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Denafrips Venus 2 & DDC?


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Howdy all!

 

I've recently ordered a Denafrips Venus II to replace a Gustard x20 Pro DAC/Singxer SU-1 DDC combo.

 

I'm curious to understand if it would be worth keeping the Singxer SU-1 to connect to the Venus. 

 

I've made a number of upgrades to the SU-1:

installed an SBooster power supply module
- replaced the audio board voltage regulator with a Sparkos Labs Discrete Regulator
- replaced the 5 capacitors on the audio board with low ESR Panasonic ones
- installed an SR Orange Fuse
 

Has anyone paired a DDC with their Venus?

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I'm using Terminator with Matrix x-spdif 2. Generally I think Denafrips i2s port is better than USB port, unless you have very clean USB signal. Even though direct from my opticalrendu to Terminator feel a bit more cleaner and lower noise floor but going through Matrix x-spdif 2 I feel the sound soundstage is larger, more holographic and lively.

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On 3/13/2021 at 4:04 AM, musicguy said:

If you can give updates on time of order and shipping.  I am looking at this dac also.  I have a singer su-6 now.

 

I placed the order on their website on March 1. This was during a 3 week holiday period so Alvin didn't reply back until March 11.

 

I had indicated I wanted a black unit and Alvin informed me that there was backlog of orders for the black units but if I wanted a silver one, it could be ready within a week. I opted for a silver one.

 

Today (Mar 16), I received a notice from DHL to expect the shipment to arrive on March 23. 

 

I will try the Venus both with and without my Singxer SU-1 and report back here.

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I've spent the last couple of afternoons doing some serious listening to the Venus vs Venus + Singxer SU-1. Basically I was comparing running the signal from my dedicated audio pc into the USB input of the Venus versus running the USB signal into the Singxer, then into the Venus via its I2S port.

 

Backstory: I replaced my 10 year old Martin Logan Spires with new Coherent Audio GR12's, which are hand-made (and tuned) in Canada. I immediately noticed that my digital files didn't sound right anymore? I don't know if what I was hearing was digital smear or glare but whatever it was, I couldn't hear it before. So I decided to upgrade my DAC, hence the Denafrips Venus purchase.

 

For the test, I listened to Jazz at the Pawnshop, DSD64 as I am very familiar with it (and I love listening to it). I should mention that I have modified the SU-1, so it is not a stock unit.

 

After a couple of afternoons of focused listening, switching back and forth, I could not hear a difference between the Venus and the Venus/Singxer combo. The addition of the Singxer SU-1 did not improve the performance but it didn't degrade it either.

 

I then swapped back in my original combo (Gustard x20Pro/Singxer SU-1). The smear was back. Until then, I had not appreciated just how much better the Venus was. It did everything better. I'm a musician so I can only describe the music as I understand it. The notes were more clearly defined and retained their decay longer. Not sure if that description resonates with anyone else?   

 

At almost 4x the price, one would expect better performance, I suppose. 

 

 

 

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On 3/16/2021 at 10:27 AM, Acholate said:

I'm using Terminator with Matrix x-spdif 2. Generally I think Denafrips i2s port is better than USB port, unless you have very clean USB signal. Even though direct from my opticalrendu to Terminator feel a bit more cleaner and lower noise floor but going through Matrix x-spdif 2 I feel the sound soundstage is larger, more holographic and lively.

I agree the I2S is the best input for Denafrips Terminator.  However my Denafrips Iris DDC noticeably benefited the USB from an Innuos Statement!

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I picked up a used Hermes from US Audio Mart. It arrived on Monday but I've only listened to the combo for a bit - was just not feeling well yesterday.

 

Chain is:

Win 10 PC as Roon core --> Win 10 PC as HQ Player processor --> fiber network conversion --> Pi4 (both fiber converter and Pi are battery powered) --> Ghent dual head USB cable to Hermes USB In --> i2S out to Venus II using a 1.5 foot 4K HDMI cable ($10 on Amazon or something - nothing special).

 

One of the reasons I picked up Hermes was to see if a different i2S source from the two I have onhand produced the same audible "tick" or "snap" over i2S as the other two did. The other two were Pi HAT-type units - one a DDC and the other a Pi2AES. But I figured maybe there was something odd there that produced the issue. But it happens on Hermes as well. So at this point, looks like my Venus II i2S input may have an issue which is ok, I'm working with Alvin on that and have no doubt we'll figure it out.

 

But absent that issue - which only happens intermittently - I DO perceive a positive change in the presentation. I've noticed it with the other DDC I have as well - the Ian Canada FIFOPi + HDMIPi transmitter module. It's hard to explain but the differences I hear are twofold:

 

Meatier midrange - it's like the upper strings on bass guitar and the lower strings on electric guitar went to the gym just a little bit. It sounds more natural, a little better "in your face" grunt that is forward in a good way. 

Second is the image is just more believable, more rounded out and while I don't think the overall dimensions change - the definition of spacing around instruments, the recorded space/venue - those come through more clearly.

 

It's a nice change and one I am willing to sort out the issues on i2S to have at my disposal without any other issues.

 

Just tonight I decided to try another option - Dual AES/EBU from Hermes to Venus II. I only just got it set up but I do really like what I hear. To my knowledge that limits PCM to 384 and DSD128 is the ceiling on that interface, but that's ok. I've reconfigured HQ Player accordingly and can confirm the DAC is "seeing" PCM384 as it should.

 

Will update as I can.

Ryzen 3900x Roon Core PC -> Intel i9900k HQPlayer W10 machine -> iFi Zen Stream NAA

Holo May KTE, Benchmark LA4 preamp

SMC Audio upgraded DNA-125 Amp

Dynaudio Confidence C2 Platinum speakers

Vinyl rig - Schiit Sol, Nagaoka MP-500, Mod Squad PhonoDrive phono stage

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  • 2 weeks later...

Question.    Yes your Venus is better than your Gustardx20.  I have a Gustard x22.

 

At 3x the price.  Would you say its a HUGE jump in sound or maybe 20%

 

I want a Denafrips.  Pontus or Venus?  Is my problem.  I mostly listen with a Lumin u1 mini steamer tidal.

 

M usicguy

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19 hours ago, musicguy said:

Question.    Yes your Venus is better than your Gustardx20.  I have a Gustard x22.

 

At 3x the price.  Would you say its a HUGE jump in sound or maybe 20%


It was much greater than 20%. After upgrading my speakers (to Coherent Audio GR12’s), there was noticeable digital smear on some tracks (not all admittedly). There is none with the Venus.

 

How much of an improvement you will hear will depend on how highly resolving the rest of your system is, I suppose.

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So I got my Venus II. Out of the box amazing.

 

If someone has a link to how the OS/NOS   oversampling works.  And their preference?

 

So. os/nos button--  light off is OS   Light on is NOS+( no over sampling being performed.)

 

with   Adele. Os sounds smoother.   

 

M uiscguy

 

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@Wheat King

 

Thanks for the manual.  

 

MY question is how many times does it over sample?    I get the switch is no light OS and a light NOS.   But how many times does it bump  up the sample rate?

 

I haven't seen any specs.   

 

Im not trolling,   I think Os. sounds smoother.   But many here believe play back should be in native. format.   Until this dac.  I agree.  

 

But Os on this Venus II. is amazing.

 

 

 

🤔

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OS, slow filter here.  

Speaker Room: Lumin U1X | Lampizator Golden Gate 2 | Viva Linea | Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature Monoblocks | FinkTeam Kim | Revel subs  

Office Headphone System: Lumin U1X | Lampizator Big 7 updated to GG 2 specs | Viva Egoista | Hifiman HE-1000SE/Audeze LCD-4z

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