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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 interesting to to see what improves after break-in for the Ares II. So far this is exactly what I was hoping for.

My system configuration:

  • Naim XS2 - Integrated Amp

  • ProAc Tablette 10 Signature - Speakers

  • SVS SB-1000 - Subwoofer

  • Denafrips Ares II - DAC

  • NuPrime CDT-8 Pro - CD Transport

  • BLuesound Node 2i - Streamer

  • Cardas Parsec - IC, Speaker and Digital Cabling

Update (24th May 2020)

Well....the Ares II is beyond my wildest dreams for a DAC at this price.

While the OS mode is excellent, the NOS mode to my ears and in my system is stunning. Detail, clarity, depth and "feeling" are just excellent. I don't remember the last time I just sat and didn't want to move because I was so engrossed in the music. It "hits" my soul. I know this sounds extreme but in NOS to me it's so much more real and absorbing than any DAC I've had. I just purchased a new Naim XS3 and will move the XS2 to my bedroom system. Then "I'll save up my pennies" because I know I'm going to need to purchase a Terminator in the future. Please pass on my appreciation to the engineering and manufacturing teams for developing and offering just an outstanding product. And thank you for everything! I'll be in touch.

- Steven O.


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