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  1. #1
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    Holo May KTE DAC

    Hi gentlemen, does anyone have personal experience with Holo May KTE DAC?

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  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    thank you, I have read the reviews and see perhaps everyone, I would appreciate the personal experience of the owners

  5. #5
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by PavelDosko View Post
    thank you, I have read the reviews and see perhaps everyone, I would appreciate the personal experience of the owners
    Well since it came out at late 2020 and with COVID , few are out. But over on this site some have it. HOLO Audio MAY DAC - DAC - Digital to Analog Conversion - Audiophile Style

  6. #6
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Amp : DIY FirstWatt M2x mono amps
    Digital : Bricasti M12, Oppo 203
    Analog : Technics SL1200G, Boulder 508
    Speakers : Daedalus Audio Muse Studio
    Headphone : BHSE + Voce

  7. #7
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    thanks, but do you mean that Bricasti M12 is better DAC ?

  8. #8
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    I use the Kitsune HoloAudio Spring DAC in a different system/location than the Bricasti. The Spring is a great DAC, but a few years old now, and discontinued with the new DAC you are asking about.
    Amp : DIY FirstWatt M2x mono amps
    Digital : Bricasti M12, Oppo 203
    Analog : Technics SL1200G, Boulder 508
    Speakers : Daedalus Audio Muse Studio
    Headphone : BHSE + Voce

  9. #9

    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    I ordered one at the end of January as well as a Rockna Wavedream balanced to hopefully replace my PS Audio Directstream and Luxman DA-06 from 2014. I will let you know my findings after they get here. Hopefully it won't take too long...
    Main System: Audience AR6-TS -> PS Audio Directstream DAC -> BAT VK-52SE -> BAT VK-655SE -> Revel Salon 2's (Thanks MDP!)

  10. #10

    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    So the Holo came about 2 weeks ago and the Rockna Wavedream Balanced came today. Further impressions incoming. I have been listening to the Holo in my desktop system (Luxman LX-550A2 and Harbeth P3ESR) and just moved it to my main system today (BAT VK-655Se, BAT VK-52Se, Revel Salon2) after a couple weeks break in. My intention was to put the Rockna in the main system and Holo May in the desktop system. I am also planning to order the Rockna Wavedream NET for the main system but have not yet. So far, The Holo May is the best thing I have ever heard.

  11. #11
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Great to here Clint as mine should be here any day and looking forward to the comparison with the Aqua which beat out the DS Sr.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Nuprime CDT-8, Auralic Aries G1, Holo May KTE, Supratek Chardonnay, Kinki Studio EX-M7, 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, Teac NT505, 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 III, Auralic Aries G1, Aqua La Voce S3, Don Sachs Model 2, Van Alstine Vision SET 400, Rosso Fiorentino Volterra 2, (2) RSL Speedwoofers, iFi Audio Power Station, Wireworod IC's, Triode Wire Lab SC, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Furutech NCF Clear Line.

  12. #12
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Great news Clint! Can’t wait to read more about it.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Mine showed up Friday afternoon and while it sounds pretty good right out of the box looking forward to the improvements that the recommended 500 hours break in brings. Knocking the Aqua out of the main system won't be an easy task.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Nuprime CDT-8, Auralic Aries G1, Holo May KTE, Supratek Chardonnay, Kinki Studio EX-M7, 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, Teac NT505, 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 III, Auralic Aries G1, Aqua La Voce S3, Don Sachs Model 2, Van Alstine Vision SET 400, Rosso Fiorentino Volterra 2, (2) RSL Speedwoofers, iFi Audio Power Station, Wireworod IC's, Triode Wire Lab SC, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Furutech NCF Clear Line.

  14. #14
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Mine showed up Friday afternoon and while it sounds pretty good right out of the box looking forward to the improvements that the recommended 500 hours break in brings. Knocking the Aqua out of the main system won't be an easy task.
    Hi Jack, how do you like the Holo DAC compared to the Aqua? I need a replacement for my Luxman DA-06. I have considered the Aqua DAC and a few others.
    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.

  15. #15
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Hey Larry

    I my system the Holo May KTE has succeeded in replacing the La Voce S3 in the Main system. The difference is not huge but it was there even early on but even more so after the 21 days of 24/7 in the office system using and old OPPO DVD player. The May still has that same neutral to slightly warm feel of the Aqua but just a bit more on each end of the frequency extremes. I would suspect that the separate 20+ power supply has a lot to do with it. You really can't go wrong with either one and I could happily live with either. I just moved the Aqua to the main system in Greenville pair with the Don Sachs and the SET 400.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Nuprime CDT-8, Auralic Aries G1, Holo May KTE, Supratek Chardonnay, Kinki Studio EX-M7, 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, Teac NT505, 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 III, Auralic Aries G1, Aqua La Voce S3, Don Sachs Model 2, Van Alstine Vision SET 400, Rosso Fiorentino Volterra 2, (2) RSL Speedwoofers, iFi Audio Power Station, Wireworod IC's, Triode Wire Lab SC, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Furutech NCF Clear Line.

  16. #16
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechnutt View Post
    Hi Jack, how do you like the Holo DAC compared to the Aqua? I need a replacement for my Luxman DA-06. I have considered the Aqua DAC and a few others.
    Take a look at the Aqua La Scala. My fave under $10k


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  17. #17
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Take a look at the Aqua La Scala. My fave under $10k


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    I actually heard the La Scala at your place when I flew out to listen to the Fyne 702's. It was a great sounding DAC. Aqua is on my short list. A local friend of mine and a poster on this forum just bought a Holo Spring 3 KTE DAC so I will get to hear it in about 1 month when it arrives.
    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.

  18. #18
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Larry

    From what I have been able to tell from the posts about the Spring 3 it should sound very similar with the big difference being the separate power supply. I almost bought a Spring 3 before Tim had to raise the prices just to compare them but ultimately decided against it.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Nuprime CDT-8, Auralic Aries G1, Holo May KTE, Supratek Chardonnay, Kinki Studio EX-M7, 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, Teac NT505, 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 III, Auralic Aries G1, Aqua La Voce S3, Don Sachs Model 2, Van Alstine Vision SET 400, Rosso Fiorentino Volterra 2, (2) RSL Speedwoofers, iFi Audio Power Station, Wireworod IC's, Triode Wire Lab SC, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Furutech NCF Clear Line.

  19. #19
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    The Holo May KTE DAC is an interesting-looking DAC. Not in the market for a DAC as my current DAC the "Aqua La Voce S3" hits all the buttons for me just right! Thanks to Mike for a DEMO in his store.
    George
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  20. #20

    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    I have a Holo May KTE on loan from a friend; been using it to burn it in for him. It's quite a nice-sounding DAC. It's presently what I would classify it as cooler and brighter-sounding than my Lampizator Baltic-3 DAC. Presently, the Lampi is more three-dimensional and more organic-sounding. I'd say they're equally quiet and transparent. We'll see how the Holo May evolves as it gets more hours on it. My understanding is it needs 500 hours, minimally to burn in.

  21. #21

    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    I have a Holo Audio May KTE. I ordered it in Feb, received it in April. My experience pretty much echos the reviews. It takes several WEEKS of running to stabilize/burn-in, and over that time the sound signature definitely changes. By about 400 hours (2 weeks) there were no more bad trends as there were early in the burn in cycle, instead it continued to get better little by little. By 1000 hours I no longer heard any changes, and the changes were pretty subtle improvements between 400 hrs and 1000 hrs.

    It is an outstanding DAC. I can't see replacing it until it dies. I've tried different inputs, but USB through Intona cables and galvanic isolator is how I listen mostly. I bought a D.BOB box that allows me to stream SACD from my Oppo 105 to the DAC via HDMI cable to the D.BOB and then a coax to the DAC and there is a BIG difference in the sound through the DAC than native Oppo analog out (and I always thought the Oppo was pretty decent).

  22. #22

    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by ACHiPo View Post
    I have a Holo Audio May KTE. I ordered it in Feb, received it in April. My experience pretty much echos the reviews. It takes several WEEKS of running to stabilize/burn-in, and over that time the sound signature definitely changes. By about 400 hours (2 weeks) there were no more bad trends as there were early in the burn in cycle, instead it continued to get better little by little. By 1000 hours I no longer heard any changes, and the changes were pretty subtle improvements between 400 hrs and 1000 hrs.

    It is an outstanding DAC. I can't see replacing it until it dies. I've tried different inputs, but USB through Intona cables and galvanic isolator is how I listen mostly. I bought a D.BOB box that allows me to stream SACD from my Oppo 105 to the DAC via HDMI cable to the D.BOB and then a coax to the DAC and there is a BIG difference in the sound through the DAC than native Oppo analog out (and I always thought the Oppo was pretty decent).
    Thanks, Evan. Cheers, mate.

  23. #23

    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Thanks, Evan. Cheers, mate.
    Stephen,
    I didn't see your response when I posted mine, but it will be interesting to track your progress. I should have had a friend burn in my new amps for me! Are you running the May 24/7?

    Let me know if you want to stop by sometime for a listening session.
    Evan

  24. #24

    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by ACHiPo View Post
    Stephen,
    I didn't see your response when I posted mine, but it will be interesting to track your progress. I should have had a friend burn in my new amps for me! Are you running the May 24/7?

    Let me know if you want to stop by sometime for a listening session.
    Evan
    No...not yet. I've just re-connected it again to get some more hours on it. I went back to my Lampi B3 for a bit.

  25. #25
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Take a look at the Aqua La Scala. My fave under $10k


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Mike, Aqua La Scala Optologic MKII ?

    Anyone knows how it compares to Lampi sound ?

  26. #26
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Hey Larry

    I my system the Holo May KTE has succeeded in replacing the La Voce S3 in the Main system. The difference is not huge but it was there even early on but even more so after the 21 days of 24/7 in the office system using and old OPPO DVD player. The May still has that same neutral to slightly warm feel of the Aqua but just a bit more on each end of the frequency extremes. I would suspect that the separate 20+ power supply has a lot to do with it. You really can't go wrong with either one and I could happily live with either. I just moved the Aqua to the main system in Greenville pair with the Don Sachs and the SET 400.

    The May KTE has been swept with accolades all over the place. Seems like a great R2R DAC, especially if you are using the NOS mode and up-sampling in HQP. Most folks seems to prefer it on PCM than DSD and up-sampling to 1536k.

  27. #27
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    I have a Holo May KTE on loan from a friend; been using it to burn it in for him. It's quite a nice-sounding DAC. It's presently what I would classify it as cooler and brighter-sounding than my Lampizator Baltic-3 DAC. Presently, the Lampi is more three-dimensional and more organic-sounding. I'd say they're equally quiet and transparent. We'll see how the Holo May evolves as it gets more hours on it. My understanding is it needs 500 hours, minimally to burn in.
    Curious to know what you think compared to the B3 after the May has completely run in for 500hrs. Is there a way you can feed upsampled stream to May ? From what read, the DAC seems to sound best in NOS and upsampled HQP 1536k pcm.

  28. #28

    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Devg View Post
    Curious to know what you think compared to the B3 after the May has completely run in for 500hrs. Is there a way you can feed upsampled stream to May ? From what read, the DAC seems to sound best in NOS and upsampled HQP 1536k pcm.
    Not that I know of, Dev. All my content is either Redbook, 24/96, 24/192 or DSD.

    I stream from Roon, so not sure how I would upsample to the May DAC.

    It's sounding quite nice, but is still in the throes of being burned in, as it sounds better some days than others. It was fairly bright and zingy when it was first fired up, straight out of the box.

    Still prefer my Lampizator Baltic-3 DAC, if I were to compare....at least at this point, as the May DAC probably only has 100 hours or so on it.

    Cheers.

  29. #29

    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    May DAC probably only has 100 hours or so on it.
    Just keep burning it in. Post an update after 500 hours. I predict there will be a change in your opinion, but then I haven't heard the Lampizator only rave reviews of its performance.

  30. #30
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Not that I know of, Dev. All my content is either Redbook, 24/96, 24/192 or DSD.

    I stream from Roon, so not sure how I would upsample to the May DAC.

    It's sounding quite nice, but is still in the throes of being burned in, as it sounds better some days than others. It was fairly bright and zingy when it was first fired up, straight out of the box.

    Still prefer my Lampizator Baltic-3 DAC, if I were to compare....at least at this point, as the May DAC probably only has 100 hours or so on it.

    Cheers.
    I have lifetime Roon, but it wasn't totally amazing.
    Now I use Audirvana Studio, upsampled to 1.5MHz in the Mac Mini, then to the May KTE in NOS mode. This thing is the real deal- an astonishing DAC for the price, sounds SOOOO lovely, and often frighteningly real. This is a DAC that, IMHO, must be heard, must be heard burned-in, and must be heard in NOS.
    Enjoy

  31. #31

    Cool Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by ICUToo View Post
    I have lifetime Roon, but it wasn't totally amazing.
    Now I use Audirvana Studio, upsampled to 1.5MHz in the Mac Mini, then to the May KTE in NOS mode. This thing is the real deal- an astonishing DAC for the price, sounds SOOOO lovely, and often frighteningly real. This is a DAC that, IMHO, must be heard, must be heard burned-in, and must be heard in NOS.
    Enjoy
    Good to know. I'll have to put it back into the system again, soon. Been listening to the Lampizator Baltic 3 of late.

  32. #32
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    If you've got an old CD/DVD player laying around along with anything with analog inputs ( I used an old preamp unplugged) put in a disc on repeat and just let it build up hours.
    After listening to mine out of the box for a couple of days I put it in a spare room with that setup and just let it play for 21 days. While it while never sound like the all tube Lampi it will smooth out. I also own the all tube Musical Paradise DAC and they are just different so for you it will come down to your personal preference. I enjoy both for different reasons.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Nuprime CDT-8, Auralic Aries G1, Holo May KTE, Supratek Chardonnay, Kinki Studio EX-M7, 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, Teac NT505, 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 III, Auralic Aries G1, Aqua La Voce S3, Don Sachs Model 2, Van Alstine Vision SET 400, Rosso Fiorentino Volterra 2, (2) RSL Speedwoofers, iFi Audio Power Station, Wireworod IC's, Triode Wire Lab SC, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Furutech NCF Clear Line.

  33. #33
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by ICUToo View Post
    Now I use Audirvana Studio, upsampled to 1.5MHz in the Mac Mini, then to the May KTE in NOS mode. This thing is the real deal- an astonishing DAC for the price, sounds SOOOO lovely, and often frighteningly real. This is a DAC that, IMHO, must be heard, must be heard burned-in, and must be heard in NOS.
    Enjoy
    Can you tell me a bit more about your Mac mini setup? RAM? Disk space? M1 or Intel-based? I'm considering this very combo for myself (+Holo May KTE) and was more curious as to the hardware side of things. Any problems or irritations using the Audirvana remote app to control the mini?

    Thanks!
    Electronics: Pass Labs XP-22, Pass Labs X250.8
    Digital: OPPO UDP-205, Auralic Aries G1, Bryston BDA-3
    Analog: Pro-Ject X2 w/ Ortofon 2M Black, iFi iPhono3
    Speakers: Janszen Audio Valentina P8, SVS SB13-Ultra
    Other: David Laboga Custom Audio/Shunyata/Audioquest cabling, Panamax power conditioner

  34. #34
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by tino27 View Post
    Can you tell me a bit more about your Mac mini setup? RAM? Disk space? M1 or Intel-based? I'm considering this very combo for myself (+Holo May KTE) and was more curious as to the hardware side of things. Any problems or irritations using the Audirvana remote app to control the mini? Thanks!
    Hi, tino27.
    My Mac is an Intel one, from 2019. Only has limited RAM (16Gb) but nothing on the internal hard disk except a few apps- music is streamed or on an external 1Tb hard drive.
    Audirvana is a buggy program, occasionally slow or clunky, but the sound is fabulous.
    Strangely, it actually works BETTER when I control it from my iPhone using their remote app
    Even on my older Mac, processing power doesn't appear to be the living factor- seems to upsample to 1.5MHz for PCM with no trouble at all- the Audirvana app indicates it's only using 10-15% of the CPU ability.
    So I am pretty happy.
    I'm afraid I haven't tried any other streaming solutions (eg Auralia, etc) so can't compare for you.
    I'm really enjoying the music- it has a new quality I've never experienced from digital before- it's very relaxing!
    Have a great time deciding on your stuff, and then playing
    all the best
    Last edited by ICUToo; November 9, 2021 at 07:45 PM. Reason: speling

  35. #35
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint View Post
    So the Holo came about 2 weeks ago and the Rockna Wavedream Balanced came today. Further impressions incoming. I have been listening to the Holo in my desktop system (Luxman LX-550A2 and Harbeth P3ESR) and just moved it to my main system today (BAT VK-655Se, BAT VK-52Se, Revel Salon2) after a couple weeks break in. My intention was to put the Rockna in the main system and Holo May in the desktop system. I am also planning to order the Rockna Wavedream NET for the main system but have not yet. So far, The Holo May is the best thing I have ever heard.
    Any updates Clint? I've been using a Luxman DA-06 DAC for a few years and just ordered the KTE May DAC last week. Love to hear a comparison now that your May should be broken in. Only 5-6 weeks to wait (not including shipping time), ouch!

    -Greg

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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Welcome to the forum Greg!
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinid View Post
    Welcome to the forum Greg!
    Thanks Joe!

    -Greg

  38. #38

    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    I'm going to put the Holo May KTE I have here back into the system tomorrow, and get some more hours racked up on it. Been listening to the Lampi B3 recently as I was finishing up a review.

  39. #39

    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Well, I just put the Holo May KTE back into the system. I'll start tracking hours on it in with an Elapsed time app and an Excel spreadsheet as it's my understanding that it needs 300-400 hours or more to fully come into it's own. I'd estimate this one has 30-40 hours of play on it. It's presently being "fed" by an Aurender N20, no slouch on the streamer/server end of things.

    My impressions upon listening to it once again are consistent with my first experiences: is that it's a nice DAC. It's neutral, quiet, and nicely detailed with a nice, neutral and accurate tonal balance.

    Compared to my Lampizator Baltic 3, though, it sounds "thin and 2-dimensional". The Lampi puts more "meat on the bone" in the presentation, it's notably more three-dimensional and more fully "fleshed out", as well as being much more open, expansive, with a much wider and deeper soundstage. The DAC the Holo May KTE reminds me most of is my old Schiit Gungnir Multibit with Gen 5 USB, actually.

    At this point, at least for me, the Lampizator Baltic 3 is notably more "engaging and involving" to listen to; it draws me into the presentation. This is completely concordant with my first set of comparisons, back when I first got the Holo May in-house.

    We'll see if the Holo May KTE will improve as it gets more and more hours on it toward its target burn-in requirements, so stay tuned.

  40. #40

    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Well, I just put the Holo May KTE back into the system. I'll start tracking hours on it in with an Elapsed time app and an Excel spreadsheet as it's my understanding that it needs 300-400 hours or more to fully come into it's own. I'd estimate this one has 30-40 hours of play on it. It's presently being "fed" by an Aurender N20, no slouch on the streamer/server end of things.

    My impressions upon listening to it once again are consistent with my first experiences: is that it's a nice DAC. It's neutral, quiet, and nicely detailed with a nice, neutral and accurate tonal balance.

    Compared to my Lampizator Baltic 3, though, it sounds "thin and 2-dimensional". The Lampi puts more "meat on the bone" in the presentation, it's notably more three-dimensional and more fully "fleshed out", as well as being much more open, expansive, with a much wider and deeper soundstage. The DAC the Holo May KTE reminds me most of is my old Schiit Gungnir Multibit with Gen 5 USB, actually.

    At this point, at least for me, the Lampizator Baltic 3 is notably more "engaging and involving" to listen to; it draws me into the presentation. This is completely concordant with my first set of comparisons, back when I first got the Holo May in-house.

    We'll see if the Holo May KTE will improve as it gets more and more hours on it toward its target burn-in requirements, so stay tuned.
    Wow 50 hours is nothing on that DAC. The first 100 hours are all over the place (and much of the time not a good place). You should really figure out a way to run it 24/7 (ok possibly powering down and back up every couple days, but generally run it) with the input and OS you plan to use (its USB NOS is outstanding). At 300 hours it starts to consistently get better. I didn't notice much improvement over 500 hours, but it did seem to get a little better linearly from 300 to 500 hours.

  41. #41
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    The mid priced DAC market is as volatile as ever. It seems like it is always a hopscotch game of who can market over last months model. My advice is whatever DAC you are looking for don’t buy it unless you can hear it in your system first. Reading reviews and forums is like searching through the Amazon rainforest for a single usb cable. I had the first Holo May Kitsune edition DAC and it sounded great and had impeccable build quality (thanks China) but there are so many others that are as good with maybe a slightly different “flavor” of sound. Buy what you LIKE the sound of and don’t get wrapped up in the hype.
    Marty

  42. #42
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Marty - was this Halo DAC neutral sounding? If so, there’s lots out there for sure.


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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Mike it has been several years and a completely different listening space so from what I can remember it was a pleasant sounding DAC. At the time I had a T&A DAC 8, Schiit Yggydrasil, etc. and ended up keeping an original Terminator. They all could have easily been the “one”.

    The issue I see with “import” DACs that are only available by order is there is no home demo unless you have a local friend you could borrow it or at least go listen to their system. On the other hand the costs are lower and resell may not be as big of a financial hit if you happen to not like the sound.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Marty - was this Halo DAC neutral sounding? If so, there’s lots out there for sure.


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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Perfect example of what you get as you climb the DAC ladder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Well, I just put the Holo May KTE back into the system. I'll start tracking hours on it in with an Elapsed time app and an Excel spreadsheet as it's my understanding that it needs 300-400 hours or more to fully come into it's own. I'd estimate this one has 30-40 hours of play on it. It's presently being "fed" by an Aurender N20, no slouch on the streamer/server end of things.

    My impressions upon listening to it once again are consistent with my first experiences: is that it's a nice DAC. It's neutral, quiet, and nicely detailed with a nice, neutral and accurate tonal balance.

    Compared to my Lampizator Baltic 3, though, it sounds "thin and 2-dimensional". The Lampi puts more "meat on the bone" in the presentation, it's notably more three-dimensional and more fully "fleshed out", as well as being much more open, expansive, with a much wider and deeper soundstage. The DAC the Holo May KTE reminds me most of is my old Schiit Gungnir Multibit with Gen 5 USB, actually.

    At this point, at least for me, the Lampizator Baltic 3 is notably more "engaging and involving" to listen to; it draws me into the presentation. This is completely concordant with my first set of comparisons, back when I first got the Holo May in-house.

    We'll see if the Holo May KTE will improve as it gets more and more hours on it toward its target burn-in requirements, so stay tuned.
    Marty

  45. #45
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by nc42acc View Post
    Perfect example of what you get as you climb the DAC ladder.
    Yup. Those who claim these here-today-gone-tomorrow DAC’s are giant killers have not truly experienced really great DAC’s.

    Years ago, these DAC’s would come and go and folks desperate for something better than the nasties we had would buy, try and sell, but today, most people stick to the tried and true brands like Chord, MSB, DCS, Esoteric, NAIM, Berk, etc. Companies with Engineering “departments” and not “a guy”.

    Meanwhile, over in weirdo NAIM land, I get my two 555 PSU’s today and my 500 amp tomorrow (an early Christmas present). For anyone interested, here is a white paper on my new NAIM DAC/streamer. I’ll be using its SPDIF input and an Aurender N20. It’s chip is so old, I wonder if it classifies as “vintage”. Holo May KTE DAC

    https://www.naimaudio.com/sites/defa...%20Final_0.pdf


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  46. #46
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Congrats on your Christmas gift from Naim! The PCM1704 is a tried and true classic DAC chip. I think the implementation before and after the said DAC chip makes the difference between good and great. And when all those crazy Naim cables are connected and you can sit for hours and have enjoyed the music experience you made the right choice.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Yup. Those who claim these here-today-gone-tomorrow DAC’s are giant killers have not truly experienced really great DAC’s.

    Years ago, these DAC’s would come and go and folks desperate for something better than the nasties we had would buy, try and sell, but today, most people stick to the tried and true brands like Chord, MSB, DCS, Esoteric, NAIM, Berk, etc. Companies with Engineering “departments” and not “a guy”.

    Meanwhile, over in weirdo NAIM land, I get my two 555 PSU’s today and my 500 amp tomorrow (an early Christmas present). For anyone interested, here is a white paper on my new NAIM DAC/streamer. I’ll be using its SPDIF input and an Aurender N20. It’s chip is so old, I wonder if it classifies as “vintage”. Holo May KTE DAC

    https://www.naimaudio.com/sites/defa...%20Final_0.pdf


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Marty

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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by nc42acc View Post
    Congrats on your Christmas gift from Naim! The PCM1704 is a tried and true classic DAC chip. I think the implementation before and after the said DAC chip makes the difference between good and great. And when all those crazy Naim cables are connected and you can sit for hours and have enjoyed the music experience you made the right choice.
    True. It’s a rare old bird. As for the crazy NAIM cables, you said it!


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  48. #48
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    I wanted to comment on your engineering comment. I don’t think it is a lack of engineering prowess in some of these DACs but a different mindset of the end goals.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Yup. Those who claim these here-today-gone-tomorrow DAC’s are giant killers have not truly experienced really great DAC’s.

    Years ago, these DAC’s would come and go and folks desperate for something better than the nasties we had would buy, try and sell, but today, most people stick to the tried and true brands like Chord, MSB, DCS, Esoteric, NAIM, Berk, etc. Companies with Engineering “departments” and not “a guy”.

    Meanwhile, over in weirdo NAIM land, I get my two 555 PSU’s today and my 500 amp tomorrow (an early Christmas present). For anyone interested, here is a white paper on my new NAIM DAC/streamer. I’ll be using its SPDIF input and an Aurender N20. It’s chip is so old, I wonder if it classifies as “vintage”. Holo May KTE DAC

    https://www.naimaudio.com/sites/defa...%20Final_0.pdf


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Marty

  49. #49
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by nc42acc View Post
    I wanted to comment on your engineering comment. I don’t think it is a lack of engineering prowess in some of these DACs but a different mindset of the end goals.
    Perhaps. Still, to me, a lot of these fly by nights seem like one step removed from DIY. Not to say, the blind squirrel doesn’t find a nut once in a while, but…the small DAC brand graveyard is a mighty big one. The big boys have staying power for many reasons, one of them being engineering teams, the other is no doubt marketing dollars!


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  50. #50
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    Re: Holo May KTE DAC

    So true on the one step away from a DIY project but I have seen uber expensive high end audio gear look like they just came out of someone’s basement. I will say the Holo DACs are designed well and the casework is impressive just like my Terminator Plus. There is a place for all this in the market with their own set of risks and downsides.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Perhaps. Still, to me, a lot of these fly by nights seem like one step removed from DIY. Not to say, the blind squirrel doesn’t find a nut once in a while, but…the small DAC brand graveyard is a mighty big one. The big boys have staying power for many reasons, one of them being engineering teams, the other is no doubt marketing dollars!


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