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  • Writer's pictureDENAFRIPS

Denafrips Ares 12th is aesthetically pleasing DAC to look at

Since the pandemic I have been doing most of my work in front of a computer screen, so felt the need to setup a desktop system to provide some moments to escape into my music.

I’m in small home office so it’s mainly near field listening. I can pull away in an arm chair occasionally and turn the volume up.

This is my third DAC that I have purchased over the last few years. I did my research via internet & YouTube and Denafrips Ares2 was getting great reviews and fitted into my budget. Once I had made my decision to purchase the Denafrips Ares 12 anniversary edition was released so decided to go with this DAC.

Delivery was much quicker than I expected arriving in less than 2wks, I am based in London UK, I was kept updated constantly during the process.

Tidal is my main music source with additional stored music on my MacBook Pro. I have just recently purchased a small Po-ject CD player where I’m getting reacquainted with old music that’s not on the streaming services. I have connected this via a Coaxial cable and using it as a CD transport.

It was suggested that you have a burn in time of about 10days, but I noticed the difference in the quality of the sound after about 4wks.

I’ve been listening to some of my old 70/80s Jazz funk & disco music and enjoying the production values and s separation of instruments from left to right channel’s. Also listening to classical piano & strings music on some recordings, there is the ability to pick out the sounds of of the players bows or fingers on the strings on a violin and cello as they been played. There is a certain vinyl analogue quality to the sound that this DAC helps to reproduce. I found myself smiling as I’m listening to the music where I have heard details that I wasn’t aware was there before.

There is a good sense of the sound stage, not to deep or wide but enjoying the sense of the music been heard directly in front of me.

(I haven’t yet tried this DAC in my larger sound system in my living room to make a comparison)


  • Rich smooth sound

  • Trebles are detailed but not sounding to analytical.

  • Rolling rich bass with a bit of a punch but enough to get a sense of instrumentation.

  • A solidly built DAC


  • The small lights can be a struggle to see at times if you are in a well lit room.

  • The Slow & Sharp Filter options didn’t make much of a difference to sound on my system.


The Denafrips Ares 12th is aesthetically pleasing DAC to look at, I love the simple clean lines, it is solidly built DAC.

If you like your music sounding more on the analogue side & less analytical with a lovely rich bass this is a DAC worth considering.

My Office Music System

Music Source

  • Tidal & Stored Via MacBook Pro M1

CD Player

  • Pro-Jet CD Box S3


  • B & W 602s Anniversary edition

Headphone/Pre Amp :

  • Topping A90 discreet.

Music Amp

  • SMSL A0200


  • Hifiman Edition XS

Credit: Anthony J @ UK



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