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Holo Audio Spring 3 Questions

scriabin

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I am looking for a new DAC and reading many reviews. 99% of my listening is to classical piano music in the CD format. A grand piano has a frequency range of 27.5 Hz to 4186 Hz. The Holo Audio Spring 3 has had very good reviews. But in looking at the frequency response how would this sound good rolling off in the mid-treble? Please see below. I post on ASR because I always learn something new from the direct comments. Thank you.

Stereophile Graph:
In NOS mode a gentle rolloff begins in the mid-treble with PCM data sampled at 44.1kHz, but starts a little higher in frequency with data at 96 and 192kHz (fig.6). The surprise, however, is that in DSD mode the Holo Spring's frequency response extends no higher with 192kHz-sampled PCM data than it does with 44.1kHz data. This can be seen in fig.7, which compares the responses with 192kHz PCM data in NOS, OS, and OS PCM modes with that in DSD mode. The last rolls off sharply above 19kHz.

518HoloSpringfig06.jpg
 

DVDdoug

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There's no reason for a DAC to roll-off in the audible range (around 20kHz or higher).* I'd look for something else. Or just use your soundcard, or whatever you have. ;)

A grand piano has a frequency range of 27.5 Hz to 4186 Hz.
There are harmonics above that. I'm not sure how high the audible harmonics go but it will probably sound a little "dull" if you cut-off everything above that. (It's not cutting-off... Just attenuating a couple of dB.)

The Holo Audio Spring 3 has had very good reviews.
Does Stereophile ever give a bad review? I'd probably trust their measurements but I assume they are like most "audiophiles" and they love anything expensive. :p

* There is an absolute limit of half the sample rate so CD audio at 44.1kHz cannot go over 22,050Hz. And there is a (imperfect) low-pass "smoothing filter" that cuts-off a little below that but usually it can be flat to 20kHz. ...Then again I (and most people my age) can't hear to the "traditional" upper limit of 20kHz.
 
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Greenman

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I don’t think that 0.1-0.2 db at 10k and around 1db by 20db is going to be audible in most cases. If you are over 50 (assumption given music choice ;-) ) then you will likely have reduced acuity above 10khz in any case. Ideally try to have a listen to one and see what you think.
 

Freeway

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I don't believe those measurement are the Spring 3. It seems to be an older Spring 'Level' 3.
The Spring 3 does not have an OS mode. It is only NOS.
You might check out -
 
OP
S

scriabin

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I don’t think that 0.1-0.2 db at 10k and around 1db by 20db is going to be audible in most cases. If you are over 50 (assumption given music choice ;-) ) then you will likely have reduced acuity above 10khz in any case. Ideally try to have a listen to one and see what you think.
Thank you. I am 69 years old.
 
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scriabin

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I don't believe those measurement are the Spring 3. It seems to be an older Spring 'Level' 3.
The Spring 3 does not have an OS mode. It is only NOS.
You might check out -
The Stereophile review was 2018. Thank you for the update.
 

AweLoi

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I wonder if it is this roll off that make some people find R2R dacs less fatiguing than chip based DACs that will be flat all the way up to 20khz? Especially if you have a badly acoustically treated room.
 

Greenman

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I wonder if it is this roll off that make some people find R2R dacs less fatiguing than chip based DACs that will be flat all the way up to 20khz? Especially if you have a badly acoustically treated room.
The amount of music energy north of 10k Hz is pretty minimal, I think it tends to be pronounced lower treble (3-6k ish) that many people find fatiguing. So those regions tend to be just as flat in r2r as chip based dacs.

As for acoustically treated rooms, people that do this are pretty much by definition audiophiles, just the sort of person that does buy r2r dacs in fact.
 
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