MHDT Havana DAC
Jan 10, 2012 at 4:26 AM Post #1,636 of 2,680

ZenFire

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One more question, as I thought I could find Robeert's opamp page and I couldn't just now. Do you happen to know what page of this thread it is on?   Is it just a matter of snipping the prong? Or is there more to it?  Rewiring and such...   And what does the DAC gain from removing the opamp?  Thanks so much for walking this rookie through the process.  Cheers! Z
 
Jan 10, 2012 at 10:11 PM Post #1,637 of 2,680

niamex

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Quote:
One more question, as I thought I could find Robeert's opamp page and I couldn't just now. Do you happen to know what page of this thread it is on?   Is it just a matter of snipping the prong? Or is there more to it?  Rewiring and such...   And what does the DAC gain from removing the opamp?  Thanks so much for walking this rookie through the process.  Cheers! Z



 


Quote:
Thank you!  What is to be gained from removing the opamp?  And is there a need to replace the opamp feature with any other feature? 
 
By the way of contribution, if you haven't looked into the CCE/Hazen mod described in Decware forums that has to do with connecting an electrical device to 2 pegs on the tube socket, do take a look at it.  I'll ask Steve Deckert tomorrow if it works on the Havana for sure, yet I've seen in posts DIY'ers doing it on other tube equipment and raving about it.  To the point it is now built in to every Decware tube amp since mid 2009.
 
Cheers!  Z

Thanks ZenFire , I have registered to the Decware forums and will have a look at the topic tomorrow. The gain is you just avoid using the ****ty internal OpAmp and go for a passive I / V conversion which is let's say High End approach / what I know/ Attached please find the Robert's suggestion. Please do not forget you do not just connect the Pin 13 to the tube's grid - there should be added one very high quality resistor from pin 13 to the ground /in my case Z-foil - the best/ - tha value to be defined by tests before ordering 2 pcs /expensive/
 
Cheers,
 
Jan 11, 2012 at 1:45 AM Post #1,638 of 2,680

ZenFire

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Yay!  Thank you.  I hope the CCE/Hazen Mod works for the Havana, as it would thrill me to see everyone here jump for joy at something that could be better than a tube replacement, more toward the effect of a BB chip change or transformer upgrade.  I look forward to your experience, as I am not a solderer to this point, yet intend to be in 2 weeks when I get back from a trip and can focus in on some of these mods.  Cheers!  Z
 
Jan 12, 2012 at 11:54 AM Post #1,639 of 2,680

rocky500

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I am finding it hard to source some PCM56P-K chips made in Korea.
Does anyone know where I could order them?
From the thread it looks like the Malaysia ones are not as good, but would they be better than the original "L" ones?
 
 
Jan 12, 2012 at 6:10 PM Post #1,640 of 2,680

ZenFire

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Just spoken to Steve Deckert about CCE/Hazen mod on Havana, and he says the mod is for a very specific type of tube/socket, using Svetlana 83, SV83, and all the other tubes that cross reference it, (not the Mullard equivalent, because it has an internal weld, I think, that doesn't gain from the mod).  So therefor not for Havana.  If you have other device using the SV83, etc, it is very worth your while to look into the mod.  Perhaps others here will know if the 2c51 format tubes could gain from a similar idea as the CCE/Hazen mod, as I am not an engineer in any sense of the word.  Cheers! Z
 
Jan 13, 2012 at 4:43 AM Post #1,641 of 2,680

niamex

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Quote:
I am finding it hard to source some PCM56P-K chips made in Korea.
Does anyone know where I could order them?
From the thread it looks like the Malaysia ones are not as good, but would they be better than the original "L" ones?
 


They have too "engineering" sound -  the Korean L seem more musical
 


Quote:
Just spoken to Steve Deckert about CCE/Hazen mod on Havana, and he says the mod is for a very specific type of tube/socket, using Svetlana 83, SV83, and all the other tubes that cross reference it, (not the Mullard equivalent, because it has an internal weld, I think, that doesn't gain from the mod).  So therefor not for Havana.  If you have other device using the SV83, etc, it is very worth your while to look into the mod.  Perhaps others here will know if the 2c51 format tubes could gain from a similar idea as the CCE/Hazen mod, as I am not an engineer in any sense of the word.  Cheers! Z


As far as I understood that project works for a penthode - we have a double triode tube ?
 


Quote:
Still something 'like it' should work with other tubed components.
 
In principal they work the same don't they??
 
Would be nice if Jiun worked like Steve and actually conversed with modders and implemented innovations into future products.
Most manufacturers don't realize what a resource consumers can be, in supplying comments, ideas, wants, as well as in the DIY realm.
 
The folks at Bottle-Head are a lot like Decware in this regard.
 
Speaking of which, Bottle-Head was supposed to be coming out with a Dac some years ago...wonder what happened.
 
Just learned that the Bottlehead Dac is still in the prototype stages and was featured at the RMAF 2011 show....also I guess John Swenson helped them work on the design. Might be an interesting product and should be technically very sound as well as mod friendly.


That is an example of the completely different approach and mentality ?
Cheers
 
 
Jan 13, 2012 at 2:51 PM Post #1,642 of 2,680

robeeert1

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Quote:
Question
 
The white .1u/250v caps are +/-5%, would it make sense to replace them with say a "name brand" cap of a higher tolerance say like 10%?
 
For example I wanted to order some Auricaps but they are 10% and the guy at Sonicap said all they have are 10% on hand as well....
 
Thoughts??


The cap choice is more important than tolerance. I'm sure Auricaps are much better quality than the stock ones.
 
 
Jan 14, 2012 at 4:33 AM Post #1,643 of 2,680

loserica

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Quote:
The cap choice is more important than tolerance. I'm sure Auricaps are much better quality than the stock ones.
 

Yes, Robert. Auricap are superior quality from stock capacitors! Already we know that every brand component has a higher quality.. But everyone will be able to appreciate with their own ears, which is the best value for money, and if he is willing to do this financial effort.
 
Quote:
Question
 
The white .1u/250v caps are +/-5%, would it make sense to replace them with say a "name brand" cap of a higher tolerance say like 10%?
 
For example I wanted to order some Auricaps but they are 10% and the guy at Sonicap said all they have are 10% on hand as well....
 
Thoughts??

 
I use Auricap about two months. I noticed some things: primarily an extension of the sound right and left ear, not so deep as in width! And this is great, because the effect of soundstage, spatial sound exposure, become more obvious. We know that Havana is capable a three-dimensional sound presentation. Now it becomes more evident.
(In other news, I noticed that the effect of depth of sound - audio layering is decisive contribution of source and transport. So I pointed out several times that Legato make a very good job as transport: very perceptible audio layering, relaxed and coherent sound).
Auricap capacitors are very good to play midrange: natural and textured voice. Fine details and the transparency of sound widened considerably after about a hundred hours of running of Elna and Auricap capacitors. Compared to the stock capacitors, I would say the sound has improved considerably in all sections. A good work!
 
 
 
Jan 14, 2012 at 6:59 AM Post #1,644 of 2,680

niamex

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Quote:
Question
 
The white .1u/250v caps are +/-5%, would it make sense to replace them with say a "name brand" cap of a higher tolerance say like 10%?
 
For example I wanted to order some Auricaps but they are 10% and the guy at Sonicap said all they have are 10% on hand as well....
 
Thoughts??


I think I will come with some ideas end of next week, these are bypassing the electrolytic caps at each power supply point of the receiver and dacs - not so easy to decide their type and value - my opinion,
Cheers
 
Jan 15, 2012 at 3:45 AM Post #1,645 of 2,680

loserica

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Quote:
 
Well here is the damage...still waiting on the correct resistors to come in...
 
In the mean time I can finish replacing the electrolytic caps with Elna


@Fathead,
Jupiter caps looks great! Exterior finish are impeccable, I think that sounds good.
ELNA electrolytic capacitors are clearly better than Nichicon. I think it's worth changing all Nichicon capacitors, surely. It's a very good upgrade!
Auricap do their work in my setup. Although not cheap, I am very pleased with them.
 
Now, here it comes and matching of the capacitors! I was scared a bit when I changed Nichicon and film-stock capacitors,  that might I don't like the new sound. I liked the sound very much! Between Elna and Auricap capacitors there is a good match. Otherwise I would explain this coherent, rich in texture and musical sound (and very natural and at the same time).
 
I wait to receive these days the six Shinkoh resistors (near the tube) and I will change as soon as possible the cap at C17 with Russian Silver Mica. Last time I did this omission...
I'm not obsessed too much to change the transformer with R-Core, becouse I use already a current filter and that feeling of "black-background" is present. However is one of the cheapest modifications.
 
Here appear last changes:
 

 
I wish you success and I am very curious to hear impressions after finishing the changes. I hope you do well!
smile.gif

 
Jan 16, 2012 at 4:42 AM Post #1,646 of 2,680

mako44

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Hi all,
 
I'm new here but follow this topic with care for two years when I bought my Havana Dac. I just changed my amp and speakers for quite expensive ones and would like to improve also my source but as I'm a bit short in money now I hesitate between upgrading my havana dac or buy a new one.
 
I'm tempted in trying the tweak experience and so I read all your discussions with care but wonder how high you rate your modified havana now ? I know it is a major improve regarding all your comments but do you think it can compete with big/expensive cd players or dacs ? Did you have the opportunity to compare it with better sources ?
 
If I ask it's because before starting anything I want to be sure the result worths the money & time instead of spending this in another dac that would give better quality in my hifi system. I already own 3 tubes (jw 396a, 6386 & ericsson 2c51) and plan to buy an audiophilleo transport if I keep the havana. So as I couldn't hear and estimate tweakd havana I don't know what choice is the best...
 
What's your opinion ?
 
Jan 16, 2012 at 9:22 AM Post #1,648 of 2,680

s1rrah

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Quote:
Hi all,
 
I'm new here but follow this topic with care for two years when I bought my Havana Dac. I just changed my amp and speakers for quite expensive ones and would like to improve also my source but as I'm a bit short in money now I hesitate between upgrading my havana dac or buy a new one.
 
I'm tempted in trying the tweak experience and so I read all your discussions with care but wonder how high you rate your modified havana now ? I know it is a major improve regarding all your comments but do you think it can compete with big/expensive cd players or dacs ? Did you have the opportunity to compare it with better sources ?
 
If I ask it's because before starting anything I want to be sure the result worths the money & time instead of spending this in another dac that would give better quality in my hifi system. I already own 3 tubes (jw 396a, 6386 & ericsson 2c51) and plan to buy an audiophilleo transport if I keep the havana. So as I couldn't hear and estimate tweakd havana I don't know what choice is the best...
 
What's your opinion ?


 
I'd love to hear one of the heavily modified Havana's as well...
 
As for your question, though...I really couldn't say.
 
I happen to have an Electrocompaniet ECD-1 DAC in my system at the moment (along side the Havana) and the two DACs sound *totally* different (my Havana is stock, BTW). 
 
The ECD-1 definitely has a wider soundstage, more 3 dimensional sounding and quite a bit more detailed (approaching what I would call eerie, even "bothersome" detail and it's a pretty neat thing to listen too. Both the ECD-1 and Havana both have super delicious and excellent bass in my opinion. The ECD-1, at least with my headphones (Grado GS1000's) is a bit too strident in the highs, there's a bit to much "sizzle" and "splash" with high hat and cymbal crashes and overall the sound is just too "edgy" for my rig. Overall, I prefer the more natural "room-like"/analogue-esque sound of the Havana with my particular set up.
 
That said, had I a decent speaker rig (or even different headphones), my opinion could easily be swayed towards the Electrocompaniet ECD-1 or some other sort of upsampling DAC as such a rig might benefit more from the increased detail and imaging that the ECD-1 provides...but through my cans, I'd rather not have a microscopic view into any given recording and prefer a more musical resolution of the digital signal where emphasis is on delivery of the whole production as opposed to a clinical separation of sounds. If that even makes any sense... :wink:
 
So try and borrow/sample a few different DACs if you can and see if you might prefer something different with your new gear...
 
At one time I thought I would never move beyond the Havana (though I sill might not) but having listened to the ECD-1 (and some other DACs), I've realized that *everything* is rig dependent and that each unique setup of source/amp/speaker/headphones requires a great deal of work in truly nailing the particular synergy that suits the listeners preferences).
 
 
 
Jan 16, 2012 at 10:12 AM Post #1,649 of 2,680

mako44

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S1rrah,
 
thanks for your answer I'm really conscious that all is a question of synergy between the different parts of the hifi chain but as I'm short in money I have to find a temporary solution. Regarding me I know that I won't keep the havannah, I mean at least the stock one, since even in my old system I found it too "bad" especially the lack of air, transparency, accuracy and so on... It could be much much better.
 
I saw the tweaks greatly improve these aspects of the sound so it's tempting as on the other hand I like the natural analogue and musical sound of this dac. I plan to change the output capacitors with mundorfs, 6 resistors with shinkoh, the two input caps, 1 Mundorf silver/gold 0,22uF 1000V and the 4 on the left in front of the transformer.
 
Does anyone knows at least if tweaked havannah + a good transport competes with (or is better than) Calyx or Heed Obelisk Dacs as I couldn't pay more (for used ones) for the moment ? I saw Realmaasy sold his havanah for a m2tech young dac so don't really know what to think...
 
 
 

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