iFi Audio - Accessory - Bundle - iGalvanic3.0
- iFi Audio - Pro - iCAN $1,799.00
- JCAT Net Card XE $850.00
- iFi Audio - AC iPurifier - USA Mains Plug $99.00
- iFi Audio - Accessory - Mercury 3.0 - Also USB 2.0 connector version $209.00 – $269.00
Audio Magic Ultimate Beeswax SHD Fuse (NEW!)- Specify fuse type on checkout
HoloAudio - Serene Pre-Amplifier
Rated 5 out of 5by mimo2310231
Elfidelity AXF-100 ULTRA III USB isolator audio filter for PC
Rated 3 out of 5by Karol Dominczak
HoloAudio - Bliss Headphone Amplifier
Rated 5 out of 5by Daniel Sapen
HoloAudio - Bliss Headphone Amplifier
Rated 5 out of 5by Daniel Sapen
HoloAudio - Serene Pre-Amplifier
Rated 5.00 out of 5$2,698.00 – $3,098.00
KTE LCR-1 MK5 / MK5S - MC/MM/MI - LCR RIAA Phono Stage
Rated 5.00 out of 5$1,498.00 – $2,298.00
Singxer SU-1 : BLACK -USB Digital to Digital Converter XMOS XU208 CCHD575 CPLD DSD256 DOP - FREE SHIPPING WITH COUPON CODE : SINGXER
Rated 5.00 out of 5
KTE (KitsuneCables) Interconnects - XLR or RCA Hybrid True Litz cable (0.5M - 2.0M)
Rated 5.00 out of 5$548.00 – $798.00
MezeAudio Empyrean - Open-back Isodynamic® hybrid planar magnetic headphones
Rated 5.00 out of 5$198.00 – $2,998.00
Join Our Newsletter
Sign up to receive timely, useful information in your inbox.
38 thoughts on “Customer Comments”
*Good stuff & excellent service = winning combo*
Purchased a SU 1 and Intona from Tim/Kitsune.This is not a review of the units,tho they are a positive addition to my listening experience.This is more a comment on the great service that Tim provided.Right from my first enquiry to the last he was most helpful with in depth answers.Sure ,the end result is I did buy some stuff but I could have done so elsewhere.I even learned a few things along the way thanks to his taking the time to explain and point out the ups and downs of computer audio thru his own trial and error experiences.Kitsune stocks some good stuff, ships quickly and provides exemplary service.A winning combo in my book.If they have something of interest to you don’t hesitate to give Tim a shout.Thanks!
I am incredibly pleased by the treatment I received from Tim and Holo Audio / KitsuneHiFi. I bought a Singxer SU-1 from Tim because his was the only American company I found that had one in stock. The unit was shipped right away, and arrived quickly. Both of those things were impressive, but his after sale support was even more so. The SU-1 arrived late on a Friday, and appeared initially not to work (ultimately due to some bad Audirvana options, and not the unit itself). I e-mailed, Tim called me right away, we stayed in touch throughout the weekend, and he even contacted Singxer tech support in China. The issue was resolved, and everything sounds great.
Further, Tim recommended some Wireworld HDMI cables that RADICALLY improved the sound of my system (and the cables I replaced weren’t cheap). Tim is the rare combination of technically savvy and easy to deal with.
I’ll definitely do business here again.
New London, CT
its been about 10 days to 2 weeks and my conclusion is that the Spring Dac level 3 is the real deal. Ive been chasing digital for too many years to mention (About 25 lol). Anyway this dac has been a pleasant surprise. It sounds like Music. I am using the intona and singxer SU-I2S interface
easy install with my Baetis server. Too many adjectives to describe get one you will be astounded
not to mention the reasonable cost. I have owned Lampizator 4 level 4, AMR,MSB, Lenahan PDX,to name a few. The spring dac is as or more enjoyable than all the others!!!!
“Try it you will like it”
Man… I was comparing it(even with just a couple hours warmup/burnin) to my Yggy(from what I remember of it’s sound presentation) and the first thing that REALLY jumped out at me is it’s holographic presentation. SO 3D! Each instrument nicely presented clearly and cleanly it’s distinct location in the headphone. Very out of head/live vibe to it. I am very excited for how everything is going to sound a week from now with a couple hundred hours of burnin under it’s belt
Just received my Kitsune Holo Spring DAC level 3 a few days ago and I’m in the process of breaking it in with 16bits/24bits files(NOS) as well as internet radio. My experience with different showroom DAC is very limited and have never heard a R2R DAC before this. What I learned is that inexpensive delta sigma DAC may sound fantastic on first listen but become tiresome after awhile. The way your body’s nervous system response to music is the best barometer of a DAC performance. Yes, this R2R Holo Spring DAC has a relaxing calming affect at the same time sounding fast and extended at both ends. But be warned this DAC is no panacea for poor recording. Well recorded music on the other hand can sound simply amazing. At times, I notice the palms of my hands to involuntary begin to lightly perspire after listening to music with nice cymbal runs, much like one would expect after looking over a cliff. Two thumbs up.
Hello Tim & Dawn,
I received My Singxer SU-1 today and i already have it up and running in my system! I bought it so i can play music files from my P.C. ( i use JRiver ) Installing the drivers and disabled the signature thing with Win 10, all that was a snap and in just a few minutes I’m enjoying music! Nicely built and simple to use. Just wanted to let you know you have another happy customer! Sounds good too..I can finally use my “real” DAC. I was using a Dragonfly, but i wanted to use my Busman Modified Tascam DA3000. I am using the USB cable that came with the SU-1 and a Kimber D60 S/PDIF cable.
I bought a KTE Holo Spring Level 3. This dac is amazing! It is the best upgrade I have ever done to my chain.
DSD sounds fantastic along with 44/16 Flac.
Tim is a pleasure to work with and this dac is no joke, if you are on the bubble about getting this dac….Just Do It!
You will not be sorry and you will be rewarded very well indeed.
Tim, thank you for everything you have done, you have a real winner here with the KTE Holo Spring Level 3.
I could not be happier as i listen to this thing every single day!
Purchased the KTE SU-1, iFi iGalvanic package with iDefender and iPower, and kte iso usb, and there was instant improvement in my system. Background is super black and sound tightened up significantly. Hooked it all up to a Corning optical usb cable coming from a pc server to a Holo Spring KTE and it has never sounded better. A singxer is definitely the way to go with this DAC.
Tim is one of the most helpful dealers I’ve ordered from and he helped me clear up some confusion on what would work best with my setup. Fantastic communication and service, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to order from Kitsune Hifi again.
Purchased a Singxer SU-1 and iFi Pro iCan after meeting Tim at CanJam SoCal 2017. He stood out from the other vendors with an obvious passion for working with customers to understand their preferences and guide them to the best possible listening experience within budget. Nearly a year later when I had an issue with my amp that was due to my system setup and component placement, NOT any fault of the amp.Tim was extremely knowledgeable and patient in helping me resolve it.
Bottom line: Kitsune HiFi carries exceptional gear, Tim is a pleasure to deal with and his post-sale customer care is the best I’ve seen. I definitely recommend Kitsune HiFi be on your short list of high-end audio dealers.
Just received the iDefender3 from Kitsune Hifi. I was pretty skeptical. The
first try wasn’t 100% successful-there was still a soft buzz- but when I added
the iSilencer after the iDefender I was astonished how well they work together.
I couldn’t believe it! I have two separate DAC’s-one MQA for TIDAL and a high res
one with a clean, filtered LPS for JRiver Media Center. All power (and grounds)
came from one dedicated line. The only trouble I had was with the small MQA dac
and after hours with cheater plugs, the iDefender was going to be my last try.
Still amazed! Thanks, again,
Thanks to all our customers who have left us a fantastic review or comment on how we are doing. This means everything to us to see that we are doing a great job. We truly value all of you and our future customers as well. Thank you again for your support and kind words!
I purchased the KTE Spring Dac + KTE SU-1 DDR bundle recently after a detailed and informative telephone discussion with Tim. I received the SU-1 very quickly, installed it with great support from Tim and am very pleased with the results with my existing DAC. I’m looking forward to the KTE Spring DAC and will report back once I receive it and have had a chance to listen to it. In the meantime I wanted to acknowledge Tim’s outstanding and caring support. His enthusiasm and knowledge come through with every contact. KitsuneHiFi and Tim will be the first place I go for high end computer audio and much more. Highly recommended.
Along with the KTE SU-1 DDR, the Holo Spring Kitsune Edition DAC is one incredible sounding piece of audio equipment.
For those that value what is best about analog, the NOS mode of the DAC gives us the same type of effect, except its digital. What’s wrong with the OS modes? Nothing, except when you listen through the NOS mode, things just unfold from the system, like cool water travelling down a North Carolina stream. I don’t know, as I’m not an engineer, but after listening to some very expensive DAC’s, my belief is that the ladder DAC, along with the NOS mode is what sets it apart from some other really good sounding DACS.
In combination with your version of the SU-1 DDR, this is flat out, one great sounding DAC.
As for you, I really appreciate your passion when it comes to digital based audio. If you had the passion, but didn’t offer the products and advice you do, I’m not sure the effect would be as great as it is here. Thank you for this.
In a politically challenging time, being able to take refuge in the word of music, is invigorating and your contribution to this for me, is greatly appreciated.
I have been actively working on a couple of systems for the last year: one at home and one in the studio.
I tried a number of DACs in the 1-2K range (Rega, Heed, Audiolab, Schiit) but always felt I couldn’t quite reach that happy place (though the Heed was surprising). I am a speakers guy and love a good image, snappy transients, and some kick. Based on online reviews, the audio boards, and conversations with Tim, I purchased a Spring Level 2. I installed it on my home system (at the time – W10 Roon Server > Mac Mini running W10 and HQPlayer endpoint (DSD512)>Kistune ASIO Drivers>USB>Schiit Wyrd>USB>Holo Spring>Heed Obelisk SI MKIII>Harbeths) and it made a tremendous difference to the sound I was getting. The Holo Spring brings better imaging, dynamics and detail into my space. More than this (or because of it…), it is really engaging to listen to – and this was through the USB port.
One thing I have grown to understand is that bits are not just bits, they are transmitted as analog electronic representations of bits and are subject to the same noise issues as any analog transmission – especially in streaming where error correction makes everything work harder producing more noise. More than this, the data rate of USB can vary ever so slightly. When you’re copying a file, this is not a problem, but when you’re listening to digital audio the effect of missing bits, missed timed bit, out of order bits, incorrect bits is audible – not as noise, but as glare, fuzziness, and thinness. USB cleaning and reclocking is important to the SQ.
I added an SU-1 DDC to the system. It converts and reclocks the usb audio to other digital formats (S/PDIF, AES, I2S). I am using the I2S from the SU-1 to the Holo. It took the sound quality up another, significant, level. Better bass response, clearer imaging, smoother treble.
Up to this point my USB cleaner was a Schiit Wyrd. Based on conversations with Tim, I decided to try the Intona Industrial (just found out the the JCAT USB cleaner that people rave about is an Intona Industrial with a fancy aluminum case and a couple hundred dollars added to the price tag). The Intona is a USB cleaner designed for industrial applications by a team dedicated to doing nothing but getting the noise out of USB. Again, there were marked improvements to the sound quality, the imaging is sharper, everything relaxed a bit, the music sounded more full and smooth without losing any detail.
So my home system, with Kitsune’s help, is now:
W10 Roon Server> Mac Mini running W10 and HQPlayer endpoint (DSD512)>Kistune ASIO Drivers>USB>Intona Industrial>USB>SU-1>I2s>Holo Spring Level II>Heed Obelisk SI MKIII>Harbeths
I am a happy listener.
My experience with Tim and Kitsune has been excellent. It’s clear that digital audio is a passion for Tim. He is knowledgeable about the playing field and has curated his product line to reflect his research. He will give you honest answers to your questions and will help steer you to a solution that fits your goals whether they be no holds bar audio nirvana or truly great sound that fits your resources.
As a postscript, I would add, for kicks, I swapped out the Wyrd for the Intona Industrial on my video workstation (W10 HQplayer (DSD256)>Intona>Denafrips ARES>Schiit Freya (in tube mode with nice NOS Sylvanias)>Neuman KH120a actives). It made a SIGNIFICANT difference. I mean significant. Again, everything relaxed and feels more full – the image is really very sharp (The Neumanns are a studio nearfield). It took the edge off the treble, and made the low end more present. It’s hard to concentrate on work when the sound is sooo engaging. I ordered a second unit from Tim based on this experience.
Wow, thank you for your detailed comments. I’m thrilled to hear that you’ve had such a great experience at KitsuneHiFi and truly happy to know you also love the gear you’ve chosen for your system. I hope to see you come back in the near future! we have a lot of exciting new products coming out at the end of this year and early 2019!
Before anything else, a nod to the great support I’ve received from Kitsune. Tim juggles a lot of balls but over the months of communicating with him in hopes of purchasing a Spring Level 3 DAC, he’s always been there with answers to my questions and attention to my needs. At the beginning of November ’18, I wrote Tim, asking how he was doing filling Level 3 DAC requests. With Level 3 units still in short supply, Tim, in an incredibly kind gesture, offered me a Level 4 unit he’d been using at a few local events. The Level 4 is a rare creature. It is identical to the Level 3 with the exception of a customized motherboard which allows the use of 4Pole Jensen capacitors. Tim tells me the slight benefits of the 4Pole caps are outweighed by their greater cost- a significant factor as Kitsune tries to remain competitive with DACs such as the Yggy. Because producing Level 4 DACs didn’t make economic sense, only twelve were made. Thanks to Tim, I have something special. If you’re interested in my take on the Spring, read on. I believe my observations are equally valid for a Level 3. Several months ago a friend loaned me his level 3 to audition in my system. I didn’t want to return it; if our friendship were to last, I knew I had to buy one.
There are people who spend more on one component than I’ve spent on my entire system. By some standards it’s extremely modest; but, I’ve tried to put together components that work well together and reproduce music in a way that brings me enjoyment: Rogue Pharaoh integrated tube preamp, class D amplifier; NAD CD player as a transport; Spring Level 4 DAC [replaced a Musical Fidelity M1] and Revel Performa 3 speakers. Also, an EAT turntable with an Ortofon Black cartridge. I mention the EAT because earlier in the week, when I was listening to a few LPs, my wife, who claims she doesn’t have a very discerning ear, commented on how great the music was sounding. Later that evening I went back to CDs and found them sounding rather ordinary. The next day my Spring arrived.
With the Kitsune in my system, CDs were far from ordinary. For my initial listening, aside from the Cowboy Junkies [Lay it Down], I stayed with some well-recorded jazz and acoustic CDs: Dave Brubeck’s Take Five, some tracks from Finale-Pentangle’s farewell concert [ Goodbye Porkpie Hat is an especially good demo tune], Burt Jansch’s Avocet album and Blooming Tall Phlox-a wonderful CD by Russian-born jazz pianist, Yelena Eckemoff.
A while back I had a chance to listen to an Yggy in my system. It was good; but, overall, I wasn’t impressed enough to buy one. At times I thought it had a bit of an edge to it- Paul Desmond’s sax on Take Five and Margot Timmin’s vocals on a couple of Junkie songs, as examples. None of that edge was there with the Kitsune. It was smooth. I often use Eckemoff as a demo CD when I’m listening to new equipment- absolutely excellent recording quality and beautifully played. It was the last CD on the playlist for my first listening session. It was getting late. I intended to play the first track and call it a night. Instead, I listened to all 98 minutes of the disc. I can rave about the Spring’s resolution- I’m hearing things in my music I’ve never heard before. The DAC creates a wonderful sense of space. Its sound stage and imaging are extremely good. But all of this seems to miss the point. I think the best description for the Spring is “incredibly musical.” It seems to create a holistic presentation that a good friend and serious audiophile describes as a sonic tapestry. There’s an overall quality that just draws you in and doesn’t let go. It’s hard to turn things off.
Wow…I placed an order for a JCAT NET Femto card here because I wanted to pay in US $. Did not expect a kind message 12 hours later with shipping info. The item was already in the UPS system and being loaded on a plane for it’s trip across the ocean. I hope my new audiophile card is as responsive.
I placed an order for the Holo Audio Spring Level 1 and immediately received a confirmation email, and a personal note from Tim. In the note he indicated that the DAC was about 1 month out (accurate) and let me know that I had, as a bonus, a Holo Audio Titanis USB conditioner, which arrived two days later. The Titanis made an immediate and noticeable improvement while playing files from my ancient Win7 Lenovo into a Creative Audio X-fi USB soundcard (this drives my basement workshop system).
I got interested in NOS DAC’s when my dad recently gave me an old Realistic CD-1000 (1985) which has a true R2R DAC and no oversampling (sadly the laser only lasted for about a week before it expired). The sound from this player floored me, and reminded me of my very first player, an ADC CD-100 from the same era; I remember those first CD’s I bought sounding magical! But then I ‘graduated’ to the next gen oversampling CD players because they were supposed to be ‘better’.. well, at that point I must have not liked what I was hearing much because I went back to vinyl (early 90’s).
When the Spring DAC arrived I installed it in my big system. The first thing I noticed was the quality of construction, heft and handsome looks of this unit. Based on the reviews and the level of improvement from the Titanis I was expecting great things to happen. The first CD I played sounded harsh and had lots of glare, but I knew it probably needed to warm up and break in. I am happy to say that after two days (only about 4-5 hours of play time) the sound is relaxed, detailed and (as my wife put it) liquid. I’m hearing things in familiar CD’s (like Brien Ferry’s Boys & Girls), like backing vocals, drum fills, etc, that I’ve never heard before. (I know, audiophile standard issue review phrase but it’s true!) Even CD’s that I never play because they sound murky and dark (Chicago’s Greatest Hits [circa 1985]) have been transformed. I’ve never heard such detail, texture and bounce from digital before and my Rega Apollo is a pretty darn good player. I’m a vinyl guy and only play CD’s if I can’t get whatever music on LP. Now I can retrieve all those CD’s I bought during the 90’s when they were the only thing available. My music collection has effectively just doubled because CD’s are now enjoyable again.
I agree with the consensus that NOS mode sounds best. In OS mode, when switching between the Rega player and the DAC, I can’t hear much difference except the DAC has a more fleshed out sound. But NOS mode beats OS hands down on every level.
So far I’ve only used the RCA SPDIF inputs, but playing old CD’s is so much fun for now that it’ll be a while before I feel like experimenting with files from my computer.
The Spring Level 1 is the best thing that has happened to my system since I discovered MC cartridges and now I’m going to have to upgrade my turntable to match the performance of the DAC! Unbelievable performance and build quality for the price.
Wow!…..I took a chance and ordered the Holo Audio Spring 2 DAC Level 3 based on a recent review and info posted on the Kitsune Site. It was right on! Thank you so much. About 30 hours in and sat down for some serious listening. Great space and articulation without being too analytical. Bass is natural and balanced. This thing is smooooooth….great midrange and top end extension without being strident in nature….. and it keeps getting better. I run through tubes and the combination is great. (Thor TA 1000 preamp and Audio Valve RKV MkII OTL headphone amp). USB port is good for ipad and coax is incredible through my wifi streamer. (NAD 50.2) Very pleased with my Spring2 upgrades and the quality is over the top. Tim is an awesome communicator. Service and shipping right on schedule and the product met expectations….which was very high. Thanks Tim and team.
I purchased a Holo Audio Cyan from Kitsune HiFi and the sound is UNREAL, I felt like I entered THE MAGIC KINGDOM in the listening world: More than the product, Tim Connor, the Owner is UNBELIEVABLE in his follow up customer care; I have never met anyone who has so much passion and knowledge for what he does and wants to make sure, you are knowledgeable as well, and getting the most out of your equipment; Kitsune HIFI and Tim will be My “GO TO” place for high end audio grear from Here ON. How can you beat someone who is Honest, Knowlegable, and more than willing to “go the extra mile” in your behalf. Thanks Tim!!! Kean Ganan
I received my Titanis USB today and put into my Win 10 desktop audio system. After a short time listening to some lossless music from the Tidal app, I realized that an annoying harshness that had been present before was gone. The Titanis was cleaning up some of the noise inherent in USB output from any general purpose computer. This noise which many don’t even realize is there until it is gone, creates a layer of distortion on top of the music that makes the sound seem harsh.
After further listening, I also realized that the sound-stage was more easily discernible with instruments standing alone instead of being compressed together.
The music just had a better flow and feel with the Titanis in the system.
This is an excellent product and for the modest price it really performs.
I recommend trying it if you want to clean up a general purpose USB output.
I received my Holo Audio Spring 2 KTE DAC a few days ago and my first impressions can be summed up in one word: “WOW”. This DAC is a revelation on many levels. It is the proverbial Swiss Army Knife of modern DACs. It does true PCM with or without internal up-sampling and it does DSD either from an external source or via internal up-sampling. It has virtually every input available in the modern era. One can really experiment to find his or her sweet spot (mine is PCM with no up-sampling with the Spring in NOS mode or DSD 256 from an external computer running HQ Player again with the Spring in NOS mode). They are both great and the sound is sublime. The choice will boil down to personal preference and the type of music.
None of this would be possible without the dedication and hard work of Tim at Kitsune. He really provided top notch customer service. He was always there to answer my questions. When there was an unexpected production delay, Tim had to provide reassurance and hold my nervous hand. He even sent me a gift of a Titanis USB which transformed my old Squeeze Box Touch in my bedroom system.
One can order this DAC with great confidence that one will receive a well built, modern designed and fabulous sounding piece of equipment from a company that really cares about audio reproduction and its customers.
At the price, it truly is one of the great values in modern audio.
I am a huge fan of Jeff and read a lot of articles about him on Chinese hifi forums. Plus the positive feedbacks that users gave to the Spring 2 DAC prompted me to order one from Kitsunehifi last year. The DAC did not disappoint and I have been enjoying it. However, for reasons unknown, the DAC failed a few weeks back. I contacted Tim from Kitsunehifi after failing to figure out what went wrong. Tim was extremely responsive. After a couple of emails, he told me that the best strategy for me was to send it back for repair and told me that Jeff promised that he would take care of it personally. However, I did not keep the original package so this complicated the thing a little. I have to be very careful in choosing the packaging material to make sure that the DAC does not get damaged during shipping (LESSON LEARNED: ALWAYS KEEP THE ORIGINAL PACKAGING!!!) Tim was extremely helpful and spent multiple emails instructing me how to choose the right packaging material. After a while, both of us realized that this would not be cheap! So he discussed with Jeff and offered to send me a replacement DAC from Hong Kong and then I could use the original material that comes with the replacement DAC to send the broken DAC back. Yesterday, I received the replacement DAC. It worked perfectly! I am extremely happy about both the quality of the product as well as the customer service provided by Kitsunehifi. Tim, you just got Kitsunehifi another loyal customer! Kitsunehifi will definitely be the place where I pick up my next hifi equipment!!! Thank you, Tim!
I am trying to find a place to listen to the May Dac LTE. Is there any place in California?
Actually there is. Audeze has a showroom in California. I’m not sure the exact address but if you contact Audeze i’m sure they can let you know. they have the KTE May and the Azure headamp/preamp on display in their showroom.
hope this is helpful.
I am fortunate to have a significant other who loves music as much as I do and I am even more fortunate that a May Dac fit down the chimney this year. Thank you for going the extra mile and for the spirit that made it happen.
I have only listened with the May in my system for a few hours and I am surprised at the differences it brings to the table in comparison to the other Dacs I have owned. There is no doubt that a lot of break in is yet to happen but immediately you are struck by the clarity and tone. Things do sound more natural or real and it seems to work the congestion out of tracks. This one is hard to explain but very noticeable.
Being a music lover who is cautious about entering the audiophile rabbit hole I will leave it at that.
My wife and I were up until 2 am listening to music and being re-introduced to some of our favourite tracks. Job well done and thank you from the Great White North. Cold lake Alberta.
I purchased the May Kitsuni edition and have been burning it in my office system for a few weeks now. It is so freaking good that guess what, I “may” (no pun) buy a second one for my home system since honestly I don’t think I could take it out of this system. The musicality, flow and detail is just breathtaking. (Please don’t tell Tim yet though, not quite ready to part w/ the $$ for the next one!!!)
I’ve had my May KTE for over a few months and it sounds great. I use it mostly in my streaming system: Sonore OM Deluxe > Etherregen w/external OCXO clock and separate LPS for OM, ER, and clock > Aurender N100H > Innuos USB reclocker > Holo May KTE.
I’m thinking about getting a transport. My list of potential candidates are the Jay’s mk3 version or the PS Audio SACD transport. Does anyone know if the PS Audio transport and the May KTE are compatible via the I2S connection?
the ps audio SACD transport is compatible, i’ve helped a few customers with these and they are able to use them just fine via i2s. remember to set the May i2s for ALT2 when connecting.
Dont forget Denafrips Avatar. Great transport with native i2S out as well.
I have owned the May for about 8 months and as far as Dacs go I believe trying to achieve better will cost a lot more. For me the diminishing returns don’t justify the extra cost and that journey is over until Holo betters this machine. I was hesitant to purchase May without an audition but my worries were unfounded. Most reviews of May are in my opinion spot on as they are with Serene which has been my next purchase. My former LTA preamp is well respected and it took my system to a new level but running a balanced system and being forced to use adapters from a single ended preamp ultimately made no sense and presented associated issues. I love the LTA product line and Serene was purchased in it’s place purely for functional reasons. I trusted that Serene was developed with the same passion and goals as the May Dac and 6 weeks later as promised it arrived.
Component synergy in my opinion plays a huge role in all systems. May and Serene were obviously meant to play together and in my system it revealed itself in soundstage depth, tone and separation of instruments. May plays with a clarity and sense of tone that didn’t fully reveal itself while my LTA was in the system as it added its own 2 cents to the presentation which I believe Serene does less of to good affect.My system has never sounded better.
I have developed a respect for these HoloAudio products and the service that Kitsune provides. Thank you
I received my May DAC and Serene shipments in October. Like others I am very satisfied with the quality and sound of these electronics. But I am writing this comment to recognize Tim’s and Holo’s prompt response to resolving a shipping related matter. The May shipping box arrived soaking wet on 1/3 of the box. It had not rained in my area for 5 days so I was concerned the equipment may have been exposed to water for several days during shipment. The cardboard on exterior box was soaking wet and fell apart in my hands as I tried to open the box. When I was able to look inside, I found that two internal boxes were also still wet. This raised concern about the condition of DAC and power supply. Fortunately they both were OK because of the excellent packaging methods used by Holo Audio. The pre-formed styrofoam- like packing kept the electronics elevated away from the wet boxes. In addition each of the electronic chassis were inside a thick plastic bag. Nevertheless I wanted to have functional boxes in case I ever needed to ship the electronics for repair. I reported the damage to Tim and DHL. Tim took on the problem from that point. I never had prod Tim about the status of replacement boxes. To Tim’s credit and the Holo business ethics, I received replacement boxes in excellent condition.
I have owned the May DAC for about 5 months and have been delighted, so much so that I ordered a Spring 3 KTE for my secondary system in late September, it shipped exactly per the estimate at time of purchase and arrived on time, though DHL didn’t reflect that. Tim contacted me because they were not seeing that DHL had delivered it.
About 10 day after arrival I started experiencing intermittent transformer hum, not terrible but audible across the room when it was quiet. I worked with Tim to check a few things, including measuring the amount of DC on my powerline. It still hummed from time to time but I indicated I could live with it.
Now for the good part, Tim had a replacement shipped even though I said I’d live with the hum, he and Kitsune went above and beyond to ensure a satisfied customer.
If you are considering a purchase from Kitsune HiFi, don’t hesitate, first rate products and service.
I have had May2 for a month now. First few days were harsh and loud compared to McIntosh D100, with which I was able to compare, and had prepared to return, and emailed Tim about it.
But after a few days of burnin, it started to sound less harsh and by a week already started sounding better than D100. These are my true experiences.
I purchased the Holo May Kitsune DAC to replace my Chord Qutest and had a noticeable hum from my speakers. Tim at Kitsune was super helpful and responsive to try and diagnose the problem. We were able to eliminate the May DAC as the problem and I ended up getting an isolation transformer that helped. I ordered the Serene preamp to replace my passive volume control, and connected it to the May DAC with balanced cables and hum problem was eliminated without need for the isolation transformer. The May and Serene are breaking in now, but they are already amazing! My highest recommendation for both the May and Serene, and Tim at Kitsune as well.
I recently purchased a Holo Spring 3 Kitsune edition and it is excellent, and has yet to be fully burned in!
The real reason I am commenting, is in regard to the excellent service I received from Tim, to my multiple questions. He was very prompt and thorough, and made me feel like I was his only customer. I found it a bit worrysome to purchase an expensive item from a foreign country, pre-paid. The only hiccup was with DHL Delivery Service. DHL emailed me the unit was out for delivery, when it wasn’t, but it arrived the next day, and then arrived earlier than the expected arrival date!
Fear not, Kitsune HiFi is topnotch and Holo products are of highest quality! Thanks Tim
There are many audio manufacturers and dealers that treat their equipment like a commodity. And their clients like a commodity too. Fortunately, there are others who ply their trade (and I presume live their life) with some more meaningful intent. Kitsune and Tim are clearly living the latter. I can’t speak to Tim’s intent but his commitment to audio and to his clients is clear. His dedication to audio is evident whenever you hear his May DAC. Or look at the wealth of information he shares with his clients and the world on his website. Or when he responds to questions or issues so generously with his time and knowledge. Tim’s dedication to his clients is also clear. Recently, I was troubleshooting an i2S issue and Tim’s generous email response allowed me to solve the issue quite quickly. More than that, however, I was taken by Tim’s email that he wasn’t too busy for me. Wasn’t a customer service rep moving through the queue. Tim was just an audio guy (albeit a supremely intelligent, experienced and busy audio guy) helping out another audio guy. How great is that? When emotional connection (to the music) is likely the end game in all audio, it’s guys like Tim and companies like Kitsune living connection, commitment to excellence, and community on a daily basis and that help make this hobby so rewarding. As they say, “Buy with Confidence”.
Dear God! Tim, any qualms I had pre-purchase about an investment in the Holoaudio May Kitsune Level 3 have been dashed. On reflection, I believe what I had hoped for with the May and the Jay’s Audio CDT-2 MK3 was, “another level up” for CD playback from my Marantz SA-10 $7500 player. Well, the May KTE is that, unequivocally, and in spades. This is about with 50 hours run time…. and if one pays any attention to owners’ feedback, this system apparently has quite a way to go to achieve optimization at about 400 hours! Wow! My Benchmark HPA4’s sonics have elevated considerably, gaining a heft and body while retaining its tightness and upper frequency detail and extension, perhaps in part due to the May’s robust and “fully there” balanced output. Also I am sensing that implementation of the I2s connection between the Jay’s and the May via your recommended Moshou 8K .5 meter I2s cable contributes strongly to this.
Average CD recording quality discs now possess an added level of interest through the granular detail which the May KTE excavates and this DAC also tends to smooth some edginess present in poor to average recordings true to your claims of jitter reduction and elimination. Good recordings can take on a “direct microphone feed” type character with voices, and “in the room” character with instruments. Complex productions, and the cornucopia of sounds and placements they can include, are all separated out in a 3D soundscape of delight in both dimensions of time and place.
Excellent recordings really show off what the May KTE can do. From The Complete Trio Collection (Dolly Parton, EmmyLou Harris, Linda Ronstadt epic collaboration), listen to the lead vocals of Linda Ronstadt on “The Blue Train”, Dolly Parton on “I Feel the Blues Movin’ In”, and EmmyLou Harris on “You’ll Never Be the Sun”. I’ve never heard the crystal clarity and utter perfection of the human voice presented like this in a lead vocal, let alone the beautiful harmony of the other two “sisters” accompaniment on each of those tracks. With the May KTE separating each of the three dulcimer vocals from the rest while streaming the flow of the three together replete with overtones, each lead vocalist maintains her prominence in the mix without dominating the other two. What an aural juggling act this is, and what bliss it is to experience!
Something really special is all of this experienced through really good headphones like the ZMF Verites, both open and closed back versions. There is an ethereal yet substantive magic occurring with new depths of information, coherently arranged in time and place with a natural yet surreally engaging character inviting exploration. Like what you assured me would happen Tim, my CDs sound better than ever with the May KTE.
Those in the know regarding the upper echelons of digital playback via USB into the May KTE maintain there is even another level here obtainable and available awaiting exploration (such as with HQ Player and high resolution files and such). I’m not there yet but it is something to look forward to!
Thanks Tim for your dialogue with me throughout my time of deliberating a purchase of the Holoaudio May Kitsune, and for all of the additional information you provided me contributing to my confidence in an eventual purchase. Everything you shared is true, and no regrets here.