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HOLO Audio Spring DAC - R2R DSD512

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17 minutes ago, Miska said:

But with Spring 2 if you run it at 32x rates (1.4112/1.536 MHz) at 16-bit for example form macOS (maximum you can do there), noise shapers make a big difference.

 

 

Thanks. For Spring2 specifically which noise shaper would you recommend at PCM1.4/1.5 MHz?

 

Both NS5 and NS9 perform similarly ?

 

Is that what you meant by the 20 bits digital noise floor is already below analogue noise floor?

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1 hour ago, Miska said:

Here's NS5 at 20-bit:

 

Holy moly. So clean !


How does Spring2 perform with your recently adopted TIM measurements?

 

And ASR style 32 tones test?

 

With DSD256 of course.

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I'm trying to upgrade the USB firmware on my Spring 2 DAC from version 3008 to version 3012.Each time I try, I get a message that the Dfu program could not find any firmware files. Looking into 'holousbaudioDfu.xml', I see that this upgrade path is not described which most likely explains the issue.

I could easily fix this, but I don't want to brick my precious DAC.

So: what is the proper procedure to upgrade the USB firmware from version 3008?  

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3 hours ago, michaelg said:

I'm trying to upgrade the USB firmware on my Spring 2 DAC from version 3008 to version 3012.Each time I try, I get a message that the Dfu program could not find any firmware files. Looking into 'holousbaudioDfu.xml', I see that this upgrade path is not described which most likely explains the issue.

I could easily fix this, but I don't want to brick my precious DAC.

So: what is the proper procedure to upgrade the USB firmware from version 3008?  

I would contact Tim at Kitsune directly before doing anything further.

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Dear all,

 

I am using the SD Card player with i2s HDMI connect to Spring, (native DSD support), and found something is very strange and some advise is required from all of you.

 

1. SDcard player >> HDMI >> Spring  (16/44) no issue when play for next song

2. SDcard player >> HDMI >> Spring  (DSD) "pop" sound will occurred when play for next song. 

 

No issue running on USB >> 64/128/256/512

 

also no issue with Soekris 1021 i2S HDMI connection.

 

IMG_0870_Original.jpg

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5 hours ago, Jacky820 said:

1. SDcard player >> HDMI >> Spring  (16/44) no issue when play for next song

2. SDcard player >> HDMI >> Spring  (DSD) "pop" sound will occurred when play for next song. 

 

No issue running on USB >> 64/128/256/512

 

also no issue with Soekris 1021 i2S HDMI connection.

 

I guess Soekris doesn't support DSD in first place?

 

The I2S over HDMI cable spec forgot to include mute control...

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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3 minutes ago, Miska said:

 

I guess Soekris doesn't support DSD in first place?

 

The I2S over HDMI cable spec forgot to include mute control...

 

Yes may be is the cable issue!

 

In my friend's Ess9038pro; soekris 1941 and 1121, all no problem! I do think it should handled by firmware of dac!

coz streamer can also help by adding mute gap but that's not the best way! Add gap means buffering is done in streamer (the buffer time is for filling the mute gap)

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48 minutes ago, Jacky820 said:

Yes may be is the cable issue!

 

In my friend's Ess9038pro; soekris 1941 and 1121, all no problem! I do think it should handled by firmware of dac!

coz streamer can also help by adding mute gap but that's not the best way! Add gap means buffering is done in streamer (the buffer time is for filling the mute gap)

 

Of course could be a fault of the SDcard player too. But it is not about mute gap, but about changing clocks and data format on the fly. The I2S over HDMI interface should have an explicit mute control signal, now it doesn't have, so it is overall badly designed interface.

 

For correct DSD operation, output needs to be muted for first 50 ms of DSD data, and for the last 50 ms of DSD data, and of course during the transition. So a DAC needs to have at least 50 ms of look-ahead buffer to be able to do this. Usually USB interface handles this mute control. But since you are bypassing the USB interface by using I2S input, it is not there. If a DAC uses reclocking buffer for I2S input, it could do it, but then you could ask what is the point of using I2S input in first place. If you don't do reclocking for I2S you likely have clock degradation problem due to long transfer, then you could also ask what is the point of using I2S input.

 

I think ESS fixed it for 9028/9038, they definitely had this problem in their earlier generations like in the one used on Mytek Stereo192-DSD DAC. ESS now also has bunch of other DSD muting functionality, like newer AKM chips too.

 

Soekris runs DSD through DSD-to-PCM conversion DSP, so they likely have quite a bit of buffer and other stuff for it.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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1 hour ago, Miska said:

 

Of course could be a fault of the SDcard player too. But it is not about mute gap, but about changing clocks and data format on the fly. The I2S over HDMI interface should have an explicit mute control signal, now it doesn't have, so it is overall badly designed interface.

 

For correct DSD operation, output needs to be muted for first 50 ms of DSD data, and for the last 50 ms of DSD data, and of course during the transition. So a DAC needs to have at least 50 ms of look-ahead buffer to be able to do this. Usually USB interface handles this mute control. But since you are bypassing the USB interface by using I2S input, it is not there. If a DAC uses reclocking buffer for I2S input, it could do it, but then you could ask what is the point of using I2S input in first place. If you don't do reclocking for I2S you likely have clock degradation problem due to long transfer, then you could also ask what is the point of using I2S input.

 

I think ESS fixed it for 9028/9038, they definitely had this problem in their earlier generations like in the one used on Mytek Stereo192-DSD DAC. ESS now also has bunch of other DSD muting functionality, like newer AKM chips too.

 

Soekris runs DSD through DSD-to-PCM conversion DSP, so they likely have quite a bit of buffer and other stuff for it.

 

I do agree with you it might be the SD card player issue. But cannot found the same issue on ESS and Soekris DAC with the player! 

i tried to contact the dealer in Hong Kong then he mentioned it is pin assignment issue rather than Firmware issue. Even using the flagship singer ddc i2s with POP sound too. 🥺

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Too bad for this issue, I really hate trying to remember to mute before playing DSD after playing PCM...and too bad no easy way to fix this problem!


Intel i7-6700 PC Server, NUC7CJYH w. 8g Ballistix ram as Renderer/LPS 1.2 - IsoRegen/LPS-1/LPS1 - AQVox Galvanic USB/LPS1 - Singxer SU-1/LPS1 - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC - LTA MicroZOTL MZ2 - Modwright KWA 150 Signature Amp - Tidal Audio Piano's.  

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56 minutes ago, Forehaven said:

Too bad for this issue, I really hate trying to remember to mute before playing DSD after playing PCM...and too bad no easy way to fix this problem!

 

For me, such problem doesn't exist. I use USB and I always send DSD. But I don't remember having any problems even on those rare times I've used PCM input for testing.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Several years ago, I had the "pop" noise when switching between DSD and PCM. The problem was eventually traced to the USB interface board on my DAC. I also understand that Amanero USB board, which is very popular, has had the same issue. To narrow it down even further, the problem was when the USB boards are connected to Linux sources like the Rendu streamers. Curious if this SDcard player is Linux based.

 

The guys at JL Sounds which produce my USB board got the problem solved in their firmware. I updated my board and the problem was solved. I believe that Amanero has since gotten the problem fixed.

 

Sounds like perhaps the I2S board might be causing the issue here.


Eric


Ubuntu Studio Linux music server (i5, 4 cores, 16GB RAM, Roon, HQP) > fiber > QNAP QSW-804-4C > fiber > opticalRendu (HQP NAA) > TP Buffalo IIIse Pro > Ncore NC400 mono blocks > Klipsch Forte III

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Linux also had a bug long ago that was sending wrong silence pattern with DSD that caused loud pops with some hardware. But that has been fixed long since. And many recent implementations engage mute when such cases are detected.

 

I2S is a bit tricky in such case. Because generally point of I2S is to have a direct connection, but this also comes with extended responsibility on what you send and how. If I2S connection goes through the same firmware, then one can ask what is the point of having such?

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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2 hours ago, Miska said:

Linux also had a bug long ago that was sending wrong silence pattern with DSD that caused loud pops with some hardware. But that has been fixed long since. And many recent implementations engage mute when such cases are detected.

 

I2S is a bit tricky in such case. Because generally point of I2S is to have a direct connection, but this also comes with extended responsibility on what you send and how. If I2S connection goes through the same firmware, then one can ask what is the point of having such?

 

Sent a mail to SDcard player and replied "HDMI has no mute pin then we cannot help to address the issue". 

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4 hours ago, Miska said:

 

For me, such problem doesn't exist. I use USB and I always send DSD. But I don't remember having any problems even on those rare times I've used PCM input for testing.

 

Yes, USB's fine.  But I use I2S via a Singxer so apparently this is the problem.


Intel i7-6700 PC Server, NUC7CJYH w. 8g Ballistix ram as Renderer/LPS 1.2 - IsoRegen/LPS-1/LPS1 - AQVox Galvanic USB/LPS1 - Singxer SU-1/LPS1 - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC - LTA MicroZOTL MZ2 - Modwright KWA 150 Signature Amp - Tidal Audio Piano's.  

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Just now, Forehaven said:

Yes, USB's fine.  But I use I2S via a Singxer so apparently this is the problem.

 

I'm tempted to say it goes into category that "yes it is possible to shoot oneself on the foot"...

 

I've been happy with the USB from both objective and subjective point of view, in a way enough that I'd want to see objective evidence to consider spending money on something else.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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32 minutes ago, Jacky820 said:

Sent a mail to SDcard player and replied "HDMI has no mute pin then we cannot help to address the issue". 

 

That's the design issue of I2S over HDMI specification I was referring to. Of course the data patterns still matter too, but this is one of the fundamental challenges.

 

In my opinion the clock is going wrong direction too. IMO, it should be going from DAC to the interface.

 

So yes, I'm not big fan of the I2S-over-HDMI interface. Just my personal opinion.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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1 hour ago, barrows said:

 

Yes, yes yes.  Jussi is correct in my opinion as well.  I have never understood those who insist on using the balanced I2S approach when it provides the masterclock from the source rather than from the DAC.  USB interfaces do this right, allowing the masterclock to be as close to the conversion stage as possible, and sending it back from here to the USB interface.

 

I would suggest that it is possible, if folks prefer the sound of I2S this way, that what one may be preferring is the sound of higher jitter.  Of course if we are talking about some of the Chinese ESS based DACs with I2S inputs, these almost certainly use the ESS chip's onboard asynchronous sample rate converter and a local master clock for the DAC, in that case using I2s will probably not matter much, as the ASRC/reclocking of the DAC chip is probably dominating the sound.  (ESS DACs do not have to be run this, but most DACs do so, one exception being Ayre).

 

But I am pretty sure Holo uses the masterclock coming from the source, which even if it starts out really clean (as it does with the ultraDigital) has got to be degraded by its travels through two LVDS chips, two plug in connections, and a length of HDMI cable.  Perhaps @Superdad could comment on this, as as I believe he may have the ability to measure the clock signal at any point in the chain now, and he also has a Holo DAC...

I am using 1M HDMI cable to solve the length issue from source to Holo DAC. So far the PCM is perfect without the POP sound at this moment. I am sure lot of experts will share their idea to other. 
I am good in the USB with HQPLAYER but wanna to try the i2s which is better SQ, at least comments from other Chinese players. Not too much sharing the POP sound or review in Chinese. If I knew that then I may not go for this.

cust made a dc2dc cable which Kimber kable 6wires (2+ 4-) from linear power supply to SD card player the sound quality is amazing! Better than upsampling PCM (16/44) to 384! No DSD due to POP sound issue! 

9AB854A5-868A-4178-B96C-F8917A326ADD.jpeg

8BC2BB85-9DB3-414D-8775-2E92485A1E10.jpeg

10524C7B-3114-4E0A-B2C0-7FCB53456268.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Miska said:

 

That's the design issue of I2S over HDMI specification I was referring to. Of course the data patterns still matter too, but this is one of the fundamental challenges.

 

In my opinion the clock is going wrong direction too. IMO, it should be going from DAC to the interface.

 

So yes, I'm not big fan of the I2S-over-HDMI interface. Just my personal opinion.

 

I should consult with you b4 the action😂😂😂😭

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Just a comment from the peanut gallery (as most know my system is still boxed up from last years move and no audio room build yet):

my Holo review, now quite old, declared that I found the I2S thru the Singxer to be quite a bit better than straight USB. I’m not sure whether these “USB bests I2S” real world comments are coming from those who have updated/upgraded the Holo’s USB interface. And I will go on record that my decently trained ears do not like more jitter. 😀 But I can’t sit here and tell you why I2S sounded so good (I use 1m Nordost silverscreen hdmi cable).  And my USB path is well maintained. 

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15 minutes ago, ted_b said:

Just a comment from the peanut gallery (as most know my system is still boxed up from last years move and no audio room build yet):

my Holo review, now quite old, declared that I found the I2S thru the Singxer to be quite a bit better than straight USB. I’m not sure whether these “USB bests I2S” real world comments are coming from those who have updated/upgraded the Holo’s USB interface. And I will go on record that my decently trained ears do not like more jitter. 😀 But I can’t sit here and tell you why I2S sounded so good (I use 1m Nordost silverscreen hdmi cable).  And my USB path is well maintained. 

I would like to suggest keep both i2s and USB for Holo Spring, at least I am using HQPLAYER for all round music and i2s for PCM, the sound quality is so amazing in i2s! 

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Ted, my understanding is that the original USB interface in the Holo DACs was a rather poor performer, and the onboard masterclock was also not so good.  Are you suggesting that even with the current Holo models you would prefer I2S?

My understanding is that Holo Audio completely replaced the USB interface with a much better one, with much better clocks.  I am no expert in this as I am not a Holo owner, but I am pretty sure I read as much in the Holo DAC thread here on AS.

 

I would also suggest that the USB source is very important, if one is comparing USB output from a poor source (any standard USB output from a regular computer MoBo for example) to a dedicated high end converter like a SingXer then I could understand a preference for SPDIF or I2S...  


ROON: DSD 256-Signature Rendu optical--Buffalo PRO or DSC-2--Ncore 400 Stereo-Focus Audio FS888-JL E-112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, Cardas Clear AC, Iconoclast XLR, Nordost Frey speaker, cables, Synergistic Blue & Hi Fi Tuning Supreme Cu Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.    Design/Build Consultant with Sonore

 

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Barrows

yes that is why I am asking whether these comparisons are against an upgraded Holo. And as I said my USB signal path was no slouch, with upgraded Linear powered Femto and USB 3.1 USB cards to the Singxer or direct, as well as Regen etc

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