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Article: Holo Audio Spring Level 3 Kitsune Tuned Edition R2R DAC Review

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The most informative review on CA I've ever read, thanks Ted! Perhaps you could do a separate review/thread on the Singrex SU-1, very interesting...

 

I posted my quick review of the Singxer SU-1 here.


12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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Very nice review Ted. We look forward to this type of reviews.

 

I came across this DAC few days ago when I was trying to order F-1 XMOS USB to SPDIF card, but did not know much about it at the time, but after reading your review I think I would like to try it out. I have placed order for one. I will compare this to my current PS Audio DirectStream DAC.

 

I did not think about SU-1 when I was ordering F-1; and my reason to lean towards F-1 was that I could feed it through a power supply of my choice by using a split USB cable. There is a way to connect I2s from F-1 pins also, that is something I will have to investigate. Thanks.

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My Schitt Yggdrasil thoughts now in the Part Two section. I need to ship the Yiggy back to its owner tmrw or Wed worst case, so if anyone wants more testing done, speak now. Thx

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Many thanks for the comparison Ted!

 

As many users have reported that the Yggy sounds much better after it is powered up for some days, would you please clarify if this is the way that you tested it or if you switched it on and off whenever you intended to listen to it?

 

Cheers

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Many thanks for the comparison Ted!

 

As many users have reported that the Yggy sounds much better after it is powered up for some days, would you please clarify if this is the way that you tested it or if you switched it on and off whenever you intended to listen to it?

 

Cheers

 

Victor,

Hi. In case you haven't read some of my other posts I am a huge proponent of leaving digital equipment on 24/7 due to the thermal issues as they relate to clocks, etc. Moreover, I would never seriously listen to any DAC in the first 48 hours, as I stated in the part two update. Thx for the "thanks" button. :)

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I'm awaiting the Spring, but got the SU-1. Using the spdif input for now. However, the iFi Micro isn't showing up in HQP. I have the fmc fiber to uR, USB out to spdif on SU-1, then into the Micro's spdif input. Any idea's why this isn't working?

 

edit: The blue Power and DSD is lit up. And it's visible under ASIO, but not NAA despite rebooting it mult. times


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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I'm awaiting the Spring, but got the SU-1. Using the spdif input for now. However, the iFi Micro isn't showing up in HQP. I have the fmc fiber to uR, USB out to spdif on SU-1, then into the Micro's spdif input. Any idea's why this isn't working?

 

edit: The blue Power and DSD is lit up. And it's visible under ASIO, but not NAA despite rebooting it mult. times

 

 

Chris, the HQP needs to see the SU-1, not the iFi.

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Chris, the HQP needs to see the SU-1, not the iFi.

 

I see. Though the SU-1 isn't showing up either under Devices.


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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SU-1 is Linux friendly and supports 192k PCM and DSD64 (doP) is used via SPDIF, like Chris. When used with I2S it's currently DSD256, but again DoP.

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Victor,

Hi. In case you haven't read some of my other posts I am a huge proponent of leaving digital equipment on 24/7 due to the thermal issues as they relate to clocks, etc. Moreover, I would never seriously listen to any DAC in the first 48 hours, as I stated in the part two update. Thx for the "thanks" button. :)

 

Thanks for the clarification Ted.

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I am awaiting my Spring DAC, but in the meantime got my SU-1. It installed easily on my AudioPC (I plugged/unplugged USB cable several times and Device Manager updates every time you connect and disconnect like any other device connected to the computer). I have it connected to my DirectStream I2S, USB out is from a JCAT USB Card>JCAT USB Isolator>W4S Recovery>SU-1>DS with Nordost HDMI cable. Improved sound right out of the box. I will let it play continuously.

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Dmitre, do I read this (translated to English) correctly that the user liked the 18 bit PCM only 10-yr old Audio Note Dac3 the best of the 3 scenarios? How close was Holo+Berkely USB? I assume no DSD material was used (downconverted in the case of AN)? Thx

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Hi,

It was almost full AN system (amp+speakers). Yep, no DSD.

Audio Note DAC 3 was from 1996. Yes, it's was better in terms of internal rhythms (joy from music).

Holo+Berkely USB was quite good but lacks dramatism (as reviewer said).

 

This thread covers Russian tour of HOLO Audio Spring DAC with reviews of members. Please check Tour Dates section with links to review in Russian (use Google Translate)!

 

— great review with Wadia 15 and Berkeley DAC 1.

— review with Naim DAC + PSU

— review with Metrum Pavane

— review with Audio Note DAC 3

 

review with Bricasti, Lynx Hilo DAC, Rockna DAC and Dodson 217 to come.

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Pardon me if this is a silly question. But can I simply connect my MacBook Pro notebook to this DAC via USB and it will play my music files?

 

Yes.


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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Pardon me if this is a silly question. But can I simply connect my MacBook Pro notebook to this DAC via USB and it will play my music files?

This probably goes without saying but to do so will require player software on your Mac.

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Updated review to include new listening impressions among new associated upgrades (Part Three: Listening Impressions).

 

As you know Ted, I have a Holo Spring Kitsune Level 3 on order with Tim. I went to read your Part 3 review updates on the DAC. Was not expecting to see a mini-review of our UltraCap LPS-1 there as well. Many thanks for that! ;)

 

I am especially pleased to read that quality HQ Player SRC and/or SDM to high rates with the Spring are, as logic would dictate, winning out over straight 16/44.1 with the Spring in NOS mode. I too like things pure and simple, but Redbook fold-down aliasing artifacts (from filterless NOS) are distortions no matter how you slice it.

 

I happily listened to my ancient custom Hovland/Swenson filterless/NOS PCM1704 with those artifacts for many years before really good s/w SRC came along. Since the pedestrian filters of the Spring are not its calling card, it is not a surprise that many are reporting preferring turning them off and just enjoying the immediacy of NOS mode. But there is no denying that hi-res material (even if it is derived via HQ Player's engine) should really shine on a capable R2R PCM / shift-register S-D ladder such as the Holo Spring.

 

I'm really looking forward to having this affordable and versatile DAC in my system!

 

Happy pending turkey-sacrifice day all...

 

--Alex C.

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