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georgehifi

Holo Spring Dac (level2) review.

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Well I've finally had a chance to listen at length to this Holo Spring Dac (in level2 form) and to say I was impressed is an understatement, a non digital sound just like the $30k Linn CD12 projects, huge presence, dynamics and detail, with a bounce to the music you just don't get from other none R2R dacs, it just sounds right with old or new recordings, call it "vinyl" without the flaws eg: (noise, tracking, channel separation, dynamics ect)

  

From the moment it went on in "PCM OS" mode with my Linn CD12 as the transport using spdif, I wasn't let down, it sounded very close to the Linn CD12, so close I don't think I could pick in a blind A/B, but I did have a preference for the Linn CD12 still.

When I put the Holo in "PCM NOS" mode then I just preferred the Holo, again in a blind A/B don't think I could pick it. This is one hell of a dac for the money, with old or new PCM (redbook) recordings, I would love to hear the (level 3) and with I2S as the connection.

Oh did I mention, it does Native DSD (ho-hum)

And it should do, not that I've got any, the best PCM there is, DXD!!!

 

The only thing wrong with it in my books, NO REMOTE VOLUME CONTROL to go direct into your amp with, bad over site in my opinion Holo.

 

Thanks to Ozzie (Ghostman) for sending it to me to measure and listen, Scotty will bring it back to you next time he's down, but I don't care if you go awol or mia and I'm stuck with it.

 

   BTW the measurements, I did confirm also a little more noise in the left than the right as JA Stereophile found in his measurement summation, so small it's not even worth mentioning. (just a L v R layout difference) The figures 9 and 10 are probably the best -90db wave forms I've ever seen from a dac.  

https://www.stereophile.com/content/holoaudio-spring-kitsuné-tuned-edition-level-3-da-processor-measurements

 

 

Cheers George  

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Agree George, Holo is a very nice sounding DAC ...it doesn't get much better in my book.

 

Steve.

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As the owner of said DAC I was extremely happy that George and Scott Campbell - @Audionutz-had the opportunity to audition the Holo.

 

As I said to George in private I think the real benefit in the Holo is using the I2S way of connection. 

 

I've found that coupling the Oppo 203 with the Holo via a very good oppomod I2S board to be perfect for this. 

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Its also the first Dac where I thoroughly enjoyed listening to DSD tracks.

In the past Dacs I had that could do DSD sounded a bit soft sounding( not as good as the PCM), like it was an afterthought to tack on DSD playback.

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51 minutes ago, rocky500 said:

In the past Dacs I had that could do DSD sounded a bit soft sounding

Same here no matter how many times I listen to it, smooth enough, but no boogie factor (excitement), just like sacd, which is the same only it's been flagged.

 

Cheers George

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@Max Headroom This the dac I purchased from you for @ghost4man

I don't think you gave it enough time to burn in.

I found mine took about 800 hrs. With I2s from Sonore Rendu Signature the results

are stunning so life like.

The Rendu is for sale as I'm now using modded Oppo 203 with I2s output to stream

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20 minutes ago, gonefishing999 said:

@Max Headroom This the dac I purchased from you for @ghost4man

I don't think you gave it enough time to burn in.

I found mine took about 800 hrs. With I2s from Sonore Rendu Signature the results

are stunning so life like.

The Rendu is for sale as I'm now using modded Oppo 203 with I2s output to stream

Can I come over and have a listen? I'd be interested in the Rendu SIgnature and to hear the Holo Spring again now that youve burnt it in as it didnt grab me

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Thanks for the review. This DAC has consistently had great reviews across many websites. Seems to hit well above it's price tag. I actually have never heard an RDR dac. The Denafrips dac's (particularly the terminator) which are RDR are also getting very big praise.

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Have to say the finest sounds I have heard in my system is with this DAC yesterday morning. @gonefishing999 came over on Saturday morning with his Holo DAC and Sonore Signature Rendu connected via i2s, and the sound was comparable to the Hugo TT2 and M Scaler combination I had on loan last week. It was absolutely glorious what the Holo DAC and Sonore did together.

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