MHDT Havana owners.....question

Just received my Havana today. I have it running in but was curious what owners have heard once this think breaks in? I think it sounds pretty good out of the box, but my TRL modified Sony is pacing it neck and neck. Thoughts?

What tube? It makes a big difference. You will probably get the most recs for Bendix 2c51 and Western Electric 396a. In my experience thev are indeed the best. WE bigger soundstage, more extended, Bendix richer and more tonally pure. Let it break in and enjoy! It's a really great DAC.
Hey Shakey,
I posted here yesterday but it didn't show up.

I agree with Eugene81, the tube makes a big difference in the sound. I personally like the WE396a, to me it brings out a realistic lush tone to the vocals and instruments.

Thanks for the replies. I will certainly investigate the WE tube.

I just replaced the PCM56P chips with the K grade versions for a solid improvement.

$13.56 each + shipping here:

No soldering required, just pop and plug!

Recent thread on this here:

This is also discussed in the huge Havana thread on Head-Fi along with a host of other, more advanced, mods, the most common being upgrading output caps.
Mine came with the GE JAN 5670W tube. I found it quite nice and relaxed. I then tried a Tung Sol 2C51 and it is much more precise and accurate. Not "tubey" at all. I recently bought some Russian 6N3PE (6H3NE) tubes for very cheap ($1.25 each) and they are my new fave. Wonderful detail, 3d sound, realistic. Really good.

What the Havana is sitting on is important to the sound. Try some different supports like firm and light vs cushion or inner tube. They all have different sounds.

Lastly, I also swapped out the dac chips for a better spec pair. Not expensive, but very worthwhile. This is a seriously good dac that competes well with my vinyl rig. Totally enjoyable to listen to for hours without fatigue.
Onetwothreego where did you get the Russian 6n3pe tubes? I want!
I first read about those tubes from a guy on Head-Fi. In the big long thread on the Havana over there, he had this posting:

"But I want to tell you about a tube I just got in the mail a couple of days ago. I am listening to it at this very moment. First I AM Shocked!! I took out my bendix 2c51 and poped this in and I was not expecting much (for 3.00 for two tubes= 8.00 shipping=11.00 total) I can not believe my ears!!! This tube sounds every bit as good as the bendix(maybe better). I gave the other to my friend with one of these dacs so he can listen also. I expect the same response from him in his high end system when he gets back to me.
The Tube???---the Russian 6np3-e--- it is important that you get the E- model and not the other ones.( there is a 6n3p, a-6n3p-i, and a 6n3p-dr) I have only tried the E model. And I am not sure the other models would sound as good. At such a cheap price. I can't see why anyone would not at least try them. You should leave your dac on all night so the tube can cook some (improved bass). It seems to sound better after about 15 or 20 hours burn in. I understand that there may be some out there that disagree. But I feel that this is the bargin of the century for a tube for this DAC."

I got mine on eBay and there are quite a few sellers there. Cheap. Just do a search for 6N3P-E. They come in a box that is branded PAANO in Russian with the number 6H3NE on the box. All these different numbers are very confusing...
I just bought one of these tubes on ebay for 7.50 including shipping. Guess I'll find out first hand how good it is.

Thanks for the tip on the Russian tubes!

Did you guys get charged sales tax? Don't think these guys in RUSSIA are supposed charge California sales tax. Granted, Paypal source is US, but in MN. +9.75% at that -- I don't know of any sales tax rate that high in CA. Yeah, 48 cents, big deal, but it's the principle...
Russian 6H3Ne tubes are really good in the Havana, in fact dollar for dollar they beat out all-of-the-above. Nice extension top and bottom, nice soundstage too.
I also just ordered a 6H3N-E and I also ordered a 6H3N-i from the Ukraine. Not sure what the difference is but the seller was calling them a matched pair? He is calling them military grade from the 70s and 80s. Since I'm only using one at a time I figured for $11.00 total what the heck.
I received my Russian 6h3n tube last week and I am very impressed with it. This and more break in on the DAC/SB/CIA PS and I am very happy with the performance.