Modded Orchid MHDT vs. Holo Audio May DAC
I had the chance to do a shootout with the MHDT Orchid vs. the Holo Audio May DAC in a very high end system. Both R2R but the MHDT also has a tube. The Holo line does not. In the system, there was a linear power feeding a Pi with an Allo hat as the streamer, a modified Bent preamp, an external crossover controlling large well made two-way speakers with Beyma AMT tweeters run by Coincident monoblocks.
We went back and forth for over an hour with my Orchid (modded by Grannyring) vs. the Holo. The MHDT held its own pretty well but...the Holo Audio had better separation, more clarity of texture, wider soundstage, just a richer tonality overall. Bass was better.
The owner of the Holo Audio May DAC also fixes LampiZators and finds the Holo Audio May and Spring DACs to be superior in his system, at a fraction of the cost.
The May is more than the Spring, in part because it has a separate power supply. He owns both the May and the Spring, and he thinks the Spring takes him about 90-95% of the way to the May.
If I were to ever trade up from my MHDT DAC, I’d look very hard at the Spring. I’d be tempted to do a shootout between the Holo and the Audio Tubador III.
Do I now feel dissatisfied with my Orchid? Well, not exactly. I strongly suspect that in my far less resolving system, I’d not hear nearly the difference between it and the Holo line. That said, I have had a peek through the keyhole and have seen a lovely lady holding an apple.