Denafrips Dacs

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

  1. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    haha he liked how it looks!

    I'm using a 25 dollar optic cable from the node2i to the pontus ii and it fits snugged at both ends. Since the pontus ii didn't come with a power cable I'm using the stock luxman one for my e250 since I won't be using that much for the next week or so. Hopefully my cullen power cables for it and the node2i will arrive next week.
     
  2. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    Differences noted between dac's also has a lot to do with speaker positioning setup from my experience. With some speaker setups revealing only subtle changes and other revealing big changes. Just a thought....
     
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  3. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Just to add a bit more info... I'm running the node 2i (c2g branded optic off Amazon) and marantz cd6006 (mogami gold coax) into my pontus ii. The node2i has the stock flimsy power cable and the cd6006 has a old stock luxman (jpa10000) power cable. The pontus ii is using the new stock luxman (jpa10000i) power cable going to my luxman 505ux (mogami gold XLR) with phase inverted to on it to match pin2 = hot coming out of the pontus ii. The 505ux is using a premium luxman power cable (jpa15000) and going to my elac dbr62 speakers for near field listening.
     
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  4. rtsusc83

    rtsusc83 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    Thank you for that! I will look at a power cable for the Bluesound. I currently have Ice Age copper-copper power cable for my Elekit 8200 tube amp and a Ice Age copper-silver for the Pontus. I have on order an optical cable from signal. For interconnects, I am using Decware DSRs. Hopefully, I can get to a fair apples to apples comparison b/w the Bluesound and the Pontus II.
     
    inzite likes this.
  5. RockAddict

    RockAddict Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Pontus II question - for any kind souls who use playlists or folders with tracks that have differing bitrates and/or resolutions (e.g. track 1 is 44.1/16; next track is 96/24 and any other combination(s)).

    The question: are there any in-play issues such as "fat static" clicks when a track with one res changes to a track with a different res?

    It's an issue that affects only a few DACs but it would be good to have confirmation that the Pontus II is not affected.
     
  6. Salparadise

    Salparadise Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    First impressions- after four hours of listening to the Pontus II, and having lived with Ares II for a few months, what is most noticeable to me is additional weight and density in the mid and low bass, a bit more detail and separation in the treble, and a thicker tone and texture in female vocals. Piano is fuller, more weight and resonance. Better sense of the room on Diana Krall’s Live in Paris (one of my go to albums for auditioning), with more presence overall and awareness of lower level lines of various instruments.

    I was afraid I’d not be able to hear much of a difference, or that it would be subtle and I’d be wondering if it was placebo effect (spending money will do that to people). Not the case at all. They do have a similar character, as would be expected, but the difference is similar to upgrading an amplifier. You hear it, and you feel it.
     
  7. Greg Carrier

    Greg Carrier Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa City
    I have a Cambridge universal disc player that plays CDs, SACDs, DVD-Audio, and BluRay Audio discs. Can I play all of that through the Ares II?
     
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  8. Salparadise

    Salparadise Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    If the Cambridge has digital outputs, yes.
     
  9. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Awesome initial review! the bit about piano struck with me as well. On a nice recording like lang lang's goldberg variation or mitsuko uchida's mozart sonatas, the pontus ii on my setup is very very nice with realistic resonance and timber - I listen to my daughter practice 3 to 4 hours every day on a baby grand. So far having left the pontus ii running since it landed (about 60 hours or so) the upgrade from internal dac of node 2i and cd6006 is at least as big if not larger than when I went from pm5005 to a luxman 505ux with a better power cable. Fuller, faster and punchier with much wider and taller sound stage. I briefly changed to OS (slow) but quickly switched back as NOS sounded better to me on my setup. Will give it another try later.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
    Salparadise likes this.
  10. Greg Carrier

    Greg Carrier Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa City
    My Ares II arrived yesterday. For now, I'm feeding it with just my Onkyo C 7070. Eventually I'll connect the Cambridge Azure 651 BD universal player, too. I've always been very pleased with the sound of the C 7070, but the Ares II is obviously a big leap forward. Wow. Just wow. Soundstage for days. Analog-like smoothness. Depth. Air. Detail. You know you've got something when you start pulling out all of your favorite CDs just to see how they sound NOW. Believe the hype, brothers and sisters.

    Funny story about the setup; I got it all connected, pressed the standby button to fire it up, and nothing. Checked all the connections, tried again; nothing. Checked all of the setup steps in the downloadable manual, disconnected, reconnected; nothing. I'm thinking, "don't tell me I'm going to have to send this back." Disconnected it again. Looked it over. Oh yeah; there's an on/off switch in the back. I had forgotten all about it.
     
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  11. Salparadise

    Salparadise Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    Piano is challenging. When you listen to an actual piano it fills the room, and it’s complex. Stereos just can’t match that, but good ones make a convincing effort. One of the first pieces I play on new gear is Chopin’s Polonaise No. 6 in A flat Op. 53 from the Legendary 1965 Recording. Gosh I’d love to hear that played on a Grand by a world class pianist, or even a pretty good pianist.

    So you prefer Lang Lang’s Goldberg to Gould’s? I have Gould, both versions.
     
  12. alvin1118

    alvin1118 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Singapore
    [​IMG]

    Typical usage of the DDC / Reclocker ️
     
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  13. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    You hit it on the nail there in terms of scale and filling up the room for a real piano (even more so with a grand that's propped up or lid-less) compared to stereo output - I agree 200% - especially so if the room isn't overly large. I like both version of Goldberg variations but also feel Lang Lang's take on it is abit more modern and emo vs Gould's approach on it. Both are good imo in their own ways. I also like Nojima's stuff but unfortunately the recording isn't top notch with high noise floor in the background. Mitsuko's stuff is well performed and recorded.
     
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  14. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    Correction, I don't think any SACD's can be played through externals DAC's !
     
  15. Linger63

    Linger63 Forum Resident

    Location:
    AUSTRALIA
    bever70 likes this.
  16. joeym3

    joeym3 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Thanks for this info. Somewhere I read that SACD's (or perhaps it was ripped SACD files) played thru Denafrips (or R2R DACs in general) only had 50% of the output/volume of CDs or CD files. Is this correct? If so, does that apply to all high res files?

    I'm interested in a Pontus. But I have a Line Magnetic 518 integrated, and don't want to use a preamp. Any feedback is appreciated.
     
  17. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    Thanks for clarifying ! No experience at all with SACD, but I read several times on the forum here that this could be an issue when using an external dac. Didn't know there was a workaround.
     
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  18. Greg Carrier

    Greg Carrier Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa City
    The manual says the Ares II can decode both PCM and DSD formats.
     
  19. justanotherhifienthusiast

    justanotherhifienthusiast Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I think the lower priced Denafrips dacs are decent value, but the $8000 USD price tag on the Terminator Plus is ridiculous. It doesn't appear to warrant the 30% price increase over the base Terminator, considering it uses the exact same chassis and power supply section. You can get something made in America or Switzerland for close to $8k, and it will have much fancier and nicer fit and finish. I don't think the sharp corners and visible screws of the Terminator is befitting for a close to 5 figure price tag. Just imo of course.
     
  20. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Its actually 6.5k usd. Even though its way out of my budget for a dac that will eventually get outdated however the exterior fit and finish on my pontus ii at a glance rivals my luxman int amp - being chinese as well I'm very familiar with subpar finishes or knock off products coming out of the millions of factories in China - the pontus ii is anything but cheaply finished. I just took a look at the top end models of luxman and accuphase and both have visable screws on the sides so seeing screws on the side of the terminator plus doesnt strike me as odd. Havn't touched a terminator plus in the metal before but my pontus ii doesnt have any sharp edges at all. Not sure if the sound of the terminator plus justifies the price tag but visually I'm not seeing anything cosmetic that would suggest it goes against the price tag.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
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  21. alvin1118

    alvin1118 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Singapore
    [​IMG]

    We added currency converter on our website, hope it's useful!
     
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  22. justanotherhifienthusiast

    justanotherhifienthusiast Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I should have been more clear with my issue with the screws on the backside of the unit. I dislike how they are not flush with the chassis, and stick out. I also don't like the fit and finish of the rear in general, the way the side panels extend out past the rear of the chassis looks tacky.
     
  23. nichino

    nichino Active Member

    Location:
    Singapore
    No pops or clicks for your use case scenario in my Pontus II
     
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  24. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    These are fair points IMO because everyone's preferences are different. IMO, the point about the screws probably exists for many other non chinese brands.
     
  25. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    Ladies and gentlemen, the made in Switzerland CH Precision C1 DAC and it's back panel fit and finish:
    [​IMG]

    It's only $37,500. You'd think at that point it would be held together entirely by covalent bonds I guess?

    This is like saying the swimsuit model has pointy elbows and does nothing for the actual discussion of the performance of these DACs.

    Ridiculous, indeed.
     
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