Hi Alvin -
I have had a lot of stereo equipment over the years. The previous amp here was a good Class D, and the one before that was parallel single-ended 300B tubes. The Class D was clear but lacked soul, and the single-ended tubes were just not a good match with these speakers (they aren’t high efficiency speakers). The previous preamp was a good analog preamp, but it was also that manufacturer’s lower-priced built-in DAC, ok but nothing special. We’re talking replacing good performance with better performance here, and Hyperion and Hestia are sounding very good in this space. I’m not good at audio reviewer words, so I will just say that Srajan at 6Moons put Denafrips on the map for me.
There have been a few R2R DACs mixed in with my delta-sigmas, both DIY with old chips and manufactured in the current mode. Currently I have a top-line delta-sigma DAC with two AKM4497 chips in it. I like this better than the several ESS-chip (or other chip) DACs that I have had. When the Ares II showed up I did an informal comparison for a day or two and ended up putting the “traditional” DAC away. The Ares II may not be as mathematically precise as the other one, but it sounds much more alive and "out in the room".
All three pieces of Denafrips gear fit right in with my system, with how I like the sound to be “out in the room”. I should point out that the speakers have a lot to do with this, too. A three-way speaker can spread midrange sound quite differently than a two-way. I like it better.
|Sources mostly disc, either CD or vinyl | USB streaming via Apple laptop | Nuprime CDT-8 pro CD transport | Technics SL1200G turntable, Ortofon Cadenza black cartridge, Valab LCR-1.3 phono preamp | Inexpensive second turntable for 78rpm | Ekta MkII speakers by Troels Gravesen of Denmark | Elac SB10Q subwoofers | Stellar Power Plant 3 |Denafrips Ares II, Hestia, Hyperion |
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