The Hermes took my satisfaction with the Pontus II and essentially amplified it two-fold

My system consists of Spendor Classic 3/1 speakers, Hermes, Pontus II, and DIY line stages and power amps. I focus on amplification for DIY, but draw the line at digital and speakers. I leave those bits to the experts :)

Regarding the Hermes:

“Being over the moon for my Pontus II, I was hesitant to pull the trigger on a DDC. I was worried that I would be getting some kind of active filter that would be easy to detect during playback.

Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Hermes took my satisfaction with the Pontus II and essentially amplified it two-fold. It's nothing like a filter, and its not ‘additive’ in nature. My analogy may be dated, but I like to think of the Hermes as premium fuel for my car. My car (the Pontus II) runs superbly on regular gasoline, but when I use a premium fuel (Hermes), the car runs quieter, smoother and has noticeably more acceleration. Its the same car, but now driving better in every way.

The Pontus II is not a different machine with the Hermes, it's simply being fed the absolute best signal. That doesn’t sound like much until you hear the difference. Images are tighter and better defined; backgrounds are blacker; dynamics are snappier, and the overall cohesion of the music is noticeably improved. The Pontus II sounds great with your garden variety USB signal, but when you focus on giving it the best timing and signal with the Hermes, you’re really allowing it to show its full potential. It would be hard for me to imagine separating these two units at this point.


Credit: Cody @ Indiana, United States