MHDT Havana and Eastern Electric Minimax

Has anyone heard both of these DACs at one time or another. I am still considering a DAC, and was all set on picking up a used Havana, until I was informed that adding the Havana to my de Havilland Ultraverve 3 preamp will be too much, and would produce soft bass.

The gentlemen thought that the minimax may be a better match because of its greater neutrality in comparison to the Havana.

Any thoughts?
The 3 Sabre 9018 based digital products I've owned used in my listening impressions are the W4S, EE Minimax Plus and Oppo 95 as a stand alone unit, should have clarified that this is of course not a DAC but the properties of the chip used can be heard. Of these three I prefer the W4S, Oppo 95 and least of all EE head to head using the Oppo's transport.

Further listening impressions on the Havana, which I haven't listened to in several months. I put it in the system 2 nights ago and I don't want to take it out now! I have made a few changes in different tube types used in my amplifier which have been a kind of new revelation since I installed them a few months back. These changes rendered improved harmonics and tonality to the music in general. The thing I immediately liked about the Havana from the beginning when I purchased it two years ago came back renewed and with greater appreciation. I would again emphasize the positive comments concerning it again and then some. What is so apparently right and is it's trump card is the natural timbre and tone of instruments and the "musicality", that undefinable something that makes us want to just listen and enjoy without analysis and questioning what could be improved, it just didn't happen. I didn't notice, think of nor care of lost detail. What did happen is I was just struck with how much improvement in enjoyment it gave overall and I have been quite happy and am still with the W4s. That richness and tonality, became so much more apparent. I've decided to leave it in the system for now and definitely explore some improvements per Phil's comments. I am using Stillpoints with risers under the Havana and all digital components.

I'll add that owners of mhdt Havana, Havana Balanced and Stockhom DACs have the option of Installing AD1865 DAC chips in place of the stock PCM56P. The Analog Devices chip has the organic Non-OS sound essential to mhdt's engaging character but it improves perceived resolution and bottom end linearity. There's more speed to bass events too. In some respects the AD1865 pushes these DACs toward some of the positive sonic attributes of delta-sigma DACs without their somewhat desiccated tone. It is a bit leaner sound overall than you hear from the PCM56P but it's not inorganic in a hifi way. The AD1856 allows you to hear somewhat deeper into the mix of sound events in music at small expense to some of the bouncy character in the PCM56P. I have two systems, each now with a Havana Balanced, so I run the AD1865 in the larger, higher resolution system built around Zu Definition 4 speakers, and upgraded the stock PCM56P-J chips to PCM56P-K in the second system built around Zu Druid V. The K chip makes the Havana Balanced a trifle cleaner with a touch more projection of initial transient energy. Both of these chip upgrades are inexpensive and worthwhile. Mhdt places the DAC chips in sockets, so changes are far easier and low risk than if they were soldered. Use a chip pull and an insertion tool, though, and take your time.

One of the benefits of the EE Dac plus is the ability to swap out opamps which allows you flexibility to tailor the sound in your system. The stock EE Dac plus is very detailed and resolving. This seems to be the common trait of Sabre Dacs. However, switching in discrete opamps (like Dexa and Burson for example) made the Dac much more analog sounding without sacrificing the detail. After all the wonderful press on the Metrum Octave I purchased a unit but still in the end preferred my Dexa outfitted Dac Plus. The discrete opamps will cost you a few hundred extra over stock but I thought it was a very noticeable upgrade - at least in my system.