New Holo Audio Cyan DAC/AMP: listening impressions and PCM/DSD poll

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by doraymon, Sep 28, 2017.
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Would you be more interested in the PCM or DSD module for the Holo Audio Cyan DAC/AMP?

  1. PCM

  2. DSD

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  1. oneguy
    FYI, I removed and replaced “optical switch” with “optical converter” in an effort to be more accurate as it can be any box that converts to optical signal to an electrical one that the uR and mR can use. That’s the box who’s noise you’d be concerned with in a optical network. I’m pretty sure you were already tracking that but I just realized that nuance in what I typed and I wanted to make sure the post was as accurate as possible.
     
  2. Energy
    Haha! I value your efforts. Would be great for those reading these articles who are trying to get into the gist of things. :darthsmile:
     
  3. bimmer100
    I've just now found this thread. I'll mainly be watching it once in a while. @ Energy, Thanks for the informative post about HQ player and the filters. Thats an interesting read. I wish my own PC was powerful enough. It's a beastly i7 that is overclocked and watercooled. But likely not enough for that filter.

    Wasn't there some use of Nvidia video cards to offload some of the processing power? if so, would my 1080Ti 11gb help? :D Or what exactly can the video cards do to help with HQ player? At least I recall some option being available for this.
     
  4. ahmadfaizadnan
    @bimmer100 sorry to interjack your question. But I am so curious with your signature. Will kitsune have the spring level 4 on sale??
     
  5. oneguy
    Only through death or gifting, lol. I asked Trevor from Norne Audio what the secret sauce was between the 3 and the 4 and got crickets :).
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  6. Energy
    That's the sad part about certain CPU's with HQPlayer. Even with an overclocked i7 may it be quad, hexa, or octo, it won't be enough to handle the xtreme filter on DSD512 unless you go for 10-core or above with enough L3 cache. The newer i9's like 7900X I bought couldn't handle it as it lacked L3 cache but had a surplus of L2 from it's new architectural design. This increase of L2 was mainly a request from some private corporations and not too useful for HQPlayer. CPU's like Intel 6950X or AMD 1920X/1950X are sufficient. The sad part is that with a decent enough quad core the second best filter can be played (poly-sinc-xtr-2s) over DSD512, but to reach the single stage (non-2s) filter you'll need to go beyond $700. A big jump in funds for minimal improvements but that's how audio is so nothing new.

    With a good graphic card you can offload the filters to the GPU by using it's CUDA cores. However for DSD512 even my GTX 1080 Ti fails to properly render those high end filters without stuttering. The graphic card performs slightly better than the 7900X CPU I had but still not as good as those other 10+ cores. Even when overclocked the GPU still does not offer smooth playback. The only logical way to play the highest filter is by building a computer with one of the CPU's that was mentioned earlier.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  7. ahmadfaizadnan
    Wow. It seems there's a number of people that already got a hold of the level 4 :nerd:
     
  8. Energy
    I'm curious to know what the differences are. Has the 4-pole Jensen become a standard now?
     
  9. sbenyo
    I wish someone could confirm the 1920x with Dsd512 (XTR 48khz). If it works it is the best option. Since I am not a gamer I can skip the graphics card and build a decent PC with reasonable cost.
     
  10. Energy
    'Best' is a little subjective. Sometimes future proofing yourself with a 1950X for a small increase over the 1920X may be the better method for someone else out there. If that's the case all you need is whatever cheapest X399 motherboard available. Should be the ASUS X399 Taichi unless a cheaper one released. It's single core performance may be slightly slower the Jussi's Intel 6950X but with multi-core performance in mind, it's faster. Having even more L3 cache than the Intel and equal that of it's brother-en the 1950X. I'm positive it should work no problem.

    You won't be able to upsample 48KHz (only 44.1KHz) files to DSD512 @ 48KHz unless you use an NUC in between the DAC and PC over a network such as an ultraRendu. If the majority of your music consist of 44.1 like mine then it would be easier. Regardless of which, I went for the ultraRendu mainly to offer noise separation of the computer away from the DAC which lead me to gaining a pretty big chunk in sound quality.
     
  11. sbenyo
    Hi Energy,

    Thanks for the feedback!

    You're right. Best is subjective. Since I am planning to have a computer mostly dedicated for hqplayer I want to invest as little as possible.
    I am planning to use it with direct connection and if it gives me DSD512 @ 48KHz, that all I need. I will check what the options and I hope to find a good deal.
     
  12. Energy
    Anytime buddy. AMD 1920X it is then unless you can find a cheap deal on the Intel 6950X which will unlock you cheaper motherboards and or ram.

    I don’t think DSD upsample to 48KHz is available unless you use Linux or an NAA like microRendu/ultraRendu that handles the playback using its SonicOribiter OS.
     
  13. BLacklWf
    Is there big difference between DSD 512 vs DSD 256 with poly-sync-xtr or poly-sync-xtr-mp? My 4 core (8 virtual core) i7 6700 plays those filters fine for DSD 256 - at around 45% cpu processing. But, obviously it stutters heavily on DSD 512. I wonder if there is a big difference between DSD 512 vs 256 to warranty CPU and motherboard upgrade.
     
  14. Level5
    Just put an order on this baby (PCM w/ balanced headamp). I hope I get it before xmas!
     
  15. ahmadfaizadnan
    Cool! Looking forward to hear your impression :ksc75smile:
     
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