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Denafrips Dacs

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

  1. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    :righton:
    Yeah I want golden screws for that kind of money :winkgrin:!
     
    ssmith3046 likes this.
  2. Calvin_and_Hobbes

    Calvin_and_Hobbes Music Lover

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I would suggest that if Denafrips stops selling the Terminator Plus, then other people agree with you that it's overpriced. But what I am seeing is that due to either actual performance, perceived performance or perceived value for money, the Terminator Plus actually seems to be selling pretty well. High end audio right now seems to be as close to an industry with knock-down, drag-out free market competition as any other than I can think of. Thousands of high end audio brands, none of whom have much market power other than the brand image they are able to create. Even those efforts to create a brand image can be undercut immediately by bad PR on social media.
     
  3. justanotherhifienthusiast

    justanotherhifienthusiast Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Pretty ghastly as well. I assume they have no other choice since they are selling their pieces as modular systems. Meridian does the same stuff, their gear is similar price to CH Precision. At least CH Precision has super built internals and a really thick faceplate.

    Check out Boulder or Nagra if you want to see fit and finish on a chassis done right.
     
  4. Ben_pit

    Ben_pit Active Member

    Location:
    Singapore
  5. Shangri-La

    Shangri-La Well-Known Member

    Location:
    CA
  6. Ben_pit

    Ben_pit Active Member

    Location:
    Singapore
    Glad someone noticed
     
  7. Salparadise

    Salparadise Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    I’ve been enjoying the Pontus II for nine days now (200 hours on), mostly in NOS with acoustic instruments and female vocals (been on a Joni kick), and today I received a 3 CD set of Chopin Etudes, Preludes, and Polonaises by Pollini, on Deutsche Grammophon. These are 70’s recordings, and the quality is excellent. I dug into the Pontus manual and set it to OS slow filter, added a bit of volume over my casual level and focused. It handles piano so well, I am really impressed. The weight and timber coming through today were better than I’ve heard on my system. I made another change though, so it’s hard to say how much that contributed- I upgraded to the Cossor WE300B tubes (Western Electric copy) several days ago and they’re starting to limber up. As I mentioned before, I’ve used Agerich’s 1965 recording of Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53 as a reference for judging changes to my system, but this recording blew it away because of the recording quality. The dynamics are more alive and harder hitting where they’re supposed to be. Agerich’s performance may still be better but the Pollini recording trumps it. One more change to my system and I’m done for awhile- have a pair of Siemens-Valvo 12au7’s to match the Valvo 12ax7 on the way. Anyway, Pontus on OS slow for piano is rich.
     
  8. RockAddict

    RockAddict Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Some of this post is duplicated from another DAC thread but this is specifically about Denafrips...

    After a very short-lived failed experiment with a non-Denafrips DAC, I had a decision to make. Wait several months before getting the Pontus II, or get the Denafrips Ares II now and look to trade-up to the Pontus II in 9-12 months. However...

    Fate appears to have been hard at work. An immaculately timed fortuitous and unexpected turn of events has changed the financial equation just enough to bring the Pontus II within reach without having the frustration of an unwanted delay. The trigger has been pulled with an order being placed with the UK distributor (Willow Tree Audio) and, all things being equal, delivery should be within the next week. If the Pontus II is even half as good as user feedback has indicated, I should be very happy. Every now and again, things just turn out for the better and it's nice to get that all too infrequent "happy moment" feeling.


    Some thanks... Many of the posts on these forums (particularly within this thread) have been very useful, er, some quite unintentionally ;). The post by @Calvin_and_Hobbes in which he compared the Pontus II with the Chord Qutest was especially helpful on a number of fronts, as was his comparison with the Ares II. Posts by others, in conjunction with information elsewhere on the web, where other DACs were mentioned also helped in the context of gauging audio characteristics of several DACs. Despite myriad alternatives, the Pontus II was ever-present on the radar (once known about) and always seemed to end up ahead of the others after looking into them. I'm very pleased to have had the good luck to get it now, rather than have to wait.

    BTW... If the Pontus II turns out to be a pile of doo-doo, the blame lies firmly with all of you... :eek: :confused: :D

    PS: Don't worry, I'll take into account the 5,000 hrs break-in needed for the Pontus.
    PPS: For those now worried about the break-in for the Pontus, it isn't really 5,000 hours. At least I flipping well hope not! :eek:
     
    bever70 and timind like this.
  9. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    I would love to buy a Pontus II, but it has no volume control. As @alvin1118 checks in frequently, let me ask why Denafrips doesn't offer a volume control on their dacs? Are there any plans to do so in the future?
     
  10. Ben_pit

    Ben_pit Active Member

    Location:
    Singapore
    Good question, I am not sure and I am not really concerned. I use my amp volume control, that’s fine. What’s missing I think perhaps is a remote but yet there may be a valid reason why there isn’t one.
     
    bever70 and timind like this.
  11. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    Yes! Get some exercise !! Keep your knees from getting rusty and all that ;).
     
    rockin_since_58 likes this.
  12. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    no idea either but it isnt an issue for me as i control the volume on my 505ux directly and when using balanced its just the right loudness at 9'oclock and my phono matches it at around 10:30
     
  13. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    I'v been using integrated amps exclusively for a few years now, but I like the convenience of being able to match sources. If the Pontus II had a remote I would be listening to one now.
     
    gryphongryph and inzite like this.
  14. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    fair point imo since everyone's needs are different. Maybe pontus iii can give you that.
     
    timind likes this.
  15. Shangri-La

    Shangri-La Well-Known Member

    Location:
    CA
    I also wish Denafrips DACs have volume control and wonder if a passive volume control is a viable option.
     
    timind likes this.
  16. edo.t

    edo.t Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY
    I wish they had volume control too. I had my Oppo at 75. With my Venus at full whack the usable range on my preamp is so small. While I'm wishing, I'd like to see them do another transport. Something that passed SACD to one of their DAC's.
     
  17. Jaytor

    Jaytor Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    The difference in SQ between an inexpensive volume control (such as an ALPS pot) and a high quality stepped attenuator (such as a Khozmo or Goldpoint) is pretty significant. I would hate to see Denafrips compromise the SQ of their DACs by inserting an inexpensive POT in the signal path. To do this right, they would ideally have both fixed and variable outputs, and would probably need to use a motorized POT and have remote control. These features add a fair amount of cost. So I'd vote NO to added a built in volume control.
     
    Kyhl, adamos, mreeter and 6 others like this.
  18. gguy

    gguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wildomar, CA
    Does anyone here have experience with both the Topping D90 and a Pontus II. I’m strongly considering upgrading from my D90, but would like to know if it’s worth the extra $1k.
     
  19. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    different sound profile for sure. All I can say is that there are usually a few for resale while there are barely any pontus ii.
     
  20. raindog69

    raindog69 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I went from a D90 to an Ares II. Very happy with this move. The D90 was... clinical. I was skeptical about the difference with this R2R DAC, but I'm a believer. Really enjoying the overall experience with a more engaging soundstage. I'm guessing the Pontus would be even better...
     
    adamos, bever70 and Doctor Fine like this.
  21. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    I agree. I had Dac's with volume control before (Bel Canto Dac 3, my CocktailaudioX40 also has choice between variable or fixed). Didn't like them used as a preamp (using the variable out in my amp). When I fed the fixed signal into a passive preamp (Schiit Saga and Tisbury Audio passive) the result was better but still not as good as going fixed into my active preamp now (Parasound P5). I do have the pots where the signal comes in on the back of my Halo A21 amp dialed back though, so that I have more volume control (and can use more of the range) on my P5 preamp.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  22. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    Sorry but I don't really understand why you would want a volume control on a dac (and any possible sound degradation resulting from using it) when you use an integrated amp ? Is it just to match volume between your sources, so that when you switch inputs on the integrated, everything sounds even ? You have a volume control on the integrated to do that, and then there is the difference between volume levels on different albums (louder mastering)...just wondering here why you would prefer having 2 volume controls in your signal path ?
     
    raindog69 likes this.
  23. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    I prefer the versatility the volume control offers. Also, I'm not married to the integrated amp; you never know. There's no noticeable degradation in the sound with my current dac's volume control, it's possible to do.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  24. Salparadise

    Salparadise Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    Would you really constrain yourself to DACs that have a volume control? Sort of like insisting that your next car come equipped with a glide slope indicator is it not? I wonder why nobody makes volume controls as separate components... they could add multiple inputs, switching and tone controls and perhaps have a thing.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  25. gguy

    gguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wildomar, CA
    Thanks for the feedback, that answers the question.
     
    inzite likes this.

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