Holo Audio: one of the best dacs ever? J Atkinson, H Reichert, S Deckert, M Lavorgna, GoldenSound, D Abramson and the Stereophile reviewers think so. Stereophile A+ and POY 2020

I also leave my May KTE on 24/7 and cycle power on the entire system every 2-3 weeks. I follow the practice of digital always powered on, analog powered off when not being used.


I follow that practice as well with the exception of my analog Decware ZROCK2 which is designed to remain on continuously.

Just adding my $0.02 - I think the best DAC ever is the one you are listening to.

I’ve only had 4 - 5! DACs (actually that isn’t true - I must have had a DAC in every single CD player I’ve owned - but you get the point - I did forget 2 - 3! though…).
My first was a Hugo2 fed by RPi 4 running Squeezelite and PcP, then Hugo 2go. I got a Graham Slee Bitzie 2nd hand but I can’t remember if that was before the Hugo2 (just BC - Before Covid - not me, but things are a little hazy on recollection - must have been first though) .
The next was built into the HiFi Rose RS150B and that’s in my main system. I like it for its sound and convenience, but the Hugo2 is a great DAC and it’s on my BHK pre amp and Cyrus 300x’s
The other two are a Dragonfly Red , which my son now has, and the final one a Dragonfly Cobalt, which is now fed by the Pi (or PC) into AE1 actives.
I can’t comment on the Holo May, I always lusted after a DAVE but went down the ROSE path to reduce the number of boxes. I’m sure I will get sucked in to the latest and greatest, but for now I’m really happy with the sound I get from my PST into Rose via AES and out to Mcintosh C70 etc etc.

I sort of forgot the punchline, which was that I was very pleased with each of those DACs - until I heard the next one. However, all of them are still here (even the ones in the CD players…)

Dusting off this old thread to hear if any Holo Audio May owners have had an opportunity to compare it against the new DS Mk2?


Would also like to hear this!!

There is a single post I have seen comparing the Spring 3 KTE to the MK2:

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I just ordered a mint Holo Red from Canuck audio mart… will be here in the next few days. Looking forward to trying it out with my PS Audio Directstream DAC Mk1 (until the Mk2 gets here that is)


Look forward to learning of your impressions of the new acquisition.

Make sure to read through the manual before it gets there. Vince and I both posted links to it. If you’re using Roon should be simple it seems.

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I also had a Holo Spring 3 KTE ($4500) ,Direct Stream Dac, RME Adi2 FS. There is no comparison….The Mk2 is better in every respect


Still wondering if anyone out there has compared the Holo Audio May to the Mk2 yet?

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After the job they did on the recent review of the mk2 DAC, I couldn’t care less about their opinion. They took the ASR route instead of using their ears!

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This link is to just part of JA’s LISTENING comments that you claim he didn’t do.

He broke his own rule and measured before he listened. He than used his pre conceived notions to distort what he was hearing. Kind of like a woman taking out a ruler before she gets it on!


I went from holo may kte to the mk2.

The holo does everything right, sounstage, bass, detail, etc.

Mk2 is more engaging. I don’t hear any deficiencies, or this whole noise issue. My streamer got an update last night, and i could just not tear myself away.

I won’t be going back to the KTE.


Which streamer are you using with the Mk2?

Taiko extreme

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That’s a fantastic setup.

I have been learning to take most care with the source. My biggest jumps in enjoyment of my system have come from improvements in streamer/server and DAC. Granted I haven’t tried an equivalently priced amp, but feel that returns there diminish more quickly. Happy to be proved wrong in my set up in the future of course!

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I completely agree on the importance of the quality of the source. Once you have your speakers and amplifier at a decent level of quality the sources are where it’s at.

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