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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. rlkeel0
    Anyway to know this by manufacture date? My Spring is in a rack attached to a microrendu and SU-1.
  2. bimmer100
    If you have an su1 I would recommend to stick with that.
    But only a rough estimate I can give you for dacs shipped around Chinese New Year started to get the xu208. But the easiest way is to plug in a usb cable to the dac and check the driver revision number as I stated. As this is the only way to confirm or be sure what you have.

    But if one is using an su1 I personally recommend to use your su1. Yes, both have The xu208 chip. However, that means little since the implementations are very different from su1 and HoloAudio usb module. The fpga and firmware for su1 has an effect, the crystek clocks and if you have kte version there are all the mods along with many other things I could go into.

    Or you can go to our website to see photos of instructions to open the dac and visually inspect the usb module to confirm which one you have.

    Also we are releasing specific firmware updates for the spring xu208 module very soon along with a new driver coming very soon. I’m still working on the final testing and hope it to be ready in a few weeks. Stay tuned on our website.

    The cyan dac has the updated firmware specifically for the cyan and drivers specifically for the cyan. Our firmware between each are same numbers however designed specifically for spring or specific for Cyan.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
    rlkeel0 likes this.
  3. WNBC
    Just checked and I have the newer XU208. I received my DAC a couple weeks ahead of the Chinese New Year. I will give USB a listen tonight. Always been I2S up until now, but can't hurt to hear how the other inputs sound.

    rocky500 likes this.
  4. nick77
    @bimmer100 Will the Holo update be for those only with new USB chip or will all Spring benefit??
  5. llamaluv
    Another data point here... My L3 Kitsune unit shipped out from Hong Kong on Feb. 10 has firmware version 20.16, so would have the XU208. This is also the first time I've connected by USB, since I've been using the Matrix X-SPDIF 2 to connect to I2S since day one. No obvious sound quality differences, but I don't have the patience to A/B test intently on a Sunday morning.
  6. llamaluv
    This is the first I've heard about an upgrade to the SU-1. For those who are receptive to audiophile nervosa, this thickens the plot even further, haha. To me, an ideal shootout would test the following combinations:
    • Holo Spring with the older XMOS U8 module, directly connected to USB
    • Holo Spring with the newer XMOS XU208 module, directly connected to USB
    • Holo Spring connected to I2S via pre-upgraded SU-1
    • Holo Spring connected to I2S via this reported 2018 revision of SU-1
    • Holo Spring connected to I2S via Matrix X-SPDIF 2 (for the few people like myself that have this setup)
    WNBC likes this.
  7. nick77
    Would this upgrade warrant people buying a new board for their pre 2018 SU-1 and is that an option? Any discernible sonic improvement in 2018 version?
    motberg likes this.
  8. WNBC
    I did quick side by side test of USB (same 20.16) vs I2S. I have Spring L1. I do think there is a subtle but noticeable more dynamic punch for lack of better words with I2S over USB. The USB sounded a tad flatter and less holographic. I am fully aware that it could be just expectation bias and would need to do a blind AB test to say all of this with confidence. With that said, it wasn't super striking a difference so that does show how good the new USB module is. I have had a Spring L3 + stock SU-1 in the past, but it's been close to a year since that combo so I can't say that SU-1 is better or worse than my Matrix X-SPDIF 2. I'm fine keeping the X-SPDIF 2 as I don't feel it is hurting performance. Would fun to do a shootout with stock SU-1 vs stock X-SPDIF 2.

    llamaluv likes this.
  9. Contrails
    I decided to switch from NOS to OS DS for the sake of experimenting. OS DS sounds a little less aggressive than NOS. What's everyone's preference?
  10. Jay Smith
    Please help me for the dacs decision between Holo Audio Spring, Chord Hugo2/ Qutest. I have Mojo/ Beyerdynamic T1.2/ Icon audio HP8 mk2 amp/ Audeze Deckard as Dac. Mojo is good but sometimes it sounds too forward to me, Yes it is excited but not for longtime listening, hence I use Deckard as Dac most of the time because it sounds less forward and I can listen it very long time. I mainly use Tidal thru Audirvana Plus, DSD is not essential to me. Any comments are welcome, Thank you.
  11. Don Quichotte
    Hi! How is the Spring L1 compared to Spring L3?

    I haven't heard it, but people seem to sugest that Metrum Onyx is a relaxed, easy going Dac approximately in your price range...
  12. Jay Smith
    Thank you for the suggestion. However, Metrum dealer is not around in my area, so my initial choices are limited to Spring and Chord, both got a lot of reviewer positive feedback.....
  13. T Bone
    I have tried all of the oversampling modes and none of them feel like an improvement over the NOS mode.
    NOS just feels more natural. I think you'll find that the consensus of owners is that NOS sounds best.
    YMMV - if OS DSD sounds good to you, rock on!
  14. bimmer100
    Just to add note to this. 99% seem to agree that NOS sounds best. And Jeff wrote that article “Nos vs OS” to further explain in detail. Which I truly believe and agree with his words. However we decided to add an oversampling SRC from AK or Asahi Kasei. And many consider it to be a decent Sample rate converter. But when you are in any OS mode it runs through the SRC and hen to the discrete dac module and most agree seems to lose its life when compared to perfec time domain with the NOS output. The spring and cyan have ever so slight different variants of the SRC as far as filters.
    Ak4137 is the src type, in Cyan it uses the minimum delay filter so it is better in sound character but worse in sound stage. We believe most Cyan users are using headphones so sound stage is not as noticeable for them, This is an optimization. The spring does not have this filter enabled and better suited for loud speaker output when using OS modes. The difference is less dramatic when using loudspeakers with spring dac, and more dramatic of difference with headphones and spring dac.
    And the other way around when using cyan. More dramatic when using loudspeakers and less dramatic when using headphones (cyan).
    Hope this makes sense. Either way.... nearly no one prefers OS regarldless of the minimum delay filter being implemented on the Cyan’s internal src(AK4137chip)


  15. bimmer100
    I can’t really answer this. But someone can do a shootout if they would like. I’ve got demo models available of both type. And also the new xu208 module for spring is now available. It’s very similar to what we use in the cyan, with new xmos chip. Or same xmos chip as su1. However su1 has many other components like its fpga, custom firmware and noise shaping, Femto clocks etc and the new 2018 model did away with the lvds Hdmi i2s chip and using an improved 4way custom circuit.
    Really, before long someone will likely test them all. I will keep my opinion to myself. And believe there is no bad options! :) how about that?
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