Holo Audio May KTE Dac

Gjo

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2021
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Okay, good. How does it sound run that way?
Superiority of Bricasti's M3 LAN input over AES input, each fed with a Wavedream NET as Roon server is undeniable. Differences between Wavedream NET and MacMini as Roon servers to Bricasti's M3 LAN are more difficult to ascertain.
 
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audioarcher

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2012
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Seattle area
Superiority of Bricasti's M3 LAN input over AES input, each fed with a Wavedream NET as Roon server is undeniable. Differences between Wavedream NET and MacMini as Roon servers to Bricasti's M3 LAN are more difficult to ascertain.
That is interesting. The Bricasti Lan input must be very good.
 

Vangelis

Well-Known Member
Oct 11, 2011
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Has anyone tried the new Synergistic Research Purple fuse in KTE?
 

GroovySauce

Member
Nov 9, 2020
18
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Has anyone tried the new Synergistic Research Purple fuse in KTE?
I’ve tried the Audio Magic Ultimate Premier it was a more dense and rich sound vs the stock red fuse. The soundstage wasn’t as expansive.

SR Purple added a pleasant level of richness without getting thick and slow. The soundstage became more holographic.

Wasn’t an earth shaking difference. I found it to be an improvement. I prefer the Purple over the stock and Audio Magic.
 

Gjo

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2021
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A Holo Audio May KTE arrives tomorrow, so I will finally be able to hear it with the Rockna Wavedream NET.

In the meantime, I have been listening to an EMM Labs DV2 on loan from my dealer. It’s connected to the Wavedream NET via USB, which I understand is the preferred input. The DV2 is without question the finest DAC I have heard in my system. Unfortunately, it’s out of my reach.
 

ACHiPo

Well-Known Member
Feb 22, 2015
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Pleasanton, CA
A Holo Audio May KTE arrives tomorrow, so I will finally be able to hear it with the Rockna Wavedream NET.

In the meantime, I have been listening to an EMM Labs DV2 on loan from my dealer. It’s connected to the Wavedream NET via USB, which I understand is the preferred input. The DV2 is without question the finest DAC I have heard in my system. Unfortunately, it’s out of my reach.
Will be interested in hearing your opinion on the differences. Just be patient—the May needs a few weeks to sound its best.
 
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ICUToo

Member
Sep 20, 2021
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Will be interested in hearing your opinion on the differences. Just be patient—the May needs a few weeks to sound its best.
Absolutely!
This excellent excellent DAC needs:
Running in
Warning up
Isolation between DAC and power sections
Vibration control
(But I am unsure about power at this stage- whether into the wall is fine or otherwise?)
 

Vangelis

Well-Known Member
Oct 11, 2011
38
28
405
Absolutely!
This excellent excellent DAC needs:
Running in
Warning up
Isolation between DAC and power sections
Vibration control
(But I am unsure about power at this stage- whether into the wall is fine or otherwise?)
I agree, my KTE needed nearly 4 weeks of continuous music play to fully flesh out it’s refinement and it did benefit from an isolation platform. I was told the power supply does not need to be separated or (un-stacked) for best sonics. Have you found the opposite?
 

ICUToo

Member
Sep 20, 2021
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I agree, my KTE needed nearly 4 weeks of continuous music play to fully flesh out it’s refinement and it did benefit from an isolation platform. I was told the power supply does not need to be separated or (un-stacked) for best sonics. Have you found the opposite?
I also read that it made no difference, but when I separated the DAC on some damping / isolating footers (about 7cm high) from the power module I thought it sounded a little better in every way.
Quick easy cheap and worthwhile tweak to my ears.
 

ACHiPo

Well-Known Member
Feb 22, 2015
456
248
175
Pleasanton, CA
I also read that it made no difference, but when I separated the DAC on some damping / isolating footers (about 7cm high) from the power module I thought it sounded a little better in every way.
Quick easy cheap and worthwhile tweak to my ears.
Did you isolate the power supply and DAC on separate shelves? Did you install vibration isolation under the DAC, power supply, or both?
 

ICUToo

Member
Sep 20, 2021
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Sta
Did you isolate the power supply and DAC on separate shelves? Did you install vibration isolation under the DAC, power supply, or both?
Stacked up, but isolation at every level.
 

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Gjo

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2021
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I set up the May KTE DAC today with the Rockna Wavedream NET. I used the instructions I posted earlier:
** EDIT 2/17/22 - Rockna instructs to use the HD-Link2 slot, and that HD-Link2's pinout most closely matches the Holo May DAC's ALT2 pinout. So, select ALT2 pinout when using the Holo Audio May DAC with the Rockna Wavedream NET.
Those connections resulted in swapped L>R channels.

So, I connected the i2s cable to the Rockna's HD-Link1 slot instead (keeping the May DAC's ALT2 setting). The channels were then correct.

I have only played PCM files.

EDIT: Am interested in learning what May KTE inputs everyone has tried and which is preferred...and what sonic aspects cause you to prefer it.
 
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audioarcher

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2012
1,393
42
370
Seattle area
I set up the May KTE DAC today with the Rockna Wavedream NET. I used the instructions I posted earlier:

Those connections resulted in swapped L>R channels.

So, I connected the i2s cable to the Rockna's HD-Link1 slot instead (keeping the May DAC's ALT2 setting). The channels were then correct.

I have only played PCM files.

EDIT: Am interested in learning what May KTE inputs everyone has tried and which are preferred...and why.
Hi Tvad, I was using ALT3 for a little while before I realized the channels were swapped. Now using ALT2

My guess is most people use USB because it is most convenient. The USB implementation on the May is very good. I happen to like I2S through the Wavedream net more. What hdmi cable are you using in your setup?
 

audioarcher

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2012
1,393
42
370
Seattle area
I set up the May KTE DAC today with the Rockna Wavedream NET. I used the instructions I posted earlier:

Those connections resulted in swapped L>R channels.

So, I connected the i2s cable to the Rockna's HD-Link1 slot instead (keeping the May DAC's ALT2 setting). The channels were then correct.

I have only played PCM files.

EDIT: Am interested in learning what May KTE inputs everyone has tried and which is preferred...and what sonic aspects cause you to prefer it

Hi Tvad, I was using ALT3 for a little while before I realized the channels were swapped. Now using ALT2

My guess is most people use USB because it is most convenient. The USB implementation on the May is very good. I happen to like I2S through the Wavedream net more. What hdmi cable are you using in your setup?
PS. I only prefer I2S when the Wavedream Net is used as a Hqplayer NAA endpoint and not as a Roon core. I use a SonicTranporter I-9 from Small Green Computer as a Roon core that also has Hqplayer installed.

I have not tried any other I2S output device on the May so I have no idea if other I2S solutions are as good. In the past I did try a Singxer usb to I2S converter on my previous Holo Spring Dac 2, and did not prefer the Singxer I2S output over straight USB from my SonicTransporter I-9.
 

Gjo

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2021
169
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PS. I only prefer I2S when the Wavedream Net is used as a Hqplayer NAA endpoint and not as a Roon core. I use a SonicTranporter I-9 from Small Green Computer as a Roon core that also has Hqplayer installed.
I have been running Roon Core on a 2018 MacMini (i3) and Roon endpoint on the Wavedream NET for the past few weeks, although this evening I'm going to experiment with going back to running Roon Core on the Wavedream NET.

I have tried setting up HQplayer on the MacMini to use with the Wavedream NET, but it has proven to be complicated and challenging for my patience level. Although I play IT Manager at home, it's not something I desire to spend hours mastering. LOL.

Today, in the first few hours of listening to the May KTE, I have preferred USB over i2s, which is surprising.
 
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audioarcher

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2012
1,393
42
370
Seattle area
I have been running Roon Core on a 2018 MacMini (i3) and Roon endpoint on the Wavedream NET for the past few weeks, although this evening I'm going to experiment with going back to running Roon Core on the Wavedream NET.

I have tried setting up HQplayer on the MacMini to use with the Wavedream NET, but it has proven to be complicated and challenging for my patience level. Although I play IT Manager at home, it's not something I desire to spend hours mastering. LOL.

Today, in the first few hours of listening to the May KTE, I have preferred USB over i2s, which is surprising.
That is interesting. Your hdmi and/or usb cable of choice may make a difference. We both have different systems, and ears so our conclusions can, and will differ. This is why it is most important to test things for oneself in your own system ultimately.

There is very little instruction on their website for installing Hqplayer. I had it installed by SGC, before I received my server.

I have been unable to use USB out of the Wavedream Net, because when I tried it, it did not work. The instructions that come with the Wavedream do not explain exactly how to accomplish it. Did you have to contact Rockna to figure it out? Was there something special you had to do to make it work? I have been reluctant to contact Rockna, because I purchased it second hand, and also figured there may be a language barrier, if I contact them directly.
 

Gjo

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2021
169
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I have been unable to use USB out of the Wavedream Net, because when I tried it, it did not work. The instructions that come with the Wavedream do not explain exactly how to accomplish it. Did you have to contact Rockna to figure it out? Was there something special you had to do to make it work?
I contacted Nicolae directly, yes. He explained once a USB cable is connected, Wavedream NET USB shows as a selectable audio source in one's player software. In my case, player software is Roon, and indeed Wavedream NET USB shows as an Audio Zone that can be enabled. Once enabled, it is selectable as an Audio Zone by a Roon player app.

I imagine it would also show as an audio output option in HQPlayer, although I have not verified this.
 
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audioarcher

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2012
1,393
42
370
Seattle area
I contacted Nicolae directly, yes. He explained once a USB cable is connected, Wavedream NET USB shows as a selectable audio source in one's player software. In my case, player software is Roon, and indeed Wavedream NET USB shows as an Audio Zone that can be enabled. Once enabled, it is selectable as an Audio Zone by a Roon player app.

I imagine it would also show as an audio output option in HQPlayer, although I have not verified this.
Thanks, I revisited it again today. I got usb to work this time. I found that if both I2S cable, and USB cable were connected at the same time, hqplayer would not see the driver for usb. After removing the I2S cable, Hqplayer was able to see the right usb driver.

Usb out of the Wavedream does sound very good. It sounds a touch quieter than I2S, but also a touch less open sounding. If memory serves, usb out of Wavedream is better than straight out of my SonicTransporter. Which is better here? I have not decided yet. Leaning towards I2S.
 

audioarcher

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2012
1,393
42
370
Seattle area
Thanks, I revisited it again today. I got usb to work this time. I found that if both I2S cable, and USB cable were connected at the same time, hqplayer would not see the driver for usb. After removing the I2S cable, Hqplayer was able to see the right usb driver.

Usb out of the Wavedream does sound very good. It sounds a touch quieter than I2S, but also a touch less open sounding. If memory serves, usb out of Wavedream is better than straight out of my SonicTransporter. Which is better here? I have not decided yet. Leaning towards I2S.
After longer review, I much prefer I2S, over USB out of the Wavedream Net. Seems to be more dynamic, more open, and natural sounding. Usb does seem to be slightly quieter, but that is likely because the top end sounds lower in level. Depending on the balance of ones system, that may be a good, or bad thing.

As to whether the Wavedream Net usb output is better than the SonicTransporter, I am not so certain. I would have to directly compare them. I have the ST in a different room now, so it would kind of be a pain to try it. Since I like the sound of I2S best at this point, it is not something I am motivated to test.

On another note, I have recently tried another hdmi cable. I use a .75m Audioquest Firebird 48 hdmi cable. Recently I acquired this https://www.amazon.com/stores/Zeskit/page/4E69F370-57FD-4B90-81D1-6908D62B7308?ref_=ast_bln cable. Compared to the Audioquest, it is dirt cheap. In my system it sounds a little leaner, clearer, and a bit more detailed. Which one anyone would prefer in their own system is anybody's guess.

I am currently using the 2m version, but I will order the .5m version to see if there is a positive, or negative difference. The .5m version is only $12, so why not?
 
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