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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. Torq
    I know what a bleedin' editor is ...

    The title is accurate given what I do there, and the support I provide to other reviewers/contributors. It was something that we discussed ahead of time. Saying I was just a contributor would not be accurate as I do more than just contribute content/write reviews.

    That I do it on a volunteer basis has no bearing on what I actually do or what that is called, any more than being a board member for various (non-audio) related concerns, some of which I also do on a volunteer basis, changes what I do there, or how I would refer to those activities, either.

    I'm not sure what would need to be "reeled back" - but perhaps there are assumptions at work there that I'm not following.

    Anyway ... this is the Holo Audio Spring DAC thread, so this is all way off topic - if you want to chat about it further I'd suggest a different thread or a PM.

    Hope you had fun at last weeks meet!
  2. cobrabucket
    Hello. I have been thinking about upgrading my dac for a while and have long wanted a Chord Qutest, but decided to look around at what else is out there. I currently have an SMSL SU-8 dac into either a THX 789 or a Bottlehead Crack tube amp for headphones, or SU-8 into JBL LSR305s and LSR310 Subwoofer. After looking at available high-end DACs, many people rec'd R2R DACs for their sound signature. At first, I had people suggesting the Denafrips Ares, but after looking into it, it appears that it only has something like an 18 bit ladder. I don't think this would fit my needs, as I listen to a lot of hi-res and DSD music. Logically, the top suggestions for higher end were either the Holo Audio Spring or Audio GD R8 or R1. Ideally, I would like to be able to play DSD natively and have true 24+ bit resistors. Balanced is also preferred. As I am at a crossroads and cannot afford to make a wrong decision, I am asking for input. Thanks!
  3. aisnikkor

    I cannot give any comparison to the other DACs you mention, but I have been very happy with my Spring 2 KTE for both DSD and redbook material. I have been using hqplayer to upsample to DSD512, and really enjoying the music I’m getting out of my setup. DSD is a solid improvement over redbook from what I am hearing, but good recording engineering and mastering can trump this difference. In general, I am getting sound now that has a ‘wholeness’ to it that just was not present in any of my previous listening setups.

    Some additional points. Since getting the Holo Spring 2 three months ago, I have bought about 100 more SACDs for my collection - this is reflective of the enjoyment I am getting out of DSD listening. Also, my experiments with vinyl are done and I will be selling off that gear. The biggest positive for me though is that I have spent a much larger percentage of my time just enjoying music, rather than analyzing it since getting the Spring 2.
    Baten and cobrabucket like this.
  4. cobrabucket
    Thanks for the insight. Could you tell me about the differences b/n the level 1, 2, and KTE? I will not be able to afford anything other than a level 1 atm.
  5. aisnikkor
    Best info on the differences is on the Kitsune website. In terms of performance differences, this will all be different for each listener. I was originally looking at the first version Spring in a level 1, and doing some of the mods myself. But the Spring 2’s were coming out by the time I was going to purchase, and things aligned for me to go for the KTE.

    I think you will eventually want a Singxer SU1 or similar if you get a Holo Spring, this also makes a noticeable difference. As I understand it, it feeds the signal directly to the DAC circuits via I2S, bypassing some additional circuits and cleaning up the signal path.

    On “differences” though in audio gear, these improvements can sometimes be incredibly subtle. The problem is that one persons “subtle” is another persons “night and day”. I don’t think you would be unhappy with the Level 1, by all accounts it’s still a great DAC.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
    cobrabucket likes this.
  6. Alcophone
    I am also looking for another good DAC (current favorite being Yggy) and am torn between the Spring 2 and a Denafrips Terminator. The Spring 2 is smaller, cheaper, and has a remote (level 2 and 3), but ultimately sound quality matters most.
  7. Mrstump5
    What about metrum pavane
  8. Alcophone
    Certain fans of the Yggy seem to prefer the Spring over it, but I haven't looked into it much. Thanks for the hint!
  9. Contrails
    I just bought a Turntable - Thorens TD309 and upgraded the Cartridge to VM540ML. My Holospring DAC LVL 3 comes very very close to it. I am using Audirvana to upsample to DSD and then feed it to the DAC via SU-1. Certain songs we can't tell the difference but the pops do give it away. Vinyl does present a deeper soundstage. There is a slight mid bass hump to the Vinyl but this is more due to the phono I am using - Rega Fono Mk3.

    Would I sell the Holo? Nope. They both complement each other beautifully. On certain days I can't be bothered buggering around with setting up the record, I just press play and relax. Other days, when I am in the mood, I go for the full monty.
    Alcophone likes this.
  10. cobrabucket
    How is the Spring DAC 1 different than the 2?
  11. Ravaholm
    Hi All

    I just ordered a Spring 2 Wildism Exreme Edition as part of the process of replacing my current desktop setup (Lyr 1 & Bifrost Uber) and I currently am using an Audeze LCD2C, what would be a good and somewhat affordable (~2000 usd) amp pairing for the Spring 2 and LCD2C?
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
  12. Baten
    I have the same version DAC. I just pair it with the thx aaa amp. Top tier performance honestly, amps don't need to cost $1000-2000 nowadays.
    Only other amps I'd consider are the headamp ones.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
  13. Ravaholm
    Oh I definitely would get the THX AAA 789. That is of course if massdrop decides to provide enough supply for the drop to last more than 2 hours...
  14. 3ggerhappy
    I have also ordered from Wildism the wild extreme edition, only concern is, am i missing much using it only on single ended at least for Headphones? be hooking it up with a primaluna dialogue HP > Focal Utopia.

    On the otherhand for my speaker setup I could fully utilize the balanced feature with my other amp with balanced. Other considerations I have is the chord hugo 2 and qutest which I have auditioned. This one i just bought blindly or deafly :D.
  15. Baten
    I have used my wildism spring 2 single ended lots of times. It sounds godlike I would not worry about it.
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