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Article: Review | DenaFrips Pontus DAC


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Is this the album with the trumpe?

Mac Mini Late 2014 (16G/SSD) w Uptone JS-2 w OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini RAID (JS-2) / Roon

Aqua LinQ w EtherCon cable (Ghent) w Uptone EtherRegen w Uptone JS-2

Aqua Formula xHD w Ocellia RCA Interconnect & Shunyata Delta NR

Kora TB 200 Integrated Amplifier w Audio Art Power Cable

Magico V2 w Ocellia speaker cables w Shunyata Dark Field Elevator & JL Audio E-Sub e110 X 2

All equipment, including subwoofer on Modulum platforms (modulumaudio.com)

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18 hours ago, JHG said:

Nice review George!  Would you tell us what input on the Pontus you were using as well as the source?

Thanks,

Jim

I have a number of digital sources, so it would be easier for me to tell you the sources that I don’t use (i2S)!

My Mac Pro running Audirvana uses USB (AudioQuest Diamond for those interested in that sort of thing), my Oppo 205 is connected via coax SPDIF, my Logitech Squeezebox Touch (used only for Internet radio) is connected via Toslink, and my Otari studio DAT recorder/player via AES balanced XLR.

George

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14 hours ago, alvin1118 said:

 

Yep, there is no US dealers. Our quasi-direct sales business model doesn't have enough margin to begin with, hence, it's not possible for us to have proper distribution network/dealership for that matter. Let alone the return policy. My apologies sir.

 

The good news is, we are lining up two potential service points in the USA (specifically, WA and SC) to provide repair / warranty services. We certainty hope this strengthen the confidence level of DENAFRIPS & Vinshine Audio products.

 

Cheers! 🙂

 

Thanks, Alvin.  It certainly sounds like you're providing great sound and great value, so I understand if you can't do dealers or returns.  I hope someday you're able to do something with restocking fees like Schiit, Head Amp, total DAC, and others.  For many people these formulas are the difference between being happy to buy something sound unheard, and having to stick with something else.  I've bought 3 highly reviewed products on this basis--kept two of them, paid several hundred dollars to return the third.

 

I look forward to your continued success!  

 

 

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1 hour ago, gmgraves said:

I used recordings with which I am intimately familiar 

 

 

Quote

With the rest of the ensemble playing, one can tell that there is a bass “continuum” playing from within the ensemble, but with all of the other DACs, you can’t parse what the bass player is playing. One is merely aware that the there is a strummed bass in the mix someplace. With the DenaFrips, the bass line is clearly audible

 

It would be very useful if you could share these recordings or let us know how to obtain them. This specific example is something we could listen for with our equipment and have something to compare your experiences too. Without the recording it is much less useful.

 

that said, I appreciate your passion and your willingness to hang it all out there , 

 

see my system at Audiogon  https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/768

 

 

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Happy Yggdrasil A2 Unison owner here. I find the review to be very interesting and although my source is wildly different than yours I would like to demo either this or a Venus at some point. This would be my first NOS DAC. At the time I purchased my Yggdrasil I was also eyeing the Holo Spring 2 KTE. Have you heard this DAC in your system?

 

Some of your descriptions of soundstage seem to be characteristic of what I've read about a "NOS" presentation. Some prefer that, others prefer the OS presentation.

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21 minutes ago, alvin1118 said:

 

I should clarify that the Venus reviewed by High-fidelity was the original Venus.

The current Venus II review can be found here.

 

Cheers,

Alvin

High fidelity are quite odd, they think CD is the pinnacle of sound reproduction, lol. 

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1 hour ago, alvin1118 said:

I should clarify that the Venus reviewed by High-fidelity was the original Venus.

 

Alvin,

 

the complete review on HF gives the impression that it is about the Venus II, so they always talk about Venus MkII:

 

"This input supports the DSD signal to the breathtaking DSD1024 resolution, and the PCM to the equally surprising PCM1536."

 

This is not possible with the original Venus.

 

If the review is not about the latest Venus you should urge them to write a clarification.

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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On 12/10/2020 at 1:07 AM, alvin1118 said:

 

Hey Matt,

 

All DENAFRIPS DACs are upgraded with the proprietary USB solution STM32F446 MCU.

Hope this helps!

 

Cheers,

Alvin

I note that the specs page for the Pontus still says "Amanero USB Interface".  which caused me to think I should buy an Iris first... might want

to correct that on the soon side as that will be a closer for some sales.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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1 hour ago, davide256 said:

I note that the specs page for the Pontus still says "Amanero USB Interface".  which caused me to think I should buy an Iris first... might want

to correct that on the soon side as that will be a closer for some sales.

 

Indeed, the manual of the Pontus is not updated too. Some confusion since some models with the new USB board are updated to Mk2, some not.

 

Matt

 

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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On 12/10/2020 at 9:17 PM, matthias said:

@gmgraves

 

Please, can you disclose if you listened to the Pontus in Oversampling or Non-Oversampling mode.

 

In the case you listened in OS mode which filter did you use?

 

Thank you

 

Matt

I listened to both OS and NOS. The two modes sound different, and I prefer the OS mode.
The Pontus has no control (that I know of and the manual certainly doesn’t mention it) allowing the listener to change the filters. Perhaps this is a feature of higher-priced DACs such as the Venus or the Terminator/Terminator Plus. Never having used any of these, I wouldn’t know.

George

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The Pontus has user changeable filter options, but the filters are only applied when OS Mode is being used.  

 

 

 

Home: Melco N1A/2 | EtherRegen+Farad | UltraRendu+Farad | Denafrips Gaia | Denafrips Terminator Plus | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | 2 Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  | PS Audio DS Power Plant 12 

 

Desktop: IsoRegen+LPS1.2 | Denafrips Iris | Denafrips Venus 2/Chord Qutest | Blue Circle Audio SBT preamp|  Eddie Current Zana Deux Super | Hifiman HE-1000SE | PS Audio DS Power Plant 12

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11 hours ago, Blake said:

The Pontus has user changeable filter options, but the filters are only applied when OS Mode is being used.  

 

Thanks, but extremely inconvenient. Denafrips should offer the Pontus one extra button for the two filters.

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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It's full of beautiful capacitors. What happens when one of them fails?. Who repairs it?. It needs to be shipped to Singapour for repair?. 

 

I checked Denafrips page, not a single phone/address. What happens if  VinishAudio stops business?. 

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17 hours ago, Cortes said:

It's full of beautiful capacitors. What happens when one of them fails?. Who repairs it?. It needs to be shipped to Singapour for repair?. 

 

I checked Denafrips page, not a single phone/address. What happens if  VinishAudio stops business?. 

VinishAudio is the sole distributor for Denafrips at the moment but they are not the manufacturer.

As volume grows manufacturers tend to diversify distributors by region of the world or to replace distributors that are hard to work with.

VinishAudio not being in business would qualify as "hard to work with"

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Pontus price is now $2,300. Guess this review caused a $700 price increase......

System: Fedilizer Pro>Pareto Audio Server with both Audiolinux (Roon) and W10 (Audirvana Studio) OS's, currently using W10 (control via remote desktop with laptop)> Original (2015) Sonore Signature Series, BNC/SPDIF > Yggdrasil A2 > Pass Labs XA100 Monoblocks > Triton Reference Speakers (modified) >Tweeked CiscoSG110D-08 LAN Switch. Cabling: Canare LV-77S SPDIF, Kimber KS2026 XLR interconnects, Kimber KS3035 Speaker wires.

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22 minutes ago, Boleary3 said:

Pontus price is now $2,300. Guess this review caused a $700 price increase......

2298 Singapore dollars are 1722 USD at up to the moment exchange rates

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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