Denafrips Dacs

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

  1. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Forum Resident

  2. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Forum Resident

    timind and bever70 like this.
  3. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    It's still here in my setup after 18 months. In the 18 months before the AresII I believe I tried 4 or 5 different DAC's. So I guess that's a yes.
    I find the AresII so good that I am pretty much immune to all the flattering stuff I keep reading here about the PontusII. And I am usually pretty 'itchy' when it comes to gear upgrades so that should tell you enough.
     
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  4. Salparadise

    Salparadise Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    It delivers, definitely. I bought the Ares II in January and was stunned at hearing how much I’d been missing. I had been using what was reputed to be a CD with a good DAC. Then I realized that my amp was the limiting piece, so I built a 300B kit and was stunned all over again. I placed an order for a Pontus II about two weeks ago- not because the Ares is limiting, but because the Pontus is a leap above the Ares and I have an amp and speakers that will take full advantage of it. You will not be disappointed with either.

    The Ares II will be looking to be rehomed sometime next week.
     
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  5. Greg Carrier

    Greg Carrier Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa City
    Can you play SACDs through the Ares II, or just redbook CDs?
     
  6. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    You can play 24/192 high resolution internet streams and downloads through it .
    And it will sound better than you can imagine.
    Definitely way better than CD quality which is rather sick sounding IMO.

    As for playing SACD---I suppose you can download SACD through USB.
    But I haven't pursued SACD anything.
    I use it downstairs in my theater because HDMI can pass it to my Marantz which accepts raw SACD over HDMI.
    And I have an SACD player hooked up to the Marantz for that reason, using HDMI out.
    And a handful of SACD multichannel recordings just for fun.

    But not interested in SACD for the most part as nobody streams with it to my knowledge.
    Not sure how you get it in native format using the ARES or PontusII.
    Anybody want to step in here?
     
  7. Calvin_and_Hobbes

    Calvin_and_Hobbes Music Lover

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    The P0ntus II does really well in delivering what I like about listening to vinyl. I've had a number of DACs in my system in the past year:
    1. Rega DAC
    2. Denafrips Ares II
    3. Chord Qutest with stock power supply
    4. Chord Qutest powered by a battery
    5. Denafrips Pontus II for the past three weeks
    Several of these sounded good overall, then I would put on the same record as has been playing through these DACs and I would realize how much better my turntable still sounded in terms of fullness of the sound, being able to feel the timbre of instruments, smoothness of the sound, and overall flow. Mind you, I don't have a fantastic turntable setup either. (Linn Axis with a Benz Micro MC Gold cartridge going into the MC phono input of a Creek 4140 integrated amplifier)

    The Pontus sounded good even before comparing it to vinyl. My level of listening fatigue was pretty much zero like when I listen to vinyl records. It sounds detailed in a very natural way (as opposed to an analytical way like a lot of digital I hear). And the sound is very full. I was listening to Michael Hedges' Aerial Boundaries from a CD via the Pontus and decided to put the same record on my turntable. I was pretty surprised to hear that the music via the Pontus is pretty close to the sound quality that I like from my turntable. Perhaps not quite as full and 3D in sound but nothing that would bother me in everyday listening. In fact, one thing that I notice with the Pontus is that I just listen to music and don't think about the music from an intellectual perspective. THAT characteristic of listening to a recording as I might listen to live music is what I have noticed that I appreciate about listening to vinyl. So, I'm very satisfied with how the Pontus sounds as a diehard vinyl listener. (Have never bought a CD player for my main system and was only motivated to build a digital front end because of the easy access to music that streaming provides)

    Note: Qobuz sounds good to me. Spotify Premium is passable. Amazon HiFi isn't great & Tidal is downright terrible in sound quality. That's that other part about making streaming audio sound good. Local files sound better to me.
     
  8. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    Boy I will say the ARESII sure kicks some butt as a headphone DAC!
    I'm running EQ/THX789/Balanced SennHD6XX.
    I had no idea headphones could sound this analog.
     
  9. Salparadise

    Salparadise Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    It’s been a week since the email saying it’s ready to ship, and it’s still in China, approved to export but still on the ground. And then when it is delivered I will be so empty of anticipation that I’ll have to buy something else. They really know how to hook ya.
     
  10. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    ah damn! mine via dhl left shenzhen already and enroute to cincinnati hub then up to canada. already pre cleared customs and paid my taxes. hopefully yours move soon.
     
  11. alvin1118

    alvin1118 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Singapore
    Shipping have been challenging since the start of the pandemic. But situation is improving.
    Please be assured that we will deliver :)
     
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  12. Salparadise

    Salparadise Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    Alvin, no one thinks this is your fault. All you can do is initiate the process by turning the packages over to the shipper. But it is crazy-making to see it not moving for a week. I had in an order in January and it was fast. We know you’d make it faster if you could.
     
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  13. pofonso

    pofonso Forum Resident

    Location:
    Spain
    Same. Since April 20th.
     
  14. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    was yours through fedex or dhl? and to where? i find the carrier and destination to cause the main difference in delay and stuff.
     
  15. pofonso

    pofonso Forum Resident

    Location:
    Spain
    Well, don’t know exactly but it seems it’s not one of them. The tracking information shows “transmitted to DPD”. The local courier is SEUR. It’s a Terminator that will be (hopefully soon) delivered in the south of Spain.
    DPD seems located in Germany. Perhaps the dac is in transit to Europe. The tracking shows no information about that.
     
  16. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    thats strange, i would imagine these stuff will go out via courier like dhl, fedex or ups. In my experience dhl tends to be the fastest with fedex just slightly behind depending on the origin and destination.
     
  17. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    and Pontus ii is here! Gonna unpack it tonight!

    Ordered on Apr 10, notified on Apr 20 that will be shipped out, got the dhl tracking# on Apr 24, shipped from Shenzhen on Apr 25 and arrived in Canada on Apr 29. Given it was not an in stock item when I ordered it's acceptably fast IMO. Hope everyone gets theirs soon!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  18. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    OOTB it's a huge difference and improvement compared to the node2i and cd6006 internal DACs. Very noticeable bigger sound stage, fuller sound (low goes deep, highs detailed but not piercing, mids sweet), obvious layering and I'm hearing new details...

    This upgrade over the internal DACs is significant.

    Using NOS mode right now but will compare with OS after burn in.

    Single boxed but super well packed to withstand the journey from China to Canada. Build quality, fit and finish on par with my Luxman - dense feeling.

    [​IMG]
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    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  19. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    And your daughter (or son) likes it too! That's always a plus :righton:.
     
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  20. celester340

    celester340 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chennai
    Hello!

    I'm looking for a DAC and am a little confused whether I should go with the AN DAC1.1 or maybe get a denafrips ares or Pontus.

    My only digital source is a Cambridge CXN streamer and I use Spotify.

    Very inclined towards the denafrips. Would a DAC like this make a big difference in SQ as against my streamer?

    I have a AN Soro phono SE signature and AN E LX He Hemp speakers.
     
  21. Salparadise

    Salparadise Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    My silver Pontus is scheduled for delivery by noon today!

    It was held up in China for 6 days, escaped to Japan yesterday, and 24 hours later it arrives on my doorstep. I thought Nixon and Mao worked this stuff out several months ago.
     
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  22. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    I am using the Ares II with my CXN V2 and the Ares was a big improvement in SQ over the CXN internal DAC.
     
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  23. rtsusc83

    rtsusc83 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    I am curious with how you have your bluesound connected to the pontus II. I currently have it connected with BJC Coax cable but only noting a subtle difference. The game changer for me was the IPAD Pro>USB camera adapter>Ice Age USB>Pontus II. I appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks.
    Bob
     
  24. celester340

    celester340 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chennai
    Perfect. Thanks for that. Would be actually very nice if u could elaborate a wee bit more on what changed and what you hear now please?
     
  25. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    The biggest improvement was a fuller sound with more punch. Bass was more defined and tighter. Soundstage is larger and the speakers seem to disappear.
     
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