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.
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 ...