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MHDT havana


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"The Havana is Mhdt Lab's statement USB DAC, and frankly speaking, at $899 it bests the superb Wavelength Cosecant V3 ($3500) in my Hi-Fi rig, making it some kind of miraculous bargain, and one which will surely delight music lovers on a budget. Without reservation I recommend the Havana to music lovers everywhere as a high performance USB DAC, and also as a remarkable bargain."

 

Jeff Day. PFO.

 

I have had mine 12 hrs. I'm absolutely smitten.

 

Best Wishes

Andrew

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No doubt, but i have marginal reservation. I tried one using SPIDF and was mucho impressed, but the USB input was not as good as using my M2Tech HiFace to go USB to SPIDF then into the Havana SPIDF.

 

It is not a great grumble and infact the HiFace makes a great (and relatively cheap) upgrade for this DAC.

 

Overall a very nice piece of kit and well built to boot.

 

Trying to make sense of all the bits...MacMini/Amarra -> WavIO USB to I2S -> DDDAC 1794 NOS DAC -> Active XO ->Bass Amp Avondale NCC200s, Mid/Treble Amp Sugden Masterclass -> My Own Speakers

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I am by and large a fan of the NOS variety of DAC, which I discovered purely by accident!

 

In this content the Havana is good on highs, the lows may be just that - but it is still a damn good listen.

 

Trying to make sense of all the bits...MacMini/Amarra -> WavIO USB to I2S -> DDDAC 1794 NOS DAC -> Active XO ->Bass Amp Avondale NCC200s, Mid/Treble Amp Sugden Masterclass -> My Own Speakers

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I'm curious about a couple of different scenarios of DACs in the $2K range and under. One off them includes the Havana. I was thinking of one $2K configuration using a Havana and a reclocker such as an Empirical Off Ramp. And another configuration being just a single component $2K DAC such as a Bryston. I wonder if one has a $2K budget if something like a Havana with some nice jitter reduction technology would sound just superb and give the $2K standalone DACs a good trouncing. Anyone have any thoughts on taking the Havana up another level using an external clock?

 

Bryan

 

Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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@ Bryan - well mate that all depends if you like the sound of a NOS Dac or not...and whether it will fit into your system.

 

re the off Ramp - Try the Hi Face first - you might be surprised. I am.

 

Here is something to think about re the Havana:

" First and foremost you have to remember, this is a non-oversampling DAC. A NOS DAC may not sound great in everybody's system. When it comes to selecting a DAC for your system, care must be taken. Within every system out there lies a delicate balance of synergy. If you have a forward sounding system, a NOS DAC may likely sound quite good. It helps bring your system into ‘balance'. If your system is reasonably laid back, you may be better off with an upsampling DAC. Again, it's all about balance. One last item before I get sidetracked, if you are a detail freak (read=ICE amps, upsampling and bright speakers), don't even think about a NOS DAC.

 

Not to get sidetracked but this is worth repeating. I can't tell you how many audiophiles I've talked to (or read) over the years that that have commented about a given piece of gear that doesn't sound near as good as others have stated when they hear it in their system. When I drill down a little further on their comments and systems, I find that they tried inserting a given piece of gear into a system that likely won't compliment the rest of the system (read=system synergy). In turn, they are dismissive about that same piece of gear regarding it as an ‘inferior' piece. What they fail to realize is that much of the audio gear we play with is NOT plug and play. Taking this to extremes let me use the venerable large Advent speakers an example. Those of us that grew up listening to these speakers know and love the way they sound. In turn to get the best out of these speakers, you really need a fairly forward sounding cast of characters supporting these speakers (read=upsampling, detailed solid state, or tube gear with bright sounding tubes). I (personally) would never try to mate an NOS DAC or some other ‘laid back' sounding piece of gear to these speakers. If you do, you won't be able hear the Advents sound their best. On the opposite end of the scale sits something like the Avantguarde line of speakers. The last thing I'd consider doing is installing an upsampling DAC and Bryston amps to drive these speakers. It's all about proper balance. Keep that in mind when you read comments about any piece of gear."

 

A very sensible and proper commentary from Jules Coleman - Enjoy the Music.

 

Frankly for $900 odd bucks you can't go wrong - someone will buy it off you for $800 if you don't like it in your system.

 

Best Wishes

Andrew

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