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Happening: Holo Spring 3 vs. Yiggy vs. Codex vs. 2Qute


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Happening now at Urban HiFi in Tacoma Park, MD. Comparison of the Holo Spring Level 3, Schiit Yiggy, Ayre Codex, and Chord 2Qute in a 2.0 speaker setup. Right now being fed by a Bryston BDP1 source. We've also used a laptop / TIDAL source. The Holo is using I2S in, balanced out. The Yiggy is using AES in, balanced out. The Codex is USB in, balanced out. The 2Qute is USB in, single ended out.

 

More comments to follow. Will try to post pics. Am here with 5 more audiophiles.

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Yep!

 

Could you also test with what I think are Open Baffle speakers at the back? ;)

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Are these speakers resting on other speakers underneath?

 

That's not too good I think: it's a resonant body with a cavity. Stands would be much better, or some other support if possible.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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Are these speakers resting on other speakers underneath?

 

That's not too good I think: it's a resonant body with a cavity. Stands would be much better, or some other support if possible.

 

They are! Unfortunately. The stands are almost done, just in the finishing stages. They did have cork between the very hefty wooden cabinets of the KLH stands (no disrespect meant toward KLH, they just happen to be the perfect height, very sturdy, and in need of repair) and the cabinet of the Evoke Eddie. Though we did most listening with the Eddie, we also heard comparisons through Tekton Mini-Lores, Omega Super Alnico High Output Monitors, and listened a bit to the Spatials (the open-baffle speakers) though didn't have time to do much comparison.

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Absolutely.

2010 Mac Mini (8GB RAM, SSD, LaCie 4TB HD)>PI Audio USB Cable>Singxer SU-1>PAD Aqueous Aureus Praesto Digital IC (BNC)>Lampizator Amber II>Kaplan GS Mk2.5 ICs>Rogue Cronus Magnum (modded & NOS signal tubes and Reflector 6P3S-e)>Kaplan GS MKII SCs>Aural Acoustic Model B speakers. Furutech outlets, TWL PCs, and PI Audio Digi-Buss & Buss-Stop power conditioners.

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As an owner of the Holo Spring, I'm interested in how if fared Holzmann ;)

Ryzen 7 2700 PC Server, NUC7CJYH w. 4G Apacer RAM as Renderer/LPS 1.2 - IsoRegen/LPS-1/.2 - Singxer SU-1/LPS1.2 - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC - LTA MicroZOTL MZ2 - Modwright KWA 150 Signature Amp - Tidal Audio Piano's.  

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Just to update with my impressions.

 

I am not speaking for everything in attendance but I would like to think that we did reach a level consensus as far as the DACs were concerned. We were all there for about five hours.

 

While the test was not blind, not all us of always knew which DAC was doing the work and invariably, one or several of us would ask, "Which DAC did we just hear?" We basically would play one track, or a 90-120 second segment of one, and repeat on all DACs. We would each share our thoughts at the end of each round or track. The first round was done listening to Dave Brubeck's Take Five, for example.

 

After round one, the DACs were more or less separated into two groups: Spring Holo Level 3 and Schitt Yiggy in the upper group and the Ayre Codex and the Chord 2Qute in the lower group. Incidentally, they also fall into these price groups. Both the Holo and Yiggy are about $2300 USD and the Codex and the 2Qute are around $1700 USD, give or take.

 

Again, not speaking for everyone and just trying to convey my impressions:

 

The Holo Spring Level 3 (PCM): was the detail, resolution champion. For example, the plucking of the upright bass behind the piano or the reverberation of the snare in Take Five was rendered most distinctly here. Same could be said for pulling the details out of Lighthouse by Patrick Watson. I would argue that the DAC presented a slightly tipped-up treble that could, in some instances, be considered dry or harsh.

Schiit Yiggy: was the "musical" champion. The warmth and smoothness of the sax in Take Five, even the breathing of the player on the reed was clearly evident. Same could be said for rendering Patrick Watson's vocals in Lighthouse and Melissa Menago's voice in Traveler. The DAC offers such a coherent blend of detail and musicality. I found myself foot tapping and dancing a little more with the Yiggy. The attack of the kick drum in Take Five was also rendered with most authority with Yiggy. I would say it trades some of the treble clarity of the Holo for a tiny bit more bass weight and control. I found myself stomping my foot in frustration after comparing the Holo and the Yiggy using Lighthouse by Patrick Watson. I just felt the Yiggy nailed his vocals more than Holo but Holo brought more background content forward for me to enjoy.

 

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The DACs above were considered to image with that delicious 3D "wall of sound" that put us at center stage, able to identify the placement of each musician and how far away they were from each other.

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Ayre Codex: Very musical like the Yiggy, just dialed back a notch in all respects: a little less detail, a little less bass authority. Some felt it had like a right-channel emphasis in its imagining. It was perhaps the most relaxed and polite of them all. I just wanted to sink back in my chair and relax. The sound was less 3D and "wall" like and seemed to have right-channel/right-speaker emphasis. This didn't go over well with a few listeners who got warmed up to the more encompassing sound of the previous two DACs. Though one listener feels it is an excellent DAC in a 2.0 stereo home theater setup for movies, TV, dialogue, etc.

 

Chord 2Qute: Still dialed back compared to the Yiggy and closer in presentation to the Ayre Codex. It trades perhaps some of the smoothness of the Codex for slightly more treble clarity but otherwise similar mids and bass as the Codex. (Bass weight and control of both the Codex and 2Qute still slightly behind that of the Yiggy. Both of course lack slightly behind Yiggy and even more behind the Holo with regards to resolution and detail retrieval.) The 2Qute does perhaps image slightly more accurately than the Codex but still has the right-left channel emphasis and less of the 3D "wall of sound" we enjoyed so much the upper level DACs. The 2Qute did do a lovely job rendering the piano in Take Five, slightly better than the Codex. The 2Qute also wins with regards to build quality, compactness, etc. compared to the Codex. The biggest minus of the 2Qute is perhaps its lack of balanced XLR outputs.

 

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DACs above were felt to image differently in a strictly more right and left channel sense. More narrow and less encompassing and less "3D" like.

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As the afternoon went one, the lower group of DACs disappeared as we concentrated more on the upper group. The consensus, in my opinion, was that the Yiggy was the more musical of the two and the Holo was better at detail and nuance. In this sense, we wanted to combine the best of each one and slap them into one DAC. I can almost understand those who opt to own one of each if they have the funds. In the end, if I had to pick just one, I would probably leave the slightly dryer Holo and take home the more musical Yiggy. One in black please!

 

Many thanks to @willsw and Urban HiFi for hosting and to everyone for being so generous with their time and equipment. We all had a blast and could have stayed for a few more hours.

 

Of course the DACs could not do it alone. The audiogasms we all experienced were also brought to us in large part to the ZOTL pre- and power-amps. We also loved the Evoke Eddie, the Tekton Mini Lore, the Omega Outlaw Super 3U, and the Spatial Hologram M4 speakers. Each amazing in their own right. The Bryston BDP-1 also did an amazing job as a music server.

 

 

 

 

[video=youtube;-P2Z0yJe8a0]

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Happening now at Urban HiFi in Tacoma Park, MD. Comparison of the Holo Spring Level 3, Schiit Yiggy, Ayre Codex, and Chord 2Qute in a 2.0 speaker setup. Right now being fed by a Bryston BDP1 source. We've also used a laptop / TIDAL source. The Holo is using I2S in, balanced out. The Yiggy is using AES in, balanced out. The Codex is USB in, balanced out. The 2Qute is USB in, single ended out.

 

I don't doubt your results seeing what connectors you chose differently for these DAC's. Hardly a fair comparison without a full USB galvanic isolation and tweaks. Really you should have used USB for all the DAC's.

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

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Of course the DACs could not do it alone. The audiogasms we all experienced were also brought to us in large part to the ZOTL pre- and power-amps. We also loved the Evoke Eddie, the Tekton Mini Lore, the Omega Outlaw Super 3U, and the Spatial Hologram M4 speakers. Each amazing in their own right.

 

I'd like to hear more about the speakers as well. In particular the Tektons and the Omegas.

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I don't doubt your results seeing what connectors you chose differently for these DAC's. Hardly a fair comparison without a full USB galvanic isolation and tweaks. Really you should have used USB for all the DAC's.

 

USB was regarded as the weakest input of each. We either did USB to I2S/AES or USB to Optical. The desire was to remove USB entirely. We even used a CD-player as a transport using its optical output in some cases. In the end, I think they were all fed by the Bryston BDP-1. We wanted to test each DAC using their best input. USB is not it. USB is also not the future IMO. Point is, we tested each DAC with a variety of inputs and the two "levels" of DACs were apparent and similar conclusions with respect to the Holo and Yiggy were still made, regardless of input.

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Of course the DACs could not do it alone. The audiogasms we all experienced were also brought to us in large part to the ZOTL pre- and power-amps. We also loved the Evoke Eddie, the Tekton Mini Lore, the Omega Outlaw Super 3U, and the Spatial Hologram M4 speakers. Each amazing in their own right.

 

I'd like to hear more about the speakers as well. In particular the Tektons and the Omegas.

Tektons provided the widest sound stage of anything I've heard that size. The Omegas defy imagination by the use of their two mini drivers. Simply jaw dropping. Imaging monsters. In some ways they couldn't be more different. Another listener said he wanted to leave with the Yiggy+Omega combo and call it done.

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USB was regarded as the weakest input of each. We either did USB to I2S/AES or USB to Optical. The desire was to remove USB entirely. We even used a CD-player as a transport using its optical output in some cases. In the end, I think they were all fed by the Bryston BDP-1. We wanted to test each DAC using their best input. USB is not it. USB is also not the future IMO. Point is, we tested each DAC with a variety of inputs and the two "levels" of DACs were apparent and similar conclusions with respect to the Holo and Yiggy were still made, regardless of input.

 

When implemented correctly, I kindly disagree. USB can be the best.

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

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When implemented correctly, I kindly disagree. USB can be the best.

You are entitled to your opinion. This thread is about my impressions after a 5-hour audition with four great DACs and an array of speakers and connectivity options. This is not and will not turn into a USB vs. X thread.

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Tektons provided the widest sound stage of anything I've heard that size. The Omegas defy imagination by the use of their two mini drivers. Simply jaw dropping. Imaging monsters. In some ways they couldn't be more different. Another listener said he wanted to leave with the Yiggy+Omega combo and call it done.

 

Thanks, these brands are impossible to demo in my area.

 

Could either of these muster decent ''meat'' or were they more the ''shouty'' type?

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This is not and will not turn into a USB vs. X thread.

 

As it shouldn't. But you are comparing DAC's and it is appropriate to point out any perceived faults in the comparison.

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

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USB was regarded as the weakest input of each. We either did USB to I2S/AES or USB to Optical. The desire was to remove USB entirely. We even used a CD-player as a transport using its optical output in some cases. In the end, I think they were all fed by the Bryston BDP-1. We wanted to test each DAC using their best input. USB is not it. USB is also not the future IMO. Point is, we tested each DAC with a variety of inputs and the two "levels" of DACs were apparent and similar conclusions with respect to the Holo and Yiggy were still made, regardless of input.

 

I own the Holo, Level 3 DAC. While I applaud your efforts, I will respectfully disagree that I2S is the superior input. I have tried my Holo with the Singxer and I2S and preferred the USB input coupled with the Regen. I have had the 2Qute in my system as well(along with the Hugo). I have not yet heard the Yiggy.

 

The beauty of the Holo is that when using HQPlayer, I can easily try 44.1, 384, DSD 256 or DSD512 on each track. I find it interesting to hear the differences and how I might prefer 44.1 to 384 on a certain track but maybe the opposite on another. I have just started to listen to DSD512 through HQPlayer and am pretty darned impressed.

 

Regards,

 

Randy

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