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Holo Audio Spring R2R DAC

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by mtoc, Jun 2, 2016.
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  1. T Bone
    Yes, I enjoy my Uptone ISO Regen. It's provides a subtle change but its by no means a "must have".
    I guess my broader point is that Jitterbug ---> Eiter --> Singxer --> Holo seems a bit redundant.

    If you get your Singxer / Holo you can experiment with removing/introducing components in your USB chain to see if it really makes a difference.
    I spent a lot of time trying components in front of the Singxer and gauging their audible benefit.
  2. pichu
    fair enough :)

    im too lazy to sell equipment so im gonna test it and see how it sounds. considering audio is highly preferential i can make my decision there if im gonna leave the jitterbug and Eitr out. I do appreciate your input.

    Speaking of galvanized equipment. have you heard iFi's offering with their USB Galvanic isolater?

    BTW, I just bought a Silver/Silver cable from ww.iceageaudio.com due to reccomendations i read earlier in the thread. It will be used to power my Holo Audio DAC
  3. T Bone
    I have heard of, but have no hands-on experience with iFi's isolator. They have some highly regarded products that enjoy a good reputation among the HeadFi crowd. Personally, I just can't get thru iFi's lengthy and seemingly overlapping product offerings. iPurifier, iPower, iGalvanic, iNano, iUSB, iCAN.
    ....i can't keep up with them.

    For me, the uptone ISO Regen offered everything I needed.

    Frankly, we wouldn't need all of this "stuff" in front of the Holo if their USB implementation were better. Before buying my Holo, I evaluated a Benchmark DAC for a few weeks using "straight USB" no decrappifiers, no gizmos, etc. It sounded amazing. The Holo sounded good, but not great. I had to bypass the Holo's USB input in favor of the I2S via the Singxer SU-1 before the Holo finally started to shine.

    I have Shunyata Venom power cables on my amp and DAC - but I've never heard an audible benefit from a power cable. (your mileage may vary)
    I also have a PS Audio Power Plant filtering everything - but that's more of an insurance policy than anything else.
    There's no shortage of things to throw your money at in this hobby.
  4. Themordent
    After considerable waiting, Eitr delivered today. Can confirm that putting other things before DDC makes little difference (if any), but I do detect a slight difference between the Eitr (coax) and SU-1 (I2S).
    Maybe it's just the extra money I spent on the Singxer I'm hearing, but the Eitr sounds comparatively "flatter" (i.e. slighly less clear, separation of various instruments/voices is not as good). I'd certainly be happy with either one if I never heard the other, as the discrepancy is small; I originally bought the Eitr for a secondary chain (it's going in front of a Modi MB) so everything works out anyway.

    Actually planning on getting rid of USB entirely in the coming months and giving the Pink Faun PCIe I2S bridge a whirl as a new PC build comes together.
  5. manishex
    Is that i2s out of the PC? wouldn't you still need a short cable which would make moving your gear a few cm away from your PC obtrusive?
  6. Themordent
    Yeah, I'll be using the same 1ft. HDMI cable I'm currently running; haven't experimented with longer cables, but don't really intend to as no good can come of it. The setup around my desk is a bit peculiar, but it'll end up reaching just fine as the PC chassis is designed to lie flat and will sit on a riser/shelf just above the DAC on my stand.
  7. bflat
    You will want to make sure the pin out matches the I2S input of the Holo DAC or can be configured to match. The SU-1 has configurable DIP switches.
  8. Themordent
    Yeah, the Spring pinout is PS Audio spec or something very similar (I think the DSD L/R channels are swapped, but everything else is identical), so it shouldn't be an issue; might also be the same as the Audio-GD spec but if I recall correctly the DSD pin config is very different. Pink Faun doesn't do DSD so all this is moot anyhow.
  9. 1note
    is2 RJ45 Terminated Cable Recommendations

    Torq's thread on life after Yggdrasil and this thread have been very helpful to me in my search for a new DAC. I want to see if these new value-for-money DACs can best my Kinosh ita Rey Audio R-DAC, circa 2009, which still to my ears outperforms the DAC in my Esoteric K-03x. I was looking at a Yggdrasil and Holo Spring Wild Stage Special Edition but have pushed the button on a Denafrips Terminator. I am a "flat earther" and just play CDs outside my vinyl system. The simplest DAC processing route I can see is is2. So I am looking to connect the is2 digital out of a CD transport to the is2 digital input of the Terminator. is2 cables are totally new to me. The connectors on both ends would be RJ45. Cable recommendations would be very much appreciated. Thanks
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
    HoloSpice likes this.
  10. bimmer100
    For those who are asking questions in regards to KTE products or HoloAudio products. Just an FYI I don't follow these threads too closely and don't reply to IM's or forum postings due to rules of the Forum. But am happy to assist anyone that has some questions if they contact me via our website. Thank you for understanding.
  11. earnmyturns
    I reported this earlier: USB>SU-1>I2S>Spring KTE-3 sounds cleaner, more spacious than USB>Eitr>coax>Spring. Not a big difference, but audible with the right source material. According to my wife, who doesn't know or care about which gear was involved in the test, so no expectation bias.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
    Liu Junyuan likes this.
  12. doraymon
    When I got my Spring KTE-3 a few months ago my previous DAC (Chord Hugo) was already on its way to the new owner so I couldn't do any A/B comparison.

    After a few months I decided to buy the Hugo 2 and run some comparisons.
    For the time being I have only compared my desktop setup (see my signature) to the Hugo 2 fed by Audirvana Plus using the same source songs and the same cans (Focal Clear). Just to clarify I used the headphones straight out of the Hugo 2 so it was not strictly a DAC comparison but the entire chain.

    Well I'm not sure how to say this but my first impression is that the desktop setup with the Spring has a very similar level of transparency but blows away the Hugo 2 in terms of 3D effect, involvement and musicality.
    Bass is tighter, voices are more refined and transients better reproduced.
    I feel like there is more music inside, I don't know how to express this differently.

    Now this is a big surprise to me as Rob Watts (designer of Chord DACs) has always fiercely sustained that transparency and refinement of the Hugo (and even more for the Hugo 2) were its "pièces de résistance".
    But this exactly were I think my desktop setup sounded more convincing.

    To be fair to the Hugo 2 it has only say 2 hours of music played so I'd better give it more burn in time (I read like 1 week of daily use) before comparing.

    Just sharing my initial thoughts...
  13. bflat
    Thanks for sharing! Since you have an SU-1, you may want to try the coax from SU-1 to Hugo 2. All of the digital out ports on the SU-1 transmit simultaneously.
  14. ZGojira
    I also own both, and my impressions are somewhat similar to yours. I previously owned a mojo (did not like it at all), and also a/b with the Hugo.

    To me, the Spring sounds much more "realistic", but the Hugo2 sounds extremely pleasing. So pleasing in fact, that it sounds "too good to be true".
    Even bad recordings sound good on the Hugo2, but the same cannot be said about the Spring. DSD on the Spring is also some next level stuff.....

    Do note that I'm amping the Spring with the GSX mk2 whereas I am running straight off the Hugo2.

    I would not say which is "better", since they serve very different purposes.
    But I am now able to at least have an enjoyable experience when I'm traveling, whereas previously my XD-05+V5i could not quite reach "level:enjoyable'.
  15. doraymon
    That's a very good hint, thanks sir!
    I just need a good coax cable.
    (edit: just realised how silly of me... SU-1 does not have a USB out obviously...)
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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