MSB Premier vs Holo Audio May KTE

b345t

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May 10, 2020
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So, I've just bought the premier dac. Writing some brief notes of what I'm listening to right now with the Premier for anyone interested in my experience. I currently have the MSB playing music for 24 hours straight. I think it needed about 12-14 hours of playing non stop to reach a stable peak.


The MSB has much better prat and dynamics. Music flows with a strong sense of rhythm.

MSB bass more impactful and feels as if there is a greater extension in the very low bass frequencies. Similar to the effect of adding a small subwoofer to the mains on each channel. Clean and powerful bass control. The increase in bass tightness and transient speed, although extends lower with more of the sub bass impact, interacts with my room less.

Greater silence in general.

MSB is clearer and evidently more detail retrieval.

Reverb trails and decay with MSB more evident and very well defined.

MSB Movements of instruments in the soundstage much smoother, clearer and less 'choppy'. Smooth well defined movements (Beatles - Her Majesty).

Soundstage is deeper and presentation is further back with MSB.

Tone of instruments and voices not as exaggerated as May. Makes the May sometimes feel like it is closer to a tube design with excessive warmth and 'halo' effect sometimes with more shine in the treble. MSB smoother and dynamic.


That's what I am listening to so far. I really don't understand the people calling MSB dry and sterile. It is very dynamic with a great, balanced tone. The music is very emotionally engaging, more so than the May. My wife even shed a tear with an Eva Cassidy song last night! Although I do consider the Premier better in pretty much every aspect; I cannot give the May high enough credit for being such a great dac at its price point. Right now if I had to guess, I'd say the May is about 70% as good as the Premier, but at about 15-20% the cost. However it could also be that my system at the moment is not at the level to extract the maximum possible from the MSB. I am still using the Sopra 2 speakers, Innuos zen mk3, T+A PA3100 HV integrated. An incredible dac for sure; and what I heard cannot be unheard; so I bought the MSB. So I will have my May KTE (reluctantly!) for sale if anyone is interested [purchased new from the official distributor in Athens, Greece].
 
However it could also be that my system at the moment is not at the level to extract the maximum possible from the MSB. I am still using the Sopra 2 speakers, Innuos zen mk3, T+A PA3100 HV integrated.
Congrats on the Premier. What part of your system do you feel isn't up to the level of the Premier? Seems like you have one sweet setup.
 
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Congrats on the Premier. What part of your system do you feel isn't up to the level of the Premier? Seems like you have one sweet setup.
Nothing is wrong for sure, but I'm using a 2k streamer/server with a 30k+ dac. There is nothing wrong with that, but for sure there is a big gap regarding component 'levels'. So the streamer is next in line, unless I get a great deal on some speakers.
 
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Nothing is wrong for sure, but I'm using a 2k streamer/server with a 30k+ dac. There is nothing wrong with that, but for sure there is a big gap regarding component 'levels'. So the streamer is next in line, unless I get a great deal on some speakers.
Yes now the fun begins. As you know there are quite a few incredible streamers/servers to choose from.

Good luck in your search.
 
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Nothing is wrong for sure, but I'm using a 2k streamer/server with a 30k+ dac. There is nothing wrong with that, but for sure there is a big gap regarding component 'levels'. So the streamer is next in line, unless I get a great deal on some speakers.
If your experience is anything like mine, your streamer upgrade will be a big plus in your system, and it's definitely the next thing I would do in your shoes.
 
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@b345t

Thanks for your initial impressions.
 
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So, I've just bought the premier dac. Writing some brief notes of what I'm listening to right now with the Premier for anyone interested in my experience. I currently have the MSB playing music for 24 hours straight. I think it needed about 12-14 hours of playing non stop to reach a stable peak.


The MSB has much better prat and dynamics. Music flows with a strong sense of rhythm.

MSB bass more impactful and feels as if there is a greater extension in the very low bass frequencies. Similar to the effect of adding a small subwoofer to the mains on each channel. Clean and powerful bass control. The increase in bass tightness and transient speed, although extends lower with more of the sub bass impact, interacts with my room less.

Greater silence in general.

MSB is clearer and evidently more detail retrieval.

Reverb trails and decay with MSB more evident and very well defined.

MSB Movements of instruments in the soundstage much smoother, clearer and less 'choppy'. Smooth well defined movements (Beatles - Her Majesty).

Soundstage is deeper and presentation is further back with MSB.

Tone of instruments and voices not as exaggerated as May. Makes the May sometimes feel like it is closer to a tube design with excessive warmth and 'halo' effect sometimes with more shine in the treble. MSB smoother and dynamic.


That's what I am listening to so far. I really don't understand the people calling MSB dry and sterile. It is very dynamic with a great, balanced tone. The music is very emotionally engaging, more so than the May. My wife even shed a tear with an Eva Cassidy song last night! Although I do consider the Premier better in pretty much every aspect; I cannot give the May high enough credit for being such a great dac at its price point. Right now if I had to guess, I'd say the May is about 70% as good as the Premier, but at about 15-20% the cost. However it could also be that my system at the moment is not at the level to extract the maximum possible from the MSB. I am still using the Sopra 2 speakers, Innuos zen mk3, T+A PA3100 HV integrated. An incredible dac for sure; and what I heard cannot be unheard; so I bought the MSB. So I will have my May KTE (reluctantly!) for sale if anyone is interested [purchased new from the official distributor in Athens, Greece].
Agreed, MSB is anything but dry and sterile.
 
Agree with not dry, and sterile. Comparing to Holo Audio Spring KTE (first one) and Bricasti M12. MSB Premier DAC is superior in detail, imaging, fullness, and emotion.
 

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