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2 hours ago, barrows said:

This is where the AKM 4499 is different, it is a switched resistor DAC with current output, unlike previous AKM chips which are switched capacitor and have voltage output.

 

Being switched resistor, its not really 'current output' as the output impedance is rather low. Its just that loading with the lowest possible input impedance I/V stage gives the best results. 

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19 hours ago, Miska said:

 

At the moment May is too expensive for my current R&D budget for buying DACs. The tunings for Spring 2 also match May the same way though. May is just otherwise better. I hope I can obtain a Spring 3 though when such arrives.

 

From testing point of view, DSD1024 with best modulators is not a problem since I can process the test signal conversions offline with HQPlayer Pro.

 

In DSD mode, DSD256 is sweet spot for Spring 2. In PCM mode, the 1.4112/1.536M 20-bit is sweet spot. For May, I would need to have the device to measure if it is the same, but I'd say it likely is.

 

 

AKM chips have traditionally been switched capacitor. Same for Cirrus Logic.

 

The May is too expensive for me. Says @Quadman earlier in this thread : May trounces his once beloved T+A DSD8 ; is it true of the Spring as well ? should I get a  Spring2L2 rather than a T+A DSD8?

 

Someone further up this thread reported that his Spring is "blah" compared to the May. Is this general opinion or law of diminishing returns allows me to hope to get  most of the good things reported in this thread about the May with a Spring?

 

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Spring 2 is discontinued and Spring 3 is imminent and will approach the asymptote.  I think it might actually cannibalize some sales of the May unless May is also updated and the price goes up.  

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11 minutes ago, scintilla said:

Spring 2 is discontinued and Spring 3 is imminent and will approach the asymptote.  I think it might actually cannibalize some sales of the May unless May is also updated and the price goes up.  

thank you, I should have stated my budget is for second hand, forthcoming S3KTE being announced close to 2x the price @juanitoxsold his S2L2, in France where I live, recently but before I got interested. 

This being, if S3 is really reaching the asymptote, I might stretch the budget 

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4 hours ago, Jean Paul D said:

This being, if S3 is really reaching the asymptote, I might stretch the budget 

If I was budget constrained, I would wait for the S3 to become available and snag a S2L2 or L3 and call it  a day for a couple years. This is very likely very close to asymptote (new word for me, had to look it up) and very high value. 

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I have not heard the Spring, and i think the PSU is already top. But i would not expect the Soundstage corners as delivered from the may. It might be close, but imho the separat oversized PSU of the May is the game changer. From what i heard (i.e. Herb Reichert) and budget wise i would buy a used Spring 2 (Level does not matter for me) or again a May...

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23 hours ago, Jean Paul D said:

should I get a  Spring2L2 rather than a T+A DSD8?

While I have no experience with the Spring, I am really very happy with the T+A DAC8DSD. However, in my view, the latter will make sense only if you will feed it with DSD512 obtained from PCM ideally by using HQPlayer. If you do not want to use DSD512 for some reason, a Holo Audio DAC may be better ... but I do not know for sure since I have no first hand experience with Holo Audio yet. While the PCM DAC of the T+A is quite good as well, its DSD DAC is the one that allows for that magical realism with DSD512, which seems to be the consensus among most of its fans out there.

Apple Powerbook G4 15\", iTunes, Metric Halo LIO-8, active speakers

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On 4/15/2021 at 1:37 PM, Jean Paul D said:

May trounces his once beloved T+A DSD8 ; is it true of the Spring as well ? should I get a  Spring2L2 rather than a T+A DSD8?

As fds says above, the T+A is made for DSD512 via HQP.  It is an incredible dac and it is better if you can utilize the balanced out as opposed to the SE (RCA) outs. I could only use the RCA out.  Herb Reichert said the difference between the Spring dac and the May was not subtle leading me to believe the T+A at 512 DSD or perhaps 256 DSD with EC7 modulators is going to beat the spring.  My listening notes 3 days before the Holo appeared said "does it get any better than this, how can the May beat this".  The T+A is an amazing dac and I was in audiophile nirvana with it.  I took the leap primarily because the reviews were so positive on the May's sound and the real clincher was the May's stand alone PSU.  In my experience the better PSU always wins.  Think Naim with their box and the better versions of that box were simply better PSU's.  You can't go wrong with a T+A if you play DSD as described above.  The PSU between the spring and T+A are similar, in chassis designs, so I'd give the edge to the T+A.

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1 hour ago, fds said:

While I have no experience with the Spring, I am really very happy with the T+A DAC8DSD. However, in my view, the latter will make sense only if you will feed it with DSD512 obtained from PCM ideally by using HQPlayer. If you do not want to use DSD512 for some reason, a Holo Audio DAC may be better ... but I do not know for sure since I have no first hand experience with Holo Audio yet. While the PCM DAC of the T+A is quite good as well, its DSD DAC is the one that allows for that magical realism with DSD512, which seems to be the consensus among most of its fans out there.

I have recently acquired HQPlayer and a Mac Mini M1. Hopefully 512 capable ; do you prefer the T+A @512 with non EC modulator or  @256 with 7EC? i'm limited to 128 nowadays but love 7EC

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1 minute ago, Jean Paul D said:

do you prefer the T+A @512 with non EC modulator or  @256 with 7EC? i'm limited to 128 nowadays but love 7EC

Unless you have an updated T+A with the newest Amanaro firmware it will not play DSD512.  Both FDS and I used windows.  My server at time could not do DSD256 EC7,  but occasionally could do DSD256 EC5 and I still preferred DSD512 over that.  And with the Holo and my new server as of today I sill prefer DSD512 over DSD256 EC7 or PCM 1.536.

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2 minutes ago, Jean Paul D said:

I have recently acquired HQPlayer and a Mac Mini M1. Hopefully 512 capable ; do you prefer the T+A @512 with non EC modulator or  @256 with 7EC? i'm limited to 128 nowadays but love 7EC

If you don't mind my chiming in, I prefer my T+A DAC 8 DSD at DSD512 with non-EC modulators (specifically ASDM7) to any DSD rate with EC. Caveat of course being that I am unable to do DSD512 with EC (not enough processing power). And on preview, as @Quadmanstates, you have to update the Amanero USB input board to run DSD512 with any source other than Windows PC.

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2 minutes ago, Quadman said:

As fds says above, the T+A is made for DSD512 via HQP.  It is an incredible dac and it is better if you can utilize the balanced out as opposed to the SE (RCA) outs. I could only use the RCA out.  Herb Reichert said the difference between the Spring dac and the May was not subtle leading me to believe the T+A at 512 DSD or perhaps 256 DSD with EC7 modulators is going to beat the spring.  My listening notes 3 days before the Holo appeared said "does it get any better than this, how can the May beat this".  The T+A is an amazing dac and I was in audiophile nirvana with it.  I took the leap primarily because the reviews were so positive on the May's sound and the real clincher was the May's stand alone PSU.  In my experience the better PSU always wins.  Think Naim with their box and the better versions of that box were simply better PSU's.  You can't go wrong with a T+A if you play DSD as described above.  The PSU between the spring and T+A are similar, in chassis designs, so I'd give the edge to the T+A.

Thank you, seems either I go for a  easy to find, or so it seems, second hand T+A or more than triple the budget for a May that seems to be only available new. I have juste got HQP plus a Mini M1, have a lot to explore, and get more and more confused : on the one hand I hear a lot of differences with modulators and filters and that convinces me that there might be huge differences in the digital realm and on the other hand I'm reluctant to spend huge amounts to hear differences. If I interpret correctly @bluesman recent article, and the man does not seem to spend much on individual DACs, there is more to be gained from educated listening than from gear changes and I could even convince myself I haven't yet reached the limits of my modest DAC. I have just listened to Mingus Ah Um in Classic Records 45 rpm edition and it was a delight from start to finish, and I could not help but go and put the 4 records one after the other while last time I listened to the MFSL SACD (and I like MFSL) I got tired after a few tracks : this could have me spend more on a DAC if I was convinced it's the difference between ordeal (almost) and delight and I read how you guys praise the May as analog. OTOH yesterday I listened to another great classic : Out of the Afternoon by Roy Haines et al and I'm sure it's the SACD that would have been picked as analog by a blinded invitee while in the end I listened to more tracks from the LP with its rawer more direct drums. 

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18 minutes ago, jiminlogansquare said:

If you don't mind my chiming in, I prefer my T+A DAC 8 DSD at DSD512 with non-EC modulators (specifically ASDM7) to any DSD rate with EC. Caveat of course being that I am unable to do DSD512 with EC (not enough processing power). And on preview, as @Quadmanstates, you have to update the Amanero USB input board to run DSD512 with any source other than Windows PC.

I sure don't mind ! Thank you. I'm also thinking of using a little machine with @Miska 's image, so Linux, as NAA. 

HQ Player 4 Mac Mini M1

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36 minutes ago, Quadman said:

Unless you have an updated T+A with the newest Amanaro firmware it will not play DSD512.  Both FDS and I used windows. 

While I did the first steps/listening test with the T+A on windows, I updated it with the Amanero firmware once it was clear that I would keep it. This was necessary to use the T+A together with my Linux-based opticalRendu with DSD512. Here - using a Win10 PC - the firmware update was really easy.

 

43 minutes ago, Jean Paul D said:

I have recently acquired HQPlayer and a Mac Mini M1. Hopefully 512 capable

Probably you will really need some additional renderer like the OpticalRendu to play DSD512 with your M1 as server.

37 minutes ago, jiminlogansquare said:

I prefer my T+A DAC 8 DSD at DSD512 with non-EC modulators (specifically ASDM7) to any DSD rate with EC.

Same here. DSD512 won over the lower DSD rates where EC modulators where still working without stuttering.

48 minutes ago, Quadman said:

I took the leap primarily because the reviews were so positive on the May's sound and the real clincher was the May's stand alone PSU.

Oh yes, also I believe that the stand-alone dual mono PSU of the May looks really how it should be done. In fact, I am very surprised that the T+A is working so well with the PSU build into the same box. However, I still believe that this is a limiting factor for the T+A. Really cool that the May comes along as such an elaborate two box construction that seems to pay off sonically and that is still relatively affordable.

Apple Powerbook G4 15\", iTunes, Metric Halo LIO-8, active speakers

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1 hour ago, Jean Paul D said:

second hand T+A or more than triple the budget for a May

May would be 2x maybe 2x+ over used T+A,  if you can stretch, the may is the clear choice.  It is that much better almost an endgame dac.  My SME30 mk2 TT and dynavector XV1s cartridge just sit idle as my digital has surpassed it in SQ (even the T+A at 512 was the equal to it). I briefly tried the T+A direct to my amplifiers like @fds does and it was very good, but I have a buffered preamp with a very simple circuit and very high parts quality and really heard no difference between direct to amp or through my buffered pre.  So I keep my buffered preamp in the chain.

 

I also, last weekend, made an upgrade to my L2 May (making it almost a KTE minus the copper R2R board covers) and will report on that tomorrow after one more long listening session.  Dang I just love the MAY.

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16 minutes ago, Quadman said:

May would be 2x maybe 2x+ over used T+A,  if you can stretch, the may is the clear choice.  It is that much better almost an endgame dac.  My SME30 mk2 TT and dynavector XV1s cartridge just sit idle as my digital has surpassed it in SQ (even the T+A at 512 was the equal to it). I briefly tried the T+A direct to my amplifiers like @fds does and it was very good, but I have a buffered preamp with a very simple circuit and very high parts quality and really heard no difference between direct to amp or through my buffered pre.  So I keep my buffered preamp in the chain.

 

I also, last weekend, made an upgrade to my L2 May (making it almost a KTE minus the copper R2R board covers) and will report on that tomorrow after one more long listening session.  Dang I just love the MAY.

nice vinyl rig ! I have a lesser XX1 Dynavector and the idler in my 60's studio TT is noisy (don't pay attention when a record plays though) but I'm under the impression things won't get that easy for me, that, even if digital would prove better on audiophile editions of the same record cut by the same guys (ie Steve Hoffman Kevin GRay for both SACD and vinyl) I would still feel like going vinyl for this or that record, for mastering, for history etc. My preamp has a bypass input to which I could connect the DAC I guess and still use the preamp to connect the phono preamp. But -3dB for headroom (HQP), -6 for DSD vs PCM with a Holo DAC, - 8 9 10 dB maybe more if I choose convolution in HQP rather than eQ through my Meyer CP10 : I can't see how I could reach satisfying SPL without gain set in preamp (offers up to 20 and is balanced so I could connect a T+A balanced). Holo DACs are more expensive in Europe and I can't find a trace of a used May.

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Oh man...those copper fox board covers are the real thing that makes it so good! Dang. I should probably pop the cover to make sure I got them. 717 hours and it's simply sublime. I like 'almost an endgame dac'. Best to leave that door open just a little but I can see sticking with the May for 3+ years before I know it's gone.

 

I'm enjoying mostly PCM but 256 5EC poly-sinc-l isn't bad. The DSD 'side' has improved with some play time. I don't think I can manage any 512 but it's a 2017 office-type Dell PC. I do get a little snap between tracks even though it remains DSD from HQPe, i.e. not switching from PCM to DSD. DSD still lacks the dynamics of PCM for me.

 

Super happy with Jussi recommended NAA. UP gateway Intel Cherry Trail SoC.

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2 hours ago, lpost said:

Sorry, link to the UP gateway.

 

https://up-shop.org/up-gateway-atom-x5-z8350-w-4g-memory-32g-emmc-board-w-vesa-plate.html

 

or from Mouser if you're in the US.

I have ordered one. Booting Miska's image on a laptop fed as NAA was quite convincing. Has anyone ever played with the UP's USB plugs and try to determine if one sounds better than the others?

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I have not tried the other 3 ports to compare. As the CPU is the only controller, it's unlikely there is any difference between the four ports. Perhaps using the two closer to the system board could be slightly less subject to RFI/EMI but it would be very little difference. Of course, it costs nothing but time to try. 

 

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/design/mobile-devices/platforms/cherry-trail/overview.html

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8 hours ago, lpost said:

The DSD 'side' has improved with some play time. I don't think I can manage any 512 but it's a 2017 office-type Dell PC.

 

I believe that the same resistor network is employed for both PCM and DSD, and whether it is used as R2R dac or as a lowpass filter for DSD is determined by the fpga that also linearizes the network. So I don't think there are two 'sides' to break in. 

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