I’ve been playing this game since around 1975.
The Klipschorns which have been the one constant are from around that era and have updated crossovers from around 2005 or so. The little Miniwatt amp is an outstanding piece of equipment and I urge anyone with high efficiency speakers to try and find one to listen to. The larger amp, the Troubadour, was made by a gentleman in Melbourne, Australia. He even winds the transformers himself and makes the amp from the ground up. I used to think it was a bit light in the lower registers but not anymore. All cables are low to mid-range. Nothing fancy.
The power conditioner was a worthwhile purchase after a power spike and does (to my ears) improve the sound. It makes sense to me to have a supply voltage that doesn’t vary.
The move to a full digital playback system has taken a few years of searching for the right components and all along, digital glare was the hardest issue to resolve.
It really started to reach full potential when I bought the Antipodes server/streamer but I still wasn’t completely satisfied.
The missing piece of the puzzle was the Denafrips family of DACs starting with the Ares which replaced a Rega DAC. I really liked the Ares but just wanted more of what it brought to the table so the next logical step seemed to be the Pontus.
From the outset I was really pleased and the more I played it, the better it sounded. It plays all sources from old MP3s, Redbook FLAC files, MQA and DSD with beautiful control and tone.
I listen to all sorts of music – orchestral, rock, acoustic, electronic and they all have benefitted from the addition of the Pontus.
It brought out a really low bass platform that also manages to convey many low to mid bass frequencies which gives greater substance to the music.
The mid-range just flows from the Klipschorns now where in the past they could have been described as a bit too forward or even strident with some poorly recorded tracks.
The beautifully controlled highest frequencies, which previously could lean to the brittle end of the spectrum with the Troubadour and had me reaching for the volume control are now a pleasure to hear.
Where once I only heard multiple voices in harmony, I now can distinguish the individual singers.
There is also greater separation of instruments now too. I put this down to the ability of the Pontus to tease the various frequencies apart and give them equal weight.
I will say that some tracks seem to be beyond even the Pontus’ ability to restrain but they are few and far between now.
All of this with a soundstage of great width and depth that I had not experienced prior to this.
My system has never sounded so good and I have never been happier.
-- Happy owner of Pontus DAC · Ian
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