Tubes (Signal Magic power cord)
post #39 of 2665
It sure looks nice. However at $800 (promotional price) it is getting up there in price. I recently bought a Monarchy Audio NM24 DAC which Mr. Poon has on sale in Audiogon for $1080.

The Monarchy is both an SS and a Tube output DAC w/ a tube Line Stage which I felt it was a very good deal. I would love to compare the sound of both. Mostly because I love the sound out of NOS DACs.
post #40 of 2665
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post
I would love to compare the sound of both. Mostly because I love the sound out of NOS DACs.
post #41 of 2665
Sweet deal for 1k. WIMA caps, Alps knot. If there is a USB circuit, it'd top the scale.

Too bad anything over 1k would trigger the wife-alert....
post #42 of 2665
Originally Posted by btbluesky View Post
Too bad anything over 1k would trigger the wife-alert....

Please explain how you got this setting so high. My wife-alert is stuck at $250, and I cannot seem to tweak it any higher!
post #43 of 2665
For me the trick is to buy her something that's over $100 when shopping w/ her, say a pair of earring, and then right when the dopamine still in effect for her, tell her you just got a small upgrade for "...just a couple hundreds, honey".

The female brain would interpret this as very reasonable as you already got her a gift in 3 digits.

Obviously over 1k doesn't work, OR if she's an accountant.
post #44 of 2665
Ahhh... there's my problem. She has a MBA in Finance.
post #45 of 2665
...In that case, there are no tricks that'd work. Just need to come clean of our addition and take the beating once in a while.
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