BEST VALUE in hifi audio

Alvin from Vinshine Audio is THE man! I purchased the Denafrips ARES II DAC earlier this year when it was on back order and Alvin communicated every week or so with an update on the production status and estimated shipping dates. It arrived professional packed (double boxed) in bullet proof foam enclosure. Hooked it up to my Mac mini and it played straight away with no setup and just kept sounding better and better as it burned in. Definitely as advertised...very analogue sounding DAC. I also have a Benchmark DAC1 Pre USB as my reference which is a very neutral DAC so it was easy to hear the difference in my setup. I switched it over to another system that used Windows 10 and could not get t

Ares II-- it's a phenomenal piece of electronics at a reasonable price.

Attached is the photo of my current system. It consists of a pair of Zu Audio Omen DW speakers, together with a tube amp (Resiong A10), solid-state receiver (Outlaw RR2150), and Orbit turntable, with a Phillips DVD963 (used as transport) to feed the Ares II. I also use Android and Mac OS devices to stream hi-res music on Tidal and Amazon HD. Alternately, I use the Ares II DAC in a headphone configuration, coupled directly to an iFi iCAN nano headphone amp driving a set of Hifiman HE-400 modified headphones. Overall, I found the versatility and sound quality of the Ares II very impressive. Most notable is the smoothness of the sound and lack of digital harshness. I listen mainly to classica

It’s the kind of game changer that makes you want to rediscover your entire music library.

So many of us audiophiles chase after that illusive, fully-satisfied ‘Audio Nirvana’ – a time when the synergy of our system components brings a smile, and we feel we’ve reached our end-goal. I (like many) have never been even close to this goal. Many people can be happy with a $2500 system, but us audiophiles, we’re a different breed. We get caught up into the chase. I’ve been in that chase for at least a couple decades, but I’ve never had the time, space nor money to reach such heights until recently. I originally had the Ares II DAC and was so impressed with the value, it gave me the confidence to ante-up to Denafrips’ flagship, the Terminator. When comparing the two, I feel Steve “the Au

The music now reminds me more of clubs and concerts when I would hear music live.

My Ares II arrived today. I already love it! I am replacing a well known DAC with the Ares II and couldn't be happier. I really like the previous DAC, but it was almost too clean and smooth for me. Immediately upon installing the Ares II, in the default configuration, I could hear and feel an openness, airiness and sense of "rawness" or realism, whatever you want to call it, which was missing from the previous DAC. The music now reminds me more of clubs and concerts when I would hear music live. One other early item of note is that when playing the music at more of a background level the amount of detail and separation is also terrific, far better then my previous DAC. It will be intere

A world-class DAC that will not break the bank - ARES II

“Whether it was listening on my home theatre set-up powered by 'separates', or my ancillary all-in-one systems (specifically, the KEF LS50 Wireless and LSX speakers), the Denafrips Ares II made an immediately discernible difference. The improvement in clarity was startling—every instrument sounded tighter and punchier, without becoming anemic. The definition of bass notes was markedly improved, even with subwoofers that veered towards muddiness. Of the DACs and DAPs that I've used (admittedly more for headphones), including the Chord Mojo-Poly combo, the A&K Kann and Dragonfly Cobalt, the Ares II has made the most dramatic improvement in sonic quality. A must-have for those seeking a world-c

Guide: BGA-DSP Upgrade

Steps: 0. Unplug the power cord to power off the DAC. Wait for 2 minutes for the capacitors in the DAC to discharge completely. 1. Use Allen Key to loosen the two screws located at the rear panel, lift the top cover open 2. Identify the location of the old DSP board 3. Carefully unplug the old DSP board. Apply force evenly at the four corners of the DSP board to pull it out gently. Do not use excessive force as it may risk bending the DSP SIP socket pins. 4. Please note the DSP board uses fine gold-plated SIP socket pins. The two roles of pins have to be seated in the DAC main-board sockets firmly. Do not bend the pins. 5. Align the new DSP board onto its sockets, please note the correct ori

Right there with the musicians

I am an avid music listener, from folk music to heavy rock to orchestral, typically digitally stored in and sourced from my iMac computer. I do own a Drop THX AAA 789 amplifier and either use my Creative T4 speakers or Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO headphones for listening music. These already get me to a great music listening experience, but I knew that one thing was missing: a DAC. After few days of research, I became aware of Denafrips Ares II, a R2R Ladder DAC, many spoke highly of at online sites. Although it was a little more costly than I was planning to spend on a DAC (~700 USD vs ~400 USD), some reviews stating that Ares II was as good as a 10,000 USD DAC, got me really interested. I als

Is it like playing vinyl records  - No - but to my ears it's pretty damn close

May 1, 2020 A few years ago I decided to get back into listening to 2 channel audio and picked up a Dual 1229 Turntable with a Sure V15 Type iii Cartridge and a high end Phono preamp. I basically stopped listening to CDs as they were too digital sounding to me. There was kind of a metallic sheen to everything, if that makes any sense. I Had a pair of my fathers Klipch Forte speakers from the 80s and played them thru my Yamaha AVR. Having several hundred albums I immersed myself into the vinyl resurgence. I got a record cleaning machine and enjoyed the entire vinyl experience but quickly realized I was missing out on much music that I loved which was not available on vinyl. At that point, I

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