I am not disappointed!!!
I have started to use the Denafrips Ares II.
Below are my thoughts.
I started my own audio journey as a young person listening to 78, 45 and 33 RPM records on a Grundig tube entertainment centre from the 1950’s. As I got older and had a few dollars, I purchased a Dual turntable and Sony Amp and speakers and listened to the same records on this new and “improved” system.
After a few years, I had enough cash to purchase a Sony reel to reel tape recorder with built in amp and speakers. I transferred all my records onto reel to reel tapes and this became my system for many, many years, until it all wore out. Along the way I bought my first headphones, the original Beyerdynamic DT880 headphones. As I grew older and could afford it I moved onto big amps and big speakers, cassette tape decks and then CD’s. So, I had a long journey in the analogue world before moving to digital.
I amassed a large library of CD’s, but it was that analogue sound I really yearned for. So, I got into tubes last year, and purchase a Feliks Audio Elsie. And Beyerdynamic DT1990 headphones. I used this tube amplifier with a Samsung S4 tablet as the digital transport, through into a Marantz HD-CD1 player that could be used in DAC mode only, then into the Elsie. It was great sounding, very sweet. Then I purchased a HiBy RS6 and Beyerdynamic DT880 32 ohm headphones. It was this DAP that exposed me to R2R Ladder DACS vs. the Delta Sigma of the Marantz and most other DAC’s.
I was so taken aback by the return to the smooth, life like analogue sound from this DAP that I decided to purchase the Denafrips Ares II to replace the Marantz HD-CD as a DAC connected to my Elsie tube amplifier.
I am not disappointed!!!
Out of the box, I knew there was something special I was hearing, and only after a few hours, when both the tubes in the amplifier and the DAC itself warmed up, I was in analogue heaven. I did try the Elsie using a traditional, top end Delta Sigma DAC, and could only listen for 10 minutes before a digital glare ruined any further listening. Yes, the music was crystal clear, but the harmonics that I was seeking was not there - just a harshness.
With the Denafrips Ares II, I can hear the details, but without any of the hard sound of the other DAC. Just well presented, detailed liquid music. I have a second system too - a Woo Audio WA6. When I can afford it, I will purchase another Denafrips R2R DAC, perhaps the Pontus II to enjoy with it.
If you find your music is lacking, even with a Denafrips R2R DAC, I suggest changing the amp, not the DAC. The Denafrips is a keeper.
Vinshine Audio maintained contact with me throughout the delivery process. This is a rare in the Western Hemisphere, and I thoroughly welcome their customer focused business model.
Feel free to share with Alvin. Great job!!!
Credit: Terry B. Canada
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