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HOLO Audio MAY DAC


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On 1/25/2021 at 2:44 PM, Diavolo said:

Found it.  😁 LMAO 

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I like the idea. I tried using my kids lego parts from a kit he's building on my monitors, but he got mad.

 

To be honest though, I remember using a similar material on our line arrays many many moons ago to tame all those neo 8 tweeters. 

 

I pulled the trigger on the May DAC KTE. This thread has me excited. So much great information here. Thanks guys (and ladies?)

 

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Looking to feed the May properly I'm looking at many options. 

 

My current setup is the Lindemann Musicbook DSD25 fed by a uRendu which is fed by a etheregen all custom built Cat7 that sources a Small Green computer linux based system using an enormous 12 volt power supply. I'm a Roon (ruined) guy. 

 

I have 2 systems. My main system is stuck in a bad room. I don't expect the May DAC to fix my room. We will move to a home with a basement that will be suitable for a "this is it I'm done" system which I'm putting together (of course we're never really done are we). So the May may float between 2 rooms (2 systems).

 

I'm feeling Diavolo's system and his approach. We may land the same speakers, the Tektons as well. My wife had a love affair with the line arrays and the Texton might satiate her audio desire. 

 

Given the love shown here for HQP, my low powered linux box wouldn't have the horsepower for the capabilities of the May. We were looking at the Zen or Zenith servers and the Aurender too, but decided there's a better lower cost solution. I can build a server or buy a preconfigured one.

 

Tim from Kitzuni uses a computer and the Itona 3.0 along with the associated USB cable. This is what he recommends, that is, the Itona and USB cable they sell. 

 

Along with the May, I've got a Kinki M1+ on the way for pre/power amp duties. My other 3 amps are a Nord class D, a AS12200 based ice module and a BMC S1 AB that is in need of repair. Anyone fix amps? Anyone know anyone? Been busted for years.

 

Congrats to all of you on your newly acquired Mays!

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I've certainly thought about the OpticalRendu. I mean I could go ethernet-optical out of a computer to optical-ethernet in to the etherRegen, but that seems overkill. I mean I break one power source then add another at the end, the etherRegen which works very well on the Lindemann. I could simply keep the etherRegen for Lindemann USB audio on my second system...

 

Costs can add up exponentially. I still need to purchase a USB cable and those go from $1 to $1000 in a femtosecond.

 

I don't need a fanless computer if I use optical (or even ethernet of course) if it's in another room which was in a former setup. Optical cables don't care to much about distance. Cat7 maybe so.

 

I'm sorry, what is a "NAA"?

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When I started down the digital streaming path, which was early (and I still have my modded Squeezebox 3) I thought I knew something. After reading through this thread, I don't know much anymore. A lot of catching up to do I suppose.

 

Going USB, we start at the computer which outputs a data stream in whatever format we choose based upon software. And if we choose to use intensive algorithms to upsample/convert our data streams we need processing power. 

 

Question is this, why would it matter what power supply I use on the computer end if one ultimately uses fiber to send data to whatever device is downstream? Would a potentially noisy PS at the computer end pollute the data stream? I ask this because the power supply(s) is one of the costliest parts of our stream(s).

 

I use a Core PS for my linux Small Green computer. I custom built a cable that feeds the computer from the PS, so I really attempt to give my system every advantage. As it relates to the May, it seems the designer being the audio conscious type, really did a great job and nearly eliminating noise at the USB input. 

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Now that I've ordered a Holo May DAC, my next step it appears is to either procure or build-it-myself music server. I prefer to DIY as I spent my adult life building computers for home use. I like doing that.

 

It seems that in order to get the most from May KTE edition, one needs a quiet computer, quiet in my case is less generated noise, not room noise from fans. My server would not be in same room as my audio system.

 

I've been poking around on the web and noted many solutions for fanless computers. And it appears that fans aside from generating noise in the environment, generate noise on the bus which can affect SQ. Also noted that fanless computers that say use a i9-9900KF have a hard time when using the HQP high bit rate Holo May can generate.

 

This might sound crazy but thinking outside the box, what if I built a fanless computer/server but used fans to cool this beast with its own DC supply plugged into a wall outlet? I mean, say 4 or 6 fans mounted on a frame, directly cooling the MB and CPU with whatever fanless CPU cooler built for i9? 

 

Also noted the small form factor for many music servers. I absolutely hate small form factor cases. Big hands. 

 

Sorry if I'm posting in a Holo May thread a computer server build but I think it's relevant here. Please correct if I'm wrong. I'll post elsewhere.

 

Thanks

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Does anyone know if the Holo May DAC provides its own power on the USB input? I'm looking at buying a USB cable built by Bill Dion (Grannyring) that has no power. He has 2 flavors, a doublesmoked and a  helix designed... forgot that flavor.

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I did email Tim. No reply yet but I imagine between holiday and possibly orders pouring in, it will take longer than usual. 

 

No problem, I can wait.

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I finally received an email  from Tim. 

So to be honest, from what I understand, the 5 volts is needed for the handshake. I guess that answers my question. Bill (grannyring) is building me a cable (double smoked) for the May.

 

Now I need a server, or what I really want to do is build a server.

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15 hours ago, barrows said:

If there is no current being drawn by the DAC on the 5 VDC USB power, it should not have any possibility of "disrupting" the data lints anyway.  Also, if one uses a really good USB source, one should not have nay concerns RE a DAC which does use the USB power.  As long as thta power is clean (as it should be with a good USB source) then there are no worries.  In fact, when a DAC uses the USB power to power its USB receiver section, it improves the isolation possible between the critical DAC circuitry and the USB receiver.

 

I guess that means I didn't and even perhaps shouldn't have had the USB cable being constructed for me to have USB power on it. It was a question I asked Tim but never received an answer. Maybe it really doesn't matter if USB is isolated in the DAC anyway. 

 

I wonder then when I build my music server, if adding the JCAT USB PCI card isn't a waste of money?

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Sweet Ipost. Well thought out system IMO. 

 

Will be real interesting to here your May DAC playing (ultimately) through the ATC's. I had the ATC's for awhile and really enjoyed them. I owned so damn many speakers and the ATC's still stand out as a neutral conveyor of music. 

 

I'm hopeful that I'll see my May before May. Wait, kidding, maybe end of March, although I'm upgrading my stereo. But it's costing us ~450K dollars.

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My $450K reference was to a new home that has a basement. And in that basement is a room dedicated to audio. Soundproof, radiant heat, dedicated circuits, floating walls, finally a room that I can call safe audio space. And it will be 2 channel only, no more sharing duties with HT. 

 

The May will anchor the digital end along with a room server I'm designing, maybe with the help of folks here.

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15 minutes ago, lpost said:

Muchas gracias

 

To date I have kept my audio addiction spend to roughly 10% of your spend. My heirs will be happy. Is that all equipment or are you building a room?

 

I downsized to a single-level 1300sq. ft. home 5 years ago and lost my dedicated space. But with the very sophisticated DSP (HQPe, HAF convolution and Room Shaper) the ATC sing exceedingly well in my living room space of 18'x14'x8' on the long wall. I replaced the caps and resistors in the filter network and was astonished at the increase in resolution and yet still zero fatigue. ATC knows how to make drivers, but cheaped out on the parts...though to be fair this NOT an expensive speaker.

I understand completely. I completely rebuilt my Usher Towers. Jantzen Superiors, Dueland wire, mills resistors, air coils, WBT's direct connections to mid, uppers. Now they are beautiful inside and out ;)

 

And still, in order to get the best, I had to run them through Dirac Live on my NAD M17 V2. But a strange this happened. I procured a Kinki Studio M1+. It sounded dreadful of course through the break-in period. It opened up but using my best cord it had a serious bump in the upper bass. Changed cord, bump gone. So transparent now using my Lindemann DSD, I wonder why I ordered the May.

 

Perhaps I'll know why in a few months...

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2 hours ago, oneguy said:

Interested in answer to above question too. I bought a May KTE as I was moving to Japan. I’ve had it for about 3 weeks but the rest of my gear and belongings don’t get delivered to me until Monday so I’m forced to look at the wonderful May for 2 more days and not listen to it. 

You taking Monday off? ;)

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1 hour ago, Hiker said:

I’m about to order the May KTE , I have asked a set of questions to the dealer in the US and haven’t received a reply yet .

One question I have does the May dac need a vbus powered USB cable ? 
Thank you 

 

1 hour ago, Hiker said:

I’m about to order the May KTE , I have asked a set of questions to the dealer in the US and haven’t received a reply yet .

One question I have does the May dac need a vbus powered USB cable ? 
Thank you 

Hi Hiker,

 

I asked this question and this is what I got from Tim regarding USB and power. It's a bit cryptic to me but it looks like you do not need to carry the 5 volts through the USB cable. Others are welcome to correct me.

 

"Michael,
Correct. This is only used for a handshake.
So there is no need to use a cable without it. Since the voltage ripple from the power never will reach the dac. A
Standard usb cable is highly recommended.
And if you want a zero compromise usb cable than I highly highly highly recommend the intona usb cables we sell. The premium trade or reference grade are as good as it gets.

Super tight impedance specs of 1.8ohms+\- for premium grade or 88.2-91.8ohM range. Super super tight. Better than 99.9% of audio grade usb cables already.
The reference is even better at 0.8Ohms +\- or 89.2-90.8 ohm. This is ideal for highly sensitive measurement gear and a bit overkill for audio, but it’s a no compromises solution without a doubt."
 

 

 

 

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I'm going to use a Kinki Studio M1+ as an integrated then using the Kinki as a preamp using my BMC-S1 as the amp. Will be a good comparo.  I've got a few HQ class D amps as well including a Nord MK 2 using the NC500's.

Amp rolling.

 

What I'm really struggling with is a music server build. I've read the 77 page DIY build report in this forum. So damn much great information it has given me many idea's. Last night while laying awake, I thought perhaps if I could get away with a 12ft long USB cable, I could build a high power music server for the May outside of the audio room I'm having built. May with HQP and certain NAA modes want power. I'm trying to avoid the costs and compromises associated with a fanless server. I'm pretty sure however that a long USB cable is a bad idea.

 

 

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You know, I really like this post. 

 

When going through my music collection, I often get side tracked playing tracks on what to listen to when comparing... tracks. I mean I have my old standards but bilboda touched on something rather simple, a tambourine. I use Neil Youngs harmonica and his voice often enough and of course many other recordings but so often I struggle to get a good picture of what I'm hearing overall. And for me, it's just a crap shoot. Only continued listen between my wife and I had determined what sounded good over the course of time.

 

Looking forward to playing with the May and all its goodies.

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2 hours ago, Diavolo said:

You don't own them, you've never heard them, your opionion is pretty devoid of relevance. I actually own hqplayer and it sounds no different audibly to not using it at all.  Meanwhile, Tekton Design has rave reviews by thousands of owners and a 3 month wait list. 

You mean I'll need to wait 3 months for the Ulfberhts?

Damn, better get my order in. Still haven't decided color and whether I should add the single Beryllium tweeter. 

 

To stay on topic we have this feeling the May with all its capabilities, the Kinki, and the Tektons in a dedicated room could be something very special.

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Feels like everything I wish to buy in the audio world, is or has been on back order, wish is OK. I like to see performance audio in a renaissance even if it seems to me, music isn't.

 

Wife tells me to get those Tekton's ordered! Yes Ma'am ;) Hope they'll take a deposit...

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Finally, my music server is up and running - with HQPlayer no less. I struggled mightily with 2 other computers and never got HQP to work.

 

I'm simply in awe at what is coming out of my speakers except that nothing is coming out of my speakers, music is simply there. Separation, layering and detail in abundance but there's something else. Beauty. The music sounds beautiful. Not sure I've ever used that adjective describing the sound of music in an audio system. And between the speaker and power cables that I've borrowed from my buddy, it seems my "bad" room isn't bad anymore. The bass bloat has been fixed. In fact the texture I'm experiencing in the low notes is simply the best I've ever heard.

 

So where am I at?

I've performed NO adjustments in HQP. Don't even know where to start.

I received my HDPlex 300 watt power supply It was DOA. So I'm using a Dell power brick.

I'm using a USB cable straight out of the server with a few year old SoTM USB card sitting on my table.

My EtherRegen won't deliver network from the B-side moat.

I put my music on a Samsung pci-e SSD drive in a USB input.

My urendu is sitting on the table with my USB card.

I've got a Synergistic orange fuse coming tomorrow for the Kinki

 

So I think there might be some improvement, but I can't imagine what that might look like...

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I've got a miniDSP sitting on my garage table. I'm looking to sell but I also have 2 SW260 subs sitting silent as well. Trouble is, my system with the May is producing amazing bass coming from the 11" Eaton drivers which are part of my Usher Towers. Guess I'll hang on to it a bit longer.

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Sorry folks, I have to say that last night listening was simply amazing. I did one further tweak adding a Synergistic fuse to my integrated. Fancy fuse or no fancy fuse, after one song for 15 minutes I was laughing so hard, my wife and 10 year old thought I had lost it. They sat down and it was game on.

 

Jack Johnson - Rodeo Clowns; Music was coming at me in ways I thought not possible. My setting was NOS but when I switch to OS I get a tighter more focused image. I left it at NOS. This song set about my hysterical laughter. My 10 year took control and queued up The Stones - Ruby Tuesday. A very good choice as often times folks get focused on reference recordings and forget about some good old yesteryear tunes. It was the same familiar song, not altered to the point of changed, a good sign, and we were all singing Ruby Tuesday, immersed in the melody while still being aware of an idea of being in the studio. Jr then queued Coldplay's Paradise. The sheer size of this recording was astonishing. Not a reference recording by any means but the May sort of forced reference on you. Death Cab for Cutie - Title and Registration. I love this song but last night it was a new connection emotionally. There's much more information and bandwidth but the May does not detract from the emotional connection to the song. I thought then, lets really challenge the May. U2. 

 

It was 1983, I'm driving back from a ski trip with a carload full of friends. A song came on the radio, After about 15 seconds I told everyone to be quiet and listen to this song. I didn't know who it was but I caught the words 'New Years day'. Took my 6 months to discover what group played that song. Last night I queued up that song. It wasn't right. It was a typical flat sounding U2 recording but a brilliant song. I switched the May to DSD and that turned that crappy recording into magic. I've been finding it interesting that the I actually use the various filters on the May, not just focused on one. My wife likes OS, Jr likes NOS because he often points out sounds coming from well outside the speakers. Jr can really get into it when he's feeling it as seen in this video.

 

I've been going Dac to amplifiers for years, up until I bought the Kinki Studio M1+, a relatively modest outlay of cash. I wanted the Luxman 900 series amp, preamp but for $3K and the ability to roll opamps I said WTF. It's popular and I can easily sell it. Not anytime soon. I've built countless systems over the 55 years and I'm not done yet. I am holding the May DAC in high esteem, maybe best audio purchase ever. And now I need to get acquainted with HQP, its settings and is it possible to extract more goodness from the May?

 

 

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