Hello, curious on everyone’s thoughts. I’m still building my system. I came across a really good deal on a Meitner MA3 dac. It’s from an authorized dealer and they offered to sell me one NIB for 7k. I have read and read about dacs and I am getting tired. Haha. I really like the Denafrips Terminator 2, Holo and the lumin T3 being the cheapest of them all. Once I factor in a streamer I am already close or over the 7k. Also I don’t need a dac for anything other then just streaming. Thank you 



The deal of a lifetime only comes along once a week.

The Holo May DAC is cheaper and considered better.

The DAC is what makes the streamer sound good.


I am with @ghdprentice on this one. The MA3 is decent enough but still requires you to source an external device to run ROON core. Which is another whole bag of tricks you need to put together in order to take full advantage of MA3.

Before you finalize your DAC purchase, narrow down your options for streamer or server. These two components must take full advantage of tech on board (USB or SPDIF connectivity) and superiority of Internal clocks in either DAC or Streamer.

And lastly, based on the quality of your streamer/server; network optimization would be the next step to fully realize the potential of digital streaming.

“The Holo May DAC is cheaper and considered better.”

In sum-- a shocker-- the NOS R2R DAC is sounding more and more like... an excellent NOS R2R DAC. The KTE May is a bit warmer and more spacious all around. In contrast, immediately apparent upon switching is the slightly more lit up sound of the MA3.


It presents to my ear as more detailed and thus less ’homogeneous’ with instrumental sections/groups and the textures their instruments produce. Specifically, there seems to be more overall instrumental texture on offer and instruments in groups seem a bit more discernible as individual players with their own air and space around them.

The MA3 also seems somewhat pacier and more micro-dynamic. It’s quite the foot tapper! Even to Bach. There seems to be more contrast between instantly softer and louder/start and stop. The MA3 is on a hair trigger with this stuff. I think some youtube reviewer calls that ’alert’ sounding.

While, as i say, the MA3 seems to separate instrumentalists on the stage a bit more and gives them their own air, the Holo seems to paint more abstractly with a bit broader brush, The MA3 also seems to have a bit more ’scale’ for me i.e. the proceedings seems slightly grander in terms of the size of the players and stage. MA3 bass seems a bit more defined and possibly a bit deeper (though my system sure wont plumb any depths).

It also does a nice thing I don’t think I’ve heard my prior DACs do to this degree (mostly NOS R2R to be fair) which is pressurization-- like the sense that the bow is digging into the strings and there’s pressure/corporeality/weight (it was striking with a great violin recording like the complete Schubert Sonatas played by Naaman Sluchin and Piet Kuijikenor) and with strings en masse like in ’Simon Rattle conducts Haydn’, on which album the lower strings -- cellos/basses-- seem with the MA3 to be moving more air than with the Holo while seeming a bit less plump and one notey as well. In other words,with the MA3, it hits you a bit more that there’s a big lot of people out there (albeit individuals) bowing away furiously.

You get this sense of weight/pressure- of air moving- with the MA3 on lots of recordings though- not just with strings.”




I have a 280D $3000.00 and a 680D $10,000.00 and you sure as heck can hear the difference. 

Buy what your ears tell you. 

@shtr74sims I recently had a conversation with someone on the MA3. The DAC is actually not bad, but the built in streamer is not great. I came across that that when I had tested it both with an external streamer and the built in one, but the person I spoke with was only using the built in one and dismissed it as if the DAC was not very good. So if you do get the unit, you may benefit from using an external streamer/server solution regardless.