In this review, I did my listening in the NOS mode. Also, I do not have any DSD files. I confined my listening to ripped CDs and streaming services through my Aurender and Innuos server/streamers.
So, is the Denafrips Pontus an end game in DACs? Does it sound like vinyl? The answer to both of these questions is of course not. But what it also does not sound like is digital as I have come to know it up to now.
Anyway, I am not sure I would want it to sound EXACTLY like vinyl. Vinyl has its own set of issues. What I would like is the best of both worlds, and this is where I think the Denafrips design is headed.
One of my associates, after hearing the Pontus DAC, offered up the following designation. He called it “The Goldilocks DAC”. It’s not too analog, and it’s not too digital. It is, well, you get it, “just right”. I have to agree. It strikes a very nice balance between the two technologies.
So what we have here in the form of the Denafrips Pontus is an excellent DAC that moves digital sound forward and does not have the usual bevy of digital warts. It breaks some of the long-standing digital barriers that have kept me from fully engaging with digital music. It is at a reasonable price point (by audio standards) and, based on construction and parts alone, represents a tremendous value. Now throw in the sound quality that I experienced, and I can’t think of a better value in a DAC today.
Denafrips executed this product beautifully and backed it with a 3-year warranty. They are also an extremely responsive company. Mark my words, Denafrips is a company you need to keep your eye on.
After my time with the Pontus DAC, I feel that Denafrips has issued me an “invitation to listen” to digitally encoded music. I think I will accept it. You should consider it also.
Credit: Ken Redmond, The Audio Beatnik
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