1. Things you need to know about the new ‘Conversations’ PM system:

    a) DO NOT REPLY TO THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL! I get them, not the intended recipient. I get a lot of them and I do not want them! It is just a notification, log into the site and reply from there.

    b) To delete old conversations use the ‘Leave conversation’ option. This is just delete by another name.
    Dismiss Notice

Denafrips Ares II thoughts

Discussion in 'audio' started by cporton, May 21, 2021.

  1. davidjt

    davidjt pfm Member

    One point of view.
    Salamander likes this.
  2. Covenant

    Covenant pfm Member

    I have the Ares 11 and agree with the review. To me, the most noticable thing was the width and depth of the soundstage, easily the best I have heard.
    The only (minor) disappointment is that I can't get it to work on USB when using a Squeezebox Touch. If anyone has managed to get a Touch to play Through USB please let me know how you have achieved it.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2021
  3. barryb

    barryb pfm Member

    Missed this. It's a Node 2i. Suffice to say the Ares II betters it.
    eastone likes this.
  4. Musicraft

    Musicraft Trade: Musicraft

    Latest review of Denafrips Ares II

  5. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    I just started using a related product - Musician Pegasus and rather like it.

    Too early to attempt any descriptions.
  6. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    OK, I’m curious. In the past, I’ve found modest improvements in moving up the DAC ladder. But listening to a well-recorded/pressed LP on the P8, I realise that there’s still something quite special about great analogue replay. Would an Ares II take me closer to the qualities of the P8 than my Brooklyn/LPSU? Or should I sit tight and wait for DAC technology to improve further?

    In an ideal world, I’d love to try the two side-by-side, but my local dealer(s) don’t carry Denafrips, and in any case I’m sure there will be other DACs worth considering. I’ve spent a shit ton of cash on moving my system forward since the start of last year (P8, Tannoys, Luxman, CXC, Node 2i) and the only thing that retains a link to the ‘old system’ is the Brooklyn. I’d probably keep that for use with the Nait tbh.

    So - honestly now - am I really likely to gain much in SQ/musical satisfaction by switching to a DAC such as the Ares II or even the Pontus II? Or higher? What does higher bring?

    Sources would be CXC for CD as a transport, and Node 2i. Both currently connected to Brooklyn via digi coax (RCA).
  7. davidjt

    davidjt pfm Member

    Another high-end option. (Admittedly a bit off-topic)

    My issue with it would be paying for dedicated DSD circuitry that I'm never going to use.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
  8. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    So is it as good as a Topping?
  9. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    It's different. They are both good.

    Early impression is the Topping is more detail oriented and the Musician is more about tmbre and sound density.

    Rega and Linn of the digital world?
  10. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    All modern R2R DACs have a parallel DSD path built-in.
  11. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    There is nothing from Linn to suggest their £30K Klimax DAC uses R2R tech. Very few manufacturers make a true R2R DAC as the implementation and logistical costs involved is enormous, and they don't measure very well either :rolleyes:
    Don't forget, R2R is only one part of the DAC which has an effect on the DAC's performance. There are also other aspects just as important in making a good sounding DAC, maybe more so than mentioned here...
  12. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    Anyone compared either the Ares II or Pontus II to Mytek DACs? How’d that go? I’m having a bit of a GAS flare-up ;)
  13. cporton

    cporton pfm Member

    Linn call it a "discrete conversion stage" and looking at the circuit board here, ,it sure looks like a R2R design... so I'm not sure I agree with "there is nothing from Linn to suggest..."

  14. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    You should give them a try as there is nothing special about any of the Mytek DAC's IMO...
  15. tonerei

    tonerei pfm Member

    Currently involved in a build of an AD1862 dac (for full disclosure my involvement in the soldering and assembly is currently zero :D)
    Guys have produced a variety of implementations for testing. All flavours produce a very different sound. Extreme is hyper detailed to lush, big soundstage. Not surprising the DHT is the most analogue sounding.

    The moral is you probably need to hear the dac to see if it has a sonic signature you like or can live with.
    davidjt and flutteringwow like this.
  16. flutteringwow

    flutteringwow Platinum Ears

    Mytek - generic, overpriced. If you want graphs and data, a great thing for you, if you want music, look elsewhere.
    G T Audio likes this.
  17. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    Discrete does not necessarily mean R2R. From their PR video they make more about the CNC chassis having a bigger effect than anything else. Perhaps we should all get CNC billet chassis's made for our DACs instead of looking at the electrical tech...
  18. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    Interesting. I’m reasonably happy with my Brooklyn but it’s not as engaging as my vinyl rig and I’m curious if it’s maybe time to try something a bit better. The Brooklyn owes me little now, but I don’t have a ‘current’ frame of reference for the latest DACs, specifically NOS resistor-ladder based designs. Anyone know of any dealers who offer remote ‘sale or return’ home demos?
  19. flutteringwow

    flutteringwow Platinum Ears

    I had a Brooklyn years ago. It does it's 'job' and will give you a splendid array of measurements, yet for me, the artistry in creating a great system is not relying on measurements because they are very misleading.

    I felt I was destined to never enjoy digital..once I got rid of it, and began trying different DAC's, I realised it was possible in getting my system to sound much more analogue on the digital side of things. With the Brooklyn, I barely ever listened to digital, and it was a shame, as Roon and Tidal have opened up my world from beyond my LP's! Now I use a NAIM ND5XS2 with a tube amp and listen everyday! and it is much more pleasant being a Delta Sigma DAC, however I feel a move to an R2R will be even more preferable.

    A lot of these R2R DACS are all Chinese made, imported and resold at much higher prices than you can buy direct, I've yet to find a dealer willing to do home demo's of these. You can use the eBay returns policy if you do find something you'd like to try on there. Any big box brands like NAIM etc its fairly easy to get ahome demo from a dealer imo.
    JTC likes this.
  20. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    That is also interesting. Might have to take a punt :)

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice