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Denafrips Dacs

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

  1. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    After reading through this entire thread and seeing the Vinshine owner's participation, I decided to take the leap and just ordered an Ares 2. I had the Yggy, Border Patrol and HGC on my radar but after reading all this, I feel I am going to get a much better product at a better price. It will be used with a Cambridge CXN V2 and Audiolab 6000 CDT.
     
    K Knight, bever70, jusbe and 4 others like this.
  2. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    I've owned an Yggy and an Ares 2. Ares 2 holds its ground really well against a DAC that is also very good at what it does. I'd give an edge to Yggy but at what cost? $1500? Use what you saved to buy some really good music to enjoy with your new DAC :)

    For my part, I've got a Hermes inbound to stick ahead of my Venus II. I'll be trying out my Pi2AES with it and my Pi4 via USB.
     
  3. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    I don't think the Yggy would have been $1500 better. I was a little leary about ordering from overseas but after reading everything thing here, I am comfortable with the decision.
     
    bever70 and toddrhodes like this.
  4. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    Can't wait to hear your impressions!
     
    rockin_since_58 likes this.
  5. RockAddict

    RockAddict Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Slow burner... Which one (either as a standalone or, specifically, as an external DAC for a Bluesound Node 2i)?

    Denafrips Pontus II or Soekris 2541 ?

    This post is primarily about audio character; no need to worry about any cost differences, build quality or functionality (e.g. MQA etc).

    If anyone can offer any insight about differences in audio character between these DACS, it would be much appreciated.

    Links for ease of reference:
    https://www.denafrips.com/pontus
    Soekris Audio ApS, Products dac1541 (link goes to 2541, not 1541)
     
  6. JumpingBean

    JumpingBean Forum Reedmaker

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Iris review up: Denafrips IRIS USB Digital To Digital Converter — Audiophilia
     
    adamos, Swann36 and bever70 like this.
  7. Shangri-La

    Shangri-La Well-Known Member

    Location:
    CA
    Very temping IRIS review. And I use MAC/PC as my primary source via USB...

    Question: do IRIS/Hermes/Gaia basically do the same thing (reclocker and cleans up USB input) but just to different degrees? I ask because the IRIS is labeled as 'USB DDC' and the other two are 'AIO DDC' (what does AIO mean?) but product description is similar.
     
  8. Shangri-La

    Shangri-La Well-Known Member

    Location:
    CA
    Pontus II + Hermes = S$1700 + S$2300 = $4000

    Venus II = S$4000

    Which give better sound quality?
     
  9. K Knight

    K Knight Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Geneva

    Really great choice! Let us know what you think when it arrives. Mine took like 8 days to arrive at the door. Expected it to be 10 but UPS suddenly turned up 2 days earlier and they were welcomed with a very big warm smile.
     
    rockin_since_58 and timind like this.
  10. Swann36

    Swann36 A widower finding solace in music

    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    Great review as someone who only uses 'computer music' as a preview to purchasing physical media your review is written so well i was drawn in, your approach to the review with simple explanations and clear decriptions was a pleasure to read ...keep up the excellent work :edthumbs:
     
    JumpingBean likes this.
  11. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    Was that 8 days from placing order or 8 days after receiving shipping nitification?
     
  12. JumpingBean

    JumpingBean Forum Reedmaker

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I only have hands on experience with the Iris, but to my knowledge the Iris is specifically a USB reclocker where the Hermes and Gaia have inputs for a number of digital sources.
     
  13. sbank

    sbank Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Just a quick shoutout to Denafrips & Vinshine Audio...
    I received my Pontus II about a month ago and have been really pleased with it in every way. It replaced a Schitt Gungnir Multibit which I've used for the last few years. The organic relaxed nature of the Pontus is a winner. I hear more detail in familiar recordings, but not in an overly "in your face" way. While I'm not ready to sell off my vinyl and analog rig, I'm getting way more enjoyment from digital music. Fit/finish and build quality are top notch; equal or better than many components at higher prices from companies with leading reputations.
    DSD playback is a bonus vs. the Schiit.
    For context, I'm feeding the DAC via library on a Synology server, SonicOrbiter as Roon Core, Blue Jean CAT6a wired to Optical Rendu. Rest of the system is BAT pre, Krell amp, Soundlab speakers.
     
    SergZh, Kyhl, timind and 6 others like this.
  14. K Knight

    K Knight Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Geneva
    8 days after the purchase.
     
  15. K Knight

    K Knight Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Geneva

    So I just gave this a go. I upgraded my speakers after getting the Ares II and never tried it out with the new set up.

    So my feedback (without moving my speakers).

    Sound stage opens up a lot and yes there's a lot more detail for sure. But my issue is I feel like I lose the lead vocalist and they gets lost in the background a bit. Also I need to turn up the volume a bit more.

    When OS is on, there's more vocal presence for sure and I think to rebalanced this, I need to reposition the speakers again (which I spent quite a while get them where they are already). Maybe even closer to the wall? I'm not sure I'm ready for that venture yet.

    Did you reposition them closer with OS turned off?
     
    bever70 likes this.
  16. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    I'll be trying a Hermes on Monday, between my Pi4 HQPlayer NAA and my Venus II. USB in, HDMI i2S out.

    I have already had positive results using an Ian Canada FiFo reclocker doing the same thing, but I had a little "glitch" every 5-10 minutes. Not sure if that's that reclocker just not working well with my setup, or if perhaps I have something going on with my i2S input on Venus II. We shall see soon!
     
  17. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    The answer is not that simple, considering I don't have 2 loudspeakers but a hybrid system of 3 loudspeakers (2 magnetostatic satellites + 1 conus/woofer box) - check my profile for a photo. I repositioned that woofer box forwards with regards to the satellites. I did this using the OS setting of the Ares because I always used to listen in OS mode. The woofer box was simply too far back as opposed to the side magnetostats. Now they are more 'in line' with eachother. It was only after the repositioning that I tried NOS and found out I preferred this setting now.
    The singer/center stage sounds very focused now, but I use the position of my TV in between my speakers to really get that focused and 3d effect. Sliding the TV forwards or backwards a few mm's at a time gets it dialed in as I like it. This probably also has to do with the fact that my magnetostats are open to the back and deliver as much energy to the back as to the front.
     
  18. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    Just put Hermes in front of my Venus II so my chain is:

    Win 10 PC as Roon core --> Win 10 PC as HQ Player processor --> fiber network conversion --> Pi4 (both fiber converter and Pi are battery powered) --> Ghent dual head USB cable to Hermes USB In --> i2S out to Venus II using a 1.5 foot 4K HDMI cable ($10 on Amazon or something - nothing special).

    HQPlayer settings are PCM 768 upsampling (or whatever the equivalent nearest to that in 44.1 rate family) with Sinc-L and Sinc M, LNS15 noise shaper.

    Sounds fantastic thus far. Just letting Roon shuffle up some jazz for me off Qobuz and the imaging and space I'm sitting in is utterly convincing. Can't wait to let it settle in even further.
     
  19. Have a Cigar

    Have a Cigar Well-Known Member

    The day has arrived. My Pontus is sitting by my desk here at work and I'm itching to get home and set it up. It took a bit longer than expected because they were doing a run of silver finished units before my black one.

    Since my initial post I have changed my Audiolab 8000SX for a Meridian 557 which gives me the extra power my KEFs seem to like and makes them sound much better at lower volumes. Can't wait to see what the Pontus adds.

    On the subject of the 'burning in period', how is it best to do this? Is it just a case of leaving it powered on, or does it need to have music playing? If the latter, does volume matter or can I even disconnect the speakers? Alternatively should I just let it burn in over my normal listening routine which will of course take longer but at least I'll be getting enjoyment from it during the process?
     
  20. Voodoo Child

    Voodoo Child Just A Flea-Bit Peanut Monkey

    Location:
    London
    I would just connect it up and start enjoying it, that's what I did with mine. Just make sure that you leave it powered up 24/7 though.
    Also, connect it up with the best power cord that you've got. I've found recently that the performance increases with a good quality power cord.
    Hope you enjoy yours.
     
  21. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    Yes just keep it powered on all the time and start listening. No need to keep music playing 24/7 imo. They are supposed to have allready 100hrs of burn in from the factory. But apparently will benefit from a few hundreds more. Keeping it powered on will take care of that. Oh and congratulations ! From which current dac are you switching to the Pontus ?
     
  22. Have a Cigar

    Have a Cigar Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I've just made up one of these to use with it:
    MCRU No. 4 DIY Mains Lead Set - MCRU

    At some stage I will upgrade all my power cables to something better. What do you use?
     
  23. Have a Cigar

    Have a Cigar Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the advice. I'm upgrading from an Audiolab 8000DAX (which to be honest I've always been very happy with). One of the reasons for upgrading was to have more up to date connectivity as well as to see what 21st century technology brings to the table over 1980s. The 8000DAX (or the more commonly found 8000DACs) were very well reviewed back then.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  24. Silverwolf

    Silverwolf Occasional Esoteric Freak

    I’ve made similar cables before - I’ve found good improvement in modest kit, most especially sources. At the time, my CD player, and surprisingly my DVD player benefited most. I was surprised with the DVD player, it was a Cambridge Audio player which was known to have good sound - the sound quality was improved, but so was the picture by a noticeable amount. I think the shielding makes the main difference IMO, I’m sure some may say different, but I’m not sure how far it’s worth going with power cables beyond that. Reading between the lines on other threads, mains conditioning seems to be the next step (which in theory would negate the need for a better cable than you’re about to make), but expect much more expense to do that. Never tried it myself, don’t think my current (still modest!) kit would benefit enough for the outlay. Enjoy!
     
    jesterthejedi and Have a Cigar like this.
  25. Voodoo Child

    Voodoo Child Just A Flea-Bit Peanut Monkey

    Location:
    London
    timind and Have a Cigar like this.

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