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Holo Audio Spring R2R DAC - Page 2

post #16 of 703

Really interested by this DAC.

 

Otherwise, I can not find any benefit of a silver main transformer.

In this kind of transformer, even audio note, lundalh or tango do not use silver.

So, I think I will go with a level 1 or 2 DAC.

 

 

But before that, I am waiting for a serious review.

post #17 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I don't think Schiit is going to suddenly announce a new high-end DAC. They've said as much. I'm curious though how this DAC compares to the Master 11. 
Thank you, that is good to know about Schiit. I have not heard Yggy but I did hear a Gumby. Gumby sounded very good yet very familiar. Perhaps the Master 11 Dac or even my Bimby are that good. I promise to compare the Holo Dac (I'm dense this weekend. I just got it. The Holodac! Where's Picard?) once I get it. Perhaps it will be time for me to join in and do a proper Review.
post #18 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazcou View Post

Really interested by this DAC.

Otherwise, I can not find any benefit of a silver main transformer.
In this kind of transformer, even audio note, lundalh or tango do not use silver.
So, I think I will go with a level 1 or 2 DAC.


But before that, I am waiting for a serious review.
Yup could be all hype. For me, in For a dime, in for a dollar. But what convinced me to go for the silver (Yo Rio) is power. I found some of those ridiculous thick Pangea cords do sound better. Especially with my hdvd800 Sennheiser Dac/amp. Night and day. But the biggest shock was when I bought a used PSAudio P300 power regenerator. No doubt about it. My Master11 is a different unit powered by the P300 Every buzzword you can think of. So, heck yeah! Silver wire, transformer. You bet. But I gave the level 2 a good look. The bitsy bit of extra sound may not be worth the not so bitsy bit of extra money. I would be quite happy with a level 2. I will write a review after I get it and can write intelligently about it. Beam me up Holodac.
post #19 of 703

 

So I just received my Holo Audio Kitsune tuned Spring DAC last week…

 

Coming from a delta sigma experience I was really keep on hearing the difference between that and R2R. Yes, I have heard some R2R DACs before but those times were at show and meet conditions so I did not get the chance to fully indulge in their greatness. Hint: I think you know where this is going.

 

From what I understand when reading about the technology this DAC possesses; It has a new patented technology that combines segmenting and trimming technology that is found on many R2R DAC yet this DAC uses both technology's. It has dual resistor networks for pcm. And the kicker is that it has two resistor networks for dsd. Yes, this DAC does dsd over R2R! It’s just something you need to hear to understand how sweet it sounds!  

 

The Spring supports up to dsd512 native with the newest firmware update, although mine will do dsd256 native on a Mac or Linux and I'm told will have support for native dsd256 in Windows by the end of August.

 

Highs

The highs are full of precise details and natural nuances that flow effortlessly without sounding smoothed over or fatiguing. They are lifelike and natural, more-so than most syrupy older generation R2R DACs that I have heard. They don’t pierce your ears at all; they just fill in the upper region of sound very well but also retain great attack.

 

Mids

The mids are pure butter on the Spring. They are incredibly flowy and natural sounding. Guitar comes through very smooth and lush sounding. Vocals are tremendously close sounding. On Vanessa Fernandez- Be Thankful for What You Got, you can feel the presence and urgency in her voice. Because of this the music comes out less like a recording and more like a live concert just for you. To sum it up, the mids are really smooth, dynamic and the presentation makes all music sound more life-like.

 

Bass

Tight. The bass was never a big feature on the HD 800s but after living with the Mytek I sort of accepted the fact and hoped that one day that would change. After listening to a few reference bass tracks (both upright bass and electric bass) I was staggered. The lower region really comes together nicely on the Spring and I noticed the smoothness and finesse come through once again. These things just cruise through complicated bass lines and hold it together with precision. Bass is extremely textured and is very multi-layered. It is very easy to hear each individual layer in the low end, there is absolutely no smearing. The transitions are smooth and do not disrupt the mid-range.

 

Treble

The treble has no hints of harshness. The reason I know this is because I listened to the DAC for 4-6 hours a day and I found the sound is not be fatiguing at all. It doesn’t sound smoothed over or lacking in detail it just has a level of precision and accuracy accompanied by smooth presentation. You get all the detail but without the harshness!

 

Soundstage

The only pair of cans I have at the moment are the HD800 S which I have modified slightly with a Draug 2 cable from Norne audio as well as some internal modifications. The HD800s have a vast soundstage which some people sound to be annoying with certain rigs. Some have said that everything sounds like a concert hall, even some jazz pieces. What I experienced with the Spring is that the sound is not bound by a room size – it just travels out into the abyss very freely. I personally really enjoy the soundstage and it was a revelation coming from the Mytek to this. Instrument separation was on of the most impressive things to me. I could hear every instrument as an independent source of sound in the music and could break down the track instrument by instrument. I loved that. 

 

Presentation

The Spring DAC certainly shows no signs of digititus commonly found with delta sigma type DACs like the Mytek. This DAC may possibly be the most natural and accurate sounding DAC I've ever heard. The measurements show perfect linearity and quite possibly the lowest THD of any NOS DAC. Due to the perfect linearity of the DAC its presentation is very neutral and uncolored therefore its clear why it gives a very accurate and natural presentation.

 

Closing

I am at the end of the break in period and am extraordinarily pleased with this DAC. Feel free to contact me with any questions or things that I may have missed in my review. I think the logical next step is to order a Singxer SU-1. I have heard amazing things about it and it seems to me that kitsunehifi is the only site that carries it in my local. 

post #20 of 703

Super review, Hi-Phi, thanks a lot! I became truly interested in this DAC. Presently, I am running an Aqua La Voce S2 DAC, and I was thinking of upgrading to the La Scala (same company). But the Spring DAC could be a true alternative, and you did make me reconsider my plans!

One question, though: what is the Singxer SU-1 intended for?

post #21 of 703
Thank you Hi-Phi for the great review. My Holo 3 is still 2-3 weeks out.
post #22 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by biosailor View Post
 

Super review, Hi-Phi, thanks a lot! I became truly interested in this DAC. Presently, I am running an Aqua La Voce S2 DAC, and I was thinking of upgrading to the La Scala (same company). But the Spring DAC could be a true alternative, and you did make me reconsider my plans!

One question, though: what is the Singxer SU-1 intended for?

 

You should totally try it. I think that these days dacs are climbing to prices that are just totally unreal. I think that dollar for dollar the spring is undervalued when you compare it to other super dacs. I have heard many people say that the Schiit Yiggy is not even in the same ballpark. Others have also said that this is at the level of the Chord DAVE. 

 

The singxer su-1 is an interesting device. Not only does it isolate the noise from the source to the dac but it also converts from usb to hdmi.  It essentially reconstructs the signal and sends it out to the dac through hdmi. It supposedly gives you a flawless, super black and resolved signal into your dac. Think of it as a signal conditioner for your dac. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by defbear View Post

Thank you Hi-Phi for the great review. My Holo 3 is still 2-3 weeks out.

Level three, excellent choice! I am really excited to hear what you think about it. 

post #23 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi-Phi View Post
 

 

You should totally try it. I think that these days dacs are climbing to prices that are just totally unreal. I think that dollar for dollar the spring is undervalued when you compare it to other super dacs. I have heard many people say that the Schiit Yiggy is not even in the same ballpark. Others have also said that this is at the level of the Chord DAVE. 

 

The singxer su-1 is an interesting device. Not only does it isolate the noise from the source to the dac but it also converts from usb to hdmi.  It essentially reconstructs the signal and sends it out to the dac through hdmi. It supposedly gives you a flawless, super black and resolved signal into your dac. Think of it as a signal conditioner for your dac. 

Level three, excellent choice! I am really excited to hear what you think about it. 

Thanks for your explanation, Hi-Phi. What you say is very much tempting! In particular the ability of dealing with PCM AND DSD files is amazing, given that this is a ladder DAC! I wonder how DSD is handled technically in an R2R machine. Is there any conversion to PCM?

post #24 of 703
Argh! Now I have to decide between this and a yggy
post #25 of 703

What would you choose, Holo Spring or T+A Dac8 DSD?

post #26 of 703

The holo spring is the first fully compensated discrete R2R dac to come to market.

the other discrete R2R units I am aware of (soekris,msb etc) do not do linearity compensation.

I think this is going to be a big deal going forward.

 

At least until a monolithic R2R high resolution dac chip comes out. (could be a long time)

It is possible, with 10nm technology, but not going to be cheap. Say $300 per channel...

post #27 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by biosailor View Post

Thanks for your explanation, Hi-Phi. What you say is very much tempting! In particular the ability of dealing with PCM AND DSD files is amazing, given that this is a ladder DAC! I wonder how DSD is handled technically in an R2R machine. Is there any conversion to PCM?

It discretely handles dsd in nos mode without any conversion or sample rate converters. Pure native dsd!
post #28 of 703

Does it have any warranty?

post #29 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi-Phi View Post


It discretely handles dsd in nos mode without any conversion or sample rate converters. Pure native dsd!

Thanks, Hi-Phi! This DAC sounds ever more tempting ... 

post #30 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin gilmore View Post
 

The holo spring is the first fully compensated discrete R2R dac to come to market.

the other discrete R2R units I am aware of (soekris,msb etc) do not do linearity compensation.

I think this is going to be a big deal going forward.

 

At least until a monolithic R2R high resolution dac chip comes out. (could be a long time)

It is possible, with 10nm technology, but not going to be cheap. Say $300 per channel...

Can you explain in layman's term what linearity compensation is? Sounds interesting!

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