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It has everything I'm looking for in the sound

True Miracle!

Recently, to my great joy, I have managed to find the pre-amplifier suitable for me, the Denafrips Athena.

But let's begin at the beginning, with the precedents.

My audiophile system is currently undergoing rebuilding, both the listening room and the system itself.

Nowadays I am listening to music on my friend's reference system, whenever I can, with great pleasure. I know all its components and accessories which contributed to the system to become a "dream system" over a long timespan. I am aware of all its vibrations, together with its sensitivity.

Therefore the opportunity was given so that I can listen to my Athena pre-amplifier that I purchased, in this setup.

After the device arrived, it was put in its place after unboxing. The time it took for us to be able to put it to operation passed with great anticipation. Then we commenced to switching it on.

The reference system contains the following components (the list will be quite long):


  • - Taiko Audio SGM Extreme

  • - Tidal Camira

  • - AudioNet Stern Heisenberg

  • - Vimberg Tonda D

  • - REL No.25

  • - Daiza Isolation Platform

  • - Finite Elemente Pagode Limited

  • - Critical Mass feets

  • - Arya Audio Labs RevOpod Damper feet

  • - Fully independent and isolated mains system, with Furutech power supply cable as its "backbone"

The system contains Synergistic Research reference cables all over the system

  • - Synergistic Research SRX Power Cable - Synergistic Research Galileo SX IC, USB, Ethernet Cable - Synergistic Research Active Ground - Synergistic Research Atmosphere Infinity - Synergistic Research PowerCell SX - Synergistic Research MIG SX feet - Synergistic Research Tranquility Base UEFls Pod platform

In the attached picture you can see that the room has been acoustically treated to the maximum.

Following this long list, however, let's get back to the DENAFRIPS Athena preamp.

Many actually believe that it's easy to say that in such an environment (system) anything can sound good.

How wrong they are!

Many renowned pre-amplifiers have been put to operation in this system between 5.000 - 15.000 EUR, however, but they all failed very soon, in other words, the sound died because of them.

When we connected the brand new Athena, it could be immediately heard, that its sound is a completely different world than the previously mentioned renowned, costly pre-amplifiers.

I would briefly characterize the sound experienced as follows:

  • Atmospheric

  • Fluid

  • Sonic

  • Relaxed

  • Natural

  • 3-dimensional

  • Musical

Everything was in place and we just stared at each other with my friend, asking each other whether it was all true.

Yes, it was.

The sound took wing in all its reality and the music flew completely naturally. All this with the brand new Athena switched on just 1 hour before.

We wondered what the sound would be like after burn-in.

In fact I do not believe many have the opportunity to listen to the Athena pre-amp in such a setup with such surrounding units, since practically all other components were several times the price of the pre-amp itself.

This way, however, it turned out what it is really capable of. I can tell you that it is capable of a lot, quite a lot.

This test proved to be really illuminating for both my friend and myself.

I can safely recommend it to anyone, I'm sure no one will be disappointed, I can guarantee that.

I'm saying that with 35 years of listening to music on quality systems.

I would like to hereby say thanks to my friend, László, for making it possible for me to audition the unit in his reference system that I consider a "dream setup".

I would also like to congratulate Alvin and his team at Denafrips for creating this available wonderful unit.

Soon, other (additional) DENAFRIPS components will follow the Athena.

Credit: Gabor @ Hungary




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