Holo Audio Spring R2R DAC
Apr 6, 2017 at 9:01 AM Post #1,171 of 2,775

T Bone

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  .....the real magic happened with this unit on the Focal Utopia, which are an a timeless match. So much better than the HD-800 in in every way

I just took delivery of a pair of Focal Utopia's to evaluate this week.   Spring Holo --> GSX --> Utopia
They are amazing!  My very first listening impression was how effortlessly the Utopia delivers a sense of space.  
 
I'm finding them a little shy on the bottom end for my personal tastes.  That thought could be based on my experience with the Audeze LCD-3's which are known to be a little warmer.  
 
To bring this back thought back around to the DAC - I would say that the Spring DAC does not "show it's *ss" even when paired with a very resolving amp and top-of-the-line headphones.  
 
Apr 6, 2017 at 12:21 PM Post #1,172 of 2,775

DecentLevi

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@T Bone, by "ss", do you mean it doesn't sound sibilant as in you don't hear the S sounds from singers, or it doesn't sound solid state like? 
 
The setup I was gleaming about with the Utopia + GsX v2 amp was also indeed paired with the Holo Spring DAC v3. I too found it a bit bass shy (hallmark of the Utopia), yet at the same time the bass definition (quality) was perhaps the best I've ever heard, and I'm sure that's nothing a little EQ won't fix.
 
Apr 6, 2017 at 12:52 PM Post #1,173 of 2,775

T Bone

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  @T Bone, by "ss", do you mean it doesn't sound sibilant as in you don't hear the S sounds from singers, or it doesn't sound solid state like? 

Sorry - it was meant to read, "doesn't show its ass".  I was born in the South and it's a common slang term for showing fault.   (sometimes my inner redneck is exposed)  
 
It would have been more accurate for me to say that Focal Utopia's do not appear to reveal any fundamental flaws in the DAC.  Many times when we upgrade one component in an audio system, we find that we need to upgrade another upstream/downstream component.  For example, when I added the Holo Spring to my system I learned how poor my USB output was and soon bought an Intona USB Isolator.  
 
  I too found it a bit bass shy (hallmark of the Utopia), yet at the same time the bass definition (quality) was perhaps the best I've ever heard, and I'm sure that's nothing a little EQ won't fix.

I would fully agree with your characterization about the bass definition.  It's a refined, tight bass - there's just not enough of it for my tastes.  I do not often EQ my music, but I have been trying a 1db or 2db "bump" at 170hz with the Utopia.  
 
One of my favorite test tracks is "Sister" from the Black Keys El Camino album.  The bass guitar in this track should positively growl and rumble.  The Utopia leaves me wanting a little more.  I feel like my LCD-3's deliver that visceral impact better than the Utopia.  
 
On the other end of the spectrum, the Utopia's take Rebecca Pidgeon's "You Got Me" to entirely new heights.  
There's more detail and air in the Utopia - the music is just effortless  ...and I never felt constricted by my LCD's.
 
Now I just need to find another $4k for these things!  
eek.gif

 
Apr 6, 2017 at 1:01 PM Post #1,174 of 2,775

WNBC

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Seems like Spring + GSX-2 would pair well with bass heavy headphones like my Z1R and more neutral headphones will require a bit of EQ. Not bad. Probably will have one soon or I could save money and keep the MicroZ which is not bass-shy. What a terrible hobby this is.
 
Apr 6, 2017 at 1:50 PM Post #1,175 of 2,775

DecentLevi

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Just to clarify, neither the Holo Spring or GSX MK2 are bass shy, that's only the Utopia headphones. Although this wasn't something that bothered me in the slightest when auditioning multiple songs, just in hindsight the bass quantity did seem slightly recessed compared to the likes of HD-650.
 
PS- the HD-650 actually sounded a little dark on the Holo v3 + GSX v2 system (using stock cable anyway)
 
Apr 7, 2017 at 3:22 AM Post #1,181 of 2,775

fitman

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Hi there,
 
Just went thru for 79 pages, and it do have a lot of good information to me.
 
My env. is using Daphile as the player running on a i5 with 4G RAM desktop, my env. is as below:
 
Daphile -> USB -> SU1 -> i2s -> Holo Spring
 
I am using the Daphile option "PCM to DSD", to play my WAV file and it can show the DSD256 and DSD512 options. However, if I use DSD256/512 to play my WAV file, it come out intermittent sound like it cannot be synced.
 
In DSD128, it work perfectly. Thus I would like to know whether it is the limitation or configuration issue for my gears.
 
P.S.: I am using native DSD
 
Anyone can provide some advice on it?
 
Apr 7, 2017 at 3:30 AM Post #1,182 of 2,775

inthere

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Apr 10, 2017 at 11:19 AM Post #1,183 of 2,775

37mil

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This looks like a great product. The thread is very long so I don't know if it's been mentioned before but does anyone know if the analog output is discrete or op amp based?
Also, anyone notice differences using expensive HDMI cables? I know USB cables make a difference but was wondering if going over the I2S bus would negate cable differences.
 
Apr 10, 2017 at 11:41 AM Post #1,184 of 2,775

Energy

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Agree, I've owned a LOT of bass shy headphones but the Utopia is definitely not one of them


I too found this funny.
HD800 would be what's considered bass shy. The Utopia or Elear most likely not.

This looks like a great product. The thread is very long so I don't know if it's been mentioned before but does anyone know if the analog output is discrete or op amp based?
Also, anyone notice differences using expensive HDMI cables? I know USB cables make a difference but was wondering if going over the I2S bus would negate cable differences.


Can't answer the first question as I too have forgotten, but...

If anything USB is less sensitive than i2S interface.
Cable differences can be spotted on i2S if using a cable that is not well shielded or designed in a way where it is heavily affected by crosstalk among other things. I would recommend Apollo Lightning V2 and keep the length as short as possible within your setup.

More information can be found on the two Singer SU-1 threads.
 
Apr 13, 2017 at 1:56 PM Post #1,185 of 2,775

LoryWiv

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These? https://kitsunehifi.com/product/holo-audio-titanis-active-usb-processor/
 
I got two of the 800mA version along with my spring.
 
First of all, I should mention that I am skeptical of these devices (and digital cables in general)....
 
I did a quick test and could not hear any difference on the spring...this could change when I spend more time with it.....
 
However, I tried it with an XDuoo XD-05 and the was a noticeable difference in sound.
Enough of a difference that I think should be measurable, which is what I did (nothing fancy, just on board line-in).
 
And indeed, there was a difference
tongue_smile.gif
THD has increased ten-fold
eek.gif

I tried it both directly from computer port and with extension cable, the results were the same....
 
I even tried chaining them to see if that made a difference, and THD increased by 100 times....(which makes sense, 10 x 10 = 100)
 
It would be great if anyone else can also do some quick measurements to confirm that I'm not doing something wrong....


I won the Holo Titanis at last weeks CanJam SoCal but haven't put it into my chain yet. I also have an iFi iSilencer which seems to lower the noise floor although effect is subtle.
 
ZGojira, forgive me if I am being dense but are you saying the Titanis worsened the sound by adding THD?
 

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