I am actually listening to music, not a machine
Here is my review of the PONTUS ;)
Hands down the best piece of audio equipment I've ever bought, or for that matter even auditioned. (Even though I don't run in high-end audio circles... I still struggle to imagine a DAC that could outperform the Pontus.) It makes a sound so natural, smooth, and compelling, that it evokes joy on a very deep level. On all other DACs I've ever used, I've been aware of their digital-ness... that I was still listening to zeroes and ones. The Pontus does a very, very good job at convincing me I am actually listening to music, not a machine. My feeling is that it would still be a great product at twice the cost.
It is unequivocally a must-buy. However, if you're going to go through the effort to use a high-end DAC, you really should ensure you like your amp/preamp and your speakers too. The Pontus is deserving of your effort in matching it with speakers and an amplification that meet your needs. If you aren't happily familiar and comfortable with the rest of your components, you will not be able to appreciate how MIND-BLOWINGLY MAGICAL the Pontus is. But seriously, just get it.
Is the Venus/Terminator even better? Honestly, I don't care!
Credit: Andrew W., MA USA
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