Holo Audio: one of the best dacs ever? John Atkinson, H Reichert, M Lavorgna and S Deckert think so

I tried briefly the 4 modes, and I agree with you : for badly recorded, overcooked CDs, OS DSD makes them sound smoother.
On well recorded music, I prefer NOS: more transparent, a much better feel for the recording location, in a word more like live music.

It wasn’t very scientific, I didn’t adjust the volume like John Atkinson did.

Has anyone else compared the 4 modes?

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How are things @goblue ? Wishing you well …

Things are going well. I actually headed out on vacation the day after I got the May, so I haven’t done much troubleshooting. I have been chatting with Tim at Kitsune about it but I’ve been trying to take it easy while on vacation.

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I use NOS almost exclusively. I will say the KTE trumps my old Terminator+ with Gaia DDC by a nice little bit. Great sounding DAC.


Thanks and congratulations :tada::confetti_ball::balloon::champagne:


So there is absolutely nothing wrong with my May. I ran into a bug with Roon, which was pointed out by Tim at Kitsune. To resolve the issues I had to turn it off of fixed volume then I turned it back on. Now PCM is playing at a volume level that I would think given what I had my preamp set at. I also confirmed that DSD plays at about 6 db lower than pcm.

I know some people in this thread commented about concerns getting support from a Chinese product. Even though this was the first time I contacted them I have to say that I was impressed. If your in the US you contact the distributor, which is a US based company called Kitsune. Tim sent me nearly a full page email with a bunch of troubleshooting steps and one of those steps was the resolution.

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Tim is great very knowledgeable

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Also answered every question I have ever posed to him within 24 hrs and if you e-mail him late in the evening quicker than that.

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Yes I was impressed with the support. He was sending me emails late on a Friday night.

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Regarding Transferable warranty on HOLO products. Tim at KitsTune just told me said that the warranty is transferable to the second owner.

So for Example the Spring 3 I am selling will come with the full warranty. This can just be done once.


That’s good to know, as it takes away some of the hesitancy of purchasing a new unit.

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I am curious about your first impressions about the sound.

I was out of town on vacation for a couple days and today was my longest listening session but so far it is exceeding my expectations. My most significant sonic takeaway is what I would best describe as realism. That might not be the best subjective word but the best I can describe it is when for instance there is a loud drum hit, it can startle you. It’s been a while since I had the MSB Select II demo but I do remember having the same experience when demoing that after having the DSD for some time. I would assume that has something to do with the dynamic range but I could be wrong. Another thing that is very noticeable is instrument separation, which I was surprised I could hear so easily. The DAC has been rock solid so far and no issues outside of the bug with Roon.

I’ll be able to spend more time this weekend listening but so far I will say that this is the least expensive DAC I’ve had in this system but it’s easily one of the best I’ve heard.


How many miles do you have on it so far. Most report that at 500 hours is when it really starts to break free and improvements up to 1000 hours.

I had the Spring 3 KTE with PreAmp and i had a similar experience to what you have stated.

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I’m not sure that I believe in break in but I’ve never owned a May before so I’m keeping an open mind about it. I got a week ago today and I’ve left it playing so its roughly been playing for 168 hours.

The sonic characteristics I was describing were between the May and the DSD, not between the May when I got it and now. My preamp has multiple balanced inputs and I’m able to set the volume independently on each input, so I should be able to do a level matched blind AB test between the two. This might seem kinda silly given how much better the May sounds than the DSD but I do believe in all that science stuff and I understand my audio memory is short and bias is real so it will be fun to blind test the two of them.


Hi there Clifton @waymanchen11. When do you get to borrow the May?

I am really curious about your impressions.

And also your feedback on hdmi cables. I still have my dealer’s Dragon, and I am ready to try it again based on your experience.

Also curious if the Matrix will improves things in your system like it does in mine, and if you find differences in usb cables.

Phil, what type of power cords have you tried with the May?

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It’s a bit of a long story.
When I had the DS, I had an Acoustic Systems International, Franck Tchang designed power cord from the wall to my P20. I don’t think it’s available in the US.
Most of my other PCs were WW Silver.
I upgraded the ASI with a WW Platinum Electra, and after some experimentation, used the ASI on the DS.

When I got the May, I wanted to have a fair fight, so I didn’t change anything.

So long story short, I use the ASI on the May, and the WW silvers on everything else. I should try a WW silver on the May, but the system sounds so good, I just listen to music and I don’t feel like swapping and experimenting …

What do you use?

Please give a link for your ASI power cord as I have not heard of it and am curious as that old cat.

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But I think he’s retired and the cables are no longer available, sadly.