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Denafrips Dacs

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by bever70, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    I've actually shifted gears on this a bit.

    Mainly, I unwittingly put together a vision that includes making a new streamer/player + FIFO Reclocker. When really, I just need that latter part to try and feed native DSD into Venus II via i2S. And as good as Venus already is on her USB input - I'm not so sure I'm going to improve on it much. And honestly given the investment so far, the research and work - I could have just bought a DF DDC. But I really do want some sweat equity in at least some parts of the setup :)

    Either way, I'll be able to at least power the DDC and my HQPlayer NAA with a very good PSU!

    The beauty of all this is that when I'm not tinkering, I can just go back to my NAA setup with Ghento USB dual-head cable into Venus, and enjoy the best digital sound I've heard. It's honestly remarkable and I keep meaning to do a write-up, but I'm finding it kind of hard to articulate how much I enjoy this setup. It's seriously and sincerely turned me into a classical music buff.

    It's the transparency Venus affords paired with my new-to-me Dynaudio Confidence C2 speakers that has me even trying to push the envelope further. That says a lot, honestly.
     
    Kyhl likes this.
  2. TheRealMcCoy

    TheRealMcCoy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Is there any US dealer to order a Denafrips from that offers returns? Seems like you can only get them from the Singapore dealer who doesn't offer returns...
    Looking for an Ares II....
    Thanks
     
  3. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    No US dealers. That's part of their pricing strategy. They are almost a consumer direct model with a single global distributor.
     
    TheRealMcCoy likes this.
  4. TheRealMcCoy

    TheRealMcCoy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks for the info! What a pain.... Would love to try it out.... if I don't like it would have to sell it at a loss... great
     
    displayname likes this.
  5. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    Buy a used one, sell it for what you paid.

    Not for nothing but I did that and sold it for $50 more than I paid. And I sold it so I could go to a better DF DAC. Granted not everyone will like the same things, but it's a fairly low risk maneuver.
     
  6. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    The want for these dacs is pretty high, so selling one 2nd hand should not be at a great loss!
     
    TheRealMcCoy likes this.
  7. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    Yeah, I've tried to buy a used Denafrips Ares II, as well as Pontus. They seem to sell at asking price which is usually close to new price. I've made offers within hours of ad posting and get this reply, "sorry, already sold."
     
    bever70, TheRealMcCoy and displayname like this.
  8. TheRealMcCoy

    TheRealMcCoy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I’ve got a question... on the Ares II.... in Oversampling mode does it automatically choose 1x, 2x etc... or can you choose the setting?
     
  9. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    No choice in OS mode. You either choose OS or NOS. In OS you get 2 filter options to choose from (slow & sharp filter).
     
    TheRealMcCoy likes this.
  10. TheRealMcCoy

    TheRealMcCoy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Ok interesting.... so why show 1x,2x etc on the front panel when you don’t have the option to change...?
     
  11. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    1x 2x 4x.... is just to indicate what is playing! So you get for example 44.1k 1x for cds, and anything higher say when you play a 96k digital file : the leds will be illuminated above 48k and 2x (=96).
     
  12. TheRealMcCoy

    TheRealMcCoy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I see, thanks for the clarification:)
     
    bever70 likes this.
  13. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    Another small update on my Ares2. As some of you might remember I always prefered mine in OS mode. If I remember correct it was @dennem who prefered his in NOS, stating it gave him a better 3d soundstage. Personally I found NOS lacking in 'attack' of notes.

    Recently I slightly repositioned my speakers, giving me better tone, presence, imaging and soundstage....so on a blue monday I decided to give NOS another try...and what do you know. Yes, it added more 'body' to notes resulting in a deeper soundstage with better image layering than OS mode. Instruments are just out there, floating... whenever I switch back to OS now, I hear a sharper edge to instruments with less body and the soundstage seems to shrink and get 'thinner'.
    Moral of the story : whether you prefer OS or NOS will greatly depend on system/speaker setup. No right choice there. Experiment with both to see what works best for you and if you do some repositioning don't be afraid to try out all options again.

    JJ Cale & Clapton's 'Road To Escondido' sounds pretty spectacular now in NOS.
     
    K Knight, dennem, Doctor Fine and 9 others like this.
  14. K Knight

    K Knight Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Geneva
    I have the Denafrips Ares II and compared to my last DAC it's great. I run it in OS mode too and the other filter is turned off.

    Besides what it does, I love that it's discreet in its design. The lights are subtle and can barely be seen.

    I was just listening to "one day you'll dance for me New York City" by Thomas Dybdal. I was just loving how the instruments linger and come out nicely detailed.
     
    timind, displayname and toddrhodes like this.
  15. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    You do know that you have 2 filters in OS mode ? So you either have slow or sharp filter turned on (did you experiment with those?) ! You probably meant to say that NOS mode is turned off because you are listening in OS mode ?
     
  16. K Knight

    K Knight Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Geneva
    No, I meant to say, I have OS turned on, Sharp filter turned off (slow). My bad. :)
     
    toddrhodes and bever70 like this.
  17. Have a Cigar

    Have a Cigar Well-Known Member

    Hello all,

    I've just joined the forum and this is my first post. I have been reading this thread from the start and it has convinced me to order a Pontus II which I did last week through Willowtreeaudio here in the UK. I believe it will be shipping imminently. Very excited as this will be the first time I've bought any new gear this millennium!

    Currently I have an all 80s/90s Audiolab 8000 setup: CDM, DAX, A (grey fronted RCA connecters), SX (all of which I bought new back in the day) with recently acquired mid 90s KEF Ref Model 3 speakers. I mostly listen to CDs or streamed from my home PC via a Sonos Connect hooked up to the DAC. I intend to replace the Connect with a Rpi4/AlloOne Signature soon. I think I also need to upgrade my amplification since changing last year from KEF Concord IVs to the Ref Model 3s, but I'm itching to hear the difference that the Pontus should provide. I'll let you know.

    As all my kit is literally decades old, I'll probably take the opportunity of the Pontus arrival to lift the lids off the Audiolab components to see if there is any capacitor leakage or bulging.
     
    timind, adamos, Tony C. and 1 other person like this.
  18. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    Welcome and good luck with the Pontus! Keep us posted about your impressions. I also bought my Ares2 through Willowtreeaudio.
     
  19. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Forum Resident

  20. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    So did anyone here compare the single ended vs. the balanced connection of their Denafrips DAC to preamp ?
    Any noticeable differences ?
    I just thought about it because I now use a preamp that allows 1 balanced input. I have an xlr cable somewhere so will have to try it out...
     
    timind, displayname and Dan Steely like this.
  21. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Forum Resident

    I just tried single ended vs the balanced connection with my headphones setup (AresII->Liquid Platinum->ZMF Verite Closed) and I didn't hear any difference ;)
     
  22. Oliver Meyer

    Oliver Meyer In Audio Heaven Up Here

    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    Has anyone tried the Iris with the Ares II? If so what connections did you use?
    I’m currently going from a Mac mini via usb to the Ares II.
    Absolutely love the Ares. If I can get another 20/30% improvement from re clocking then I’d be interested in the Iris
     
    bever70 likes this.
  23. JumpingBean

    JumpingBean Forum Reedmaker

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm currently reviewing the Iris with the Pontus ii. I wont spoil the review (coming Friday on Audiophilia.com), but the main added benefit I'm finding in the Iris is image coherence. The Pontus already delivers a very wide and deep soundstage, but the Iris is like upgrading the prescription on your glasses, everything is just more lazer-focused. The background is also a lot blacker. I think if you listen primarily via computer the upgrade is a no-brainer.
     
  24. Oliver Meyer

    Oliver Meyer In Audio Heaven Up Here

    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    Can I ask how you are connecting the Iris to the Pontus.
     
  25. JumpingBean

    JumpingBean Forum Reedmaker

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Audioquest Forest HDMI via the I2S connection
     
    SergZh and Oliver Meyer like this.

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