Denafrips Dacs

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

  1. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    What you guys are hearing is backwards from my experience with the Ares. Forgive me but I can’t help but wonder if you’re correctly recalling which settings are which. I get a wider and deeper soundstage with oversampling. It’s NOS mode that makes for a narrower, more congested sound in my system, while OS is a deeper soundstage while also being more “in-your-face,” with more upper midrange emphasis.

    When it comes to top-end extension, I find OS setting with the slow-rolloff filter is most like modern delta-sigma DACs, though this configuration can be slightly edgy.

    A nice middle ground is OS mode with the fast rolloff filter. This setting gives me all the good traits of my DAC Box SFL with less obvious rolloff in the highs.
     
    Beatles4503 likes this.
  2. fish

    fish Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY, USA
    Followed this, check it trice.
    Ive listened back and forth for hours/days.
    Lights on.. lights off...
    In normal operating mode the light stays off, that doesnt mean it is. You make the on/off choice when in edit mode. If you turn the light on (NOS) in 5 seconds it turns off for normal operating mode but NOS is on. To confirm it go into edit mode again and press opt1. It its lite, its on, if its off its in OS mode. You have a few seconds to change it.




    OS is just more aggressive and unappealing. Its still good and im sure very system dependent.
    My system is very Full Range but also very sensitive to everything, the music as well as the wire and components.


    From a fellow Audiophiliac "...It’s just how OS is. I’ve never heard an OS DAC that sounds as nice as NOS. I’ve heard at least a dozen of them…always the same thing. Congested midrange and sharper edgier high mid and top end..."
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
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  3. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    Seems we’re on the same page regarding Ares modes of operation but not when it comes to sound profiles. Guess we’ll just have to chalk it up to different systems/ears.
     
    Doctor Fine and fish like this.
  4. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    Me and Fish are both swimming in the same pond.
    On ALL my systems I hear the same differences.

    Nearfield.
    Far Field.
    Disco setup.
    Headphones.

    I guess we would have to go over to your house Helom and see for ourselves why you are hearing the total opposite of what we get.
    Are ALL my systems telling me lies?
    Is NOS smaller and two dimensional?
    Me no think so...

    I WILL agree that the minute I turn on oversampling I find the ARES II sounds a lot more like a Delta-Sigma oversampling DAC.
    Hard.
    Edgy.
    Clear as a bell but who wants to hear THAT?
    Natural music doesn't sound like that.
    It is more organic---more like NON-OS.

    My experience and Fish too, if you can believe a fish and a Doctor.
    But believe what you want.
    Nobody is right and nobody is wrong as long as there is wine women and song.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
    Mcginty2020 likes this.
  5. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    This thread was started by Bever70 and I wrote him a note a year ago stating those exact same words.
    I said the bass on the ARES II was deep but a bit "boomy" and loose.
    And I said the soundstage was much more upfront and in your face.
    And a bit less deep.
    And a bit indistinct compared to a Delta-Sigma chipset DAC.
    More organic though.
    Shows me that me and fish are somehow hearing the EXACT same thing.

    I compared my ARES II to a Bryston DAC.
    Two Topping DACs.
    A Lucid DAC.
    A Yamaha DAC.
    The more expensive Denafrips Pontus II DAC.

    After going back and forth for a month or so my opinions took shape and didn't change.
    If you didn't get these results---Go FISH!
    Who knows how we hear the things we do?
    I'm trying very hard to build sets that don't fool you into missing the magic of the recording process.
    Others may be using their sets for different purpose.
    Or I may be totally insane.
    Now THAT'S a definite possibility---ha ha!

    I will say the ARES II is a screaming bargain.
    All these comparisons are likely valid the higher up your overall system performance.
    I doubt most people would think we are less than nut jobs thinking we hear all this stuff.
    But as I am already pretty sure that I AM nuts I take a more "What---ME worry?" approach to it all.
     
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  6. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    With more 'in your face' I was referring to the soundstage (like sitting closer to...) , and NOT referring to the upper midrange emphasis which is bigger in OS,I agree with you.
    I also agree with your views on top end extension (OS Slow can sound 'edgy' at times, OS Fast has more high extension than NOS).
     
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  7. adamos

    adamos Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southeastern PA
    I haven’t used NOS much on my Ares II but I’ve been meaning to try it more so I just switched it over. I think it’ll keep it this way for a week or two to see how I like it over time.
     
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  8. edo.t

    edo.t Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY
    Some News: They are beta testing a firmware update to fix the glitch/skip issue! I don't know how long until there is a general release but hopefully this one does it.
     
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  9. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arizona desert
    Is the glitch only with streaming? I'm been thinking about an Ares II to use with my CD transport.
     
  10. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belgium
    No, some are having this issue with cd's aswell.
     
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  11. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arizona desert
    OK, thank you.
     
  12. Shangri-La

    Shangri-La Well-Known Member

    Location:
    CA
    And I have zero issue streaming into the Ares II.
     
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  13. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    I had no issues using the Ares II with Roon, CXN V2 and Cambridge CD11 Tribute.
     
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  14. Azookey

    Azookey Active Member

    Location:
    USA
    Finding new firmware seems not easily done, how does one check on the status of that and/or install it?
     
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  15. edo.t

    edo.t Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY
    Email Alvin at Vinshine and he will send it to you. Last I heard it was still a Beta version so you may want to wait a bit more for the proper release.
     
  16. HescoWendrik

    HescoWendrik Active Member

    Location:
    Philippines
    I just got my Ares 2 and used my Bluesound node 2i as a transport. The rest of my audio system consists of a Yamaha A-S1200 and Dynaudio special forties. The Ares 2 sounds superb compared to the built in DAC of the node. The sound with the Ares is so much more smooth and pleasing and also forgiving. My room is pretty small and if I listen near the back walls the Bass can get overpowering. With the Ares it is a lot better. I tried the NOS vs OS and I liked the NOS setting best, followed by the OS with sharp filter. I don't know what's up with the slow filter but in my room the bass seemed to be quite muddled. The midrange using the Ares really shines through. The music also sounds bigger and is more 3D compared to the node 2. I may not need a new streamer after all.
     
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  17. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    It's the DAC and not the streamer that is responsible for 3D imaging performance. Look to DAC improvements rather than streamer improvements if you're looking to improve imaging or soundstage 3D performance. The Denafrips DACs are good at soundstage and imaging, but there are still other DACs that are better. As long as the streamer is bit perfect and is able to be configured so it doesn't modify the signal then the major differences in sound are going to be due to the DAC that is paired with it.

    The quality of the digital signal the streamer sends to the DAC can make some difference. But the DAC itself has a far greater influence on the sound and the sense of 3D imaging and soundstage.
     
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  18. HescoWendrik

    HescoWendrik Active Member

    Location:
    Philippines
    I see, I was actually looking at the SOTM SMS-200 (at around 500 USD locally) or the Ultrarendu (1000 USD) when I move to different place later this year. However, I really like the free BlueOS running in my Bluesound currently. I am also not sure getting a nicer streamer transport will translate to better sound since my audio system is setup in a small living room, not in a proper listening room. I will enjoy my Ares first as I am sure I will get the itch to upgrade in the future. What DACs would you say are a good next step up if I want good 3D sound?


     
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  19. CrimsonFan

    CrimsonFan Active Member

    Location:
    UK
    Did you really mean Cambridge or ROTEL CD11 Tribute?
    (FYI, I also tried a brand new Rotel CD11 into the Denafrips ARES2 and it still skipped. This was in addition to the new sample of the Cambridge CXC…)
     
  20. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    Yes, Rotel CD11 Tribute.
     
  21. DancingSea

    DancingSea Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maui, Hawaii
    Interesting. How do you connect the Zen Stream to your DACs? USB or SPDIF?

    I’ve been thinking about that scenario. If USB has so many inherent problems, wouldn’t it be best to not use USB at all?

    That’s one appeal of the Zen Stream, the option to use SPDIF. I have a Microrendu 1.4 (essentially the same as a UltraRendu) but I’m not satisfied with the performance compared to CDs.

    Sonore recommended their UltraDigital and use SPDIF instead of USB, which the Iris could also accomplish. Though the UltraDigital has BNC SPDIF, which is in theory better.

    But couldn’t the Zen Stream make the need for a DDC unnecessary?

    I wonder what the reclocking abilities of the Iris are compared to the Zen Stream?
     
  22. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    The iFi Zen Stream is a DDC. But optimized for USB.
     
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  23. DancingSea

    DancingSea Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maui, Hawaii
    Optimized for USB at the expense of SPDIF?

    Have any Zen Stream owners compared USB vs SPDIF outputs?
     
  24. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    The USB output wasn't optimized at the expense of the coax SPDIF output. The SPDIF output measures very well.

    Measurements of SPDIF output are here: ifi Zen Stream Measurements and intro to streamers - GoldenSound
     
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  25. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    @DancingSea I've not compared the two since at the time, I was using sampling rates out of HQ Player that are not supported with SPDIF. USB was the only way to go.

    Now, I have a Schiit DAC and with Zen and Unison USB, I don't feel I'm lacking for anything, so just haven't felt the need to try the SPDIF output. It's good to see it measures very well, though. It's a nice piece of gear IMO.
     

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