The Ares II has made the most dramatic improvement in my system
The Ares II has made the most dramatic improvement in my system of any component upgrade I've ever tried. Adding the Iris resulted in even more improvement.
I have a minimalist system with Zu Audio Essence Loudspeakers, a down-firing 12" Klipsch sub (rolled off to about 20 Hz), and an Eastern Electric M520 integrated amplifier, usually running WWII era 807, 6L6, or KT77 power tubes, 974B or 5AR4 rectifiers, and a variety of E80F, EF86, and 12au7 or 5814 valves.
With my old DACs, I was constantly changing amplifier settings and rolling tubes to reduce high frequency digital harshness, depending on the recording I was listening to. With the Ares II, virtually everything now sounds great with the M520 in both pentode and ultralinear mode, with or without negative feedback, and with every combination of valves I've tried.
I've can finally take advantage of the flexibility my system offers without having to constantly adjust and compensate for the inherent shortcomings of digital recordings.
Credit: Carl R. @ Missouri, United States
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