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HoloAudio Red questions

blanc

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Hi,

I’m interested in HoloAudio Red: https://magnahifi.com/holoaudio-red-network-streamer-ddc-i2s-dsd1024/ as a streamer. This streamer only takes audio data from the Ethernet port.

Question 1: Do I need an Ethernet switch and a network hard drive if I prefer the local resources?

Question 2: How about the performance of such a network based HIFI system? As far as I know Ethernet transport doesn’t have a good real time capability.
 

MaxBuck

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Hi,

I’m interested in HoloAudio Red: https://magnahifi.com/holoaudio-red-network-streamer-ddc-i2s-dsd1024/ as a streamer. This streamer only takes audio data from the Ethernet port.

Question 1: Do I need an Ethernet switch and a network hard drive if I prefer the local resources?

Question 2: How about the performance of such a network based HIFI system? As far as I know Ethernet transport doesn’t have a good real time capability.
There are plenty of competent streamers on the market that don't have these severe limitations, so I'm in a quandary as to why you're interested in this expensive thing. I will acknowledge that Holo's products are very attractive.
 

fpitas

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Holo's products are very attractive
They are. If someone else bought it, I'd use that. I can't honestly say that about other high-end stuff.
 

Greenman

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Question 1: Do I need an Ethernet switch and a network hard drive if I prefer the local resources?

What app will you be using to play your local resources? and what local resources?, you shouldn’t need a switch just an Ethernet connection, you should then be able to play network attached resources, certainly if using something like Roon, JPLAY etc.


Question 2: How about the performance of such a network based HIFI system? As far as I know Ethernet transport doesn’t have a good real time capability.

Performance should be state of the art, Red has extremely low noise and jitter performance. I don’t know what you mean by “doesn’t have good real time capability”

why you're interested in this expensive thing.

Well it should be popular on here, it’s about the best measuring streamer available at the moment.
 

direwolf08

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On the topic of expense, I haven’t seen the measurement data, but for me personally, I would not pay $1k for a Raspberry Pi-based solution that only has digital outputs and open source streaming software implementations. Raspberry Pi4B (4GB) boards are on sale on Amazon for $68 right now. I have a couple unused ones. I could set up a streamer based on RoPieee or Moode in an hour this weekend, you could too by following a how-to guide on the Moode or Ropieee websites. The box does look nice, so it is up to you if you think the stuff they put around the RPi and avoiding the complication of DIY is worth it. But I can virtually guarantee you this $1k thing performs no better than a DIYed RPi4, or digital out from something like a cheap Wiim mini for that matter. Certainly not audibly. ( /unsolicited opinion :) )

As for your connectivity question, you will need an Ethernet cable from your router to the box as it doesn’t have Wi-Fi. Whether you need a switch in between or not is dependent on your home network set up. It doesn’t look to me like the USB input supports something like a usb stick or external HDD with music files/folders on it, so not sure what you mean by “local resources”. I do think 'local files' will have to be somewhere on your network, but maybe, since it is a Raspberry Pi, it can accept external storage and properly mount it as a local volume, rather than a network share. In that case, you will still need to connect it to your network to control it.

All typical network streamers connect to the source material either via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. I don’t know if any other way to connect them.
 
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sarieri

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If you use Async USB DAC output, I doubt you will be able to measure any difference from a pi4. Holo red is based on cm4. L7 lab measured Holo Red before. They did measure well but so will any pi4 streamer with USB async DAC.
 

Greenman

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But I can virtually guarantee you this $1k thing performs no better than a DIYed RPi4, or digital out from something like a cheap Wiim mini for that matter.
Well it demonstrably does perform better as proven by measured tests in various places. So things like galvanic isolation of interface ports, configurable I2S output and low noise Linear power supply are included, if for example you wanted to build something of similar quality yourself then just look at the PiDesign Audio shield board which is $299 just for that add on board. pi Designs Mercury Streamer is a more fair comparison and is around $800 (Without linear supply).

To what extend any of these improvements over a bog standard Pi installation is audible is system/environment dependent YMMV.
 

direwolf08

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Well it demonstrably does perform better as proven by measured tests in various places. So things like galvanic isolation of interface ports, configurable I2S output and low noise Linear power supply are included, if for example you wanted an to build something of similar quality yourself then just look at the PiDesign Audio shield board which is $299 just for that add on board. pi Designs Mercury Streamer is a more fair comparison and is around $800 (Without linear supply).

To what extend any of these improvements over a bog standard Pi installation is audible is system/environment dependent YMMV.
I looked and I only found data on GoldenSound. Didn’t find any measurement data on here. No doubt a solid set of jitter measurements, even if it is not apples to apples on how that data is taken or displayed in other places, like here on ASR. I’ll also say that the THD+N data for this streamer on GoldenSound has a higher noise floor than say, the data for Wiim Pro digital output that you can find here on ASR (which also has impressive jitter performance and costs $150). I stand by my statement that it won’t make an audible difference all else being equal, regardless of system or environment.

But hey, I am not trying to convince you not to buy one or to not love the one you’ve got. Just giving my unsolicited opinion on what I’d do with my own money. You do you, friend!
 
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Greenman

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But hey, I am not trying to convince you not to buy one or to not love the one you’ve got. Just giving my unsolicited opinion on what I’d do with my own money. You do you, friend!
Hey I have a WiiM mini, and not a Red, but I could understand why someone might want one, just explaining why it’s $1000 and not $68.
 

direwolf08

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Hey I have a WiiM mini, and not a Red, but I could understand why someone might want one, just explaining why it’s $1000 and not $68.
Ha! Me too! Then we’re in agreement that the Wiim Mini is best for ourselves, all things considered! :)
 

sarieri

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Well it demonstrably does perform better as proven by measured tests in various places. So things like galvanic isolation of interface ports, configurable I2S output and low noise Linear power supply are included, if for example you wanted to build something of similar quality yourself then just look at the PiDesign Audio shield board which is $299 just for that add on board. pi Designs Mercury Streamer is a more fair comparison and is around $800 (Without linear supply).

To what extend any of these improvements over a bog standard Pi installation is audible is system/environment dependent YMMV.
It performs well in TMMT. If using async USB output however, only thing matters for jitter is the clock of the DAC. The most expensive part of Holo red is the case. That case alone must be over $300. To get the same quality spdif/toslink output, you just need to buy a million audio raspberry transport hat (L7 lab tested that before as well), which costs about $60. An aluminum case will cost another $40. But again, the best way of using pi4 IMHO is to use it with an async DAC through its USB port.
 
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blanc

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Which DACs are async USB DACs? What about Topping ones?
 

sarieri

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Which DACs are async USB DACs? What about Topping ones?
Topping ones are all usb dacs. If you use usb port, the clock is generated by the dac. If you use spdif input, clock follows the upstream.


Edit: I don’t know anything that’s more than 5 years old… so any recent dac
 
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blanc

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OK. Maybe that’s why Topping DACs always have such a good performance regardless which streamers are used.
 
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