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Denafrips Dacs

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

  1. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I saw a black pontus ii on usaudiomart - probably saves you import duty/tax as well.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  2. gguy

    gguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wildomar, CA
    Yea I saw that one, but am looking for a silver unit. How much are these costing in import duty?
     
  3. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    I didn't pay any import duty when I purchased an Ares II and am also in California.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  4. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    No idea but i think the duty/tax free limit for importing into usa is somewhere around 800-850 usd - which explains why none on an ares ii. For Canada where I am, I believe we have a chance to get dinged anytime it is above 60 cad or something.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  5. Tony C.

    Tony C. Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portugal
    Hey guys –

    Anyone know how to set the BDP SPDIF Audio Output to PCM so that the Pontus can decode PCM audio? I can't figure it out.

    Thanks in advance,

    Tony
     
  6. Calvin_and_Hobbes

    Calvin_and_Hobbes Music Lover

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Well, I just had a listening experience today that underscores the importance of actually listening to audio equipment is before deciding how good it is. A friend was shopping for integrated amplifiers and I brought my Pontus II along as a possible source to use for listening.

    He arrived at the shop before I did and was listening to music already via a Chord Hugo TT/MScaler. I've heard great things about both the Hugo TT and the MScaler, but my immediate impression was that of not feeling engaged in the music. My friend listened to some tracks & then I listened to some tracks that I know well. Before we switched to the other amplifier that he was going to audition, I suggested swapping in the Pontus in place of the Hugo TT/MScaler.

    It was unbelievable how much better the Pontus sounded (to my ears at least) than the Hugo TT/MScaler. Key differences for me were the fullness of the sound, spaciousness, and the sense of musical flow and engagement. The Hugo TT/MScaler was perhaps good from audiophile perspectives, but was surprisingly no where as engaging in playing music as the Pontus. In any case, I've been very satisfied with the sound of the Pontus for the past month or so. My experience today just underscored how what a good value the Pontus is at its $1700 price point.
     
    OC Zed, basie-fan, YtseJammer and 6 others like this.
  7. Shuggie

    Shuggie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    UK
    After 6 months of very happy Ares II ownership, like many others here I felt the time was good to move up in the Denafrips range. Most of the discussion here has been about the Pontus, which is definitely great value, but the Venus is the first Denafrips model to use the much tighter tolerance resistors as the Terminator DACs. I was very lucky to pick up a Venus and it's nothing short of a revelation - the scale and depth of the sound is remarkable, but so to is the precision of spatial resolution and that 'sense of being there'. The Venus has made some CDs that were pretty poor sound engaging and vibrant - quite the opposite of the usual 'audiophile' upgrading effect. What a thing!
     
  8. Dan Steely

    Dan Steely See the glory of The Royal Scam

    Did swapping the amps make any difference?
     
    GLUDFSSR likes this.
  9. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    I was wondering the same thing. He was a bit murky there.
     
  10. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Just read this and assume you were addressing me. I'm not sure about your car analogy, but for dacs, yeah, pretty much.
     
  11. Tony C.

    Tony C. Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portugal
    Please ignore my above post – I ignorantly transposed the need to make the adjustment from the DVD player to the DAC.
     
  12. Calvin_and_Hobbes

    Calvin_and_Hobbes Music Lover

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    @Dan Steely @timind

    With the Pontus or the Chord Hugo TT/MScaler?
     
    Dan Steely likes this.
  13. timind

    timind phorum rezident


    This section below lead me to think you switched amps and dacs at the same time. After reading it a few times, I guess you switched in the Pontus before switching amps. My bad.

    My friend listened to some tracks & then I listened to some tracks that I know well. Before we switched to the other amplifier that he was going to audition, I suggested swapping in the Pontus in place of the Hugo TT/MScaler.
     
  14. Calvin_and_Hobbes

    Calvin_and_Hobbes Music Lover

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Yes, that was the case. We were deciding what source components to use for auditioning the amplifiers. The Hugo TT/MScaler didn't sound very inspiring which led to switching in the Pontus.
     
  15. RockAddict

    RockAddict Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    For me, the M Scaler was an unwanted variable in the equation when considering the Pontus II. Would the Chord Qutest or Hugo 2, in tandem with the M Scaler, be "better" than the standalone Pontus II? Budget limit meant the M Scaler was never an option and the odd online review (yours included) came down on the side of the Pontus II when compared to any of the standalone Chord DACs.

    So, the Pontus II it was and the seller said he rated it higher than the much more expensive Qutest + M Scaler combo. As he'd already got the sale, there wasn't any need to "sell" the Pontus.

    It's early hours but, so far, I'm very pleased with the Pontus II. Early impressions are of a wide and deep soundstage, "body" to instruments (a range of genres) and just wanting to carry on listening. First thoughts on the filters are that it's a bit like alternating between triode and ultra linear mode on a valve amp with an extra level: only the differences between the Pontus filters are way more subtle.

    One surprise... the audio of a couple of SACDs played via the analogue outs of a relatively lowly Sony UHP-H1 was comparable in SQ and audio character to the coax dig out carrying the red book layer of the same hybrid disc via the Pontus. Although not like-for-like, a bit more A/B listening is still merited, I think.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
  16. Greg Carrier

    Greg Carrier Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa City
    I've been running just my CD player through my Ares II, but today I also connected my Cambridge Azur 650BD universal player. BluRay Audio and DVD Audio discs are playing fine through the Ares II, but SACDs won't produce any sound. I've got the SACD output on the Cambridge set to PCM, and the digital output to LCPM. I reset the resolution output limit to 192. Any ideas why I'm getting nothing from SACDs? I've got it connected to the second digital coax. I sent an email to Vinshine, too, btw.
     
  17. RockAddict

    RockAddict Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Does page 22 of the Azur 650BD manual help (SACD priority)? If not, maybe an email to Cambridge? They may or may not engage given the age of the product.

    https://techsupport.cambridgeaudio.com/hc/en-us/articles/200572892-Azur-650BD
     
  18. Linger63

    Linger63 Forum Resident

    Location:
    AUSTRALIA
    inzite and Ham Sandwich like this.
  19. Greg Carrier

    Greg Carrier Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa City
    Thanks, but the SACD priority on my unit is set to Stereo.

    Can anybody else play SACDs through their Denafrips Ares II? Is it even possible?
     
  20. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    I don't care if it is NOS or POS, it sounds fantastic! And don't ask what POS is if you don't know :laugh:
     
  21. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    I do care about how the Denafrips DACs are doing NOS. Because if I do get a Denafrips the purpose would be to put it in NOS mode and then use HQPlayer to oversample.

    So I'm curious about what he finds out about what NOS mode is doing and how that might affect using HQPlayer to upsample while the DAC is in NOS mode. Also curious to see his review of the Ares 2.
     
  22. inzite

    inzite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Definately interesting. My pontus ii has been on nos mode since new as I found it sounds better in near field setup that way. Sound stage is narrower in os mode.
     
  23. Greg Carrier

    Greg Carrier Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa City
    I've been doing some research online and it's becoming apparent to me that I won't be able to play SACDs through my Ares II (or almost any other external DAC) without some kind of conversion -- it has to do with SACD licensing. I've only got 2-3 SACDs that are not multi-layer (no CD layer), and I've got a handful of DVD-Audio disks and a handful of Blu-Ray Audio, including the Neil Young Archives I box, so my choice is going to be either playing all my hi res discs straight to my preamp, or playing the CD layer only of my SACDs, and my DVD-Audio and BluRay Audio discs through the Ares II. Fortunately, I have other versions of the SACD-only discs I have. Or I can look into a converter, which appears to be available online. Frankly, I think the CD layer of my SACDs sounds better through the DAC than the SACD layer does straight to the preamp from my player.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
  24. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    bever70 and jazzsurfer like this.
  25. daveNH

    daveNH Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NH
    Got delivery of a Denifrips Pontus II a couple weeks ago and am burning in the unit by listening to music / using the ISOTEK - Full System Enhancer Burn-In CD. Transport is a newly arrived NuPrime CDT-10. Using a VH Audio Flavor 2 PC with the DAC. Also using almost exclusively the I2S input with the stock CDT-10 I2S cable. Currently have about 200 hours on the unit.

    Early on there was some congestion is some musical passages. However, all has been removed as the Pontus II accumulated more hours of playtime. Running the CDT-10 source output as DSD 64 via I2S seems the best sound so far with my disc collection (CDT-10 can upsample on all digital inputs: HDMI I2S Sampling Rates Converter (SRC): 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 88.2KHz, 96KHz, 176.4KHz, 192KHz, 352.8KHZ, 384KHz, 705KHZ, 768KHZ, DoP64, DoP128, DoP256).

    Some early thoughts so far about the sound: absolutely great and natural sounding detail from the bass (toneful) through treble ranges. Instrument / voice positioning natural and clearly defined, much like seeing the instruments / vocalists in space. Black / dead-quiet background. Soundstage impressive side to side, and front to rear. So far not hearing much difference from the I2s input when using AES/EBU, coaxial inputs, but I'm sticking primarily with the I2S.

    Super impressed with Mr. Alvin Chee of Denafrips and the Denafrips company. Unit was packaged well, best I've seen so far. Mr. Chee is wicked responsive to questions. I understand that the Terminator II is supposed to be a great unit; however, my spouse and I are more than happy with what we're hearing / experiencing with the Pontus II. For us it was $ well spent, and huge bang-for-buck.

    Interested in reading what others are using for PCs / I2S cables. Happy listening.
     
    iluzun, timind, Voodoo Child and 3 others like this.

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