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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
    Trying out dual AES/EBU from Hermes to Venus II - works a treat. Allows up to DSD128 and PCM384, which I'm providing via HQPlayer into a Pi4 and out USB into Hermes.
     
  2. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    My Ares 2 is on it's way. It has departed China with the next stop in Japan. Supposed to be here next Tuesday.
     
    rischa, timind, bever70 and 3 others like this.
  3. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    If I recall correctly it took two days for my Pontus to get halfway around the world from China to Japan to Alaska to Memphis, and another two days to get 120 miles from Memphis to here.
     
    toddrhodes likes this.
  4. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    I have to say - glitch or no glitch - this dual AES/EBU setup from Hermes into Venus II is absolutely captivating. It is really something. Glad I tried it!
     
    Kyhl and bever70 like this.
  5. Have a Cigar

    Have a Cigar Well-Known Member

    Voodoo Child likes this.
  6. Voodoo Child

    Voodoo Child Just A Flea-Bit Peanut Monkey

    Location:
    London
    That's fair enough.
    What were your first impressions of the Pontus?
     
    Swann36 and Have a Cigar like this.
  7. Have a Cigar

    Have a Cigar Well-Known Member

    Pontus II - First Impressions

    Rushed home from work last night to get set up and start listening...

    Everything was being sourced via my PC / Roon / Sonos Connect either from my own HDD or from Qobuz. I have yet to try playing from my CD transport (Audiolab 8000CDM). I was listening at around 65-75db and my listening position is around 2.5 metres / 8 feet away from the speakers - the placement of which is sadly compromised by being much closer to the rear walls than I would like. For some reason my missus doesn't like my 4ft tall (KEF Reference Model 3) speakers being in the middle of the sitting room floor...:rolleyes:

    Once all connected up and switched on, I started where I'd left off my listening from the previous evening which happened to be a laid back 'chillout' style DJ electronica mix (Back To Mine - Nick Warren). My first impression was of being a little underwhelmed, I could immediately hear an improvement in clarity but bass seemed a little light and the overall impression was of more detail but less musicality when compared to my old 8000DAX. I ran the Pontus straight out of the box with OS on by default in my case. I haven't yet tried it switched off.

    At this point I was wondering if I'd spent wisely and thinking that maybe I should have upgraded my Preamp instead. Of course everything was being played from cold at this point, and it took me a while to factor that into the experience.

    Anyway, I left it playing Roon radio for half an hour whilst I made myself some dinner and did a bit of tidying the kitchen, before returning for a more extended listen. My playlist (if anyone's interested) was as follows:

    Dave Brubeck - Take Five
    Stevie Ray Vaughan - Tin Pan Alley
    Pink Floyd - Grantchester Meadows
    Genesis - Horizons
    Seal - Violet
    Elvis Costello - Shipbuilding, & Beyond Belief
    Alpha Blondy - Jah Houphouet
    Carpenters - Only Yesterday
    Beatles - Within You Without You (2017 re-mix)
    Dire Straits - Iron Hand
    Agnes Obel - Can't Be, & Brother Sparrow
    Melody Gardot - I Fall in Love Too Easily
    Melanie de Biasio - The Flow, & No Deal
    George Michael - Mother's Pride, & Jesus to a Child
    Rickie Lee Jones - Night Train, & Last Chance Texaco
    Patty Griffin - Ohio
    Janis Ian - At Seventeen
    Santana - Incident at Neshabur, & Bella
    Great White - House of Broken Love (Live @ Wembley version)

    Of course not all the above are great recordings, but I wanted to listen to a variety of music rather than just audiophile ones.

    I really wanted to get some classical and some rock into the evening's playlist and was going to go for some Led Zep and The Who, but by then it was midnight and I really needed to go to bed... so to be continued.

    As the listening progressed I started to hear more musicality coming forth and most notably (and as other people have reported) a sense of being able to hear individual instruments standing out from one another even when there was a lot going on at the same time such as on Within You Without You and Violet. The Pontus really excels with vocals and acoustic instruments which were projecting out into the room as they had never done before. The bass response seemed to grow as well as time went on so I think it was just a case of getting the system up to temperature across the board.

    Soundstage so far is about the same width as before, with some instruments appearing to be coming from the corners of the room (about 2 metres out to each side of the speakers). Where it has really improved is in accuracy/focus of instrument placement and in the depth and height of the soundstage which were both noticeably improved over having the 8000DAX in the system (which was always good, only the Pontus is notably better).

    I have left it switched on today and will be continuing when I get home tonight with trying more of my favourites including some classical, jazz, prog, reggae, electronica, etc. Roll on 6pm and going home!
     
    Kristofa, Kyhl, adamos and 3 others like this.
  8. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    It cleared customs in Japan yesterday and is now on it's way to San Francisco. I am in Southern California so looks like it will be here early next week.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  9. Voodoo Child

    Voodoo Child Just A Flea-Bit Peanut Monkey

    Location:
    London
    I had the exact same feeling of being a bit underwhelmed when I first got mine but it didn't take long to start winning me over and I love it now.
    I started out listening in OS mode for the first few months but recently switched to NOS and I think that I now prefer that mode.
    Will be interesting to hear what you think after a few weeks and it's properly run in and settled down.
     
    Have a Cigar and bever70 like this.
  10. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    An R2R DAC takes quite a long time to stabilize and reach maximum performance. It is best to leave them on all the time. I previously had the Schiit Bifrost 2 and it would take about 4 hours minimum to start sounding good from a cold start.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
    bever70 likes this.
  11. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    Nice you had some Melanie De Biasio in ! Still a bit obscure in our own country so always a pleasant surprise that she gets some recognition abroad.
    Be sure to also try the NOS mode (to my ears it sounds more full with a tad more bass in Ares2) somewhere down the line. And also play with both filters in OS mode. BUT first give it enough time to break in and get a good feel for the standard mode it is in now. Don't start switching between different modes/filters too soon.
     
    Voodoo Child likes this.
  12. Have a Cigar

    Have a Cigar Well-Known Member

    That was indeed my intention. I will have to remind myself as to how to select the different filters anyway when the time comes.

    I first became aware of Melanie De Biasio a couple of years ago when she appeared on a late night music programme we have here in the UK called 'Later with Jules' (hosted by Jules Holland).
     
    Swann36 and bever70 like this.
  13. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    I know the programme and watch it very occasionally....but isn't it Jools ?!
     
    Dan Steely likes this.
  14. Calvin_and_Hobbes

    Calvin_and_Hobbes Yes, my hearing works quite well. Yours?

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I've got a Pontus II coming later this week, currently have a Qutest running on a battery, and have an Ares II as well for comparison. I'll be curious how the Pontus sounds versus the Qutest as the Qutest running off a battery is quite smooth in sound with more detail evident than with the standard switch mode power supply (due to a lower noise floor I think).
     
    bever70 and Shangri-La like this.
  15. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    I don't know how this happened but I just got home from going out to breakfast for my birthday and the Ares 2 was waiting at my front door! Gonna get setup in the system and will power it on for at least an hour before listening to anything. FedEx must have been delayed in sending me notifications.
     
  16. Have a Cigar

    Have a Cigar Well-Known Member

    Ha ha! Yes your right, it is indeed Jools. My bad.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  17. Have a Cigar

    Have a Cigar Well-Known Member

    Good to know. I'll leave it on unless I'm away for a few days or longer.
     
  18. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    This what I did with the Bifrost 2 and what I will be doing with the Ares II. I know it has a main power switch on the back and a standby switch on the front. I am about to un-box the Ares and get it setup in my system.
     
  19. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    The advantages of West Coast living...
     
    rockin_since_58 likes this.
  20. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    If you ever feel like posting a comparison between Pontus and Ares....don't hesitate ;)!
     
    Swann36 and rockin_since_58 like this.
  21. Calvin_and_Hobbes

    Calvin_and_Hobbes Yes, my hearing works quite well. Yours?

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I definitely will. I got the Pontus because though the sound quality of the Ares is pleasant, it's not as engaging because of a lack of detail.
     
  22. rtsusc83

    rtsusc83 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    I ordered my Pontus II on 3/1/21 and at the time, shipping was to be b/w 3-4 weeks. I am now on week 5. Were you experiencing the same timeline/delay?
     
  23. Shangri-La

    Shangri-La Well-Known Member

    Location:
    CA
    What I always do when getting a new DAC is to listen for 5-10 min, compare it to current DAC, and leave it playing with amp turned off. I would let it play for *at least* 100 hours before listen/compare again. I would then leaving it running for another 50-100 hours and then give a listen. And I'd strongly suggest you do this way.
     
  24. Shangri-La

    Shangri-La Well-Known Member

    Location:
    CA
    How much improvement would you say the Hermes brought to your Venus II?
     
  25. Calvin_and_Hobbes

    Calvin_and_Hobbes Yes, my hearing works quite well. Yours?

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I ordered on Feb 22, 2021. I placed my order right when they were shipping the last batch that was manufactured. My Pontus is now in the FedEx distribution hub in Memphis.

    They seem be manufactured every 4 weeks so the timing of your order relative to the manufacturing cycle probably makes a difference in when you receive your order. I would write to Alvin in Vinshine and ask for an update. I found him to be exceptionally good at responding and I got an answer back on timing of when to expect my Pontus DAC within a day or two.
     

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