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Thread: DAC Attack

  1. #1
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    DAC Attack

    I'm in a quandary over which DAC to add to my system. I have at present the Bryston BDA-1. I've looked at the following.

    1. Bryston BDA-3 and 3.14
    2. Denafrips Terminator
    3. Musetek Audio MH-DA005
    4. Holo Audio Spring 3

    Some of these are lightly used and some brand new, but I didn't want that to influence anybody. If anybody has present or previous experience with any of these, let me know what you thought. T
    Speakers- Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II, Amp - Pass Labs X150.5, Preamp - McIntosh C2600, Turntable - Music Hall MMF-9.3, Cartridge - Goldring Eroica LX, Phono PreAmp - Sutherland Insight, Digital Playback - Rotel RCD-1072, DAC - Bryston BDA-3, Headphones - Sennheiser HD-660S, and Drop + Dan Clark Audio Ether CX. Headphone Amp - Bryston BHA-1

  2. #2
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    Re: DAC Attack

    Jack

    I own a Spring 3 KTE and I think it is an excellent DAC. The Terminator unless you are looking at one of the older models is a higher price category with the May KTE. Another great choice if you can find one used is the Aqua La Voce S3 which I also own.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Jays CDT3 Mk3 , Auralic Aries G1, Holo May KTE, Supratek Cabernet, Kinki Studio EX-B7 monoblocks, Verity Audio Otello, (2) Rythmik F12SE, Audio Envy IC, SC & PC's, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Inakustik USB and I2S, PS Audio Stellar P3, PI Audio Uberbuss, Timbernation rack

    Family Room - Oppo UDP-203, Auralic Aries, Aqua La Voce S3, Kinki Studio EX-M1+, Nola KO, (2) Rythmik F-12G, Wireworld SC & IC's, Neotech PC's, SurgeX SA-1810

    Greenville, SC- Jays CDT2 Mk 3, Auralic Aries G1, Holo Spring 3 KTE, Supratek Chardonnay, Van Alstine Vision SET 400, Rosso Fiorentino Volterra 2, (2) RSL Speedwoofers, iFi Audio Power Station, Wireworld IC's, Inakustik USB and I2s, Triode Wire Lab SC, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Furutech NCF Clear Line.

  3. #3
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    Re: DAC Attack

    Jack, I would look at DAC's from Aqua. I got to hear the Aqua La Scala at a friends house and in my system when he brought it over. It is a very analog sounding DAC. It actually sounds like my Luxman but much better.

    Out of the DAC's that you are considering, I vote for the Bryston. If anything goes wrong with it, you will be able to get it fixed without having to send it overseas.
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

  4. #4
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    Re: DAC Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Jack

    I own a Spring 3 KTE and I think it is an excellent DAC. The Terminator unless you are looking at one of the older models is a higher price category with the May KTE. Another great choice if you can find one used is the Aqua La Voce S3 which I also own.
    I see that you have the Aqua La Voce S3. I am considering it for my next DAC. How does it compare to the Holo DAC's?

    Larry
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

  5. #5
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    Re: DAC Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechnutt View Post
    Jack, I would look at DAC's from Aqua. I got to hear the Aqua La Scala at a friends house and in my system when he brought it over. It is a very analog sounding DAC. It actually sounds like my Luxman but much better.

    Out of the DAC's that you are considering, I vote for the Bryston. If anything goes wrong with it, you will be able to get it fixed without having to send it overseas.
    I audition the Bryston tomorrow afternoon at Overture.
    Speakers- Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II, Amp - Pass Labs X150.5, Preamp - McIntosh C2600, Turntable - Music Hall MMF-9.3, Cartridge - Goldring Eroica LX, Phono PreAmp - Sutherland Insight, Digital Playback - Rotel RCD-1072, DAC - Bryston BDA-3, Headphones - Sennheiser HD-660S, and Drop + Dan Clark Audio Ether CX. Headphone Amp - Bryston BHA-1

  6. #6
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    Re: DAC Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington View Post
    I'm in a quandary over which DAC to add to my system. I have at present the Bryston BDA-1. I've looked at the following.

    1. Bryston BDA-3 and 3.14
    2. Denafrips Terminator
    3. Musetek Audio MH-DA005
    4. Holo Audio Spring 3

    Some of these are lightly used and some brand new, but I didn't want that to influence anybody. If anybody has present or previous experience with any of these, let me know what you thought. T
    I'd suggest adding the Lampizator Baltic 3 to your list. I owned one until just recently, and also have had a Holo May KTE on extended loan from a friend here for the last year and a half or so. The person I sold the Baltic 3 to is also VERY happy with it. In fact, his wife now joins him for listening sessions and says that she's never heard a system that sounds as good as his does now.

    The Holo May is a nice DAC, but it's not even close to the level of the Baltic 3. They are a "quantum jump" apart.



    The Holo May still sits idle as I now have a Lumin P1, which is also an incredible DAC. And streamer. Oh, and preamp. In fact, it's one of the finest preamps I've ever heard. (sorry, digressing now).

  7. #7
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    Re: DAC Attack

    And a quantum leap in price also. Sorry, out of my price range.
    Speakers- Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II, Amp - Pass Labs X150.5, Preamp - McIntosh C2600, Turntable - Music Hall MMF-9.3, Cartridge - Goldring Eroica LX, Phono PreAmp - Sutherland Insight, Digital Playback - Rotel RCD-1072, DAC - Bryston BDA-3, Headphones - Sennheiser HD-660S, and Drop + Dan Clark Audio Ether CX. Headphone Amp - Bryston BHA-1

  8. #8
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    Re: DAC Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington View Post
    And a quantum leap in price also. Sorry, out of my price range.
    My apologies, when I saw your reference to the Holo DAC, I thought it was the May KTE, not the Holo Spring DAC. Cheers.

  9. #9
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    Re: DAC Attack

    I also have a Holo Spring DAC (Kitsune level 3), in the system at my office (Bricasti M12 at home). I did upgrade the USB card a few years back, updated connectivity, not a sound change.

    R2R DAC. These DACs are the top of the heap in this price range, to my ears, YMMV of course.

    I had the Bryston at home, but really had issues with the controls (many small buttons, with even smaller, poorly contrasted letters. But then I am older and reading small things like that is a problem for me, not necessarily for you) These units are very feature heavy, and sound good too.
    Amp : Atma-Sphere "Class D" monoblocks
    Digital : Bricasti M12, Oppo 203
    Analog : Technics SL1200G, Boulder 508
    Speakers : Daedalus Audio Muse Studio
    Headphone : BHSE + Voce

  10. #10
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    Re: DAC Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington View Post
    And a quantum leap in price also. Sorry, out of my price range.
    A big leap in price for a lot of us.
    2chl : Pass Xa-30.5, W4S STP, Kef 201/2, KEF 140, Vapor Breeze, Lumin, VPI Classic, Manley Chinook, Bryston CD, BHA-1, HD650, HD800s, HD820's, Dan Clark 1.1, Focal Stellia, OPPO 203, 105.

  11. #11
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    Re: DAC Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechnutt View Post
    I see that you have the Aqua La Voce S3. I am considering it for my next DAC. How does it compare to the Holo DAC's?

    Larry
    I nice sounding dac in a affordable price range. And the Spring 3 KTE is pretty nice as well. A lot of satisfied owners.
    2chl : Pass Xa-30.5, W4S STP, Kef 201/2, KEF 140, Vapor Breeze, Lumin, VPI Classic, Manley Chinook, Bryston CD, BHA-1, HD650, HD800s, HD820's, Dan Clark 1.1, Focal Stellia, OPPO 203, 105.

  12. #12
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    Re: DAC Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by CPP View Post
    A big leap in price for a lot of us.
    Just to change gears a little, how do you like your Xa-30.5? When I decide to upgrade my amp, that's what I was thinking of going to.
    Last edited by Jack in Wilmington; December 9, 2022 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Type-o
    Speakers- Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II, Amp - Pass Labs X150.5, Preamp - McIntosh C2600, Turntable - Music Hall MMF-9.3, Cartridge - Goldring Eroica LX, Phono PreAmp - Sutherland Insight, Digital Playback - Rotel RCD-1072, DAC - Bryston BDA-3, Headphones - Sennheiser HD-660S, and Drop + Dan Clark Audio Ether CX. Headphone Amp - Bryston BHA-1

  13. #13
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    Re: DAC Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington View Post
    Just to change gears a little, how do you like your Xa-30.5? When I decide to upgrade my amp, that's what I was thinking of going to.
    I've had this little beast for a long time and I alternate it in its position when the cooler weather hits ( LOL) its a little heater in my office area, in the summer even with a AC vent 10 ft above it. Love the smooth sound, bass , soundstage and purity of the sonics. And the little amp pushes way above 30 watts. They can be found for around $2000-$3000. I paid $2800 for mine and sent it to Pass for a checkup just to be sure. I actually thought about going to the 30.8, but I liked the way this 30.5 worked with my W4S STP-SE Stage 2 ( which I had upgraded a few years ago) and I couldn't really see paying a chunk more for the 30.8 ( its nice though and little more refined).
    2chl : Pass Xa-30.5, W4S STP, Kef 201/2, KEF 140, Vapor Breeze, Lumin, VPI Classic, Manley Chinook, Bryston CD, BHA-1, HD650, HD800s, HD820's, Dan Clark 1.1, Focal Stellia, OPPO 203, 105.

  14. #14

    Re: DAC Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by CPP View Post
    I've had this little beast for a long time while and I alternate it in its position when the cooler weather hits ( LOL) its a little heater in my office area, in the summer even with a AC vent 10 ft above it. Love the smooth sound, bass , soundstage and purity of the sonics. And the little amp pushes way above 30 watts. They can be found for around $2000-$3000. I paid $2800 for mine and sent it to Pass for a checkup just to be sure. I actually thought about going to the 30.8, but I liked the way this 30.5 worked with my W4S STP-SE Stage 2 ( which I had upgraded a few years ago) and I couldn't really see paying a chunk more for the 30.8 ( its nice though and little more refined).
    I had both 30.5 and 30.8 at the same time few years back. In my recollection, 30.8 is more powerful sounding and 30.5 has more liquidity. I did not think 30.8 is more refined, but maybe more clear sounding. Both have a lot to like about although I moved on from them eventually as I changed speakers and needed more power.

  15. #15
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    Re: DAC Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by kzhtoo View Post
    I had both 30.5 and 30.8 at the same time few years back. In my recollection, 30.8 is more powerful sounding and 30.5 has more liquidity. I did not think 30.8 is more refined, but maybe more clear sounding. Both have a lot to like about although I moved on from them eventually as I changed speakers and needed more power.
    That was one of my concerns being that my speakers are 4.0 Ohm and a sensitivity of 86, would I need more power.
    Speakers- Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II, Amp - Pass Labs X150.5, Preamp - McIntosh C2600, Turntable - Music Hall MMF-9.3, Cartridge - Goldring Eroica LX, Phono PreAmp - Sutherland Insight, Digital Playback - Rotel RCD-1072, DAC - Bryston BDA-3, Headphones - Sennheiser HD-660S, and Drop + Dan Clark Audio Ether CX. Headphone Amp - Bryston BHA-1

  16. #16

    Re: DAC Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington View Post
    That was one of my concerns being that my speakers are 4.0 Ohm and a sensitivity of 86, would I need more power.
    At normal listening level in a normal room, should be fine. Pass amps usually put out more power than its rating. I had a very large room at that time.

  17. #17
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    Re: DAC Attack

    I feel the performance of the Holo Audio May KTE DAC. would be in the same league as a 15K+ DAC. I very much ENJOY mine!
    George
    -----------------------

    Aurender ACS10 Music Server > Holo Audio May KTE R2R Ladder DAC > Pass Labs XP-30 Preamp > Pass Labs XA160.5 Class A Mono Blocks > Martin Logan Renaissance ELS 15A Speakers

    Powered By 2X BPT 3.5 Signature Plus Ultra Isolator | Shunyata Research Hydra Triton + Typhon | Shunyata Hydra 2 Power Conditioner

  18. #18
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    Re: DAC Attack

    I ordered the Bryston BDA-3, just waiting on delivery. This was a really tough choice with many great DAC's to consider. Besides the four that I had listed, I got recommendations for some really top notch equipment that added to the search. Now when I'm in the market to upgrade I can look at some gear that I may not have had the money for now but can give serious consideration to next time. Thanks guys.
    Speakers- Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II, Amp - Pass Labs X150.5, Preamp - McIntosh C2600, Turntable - Music Hall MMF-9.3, Cartridge - Goldring Eroica LX, Phono PreAmp - Sutherland Insight, Digital Playback - Rotel RCD-1072, DAC - Bryston BDA-3, Headphones - Sennheiser HD-660S, and Drop + Dan Clark Audio Ether CX. Headphone Amp - Bryston BHA-1

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DAC Attack

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