Holo Audio Spring3 KTE DAC: Brief Consider



Are we witnessing the dying days of the standalone DAC? It is undoubtedly beginning to experience that way — a fact that was inescapable when you take into account how lots of audio factors make the most of an inside DAC in 2022.

With incredibly few exceptions, just about every single integrated amplifier bought right now arrives geared up with its very own DAC and it’s aspect of each streamer or network amplifier.

The Head-Fi revolution aided Topping and Schiit Audio go a large amount of desktop DACs that were additional economical and the Dongle DAC market is currently oversaturated.

AVRs, TVs, Roku Media Gamers, and Soundbars? There is a DAC inside all of them.

I’m old plenty of to remember a period during the 1990s when Stereophile and TAS browbeat audiophiles into believing that their digital audio setups couldn’t supply 16-bit/44.1kHz truly worth a damn if they did not possess digital separates.

A proper audiophile owned both of those a CD transport and DAC simply because audiophile CD gamers on their individual could not dig out the magic existing on individuals pricey MoFi, DCC, JVC XRCD, and Sony Mastersound CDs let by yourself the 0000s of non-audiophile good quality CDs being unveiled every single solitary year.

Increase your hand if you fell for that bullshit.

Responsible as charged. Audio Be aware, Sonic Frontiers, and Theta Digital did very perfectly when I succumbed to the energy of the mob.

The Spring3 Kitsuné Tuned Version (KTE) may not make a large amount of feeling to some with wireless speaker devices integrating some alternatively large-conclude DACs in 2022, but this could possibly be a person of the finest exterior DACs that we’ve ever listened to and that includes a few that are 10x the rate. The Spring3 KTE is an R2R Ladder DAC that supports hi-res PCM and DSD.

Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE DAC Front and Rear Views

The Holo Audio Spring3 KTE steps 16.9″W x 2.2″H x 11.8″D and weighs 18 lbs. Inside its solid situation produced from copper and black-anodized aluminum, are two totally different, thoroughly balanced converters: a 24-bit, discrete R-2R for PCM, and a discrete resistor community to manage DSD up to DSD512.

The USB and I2S inputs take PCM info up to 32-little bit/1.536MHz and DSD512, and the S/PDIF inputs up to 24/192 and DSD64. The outputs are balanced (XLR) and one-ended (RCA). The Spring3 rests on silicone-damped copper ft.

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Linked to a CD transportation or streamer, this DAC helps make new music arrive alive. If you’re pondering if it can make perception to expend this form of funds on a DAC when digital technology is evolving so swiftly, the answer is that a wonderful DAC doesn’t drop its value as a part just for the reason that a little something new arrives out. 

90% of offered digital audio is crimson reserve CD good quality (or fewer) and the 10% that qualifies as substantial-resolution electronic audio will always be supported by this DAC. 

Remote Control for Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE DAC

If streaming platforms like Tidal, Deezer, Spotify, or Qobuz are your principal sources of digital audio – the Spring3 KTE will allow for you to uncover a whole lot of good sounding new music for a long time to appear.

The timbral precision is 2nd to none, and there is a degree of resolution that you may not anticipate from a DAC that starts at $2,198 depending on the configuration (the stage one particular unit is $2,198 USD).  

A boutique on the web company, Holo Audio, is distributed by KitsuneHiFi, and even with the lengthy hold out time for supply, this is a single DAC worthy of waiting around for. The Spring3 KTE retails for $3,098 and provides songs listeners a real taste of what reference high-quality digital audio can seem like. 

The Spring3 KTE USB DAC reproduces layers of depth, and gives a heat tonal balance, low noise flooring, and wonderful leading-to-bottom coherency.

Inside the Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE DAC


I will have a good deal much more to say in January, but the Holo Audio Spring3 KTE DAC feels like the final of its kind most surely at its cost which will not make perception to those people acquiring into large-conclude electronic playback for the 1st time with desktop headphone rigs or 2.1 systems fronted by a network participant.

Connected to my Roon Nucleus, Audiolab 6000CDT, and Marantz CD60 — the Holo Audio Spring3 KTE DAC reframed how electronic audio can seem with CDs, downloads, and electronic streaming platforms.

The natural and organic mother nature of its presentation with the DAC set to NOS method, was some of the most stunning sounding electronic audio I have nevertheless to working experience and I will not get sucked into the “analog compared to digital” discussion on this one particular.

A element either provides you nearer to the musical knowledge or it fails in its purpose.

The Spring3 KTE DAC recreates the soundstage with fantastic depth and width and the imaging is location on musicians and devices are locked firmly in put.

I’ve read some a lot more incisive sounding DACs, but the more diploma of edge normally gets fatiguing and definitely doesn’t audio pretty all-natural with a good deal of recordings.

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Vocals and strings have so much existence and entire body that I felt a instead sadistic urge to torment my household with classical tunes on a nightly basis I simply cannot demonstrate why they show these types of minor fascination in Mozart, Dvorak, Shostakovich, or Stravinsky — but the Spring3 KTE had me sitting on the edge of my sofa and converging with the energy and emotional affect of the audio.

Unison Research Triode 25 Integrated Front Angle Black
Unison Research Triode 25

The Holo Audio Spring3 KTE related to the Unison Investigation Triode 25 Integrated Amplifier was one particular of the finest sounding DAC/amplifier combinations I have heard in numerous decades. At any price tag. Undeniably fascinating.

Wherever to buy: $3,098 at kitsunehifi.com

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Chord Mojo 2 Portable DAC/Headphone Amplifier Evaluation

Questyle CMA Fifteen DAC/Headphone Amplifier Review

Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M Assessment

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