Holo May Pre-amp

What is the best sounding pre-amp with the Hollo May KTE dac? Kindly give me an idea of the presentation.

May owners only please.


@mikedaniels -What’s in the rest of your system? I ran my Holo May with tubes separates and a top shelf CD transport, and really like the holographic and organic presentation.

what is your preamp?


Prima Luna monos

Aurender n-10

Sonus Fabre Cremona M auditors

Holo Spring Kte

Velodyne DD 15

Cardas Clear Beyond.


“Best sounding” is too general to make a meaningful recommendation because everyone has unique tastes/preferences.  What pre are you using now, and what specific improvements/sound characteristics are you looking for?  Also, what’s your budget and are you looking for new or used?  You’ll get much better and more targeted recommendations by sharing this critical info.

I’m not looking for someone to tell me what I want. 
just personal experience what they like.

Why not consider the Holo Serene preamp which obviously should be good with the May. The Serene only adds a touch of warmth. It is a tiny amount, and you get a super silent unit. I have the Serene and love it. The Benchmark LA4 preamp is similar in all aspects as the Serene except it does not have that tiny bit of warmth. I also have the LA4. 

Both of these can be used with ANY gear if you like the sound of your other gear and do not want the preamp to add to it, especially the LA4.

Recently, I started listening to my slightly bright RAAL CA-1a headphones with the Serene and Benchmark AHB2 amp. This combo with the LA4 is a bit sterile. With the Serene is it not really warm but not fatiguing and a very clean sound. That combo was so good I cancelled my plans of selling the AHB2 amp.

I use the Serene with both the AHB2 and a CODA #16 amp with a Schitt Yggi+ LIM DAC. I used to have a Musetec 005, which is favorably compared to the Holo May KTE DAC (see the thread on A'gon). I never had the Serene and Musetec together, but I know that they would work great. Just like the Holo May KTE and Holo Serene KTE.



I’m curious what you find to be the weakness & strengths of the Holo May DAC KTE? This might give you some direction as to what preamps you want to look at. I’m using a McIntosh MA12000 integrated. The May is fed via an Aurender streamer and I’m using Wilson Sabrina X/REL s812 subs. I’ve been happy with the May, but Juan recently listened and thought there was a high frequency hash courtesy of the KTE.  My hearing falls off pretty sharply at 8K.

@mikedaniels -

Wonderful system you have...

I have an ARC LS28SE. I think the tube-based clarity, resolution, transients snap, holographic presentation work well with the May KTE Dac because the sound signature are similar.