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

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by doraymon, Sep 28, 2017.

Would you be more interested in the PCM or DSD module for the Holo Audio Cyan DAC/AMP?

  1. PCM

  2. DSD

Results are only viewable after voting.
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  1. Energy
    It's a big enough difference for me to spend $500 more on the CPU. I would only recommend it for those who were already in the process of building a computer may it be for games or software editing.
    The XTR filter offers more detail and linearity of sound. After having a chance to listen to it I wouldn't go back. That's how much I prefer it over the two stage version. Probably would spend up to $1000 just for it.
  2. BLacklWf
    Thanks for the input! i9 7960x or Ryzen 1950x is tempting...
  3. Energy
    Intel's choices are more expensive and will run much hotter due to their crappy thermal paste. AMD will have hard soldered indium content.
    I say this because it's most likely impossible to run a fanless computer while using any one of these CPU's but you can minimize fan speed.
  4. Level5
    Well here's more details

  5. Energy
    Some pictures.






    I like the R2R ladder design and how they have an aluminum shell to balance out ambient temps from influencing the resistors individually due to hot-spots. This helps the resistors measure more accurately and deviate less over it's lifespan. Also like how there's a toroidal transformer cover to help with magnetic radiation and possible hum to sensitive audio circuits nearby. Looks like Jeff Zhu really took a lot of attention into creating a beast DAC/AMP in a small form factor.
  6. gr8soundz
    Looks very nice. Is that a Level 3 Cyan (silver transformer)?
  7. rkw
    The Cyan doesn't come in different levels.
    There are three versions of Cyan, which include different combination of modules (PCM, DSD, headamp):
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  8. ahmadfaizadnan
    Great to know that it's finally up on the website!
  9. sbenyo
    I have decided to go with AMD. I am trying to get the best cost/effective solution for me. I have T+A DAC8 DSD and I don’t want to spend more than I spent on it for hqplayer machine. I will probably go with 1920x if I find one for good price and significantly lower than 1950x.

    Is there any recommendation what memory to buy to allow over locking and best utilization of CPU? (E.g. 8gb, 16gb chunks..)
    Is there any recommendation for x399 board to get the best from the CPU? (If all boards are the same for performance that’s fine)
    Any other tips? (SSD, graphics card, ATX for audio, etc.)
  10. Energy
    Great. Get the 1920X. I would disable multi-thread and run using 12 cores / 12 threads.

    Memory can be two sticks running in dual channel 2133mhz. Even though I had a 32GB quad channel kit that ran at 3200mhz, I ran two sticks in dual channel 2133mhz and it still worked. Music still plays smoothly. It's only when I took another stick out and used single channel did it begin to lag. Didn't perform any better if I increase the single stick frequency to 3200mhz. So yeah.. you'll need at least dual channel (two sticks). Doesn't really use much of the memory at all so i would advise two sticks of 4GB each equaling 8GB total. That should be enough. I checked memory usage while HQPlayer is up-sampling DSD and it's pretty low and easily negligible.

    My 1950X runs at 40-60% utilization so without four extra cores yours will be around 60-80% workload of the CPU being used. The utilization will be half if you turn on the multi-thread but I've found it off to be more optimized in using total effective L3 cache. If your music lags with multi-thread off then try enabling it again. As long as it doensn't stutter everything should be okay. I recommended turning it off first since that method would be more optimized for HQPlayer because it'll stick to a single thread for utilization rather going back and forth between threads which can cause timing delays. They all perform similar. Some have extra expansions, others have more VRM for overclocking purposes. If you're only making a music pc then just get the cheapest X399 you can find. The X399 Taichi from ASROCK should be the cheapest.

    I would probably use an M.2 over an SSD. less electricity, cleaner circuit. Graphic card isn't needed. You can find the weakest one there is or find a motherboard that comes with on-board graphics (HDMI, displayport, DVI, VGA). What is an ATX for audio?

    I do recommend getting an iFi iGalvanic to separate the DAC from the PC through galvanic isolation but that'll cost you $350. Plug it into a USB 3.0 socket.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  11. rkw
    Can you guys take your discussion about building PCs to a different thread? This thread is about the Cyan DAC/amp.
    buonassi, Schwibbles, Hyp0xia and 2 others like this.
  12. trybeingarun
    Are there any early impressions? How does this fare against the Gumby?
  13. wazzupi
    Ares is 680 this is 1000 bucks idk
    trybeingarun likes this.
  14. Level5
    My PCM w/ balanced amp is shipping now, and I'll also be getting the Soekris 1541 to compare shortly.
    omniweltall, Schwibbles and wazzupi like this.
  15. wazzupi
    i find it weird that the balanced amp only cost you 100 bucks difference unless a pcm vs dsd is a much bigger price difference...
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