Holo Audio Spring 3 DAC

Curious to know if anyone has made the leap and picked up the new Holo Audio Spring 3 DAC?  Any comparisons to your old/former DAC?
Nope. Haven't heard it.

Contact the company to find out how they improved it. 
The main thing to correct would be timing issues. (in ms)


I think you’ll find, the Holo Audio "MAY" is the new kid on the block.
Stereophile said "it’s one of the best sounding and best measuring dacs they’ve ever had.

Cheers George
For $5 k the May KTE is a very good dac 
that being said I compared the  Bricasti M3 as well as the Denafrips Terminstor + I thought it was  better balanced with  instrumental textures and differences in dynamic range from start to stop, digging deeper into the recording  more accurate with the Bricasti in absolute terms, and a bit warmer balance vs neutral. Plus it uses  dual  Analog-devises 1955 Multibit dacs ,
fully Differentially balanced, excellent I preamplifier section ,
and very good Roon ready streamer board option ,
and Made in U.S.A not China .and I even  had a great tour of Bricasti  in Shirley,Ma. All made in house CNC machined Aluminum cases .a bunch of trickle down technologies from the M21 , and M1 dac ,used in many mastering studios around the world .I now have the M3 in my system and 
after 350 hours it is better then  expected which is rare .

And last month you said the Audio GD R8 Mk II was the great bargain DAC.  This month Briscati.  I guess September will have you touting something different. 
How does the Spring 3 compare to the Denafrips Pontus II? Anyone care to share?
Kw6 -  last month I said the audio gd was a very good value 
and is, in the$2k  price class ,even its best model the R7 HE  model is very good But, has older technologies IMO  that excluded me from  considering it. I Never said it was a Reference class dac !!
The Bricasti  M3 ,and especially with the optional streamer board is in  a totally different class ,and is a true high end bargain in the $6k range , with Plenty of  Excellent Reviews   to back it up.
The new Holo springs 3- the new model has a lot of May trickle down technologies and a clear step up from the pontus mk2 
That being  said it is $1200 more it-is $3k plus shipping.

and to jackd  I still stand by saying the AudioGD R8 mk2 is a very good dac  
In  the $2k range I Never compared it to anything reference class dac,
even their top R7-he  mk2 at $ 5k I personally would not consider  outdated
technologies in display,filters , and  off the shelf  drivers,which can get corrupted 
if youhave a windows computer and don’t shut off auto updates .
I sold mine to buy the Bricasti M3 and never looked back , many excellent reviews on the M3 to back  it up .
No! The giant killer MUST outperform the expensive gear! It cannot be any other way! The only truthful ones are the fanatics overstating performance!   ;)
Ok thanks Audioman58! Btw I see Gustard 126 pro nipping at the heels of the M3! Yes no?
The May DAC was a bit out of my reach financially.  But, hoping the Spring has some trickle down goodness from the May line.

Should be receiving mine later this month.
Kw6. ,sorry   About that.  I have to spell it out , Audio Gd R8 mk2, is a very good dac in the$2k group  not reference by any means , FPGA types can be are ok but not a big fan in this case,
and their off the shelf drivers can be  affected by windows updates at times, 
and Waay outdated with display and filters in operation ,same with their top 7- ht 
that’s why i sold it after our audio dac shoot out .

What about Holo Spring 3 level 1? Would that beat Pontus II? Many say Pontus II is juicy and warm with decent resolution. I never heard May or Spring but would be hate to gain resolution and have a dry lean sound.
(or @anyone else who cares to share)

Surely, you’ve heard/considered the Metrum Onyx?
Holo Spring 3 versus Onyx? which would you say wins?

I’m asking because my Metrum Octave (transformer upgrade, external Audio-GD USB to SPDIF) still sounds really nice, I’m totally into NOS, and the Onyx receives great reviews.
And yet, the Holo Spring 3 - also NOS - was just reviewed by GoldenSound (super smart guy!) and he thought it was awesome - see here:
And finally, budget in the $2k to $2.5K range (assuming I don’t rekt with my crypto!)
Impressed by your well-informed opinions on DACs!
They sold different the new Holo spring 3 ,and has several trickle down technologies 
from their kt May dac for $3100 I heard it only for a few hours and sounded very musical , the Metrum Onyx I think a bit more neutral and very detailed 
they are Both very respectable,it all depends on your speaker and amplifiers balance , and your cables can change flavor also, get a audition if possible .

Cool. Thanks for sharing audioman58! I suppose I could easily be happy with either... and yet there’s yet another NOS contender that might be worth considering - even easier to avoid any chance of buyer’s regret because it’s roughly half the price - the Musician Audio Pegasus - see here:

IMHO, NOS as the ideal finally seems to be catching up...
15 years ago I configured my PC with bit-perfect, SPDIF out, sound card to pass through lossless FLAC and WAV files to a "Valab" NOS DAC. Since then, I can’t truly enjoy music unless I know I’m listening to bit-perfect NOS playback.

Fun stuff. I'm actually old enough to remember the introduction of digital audio and the conventional wisdom and sensibility that there were no sound quality differences between CD players... that was 30 years ago!
And here we are... still continuously evolving the harware and improving the playback quality of digital audio, including music files that are now, themselves 30 years old.
Just saw the review from GoldenSound.  Very thorough and well done.

Right now I'm really enjoying the Spring 3.  Fuller midrange presentation and body.  Excellent detail and punch.  Good instrumental separation.  I also realized how quickly I go from critical listening to just relaxing and enjoying the music.  Very happy with this purchase.
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@bcaudio1 I am seriously considering the Spring 3. What are you using as a streamer and how is the build quality?


@plumptonvinyl  I'm currently using an Oppo disc player to stream from my PC using Audirvana and from Tidal/Qobuz.  I'm definitely planning on upgrading to a dedicated streamer for my next purchase.

As far as build quality on the Spring 3, it is excellent.  Well built, solid, and looks great.

@bcaudio1 Initially I was using an Oppo 105 as the DAC via streaming from a PC. Upgraded to an Oppo Sonica and the improvement was pronounced. Next a PS Audio DirectStream DAC. This was a significant upgrade in every dimension.

Now, just waiting for my Spring 3 L3/KTE to arrive. Hopefully it’s all everyone says and a bag of chips. :7)


Just received and unboxed the Spring 3 KTE. I’m 30 hours into break-in and WOW. Approaching 40 hours and it keeps getting better and better, Just keeps getting better the longer its played.

Zero smear of the stereo image. Unbelievable articulation. Lyrics are Cristal clear and the bass is outstanding with authority and felt vibrato of string bass instruments.

Cristal clear, crisp, and very musical.

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I'm just passing 320 hours with the Spring 3 KTE. Wow, other reviewers were serious this DAC keeps reviewing itself with a long burn-in period.  About 120 hours  the process seemed to go sideways a bit. Then closer to 180 hours it really started opening up again. 

The clear articulation without being overly revealing or bright is amazing.  

@dw8083 I'm not sure how many hours I have on it at this point, but it seems like it settled after about 2 to 3 weeks of use.  Really happy with the sound.


Right now I have my eye on an Innuos Zen Mk3 to pair with it.

The analog Devices 1955 DAC has a nice smoothed detailed presentation. It's a great chip however the ESS Sabre chips are better. 

I've had a Lavry Engineering DAC with the 1955 and because of my engineering connection,s an Analog Devices engineering demonstrator. Both sounded terrific. 

Also own a PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC and OPPO Sonica with the ESS Sabre implementation.  The ESS Sabre chip is generally a better Delta-Sigma foundation.

None of them hold a candle the PS Audio DirectStream DAC, and the Holo Spring 3 KTE is even better yet.  The DSD DAC's FPGA chip implementation has substantially great capability for all the crazy filtering PCM data requires.

Listening & measurements have shown the May is better but VERY narrowly on the margins. It's biggest benefit is ditching all the crazy complicated filtering since it's a 24 bit R2R DAC. Talk about digging into detail and immediacy of presentation!

If you're buying a Spring 3, only get the KTE version with it's hand selected DAC module and USB interface from the MAY. Also the built on preamp option is terrific as the max gain is only 6 db, enough to compensate for the 6db drop of DSD over PCM specification. 


Haven't heard these DACs, but based on the number of threads asking for comparisons between the Spring 3 and the May, if you're one of those people who will buy the Spring for price and then constantly flog yourself thinking how much better the May would have been - bite the bullet and get the May. It ends up cheaper and better for your mental health.  This doesn't happen with brands like Bricasti, where the increments are 5k and 10k, but here you have a $2500 difference, assuming you go for the top-end May.  I think the better comparison may be the Spring vs. the level 1 or 2 May.  I think that's why I haven't seen anyone with the L-1 or L-2 May dacs.  The owners knew that they would be beating themselves up because the KTE is better. Think about what kind of person you are before buying.  

Has anyone bought the Spring 3 in its level 1 or level 2 implementation? Pretty happy with a Metrum Octave DAC/ Audiowise SRC-DX DDC combination but its treble resolution is not the cleanest, thinking that even the Spring 3 level 1 would be a substantial upgrade?