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MHDT Havana DAC - Page 7

post #91 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riffle View Post
Wow now that's some modification Promethk! I like to swap out the tube quite a bit so I run my Havana topless as well. Xcel built a 2 million dollar substation a 1/2 mile from my house so I'm not going to get into the AC line conditioning issue. What value output capacitors are you using? I'm thinking about picking up some 2.0µF / 200VDC Gen I Sonicaps to start with. The battery mod will have a miniscule WAF, so I'm stuck with AC.
yeah.

I second that.

To be honest ... I have no clue as to what the intention of that posted bit was in regards to sonics ... but I know he wouldn't run his DAC half taken apart if it didn't result in *some* sonic improvements.



I too am tossing around the idea of a significant CAP upgrade on my havana ... but I'm just not sure which, if any, of the MHDT produced CAPS should be replaced.

Was thinking Mundorff, Blackgate or Sonicap ...

Just not enough info for mod n00bs like myself to make me take the plunge, yet.

post #92 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post
yeah.

I second that.

To be honest ... I have no clue as to what the intention of that posted bit was in regards to sonics ... but I know he wouldn't run his DAC half taken apart if it didn't result in *some* sonic improvements.



I too am tossing around the idea of a significant CAP upgrade on my havana ... but I'm just not sure which, if any, of the MHDT produced CAPS should be replaced.

Was thinking Mundorff, Blackgate or Sonicap ...

Just not enough info for mod n00bs like myself to make me take the plunge, yet.

Well, it is a complicated enough situation, as I was also working on my digital source, so I may not be able to pin-point the gain in sonics is 100% due to the mods in the dac.

Anyway, this is a short summary of the dac mod:

Stage 1. Output coupling caps changed to Duelund copper foil

The Havana output coupling caps are upgraded with the Duelund vst copper foil. As the Havana already has quality film and foil caps, the replacement with Duelund caps is not night and day differences. The Duelund does sound more controlled and there is an increase of the darkness that brings out more 3D spatial quality.

I guess the VH teflon caps could even be better, but I am not sure if I want to spend 3 times more than the Duelund. Furthermore, mine is a lower voltage DC-designed caps and is cheaper than those reviewed in the web.

After about two weeks, I am still not too satisfied, so I start the dual batteries mod.

Stage 2: Two batteries with small caps into the +&- AC9V of Havana, only slight improvement
Stage 3: Two batteries with bigger caps & also power supply changes to the digital input source that feeds the havana, improvement in both dynamics and resolutions that I never thought possible in my system is here, finally.

Before the batteries mod, my Bendix does sounds too smooth and seems lack a bit of the frequency extremes and dynamics, while the tungsol is preferred as it has a bit more high frequency energy. After the mod, the Bendix is very well balanced.
post #93 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post
yeah.

I second that.

To be honest ... I have no clue as to what the intention of that posted bit was in regards to sonics ... but I know he wouldn't run his DAC half taken apart if it didn't result in *some* sonic improvements.



I too am tossing around the idea of a significant CAP upgrade on my havana ... but I'm just not sure which, if any, of the MHDT produced CAPS should be replaced.

Was thinking Mundorff, Blackgate or Sonicap ...

Just not enough info for mod n00bs like myself to make me take the plunge, yet.

The Xcel substation comment was my poor attempt at a joke. I've never really noticed much of a difference with any of the modest AC line conditioners or power cords that I have tried. Battery modifications on the other hand have always interested me.

I'm pretty new to mods myself, I have only modded an Elpac power supply for my squeezebox. I've tried dozens of different tubes, except for the fabled Bendix 6385, and I'm hoping that switching the output caps will fatten the sound of the GE 5-stars a little or add a little more detail to the Ericsson gold pins. Maybe the Bendix 6385's are a better solution, but I can't find any. You have got to love this addiction...I mean hobby.
post #94 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riffle View Post
I had no problems with my copies of Arnaud's tracks. BTW thanks for turning me on to Jack Johnson's Monsoon. I was wondering if anyone out there could comment on the tubes in their Havana DAC? I seem to like the sound better immediately after I swap tubes or when I keep my DAC off and turn it on when I listen to music. If I leave the DAC on all the time and allow the tubes to settle in at their "temperature" I don't like the sound as much. At first I thought it was a mental block, but my wife has become convinced of this as well. I switch the tube out quite a bit. I have some LM Ericsson Gold Pins, Raytheon CK5670's, Ge 5-Stars and Bendix 2c51'a that are my favorites, but the issue seems to be the same with all of them.
Glad you discovered Jack Johnson's . Thanks for reporting here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XXII View Post
Arnaud, have you tried to see if you get the same problem with another non-oversampling DAC?
Nope, never had another NOS DAC in my system. Also, I haven't had my current amp for so long so haven't tried any other DAC (apart from my M-Audio FireWire Solo) with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post
@ARnaud and others...

I have received a MHDT Labs Havana DAC in the mail as of Oct. 21 ... 10am or so.

And I've spent a few hours listening ( it appears to be a brand new unit ) ...

And there's no distortion, in either channel, that I can discern.

It's a bit more airy and spatious sounding than my tried and true Paradisea+ ... a bit more "refined" and articulate ...

But there is no distortion as per the OP's original comments.

???
What can I say, I have either been unlucky twice or else there is something else fishy in my setup: 100V 50Hz voltage in Japan or the wide bandwidth of the amplifier which is picking up HF noise and somehow aliasing into the audio band. Anyhow, I am moving on, there surely is choice out there for DACs! Thank you for your promotion effort though, I would not have tried this DAC without reading about it here...

arnaud.
post #95 of 2494
Well, the Bendix 6385 is the hands down winner tube in my Havana.

I was praising it before now ...

But I just popped it back into my Havana after letting my roommate use it for a week ...

In that period I used a Cryo treated RCA 2c51, a Bendix 2C51 and a Tung Sol 396A ... in place of my standard Bendix 6385

And although some of those were nice, especially the Bendix 2C51 and the RCA tube ...

The Bendix 6385 is just majestic sounding compared to all of them.

The bass is tauter and deeper, the soundstage explodes, the highs are perfectly resolved but not irritating ... and overall ... there's a lush (even what you might call "tubey" smoothness to the mix.

I'd said previously that the Bendix 6385 is more detailed than the Bendix 2C51 and this is true ... but I can now hear that it's also a more warm and lush tube than the Bendix 2C51 ... the differences are even more dramatic since giving up the 6385 for a week and then returning to it.

Anyway ...

I just bought another one (supposedly NOS, but who knows) and will be testing it against my current one. I'll end up selling one of them to my roommate.

Just a word to try one in your Havana (and Paradisea's) if you haven't already ...

Best.
post #96 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post
I just bought another one (supposedly NOS, but who knows) and will be testing it against my current one. I'll end up selling one of them to my roommate.


&&*$#^$%$##!!!

Where did you find it?!?!? I've been looking for one for the past two weeks.
post #97 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orcin View Post
&&*$#^$%$##!!!

Where did you find it?!?!? I've been looking for one for the past two weeks.
Hey ...

I got it from XXII ... he had an extra one as he bought four in one batch.

BTW ...

Once I get the new one ... and once I've decided which of the two I'm going to keep ...

You can have the extra one for a week or so before I offload it to Micheal ...

Try before you buy and all.

I think XXII might have a single backup tube but he might be planning on keeping it as a spare.

Considering the Paradisea/Havana DACs put so little power through the tube, though ... I'm beginning to think that identical backup tubes are pretty much unneeded as the tubes should last for 20000 hours or better.
post #98 of 2494
PM sent Orcin .


Actually, for the last few days I had my paradisea I switched back to the Tesla tube. I missed the impact too much.
post #99 of 2494
The Bendix 6385 are too expensive.
Not worth more than 40$ in my book.
post #100 of 2494
oooo another Havana +GS-1 user!

Towert7, can I ask what tube you use with your Havana GS-1 combo?
post #101 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by XXII View Post
oooo another Havana +GS-1 user!

Towert7, can I ask what tube you use with your Havana GS-1 combo?
Of course.
I've got a old WE396A in mine.
From the various ones I've tried all in the sub 30$ category, it was the one that I stuck with. I carried it over from my Paradisea+.

Do you use your HF-1 with that combo?
I really should give my HF-1 more listening time than I do.
post #102 of 2494
I've been thinking about getting a new source recently and currently using my Cary 306 SACD as a DAC and while its the best SS upsampling I've heard, it does sound a little too digital sometimes, so I want to try a NOS DAC. There are few options on the market of course but I've narrowed it down to the Havana or RWA Isabellina but not quite sure which to get yet. Does the Havana have any pros vs the much more expensive Isabellina? Anyone happen to have heard both?
post #103 of 2494
I think the only person on head-fi with an isabellina is krmathis...
post #104 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Towert7 View Post
Do you use your HF-1 with that combo?
I really should give my HF-1 more listening time than I do.
Well my main listening is with the HF-1 and I think it's a good match, even with an unmodded HF-1...
post #105 of 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricey20 View Post
currently using my Cary 306 SACD as a DAC and while its the best SS upsampling I've heard, it does sound a little too digital sometimes, so I want to try a NOS DAC.
Whaaat?. I would look into getting a better spdif source for your Cary 306 SACD DAC. For example, I would not go with a USb-to-spdif converter, and look into better digital cables and/or interconnects/power cables.

Also go easy on the upsampling button on the Cary. I personally like it at 44.1 straight-up..
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