top of page

Listening fatigue? None. I didn’t want to stop listening.

I have been working on upgrading my digital signal chain. First, I upgraded my PS Audio Directstream DAC. (Edcore XS4400 transformers, External 12V R-core transformer/MOSFET regulated Power Supply). This made a big improvement however I felt I needed to use the I2s input of the DAC as the designer Ted Smith and PS Audio recommends. After a lot of research, I decided to purchase the Denafrips Hermes DDC to do that task. Boy am I glad I did…

When I first installed the Hermes in my system it felt faster and more impactful sounding, there was a higher level of detail (not in a clinical way), Transients were tight and the decay of instruments sounded more real. Especially percussion and acoustic instruments. Anything I’ve listened through it sounds more open and wider, there is plenty of air traveling around, especially while listening to live recordings. I was completely surrounded by sounds that filled every corner of the room, picking up notes out of thin air wasn’t a challenge anymore. The air felt heavy and dense. Sound stage is quite impressive in terms of scale including height. The images became clearer and sharper, depth was nicer as if the sounds were coming from behind the wall. If I’m playing live albums then more air is flying around me and if I’m playing regular tracks then everything would be happening a little closer to me. It was an easy task increasing or decreasing the stage size depending on the music that is being played. Some tracks the sound was coming from the left and right wall beside me as if I had side speakers.

Listening fatigue? None. I didn’t want to stop listening.

The Hermes was a huge turning point for me, a real eye-opener and I hope it would do the same to you. Always listen with your heart, with an open mind and never with your wallet. I really like that they let me choose a pinout configuration for the I2S making it compatible with most DAC’S. I tested with test tracks and used Mode 2 (96K LED on) on the Hermes for the PS audio Directstream DAC.

Thanks, Alvin, for steering me in the right direction on my decision and for your quick answers to my many questions.

My system is fully-balanced from input to output.

  • HP Elitedesk 800 R3 mini PC running JRiver MC 26 .101

  • Pangea Audio Premier SE USB Cable 6% Silver Plate (1 Meter)

  • Pangea Audio HD23PC Premier SE HDMI Cable 6% Silver Plate (0.6 Meter)

  • Denafrips Hermes DDC.

  • PS Audio Directstream DAC (Edcore XS4400 transformers, External 12V R-core transformer/MOSFET regulated Power Supply)

  • Audio Research LS27 Hybrid Tube Preamp.

  • Audio Research D-400 MK II amp (sometimes I use amps below)

  • Emotiva XPR-1 Reference 1000w Monoblock Amps

  • Bowers & Wilkins 802d (not the D2 as I didn’t like the forward sound of the 800 D2 I sold)

  • Rebuilt Yamaha NS-1000M.

  • JBL L7 as my Rock-N-Roll speakers.

Credit: Jeffrey R @ US





bottom of page