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DENAFRIPS 'ARES' R2R discrete ladder DAC - close up view

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by pitbul34, Jan 28, 2017.
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  1. guymrob
    Guys, this DAC is 18-bit ladder, not a true 24-bit found in Holo Springs. It doesn't have linearity compensation built-in, it requires two identical sets to this job! Moreover, it can't bypass the hardware OS, so basically it cannot do NOS. In Denafrips TW website specs can do up to DSD128 (6.114MHz), not DSD256 (11.28MHz) and not even DSD512(22.5MHz) that Holo Spring can do! Moreover the Windows USB driver is generic XMOS driver not designed by Denafrips and it can't do DSD in native mode, only in DoP. Holo Spring Windows driver are designed by Holo Springs through a third party driver manufacturer Thresycon and Microsoft signed driver that does DSD in native mode all the way to DSD512!
  2. PitBul34
    Denafrips 'Ares' data from official dealer:

    1. XMOS XU208 USB Interface
    2. Ultra Low Jitter Digital Receiver AK4118
    3. Proprietary R2R + DSD Architecture
    Ares employees 20BIT  R2R +  6BIT DSD (32 steps FIR Filters), native PCM & DSD decoding with 0.01% precision resistors.
    2.8224MHz(DSD1X) All Input
    5.6448MHz(DSD2X), 11.288MHz(DSD4X) USB Only

    24bit/44.1、48、88.2、96、176.4、192、358.2(USB)、384(USB) kHz

    Output Rating: 
    RCA: 2.2(+/-10%) V RMS(1KHz)
    XLR: 4.4(+/-10%) V RMS(1KHz)

    AC Power: 115/230V, 50/60Hz
    Power Consumption: ≤30W
    Frequency Response: 0-70K Hz(-3dB)
    THD+N: ≤0.002%(1KHz A-weighted)
    S/N Ratio: 115dB(RCA)、114dB(XLR)
    Dynamic Range: >119dB(RCA)、>120dB(XLR)
    Stereo Crosstalk: ≤-124dB(RCA)、≤130dB(XLR)
    Dimension: 215 *230 *45  mm
    Weight: 3.5kg
    12months from date of purchase.

    Some real measurements of  Holo Sring 'NOS' mode you can find here: **Real Holo Spring Measurements
    Denafrips 'Ares' native DSD test:
  3. Energy
    Ares can't do NOS. Only their top of the line Terminator can perhaps bypass hardware OS for OS/NOS toggle.
  4. guymrob
    The manufacturer website stated it is 18-bit ladder DAC and can only able to do up to 5.644/6.144 (DSD128). The native DSD support is for XMOS XU208 chipset only. The driver Denafrips is a generic XMOS stereo USB driver from XMOS itself, called 'XMOS Stereo Driver', which is free to download. It only support DoP, not native DSD.


    For XMOS USB driver check this:


    Hope this clarifies
  5. Energy
    lol I noticed that too.
    Also in relation to Holo Audio Spring measurements. If you knew how NOS works that wouldn't matter. Continue reading the thread. I'd rather be free of filters that colorate the sound.
  6. PitBul34
    Denafrips Ares (~$700) is not direct competitor of Holo Spring v1 (~$1700), howewer Ares sounds better in OS mode then Holo Spring in NOS mode, imo. The direct competitor of Holo Spring is Denafrips DAC8-PRO2 R2R armed by 4x R2R Ladders and separate power source module (~$1400). I'll tell about DAC8-PRO2 R2R sound when i'll receive it. 
  7. guymrob
    Some real measurements of Holo Sring 'NOS' mode you can find here: **Real Holo Spring Measurements...

    There's many doubts in the measurements... first they never specify what kind digital data they pump into the Holo Spring. 16bit or 24bit? Which sampling frequency?

    NOS generally fare worse than OS in tern SNR, but the advantage is it remove artifacts of over sampling digital filters that cause the 'ringing'. You can read this article on NOS:

  8. PitBul34
    You talking about DAC-68 R2R (~$500), not Ares. Howewer, I think Denafrips should stabilize his model line as soon as possible. 3 models will be enought, imo: Ares (low segment), DAC8-PRO2 R2R (middle segment, need to be rebranded to avoid consumer confusion) & Terminator (top segment).
    IMO, there is no sonic differense between DSD64 in DoP mode via good quality COX or OPT interface & DSD64 in native mode via USB interface.
  9. Superdad
    It is confusing because Ares seems to be the discontinued model--not shown on the Denafrips web site at all--and DAC-68 is shown.  And DAC-68 is also listed as being able to handle DSD256.
    But close-up images of the boards clearly show that Ares is the higher model above the DAC-68.
    Is there any information available about the filters in the Ares?  Is it like most DACs where if you feed it at a high enough sample rate you effectively bypass its own digital filters? (A sort of forced NOS if fed 384KHz.) 
    Any USA importers yet?
  10. Currawong Contributor
    I'm following this DAC out of interest in R2R implementations, but there is something I want to point out about NOS:
    The "ringing" you only see, as you are only supposed to, next to impulse responses and square waves, which do not exist in music. The whole thing about DACs sounding "digital" being caused by ringing very much appears to be completely false, but from my experience some of it does appear to be the result of poor filter design and component noise, as well as timing errors in SD DACs.[​IMG]
    PaganDL likes this.
  11. guymrob

    Yes it does, complex harmonics in music makes up waveforms that resembles 'square wave', if ringing is caused by over-sampling digital filters, it causes a phenomenon called transient intermodulation distortion. It is difficult to measure in real life but a square wave impulse response is a good test.

  12. lukeap69
    In Taobao, it seems ARES and DAC-68 are priced similarly. I have exchanged emails with Denafrips, according to them the only difference between the two is more coax and one more 'digital' input on Ares. If ARES had a BNC input, I could have purchased one. I am keeping an eye on Denafrips though. I may still decide to buy one of these for my bedroom headphone rig.
  13. gunwale
    how different is this compared to the new audio gd singularity 19?
  14. Currawong Contributor

    It's the other way around. A square wave is the sum of multiple harmonics. A DSD "impulse" isn't in music either. Multiple harmonics do not sum together in music to form anything like a square wave, unless the music is clipping, which is a different issue. I think the issue you may be closest to is that of aliasing close to the Nyquist frequency, which is a filter issue. [​IMG]
    Anyhow, whether or not a DAC can accept DSD 512 is kind of crazy IMO. There is effectively no music of that resolution that didn't start off as DXD, which is a more sane choice if you don't mind half-a-gigabyte+ per music file.
  15. PitBul34
    Audio GD Singularity 19 use DA-M1 R2R modules with 0.1% precision resistors:
    Ares has 0.01% precision resistors on board.
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