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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. Contrails
    Thanks for the detailed reply Tim. I will keep experimenting. I am using the DAC to feed loudspeakers. BTW, which Bavarian Chariot do you drive?
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  2. Thenewguy007
    alphanumerix1 and Contrails like this.
  3. Contrails
    Any recommendations for a reasonably priced Network Streamer with AES/i2s output?
  4. T Bone
    Question about streamers is a bit off topic for this thread, but I understand that an I2S streamer would pair perfectly with your Holo Spring.
    I would suggest that you consider the Mano ULTRA from Magna HiFi. It's a Raspberry PI based device with I2S output.
    Hans Beekhuyzen did a review of an earlier version for the Mano. You can watch his review on YouTube here.
  5. T Bone
    The HoloAudio Spring is a member of an interesting but nearly extinct subfamily of D/A converters called R-2R or ladder DACs.
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  6. kingkikapu
    My inner Hulk came out when I read that!

    Stereophile SMASH!!
  7. T Bone
    I read the entire review and thought it was great. I also noticed two comments from the author/reviewer Herb Reichert that bear sharing:

    (1) His listening tests were done with a Singxer SU-1 providing an I2S input to the Spring.
    (2) This interesting quote, "this review was the most difficult review I've written so far. To effectively characterize the Holo Spring while putting its low price and original engineering into the proper historical perspective was a real challenge"
  8. TubeDriver
    I have upgraded the USB XMOS module in my Holo Spring from the older U8 to the newer XU208 module. Hard to really compare side by side but I hear a slight increase in transparency and detail (particularly at higher freq ie. air/recording space cues).
  9. gr8soundz
    Very good review (imo; normally try to avoid that site but curious to read their opinion of the Holo Spring). I had similar revelations about R2R while reviewing the dac1101. Implementation is more important but I now have a hard time buying anything delta-sigma.

    Still researching my next DAC and goal is to use a direct i2S feed from PC but current solutions are limited to PCM only. It'd be nice to have a discrete DAC do the 'heavy lifting' to DSD (for those times when I might prefer it over NOS) and to avoid past hiccups doing it via PC. Seems few DACs do this and, til now, I wasn't aware the Spring had a DSD oversampling mode. Does anyone know how high the Spring's OS-DSD mode goes?
  10. xenithon
    Quick question - has anyone compared the Holo Cyan against the Audio-GD R2R-11? Been looking for an AIO unit with a ladder DAC and there aren't many around. I read that the Cyan is warmer and more musical than the Soekris 1541, but haven't seen any comparisons to the R2R-11.
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  11. BoomBox
    I'm thinking of picking one up soon... still undecided on which level... I am curious how easy it would be to convert a 110v unit into a 220v unit, or vice versa.

    Has anyone tried this? The red/green label copper/silver toroidal transformers seem identical in the 110v and 220v versions, and the Talema transformer supports both too...

    Is anyone able to tell me what that black switch next to the blue Talema 70050K (70050K?) transformer is? Is it a voltage switch?


    If it's not a voltage switch, could someone explain to me how the 110V and 220V units differentiate?
  12. Peaceofmind
    Yes that black switch is a 110V to 220V input switch. My understanding is that this switch is only on Holo DAC sold by Tim. It’s a simple matter of moving the switch to which input voltage you’re using and you must also change the fuse. The fuse value for 110V is 4 amp and 220V is 2 amp. Yes, I have changed the input voltage on my Holo DAC level 3 when I moved from California to the Philippines with no issues.
  13. Maxx134
    Same observations here.
    Upon listening side by side with yggy (original version),
    Is still confirmed my initial observations that the Holo was more involving and I was also able to pick up nuances that were still obersvable, but totally overlooked when played thru yggy.
    This comparison was using Holo Spring Lvl 1 (!)..

    The Holo is so much at similar level to yggy that I do not miss mine and prefer the Holo more involving nature over the more "relaxed" yggy presentation.
    This analogy is not exactly how I like to deacribe it, but close enough.

    Your initial "gut" impression is usually more accurate to what you prefer.
    I have same preference of the Holo Spring Lvl1 over the yggy (A-board).

    Regardless of whatever point of view one may have about "Stereofile",
    The review was actually very accurate as I had similar overall impressions.
    Personally I am convinced that the differences are greater detailing on the Spring,
    While greater depth/distance on the yggy.
    Both aspects in small but noticable amounts.

    I prefer the width and detailing of the Holo Spring Lvl1 which gives me slightly greater immersion and involvement over the yggy's more centered (literally) presentation.

    Both have that incredible palpable lifelike presentation, so can't go wrong with either.

    They also both get similarly hot, yet the yggy still cooks hotter...
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  14. Contrails
    Anyone do a comparison between XLR and SE outputs of the DAC? What were you thoughts? cheers.
  15. rocky500
    Post 116 here - https://www.head-fi.org/threads/holo-audio-spring-r2r-dac.810065/page-8#post-12878950

    I read this earlier when I got mine and just used XLR. Also since my Preamp had them. :)

    "I think these two pictures can explain the true balance very well. The bottom side has the same resistor ladders as top side.

    XLR is using all of the circuit and RCA is just using half of them. The balanced output has the better performance(THD, noise) and also better common mode rejection rate. If your listening environment contains interference, either from AC power or from air. Then you will find a full balanced system can really help a lot.
    Best Regards
    Jeff Zhu"
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