Sounds interesting, hope they have a balanced version soon!
Mdht Stockholm - New Dac w/Asynch USB Input - Page 4
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That kinda sucks as I'm looking for a balanced Dac, oh well, will wait for the Schiit Statement model or get the W4S Dac2
I'll try to respond understandable because I speak french usually, I apologize in advance
My name is Cédric, I use the Havana since one year, I have read a lot of advice on this excellent forum and I modified this CAD with Vcap OIMP, Furutech fuse and use the Western Electric JW 396a tube.
My dealer MHDT on Switzerland offered me the new Stockholm with a very good price and I took the opportunity to test and compare to Havana.
Visually, the finish is still perfect, power supply is a little bigger than Havana, it uses Elna Silmic caps and usual Nichicon Fine Gold.
I use the Stockholm since one week. It's in original condition except the fuse and tube.
In few seconds, I heard a big difference compared to my Havana.
I don't say it sounds is better, but different, more detailed, precise, and dynamic, big clarity too, but maybe a little less warm.
This is my (little) personal opinion of course but without caps upgrade and in new condition, the sound is amazing ! I'm totally in love with this Stockholm.
Now, I ordered a pair of Mundorf Silver Gold 2,2uf, some blackgate FK and ElnaTonerex caps.
Thank you for sharing the first impressions of the DAC!:)
If the sound of Stockholm is more detailed and precise than Havana, would you say it is also lighter/has less weight/body?
And is it also brighter?
What headphones do you use your DAC with?
You said a dealer in Switzerland offered you a good price. So far I've seen price of 1'190.00 CHF in Swiss store and $1025 in the U.S. Where is it possible to get a better price?
I will not say that the sound has less body, but just a more little lighter, better articulated highs frequencies, bright enough.
I also feel that everything sounds better, the Havana and Stockholm are quite different, I like them both !
I'm a beginner and do not know if I explain properly my impression.
In fact, I do not use headphones, I use an Primaluna Dialogue One tube amp and a pair of KEF IQ90 (soon remplaced by the KEF R-Series).
I've never used headphones to listen the music, maybe in a few years!
About the price, it's been several months that I talk to my dealer "My Havana is really a great DAC almost unknown here, on the Head-Fi forum, this DAC is legendary! You should really try it! Just for curiosity"
Finally, my dealer bought a Havana and he immediately liked. "This is a really great stuff, it is completely unbeatable for the price! I I'll try to talk with MHDT to distribute this stuff in Switzerland."
To thank me, I had a very special price for the new Stockholm, I took the risk of being disappointed too..
To bring a DAC from the United States or Taiwan, you pay the shipping of course, but also customs fees, and is very expensive in Switzerland.
Even if the Swiss money is actually very strong, it is not advantageous to bring the DAC from abroad.
It is also easier for the warranty, my dealer is in my region.
Again, I'm sorry with my bad English.
Cédric, thank you for all the information. Your English is very understandable:)
This is great that you've contributed to distribute this wonderful DACs in Switzerland! I would be happy to buy one (Havana or Stockholm-not decided yet) at a good price from the dealer that is closer to my location (not on the other side of the world!:). However when I asked them (audio-visual-factory.ch) about shipping to my country (Poland), they told me they don't sell outside Switzerland:( Also, as Switzerland is not in European Union, I am not sure if I would avoid paying taxes and customs fees (they were not able to tell me this either).
Your description of the sound of Stockholm is very helpful to me. It already gives me an idea how it can sound. Actually this is what I imagined when I first heard it is going to be more detailed.
I would still like to ask a couple of questions, like:
- does Stockholm sound a bit more digital compared to Havana? (more details and accuracy could make it sound like that..)
- how about width and depth of its soundstage compared to Havana? (Havana was well known for these qualities)
I would like to find out about its sound characteristics to be able to match the DAC (Havana or Stockholm) to my headphones. At the moment I think Havana would suit me better as my headphones are already detailed, speedy, a bit bright and light sounding (talking about Audio-Technica W5000).
In your place, I ordered my DAC in aloaudio.com, prices are better than in Switzerland anyway.
It is true that AVF do not export outside of Switzerland. Certainly for a good reason (I don't know why exactly).
Buy without hearing means taking a risk. My dealer told me that with the Stockholm, he will not sell a lot of Havana...it does not help to make a choice !
The Stockholm sounds more digital, just a bit more the Havana, the depth is comparable in my opinion, but remember that my Havana is upgraded, not my Stockholm.
I think I would do a mistake to say you "the Stockholm is better than Havana or vice versa", but my opinion is: Buy the Havana to be quiet, it is a valued DAC agreed by many users. its cost is lower too. For the live music, acoustic, jazz, etc.. it is phenomenal.
With the money saved, buy new output caps and/or a NOS tube.
Edited by GP77 - 10/13/11 at 1:58pm
Thanks again for the bunch of useful information.
Yeah, I will probably go for Havana with the upgrades as you suggest. However I would still like to see some reviews of Stockholm, just to make sure, it is the right decision.
Could you tell me what output caps and NOS tube will be the best for Havana and where I can buy them?
Wise decision to wait for other opinions about a Stockholm :-)
For upgraded the output caps of Havana, I use with satisfaction a pair of Vcap OIMP 2uf 250v, they cost 100USD for a pair + shipping.
I have not tested other references, but you will not be disappointed with Vcap. For buying this: http://www.v-cap.com/oil-capacitors.php
For the tube, it's very personal ! :-) I use a Western Electric 396a military version (JW), is one of the best tube you can find.
On eBay, the standard version of 396a cost 55 USD shipping inclued. The military version (JW) cost 83 USD shipping inclued.
For the difference of price, take the JW without hesitation ! It sounds like the standard version, but better at all, warm, detailed en large scene (on my system).
I have tried the Bendix 6385 tube but I did not like, it is a very good tube but not for my ears.
Replace the fuse for a Padis or Furutech is also beneficial.
Edited by GP77 - 10/14/11 at 4:30am