Loaner: Holo Spring 3 KTE DAC

Discussion in 'Loaner Programs' started by ChaChaRealSmooth, Feb 21, 2022.

  1. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth 2000% biased Planar Hater

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    Loaner: Holo Spring 3 KTE

    Loaner courtesy of Holo Audio :bow:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    @loadexfa was kind enough to upgrade the firmware to the latest version for us.

    There are different versions of firmware needed for Mac/Windows vs Linux. “fixed volume” is used for Linux and “variable volume” for Mac and Windows to allow people to change volume using software.

    But I don't think anyone here uses software volume, even on USB, so @loadexfa has set it up with "fixed volume" and we'll be shipping it that way to everyone to make things simpler.

    Tim of Holo says that good USB is the best source for this DAC read more in the spoiler for more info.

    I had a great long chat with Tim of Kitsune. He’s a great guy, very knowledgable and very kind. He spends a lot of time making sure his customers are getting awesome sound. He has some things that need to be known about using this DAC to get the best sound out of it. And also just some interesting information about the DAC that should be read if you're signing up. Be sure to read the part in bold.

    I had mentioned in my review of the Holo MAY DAC that using Pi2AES as a source via AES, it takes 20 seconds to lock onto the incoming signal and this was a problem for me. This is Tim’s response:

    “You mentioned there is a clocking issue with our dac. Not the case. We have a phase lock loop circuit. This attenuates jitter over -80dB which eliminates jitter essentially in its entirety…
    There is a downside or compromise to have flawless digital… the delay to lock onto a sample rate. It’s significantly faster with usb @3.5sec… which with old tech like spdif it’s about 10-20sec depending how good the source is and it’s clock.
    However note there is zero compromise to latency.

    There is also a way around missing part of the music. Using Roon or jriver allow for setting hardware synchronization delay times… if using usb it’s just a mere 3.5 sec delay. And it will not start the music for 3.5 sec and allow the hardware pll to sync to sample rate and not miss out on the music.

    Or set to longer delay for those still using spdif as their preferred source. So 10 or whatever sec delay. But the user must be aware of this. That is how a pll works. No other dac has a powerful pll like this and no other dac has eliminated jitter as an issue. So if jitter is not a problem or user doesn’t care about having the best sound quality possible, and simply wants super fast locking times.. it can be turned off.”​

    Tim says USB is by far the best source with the Holo DACs as long as its’ not crappy USB from a laptop or something. @purrin ’s recent post about a USB soundcard would probably be a great idea. Or Tim highly recommends this Intona USB isolator (I’m going to try to get a loaner of one of them) to use with his DAC’s and USB as source.

    Tim also had some other good things to say. Like:

    “Even though our dacs measure super well. I’ve always been a firm believer that measurements are like one side of a coin… the other side is actually listening to the gear. “​

    “One thing about our dac and having the pll as well as being NOS is a recipe for a flawless time domain. This will bring the digital world or dac to being significantly closer to a natural analog signature.”

    “Oversampling has a lot of downsides and risks for compromising on the time domain and remaining either fatiguing or still “digital” sounding. Generally more enhanced or contrasted sound… sometimes mistaking it for sounding more detailed. However bits are being delivered scrambled or out of time while our brains compensate.

    Nos if implemented properly, such as with linear compensation and able to surpass limits of resistor tolerance spec will delivery real world effective output resolution without compromising time domain

    Kte May hits 23bit as atomicbob confirmed

    Spring3 is not terribly far behind “​

    Yes, Tim is a fan of @atomicbob ’s measurements and follows them on SBAF :)

    USB on laptops:

    “Well usb can be awful on laptops
    Especially if using laptop with the charger connected

    As the chargers are switch mode psu and inject tons of noise through the USB port

    Often already 10-20mV is common which 20-40mV with the charger attached. Stupid high noise

    While using an intona usb isolator would achieve flawless 90ohm impedance and 0.9uV output ripple. Which is 1000-4000times less noise”​

    “I am a fan of using intonnusb 3.0 isolator with proper intona usb cable.
    The premium cables are rated for tight impedance variances of 1.8ohm +\-

    The usb standard is a whopping +\- 15% or 13ohm +\- or 77-103 ohms!!!’
    Fine for a printer cable but not audio…

    The intona premium cable is between 88.2-91.8

    But most all usb cables send 1’s and 0’s fine!!”​

    On USB in DAC’s:

    “The key is to get usb to operate far far beyond its specifications so it is an ideal interface for audio”​

    Some interesting tid bits:

    Tim is a fan of the OOR/HYPOS amp stack and says it does well with orthos.

    Tim doesn’t recommend MQA and will soon stop carrying any products that support MQA

    Tim prefers vinyl and makes his own recordings

    Tim has a YouTube channel where he posts a lot of his favorite music, mostly Japanese music. https://www.youtube.com/user/bimmer100timc/featured

    And an instagram account where he does the same

    https://www.instagram.com/timconnor81/

    Standard rules.
    • Open to ALL friends and contributors on case by case basis but do not be shy to ask
    • 5-10 days per person
    • Insure for 1,550$
    • FedEx UPS only
    • Impressions required here
    • Post with your location and computer OS if interested
    List

    @ColtMrFire has expressed the most interest in this DAC, so it's going TX -> east then west -> middle this time. Also, I don't want every loaner to go West to East.

    List
    1. @ColtMrFire TX
    2. @crenca NM
    3. @StageOne OH
    4. @crazychile IA
    5. @Josh Schor MI
    6. @dasman66 PA
    7. @Ziva CT
    8. @sheldaze MD
    9. @Tchoupitoulas NJ
    10. @Vansen WA
    11. @Soups WA
    12. @StandUp713 So CA
    13. @futbutts LA CA
    14. @penguins so CA
    15. @Grattle AR
    16. @Zimmer266 Maine
    17. @atomicbob measurement bunker
     
    • Epic Epic x 8
    • Like Like x 6
    • List
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2022
  2. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Sign me up. Texas. I use Windows.
     
  3. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    please!

    PA
     
  4. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    I've gone too long without hearing a Holo DAC, and I'm really curious about it. Portland, Mac OS.
     
  5. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    OS?
     
  6. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Hey @rhythmdevils Isn't the insurance amount typo? Generally 1/2 of product price was set AFAIK, but 1050 seems ridiculously low (<<25% of new price?).
     
  7. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Yes thank you it’s $1,550
     
  8. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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  9. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Friend

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    Damn I’m in, windows OS but will use with allo usbridge sig
     
  10. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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  11. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Well both people :)
     
  12. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

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    I’d like to participate.

    OSX 12.2.1 and Pi

    Arkansas
     
  13. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    I have all three OS, but my audio analyzers are all Windows based.

    Location north of Seattle and very near Tim so I can hand return to Kitsune.
     
  14. blubliss

    blubliss Friend

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    Los Angeles, Linux (Pi2AES, NAA for HQPlayer)
     
  15. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    If I didn't already own a Spring3 KTE I'd be head over heels in this loaner group.
    Great job @rhythmdevils and Tim at Kitsune for making this possible to more audio intelligent people!
     
  16. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    Please sign me up for a listen. I have a windows based custom PC and live in MIchigan, thank you for getting this for all of us to hear.
    best,
    Josh
     
  17. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I hope the interview with Tim didn't make this seem technically challenging. It's not. the DAC will arrive to you with the correct settings, and you can use USB or SPDIF/AES, etc. Tim just says that the best performance is via good USB.

    If any of this is confusing and is putting your off from signing up, please say so and I will clarify.

    I am technically a complete moron and would be fine using the loaner. @loadexfa is going to have it updated with the current firmware and the right settings for Mac/Windows users for USB use. Then for Linux, it's just a matter of chaining one setting. for SPDIF/AES these settings don't matter.
     
  18. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    How is the SE performance vs BAL? I only have SE inputs to work with.

    If SE is great, sign me up please. I use W10, however this will probably only be fed from my Zen Stream. Located in MO.
     
  19. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    SE is as great as XLR out. both inputs going to the Aficionado for a few days, and with volume matching could not reliably tell any difference.
     
  20. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    A quick point of clarity, the change needed is actually the firmware. There are two versions of the latest firmware, one with "fixed" volume and the other "variable". The instructions indicate that "variable" is only suitable for Windows and Mac for USB use. Perhaps the last Windows/USB participant should be comfortable with flashing (I'll be sure to provide links and instructions so the process is easy) or it can go back to me for another firmware update before it proceeds to the non Win/Mac people.
     

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