Holo Audio Spring R2R DAC
Dec 31, 2016 at 8:40 PM Post #661 of 3,228

Superdad

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The principle difference between the Level 1 and the Level 3 IS the power-supply. If you remove/replace/bypass it then you might as well have bought the Level 1 and saved yourself $700. Did you not look at the difference before you bought it?


Actually, I was told (by Tim at Kitsune) that the resistor ladder modules for the Level 3 are hand-selected by the designer.  That's the primary reason I went for the Level 3.  I'm sure the PS stuff helps as well, but the modules are the core of the DAC and having ones selected for greater precision is compelling to me.
 
Jan 1, 2017 at 1:21 AM Post #664 of 3,228

mtoc

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  I was told (by Tim at Kitsune) that the resistor ladder modules for the Level 3 are hand-selected by the designer.

 
That is not true I am afraid. afaik, Lev 3 has more-expensive toroidal transformer, more-expensive internal cables, Jensen caps on the PSU and two Mundorf caps at the AC inlet which contains a 115/230V selector. That's all.

Dont bite me..
 
same ladder modules (hand-selecting and putting into ageing room and set the temperature and next step next step)
 
correct: one Mundorf
 
Jan 1, 2017 at 1:43 AM Post #665 of 3,228

mtoc

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The principle difference between the Level 1 and the Level 3 IS the power-supply.

 
Correct: IS the caps on the power-supply and one of the two trannies. PSU and transformer are two different things. In this case, PSU is part of the main boards. That PCB which has a smaller transformer is not PSU. it's a PCB/board mount transformer.
 
Jan 1, 2017 at 11:19 AM Post #666 of 3,228

Tboooe

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Actually, I was told (by Tim at Kitsune) that the resistor ladder modules for the Level 3 are hand-selected by the designer.  That's the primary reason I went for the Level 3.  I'm sure the PS stuff helps as well, but the modules are the core of the DAC and having ones selected for greater precision is compelling to me.

 
 
   
That is not true I am afraid. afaik, Lev 3 has more-expensive toroidal transformer, more-expensive internal cables, Jensen caps on the PSU and two Mundorf caps at the AC inlet which contains a 115/230V selector. That's all.

Dont bite me..
 
same ladder modules (hand-selecting and putting into ageing room and set the temperature and next step next step)
 
correct: one Mundorf

I get the impression that Tim is a straight up guy that would not knowingly mislead @superdad.  However, that would really suck if superdad spent more money than he would have otherwise based on erroneous information.   @mtoc how do you know that the resistors are not specifically matched for the Level 3.  
 
@bimmer100 care to comment?
 
Jan 1, 2017 at 1:07 PM Post #667 of 3,228

Torq

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I've got no idea if the DAC modules are hand-picked or not. But if the linear compensation scheme that is the core of the Spring DAC works the way I understand it too, it shouldn't matter.

As for the PSU ... the various regulators that live downstream from the transformers, rectification and filtering, which is the bulk of what differentiates the KTE/Level 3 model, are unchanged. So, effectively, you're still paying for the upgraded PSU ... it's just not upgrading every single component in the total power implementation. For practical purposes, that IS the PSU.
 
Jan 1, 2017 at 6:43 PM Post #668 of 3,228

bimmer100

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Actually superdad indeed got a hand selected level 3 DAC module. And many others had unknowingly received one too. It's something we have that doesn't have hand matched resistors as those are not as important in the linear compensated DAC. But each module is tested during QA and several modules simply perform slightly better than our average module. These all end up in being our hand selected modules. They measure about 1-3% better than average specs published and I did tell superdad he would get a DAC with a hand selected module. Some get better numbers than others but only found on the KTE dacs. I can't promise these gains on every single KTE DAC, although I can say you won't get them on less than. And they are not being sold or able to request them. Many of the KTE's have had these installed yet I don't advertise it for the fact we have a limited amount. I recall superdad asking about selected resistors, and I simply let the cat out of the bag so to speak. It's not something I think is a huge deal, but a nice perk if you get one. It's a small gain, but with all the mods the KTE has, it simply adds up in the end.
So to hopefully this clears things up. It's true what he says, as we have installed these in many many KTE dacs and haven't mentioned it for the fact it's just something we can't offer to everyone consistently. So some may be 1%, 2% or 3%. All should be at the very least case be the same as our advertised specs.
The PSU is essentially the majority of improvements of the KTE over the L2.

-Tim
 
Jan 2, 2017 at 11:38 PM Post #670 of 3,228

Sherwood

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It is certainly possible, you would just need to map the pins correctly.  There are field-crimpable HDMI connectors, and you could cut the end off an existing ethernet cable to test.  Properly specced HDMI cables use a different geometry than ethernet cables, I believe, but for I2S purposes it shouldn't matter.
 
Jan 3, 2017 at 12:48 PM Post #671 of 3,228

mav52

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While I wait for my Level 3 to be delivered I am already thinking of what mods I could do to it. One area I'm really interested in is the power supply. In particular I am wondering if it's possible to supply DC power directly to the Spring? Has anyone opened up their Spring to see how easy it would be to bypass the AC supply? What DC voltage is needed?

 
Interesting , why purchase a level 3, why not just purchase a level 1 and mod it like crazy.    Explain .
 
Jan 3, 2017 at 12:51 PM Post #672 of 3,228

Tboooe

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Interesting , why purchase a level 3, why not just purchase a level 1 and mod it like crazy.    Explain .

Sure, I explained already but here goes...I am not sure if getting a Level 1 and modding it like crazy would result in better sound  than the standard Level 3.  I would rather start at the highest level I was willing to spend money on (Level 3) and see if I can improve on that baseline.
 
Jan 3, 2017 at 1:02 PM Post #673 of 3,228

mav52

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  Sure, I explained already but here goes...I am not sure if getting a Level 1 and modding it like crazy would result in better sound  than the standard Level 3.  I would rather start at the highest level I was willing to spend money on (Level 3) and see if I can improve on that baseline.

I see you're point.  Thanks
 
Jan 3, 2017 at 1:19 PM Post #674 of 3,228

Soundsgoodtome

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I presume i2s rj45 and hdmi have a standardized pin-out? I'm a bit surprised not more is written on this.. or is it just blatantly simple?
It is certainly possible, you would just need to map the pins correctly.  There are field-crimpable HDMI connectors, and you could cut the end off an existing ethernet cable to test.  Properly specced HDMI cables use a different geometry than ethernet cables, I believe, but for I2S purposes it shouldn't matter.



Is there such thing as an I2S RJ45 to HDMI adapter?


So far the AES/EBU connection has been great and an upgrade from the BNC connection (it seems) but would like to try I2S if it's that much of an upgrade as everyone says.
 
Jan 4, 2017 at 12:16 AM Post #675 of 3,228

Sherwood

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I presume i2s rj45 and hdmi have a standardized pin-out? I'm a bit surprised not more is written on this.. or is it just blatantly simple?
 

 
It's not blatantly simple, and there is nothing even approaching a standard.  The most common pinout using an HDMI connector is the one established by PS audio.  Basically, every product that provides i2s out does so in its own way, and uses connections that were not designed for this purpose.  There's a thread on DIYAudio that covers a similar use case, and includes pinout diagrams for anyone interested in trying.
 
Using i2s over a cable, rather than directly soldered in the DAC, is a pretty niche thing.  The Singxer SU-1 has dipswitches to modify the pinout, though thankfully the Holo audio uses the PS Audio pinout, which is the most common.  
 
Audio-GD and the offramp both use the RJ45 method.
 

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