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Old 11-16-2011, 09:21 AM
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Question Anyonne listen to the MHDT's new Stockholm DAC?

I happen to have the MHDT Havana dac, and have enjoyed it, but get quite frustrated at it's limited usage (16/44). So I've been toying with finding a new DAC. Today as I set out on my journey I ran across MHDT's new Stockholm dac (24/192), and wanted to see if anyone here has heard it, picked one up, etc. If so, what can you share?

FWIW, I like it's price point - ~$1,100, as I see this field continuing to change way too much and fast over the next few years to justify spending much more than that right now. Today's super dac at $6K is next Fall's budget dac at $2K... Buttressing this view is the fact that when I don't generally listen to digital in a focused listening session, but rather use it as background music.

Thanks in advance for any input!

PS - I wasn't sure where to put this post, since there was no direct "DAC" forums. So I put it here because it involved tubes-valves-general comments, and the dac is a tubed dac. If a moderator needs to move it, please do.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:07 PM
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Bump. Curious if anyone has bought this Non-Oversampling Dac
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:53 PM
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Hey...

@ the OP...

I've had a loaner Stockholm for a few weeks now (Jiun @ MHDT sent me one for review purposes). I'm currently burning it in, as well as a new NOS JW 396A tube and have put about 100 hours on it so far; I'm not going to be doing any review/serious listening till it hits the 200 hour mark.

I have done tentative listening, however (but no 192/24 listening yet) and the DAC sounds excellent. It is HIGHLY reminiscent of the Havana (which I've had for about 2.5 years and love) with perhaps just a bit more sparkle in the highs and (could be my imagination) perhaps an iota or two more detailed (but I'm splitting hairs with that).

I'm very curious to check out the asynchronous USB functionality since I have historically listened to the Havana via coaxial or optical, not really caring for it's USB implementation which I find just a tad "dull" and "lifeless" set next to the former mentioned input methods.

I'm also very curious to demo some 192/24 tracks with the Stockholm as I haven't dealt much with that sort of high res .flac as the Havana is limited in that regard. It's interesting to me that the designers implemented a separate DAC chip to intercept the high bit rate data and then pass it on to the PCM56P-(?) monolithics for final output. I'm not a technician or electronics guy by any means but I'm curious about this and wonder exactly how it works. I have a few 192/24 .flacs but will need to get a few more from HDtracks before doing a proper review (which I intend to publish to Head-fi.org where I go by the same user as here).

All of that considered...

I listen 100% through headphones (Grado GS1000/Havana DAC/Ray Samuels Raptor tube amp) and have been absolutely ecstatic with the tone/timbre/overall delivery of the Havana DAC. I spent a great deal of time investigating DACs and until the Havana, found most to be far too "digital" sounding for my ears...etched, exaggerated detail (not natural) and just wrong for me...with DACs previous to the Havana, I found myself being "wowed" by the "sounds" in any given selection as opposed to being enthralled with the music. The Havana was a no brainer the very first time I listened to it (I use a JW 396A and a Bendix 6385, btw in my Havana).

So yeah...I'm interested in some serious play time with the Stockholm to see where and if, it improves on the Havana in any way, especially when rendering high def .flacs (which the Havana will play, of course but I'm sure it is dropping the data it can't interpret; in other words, the Havana plays 192/24 tracks just fine and the sound really good, but the PCM56P-(?) monolithics are not capable of rendering the extra data inherent to such files.

Anyway...will post more thoughts once I have more time with the Stockholm.

Best regards,
Joel.
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:20 PM
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Joel, welcome aboard!
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:39 PM
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Just today spent a good deal of time listening to some 96khz/24bit .flacs (Marta Gomez's record, "Entre Cada Palabra") with the Stockholm and in comparison to the same high res files rendered by the Havana...

And without a doubt, at least with the high def files, the Stockholm is far and away more detailed, 3 dimensional and just toe curling in it's sonics when compared to the Havana's rendering of the same high res file. Literally, night and day...

If I had a large collection of high def/bit rate tracks, I would already be putting the Havana up for sale immediately in favor of purchasing the Stockholm but the above is the only album I have that is hi res and the other 200 gig of .flacs in my library are all standard resolution files; but still, in the end, I may end up purchasing the Stockholm just for the sake of extensibility...

But really, I was floored at how much better the Stockholm sounds with the high res files; truly HUGE difference with zero chance for placebo/imagination. Highs are dramatically more resolved and crisp, spatial qualities (imaging/dimensionality, etc.) are off the chart spooky, bass more clean and dramatic and overall a huge sense of "air" and "space" around the players (the particular album is sort of latin, minimalist and sparse with crisp percussion and tasteful bass).

So, barring any further review (which I later aim to do), if your planning on listening to high res sound files and are trying to decide between the Havana and the Stockholm...then by all means...go with the Stockholm. Absolutely brilliant sounding compared to the Havana (which I'm sure drops off the extra data that it's DACs can't interpret) when listening to high res files.

With standard resolution files, though? So far, I am having a very hard time discerning the difference between the two; they sound identical to my ear (using JW 396A's in both DACs, btw) with standard res .flacs.

More later...

.joel
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