DAC Choices - Denafrips vs. Schitt

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JLasher22443

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Just before had the Exasound E-32. And before and still with me an Audio Research Dac 8. This new DAC belongs to another level. It is a jewel to use. My ears are very happy with the amazing results.
Happy listening!
Roberto so I'm assuming from your signature that you are using the Apple Mac Pro for the Source into the DAC? And are you using Roon?

I'm willing to give the HoloAudio May a try to see how it sounds in my system. Was really looking to go with the NAIM NDX 2 Network Player I demoed but I'd be willing to check the Holo out first.
 

roberto

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Roberto so I'm assuming from your signature that you are using the Apple Mac Pro for the Source into the DAC? And are you using Roon?

I'm willing to give the HoloAudio May a try to see how it sounds in my system. Was really looking to go with the NAIM NDX 2 Network Player I demoed but I'd be willing to check the Holo out first.
I have a late 2014 cylindrical shape Mac Pro. I have 7 hard drives for only storage music files. I don’t use roon. I use Audirvana Plus instead. Also I have two cd players by Bel Canto a CD2 and a CD3t.
My Holo May Kte is doing only good things. Pure sound quality from Red Book Audio.

Happy listening!
 
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JLasher22443

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I have a Mac Pro late 2014 cylindrical shape Mac Pro. I have 7 hard drives for only storage music files. I don’t use roon. I use Audirvana Plus instead. Also I have two cd players by Bel Canto a CD2 and a CD3t.
My Holo May Kte is doing only good things. Pure sound quality from Red Book Audio.

Happy listening!
I've gone ahead and ordered the Holo May KTE and plan to use my Mac Mini for now. Going to research more on a Music Server or Audio PC Build for a source.

I've been looking real hard at the Small Green Computer Signature Rendu SE optical Level II. Heard this at the Capital Audio Show in the GT Audio Room and was blown away. Of course it was plugged into a $27,000 Lampizator Pacific DAC but hopefully on the Holo May it should still sound amazing.
 

roberto

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This Holo May Kte is like Martin Logan. You have to pay a lot more, three or four times on cone speakers to get the about same level of ML. This dac had brought to my ears a level that I never heard in other dac. I have friends here that use Lampizator DACs and Denafrips Terminator. Denafrips is a very nice and well balanced sound. Well built unit too. But my ears are with the smooth sound. The huge stage and the incredible detail is what I do like a lot from this Holo May. The separation between the musical instruments and voices. The main artist is projected to the air in a such way that you don't loose anything with the other musicians that are playing in the recording. I also do find that my liking is NOS (No Over Sampling). The files and the CDs that I have at 44.1 KHz/16Bits are incredible well reproduced, with outstanding quality sound! I am really enjoying this marvelous machine. My ears don't believe what they really are hearing.
Happy listening!
 

JLasher22443

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So even tho it states on the webpage that the May KTE is in Stock; KitsuneHiFi says it will be about 5.5-6 weeks for production and 4-5 days in ship time. Seems like I won't see mine till mid January.
 

rluciano

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Yeah, in stock just means available to order to Kitsune HiFi, not the way most of us think of in stock.
 

JLasher22443

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Yeah, in stock just means available to order to Kitsune HiFi, not the way most of us think of in stock.
Yah I wasn't happy and actually emailed to cancel the order. But I'll give it a shot and wait which is not easy for me as an impulse buyer. LOL
 

roberto

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You don’t know the quality sound you’re going to miss. The Holo is one of the best DACs available and shines with ML!
 

Spike

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So even tho it states on the webpage that the May KTE is in Stock; KitsuneHiFi says it will be about 5.5-6 weeks for production and 4-5 days in ship time. Seems like I won't see mine till mid January.
Here's a chance for you to focus on the Hana Umami Red until the KTE comes.
 

JLasher22443

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Received email this morning that the HoloAudio May DAC KTE has been built and is finally ready for shipping. Ordered it on Nov. 25th. Hopefully it will be here by the end of the week.

Correction: It's here. DHL just dropped it off and made my wife sign for it. LOL I had no idea and even looking back at the email there was no shipping info. LOL So looks like I'll be playing around with it tonight.
 
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Northy

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Awesome, good things come to those who wait!!!! Please let us know your first impressions and the ultimate sound down the road. What kind of amp/preamp do you have? It is not in your signature. I am a bit concerned about the compatibility of it with a preamp in terms of gain.
 

JLasher22443

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Awesome, good things come to those who wait!!!! Please let us know your first impressions and the ultimate sound down the road. What kind of amp/preamp do you have? It is not in your signature. I am a bit concerned about the compatibility of it with a preamp in terms of gain.
Will do for sure. Plan to put it up against a few other items I have here for comparison. They aren't as high end as the Holo but will give a good comparison I think from a cheaper solution. As for my Preamp/Amp it is in my Systems link part of my Signature but for reference it is the Audio Research REF 6SE and the REF 160S.
 

JLasher22443

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You don’t know the quality sound you’re going to miss. The Holo is one of the best DACs available and shines with ML!
Hey Roberto are you using Roon with the Holo. If so what should my settings be set too? Thanks in advance.
 

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Will do for sure. Plan to put it up against a few other items I have here for comparison. They aren't as high end as the Holo but will give a good comparison I think from a cheaper solution. As for my Preamp/Amp it is in my Systems link part of my Signature but for reference it is the Audio Research REF 6SE and the REF 160S.
Oops, I should have clicked on the link for the full gear list. Jason, you have an awesome set-up in a dedicated room. For me, I do not think I will go back to a 5.1/7.1 HT set-up as I have not come across any HT pre/processor that has the sound quality of the Pass Labs XP-22. So for the time being, I am happy to watch movies, concerts and TV in the good old-school two channer fashion.
 

JLasher22443

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Oops, I should have clicked on the link for the full gear list. Jason, you have an awesome set-up in a dedicated room. For me, I do not think I will go back to a 5.1/7.1 HT set-up as I have not come across any HT pre/processor that has the sound quality of the Pass Labs XP-22. So for the time being, I am happy to watch movies, concerts and TV in the good old-school two channer fashion.
Thanks for the kind words. Yah its funny I actually went from Home Theater to 2 Channel + HT. And yah you are right I've tested listening to Tidal on the Marantz and on the 6SE and the Audio Research does sound a lot better but for movie watching it doesn't matter to me so much. And I'm thankful the 6SE has the ability to do Home Theater bypass. But during a movie my center is doing most of the work anyways, so it still sounds good to me for movies but blows me away for music listening all in one room. Although the Marantz is about to be replaced with the Trinnov Altitude16 which from what everyone is saying will be a huge step up in processing. We will see how good it really is compared to the 6SE.

As for the HoloAudio I listened from 6 o'clock last night till about 10:30 before the wife shut me down. LOL. All different genres of music but mostly my test songs I have in a playlist. And right off the bat I can say a few good things about the May, and a few bad things about the May. First, the detail retrieval is amazing. Separation of vocals and instruments is wonderful. Definitely heard some items in songs I haven't heard since the Bartok left my room. In Billie Eilish's "I Love You" right after the plane takes off in the song there is some sort of music or instrument playing in the bottom left hand corner of that soundstage. This does not get picked up on my Moon 280D or my NAIM Uniti Atom DAC. That whole portion of the song from 1:55 till about 2:45 is very detailed and has tons of hidden layers that most DAC's don't pick up. In the Song "The Ballad of Bill Hubbard" by Roger Waters the Holo does exactly what it's supposed to do and makes sure that the dog is way off in the distance to your right and I mean it sounded like surround sound. Then the whole TV and talking over my left shoulder was amazing! Haven't heard it that good in some time. And when Razz is giving his account of seeing and trying to help Bill Hubbard the whole time that interview is going on it is right to the left of me say at 10 o'clock. Way outside the left speaker. That is a Job Well Done by the May KTE!

But you can also tell there is a major loss in the low end bass. It's just not there anymore. And nothing changed in the room except for the DAC. In songs like "Fever" by Malia/Boris Blank, "Slide Away" by Miley Cyrus and "A Milli" by Lil Wayne; those songs on any other DAC I've had in this house have rattled my windows with the low end bass. In fact I have a video on YouTube where "Fever" is visually rattling the camera while filming. This DAC does not do that. Maybe it needs break-in or maybe I have a setting to change so testing and researching on that front.

Next thing I noticed is when panning back and forth in some songs like say "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent or "In the Distance" by Yosi Horikawa something is off. At around the 2:20 mark in "Stranglehold" there is a sound that goes left to right and right to left and continues throughout the song in intervals. Now you should be able to visualize that in the soundstage going across the stage. But for some reason the May KTE drops about 2 or 4 feet right in the center. Like it jumps instead of being a fluid cross along the front stage. Also in Yosi Horikawa's "In the Distance" when Yosi starts to record the running back and forth, the May again just jumps over that 2-4 feet of sound stage right in the center. Did not get that with the NAIM or the Moon 280D. Very weird and not sure how or what to change to get it back.

But all in all I can say, the May is great and the detail it brings out in tracks is just amazing for the price. In Yosi's whole album "Wandering" and compared to the other DAC's I have here, it is by far a much better DAC and they can't touch the May in that area of detail retrieval. The only other DAC I have had in this room and in this system that sounded this good in detail retrieval was the Bartok at $13k more than the May KTE. One of the tracks I always use to demonstrate the detail retrieval is the song "Bubbles" in the same album which is amazing to listen to for details in your system. Most DAC's and/or systems can't pick up the detail of each ball Yosi uses to drop on a certain surface, may it be a drum, table, or the floor. With the Holo May you could hear and count every single different type of ball dropped along with visualizing an image in your mind of what each ball was whether or not it was a marble, ping pong ball, or the cheap ball in the basket of a Walmart isles that costs like $.99.(I got that visual of that ball.) The Holo does an outstanding job of creating that sound stage and image in my room. That soundstage was 180 degrees of imaging in front of me that just draws me into the music. So far I'm very happy with the purchase.
 

rluciano

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Thanks for the kind words. Yah its funny I actually went from Home Theater to 2 Channel + HT. And yah you are right I've tested listening to Tidal on the Marantz and on the 6SE and the Audio Research does sound a lot better but for movie watching it doesn't matter to me so much. And I'm thankful the 6SE has the ability to do Home Theater bypass. But during a movie my center is doing most of the work anyways, so it still sounds good to me for movies but blows me away for music listening all in one room. Although the Marantz is about to be replaced with the Trinnov Altitude16 which from what everyone is saying will be a huge step up in processing. We will see how good it really is compared to the 6SE.
I look forward to whatever you can tell us about the Trinnov Altitude 16 once you get it. I have been considering replacing my Marantz AV7704 with the Trinnov. My 2 channel pre-amp is the Pass XP-32.
 

JLasher22443

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Any virtual player like Roon, Audirvana, Tidal, Foobar2000, Strawberry, etc, all of them will sound espectacular with the Holo May.
Thanks. Roon does not recognize the May DAC and only has the Spring DAC KTE listed. So I have left it alone for now and I've sent an email to Roon for assistance or explanation of when they may add it. For now its just listed as the second screenshot below.

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Here are the advanced settings I have set in Roon.

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The plan is to let the Holo May DAC burn in for about 100 hours before I give it a serious in depth listen again to see if the sound signature changes. Also another thing I forgot to mention is output of the May. Normally the volume on the ARC REF 6SE with the Moon or NAIM to listen at 80db the volume is around 34. To reach 80db with the May it varied between 24 and 28 on the 6SE. Not sure if that is good or bad or maybe needs to be changed in settings. Still learning the device. And here she is in the rack.

IMG_6013.JPG
 
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