PONTUS is DENAFRIPS premium DAC. To achieve the highest possible sound quality within the cost constraint, PONTUS adopted many of the the technologies found in the TERMINATOR DAC. Yes, that’s right, PONTUS is designed around the similar architecture of the TERMINATOR DAC.
The chassis is made of massive aluminum plates, securely fastened with internal bracket and no visible sign of bolt from the front panel and top cover. The all-aluminum enclosure, double up as shielding and anti-resonance, the criteria for audiophile, yes?
The PONTUS is true balanced, dual mono R-2R network arrays DAC. Each channel is equipped with independent high-speed FPGA to control the decoding by means of 4 sets of 0.01% R-2R network. This design has very small linear error, high decoding speed, low digital noise, not only to ensure that the audio signal is low distortion, but also to ensure a very low background music noise; allow listener to enjoy the true music with dark background.
All digital input are FIFO buffered and reclocked by the on board FEMTO clocks. The excellent rejection of word-clock jitter makes DENAFRIPS DAC less reliance to the source equipment clock quality. PONTUS can transform your consumer grade computer, CDPlayer to high-end sound quality.
LINEAR POWER SUPPLY
PONTUS further enhanced the linear power supply design compared to the ARES II. The power supply is encapsulated in a thick metal alloy, equipped with dual o-core transformers, completely isolated super linear regulator, multistage power supply for digital and analogue sections, ensuring low noise, high availability power supply to the DAC.
We are confident PONTUS sound quality, performance, far exceed its modest price tag.
Denafrips Pontus is an excellent DAC that moves digital sound forward and does not have the usual bevy of digital warts. It breaks some of the long-standing digital barriers that have kept me from fully engaging with digital music. It is at a reasonable price point (by audio standards) and, based on construction and parts alone, represents a tremendous value. Now throw in the sound quality that I experienced, and I can’t think of a better value in a DAC today.
Ken Redmond @ The Audio Beatnik
It's natural, relaxed, expressive and musical.
After reviewing the Ares II that offers amazing sound quality for the money, I was very curious what the Pontus would bring, costing slightly over 2 times as much. So let’s dive right in.
The Hans Beekhuyzen Channel
Positive Feedback Writers' Choice Awards for 2020
In my DAC rating scheme, the Pontus is number one with a bullet. It's price of $2298 in Singapore dollars, puts it at about $1700 USD and I'm confident that nothing under $2000 will come close, they won't even make it into the same neighborhood. I told Alvin that its the high-end analog turntable of DACS, no, it's the tubuliscious tube amp of DACS, no... it's both. No kidding.
Stu McCreary @ PF
The Best DAC This Reviewer Has Ever Heard; Bar None!
This DAC is transparent in ways that you won’t believe a piece of electronics could be transparent. The soundstage is holographic, the bass is punchy and deep, the midrange is unbelievably creamy and rich yet incredibly detailed at the same time. When playing music, the electronics simply disappear letting all the music out into the room. I rate this DAC an 11 out of 10 and I can’t recommend it highly enough. In fact, I’m going to buy the review sample!
George Graves @ audiophilestyle
Audiophilia Star Component Award
The most impressive aspect for me is the huge image it renders, putting the musicians in a deep and natural space, and making my small listening room open up into something much, much larger. This DAC is an easy recommendation for almost any listener looking to move up the food chain, but at $1700 it is a no-brainer, and could easily hold its own in 5-figure systems. My strongest recommendation.
MICHAEL JOHNSON @ Audiophilia
The Best DACs Buyers Guide Summer 2021
A Chinese-built DAC sold directly through a Singapore source, the Pontus sounds like a risky purchase. We got one, tested it, and discovered that it featured a “lot of cutting-edge DAC tech” and that “the price is certainly right.” “It sounded so good we’re curious about how much better the higher level Denafrips DACs are,” we concluded.
6moons - Blue Moon Award
The effect is quite striking. Envision a picture that had some low-level details obscured. Suddenly a light from within reveals those missing details. It doesn't make tone colors paler. There's no bleaching, no undue sharpness or glare. It's indeed the same picture, just with more information. With Pontus you hear bigger space, room echoes that lack with Ares II, musicians breathing. You gain a more organic impression because real life has many of those little parasitic sounds that only are noticed when stripped out but which contribute to the live feel.
Frederic Beudot @ 6moons
NBT Studio: The Best DAC 2020
This is my Denafrips Pontus R2R DAC review. It has won the Next Best Thing Studio Award with its outstanding performance that outclasses many of the DACs.
Jay @ The Next Best Thing Studio