I’ve been listening to the Ares II for 25 days and streamed music through it for roughly 300 hours to get it completely run-in. I’ve been listening to both PCM and DSD. I’ve tried both NOS and OS with PCM. I’m using Roon and it’s DSP to upsample to DSD512 currently which I prefer up to this point. I listen to both locally stored music and stream Tidal. I will add that I am running a fairly simple ethernet front end with audiophile switches and a MicroRendu. With my previous DAC, I’ve also upsampled to DSD but preferred DSD256 as 512 sounded a bit to sterile and lacked texture and weight. This is not true with the Ares. PCM sounds very good and do prefer OS especially after the DAC was run-in. I’m fairly confident that DSD512 is the sweet spot for the Ares in my system. I really can’t imagine anything sounding better. The music flows across the soundstage without any trace of grain or sibilants.
To answer your question as to what I hear differently with DSD, it’s actually what I don’t hear. Listening to PCM, I detect just a bit of grain and maybe noise. Some may associate this with a touch more detail and texture but it is not the case with me. DSD also seems to have a quieter background as the music flows with ease across the entire sound spectrum.
I know what others mean when they say about Denafrips DAC’s where the musical presentation is more like a wall of sound being presented to you compared to hearing music being projected at you from a set of loudspeakers. I’m currently listening to Magnepan 3.7i’s and a pair of Rythmik 15” subs. Audio Research tube mono blocks and tube Reference line stage always added a wide and deep sound stage but the Ares adds to the illusion of being there transforming my listening room into a concert hall, stadium, small intimate studio or night club.
I guess you can tell that I’m tickled to death that Denafrips’s price point DAC can deliver such incredible performance. Having spent 5X in DAC’s in the past, it’s an exciting time in digital audio and I look forward to experiencing the next level of performance when the timing is right for me.
Thanks so much for your excellent communication through the ordering process and post sales support.
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