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Holo Spring II Level 3 vs Denafrips Venus


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I'm seriously considering either one of these as my next dac.  I've been able to audition a Holo at home and I love it ... it's going to be hard to give it back to it's rightful owner (thanks @RussB).  I'll be going back to Ares II, so it won't be all bad.  I haven't been able to hear the Venus so far.

 

My question is whether anyone has heard both the Holo and the Venus ?  They are both R2R and about at the same point.  Any thoughts on the similarities / difference between them may be helpful in making a decision.

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  • 3 weeks later...

If sound quality is your only consideration it might be worthwhile checking out the Abbas Audio range of DAC's. They forgo any kind of featureset in pursuit of the most natural,  real sound reproductive that can be achieved. 

 

You get a single SPDIF input,  left and right RCA outputs and a power switch.

 

Pricing of the Abbas Audio DAC2.3SE TDA1541A R1 is roughly in line with the Holo Spring Level 3.

Edited by MattyW
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I believe there's one or two SNA'ers with one in Melbourne.  I don't recall who though. 

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Thank you for expanding horizons @Matty W the Abbas audio site is interesting and a good read.  Some needs oogle translate and it is minus some pictures for eye candy but he is an interesting person to know about.

Wish I could help, but haven't heard the Holo or Venus either.

 

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Yes, it's not the mainstream approach though it does seem to yield extremely lifelike results sonics. I paired mine with a Mutec MC-3+USB for additional inputs and reclocking. I'll be trying an OCXO clock with that soon too. Curious to see what result it gets 

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49 minutes ago, MattyW said:

Yes, it's not the mainstream approach though it does seem to yield extremely lifelike results sonics. I paired mine with a Mutec MC-3+USB for additional inputs and reclocking. I'll be trying an OCXO clock with that soon too. Curious to see what result it gets 

Out of interest how does it sound without the Mutec in the chain?

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7 minutes ago, Gryffles said:

Out of interest how does it sound without the Mutec in the chain?

 

I couldn't tell you.  I recieved the Mutec before the Abbas.  I've never used the Abbas without it  :)

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Okay I have spent too much of the day reading about the Abbas philosophy and am impressed thoroughly.  Discovered   @Matty W  thread and exciting journey to audio nirvana with the Abbas and Mutec combo and am intrigued as I like the Abass NOS approach!

My interest in both the Holo springs and the Denefrips Venus are in its DSD ability,  granted they will have different sound signature, which may have been the original question? I am curios @lumholtzii how you listen and what decision you make.  

 

 

 

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The best DSD capable DAC I ran was the Gieseler Gross + Kraftwerk LPS. The DAC2.2SE towers over that despite only being 16 bit 44khz capable.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 06/03/2021 at 3:21 PM, Artnet said:

Okay I have spent too much of the day reading about the Abbas philosophy and am impressed thoroughly.  Discovered   @Matty W  thread and exciting journey to audio nirvana with the Abbas and Mutec combo and am intrigued as I like the Abass NOS approach!

My interest in both the Holo springs and the Denefrips Venus are in its DSD ability,  granted they will have different sound signature, which may have been the original question? I am curios @lumholtzii how you listen and what decision you make.  

 

 

 

 

Sorry @Artnet - I forgot to reply to your question.  My preference for listening is 2.1 channel in a room 4 x 3 m, and given a choice I'll listen to vinyl any day but I still also need the convenience of digital .... I'm not much of  a headphone fan, unless that's the only option available .   The decision on the next dac has been a little paralysed by lack of funds (still trying to sell bits gear to get $$ for the next move), and the lack of ability to hear / or try all the options before I buy.  I've been caught before and it can be a costly gamble.

 

Anyway, as an aside to my frustration with this digital caper I had a major fall from grace just last night.  For the first time in several years I played an actual cd from my crappy cheap-as-chips Samsung Blu-ray > cheap HDMI cable > TV > el-cheapo optical cable out to a Denafrips AresII dac.    I did this ahead of a mate who wanted to come over with a bunch of cds.    And be damned it is wasn't better  than anything coming from my rips on a Sonictransporter i5 server, SoTM streamer, clocked networked switch, a spaghetti junction of expensive interconnects and power cables, LPSUs, etc.  By better I mean clearer, cleaner, more transparent, with finally with some sense of spatial depth and instrument placement  Not perfect as it was very thin and tonally off in places,  but still musical and preferable to the 'mud'.  Both lossless rips and the Tidal stream were beaten by the crappy blu-ray !.   So then I went back to my ancient 2010 Macbookpro and used VLC to play the same of the same rips via USB to the dac.   And yep, still preferable to server and roon endpoint.   

 

Gutted &  floored to say the least.  ?  ?    .... which makes me re-think why am I worrying about the next dac when that is obviously not my biggest problem.  There is clearly is a major issue upstream that I need to sort out first, and this might take a while and of course cost !!!  ...  Hmmm, perhaps it is just easier to go back to using a good spinner ??   Anyway I am very glad that I haven't pulled the trigger on a new dac as yet until I figure out what the hell is going on!!   Ye Gawds, this can be a frustrating obsession / affliction for a person to have ! 

 

 

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Well, problem identified !  Damn Roon convolution, which is also really out of date following a number of minor and some major tweaks.  That is not the first time that function has 'got' me, and it's shame it's embedded in the Roon interface, and I easily forget about   ?   .... OK, back to thinking / reading opinions on dacs !

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34 minutes ago, lumholtzii said:

Damn Roon convolution

I had a similar issue, but now think this actually could help with DAC selection.. I had a series of DACS and used the roon DSP settings to get a better sound. When I upgraded to a Bartok recently I found the best result was with all roon’s DSP features turned off. Perhaps this is what indicates you have a good DAC..

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I take your point @Mrpseudonym.  And to some degree I've noticed that, even using the Denafrips Ares II as my current dac, although I suspect that it may also have more to do with recent improvements in power and interconnects, hence why the convolution was out of whack.   But yes, when you no longer need to compensate for the deficiencies of your system because you've balanced it very finely, then a 'cure' may be worse than the 'disease'.  Of course, there's always the peaks and troughs of the room, but hey, who want's to life in a very neutral sounding mastering suite  ....  umm I should shut up coz  perhaps some folks do and that's fine too ?  

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12 minutes ago, lumholtzii said:

Of course, there's always the peaks and troughs of the room, but hey, who want's to life in a very neutral sounding mastering suite  ....  umm I should shut up coz  perhaps some folks do and that's fine too ?  

 

Love the need for agreement on this statement as it binds us in this great hobby/profession/obsession, I am enjoying the dynamics of my room a little but don't think I want a mastering suite  either, it would be like being the person having a coughing fit on the live recording, but if your breathing is not too heavy its awesome to be able to focus intensely on a great performance!

 

On 23/03/2021 at 2:23 PM, lumholtzii said:

Anyway, as an aside to my frustration with this digital caper

 

Thanks for your reply on this, I guess I was curios about how much vinyl /streaming hi res PCM or DSD/ CD spinning etc you do and is there a killer DAC to rule them all?

I am increasingly of the opinion that I should have multiple rigs and rooms to explore.  But I don't have the rooms or the finance for my opinion.  

So will just enjoy the music and go the 16/44 red-book route for CD's (hence the interest in the Abass DAC) the rest of my time I am spinning Vinyl, and I know I am missing out but not ready for roon at the moment and only have a handful of hi res files.  By the time I am ready there may be a Terminator 2 or a Holo June (sounds like a great aunt of mine whoops)  Good luck with the search

 

 

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I'm with you @Artnet  - in a perfect world I'd have multiple setups that I'd could flick over but it's all a compromise, room included.  My room for what it is worth my main room is very 'live' so on some recordings on the acoustic / spare but dynamic side of things the room totally works and you can crank it up & it holds together,.  However on other recordings that are more complex or using the maximum available sonic headroom on every part of the spectrum the room resonances turns things to absolute mush even at low volumes .....  And would I want to go down the room treatment rabbit burrow, probably not right at the moment for a number of different reasons ... who knows, maybe later.

 

Hmm, the proportion of hours digital/vinyl is an interesting question.  If i was very honest it is 90/10, but that 10 % is generally the most enjoyable hours but of course sometimes frustrating.  Hence my desire that can approximate a good-enough 'analogue' sound that won't kill me financially for the every-day background to semi engaged listening, and leave the vinyl rig for when have the space / time to engage with it.  I had just been reading reviews of the Sonnett Morpheus and thought that sounded great but the price is a bit out of my league. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 06/03/2021 at 12:13 AM, MattyW said:

If sound quality is your only consideration it might be worthwhile checking out the Abbas Audio range of DAC's. They forgo any kind of featureset in pursuit of the most natural,  real sound reproductive that can be achieved. 

 

You get a single SPDIF input,  left and right RCA outputs and a power switch.

 

Pricing of the Abbas Audio DAC2.3SE TDA1541A R1 is roughly in line with the Holo Spring Level 3.

 

Tube output? 

I suspect modern R2R's like the Holo Spring and Venus would be better measuring/more accurate Dac's. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 15/02/2021 at 1:04 PM, lumholtzii said:

I've been able to audition a Holo at home and I love it

What was your input  to the Holo?

Spdif ,usb.

 

Peter

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Just now, gonefishing999 said:

What was your input  to the Holo?

Spdif ,usb.

 

Peter

in that trial the input was  SOtM SMS200 Neo Ultra > Matrix X Spidif >. Coax.     But also tried I2S since the Matrix outputs that but surprisingly didn't get a huge lift 

 

As an update, I still committed to the R2R dac but have seriously been considering the Sonnet Morpheus.  I've heard it once but need a 2nd listen to be sure.

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10 minutes ago, gonefishing999 said:

So have you tried I2s any other way?

Peter

not so far as I haven't had the gear. I've no doubt that I2S is is good as I've heard in other people's rigs, but in that instance in mine it wasn't night & day.  Upon reflection it may have been the very nice coax cable that I use versus the crappy hdmi that I had available at the time, but really who knows !

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