Holo Audio – Spring II DAC “Kitsune Tuned Edition” Green Label “99.99% Silver” O-Type transformer (R2R – DSD1024)

kr 31,800.00

Spring 2 is a new generation of fully discrete resistor network (commonly known as R2R) DAC produced by Holo Audio.The Spring DAC is designed and comes from Holo Audio’s owned by Jeff Zhu. It’s a full discrete R2R type of digital analogue converter and does not have a typical dac chip but its fully discrete core DAC design.

DSD is natively supported this R2R Discrete DAC. In fact these are two separate DAC’s, noe does DSD and one PCM. Completely separate to achieve highest results. Holo Audio supports DSD natively on R2R DAC. Impressive technology resulting in excellent sound quality, benefit true capabilities of DSD. 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).

The highest grade components are used in our very popular KTE version products. This Spring2 KTE version will include an upgraded ultra premium transformer that is 100VA O-Type green label pure 4N silver. Price is significantly more due to the OCC Silver Primary and OCC silver secondary wire used in this transformer. 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 2 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.
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REVIEWS

 

STEREOPHILE

 

SPRING2 FEATURES

 

The KTE Spring2 is here! Ultimate endgame DAC. Natural Analog sound with no compromise. The Kitsune Tuned Edition Spring 2 with many improvements over the Spring1 design.

 

The KTE model will have the following specs. And many new features.Improved higher resolution display with ability to display more info at the same time such as input, OS or NOS modes and sample rates all at same time. While preserving the classic dot matrix font that the original Spring1 was known for!

 

Same chassis dimensions, same control panel and same copper/black signature look. but KTE model will have official pure copper KTE badges/emblems.

Improvements to the dac module have been made and KTE models will have hand picked modules for best performance and sound quality.

Also the USB module has completely new code written to optimize performance and reduce latency significantly. Low frequency performance (-40db) is also improved when compared to the already excellent sound quality of the Spring1.

The Spring2 dac (all three models) will also support DSD1024 native and PCM 1.536M output! Also, we have worked hard to reduce the common click noise with all dacs when switching from DSD to PCM. This sound click sound has been reduced significantly with a special circuit design. However it did not bother the majority of customers with the Spring1 design. We still addressed this issue to improve with our new product.

New improved power supply circuit with high performance regulation circuit using  2xCornell Dubilier and 4XPanasonic FC. (L1 uses Vishay ERO) and Mundorf Evo Gold/Silver oil Caps (L2 and KTE models). Also found in Spring2 are Nichicon Muse and Elna Silmic II caps.

We are no longer using LVDS and are now using a custom 4way circuit that isolates each line which further improves sound quality. such as the MCLK is isolated from data line and this improves jitter spec. (This feature i’m most excited for, as many of you know that I highly recommend i2s hdmi input as being ideal connection with our dac)

Now the dac is implemented with femto clocks, and also new discrete ultra high performance voltage regulators.

The Spring L2 and KTE version of the Spring2 dac also is now with a CNC machined aluminum remote control! (L1 does not have this feature)

All OCC copper wire replaced with 1.5mm pure silver wire, all plugs on the board are removed as we feel they were acting as a bottleneck. 1.5mm Silver wire is soldered direct to the pcbs with highest grade audio solder. Silver Rhodium Faston connectors used at IEC input

note: The silver transformer takes around 6 hours due to it being made/wound by hand, it is NOT machine wound.  And is pure 99.99% silver for its primary and secondaries.

The Kitsune Tuned Edition dac requires a significant amount of labor to produce and we are trying to keep the costs down as low as possible and within reach to most passionate audio lovers. Our markup on the components for KTE dac are very low. We build these Dacs due to our prime motivation being passion for audio. We are accepting orders now, and will produce them with estimate of about 4.5 weeks production time and will adjust as orders come in.

 

LEVEL 1

 

(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, copper wiring. Considered the base model however packs a mean punch for price per dollar performance ratio. (no remote control in this version)

LEVEL 2

(With Mundorf Evo SilverGold Oil 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. ) This is a popular option for those who want a little more out of their dac with improvement of sound from the cap.

CNC machined aluminum remote control included as well.

INPUTS (Digital)

 

USB*

RCA coaxial

BNC coaxial

AES/EBU

Toslink

I2S (LVDS HDMI)*

 

*USB supports Linux; MAC and Windows (7,8 10, 2012)

*HDMI LVDS Compatible with  Singxer SU-2 / SU-6 and Pink Faun I2S Bridge

Outputs (Analogue)

 

RCA single-ended

XLR balanced

 

You may be asking… well what is so special about this DAC? A Discrete R2R DAC with linear compensation…what is this?

 

There’s an additional R2R ladder in the Spring 2 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 HoloAudio. KitsuneHiFi is also Holo Audio USA and proud to bring you this DAC.

Spring DAC configuration options

 

NOS mode, without oversampling, the original data directly to the analog conversion. NOS can avoid these problems because digital oversampling can produce time-domain distortions such as ringing effects. NOS will usually have a significant impact on other performance indicators, but the spring design can make the NOS mode also maintain a good performance indicators.

 

OS mode, make PCM oversampling to reach a higher frequency PCM, the DSD oversampling to a higher frequency DSD, and then digital analog conversion. OS PCM mode, whether it is PCM input or DSD input, will be oversampled to PCM mode for digital analog conversion

OS DSD mode, whether PCM input or DSD input, will be oversampled to DSD mode for digital analog conversion.

 

Digital input interface, including, USB (ground isolation), RCA, BNC, AES, optical fiber, HDMI interface, I2S. All digital input interfaces support DSD (DOP mode). Spring analog output interface for the single-ended and balanced each group.

Sound Quality

 

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.

 

NATIVE DSD

 

DSD is natively supported for the first time on this R2R Discrete DAC

 

HOLO Audio is the world’s first to support DSD natively on R2R 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).

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.

SPECIFICATIONS

 

Dimensions: 430 mm (W) * 300 mm (L) * 55 mm (H)

 

Weight: 8.5 kg

 

Power: ~230 V

 

Includes aluminium remote control

 

Does not include power cord, printed manuals

WARRANTY

 

3 years warranty, both parts and labor, cover one way shipping (return shipping once product is confirmed a warranty claim).