Hello Alvin, thank you so much for following up and making sure that the Venus arrive a bit earlier than anticipated.
I am enjoying the new DAC very much, below I am sharing my initial impressions after a couple of weeks of listening to my favorite music on it. I added some of the tracks for reference, mostly CD quality(from FLAC) and Tidal might have played some MQA versions but I didn’t pay attention to HiRes at all, although I saw the LED switching from 44.1k to 48k from time to time.
The Venus makes the soundstage to be bigger and taller than the Schiit Gungnir that I tried previously, placing the instrument's sounds at least 2 feet beyond speakers location with some recordings, this feat is not easy to accomplish in my tricky room setup as I live in a midsize condo apartment with big glass windows on one side of the stereo.
Image depth is great, complimenting the big soundstage while maintaining the cohesiveness of the recordings.
-I Don't Get It - Cowboy Junkies - on The Trinity Session
-A Place Called Home - PJ Harvey - on Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
-A Lazy Afternoon - Guido Basso, Doug Riley - on A Lazy Afternoon
The high frequencies are a pleasure to listen to with no trace of the unnatural sibilance that I heard on some other DACs. Attack and decay of percussive instruments sound lifelike and natural to me. I am a regular at The Rex bar (before covid-19 that is), one the few Jazz bars in North America that do 2 shows each night, 7 days a week, sitting a few meters from the drummers 2 or 3 nights per month gives me a great appreciation for a DAC that can reproduce accurately, snares, cymbals and hi hat sounds.
-Jugo de Lucuma - Invisible - on Invisible
-Jamming - Bob Marley & The Wailers - on Exodus
Vocals, guitars and piano sounds are well defined, with palpable presence probably due to the great instruments separation illusion that a good DAC can bring in combination with other competent components. It also unfolds superbly the intricate passages of big orchestral classical music.
-Adios Nonino - Astor Piazzolla - on The Central Park Concert
-Broken Bicycles/Junk - Anne Sofie von Otter & Elvis Costello - on For the Stars
-CallingYou - Pedro Aznar - on A Solas Con el Mundo
-Mars, The Bringer of War - Von Karajan w Berlin Philharmonic - on Holt’s The Planets
Tonaly, the Venus, is not forward or sterile nor warm, just right for the taste of a listener like me that enjoys a good Unplugged version of its favorite artist from time to time.
-The Way Up: Opening - Pat Metheny Group - on The Way Up
-Morocco - Al di Meola Project - on Kiss My Axe
-Deja la Vida Volar - Mercedes Sosa, Pedro Aznar- on Cantora 1
Bass and lower end of electronic music displays with authority and engaging qualities that makes me want to listen more.
-Waiting for a Sign - Philip Selway - on Weatherhouse
-Song And Dance Man - Jason Collect - on Song And Dance Man
-Hell N Back - Bakar -on Will You Be My Yellow?
-Are You In? - Incubus - Morning View
In conclusion, the Denafrips Venus performs amazingly for my taste in classical, electronic, rock, pop, folk and jazz music; what else can I ask from a DAC? It has been a great addition to my stereo equipment, increasing considerably the enjoyment of music from digital sources.
My equipment, playing digital:
Dedicated Linux music server/streamer with SOtM-USBexp USB output and ROON + Tidal
CD Player NAD 521BEE - coaxial output
Denafrips Venus DAC
Blue Circle Integrated Amplifier 022i (https://positive-feedback.com/reviews/hardware-reviews/blue-circle-o22i-integrated-amplifier/ )
Jean Marie Reynaud Offrande Suprême V2 Speakers
-- Fabricio M.
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