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19 minutes ago, GoldenOne said:

You can use HQP + Roon. Roon supports HQP as an output option.

Indeed and this is what I am using right now. In fact, for certain tracks, it even seems to come with slightly superior SQ than using HQPlayer/NAA without Roon. Is this maybe even supported by the following two measurements of master Chris?

 

 

 

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

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1.  I have asked Stereophile when reviewing DACs with separate PCM and DSD conversions (like Holo, Bricasti, Denafrips, T+A, etc) to please make separate measurements and listening tests for both sections, as by not doing so they are only reviewing a portion of what the DAC is actually capable of.  Wanting them to also test with HQPlayer oversampling is unlikely to happen anytime soon!  Although we here at AudiophileStyle are well aware of the potential benefits of oversampling in software vs. in the DAC, this approach is truly a niche thing, and is not even understood by the average audiophile.  Given how many possible different approaches there are with oversampling in  software, it woudl be very hard for a reviewer to test all of the options!  Although maybe asking them to test one recommended approach (from, say, Jussi) might be able to happen someday.

2. @GoldenOne: if you oversample PCM in HQPlayer to a different bit depth, you are going through a SDM re-modulation.  So really the only good way to hear what no SDM processing sounds like with a NOS R2R DAC is to feed it native PCM content. 

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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There are some additional May impressions/comparisons in this thread:

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/gramophone-dreams-40-denafrips-terminator-ares-ii

 

Home: Melco N1A/2 | EtherRegen+Farad | UltraRendu+Farad | Denafrips Gaia | Denafrips Terminator Plus | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | 2 Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  | PS Audio DS Power Plant 12 

Home Office: IsoRegen+LPS1.2 | Denafrips Iris | Denafrips Venus 2 | Blue Circle Audio SBT preamp|  Eddie Current Zana Deux Super | Hifiman HE-1000SE | PS Audio DS Power Plant 12

Office:  Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE w/preamp module | Blue Circle Audio BC-28 amp | Raidho X-1 | REL T/5x sub

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On 9/29/2020 at 6:18 PM, GoldenOne said:


I've got several dacs here currently. The May, ADI-2 Pro FS R, Teac UD501, SMSL SU-8 V2, Motu M2.
The may is a clear step above the rest, subjectively to my ears its just night and day. And interestingly in objective tests, while I don't have an analyser and am using the ADI-2 pro ADC (info on the performance of which can be seen here: http://archimago.blogspot.com/2018/09/measurements-rme-adi-2-pro-fs-adc.html ), the may actually outperforms even the ADI-2 plugged into ITSELF (meaning the adi-2 also has the advantage of the dac/adc clock being perfectly synced, and yet the may beats it).
 

 

I own the cheap SMSL SU-8 V2, just out of curiosity,  judging only as a DAC (no features or preamp), is the ADI-2 Pro FS R an upgrade or differences are tiny?.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, Cortes said:

 

I own the cheap SMSL SU-8 V2, just out of curiosity,  judging only as a DAC (no features or preamp), is the ADI-2 Pro FS R an upgrade or differences are tiny?.  

 

 

Adi-2 is definitely an upgrade yeah. In fact I'll be honest I really was not a fan of the su8 v2. Whereas I like the adi-2 quite a bit. 

 

Su8 v2 was a bit too clinical and had almost nonexistent soundstage. 

 

I would say though that for the same money, ignoring features anyway I'd perhaps go for an ares 2 or d90 (if you're talking about the adi-2 dac) or a holo spring 2 (if talking about the adi-2 Pro price). 

But the features of the adi-2 make it a hard option to pass up! It's a fantastic product

 

 

https://youtube.com/goldensound

Roon -> HQPlayer -> SMS200 Ultra/SPS500 -> Holo Audio May (Wildism Edition) -> Holo Audio Serene (Wildism Edition) -> Benchmark AHB2 -> Hifiman Susvara

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41 minutes ago, Diavolo said:

I'm only on month two with my May KTE and I'm in love. 😁 Best sounding dac I've ever heard.  Happy Thanksgiving! 

 

are you upsampling in hqp ? curious what DACs have you compared with ?

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50 minutes ago, Diavolo said:

I'm only on month two with my May KTE and I'm in love. 😁 Best sounding dac I've ever heard.  Happy Thanksgiving! 

Not to take any enjoyment from you but I tried May L2 and Audio GD R7HE home for two weeks. Decided to go on with the latter. 

I felt it was a little more easier for my ears with headphones and especially with music that is not necessarily mastered "audiophile style". Another local enthusiast seemed to prefer more of May though.

 

I am not sure if this was the best thread to post but if someone is thinking of investing big money in to a DAC, what my point is, is not "buy R7HE instead" but if possible I would strongly recommend home audition with few dacs same time. Flexible dealers might make it happen if asked.

Gives more perspective and in my case, if I just had bought May blindly I might not have been 100% satisfied. Both are great DAC's though and I would say it was only a slight specific flavor in sound that mattered the most.

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13 minutes ago, Dev said:

 

are you upsampling in hqp ? curious what DACs have you compared with ?

I prefer HQP @ PCM 20bit/1.536mhz. I was very happy with Roon's upsampling which is limited to 768khz and honestly I swore I would never buy hqplayer because I was a naysayer, but I decided to play with it for a few weeks and I really enjoy the sound and prefer it to DSD512.  I feel DSD512 is very good, but maybe a touch less detailed or maybe a tad smoother sounding to me.  It could be all in my head, but I prefer PCM for whatever reason.

I've owned mostly Benchmark dacs source direct to various SET Tube amps, Matrix XSabre Pro MQA was my last dac (very best sabre dac I've owned) and I did use an Ayon Audio Stealth Tube DAC/preamp for a year (too colored, but pleasant sounding), but I have heard esoteric, dcs, Aurelic, Berkley, and other sabre chip dacs.  My friend recently bought the May KTE DAC and he was using the Berkley that he's now selling.

 

I've always wanted an R2R dac that had excellent measurements and was really excited when I found the May KTE DAC. I appreciate it's superb engineering and it's natural sound along with its incredible harmonics, beautiful midrange, timbre, detail, and holographic realism with regard to image separation, depth, layering, and palpability (ugh, I can't believe I used that word, lol). It's worth twice it's price in my honest opinion. 

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8 minutes ago, Savolax said:

Not to take any enjoyment from you but I tried May L2 and Audio GD R7HE home for two weeks. Decided to go on with the latter. 

I felt it was a little more easier for my ears with headphones and especially with music that is not necessarily mastered "audiophile style". Another local enthusiast seemed to prefer more of May though.

 

I am not sure if this was the best thread to post but if someone is thinking of investing big money in to a DAC, what my point is, is not "buy R7HE instead" but if possible I would strongly recommend home audition with few dacs same time. Flexible dealers might make it happen if asked.

Gives more perspective and in my case, if I just had bought May blindly I might not have been 100% satisfied. Both are great DAC's though and I would say it was only a slight specific flavor in sound that mattered the most.

Oh no worries. It's hard to try everything. I know I was kind of sold after the professional reviews came out and was a bit smitten looking at the insides. I rolled the dice mostly on how positive reviews are of holo dacs are in general. I just always wanted to try an R2R without giving up superb measurements. The May just pushed all my buttons. 

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30 minutes ago, Diavolo said:

Oh no worries. It's hard to try everything. I know I was kind of sold after the professional reviews came out and was a bit smitten looking at the insides. I rolled the dice mostly on how positive reviews are of holo dacs are in general. I just always wanted to try an R2R without giving up superb measurements. The May just pushed all my buttons. 

Yeah I know and understand. I for myself actually had to contact my bank to make this simultaneous home demo happen as the biggest challenge was money 😁

There has also been lots of positive towards Rockna dac. The "cheaper" one is somewhere close to May price range but for that DAC there seemed to be some delays to obtain one upon purchasing so had to leave that one out of the picture. I feel happy with R7HE though I recognized technical performance of May.

I'll leave with this off-topic now.

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5 minutes ago, Savolax said:

Yeah I know and understand. I for myself actually had to contact my bank to make this simultaneous home demo happen as the biggest challenge was money 😁

There has also been lots of positive towards Rockna dac. The "cheaper" one is somewhere close to May price range but for that DAC there seemed to be some delays to obtain one upon purchasing so had to leave that one out of the picture. I feel happy with R7HE though I recognized technical performance of May.

I'll leave with this off-topic now.

Oh no worries, you're not bothering me. ☺ I'm glad you found a great dac! 

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On 11/26/2020 at 12:12 PM, Diavolo said:

I prefer HQP @ PCM 20bit/1.536mhz. I was very happy with Roon's upsampling which is limited to 768khz and honestly I swore I would never buy hqplayer because I was a naysayer, but I decided to play with it for a few weeks and I really enjoy the sound and prefer it to DSD512.  I feel DSD512 is very good, but maybe a touch less detailed or maybe a tad smoother sounding to me.  It could be all in my head, but I prefer PCM for whatever reason.

I've owned mostly Benchmark dacs source direct to various SET Tube amps, Matrix XSabre Pro MQA was my last dac (very best sabre dac I've owned) and I did use an Ayon Audio Stealth Tube DAC/preamp for a year (too colored, but pleasant sounding), but I have heard esoteric, dcs, Aurelic, Berkley, and other sabre chip dacs.  My friend recently bought the May KTE DAC and he was using the Berkley that he's now selling.

 

I've always wanted an R2R dac that had excellent measurements and was really excited when I found the May KTE DAC. I appreciate it's superb engineering and it's natural sound along with its incredible harmonics, beautiful midrange, timbre, detail, and holographic realism with regard to image separation, depth, layering, and palpability (ugh, I can't believe I used that word, lol). It's worth twice it's price in my honest opinion. 

 

How's the May vs the Matrix XSabre Pro?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone heard if the Holo May will have device presets registered in Roon under Device Setup similar to what currently exists for the Holo Spring series of DACs?  I set my May as a Spring 2 in Roon.  Does not really present an issue since settings can all be manually set but I wonder if Holo will need to send a May to Roon to have this feature enabled?  

 

May sounds terrific in my system, much more resolving, transparent and focused in comparison to my Spring.   In some ways, I feel the Spring was a more forgiving DAC, the May has an almost eerie neutrality and focus that I associate with Chord DACs for example.  The May is virtually beyond reproach, I can't identify any real weaknesses/faults which is a first for me in terms of a digital source. My only complaints would be that I needed another shelf to place the PS, the PS umbilical cord is a bit stiff and I am a bit surprised at how warm the May runs.

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On 11/28/2020 at 4:33 AM, Diavolo said:

I think the Matrix XSabre Pro MQA DAC is the best sounding Sabre based dac for the money $2k that I've ever heard.  No glare or minor upper midrange audible harsh annoyance like I noticed in the Benchmark DAC3 HGC. It's very detailed with a smooth vocal presentation. Extremely top tier measurements and billet aluminum chassis/superb build quality.  When compared to the May, the May KTE DAC sounds more natural, and harmonically rich, with more accurate timbre of instruments.  It's like going from 2d to 3d interms of imaging for me.  Vocals are explosive, dynamic, smooth, natural and very visceral and real sounding. 

All instrumental images have specificity, dimension, depth, and layering separate from other instruments. I became very fond of guitars on Bluegrass (a genre I never really was into) and steel guitar on old blues songs really are so genuine and dynamic sounding they grab your attention.  There's a realness to any acoustic music you play and it's very addictive.  Jazz is superb, double bass is incredible, Cellos are perfect as are violins.  Overall bass is superb, but I attribute that somewhat to my Pass Labs XA25 amplifier that is known for prodigious bass or possibly by the synergy it has with my Tekton Design Encore speakers 96db/4ohms.  I now have a dedicated and acoustically fully treated room so I can really hear the differences between component changes. 

I've never been so enamored and amazed by a dac's influence on my enjoyment level of a musical presentation. I have nothing, but praise and zero regrets. 

 

How is PRAT, drive and slam with the May?

Thanks

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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22 minutes ago, Khalondir said:

Is there any benefit in using the I2S input instead of usb in holo may? Thinking if the d/d denafrips gaia can bring some gain along with the holo audio may dac.

 

server > usb > denafrips gaia > I2S > Holo May

When I tried May, my observation was that using USB input to Singxer SU-1 DDC (with SOtM sCLK-EX mod) and 12V DC input with Farad3 instead of stock power supply, it was greatly superior to May's USB input where as my USB source was standard ATX powered PC with JCAT USB XE card powered with Farad3 5V.

I heard the same improvement using I2S input of Audio GD R7HE dac too. The main improvements in my experience were more grandiose sound stage and more natural, less grainy sound.

 

I have had similar experience with other dacs too using the same "extra devices" in the audio setup only using AES input instead of I2S but with I2S (where applicable) I felt the difference was slightly greater in favor to I2S input.

Based on this experience and all the vast amount of subjective experience on this forums which have lead me to these "crazy upgrades", I would not be surprised if you preferred the sound more with Gaia in the audio setup.

 

That being said even though I have not tried Gaia.

 

Maybe on some "science based" forums you and I might get attacked with "hard science" against this but I think you are in correct place asking about it 😉

I would recommend to try out if possible rather than denying the chance. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Savolax said:

I would recommend to try out if possible rather than denying the chance. 

Indeed one should try such out.

 

From a technical perspective, a well implemented USB interface is superior, and all reports appear to indicate that the latest USB interface from Holo Audio is very good (both subjectively and technically).

With I2S and the May, one would want to use the PLL in the May for sure as it will remove the inherent jitter in the I2S connection scheme, as it is a synchronous interface and subject to increased jitter.  In fact, the much promoted PLL design of the May, perhaps, is enough to eliminate the technical limitations of the I2S connection.

USB has an advantage, in that it is an asynchronous interface, and relies on the DAC clocks for its clock, so there is no need to negotiate a relationship between two different clock sources, which are not in sync.  But the May PLL, which is the circuit which negotiates between the clocks, is purported to be very good, and measurements appear to support this.  

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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2 minutes ago, Miska said:

 

Problem with all those I2S interfaces is that clocking is wrong way. From the I2S source, while it should be the opposite direction, from DAC towards the source...

 

Agreed!

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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