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HOLO Audio Spring DAC - R2R DSD512

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To refresh information on R2R versus Sigma Delta DACs, here are two links at CA that are of interest:

Were R2R ladder DACs really that good ?

 

Multi Bit DACs vs. Delta Sigma DACs

Head-fi Post

 

Reading between the lines from those threads, there's implementation issue at hand as to whether the SQ is right for your ears, whether SDM or R2R. Everyone is keen on a DAC that has a reasonable price, and the Holo falls right into the equation, so expectations are that this DAC should equal higher priced DACs since it uses R2R techniques and some other special techniques. Optimism is strong here, but let's take a step back and look, there's a May DAC in the wings, when the Spring has hardly reached a stage where feedback or a review is yet to arrive. Such rapid change in models really needs some caution in buying and one should wait for the dust to settle.

 

At Lampizator for instance, where the model count is out of control, including the options causing further confusion, there's a new model every few weeks now. Crazy. That's an extreme of course, but for a new player like Holo, i fear for it falling into the same path. Buyers don't need to be told their old DAC is obsolete and it's not even a year that's gone by.


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Analog output stage is discrete class A output.

 

input has opamp

 

The output stage contains I/V conversion and LPF. These two parts use similar structure but different specs.

The opamp is used for input stage and class A discrete buffer component is for output stage. That discrete output stage is working in class a. So when you touch the PCB, you will find it’s very hot. The output voltage is 2.5Vrms for single ended output and 5Vrms for balanced output. The single ended is RCA. Balanced is XLR. They all use the same output stage. Yet XLR output is highly recommended if you plan to listen to DSD512 native.

 

4.5V is already too hot from my existing DAC, and 5V is just one volt away from the maximum limit. There will be a need to reduce the output level in HQPlayer to -6db++ to match. Please consider to add a fixed-stepped attenuation.


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FYI - I asked Tim about their planned "May DAC" and he responded that it's expected to be another 1 - 1.5 years before release.

 

In that case, the wait would be worth it (or not as the case may be), thanks for the info.


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In July at the beginning of this post, there was no DSD512. A little later came DSD512 over HDMI i2s, or perhaps a USB to HDMI i2S.

Further developments rendered a Windows certified driver for DSD512. So does the Spring DAC have the correct firmware to accept DSD512 now, or will that be a few months down the track, or is there something different again? I'm just trying to understand, with clarity, what the Spring DAC is capable of as a firm line in the sand, what it is now, and by say, 2nd Qtr 2017. Not even thinking about the Kitsune mods, just the raw basic product.

 

Understand about the May DAC, now this timeline is clearly explained, steeped in unknowns beforehand. Talk of which should not have been mentioned until that DAC is committed and ready for production.


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I'm admittedly a newbie when it comes to DSD (my current DAC is PCM only) so I could well be wrong but from what I had read Mac OSX didn't support Native DSD, only DoP. With the exception of certain DACs such as Exasound who have their own Mac drivers. So I'm wondering how this DAC manages DSD512 support on Mac.

 

I wonder too.


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2. We offer a 240V model for Australia. :D

 

The current alignment is to rationalise voltages in the street at 230V/400V. So the spec for AU can be the same as for EU. My place was typically 240V for years but over the last two years has changed to 230V.


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Has anyone tested the difference between using the Holo's balanced and unbalanced outputs? I'm looking to buy a new preamp and was curious whether it is worth purchasing one that has a fully balanced input since it will be more expensive and limit my options.

 

If there's a choice go XLR.

 

Winning the Wiring Wars

Use balanced connections whenever possible, with the shield bonded to the metal chassis at both ends.

Transformer isolate all unbalanced connections from balanced connections.

Use special cable assemblies when unbalanced lines cannot be transformer isolated.

Any unbalanced cable must be kept under ten feet (three meters) in length. Lengths longer than this will amplify all the nasty side effects of unbalanced circuitry's ground loops.

When all else fails, digitize everything, use fiber optic cable and enter a whole new realm of problems.


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4 minutes ago, mikicasellas said:

Hello,

Just sold my Vega DAC, i am looking for tis replacement...

 

1.- HOLO Spring DAC Level 2 or 3 - w/Singxer SU-1 (i2s) 

2.- T+A DAC8 DSD (used)

3.- GUSTARD X20 modded - w/Singxer SU-1 (i2s

4.- LKS Audio MH-DA004 Dual ES9038pro - w/Singxer SU-1 (i2s)

 

Any suggestions

 

Thanks!

 

This topic would be best served in a new thread, since the merit and detraction of each DAC can be quite a lengthy discussion. You've narrowed down some good choices, my 1.5 cents would go to #2.


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