**DISCONTINUED** Holo Audio – Cyan – discrete resistor ladder dac – Three models available

(2 customer reviews)


Cyan has been discontinued and superseded by the new model Cyan2 which is planned for late 2023 release. 

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Please read more about NOS vs OS (MUST READ article to explain why we recommend NOS)


Dimensions: 281 mm (W) * 260 mm (L) * 55 mm (H)

Weight: 11lbs

Does not include power cord, printed manuals. Package includes DAC and REMOTE only!

Note: KitsuneHiFi is the only source to buy 110V versions of the HoloAudio Products. all other sources are 220V only! We can sell any Voltage model 100/110/220/230/240 etc.

WARRANTY – 3 years warranty, both parts and labor, cover one way shipping (return shipping once product is confirmed a warranty claim). Be sure to buy directly from HoloAudio or HoloAudioUSA<– this is KitsuneHiFi 😉

Download Windows System Icons HERE (image of Spring DAC, and kitsunetunededition logo)

Cyan User Manual (ENGLISH) HERE

FoobarDSD support HERE

note: WIN7 users may have issue if you don’t have the most recent hotfix for SHA-256bit code signatures. By default Win7 only supports SHA-1 signatures, yet SHA-1 is obsolete and this hotfix is very important for security reasons. Win 8 and above have SHA-256bit by default. Some users reported these drivers not installing properly, so be sure your Win7 is up to date, or download the hotfix here (KB3033929) :

This is special order item (will show “in stock” if able to order, this means we have the parts available for this dac and the order can be placed), with a typical 2.5-3+ week build time and 3-5day shipping time to USA customers. I will give you current estimate upon receipt of payment, and can be cancelled if you choose not to accept the terms to wait for the production/shipping times. After you accept the terms, I will place the order with HOLO Audio directly, as the order is considered a special order item there will be no cancellations or refunds. The product is guaranteed not to be DOA and has multiple levels of quality control testing before it’s shipped out to you. We are confident you’ll be happy with your purchase.

NON USA customers please contact us for quote on shipping costs. Please include your full shipping address and phone number along with voltage requirements when requesting to order this dac. The same terms apply and estimates for production time.


Shipping estimation varies for International shipping, USA locations are 90usd. it’s best to email us for a current quote if you’re outside the USA. (Europeans should contact/order from our european dealer, MagnaHiFi.


Out of stock

DSD Module Version

Out of stock

PCM Module Version - W/ Headamp
Original price was: $1,499.00.Current price is: $1,449.00.

Out of stock

Enthusiast Edition comes shipped with PCM Module with Headamp and DSD Module w/firmware to disable headamp when in use.


Newest Driver: HoloAudio Drivers – Win7/8/8.1/10 – v5.57.0_2023-02-22 (driver for both Gen2.0 and Gen2.1USB + DFU 5.57 tool and firmwares for Gen2.0)

OLDER DRIVERS: OFFICIAL Signed Windows Drivers v5.00 +all Firmwares Win7/8/10 ASIO- HERE 

NOTES for new 5.00 Driver (this is a major release with firmware update for each model, Spring2 (two versions), Spring1, Cyan.

* New usb driver, 5.00

* Spring2 new usb firmware 30.12 (significant improvement of USB performance, and recommended for those using Motherboard USB (intel/amd) this is only firmware that supports DSD1024 and PCM1.536Mhz (all dacs ship with 30.14 for compatibility reasons) but you can use this if you have a modern PC with Intel/Altera USB chipsets. It works with most Gen7, Gen8, Gen9 and Gen10 Intel boards and comparable AMD boards.

* Spring2 new usb firmware 30.14(only support up to pcm768k and dsd512 but is DEFAULT firmware since late 2020). This firmware can be worked with those ‘hifi’ PCIE usb cards (JCAT PCIE Femto (renasas chipset), Linear Technologies PCIE Femto card, Matrix Element/ElementH USB card (texas Instruments). it’s most compatible with most usb cards and usb controllers. Also compatible with some special USB fiber optic cables.

* Spring Version 1 – new usb firmware 21.16. This fixes the problem roon has mentioned before, which has problem while switching between 24bit and 16bit at same sample rate.

* Cyan PCM or DSD – new usb firmware 21.06. This fixes the problem roon has mentioned before, which has problem while switching between 24bit and 16bit at same sample rate.


All new firmware must have installed the new 4.67 USB driver first. and then copy the directory of the firmware contents into the driver folder… commonly found in programfiles/holoaudio/USB Audio Device Driver/W10_x64/

then run the file “holousbaudioDfu.exe”

BE SURE you copied the appropriate firmware for your dac.

V1 and V2 spring are very different.

take note dacs from late 2020 were shipped with version 30.14 are for those with either JCAT Femto PCI-E card (renasas chipset) or the Matrix Element or Element H card (texas instruments chipset)
these are LIMITED TO DSD512 and PCM768 at this time.

HIGH content resolution firmware – version 30.12 is for motherboard USB chipset which is commonly Intel base USB controller and should support DSD1024 and PCM1.536Mhz as stated above in overview.

Spring V1 firmware is only one choice and has no issue with Jcat or Matrix USB cards, so no worries here. both Spring V1 and Cyan have known issue with Roon where changing from 24bit and 16bit sample rate can cause a problem. this is now fixed and addressed in the new firmware update.


ALL these new firmware updates improve USB transfer eye pattern in a significant way! there is a significant reduction in emi noise during USB transfer, and this means theoretically improving sound quality. Measurements confirm whether one can hear the difference or not.

Cyan PCM and Cyan DSD orders will ship approx 3-3.5 weeks from time the order is placed.

“NOTE:  Please email us and we can take care of your questions. This DAC is in very high demand and quite hard to find in the USA. HoloAudio and KitsuneHiFi are working together to provide you these products although after importation costs they are only slightly higher pricing than what is found if purchasing direct from China. Please take note that ONLY 220V is available when purchased direct from HoloAudio in China or other sources. HoloAudioUSA/KitsuneHiFi has exclusive rights to sell the 110V/220V switchable model. We also can custom make other Transformers like 220, 230, 240v etc”


Product Description:

The newest HoloAudio offering is the Cyan Dac/Amp. We have worked hard to bring you the best performance and price ratio of any product on the market. We are quite proud of the Cyan and confident in saying we think you will find it most impressive as well. It’s a true balanced discrete resistor ladder dac with balanced headphone amp packed into a small footprint of desktop space. There is a PCM module version and a DSD module version.

DSD is natively supported on this Discrete Resistor Ladder DAC

Holo Audio is the world’s first to support DSD natively on Resistor Ladder DAC, so far the only one. This is not the DSD converted to PCM before digital-analog converter, but directly by the discrete components of the DSD digital to analog converter. Supported currently on MAC (DOP)and Linux (DOP), and Windows/PC (Direct Native and DOP). Please note, the word ‘R2R’ is the name of a kind of architecture of resistor ladders. This architecture requires less resistors yet still is capable to deliver more than acceptable performance. Most DACs in the industry use this architecture. The DSD module of Cyan does not use R2R architecture for the DSD, more specifically it uses a very specific architecture which is optimized to perform DSD to analog. So to be entirely accurate the DSD module of the Cyan is using resistor ladders, not R2R.

For those who choose the PCM module version you will be able to enjoy the balanced headphone amplifier. However if you choose the DSD module version then you will not be able to use the headphone amplifier. For those who know DSD well, they will know that pure DSD does not allow for volume control. In fact if a DSD dac claims to have volume control then you will know that it’s first converted to PCM internally to achieve this.  We released the pure DSD module version for those looking to have a unique and high performance Discrete resistor ladder dac DSD solution. We have highly optimized the architecture of our resistor network to have an incredible sounding DSD dac. if the Amp was enabled it would be at 100% volume and put your ears and headphones at risk. Also the DSD version will have a “headphone delete” and not contain the components on the motherboard for the headamp. However there will still be a volume control knob and headphone outputs on the front panel that will not function.


Here at Kitsune, we have three versions of the Cyan DAC. Other places ONLY offer two models. Below are the three models:


HoloAudio Cyan – PCM Edition

PCM Module (Balanced) has full function Balanced  headphone amplifier that is capable to power most any headphone and sensitive IEM. Has high and low gain settings to fine tune the amp for whatever pair of headphones you may have.  28bit pure PCM module with digital volume control. 

HoloAudio Cyan – DSD Edition

Pure DSD Module (Balanced) – Headphone Amplifier “delete” – no internal amp. External knob and headphone out connectors are still visible but have no purpose. This is a DSD Dac only.   

HoloAudio Cyan – Enthusiast Edition

Some of us find it really difficult to choose one of the above configurations so we have a solution that is essentially a special edition that is based on the PCM module Cyan however it also includes a DSD module that you can swap out when you choose. The firmware on the dac module with automatically disable the onboard headamp to prevent any damage to hearing or headphones.

Cyan’s input and output interface:

  • Digital input interface includes
  • USB (ground isolation)
  • RCA coaxial
  • BNC coaxial
  • AES
  • optical fiber
  • I2S (HDMI)
  • All digital input interface supports DSD (DOP mode).

Cyan’s Outputs:

  • Fully balanced/bridged XLR and RCA output
  • Balanced headphone output using 4 pin xlr

Other Notes:

• Offers oversampling and non oversampling modes
• Compact chassis 11inch* 10.25inch * 2.15inch
• The new fully balanced headphone circuit capable of powering most any headphone easily
• Ability to select either low impedance or high impedance for the headphones and to change this easily
• Includes high quality aluminum remote control – functions include: Mute, Volume, low & high gain for Output, Input Selection, Display Brightness, OS/NOS mode

For SRC, you can refer the following chart

Mode Input Format Internal SRC
Cyan – PCM NOS mode PCM No SRC
DSD Convert DSD to PCM
OS mode PCM Oversampled to 352.8K or 384K PCM
DSD Convert DSD to PCM
Cyan – DSD NOS mode PCM Convert PCM to DSD
OS mode PCM Oversampled to DSD256
DSD Convert PCM to DSD

The true balanced circuit design

These two pictures can explain the true balanced design quite well. And showing the architecture of the PCM module vs the DSD module. The bottom side has the same resistor ladders as top side. The dac module is a pure 28bit discrete resistor ladder design. extra bits to acommodate digital volume control.

outpute stage: XLR uses all of the circuit and RCA is just using half. The balanced output has better performance (THD, noise) and also better common mode rejection rate. If you’re listening environment contains interference, either from AC power or from EMI/RF then you will find a full balanced system can really help significantly.

Specifications of Cyan Dac and Headphone amp (PCM model ONLY has headphone amp):

Digital input
USB PCM 44.1-384K (32bit)
DSD 64-256X (DOP)
DSD 64-256X (Native) with PCM Module
DSD 64-512X (Native) with DSD Module
I2S PCM 44.1-384k (32bit)
DSD 64-256X with PCM Module
DSD 64-512X with DSD Module
Analog output
PCM 48K NOS THD+N 0.001% @1K
SNR -125dB
Voltage Output 2.3Vrms(RCA), 4.6Vrms(XLR)
DSD 128X THD+N 0.0007% @1K
SNR -121dB
Voltage Output 1.3Vrms(RCA), 2.6Vrms(XLR)
Headphone output THD+N 0.0015% @1K
SNR -120dB
Low resistance output (single-ended)

400mW@32Ohm load

Low resistance output (balanced)
1600mW@32Ohm load
High-impedance output (single-ended)

180mW@300Ohm load

High-impedance output (balanced)

720mW@300Ohm load

Dimensions 260×281*55mm(WxLxH,Not including the protruding parts)
Weight 5kg
Power input (configurable, Based on label on bottom of chassis) 220-230V 50/60Hz 2A
110-115V 50/60Hz 4A
Power Consumption 30W
Other included items Remote Control x1
USB Cable x1

CE Certified for the European Market









Tim & Dawn Connor – HoloAudioUSA and KitsuneHiFi

We operate under strict business ethics and values. Our company motto we are always proud to mention to our customers, “Time will tell…” and this means that our products will earn the respect in a matter of time once people get their chance to test it themselves. Many companies need fancy buzz words and marketing to sell their products, we truly only need our customers to try our products and share their experience with others. Word of mouth is how our business thrives and we have many happy customers! We encourage others to try all the competition in the market and directly compare and see what type of value you are receiving. We are confident in our products and know that in time, our products will sell themselves once people get a chance to try them.  We offer tremendous value and quality without sacrificing on performance.


Jeff Zhu – HoloAudio  – founder/engineer

Jeff Zhu is the man behind this engineering achievement. Below are some comments that have been shared by Jeff to better explain this dac in his own words.  Holo Audio is founded by Jeff Zhu and the USA division was a partnership formed with Tim Connor and his wife, Dawn Connor.


Additional information

Weight 13 lbs
Dimensions 14 × 17 × 19 in

Cyan (DSD Module NO Headphone Amp), Cyan (Enthusiast Edition – PCM Version with DSD Module Kit +Extras), Cyan (PCM Module w/ Balanced Headphone Amplifier)

2 reviews for **DISCONTINUED** Holo Audio – Cyan – discrete resistor ladder dac – Three models available

  1. cking (verified owner)

    This Dac/Amp is wonderful to my ears…it has a sweet tone and sounds fantastic!

    I purchased the PCM balanced version and I can’t get over how good the built in amp is!

    The build quality on this machine is “Japanese Marantz” level….maybe even better!

    Get one!

  2. Jean-Francois Lemelin

    One word. Wow! Going from the Mytek Stereo 192 DSD to the Cyan DSD (Roon upsamples everything to DSD512) is to me a game changer. Soundstage depth, speed and transients, delicacy, analogue sound… Can’t stop listening to music for the last 2 days.

    And Tim offers great service!

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