• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Review and Measurements of Holo Audio Cyan DSD DAC

graz_lag

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Messages
828
Likes
608
Location
Le Mans, France
#24
A custom dac implementation? Not sure what the purpose of that is.... DAC chips themselves are pretty cheap.
I guess to show to the audiophile word you are a smart guy ...
 

pkane

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
368
Likes
273
#28
Cyan may look more or less the same if feeding it a native DSD256 test signal.
So do you think the problem with Cyan is the DoP implementation or that the square wave wasn't properly generated in DSD?
 

pkane

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
368
Likes
273
#30
Amir didn't mention it is a DSD test signal. It looks like a 44/48k signal to me.
I missed that part. So this was probably PCM converted to DSD by Cyan. That makes sense. Then the conversion looks really poor.

Holo Spring, while not doing the PCM to DSD conversion, looks nearly the same with a PCM 48k square wave as it does with DSD256.
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
17,436
Likes
14,975
Location
Seattle Area
#31
Amir didn't mention it is a DSD test signal. It looks like a 44/48k signal to me.
The test signal was a PCM one at 44.1 kHz (or was it 48k?) converted to DSD128. I didn't have time to play with a higher bandwidth one....
 

NTomokawa

Active Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
146
Likes
123
Location
Canada
#37
Too young, too simple, sometimes naive.

Seriously though, after seeing the spectacular performance of the Gustard unit, I'm having a hard time imagining how any DAC at any price can top that thing.

Now I can't wait to see the measurements of the Benchmark DAC3.
 

Miska

Active Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
110
Likes
101
#40
A custom dac implementation? Not sure what the purpose of that is.... DAC chips themselves are pretty cheap.
Because you get around some of the limitations of DAC chips and get to choose your own modulator as well. Since in modern DAC chips and also in this case (all are SDM DACs) the sound largely depends, in addition to the conversion stage itself, on the digital delta-sigma modulator.

Sure, you can do it with some DAC chips as well, like the more recent AKM ones that have DSD Direct mode, and with TI/BB chips fed with DSD.

I have this Cyan DSD and also both Spring 1 and Spring 2 DACs and running at DSD256 they sound about as neutral as the RME ADI-2 running at DSD256, with less characteristic sound than ESS Sabre which always seems to have it's own immediately recognizable characteristic flavor (and doesn't support direct DSD). The on-board AKM chip to convert PCM to DSD has surprisingly poor performance though, I would have kind of expected more from AKM.

Given selling price of these, like Holo and Chord, surprisingly they are not really more expensive than comparable chip-based designs either.
 
Top Bottom