Really natural, closer to real life.
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.