Holo Audio USA è rappresentata da Kitsuné. NON spediamo prodotti Holo Audio in Nord America! (USA/Canada)
GOLDEN SOUND REVIEW – PUNCHING UP!
SPRING 3 DETAILS
- Una nuova generazione di tecnologia di compensazione lineare.
Una soluzione migliore alla resistenza, agli errori di precisione causati dalla commutazione di componenti e PCB, dopo che le compensazioni fanno raggiungere lo 0,00005% dell’equivalente precisione.
- La nuova generazione della tecnologia de-glitch può fornire una gamma completa senza aumentare il rumore di fondo o altri effetti negativi.
- Basato su questa nuova generazione di tecnologia, “泉3” Spring3 (modello non preamplificatore) può fornire un SINAD di >112dB e una gamma dinamica di 128dB, che rappresenta il limite di prestazioni raggiunto dal DAC con architettura R2R più avanzato di >oggi.
- Utilizzando le massime prestazioni della tecnologia PLL + FIFO, fornisce capacità di passaggio basso di terzo ordine a 0,1 Hz per inibire il jitter. Utilizza anche un VCXO a femtosecondi ad alte prestazioni come sorgente di clock PLL. Under the premise of being almost immune to the front-end jitter, it can also lock up to 1.5us-2us @ 1KHz signal with high jitter. (It can lock up to 1.5us-2us @ 1kHz signal with high jitter on the premise of almost being immune front-end jitter).
- The USB interface uses proprietary firmware with ultra-low latency, a highly reliable data transmission, ideal USB eye pattern measurements that contributes to 2-4 times higher performance than official firmware.
- A single, independent HDMI-I2S input interface is provided, which has a four-way independent circuit, as opposed to standard LVDS chip, making I2S clock signals subject to lower interference and lower jitter. In addition, the I2S input can be configured with a specific pinout configuration, making it compatible with most of the HDMI-I2S digital devices on the market.
- Optional (Factory installed only): A fully balanced, fully discrete analog pre-amplifier. Provides 84 steps, each step is 1db of volume control.
Three versions of the Spring 2 DAC. Below are the three levels, and KTE being our no compromise model with all options:
(The base model is quite good all by itself and priced so competitively it’s impossible to beat the performance/price ratio.) This model has basic caps for the PSU, and does not include a CNC remote. It has standard Red label 5N Copper Otype Transformer, round wire type copper wiring. Considered the base model however packs a mean punch for price per dollar performance ratio. (no remote control in this version)
(With HoloAudio caps for ultimate power filtration and improved sound quality – Sound quality is refined and more relaxed, transparent and details are more refined and clear while remaining neutral. ) It has standard Red label 5N Copper Otype Transformer, round wire type copper wiring. This is a popular option for those who want a little more out of their dac with improvement of sound from the caps as well as this version will include the cnc machined aluminum remote control.
SPRING GEN 3 KTE (Kitsuné Edition)
I componenti di altissima qualità sono utilizzati nei nostri prodotti in versione KTE molto popolari.
Questa versione Spring3 KTE includerà un trasformatore ultra premium aggiornato che è 100VA O-Type flat wire type .The sound improvement is not subtle, it’s a night and day improvement in our opinion and many of our customers agree. Kitsune has tuned this Spring 3 DAC for no compromise performance and targeted at the enthusiast audio lover. This transformer is our finest available model and makes the Spring’s sound quite elegant and improved detail. more features mentioned below.
”OPTIONAL upgrade – Preamp Module” – Fully discrete and balanced relay controlled volume control. Controls all the digital inputs volume with precision. This has trickle down technology from our popular flagship Preamp the Serene. Using 4 amp modules and hundreds of transistors.
- USB (ground isolation)
- RCA coaxial
- BNC coaxial
- optical fiber
- I2S (HDMI) – improved ultra high performance 4way custom circuit (NOT LVDS anymore)
*USB supports Linux; MAC and Windows (7,8 10, 2012)
*HDMI LVDS Compatible with Singxer SU-2 / SU-6 and Pink Faun I2S Bridge
*All digital input interface supports DSD (DOP mode).
- RCA single-ended
- XLR balanced
|COAXIAL1, COAXIAL2, OPTICAL, AES||PCM 44.1-192K (24bit)|
|DSD 64X （DOP）|
|USB||PCM 44.1K-1.536M (32bit)|
|DSD 64-512X （DOP）|
|DSD 64-1024X （Native）|
|I2S||PCM 44.1K-1.536M (32bit)|
|PCM 48K NOS||THD+N 0.00032% @1K(-110dB)|
|DAC Voltage Output 2.9Vrms (RCA), 5.8Vrms (XLR)|
|(Optional) Pre-amplifier Voltage Output 5.8Vrms (RCA), 11.6Vrms (XLR)|
|DSD 128X||THD+N 0.00025% @1K(-112dB)|
|DAC Voltage Output 1.45Vrms (RCA), 2.9Vrms (XLR)|
|(Optional) Pre-amplifier Voltage Output 2.9Vrms (RCA), 5.8Vrms (XLR)|
|Size (Chassis)||430x300x55mm (W x L x H, Dimensions do not include protruding parts)|
|Power Specifications||110-120VAC / 220-240VAC 50/60Hz|
DSD is natively supported for the first time on this Discrete Resistor Ladder DAC
HoloAudio is the world’s first to support DSD natively on Resistor Ladder DAC, so far the only one. This is not the DSD converted to PCM before digital-analog converter, but directly by the discrete components of the DSD digital to analog converter. Supported currently on MAC (DOP)and Linux (DOP), and Windows/PC (Direct Native and DOP). Please note, the word ‘R2R’ is the name of a kind of architecture of resistor ladders. This architecture requires less resistors yet still is capable to deliver more than acceptable performance. Most DACs in the industry use this architecture. The DSD module of Spring3 does not use R2R architecture for the DSD, more specifically it uses a very specific architecture which is optimized to perform DSD to analog. So to be entirely accurate the DSD part of Spring is using resistor ladders, not R2R..
Spring3 DAC R2R structure and design + Input/output Stage
Modern and popular delta-sigma type DAC differs from R2R within one clock analog value can recover a sampling point, and the delta-sigma is used to represent an analog signal after passing through oversampling and high-speed digital switching 0 and 1. In comparison, the conversion structure of R2R is most direct and pure, but delta-sigma is essentially a digital chip, high-speed digital signals 0 and 1 switch to the low-pass filter to process the analog signal and this process is prone to various problems, produce digital sound (digititus) and also in the super-sampling process will inevitably cause some ringing and distortion. But DAC R2R structure requires high-precision resistor network which the cost can be very expensive. And the digital delta-sigma DAC chip in comparison is very low cost. Patented R2R technology. This is the first discrete DAC that has Linear compensation and this allows for ultimate music reproduction accuracy. Dual R2R ladder network with advanced architecture for PCM, and Dual Resistor Ladder network with optimized architecture for DSD!
I/O stages: There is an Op Amp used for input stage and discrete component used for the output stage. The discrete output stage is working in pure class A. The output voltage is 2.9 Vrms for single ended output and 5.8 Vrms for balanced output (dsd playback is half these voltages). The single ended is RCA. Balanced is XLR. They both use the same output stage. It’s BiPolar Junction Transistors, direct coupled. The big MKP capacitor you can see in the output stage is for the power supply, not for signal coupling. And the output impedance is 200 Ohm.
A common question we get…” Why do you use an Op amp at the input of the DAC?”
The input stage with an opamp is a good choice. It has a paired transistor input by the nature it is manufactured. But an opamp for the output stage is limited due to it’s size and the thermal capability. Also, no one will offer an opamp with class A output as it’s efficiency is so low. So an opamp used as input and discrete output combined together will have an advantage. It doesn’t mean that all discrete is not good. Actually, if we need to achieve enough low distortion. It needs at least 30-40 transistors. Which not only will it be huge and waste of space but it will also be too costly. I mean, to beat the opamp’s performance, a simple discrete architecture is not possible, although an all discrete design looks beautiful.
The true balanced circuit design
These two pictures can explain the true balanced design quite well. The bottom side has the same resistor ladders as top side. The dac module is a pure 24bit discrete R2R design (PCM) and discrete Ladder Dac optimized architecture (DSD).
What are the Spring 3’s sound characteristics?
One of the strong points of the spring is the spatial sounds stage presentation. It’s very wide and precise. It never sounds congested like many DACs. The high end is very detailed and never harsh sounding. It has the R2R goodness that many have come to know and love. R2R has almost a cult like following and this DAC will surely become a sought after DAC. Everything comes effortlessly for this DAC. Bass is layered and textures, quite full and present without ever masking over the sweet mid tones that are produced. One special thing about the Spring is its amazing voltage regulation circuitry that better than 0.2uV output noise! This along with the O-core transformer helps regulate the purest power which translates to audio clarity and accurate reproduction. It must be heard to appreciate and come to love its sound.
Jeff Zhu comment on the Spring3
Spring3 PLL is nearly the same design as our flagship dac, the May. The main difference between Spring3 and May is that May uses our latest technology and cost is no object, therefore has better components. For Spring3, it uses the latest technology as May. But the main goal is to get high performance at reasonable cost, and I believe we absolutely achieved this goal. Although it’s price is higher than Spring2. I think the performance/cost ratio is higher than Spring2. It’s not much behind May! The pre-amp module inside is a very decent way to control volume, really one of the best ways. I think the digital volume is terrible, especially for this level of DAC. So I never added digital volume control on Spring and May, only on Cyan which is our entry level product. Digital volume is very easy and has very low cost added, albeit compromised. The reason we don’t use it is that ‘free digital volume’ will lead customer to use it and not realize it is not ideal for use with our higher end dacs. I don’t want misguide the user to use our DAC is that way. I think they will be most pleased with our fully balanced, discrete analog volume control for a low optional upgrade price.
Jeff Zhu – HoloAudio Explains his patented R2R technology
There are ways to improve the performance, the segment+R2R is one way. Trimming is another way. There is an additional R2R ladder in Spring, it compensate the main R2R ladder. It works like trimming, but trimming is to change the resistor value. This additional R2R ladder are digital controlled and is to compensate the resistor tolerance. For example, the MSB of 16 bits should have the value of 32768, but due to tolerance, it represent 32700 in real world. Then that additional R2R ladder will compensate 68 into it. Then it became 32700+68=32768.
Actually there are other ways to improve performance, I just told you two stories. There are more stories behind the design. It is really hard. I must count every via holes in layout, every PCB wire has it’s impedance and must put attention on it. A via hole can be 50 m Ohm, it is 1/20000 of 1 kilo-ohm, and you see, it covers 32768 which is the MSB of 16bits. Also the switches has self-impedance which is about several ohms to 30 ohms. If you find this issue. Maybe you will go crazy, it seems to be an impossible mission. But a good designer will overcome all these problems. It’s our value at HOLO Audio.
All the resistor tolerance, switch impedance, line impedance, via hole impedance, finally reflect as linearity. There is a chart that shows Spring’s linearity, it’s excellent. But I suggest you to look at THD performance. Bad linearity must result a bad THD performance. But good linearity doesn’t mean there will be good THD performance. THD is dynamic performance, more critical than linearity which is a static performance.
If you look at the THD performance, you will find Spring to maybe the best among those competitors. I’m applying a patent which contribute a lot of that performance. But I can’t tell you how. It’s confidential now.
R2R LINEAR COMPENSATION
There’s an additional R2R ladder in the Spring DAC, it compensates the main R2R ladder. It works like trimming, but trimming is to change the resistor value. This additional R2R ladder is digitally controlled and will accurately compensate the resistor tolerance. For example, the MSB of 16 bits should have the value of 32768, but due to tolerance, it represents 32700 in real world results. Then that additional R2R ladder will compensate 68 into it. Thus it now becomes 32700 + 68 = 32768. What this means is that it’s likely the most precise Discrete DAC on the market with near flawless linearity, lowest THD and highest SNR of any NOS DAC. The sound is simply something you must experience to fully realize how special this DAC is. It’s a patented technology exclusive to Holo Audio.
WARRANTY – 3 years warranty, both parts and labor, coverage of one way shipping (return shipping at cost to seller once product is confirmed as a warranty claim issue). Be sure to buy from Magna Hifi or authorized HoloAudio reseller in Europe.
Arno (proprietario verificato) –
I received the Holo Spring 3 KTE a few days ago. Just a few hours after listening to it , I had a big smile on my face. It’s a great DAC that excited me right away. In the few tests/reviews that I have read on the Internet (I unfortunately had no opportunity to listen to the Spring 3 before) was not overly reported about the device. On the contrary, my expectations were more than exceeded. I am already very happy with the DAC.
Somogyi Andor (proprietario verificato) –
I am very satisfied with it. It has a place in the high end category. Worth the price. The music became much more focused and detailed. I had a Dac with an AKK chip. This R2R is much more analog, more natural.
Rodney (proprietario verificato) –
Wow…incredible performance. Anyone who says you can’t tell the difference between dacs once certain measurement goals are reached leaves me scratching my head.
The Holo replaced a modified Topping D90 and it was an obvious improvement straight out-of-the- box.
After a few weeks it just kept getting better. On one memorable occasion I looked up and thought, damn I’ve accidentally pushed the loudness button on the Luxman, but no, just extra proper bass had suddenly come on song.
So I immediately had to go back and start again with all the favourite CDs I’d been listening to.
And all this is plain vanilla 16/44 cd replay and 70 year old ears!
Great service…great product.
Andre (proprietario verificato) –
I bought the HoloAudio Spring 3 DAC KTE and I usually write no product ratings! Yet, credit where credit is due. The FPGA driven R2R Spring 3 KTE DAC won’t need more praise. “Hearing is believing”. Built like a tank, with absolutely outstanding sound quality. In my opinion and this price class, nothing comes close. Jos is a joy to deal with – making the purchase a truly worthwhile experience! Shipping was swift and I could not be more happy with my new DAC.
Kevin (proprietario verificato) –
I was cautious at first as i was buying from outside the uk. I contacted magna hifi many times with questions on how paying the vat and shipping the item would be done. Jos always answered my questions very quickly and was very helpful. Delivery was a very easy process and the item was packaged very well. It is refreshing to do business with a company that takes pride in what they do!
JP (proprietario verificato) –
I’m very happy with my purchase, a HoloAudio – Spring 3 DAC KTE Kitsune (R2R – DSD1024). The DAC sounds just great and is very well built. The delivery also went smoothly and as planned. Magna Hifi personnel were very quick and helpful in responding to all of my questions. Their service is excellent. I will surely buy gear again from them. (Trustpilot review)
Juan (proprietario verificato) –
I’m very happy and very impressed with this DAC. It sounds great just out of the box, and it gets better and better every day.
Magna Hifi personnel were very quick and helpful in responding to all of my questions. Their service is excellent, congratulations!
Kieran (proprietario verificato) –
Wow! Soundstage is larger, more space and air with a nice slam to the bass when compared to the chord qutest i have. It put a smile on my face! Jos and Rob provided a great service!
Najib (proprietario verificato) –
First few hours of listening, no words that can describe the feeling, simply magnificent dac.
If this is the beginning, what will be after 200 hrs?
Michel Tamisier (proprietario verificato) –
Le changement récent de mon cable usb m’a fait penser que je pouvais aller plus loin, et le convertisseur Holo m’a séduit sur le papier par sa robuste fabrication et son entrée usb sophistiquée.
Restait à voir si le réalité correspondrait à ce que mes oreilles en attendaient.
Par rapport à mon ancien GD Audio 19, je n’ai pas été déçu. La scène sonore d’abord : les instruments sont là, en grandeur réelle, avec non seulement la largeur, mais la profondeur et la hauteur (quand l’enregistrement le permet, car c’est là qu’on se rend compte que la plupart du temps on n’a qu’un patchwork de détails sonores juxtaposés). J’ai vraiment dans mon salon le piano d’Ivan Moravec, le clavecin de Christophe Rousset ou le trio d’Oscar Peterson, en trois dimensions.
L’équilibre tonal a changé, car le registre grave, repoussé plus bas, ne masque plus le bas medium, et les instruments ressortent mieux timbrés et plus lumineux. Enfin on a tout un ensemble d’harmoniques, de résonances et d’extinction de notes, qui métamorphose complètement la personnalité de l’instrument.
Par ailleurs, le son ne se tasse pas dans les sforzandos, mais au contraire gagne en volume et en ampleur.
Le grand clavecin Couchet que touche Christophe Rousset dans les Suites de Louis Couperin paraît comme illuminé de l’intérieur, et prend tour à tour des sonorités de luth, de carillon, voire d’orgue, absentes jusque là. Bien plus, cette musique, sur laquelle je n’avais qu’une oreille admirative, me devient maintenant captivante.
Le grand piano forte Broadwood, à deux claviers, que joue Georg Ewald Dahler dans les Impromptus de Schubert, instrument que j’ai dans l’oreille, pour l’avoir entendu en récital, est beaucoup plus riche en harmoniques, et prend par moments des teintes cuivrées ou argentées, sans parler d’un registre grave à la fois modelé, profond et léger, jamais empâté ni confus ou asséné.
Je mets le légendaire enregistrement des Nocturnes de Chopin, par Ivan Moravec, impeccablement remasterisé par Supraphon, et c’est le choc, ou plutôt l’hypnose : une sonorité liquide et pourtant incroyablement dense, affranchie des barres de mesure, une variété de toucher à se demander s’il n’y a pas plusieurs pianos, les notes les plus ténues d’une fermeté tactiles, un son palpable, et une main droite qui décroche des pluies d’étoiles en haut du clavier.
Le plus impressionnant est peut-être l’extinction de la vibration de la note à la fin de chaque Nocturne, qui se poursuit sur plusieurs secondes, et j’entend encore (ou je ressens pour être plus exact) après, la présence de l’air qui a été déplacé, comme lorsqu’un chat rentre la nuit dans votre chambre, et que vous devinez sa présence silencieuse.
J’ai fait pas mal de photo dans ma vie, et je dirai que ce Holo me fait penser aux objectifs Summicron de Leitz : on pouvait trouver plus de détails, de micro ceci ou celà ailleurs, mais rien n’égalait les Summicron pour la résolution, le transfert des contrastes de noir et blancs, la profondeur et le modelé des gris.
Jusque là mon ampli à tubes 2A3 Emission Labs n’avait pas encore trouvé de partenaire amont au niveau de ses qualités, mais c’est maintenant chose faite
Terry jull (proprietario verificato) –
I was nervous of buying from abroad (without an audition ) and having no dealers here in the UK but Jos ,after a few emails ,at Magna hifi assured me it was an easy and safe process. He was right ,it was just like buying online in uk . Service from Magna hifi was excellent.
First impressions of HoloAudio spring dac level 3.
It’s heavy,very well built and looks superb with the copper buttons and side plates.
Anybody who says that bits are bits and all dacs sound the same is wrong. There was a noticeable improvement in the sound of my streamer being played through this dac including sound stage and imaging. But it was when I used my little used (I now stream most of my music) and budget cd player as transport and the Spring 3 as a dac that the difference was massive . Doing a/b comparisons with the dac in the cd player and the Spring 3 the improvement was not subtle and sounded like a huge upgrade . The fact that I spent next 5 weeks listening to all my cds again and hearing things I’ve never heard before says it all . Streaming didn’t get a look in.
Any cons ? The remote ,which is also well made ,has copper buttons which rattle when you move it . I don’t know why this irritates me but it does for some reason. Other that minor thing the Spring 3 is perfect as was service from Jos at Magna.
5 stars, if you can afford it buy it with confidence.
Jürgen Neutz (proprietario verificato) –
I have the Spring 3 KTE a little more than one week now. I am really impressed by the sound. I used another DAC in the 2000$ range bevor and the Spring 3 is better in every way. Great product. I could not be happier. The sound is really absolute natural and organic.
Valy (proprietario verificato) –
Device performance is over my initial estimate.
Actually, it is a new level of sound that I didn’t hear anytime before.
Excellent level of definition of instruments, easy to recognise with sound stage, especially when I am listening to classic and jazz. Vocal sounds natural and gentle.
Fadde (proprietario verificato) –
I’m very happy with the product (Holo Spring 3 KTE) but even more so with Jos @ Magna Hifi. He have helped me a lot with coming to decision. I really recommend both this DAC as well purchasing from Magna!
Annes (proprietario verificato) –
Sounds amazing could not be more pleased with Holo Spring 3. Thank you for your advice and help.
If you can recommend anything I should do to improve my system please do.
Iain Harding (proprietario verificato) –
“Breathtaking” finally digital music sounds real. I have strived to find a DAC that could bring some of the emotion, excitement of seeing live music, this DAC is achieving this, allows a real insight & appreciation of what the musicians are playing. running this from my Melco & this appears to be a great combination, very natural & musical with great depth & details. Many of my favourite recordings have shown just how much was missing from my previous DACS. Also, great service from Magna & Jos, highly recommend doing business with these guys.
Martin (proprietario verificato) –
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to test the Holo Spring 3 DAC. This device has taken the music experience at my home up a notch.
Lars (proprietario verificato) –
Upgraded from an Audio GD Reference 5.32 (modified) to the Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE after testing my Ref 5.32 against the Audio-GD – R8 MK2, Holo Audio May KTE and Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE. Both Holo Audio DACs are more holographic and place instruments and voices better. The overall sound is just natural, spacious and engaging. The guys at Magna Hifi are very helpful and I visited their listening room twice. Great dac, great service, both highly recommended.
Paul (proprietario verificato) –
Excellent service and personal follow up! The Spring3KTE is a wonderful DAC. It will stay for a long time. Detailed and natural sound. Precise soundstage.
Lars (proprietario verificato) –
Great service and listening room. After testing several dacs against my own, I bought the Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE dac. Amazing sound.
Michael (proprietario verificato) –
I’m very happy with my new Holo Audio Spring 3. It sounds absolutely wonderful.
The only problem is I’m staying up too late at night. I just want to keep listening :)
Thank you again for your excellent service.
First, communication, that spanned over 3 months since Jos wisely advised me to wait for the Spring 3 at my price point, was excellent, patient and friendly.
Second, I’m very happy. At first I was a bit skeptical about DAC upgrade. My BB 1795 TEAC 501 always fed DSD 128 thanks to HQPlayer was quite enjoyable yet. n48 and higher rates capabilities were the rationals to upgrade but the upgrade goes far beyond being able to keep a favorite filter with n48 source or even going from 64 to 128 SDM output rate. I concur with comments such as : incredible precision and detail retrieval translating into remarkable density and stable image, firm and with presence even at the extreme left and right of the sound stage when relevant.
However, there was a selling point I sold to myself that was not confirmed : I thought of playing PCM through the R2R and it turns out that every source, PCM & DSD, is better turned DSD 256 with 7EC modulator in HQPlayer. HQPlayer’s author wrote in forums that anyway Spring’s DSD is better than DSD Cyan and that cost would be in the same ball park whether or not the DAC was DSD only. Furthermore, it would be a pain when I send the sound of movies to the DAC if there was no PCM capability. So things are very well as they are and for serious music listening do not hesitate to convert on fly your PCM content into DSD 256 (no computer can do the EC modulators above 256 and 256 EC is better than 1024 with non EC). The Spring is excellent with every kind of music and I post just after listening to a Cowboy Junkies album but I found myself listening mainly to classical music since I got the Spring for reproduction in my room has never been so close to the real thing and I have attended several classical concerts these very days. Thank you, merci, Patrick
Peter (UK) (proprietario verificato) –
Thankyou Magna HiFi, I love the Holo, Spring 3 DAC!