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Really natural, closer to real life.

Hello Alvin,

Nice of you to check out with me about my recent purchase of the Denafrips Pontus II 12th.

I am glad to share with you a few pictures and how the DAC performs in my system.

You can see in the pictures my system is made of:

  • Streamer Innuos Zen Mk II

  • The Pontus II 12th

  • MH150 McIntosh headphone and 50 Watts/channel speaker integrated amplifier.

  • A pair of Hifiman Sundara headphones

  • The streamer is connected to the DAC via the USB input. The cable is an Audioquest Coffee

  • The DAC is connected to the amplifier using balance connections. The cable is Audioquest Mackenzie XLR

  • My speakers are the CSS audio Criton1TDX.

The Mcintosh MHA150 has a built-in delta-sigma type DAC.

I listen mainly to classical music and jazz. To me what's important is to hear realism in the timber/tone of the instruments and also an accurate spatial reproduction of the sound in my living room.

The Mcintosh is excellent, given it's a chip-based DAC, for the spatial reproduction of sound. The instruments' timber and tone are also excellent. So overall I think that the DAC in the McIntosh is pretty good. The thing is I was curious what a different DAC architecture like the Denafrips R2R ladder architecture would bring to the sound.

At first I wanted to buy the Enyo or the Ares II 12th. But I realised that my system was good enough so that going to the next model would be a better thing to do. So I bought the Pontus II 12 th.

I have been running the Pontus II for 3 weeks now. I have about 75 hours of burning time on it.

So far what I can say is the spatial representation of sound is similar to the McIntosh DAC. The major differences come from detail retrieval, the timber/tones of instruments and the speed and impact of the sound. The Pontus II has superior detail retrieval and the timber/tones of instruments are really natural, closer to real life. The sound is very responsive, fast and impactful.

In conclusion I am very happy with the Pontus II so far. I am assuming it will even get better as I put more listening hours on it. I am also very impressed with the build quality and the clever engineering that went into the unit.

Thank you again for inquiring.

Alain D.

Quebec, Canada.



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