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Article: T+A DAC 200 D/A Converter Review


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On 9/3/2022 at 10:31 PM, One and a half said:

What a narrow viewpoint, I would consider a DAC that excludes DSD not worthy of an audition.

FWIW, the $25,000 Berkeley Alpha Reference DAC doesn't do DSD, but has attracted some excellent reviews. 🙂 OTOH, Lampizator offers DSD only versions of some its DACs.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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On 9/1/2022 at 6:10 PM, ALLDIGITAL said:

Hi Chris. Thanks for an excellent review of the DAC200. I am considering a new DAC and dated on your enthusiastic review I will add the DAC200 to the list. I am seriously considering the Holo Audio May KTE DAC, based on many equally enthusiastic review from users and reviewers. I am interested in your opinion, if you have had an opportunity to listen to the May DAC and if so, your thoughts in comparison.

 

On 9/1/2022 at 8:22 PM, The Computer Audiophile said:

Hi @ALLDIGITAL unfortunately I’ve never listened to a single product from Holo Audio. There’s only so many hours in a day :~)

 

Has anyone seen or can anyone offer a comparison of the T+A DAC 200 and the Holo Audio MAY KTE?

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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On 9/1/2022 at 11:37 PM, The Computer Audiophile said:

I didn’t use the preamp section, as I had it connected to my Constellation preamp. 

Hi Chris, would you mind giving the DAC’s internal Preamp a spin and share your thoughts? Much appreciated!

 

The T+A 200 DAC is on its way to replace the HoloAudio Spring 3 L2

[SOURCE] Ideon Absolute Stream -> Ideon Absolute Time -> [DAC] APL Hifi DSD-MR SE -> [AMP] Dan d’Agostino Progression INT -> [LS] EgglestoneWorks Savoy SE (supported by Stealth Audio cabling, Ansuz network, Stromtank power)

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This may already be well known but it was a real help for me.  I'm visually impaired and can't use the remote for menu settings.  I can barely see the screen with a magnifying glass 1' away.... I really wanted to be able to compare the filters without having to go to the front panel each time.  If you go into the menu and go to the filter settings and select it you can leave it there and scroll through them one at a time.  They change as soon as you change without needing to "set" the selection.  You can move from left to right and back.  When you get to the first setting it stops and therefore makes it easy to know where you are without seeing the display.  Still breaking in but sounding really good.  

Audio Research DAC8, Mac mini w/8g ram, SSD, Amarra full version, Audio Research REF 5SE Preamp, Sutherland Phd, Ayre V-5, Vandersteen 5A\'s, Audioquest Wild and Redwood cabling, VPI Classic 3 w/Dynavector XX2MkII

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Hey Chris - sorry to keep bugging you.  I don't think I missed it but wondered if you got a green unit and, if so, what your estimate of break in time was.  I have close to 100 on mine and sounds really good but not sure if it's there yet.  Thanks

Audio Research DAC8, Mac mini w/8g ram, SSD, Amarra full version, Audio Research REF 5SE Preamp, Sutherland Phd, Ayre V-5, Vandersteen 5A\'s, Audioquest Wild and Redwood cabling, VPI Classic 3 w/Dynavector XX2MkII

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/7/2022 at 4:21 PM, ted_b said:

Allan,

Good point, so, to make my own point more specific, is it a lateral move from the May KTE to the Dac 200?  There clearly are differences when going up price-wise to the Mola Mola, so I know it's not as much a "knuckle" as bbosler believes...but of course YMMV.  :)

Hey Ted,

 

I was just checking in here and saw your question about DAC 200 vs the May, and the consideration of the Tambaqui.  As the Tambaqui is of course in another price category, it is a different thing, although I agree, I could certainly live with the Tambaqui and be happy forever, and not need any special servers or external oversampling, as you note, Bruno is a *ucking genius!  In any case, I cannot afford a Tambaqui...  IDK about May vs. DAC 200, one thing is, the T+A folks are very good with the analog circuitry, they use a discrete output stage also running at high voltage rails.  One thing I learned in my time at PS Audio was that running line level stages at much higher than normal, or conventional, voltages often gives sonic benefits, and can allow for very simple discrete circuits to achieve higher linearity (and can sound really good).  I have a bit of bias against Chinese products, especially if the distribution is not top class, and I personally have not been impressed with the US Distributor for Holo Audio (YMMV).  I would have a bias for the provenance of the T+A myself, whether this is valid in terms of performance, I have not made a comparison and could not say.  I just know I am a big fan of the converter tech, which is similar between the May, DAC 200, and even the Tambaqui-although for May and DAC 200 one would use HQPlayer to get the best out of them, and with the Tambaqui it is amazing just sending it whatever the native file is and letting it do its thing.

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 512-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical with Well Tempered Clock--DIY DSC-2 DAC with SC Pure Clock--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Curious for comparisons between the DAC200 and any competitor, really. Reviews are scarce it seems. I wonder how this would compare to the Chord Dave or Weiss DAC501 or even the DcS Lina DAC. All of those are about 50% more expensive, but I'm hoping the DAC200 punches above it's weight.

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On 9/6/2022 at 2:56 PM, MhtLion said:

Great review! This review made in interested in T+A. A quick question to anyone who heard this DAC. How good is it compared to more everyday offering such as Yggdrasil LiM when not using HQPlayer? I have Ygg and wondering how much upgrade I can expect when I connect to a source directly. So, if anyone has heard both, I would truly appreciate it.

 

Hi Chris, Any thoughts between the LIM and DAC200? I totally understand there's a significant price difference but nevertheless would love to hear your comparison.  Thanks

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  • 4 months later...

The reviewer notes that it was only possible to compare the T&A 200 DAC with the T&A 8 DAC based on memory. I wonder if any other T&A owners have been able to perform a blind A/B test between both DACs?

 

I've been unable to find many (any?) direct comparisons of the previous T&A model with the current one.

 

This seems like a relevant and necessary comparison to make.

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  • 3 months later...
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On 8/26/2023 at 9:29 PM, Apollo said:

I will perform subjective listening tests (definitely not blinded), to see(/hear) if I can let go of the Violectric preamp.

 

Allthough I am sure the dac 200 is the better one, I do not expect to hear big differences at dac level. I am now playing Roon - HQPlayerEmbedded , upsampling everything to DSD512

Please forget what I wrote.

Allthough the T+A 8 DSD dac is a strong performer, it is no match for the 200 dac.

If you have limited budget, and can buy it for a good price, do not hesitate.

 

But the dac 200 is really something else.

Let me try to describe, but keep in mind I am not native English speaking.

 

The dac 200 is more clear, more articulation, but without loosing any warmth, or more sounding more edgy.

It sounds more sophisticated, but not softer, or more polite.

And then bass, deeper and better controlled (probably the biggest change)

 

The only thing where the difference between the 8 DSD and the 200 is not as obvious is soundstage.

But keep in mind I am using HQPlayer and upsample everything to DSD512 (using the ‘wide’ position on both dacs).

 

The pre-amplifier in the dac200 easily competes with my Violectric HPA 550 Pro.

I cannot say which one is better without doing extensive listening tests, but if there are differences, they are minor.

Not one single reason to keep the Violectric as I have sold my headphones ( I am just not a headphone listener, cannot get used to)

In my personal opinion, if you are using HQplayer and upsample your music to DSD, and you have the budget, do not hesitate for a moment and try to get one for test.

Or just buy one if they are still in stock , you will be very happy.

 

Dirk

 

 

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  • 6 months later...

My friend Pierre at diyaudio.com loves his Holo May DAC with his speakers, posts 15266, 15276. https://www.diyaudio.com/community/threads/beyond-the-ariel.100392/page-764

 

But I don't think he uses subs, while I need to use a pair of these as my speakers only play down to 70Hz.  https://www.rythmikaudio.com/F12.html

https://www.rythmikaudio.com/download/XLR2_sealed_quickguide.pdf

 

All of my sources are digital via my pc, so use of room correction software is possible, but only if a multichannel DAC were used. But which of those truly  sound as good as this? https://www.kitsunehifi.com/product/holo-audio-may-dac/

 

I suppose the best sounding compromise would be to only include the pair of powered subs into any room correcting DSP filter loop with only two DAC channels.  If yes, would someone please recommend the best paid or free software for this purpose?

 

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3 minutes ago, nxrm said:

My friend Pierre at diyaudio.com loves his Holo May DAC with his speakers, posts 15266, 15276. https://www.diyaudio.com/community/threads/beyond-the-ariel.100392/page-764

 

But I don't think he uses subs, while I need to use a pair of these as my speakers only play down to 70Hz.  https://www.rythmikaudio.com/F12.html

https://www.rythmikaudio.com/download/XLR2_sealed_quickguide.pdf

 

All of my sources are digital via my pc, so use of room correction software is possible, but only if a multichannel DAC were used. But which of those truly  sound as good as this? https://www.kitsunehifi.com/product/holo-audio-may-dac/

 

I suppose the best sounding compromise would be to only include the pair of powered subs into any room correcting DSP filter loop with only two DAC channels.  If yes, would someone please recommend the best paid or free software for this purpose?

 

Did you post in the wrong thread accidentally?

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All...I just want to take a moment to give thanks for the comments here. I finally pulled my system out of storage after 7+ years (relocation, new house, basement renovation). I know. haha. I'm still running my 2010 MacMini and 2012 EMM Labs DAC2 (not the "x"). Finally just got a Innuos Pulse Mini as my streamer.

 

A buddy of mine loves his T&A 200. I'm looking into it and also may have a source for a pre-owned EMM Labs DAC2X V2. Should be an interesting ride.

\"...For I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul.\" -- Thomas Paine

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