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HOLO Audio Spring DAC - R2R DSD512


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Are the clocks in the Spring 2 better than the ones in the original Spring DAC?

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43 minutes ago, rickca said:

Are the clocks in the Spring 2 better than the ones in the original Spring DAC?

It was said there are femto clocks in the v2, I do not know if they are the same or different in the old version, probably better? 

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2 hours ago, ferenc said:

After roughly 36 hours of playing the new Holo Spring 2 just getting better. Every potential way. Sounds really entertaining, balanced and fluid even with rock, pop and punk music, with really anything Tidal can get in it in shuffle play. 

 I just spent few hundred dollars to buy quite a few 2x HD label native DSD256 digitized tape recordings from nativedsd.com. They are absolutely wonderful with the v2. 

 

https://2xhd.nativedsd.com

 

https://2xhdstoryville.nativedsd.com

 

 

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On 1/10/2019 at 1:58 AM, Bimmer100 said:

A few quick responses.

thr new v4.55.0 driver is only for spring2 and not for spring 1. So please do not use this driver since it will not work. 

 

And at this time there is no upgrade for spring1 to spring2. We continued to bring out spring2 as an evolution of the spring1. They are very similar in performance. And we are using components that should not have supply issues like with the spring1. We are confident this is every bit as good as the spring1 was and have some new features that our customers had asked for. Such as the remote control (L2 and KTE models only) and also less hot analog outputs. Spring1 is 5v/2.5v for XLR/RCA and Spring2 is 4v/2v for XLR/RCA. So those with sensitive preamps it will be a better match to use spring2. Really little difference but small change for those who requested this. The new display has more data, or 3 information areas to show sample rate, digital input and mode(NOS or OS etc) 

the dac module is improved slightly to support dsd1024 and pcm1.536M however will require a fairly fast computer to upsample to these rates as one may imagine. The same src is used as spring1.

the usb module is improved quite a bit as far as firmware goes. It has over twice the efficiency as the standard firmware and optimized for the new dac module. 

The overall spring1 vs spring2 comparisons are marginal and was not released to be considered an upgrade of the spring1 but rather a continuance or an already great dac with a few improvements. Personally I would not strongly recommend anyone to “upgrade” from spring1 to spring2 since it’s a somewhat small difference imho. Otherwise we would of changed the name if we felt it was a big enough difference or improvement from the spring1. We do have a few units that will be available to those who would like to review the spring2, just contact me about this directly. Our May dac will be a step above and our official flagship dac due for release in the near future. The May will be a two chassis design and having the most advanced architecture for the dac module, also most advanced power supply circuit. Abother notable feature will be the high spec preamp and headamp that is based on our Azure which has 8amp modules and over 400transistors. as well as some new innovations that may come as a surprise. This will be an exciting release.

 

 

and lastly one commmented about psu with the spring as having two transformers. The second one is specifically when in standby (spring1) or mute (spring2) - this mode swaps from otype to sealed trafo and turns off the output stage. Essentially mute and standby are the same and save a small amount of power yet keeps the dac module at ideal thermal stability. The otype is a much better transformer and capable to handle the dac when under load. The sealed transformer is enough for sitting idle. It’s not a common feature you will find in other products so wanted to clarify on this.

 

hope this helps answer everyone’s questions.

 

 

One question about Spring 2. Mine arrived and it is amazing, congratulations!

 

I know the USB module is still XU208. Is there any reason you did not go for XU216? I mean it's obviously not necessary but still wondering.

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On ‎1‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 9:03 PM, ferenc said:

After roughly 36 hours of playing the new Holo Spring 2 just getting better. Every potential way. Sounds really entertaining, balanced and fluid even with rock, pop and punk music, with really anything Tidal can get in it in shuffle play. 

 

Hi ferenc,

 

just read your interesting post about your MBP with Elgato dock on WBF.

 

My questions:

Does the Spring2 sound better connected directly to the Elgato or directly to the MBP?

If it sounds better via Elgato is it better to have a long Thunderbolt cable from MBP  to Elgato and a short USB cable from Elgato to Spring2 or the contrary?

Thanks

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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38 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

Hi ferenc,

 

just read your interesting post about your MBP with Elgato dock on WBF.

 

My questions:

Does the Spring2 sound better connected directly to the Elgato or directly to the MBP?

If it sounds better via Elgato is it better to have a long Thunderbolt cable from MBP  to Elgato and a short USB cable from Elgato to Spring2 or the contrary?

Thanks

 

Matt

 

I am using the Spring2 mainly with an 18 core iMac Pro / SoTM SMS200, tried it only briefly with the MBP, but I can say with some certainty, that it sounds more focused, with a bit more energy and with better flow through the Elgato, powered with the 20V 10A LPS, the SoTM SMS200 adds only a bit of a smoothness to it (as HQplayer NAA, and with 256x DSD). I use a 0,5m original Apple TB3 cable and a Wireworld Platinum 0,5m USB. Did not notice any difference with longer TB3. However I noticed that if I use a Delock USB C to USB A short converter from the TB3 connector of the iMac Pro, it sounds with less definition somehow (less focused)  than using the USB3 direct connections on the iMac Pro. 

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1 hour ago, ferenc said:

Did not notice any difference with longer TB3.

 

So when using the MBP/Elgato with a 2m distance to the DAC it may be a SQ benefit to run a 2m length TB3 cable from MBP and place the Elgato close to the DAC?

Thanks again

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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4 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

So when using the MBP/Elgato it may be a SQ benefit to run a 2m length TB3 cable from MBP and place the Elgato close to the DAC?

Thanks again

 

Matt

 

Yes, there is a good chance, if you have an LPS for the Elgato. I did not try it with its original SPS.

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9 hours ago, ferenc said:

The Singer SU-1 somehow and definitely sounds with a bit more juice through not only the I2S but the Coax as well in NOS mode and with 44,1k Tidal streaming or Flac files in Roon. Interesting. 

 

So even with the Spring2 the USB is some sort of bottleneck though they said it is much improved in comparison to Spring1?

 

Matt

 

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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12 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

So even with the Spring2 the USB is some sort of bottleneck though they said it is much improved in comparison to Spring1?

 

Matt

 

USB audio quality is drastically improved when the USB source is improved.  Do not make the mistake of supposing a USB input is a "problem" unless you are sure you are already using the best possible USB source.

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY AC, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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24 minutes ago, matthias said:

So even with the Spring2 the USB is some sort of bottleneck though they said it is much improved in comparison to Spring1?

 

My measurements are made with my regular Xeon workstation feeding Spring 2. I don't see bottlenecks, but maybe someone else can show...

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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15 minutes ago, barrows said:

USB audio quality is drastically improved when the USB source is improved.  Do not make the mistake of supposing a USB input is a "problem" unless you are sure you are already using the best possible USB source.

 

Yes, absolutely source first rules.

But when @ferenc puts the Singxer.between the source and the Holo and it sounds better.......

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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6 minutes ago, Miska said:

 

My measurements are made with my regular Xeon workstation feeding Spring 2. I don't see bottlenecks, but maybe someone else can show...

 

 

I trust you and appreciate your measurements but there seem quite a few people who report that the Singxer into Spring sounds better than USB Spring. Why?

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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3 minutes ago, matthias said:

I trust you and appreciate your measurements but there seem quite a few people who report that the Singxer into Spring sounds better than USB Spring. Why?

 

It is impossible to say why someone has some kind of subjective opinion.

 

I would first like to see how it changes things from technical perspective.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Measurements for SPDIF inputs vs. USB often show more jitter on SPDIF.  Perhaps the increased jitter is producing a euphonic result, and/or compensating for a potential problem in the system.  Just something to consider...

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY AC, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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1 hour ago, matthias said:

 

So even with the Spring2 the USB is some sort of bottleneck though they said it is much improved in comparison to Spring1?

 

Matt

 

The Holo is brand new, few dozens of hours in it, so there is a chance that it is in a run-in phase where subjectively the well run-in SU-1 sounds better. There is a difference between the I2S and the SPDIF input, the I2S is cleaner and more "robust", has more energy (with the cheapest 60cm long Audioquest HDMI cable) but the SPDIF is likable too. I could easily live with the SPDIF too. I tried to get DSD512 work through Hqplayer and NAA, the latter running on a SMS200 Neo, using either the USB or the I2S input of the Spring 2and it jus does not work, I can hear only a kind of slow, and distorted sound. It did not work with the SU-1 not with my iMac Pro or SMS200. I may be forced to get a Windows PC to try it and DSD1024. If it is possible at all. 

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40 minutes ago, ferenc said:

I tried to get DSD512 work through Hqplayer and NAA, the latter running on a SMS200 Neo, using either the USB or the I2S input of the Spring 2and it jus does not work, I can hear only a kind of slow, and distorted sound. It did not work with the SU-1 not with my iMac Pro or SMS200. I may be forced to get a Windows PC to try it and DSD1024. If it is possible at all. 

 

I'm not using NAA at all with Spring 2. At the moment I have my HQPlayer Embedded server directly connected to the Spring 2's USB input. Works up to 1.536 MHz 24-bit PCM and DSD1024. But for measurements I had it connected directly to my Xeon E5 workstation (running Linux) and HQPlayer Desktop was doing playback for that purpose. Also up to the same rates.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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7 hours ago, pkane2001 said:

 

I see small differences in jitter and noise floor. Close-in jitter seems a bit lower with SU-1 in the chain, but the noise floor 10dB higher. Not sure why that is. These were captured using the same FFT settings, but in two separate sessions. I suspect they were both fed 32-bit data, and maybe SU-1 handles that differently than Spring. I'll have to repeat with 24-bit data at some point.

 

SU-1 feeding Spring 1 (level 1) via I2S cable:

su1-spring-jitter.thumb.png.eb9502e8f994658f94e781ae78045b86.png

 

 

USB directly into Spring 1:

spring-jitter.thumb.png.bf5d038cd17a6bbe8ddc46560a03b9ba.png

 

 

Few spurious tones you see in direct USB plot wouldn't be even visible in SU-1 plot, because they would be buried in the noise floor. But those are not jitter. For jitter, can you zoom-in +-3 kHz around the main lobe and increase resolution?

 

What input format did you use?

 

Here are DSD512 figures for both.

 

Spring 1 USB:

HoloSpring-jtest24-dsd512-graph_2.thumb.png.7d45b1cc004724ac05a2e4432daadf77.png

 

Spring 2 USB:

HoloSpring2_Jtest24_DSD512.thumb.png.ba1581677ab29072e3640d08143bc57c.png

 

I think my Spring 1 is with the older USB input module type.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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8 hours ago, Miska said:

 

I'm not using NAA at all with Spring 2. At the moment I have my HQPlayer Embedded server directly connected to the Spring 2's USB input. Works up to 1.536 MHz 24-bit PCM and DSD1024. But for measurements I had it connected directly to my Xeon E5 workstation (running Linux) and HQPlayer Desktop was doing playback for that purpose. Also up to the same rates.

 

 

Thanks for the info. I may borrow an Intel workstation to install a HQPe to try. I could not get out higher than 786 kHz or DSD256 form my SMS200 or my iMac Pro with Roon or Hqplayer, directly or with NAA. Using 10.14.4 beta OS X I could get 1,4 and 15 Mhz PCM from Audio Midi from the OS, but only in 16 bit. Strange. 

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Just now, ferenc said:

Thanks for the info. I may borrow an Intel workstation to install a HQPe to try. I could not get out higher than 786 kHz or DSD256 form my SMS200 or my iMac Pro with Roon or Hqplayer, directly or with NAA. Using 10.14.4 beta OS X I could get 1,4 and 15 Mhz PCM from Audio Midi from the OS, but only in 16 bit. Strange. 

 

Yes, you need some hacks to make it work. You can easily try it with HQPlayer OS image, no installation needed, you just boot it up and that's it.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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2 hours ago, Miska said:

 

Yes, you need some hacks to make it work. You can easily try it with HQPlayer OS image, no installation needed, you just boot it up and that's it.

 

 

Would it work with an iMac Pro or latest gen 15 lnch MacBook Pro? 

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12 hours ago, ferenc said:

The Holo is brand new, few dozens of hours in it, so there is a chance that it is in a run-in phase where subjectively the well run-in SU-1 sounds better. There is a difference between the I2S and the SPDIF input, the I2S is cleaner and more "robust", has more energy (with the cheapest 60cm long Audioquest HDMI cable) but the SPDIF is likable too. I could easily live with the SPDIF too. 

 

So after 24 hours it seems the SU-1 I2S and the Holo internal USB are getting closer than yesterday they were. However the SU-1 has a bit more fluidity, a kind of elegance in its sound and a bit better rhythmic flow. I am listening Native DSD sourced 2X HD labeled DSD256 analog tapes digitized files in Hqplayer in Direct SDM without any further processing, these recordings are absolutely fantastic, I bought a lot. The Holo is a bit further back. The SU-1 is bit more forward more between the boxes.

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