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  Valab TDA1543 DAC VS MHDT Havana DAC
I currently own a Havana, I'm just curious as both Valad and Havana are NOS DAC, as far as some user reviews go, some regard valab highly but none was compared to Havana.

Don't get me wrong, I'm keeping my Havana, but interested in Valab as well, to me they "seem" to have similiar sound, so any thought on that will be great!
Thanks
Karmatogdral  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

11-20-09
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11-26-09: Secretchimp99
I have a Havana on order and currently use a Valab. I am very happy with the Valab but really wanted to try a NOS DAC with a tube output. I certainly don't write off the Valab in competing with higher priced gear, but on the basis of parts quality the Mhdt has the upper hand.

There wasn't any comparisons between the two that I could find in my research.

I'll let you know my impressions after break-in.

Secretchimp99  (Answers | This Thread)


11-28-09: Karmatogdral
can' wait! many thanks!
Karmatogdral  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


12-03-09: Secretchimp99
The Havana has only 25 hours break-in and I'm using the stock GE tube so keep that in mind with my comments.

The Valab was my introduction to NOS digital and it's been nothing short of a revelation. I really love this little unit and it easily beat my $2k upsampling set-up in terms of sheer enjoyment and non-fatiguing sound. I can easily sit and listen for hours on end, unheard of for me before with my digital set-up. So I am 100% sold on the NOS design that is coming out of the far east right now -- it just sounds right to my ears.

I would have to say that the Valab and Havana are closer in sound than they probably should be on paper - clearly in the same family. However the Havana retrieves considerably more detail, has a much blacker background and seems more agile with quicker transients. In comparison, the Valab sounds slower with a flow that you'll probably either love or hate. I happen to love that sound but compared to my vinyl rig or the Havana it just doesn't have the same snap. The Valab almost reminds me of hearing some SET amps -- great presence, very musical and pleasing but tending to be softer and 'slower'. Dynamics are quite different - the Valab has room for improvement in that area. Again, being able to hear my crappy lossy digital files sound that musical is a huge plus in my book and I'll take it over throwing upsampling in my face.

With the Havana I need more time to really get a handle on it's sound but I can say with fair certainty that it's a few steps up from Valab -

Hope this helps --

Secretchimp99  (Answers | This Thread)


12-04-09: Karmatogdral
me too fell in love with NOS DAC, it's much more engaging, and it makes more sense to me as a musician myself, sometimes we can't help but anaylise the music but most of the time it's a lot more enjoyable focusing the passion on purely just music, nothing else.
I like the stock tube a lot actually, whatever I play just melts really, so smooth. Tungsol tube has more realism to the timbre, bigger soundstage as well.
It's interesting about Valab, i might just give it a try for its delicious price!

Karmatogdral  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


12-04-09: Secretchimp99
I will have to try some different tubes although the stock set-up is really nice. One of the reasons I am drawn to tubes is to be able to try a different 'flavor' when you get the itch. Is that the Tungsol 2C51 you are using or the 5670? Sounds like one to try - I've heard good things about the WE tubes too. Tried any others?

The Havana is still settling in and the highs are a bit 'steely' right now but it seems to be smoothing out quickly.

Secretchimp99  (Answers | This Thread)


12-04-09: Tricka
I have both.
The Havana is night and day better than the Valabs. It is very similar to the AN Sign 2.1 that I heard not long ago.
Huge detail and great resolution and extenion.
USB into the Havana is much, much better as well.
I use a WE 396a tube in the Havana. About $33 or so.
Very happy with the purchase.
Cheers
Andrew
ps still love my Valabs - but rarely use it now.

Tricka  (Answers | This Thread)


12-07-09: Karmatogdral
mine is tungsol 2C51, I've got WE396a as well, I prefer the soundstage on tungsol.
Karmatogdral  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


03-30-11: Muralman1
I don't have the Havana. I just want to say, as a long time soldier for NOS, I am tickled to see the popularity of NOS grow as time goes by. Walk up all the way with the cool sound of NOS.
Muralman1  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


03-30-11: Gregfisk
Karmatogdral,
Could you explain the difference in sound between the two tubes? I have been loving the WE396a but would like more soundstage in my system. Does the tungsol still have that amazing midrange?

Thanks,

Greg

Gregfisk  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


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