rocky500

New Holo Audio Spring Dac - R2R and DSD

493 posts in this topic

Looks to be an Interesting Design. Only just released but hopefully more reviews will pop up.

https://kitsunehifi.com/product/springdacbase/

 

There is a optional upgraded transformer offered that is wired in pure silver. How much could this actually effect a Dac's performance?

It is a US$500 option.

That seems quite an expense. Must put it in the territory of some other great Transformer options that others have posted about in W.A. project builds.

 

 

 

post-107190-0-09968200-1472350402_thumb.

Edited by rocky500
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Thanks for sharing,

It's beautiful inside and out.....

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Thanks for sharing,

It's beautiful inside and out.....

Also pricing appears very good for what looks like an excellent design.

 

Like this to in the product description. :)

 

Product Description:
This new DAC.â€Spring†is the first design of a new era, a milestone for HOLO Audio’s own Jeff Zhu. It’s a full discrete R2R type of audio decoder and does not have off the shelf-DAC chip! This is a bespoke custom-designed core DAC module and truly a breakthrough with technology for any DAC chip today. The Spring is here to achieve new heights, new dynamics and simply a full spectrum of audio to please the aural senses. This Dac has been called the poor mans Total Dac / MSB / Wavedream / Chord Dave Etc. It plays with the big boys.
Edited by rocky500

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Me like very much!!!!!! (diehard fan of Multibit)

 

Can't wait to get someones listening experience on this one. 

 

Hope it's real, as the pics of the outside look like a cad drawing.

 

Cheers George

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Me like very much!!!!!! (diehard fan of Multibit)

 

Can't wait to get someones listening experience on this one. 

 

Hope it's real, as the pics of the outside look like a cad drawing.

 

Cheers George

They are for Sale now.

I think a couple of the Head fi guys ordered them and have just received theirs. That is where I saw this Dac mentioned last night.

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Just one user review out there. But a pretty interesting DAC, promises a lot for the price. Keen to see some proper reviews. 

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Yes, it almost sounds to good to be tru

Dsd, r2r reasonable pricing etc.

Will need to see a local review and see one in the flesh before getting too excited.

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Its physical appeareance is excellent.

The technical stuff on the website is way over my head. As others have said, would love to see some reviews

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How can a R2R ladder do native DSD?  Actually I dont really care as Ive never heard DSD sound as good as PCM.

 

Heres the R2R of this DAC:

 

IMG_0933.jpg

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The USB board has robust isolation with the clocks on the clean side next to the DSP. Looking good.

 

211506fpmz69pp53jx3gay-e1468704999944.jp

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A bunch of head-fi'ers have ordered this already. Should be hearing some feedback soonish.

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It looks awesome. A shame it has no volume control. Even a Muses chip control would not be too difficult to implement.

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 what pcm and dsd dacs have you compared?

 

To me pcm converted "bit perfect" through a good Multibit dac sounds better than converted through a dsd/sacd dac that uses Delta Sigma conversion.

Only then can one compare dsd v pcm, BUT!!! your also then listening to two different dacs, a comparison is not really valid.

 

From what I understand, once you've heard pcm this way you then understand the sound quality that pcm has over dsd/sacd, as Multibit converts pcm "bit perfect" where Delta Sigma just gives a facsimile of it, and is not "bit perfect".  

 

To quote MOJO Music.

"When a PCM file is played on a DSD or Bit Stream converter, the DAC chip has to convert the PCM to DSD in real time. This is one of the major reasons people claim DSD sounds better than PCM, when in fact, it is just that the chip in most modern single-bit DACs do a poor job of decoding PCM."

 

Cheers George

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To me pcm converted "bit perfect" through a good Multibit dac sounds better than converted through a dsd/sacd dac that uses Delta Sigma conversion.

Only then can one compare dsd v pcm, BUT!!! your also then listening to two different dacs, a comparison is not really valid.

 

From what I understand, once you've heard pcm this way you then understand the sound quality that pcm has over dsd/sacd, as Multibit converts pcm "bit perfect" where Delta Sigma just gives a facsimile of it, and is not "bit perfect".  

 

To quote MOJO Music.

"When a PCM file is played on a DSD or Bit Stream converter, the DAC chip has to convert the PCM to DSD in real time. This is one of the major reasons people claim DSD sounds better than PCM, when in fact, it is just that the chip in most modern single-bit DACs do a poor job of decoding PCM."

 

Cheers George

 

 I'm a multibit DAC user. (TDA1541, PCM58, PCM63, and I have a PCM1702 on the way) I love them for PCM.

 

But, having just recently bought a secondhand Schiit Loki (DSD only DAC), I have to say that music recorded direct to DSD, and played back on a DSD DAC is IMO, better, than 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96khz and 192khz PCM.

I don't use the word "better" lightly. For something to be better in my book, everything must be better, not just one bit here or one bit there. Everything must be better.

I found a few websites that allow free DSD downloads of music recorded direct to DSD. What I hear is a very analog sound. ( I listen to a lot of vinyl records as well) and DSD I think it actually sounds better than vinyl, and reel to reel tape and low bitrate PCM. (caveat: I dont have a 384Khz PCM DAC and I havent heard that yet)  What I hear is very detailed but natural sound that has no non linearities that are assosciated with analog replay but still has that natural liquid flow, great depth of soundstage, and fine detail that analog has.

 

I have heard PCM files converted to DSD. They are not that great. I Agree.

 

If you have a DSD DAC try this:

 

http://shop.dsdfile.com/free-dsd-download/

http://www.exasound.com/Blog/tabid/74/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/103/David-Elias--Free-DSD-Downloads-in-Stereo-and-51.aspx

http://www.2l.no/hires/

https://www.nativedsd.com/

 

Edit: Furthermore I can understand if someone has heard some SACD's and wasn't that impressed with them. Thats probably because they were edited in PCM and then converted to DSD.

 

FYI, the Schiit Loki I own has an AK4396 delta sigma DAC chip in it. I've heard the AK4396 playing PCM in quite a few devices and it sounds pretty crap when playing PCM. Its a totally different beast when playing DSD. This is just a cheap device which runs off USB power. I can only imagine what a more expensive DSD DAC with better power supplies would sound like.

 

Lastly, since PCM isn't going away ever, or anytime soon, I absolutley think people should have a listen to a good R2R dac for PCM playback. I'm one of these people around the traps who has been spruiking R2R DAC chips for years. The HOLO Audio – Spring DAC looks great.

Edited by eltech
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Was not my intention to turn this into another pcm versus dsd debate, just curious what Nada's experience has been.

I much prefer r2r than delta sigma, have really enjoyed using audio gd and metrum dacs.

For me the magic with dsd only occurred after upsampling (or native dsd) with HQplayer and 1 bit dsd conversion bypassing chip processing. It has all the detail/resolution of a sabre chip with the natural tone/timbre of r2r.

This dac looks promising. Although i not it does use an src chip.

Edited by AudioGeek

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Hi eltech, granted native dsd/sacd played through a dsd (delta sigma) is very good, but there is almost zero music available that I like on native dsd.

 

It's like DVD-A pcm and DXD pcm,, if you've every listened to these being converted via a "good" Multibit dac, you wouldn't even look at dsd/sacd even native.

Trouble is there's also nothing in the way of music I like on these formats either, just like native dsd.

 

So I'm stuck with pcm in redbook, 16/44 or 24/96 with all the music I like, and the best I've ever heard it is "bit perfect" through a "good" multibit dac or cdp, never redone as a dsd download with a dsd/sacd dac.

 

Cheers George    

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Was not my intention to turn this into another pcm versus dsd debate, just curious what Nada's experience has been....

 

I dont think my experience is particularly useful but since youve asked twice......I got serious about listening to DSD some years back. I must admit with some embarassment that I got brainwashed with the hi-rez fashion for a while with the huge PCM and DSD files available. Bigger is better right?  So I warmed up a highly regarded Playback Designs native DSD DAC for over a week and downloaded natively recorded DSD files which were hard to find. If I remember correctly I then directly compared those files transformed to 96/24 PCM to feed one of the greatest classic R2R PCM1704 classic Mark Levinson 360S. That really disadvantaged the PCM files considering they were downgraded from DSD but the Mark Levinson is a stunning DAC being the final refinement of the Mark Levinson evolution when they were still great.  Still I much preferred the PCM via the 360S in my system with my tastes. Im not saying PCM is better then DSD but it sure is easier just doing PCM as most of the music I like is recorded or mixed in PCM. I seem to be regressing though as now I mostly listen to 44.1/16  PCM with the TDA1541A.

 

The Holo Spring DAC looks  good but I still dont get how a resister ladder can be used to decode a one bit DSD stream natively.  Anyone know the theory behind that idea?

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Hi eltech, granted native dsd/sacd played through a dsd (delta sigma) is very good, but there is almost zero music available that I like on native dsd.

I'm well aware of that.

 

It's like DVD-A pcm and DXD pcm,, if you've every listened to these being converted via a "good" Multibit dac, you wouldn't even look at dsd/sacd even native.

I do have many good Multibit DAC's. They sound great. Way better than any Delta Sigmas I've heard. And still, DSD native sounds great to me. I'm hoping to get more music in native DSD.

 

For me the magic with dsd only occurred after upsampling (or native dsd) with HQplayer and 1 bit dsd conversion bypassing chip processing. It has all the detail/resolution of a sabre chip with the natural tone/timbre of r2r.

 

Interesting. I'm getting great results with foobar and a cheapo Schiit Loki. (perhaps its actually better than some have reported?)

 

 

The Holo Spring DAC looks  good but I still dont get how a resister ladder can be used to decode a one bit DSD stream natively.  Anyone know the theory behind that idea?

 

Since DSD uses pulse width modulation at a frequency of 2.8Mhz, the R2R dac just has to use the most significant bit to turn on and off to create the pulse. (that's the only way I can think they would do it) so I presume they just feed it a DSD bitstream in a PCM container (L+R data 16 or 24 bit), with only the MSB changing and the remaining 15 or 23 bits staying as zeros or ones.

 

Was not my intention to turn this into another pcm versus dsd debate, just curious what Nada's experience has been.

Nor me, I just think that DSD is a very good sounding format, which shouldnt be dismissed, and more and more music is being recorded natively in DSD, and there is lots more DSD music available for paid download these days, and manufacturers are starting to include DSD playback on a lot of new DACs. I actually consider DSD to be an analogue format, because the sample rate is so high that nobody could argue that information is being thrown away.

Edited by eltech

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Looks like a great DAC, shame they don't ship anywhere other than the US :(

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Looking at the amount of primary windings on the main transformer and switch on the small transformer the extra plug options on the mains board it looks very much like it can be re-configured for 240v.

 

btw: ALL THREE VERSIONS ARE OUT OF STOCK!!!

 

Cheers George

post-156515-0-99108500-1472442267_thumb.

Edited by georgehifi

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Looking at the amount of primary windings on the main transformer and switch on the small transformer the extra plug options on the mains board it looks very much like it can be re-configured for 240v.

 

btw: ALL THREE VERSIONS ARE OUT OF STOCK!!!

 

Cheers George

 

Do I spy with my little eye - a 115 / 230V switch on this board?

 

See the 115 / 115 primary markings?

http://au.rs-online.com/largeimages/F2239418-01.jpg

post-110996-0-59305000-1472446174_thumb.

Edited by eltech
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Looks like a great DAC, shame they don't ship anywhere other than the US :(

 

 

for the keen punter passing through Hong Kong email: [email protected]

Edited by Nada
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Here's an owners review of this dac, impressive is an understatement.

He has got one of the best headphones Sens HD800's he listened with to draw on his review. And his headphone amp is something else a two box unit that looks the goods.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/products/holo-audio-spring-rise-ji/reviews/16653

 

http://www.raysamuelsaudio.com/products/dark-star.html

 

Cheers George

Edited by georgehifi

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