Holo Audio Spring R2R DAC
Mar 18, 2017 at 10:20 PM Post #1,036 of 2,775

MacedonianHero

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  I'll second that.
I had a Wyrd and it didn't do a lot for my system.  I got better audible results with the Intona USB Isolator.  I also employed a Singxer SU-1 and it does a much better job than the Wyrd.  ...both are pricier, but make real differences. 

 
Glad we hear things the same. I still need to try the Intona USB Isolator though.
 
Mar 20, 2017 at 4:13 PM Post #1,037 of 2,775

MarkR7

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So is there a prevailing "favorite" for the Spring DAC (KTE) in terms of the USB interface? Is the SU-1 preferred over the Intona, or vice versa? From what I've read, the i2s would be a better input, therefore an SU-1 would be preferable?
 
Mar 20, 2017 at 4:55 PM Post #1,038 of 2,775

T Bone

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So is there a prevailing "favorite" for the Spring DAC (KTE) in terms of the USB interface? Is the SU-1 preferred over the Intona, or vice versa? From what I've read, the i2s would be a better input, therefore an SU-1 would be preferable?

I have both.  The SU-1 and I2S connection is the way to go.  
 
Mar 20, 2017 at 8:03 PM Post #1,039 of 2,775

rafabro

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Hehe, I've actually had the Singxer SU-1 for about 4-5 months now. 
tongue.gif

 
 
I've built too many personalized gaming computers back in the day so the blue, being stock, is overly jarring for me.
 
Most I'll do is change the following:
1. Change (4) 0.1uF film capacitors to WIMA MKP2 100V

Your sure about 0.1uF? Isn't it 1uF?..
 
Mar 20, 2017 at 10:00 PM Post #1,040 of 2,775

mscott58

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I have both.  The SU-1 and I2S connection is the way to go.  

 


100% agree. I have a Revive feeding my SU-1 into the L3 Spring, but not sure if the Revive does anything. Already had it in the pathway, so didn't bother changing it out. Cheers
 
Mar 20, 2017 at 10:20 PM Post #1,041 of 2,775

Energy

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Your sure about 0.1uF? Isn't it 1uF?..


I mean, I did open up my unit and personally checked it myself. They're film capacitors. You can replace with a slightly higher capacitance, higher voltage, or lower tolerance if you wanted to.
 
Mar 20, 2017 at 11:54 PM Post #1,042 of 2,775

defbear

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I have one of the first Level 3 Holo DAC's. I use the Intona USB cleaner in front of the Singxer SU-1. Then the SU-1 to the Holo DAC via I2S. The Singxer makes an audible improvement I've discussed earlier. The Intona cleans up the last tiny bit of digital 'haze'. I bought the Regen first and later the Intona. I didn't find much improvement with various setups with the Regen. The Intona was worthwhile everywhere I inserted it. I'm keeping the Regen as sooo many people have found an improvement with it. Perhaps the SU-1 / Holo DAC combo is too hard to improve on. Silver vs Copper. I'm pretty sure Copper is Just Fine! But this is my End Game DAC and I wanted to max it out.
 
Mar 21, 2017 at 1:39 PM Post #1,043 of 2,775

T Bone

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Been listening to AES/EBU vs I2S on the Holo Audio Spring and can't tell the difference through my studio monitors. On headphones however, being closer in, there's a little more depth and width to the sound stage. The clarity is a hair better. Instrument edges are more defined and separated. Female vocal slightly more natural and male vocal sound less thumpy.

 
I finally had a chance to do a little critical listening and compare the AES/EBU to the HDMI I2S input.  
The USB output of my laptop is connected to an Singxer SU-1 bridge.  I have both the AES and I2S outputs of the Singxer connected to the Spring so that I can quickly cycle through the inputs and compare them.  (This would be a lot easier if the Spring had discreet buttons for each input instead of cycling through all the inputs to get to the one you want)
 
I queued up the Dire Straits "Your Latest Trick" in DSD64 format.  The differences between the two inputs are subtle, but present.  On this particular track, I felt that the cymbals had a little more detail and decayed a little more realistically.  There's a little more air in the I2S input.  
 
I heard similar improvements in "The Man's Too Strong" - especially in the detail of the acoustic guitar.  It was present in both the pluck of the strings and the resonance of the guitar body. 
 
The more often that I switched back and forth I was able to quickly pick up on the small differences. 
 
If I had to postulate a reason for the difference, it would be that the AES/EBU signal takes a trip through the Spring's AK4118A receiver chip whereas the I2S signal bypasses it and pretty much goes straight to the R2R circuit.
 
Mar 21, 2017 at 6:18 PM Post #1,045 of 2,775

ufospls2

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Hey guys,
 
I am still on the DAC hunt, and probably will continue to be on it for a good while. There are so many options, I'm just not sure which way to go. I don't need a headphone out, as I am set amp wise. I have quite a few I am considering, but the Mytek Brooklyn is one of them. Has anyone heard it and compared it to the Spring DAC? I have searched the thread but not come up with much. One thing that is attractive is that I can get a Brooklyn from my local shop. I have heard it and thought it sounded good. I have not, and most likely will not, have a chance to hear the Spring DAC. It would be a blind purchase. I am looking for something with great clarity, but not a harsh bite. I know sabre implementations can have that bite, or glare to them. The Brooklyn and Spring are also at similar price points, which is why I ask about them together. The other options I'm considering are a bit more expensive. I really don't know which way to go. Any help or experiences would be appreciated. Thanks!
 
Mar 21, 2017 at 9:25 PM Post #1,046 of 2,775

MacedonianHero

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  I have both.  The SU-1 and I2S connection is the way to go.  

 
Agreed! I was impressed with the USB with the L3 KTE Spring DAC, but the KTE SU-1 I'm using for the review has really brought things to a whole new level. I am thoroughly impressed and can't find myself going back to straight USB again. Again, not to say that the galvanically isolated USB isn't excellent, just that feeding the signal directly into the R2R circuit is the better option to my ears.
 
  Hey guys,
 
I am still on the DAC hunt, and probably will continue to be on it for a good while. There are so many options, I'm just not sure which way to go. I don't need a headphone out, as I am set amp wise. I have quite a few I am considering, but the Mytek Brooklyn is one of them. Has anyone heard it and compared it to the Spring DAC? I have searched the thread but not come up with much. One thing that is attractive is that I can get a Brooklyn from my local shop. I have heard it and thought it sounded good. I have not, and most likely will not, have a chance to hear the Spring DAC. It would be a blind purchase. I am looking for something with great clarity, but not a harsh bite. I know sabre implementations can have that bite, or glare to them. The Brooklyn and Spring are also at similar price points, which is why I ask about them together. The other options I'm considering are a bit more expensive. I really don't know which way to go. Any help or experiences would be appreciated. Thanks!

I like the Brooklyn DAC and it does have a wide array of features/options, but I let's just say it'll be almost impossible for me to let the L3 KTE Spring DAC out of my rig. 
wink.gif
 I've commented on Sabre DACs in other threads and that bite is about poor DAC design and the DAC not taking into account the intersample overs; which can in turn sound "brightish" with an upper mid shout. When properly designed like on the Benchmark DAC2/3 or the Resonessence Labs DACs, then that's not an issue. The new ES9028PRO and ES9038PRO now have 7 built-in interpolation filters built-in to help designers from messing things up. But as mentioned, this DAC is one of the very best I've heard (regardless of price point). Hopefully you can get to hear one as I think for the price point is a steal!
 
Mar 21, 2017 at 11:05 PM Post #1,047 of 2,775

joseph69

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I haven't heard the Brooklyn DAC, but I have the Spring Level 3 KTE and I purchased it blindly. It was one of the best (if not the best) purchases I've ever made for my rig. Period! I don't know which level Spring is comparable in price to the Brooklyn, but those who have heard the different Spring Levels mentioned they heard some differences, but not much between them, so I wouldn't be afraid to buy the Level 1 based on these comments. I've only heard the Level 3, so I'm just passing along what I've read about the Level 1-2. 
 
Mar 21, 2017 at 11:31 PM Post #1,048 of 2,775

ufospls2

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I like the Brooklyn DAC and it does have a wide array of features/options, but I let's just say it'll be almost impossible for me to let the L3 KTE Spring DAC out of my rig. 
wink.gif
 I've commented on Sabre DACs in other threads and that bite is about poor DAC design and the DAC not taking into account the intersample overs; which can in turn sound "brightish" with an upper mid shout. When properly designed like on the Benchmark DAC2/3 or the Resonessence Labs DACs, then that's not an issue. The new ES9028PRO and ES9038PRO now have 7 built-in interpolation filters built-in to help designers from messing things up. But as mentioned, this DAC is one of the very best I've heard (regardless of price point). Hopefully you can get to hear one as I think for the price point is a steal!

 
Man, I wish I could hear one. Everyone seems to love the Spring DAC. Do you find the Spring has really good clarity? I'm still not sure exactly what sound signature I'm looking for in a DAC. I'm pretty sure I don't want warm and syrupy, as my amp is on the warmer side of things and I don't want to go overkill on the warmth and lose detail. I was doing some A/B'ing between my Mojo and GO2A, and I think that the Geek Out actually works better with my amp than the Mojo. Brings a bit more clarity and treble detail to the table. Its because of this that I don't want to rule out a sabre DAC, but as you say, its all about the implementation. There are too many options on the market!
  I haven't heard the Brooklyn DAC, but I have the Spring Level 3 KTE and I purchased it blindly. It was one of the best (if not the best) purchases I've ever made for my rig. Period! I don't know which level Spring is comparable in price to the Brooklyn, but those who have heard the different Spring Levels mentioned they heard some differences, but not much between them, so I wouldn't be afraid to buy the Level 1 based on these comments. I've only heard the Level 3, so I'm just passing along what I've read about the Level 1-2. 

They are pretty comparable price point wise, so that is why I'm not sure which way to go. I've still got ages before I make a purchase as I want to take my time and make the right choice for my set up. 
 
Mar 22, 2017 at 12:12 AM Post #1,049 of 2,775

joseph69

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A while back some of us here had mentioned getting some popping/clicking noise through the Spring while switching between sample rates (myself included and I couldn't stand it.) In my case, I was using a MBP>JRiver via USB. At one point I also had the SU-1 in my chain via i2s with the same issue. I had come to  the conclusion that JRiver software/Spring didn't play well together, but I couldn't recall ever hearing this issue through my Perfectwave DAC-ll???
 
Lets go back to when I was using the PWD-ll before the Spring. I was using the USB input as well, because I hadn't purchased the Bridge-ll yet, and at the same time, I didn't have any other sample rates besides 44.1. Fast forward to when I purchased the Bridge-ll and started using AoIP. It was then I started to buy Hi-Rez downloads from HDtracks as well, and never had an issue with popping/clicking while switching between sample rates because of the AoIP.
 
Fast forward to when I purchased the Spring. Using the USB input I was having the popping/clicking issue because now I have different sample rates to play with this DAC (which I didn't have when using the USB with my PWD-ll.)
 
Recently I put the microRendu/Uptone LPS-1 in my chain, and using JRiver there is absolutely no popping/clicking whatsoever while switching sample rates. As I mentioned, I used AoIP with my PWD-ll/Bridge-ll which is why I didn't have the issue.
 
I really enjoy the overall sound quality/black background and consistency in playback with no noise issues while switching sample rates with AoIP. The microRendu/ Uptone LPS-1 has taken everything I enjoyed with my PWD-ll/Bridge-ll using AoIP to an entirely new level with my Spring! This is the second best purchase I've made for my chain…the first being the Spring. Beautiful!
 
Mar 22, 2017 at 12:21 AM Post #1,050 of 2,775

joseph69

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Man, I wish I could hear one. Everyone seems to love the Spring DAC. Do you find the Spring has really good clarity? I'm still not sure exactly what sound signature I'm looking for in a DAC. I'm pretty sure I don't want warm and syrupy, as my amp is on the warmer side of things and I don't want to go overkill on the warmth and lose detail. I was doing some A/B'ing between my Mojo and GO2A, and I think that the Geek Out actually works better with my amp than the Mojo. Brings a bit more clarity and treble detail to the table. Its because of this that I don't want to rule out a sabre DAC, but as you say, its all about the implementation. There are too many options on the market!
They are pretty comparable price point wise, so that is why I'm not sure which way to go. I've still got ages before I make a purchase as I want to take my time and make the right choice for my set up. 


The Spring has excellent detail/clarity, yet remains smooth and musical without any shrillness. 
It is definitely not syrupy in any way. Take your time to make the right decision for yourself. I will say this as well…if I needed another DAC tomorrow, I'd buy the spring without hesitation, and I sincerely mean what I'm saying.
 

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