Sep 1, 2011 at 5:58 PM Post #1,306 of 2,680
Good luck with the surgery, looking forward to your impressions.
When I got the Halide Bridge I also thought about the ART Legato, which should be a very very good usb to spdif converter....but it's limited to 16/44.  There's a new ART Veloce going to be released soon, and that will go up 24/96.
Sep 13, 2011 at 1:46 PM Post #1,307 of 2,680
I'm looking for suggestions for a dac that would be an upgrade to a Havana -- I could go as high as 3k.
It looks like people in this thread are very happy with the Havana. I also love mine, BUT... I need an additional dac for another system. I suppose I could just get another Havana, but surely there are other interesting DACs out there. I have the chance to upgrade, and I'd like to take it.
Any suggestions?
Sep 13, 2011 at 2:25 PM Post #1,308 of 2,680
I replaced the stock chips with PCM56P "K" grade. They are made in Korea, not japanese, but I think thay are "BB" original.
First, I want to say that it was very fair what has been reportet on the forum. The changed in terms of rezolution, better transparency, deeper and powerfull low frequents, better instruments separation, focus and stage present, are all affected by chip upgrade. The changed is critical, so the stock chips replacement is justified and very welcome.

Second, I want to mention what kind of changes I realized in Havana (and major importance):
1. Change stock chips with Burr-Brown PCM56P "K" grade,
2. Change the tube with Western Electric (JW) 396A tube
3. Replace stock output capacitors with V-Cap OIMP
4. Replace connectors with WBT "Pure silver" (RCA) high-quality connectors
5. Modded Hiface (M2Tech) transport with two rechargeable batteries, with separate power to usb interface and oscilator, for lower jitter.
6. Source! that is very important in my opinion. Currently I use the "Pure Music" player, which is installed on Apple iMac computer (Snow Leopard SO). I listened as well other players as Amarra, Audacity, Audirvana, but it seems that i like "Pure Music" some more.
They are of course other changes as fuse, "Hi-Fi tuning fuse", EAT-Cool tube dumper, diodes, damping materials and isolation feet, but they are less critical. I have not change until now the film and the electrolytic capacitors, although I think the replacement will be less important compared with those mentioned. I think that Rubycon Blackgate or Silmic II Elna are better compared with Nichicon capacitors, but Blackgate capacitors are not cheap.
I am very, very glad that I realized these upgrade's in Havana, first for better sound quality. In term of classical music or jazz&blues, Havana sounds lovely with STAX headphones. Is something You play much emotion and refinement. Music listening is very pleasant and relaxed, with a clear feeling of extinction of the ear headphones! What remains is the privacy of the artist and instruments.

Thank's and we wish pleasant listening.
Sep 13, 2011 at 7:30 PM Post #1,309 of 2,680
Where can I get a couple K grade chips? I managed to find a couple J grade very cheap and replaced the stock L grade ones. Even that was a very nice upgrade. Tightened everything up, more solid image, quite noticeable. I would assume the J grade would bring it along a little more.
Love this dac.
Sep 14, 2011 at 11:00 AM Post #1,311 of 2,680
I will still be looking for a pair. I don't know if the ones they have at Mouser Electronics (PCM56P-K) are the correct ones or not. I have also seen the list of old cd players that use this chip but those older machines seem to be just a tough to locate.
Anyway, I will keep looking. I think the upgrade is well worth the effort.
Sep 14, 2011 at 11:18 AM Post #1,313 of 2,680

Yes the ones at Mouser are correct.  It does not matter where they were made....a Burr Brown plant in the US operates to the same specs as a BB plant in China, Japan or anywhere else.

Did you check these chips personally or you base your opinion on specs of BB?  Japanese "K", Korean "K" and Malaysian "K" sound different !!
Sep 14, 2011 at 11:27 AM Post #1,314 of 2,680
Well I have a few Malaysian chips right now, my friend uses Japanese chips in his Dac and tried the Malaysian chips.  There was no difference in sound.  I recently purchased a Havana and will be using the M chips, I will post a pic by Monday.
So I can say I heard the Japanese and the Malasysian chips personally.
You can do what ever you want....
Sep 14, 2011 at 11:34 AM Post #1,315 of 2,680

Well I have a few Malaysian chips right now, my friend uses Japanese chips in his Dac and tried the Malaysian chips.  There was no difference in sound.  I recently purchased a Havana and will be using the M chips, I will post a pic by Monday.
So I can say I heard the Japanese and the Malasysian chips personally.
You can do what ever you want....

I'm not going to argue about it. I can easily hear the difference between them in my system.
Sep 18, 2011 at 12:44 PM Post #1,317 of 2,680
Interesting Factoid from the Horses Mouth ie Texas Instruments concerning the PCM56P chip made at various locations.  I suspect looking at the word Japan ads to the music experience.
Hi Ed,
Welcome to the forum!  The PCM56, regardless of the assembly site, should meet all performance specifications based on the grade.  All of the test sites use the same criteria and setups for testing the end product so it should not matter where the device came from. 

Sep 20, 2011 at 6:32 PM Post #1,320 of 2,680
FYI, I put a request in at Texas Instruments to look into the chips from ebay [shown as PCM56PK] in the pic.  If you notice they are the only chips that have a K right after the P >and< also show a J grade on the chip.  This baffled the TI rep as he first thought it was a K grade chip. If you notice in the spec sheet this type of nomenclature is not used on any chip. At any rate the lot trace code on the chip will tell all eventually. As we all know, counterfeit Chinese products are nothing new. Compare the chips size to any other PCM56 chip and you will see they are also slightly smaller.
I got an email back from TI.
[size=12.0pt]Hello Ed,[/size]
[size=12.0pt] [/size]
[size=12.0pt]Your request for verification of the PCM56PK devices has been forwarded to the TI Anti-Counterfeit Team.[/size]
[size=12.0pt]...................... [/size]
[size=12.0pt]TI strongly encourages you to purchase all your TI parts either directly from TI or from authorized TI distributors ( and not from the gray market or brokers.[/size]
[size=12.0pt] [/size]
[size=12.0pt]Thanks and regards,[/size]
[size=12.0pt]QA Facilitator[/size]
[size=12.0pt]Quality Assurance[/size]
[size=12.0pt]Texas Instruments [/size]
I've  received the DACs today. The difference is fundamental at least in classics.
It's very hard to describe the sonic differences between the DACS because everything changed. It's not the same like changing cables or tubes,
you can easily hear that different DACs (parts of the Havana) are creating the sound.
The timbre and resolution are better.
Especially on transparent system and my electrostatic headphones.
The super change for super change money. :) Thanks Niamex. WOW !

I do not really think these are fake, quality of writings are better than on original Korea DACs.
I have to purchase another pair of these for spare.


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