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

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Well, I'm also not saying that all DACS are created equal. The ADI-2 and Ares II are both DACs that are in a similar price bracket and measure well. They are both really clean. When I compare those two to lower tier dacs, tonally they may be similar, but the cheaper dacs are much more coarse in sound.

I would check out some reviews. From the ones I have seen the reviewers are able to tell that the Ares II sounds better than many other R2R dacs. I think we're all benefitting from the advances in technology and the law of diminishing returns. You'll have to spend way more now just to get a noticeable difference in sound quality.

I'm guessing to punch above this ~$1000 USD DAC tier, you'd have to spend $3K-$4K to get something better like the Terminator, which is still considered a bargain relative other brand top end DACS. I'm using my DACS for desktop setup, so I don't want a huge space eating chassis in my workspace to listen to headphones. Seems counterintuitive.
Here you go:

"I just watched Josh Valour's latest video on the Monoprice THX Dac - you should give it a watch. In it, he does a sound demo for Dirac Sensaround option on and off. If I were to describe the difference between the Ares II and the RME, it'd be like switching on/off Dirac Sensaround. It alters the soundstage and imaging so that sounds from primarly on the sides get stretched out. Vocals more in front and instruments a little more segregated and back slightly."
 
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Gabehcuod

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Thinking of picking this up from my local dealer.
I just wanted to ask if anyone has the Kann Cube and could give a rough comparison between XLR out on both units.
 
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file1man

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It looks like Ares II do not have a proper 2nd order (at least) analog filter on the output, so NOS modes will carry a lot of ultrasonic noise. Amir in his tests didn't do proper wideband FFT plot, but he attached the following unconventional THD plot in response to the requests for testing NOS mode, it was in order to scare people.
Denafrips ARES II R2R USB DAC DSD THD+N vs Frequency Distortion and Noise NOS mode Audio Measu...png

The output filter looks very similar to the Audio GD R2R11, but here the output stage is made of non-feedback discrete amplifier. Denafrips don't give any details. If they use opamps, NOS mode will be affected negatively.

Other than that, I have no other option on R2R11 and it sounds fantastic. I tried upsampling 44.1kHz x4 in Foobar+SoX. The original 96/192kHz material sounds better, but for the upsampling I haven't made my mind yet.
Others with R1/R28 prefer 8xNOS for a modern top100 hitlist. For classic/jazz and all type of classical instruments NOS is prefered by many.
I'm new returned here. Why do I see so many, many posts referencing mesurement made by this guy amir saying his measurements have many errors. Good effort with many mistakes
 
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Guidostrunk

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Probably wouldn't hurt to tag @alvin1118 if you have inquiries.
... so far we have not received any comments and clarifications from the representative on this issue .. (( .. ((
 
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ActuallySparky

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Well, I'm also not saying that all DACS are created equal. The ADI-2 and Ares II are both DACs that are in a similar price bracket and measure well. They are both really clean. When I compare those two to lower tier dacs, tonally they may be similar, but the cheaper dacs are much more coarse in sound.

I would check out some reviews. From the ones I have seen the reviewers are able to tell that the Ares II sounds better than many other R2R dacs. I think we're all benefitting from the advances in technology and the law of diminishing returns. You'll have to spend way more now just to get a noticeable difference in sound quality.

I'm guessing to punch above this ~$1000 USD DAC tier, you'd have to spend $3K-$4K to get something better like the Terminator, which is still considered a bargain relative other brand top end DACS. I'm using my DACS for desktop setup, so I don't want a huge space eating chassis in my workspace to listen to headphones. Seems counterintuitive.
I'm with you - no way that I'm going to spend $2500 on a DAC that takes up my entire desk. I really like the smaller form factors that the Ares/Bifrost/ADI/D90 take up. I was hoping the Ares would stand out in this crowd, but increasingly I'm starting to believe that I wouldn't notice a significant difference from my Bifrost 2.

That being said, that's good news. I love my Bifrost 2 (and it's best-in-class USB implementation), so I'm saving money if I don't get any major benefit from getting an Ares. Perhaps someday I'll have extra money sitting around and think differently (or want to build a second system for the office), but it's no longer that pressing in my mind.
 
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robo24

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Ok folks so I'm interested in the ares dac. Looking to move up the chain from my current airist r2r. I'm curious as to what the differences are between v1 & v2.

Cheers
v2 has NOS mode and more filters. Personally my ears can never tell much difference between filters on any DAC since I can't hear about 13k. The ARES 1 is definitely a step up from the Airist. Definitely more resolving and nice to have balanced output.
 
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Guidostrunk

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You are correct. The Ares is definitely a few steps up over the Arist. What you said and as well as imaging, layering, soundstage and bass response. The bass really digs deep lol. It's a much more dimensional dac. I'm really digging it!
v2 has NOS mode and more filters. Personally my ears can never tell much difference between filters on any DAC since I can't hear about 13k. The ARES 1 is definitely a step up from the Airist. Definitely more resolving and nice to have balanced output.
 
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ADI-2 is an actual meme.
Thing is quasi balanced with a split-phase output stage.
It sounds embarrassingly bad as a DAC, didn't even bother to listen to cans on it.
Comparing to my Ares II, it seems like the thing that draws people into the rmeme is a fancy display and the form factor.
One of my mates traded his Ares II for an rmeme and it has been his biggest regret.
 
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ADI-2 is an actual meme.
Thing is quasi balanced with a split-phase output stage.
It sounds embarrassingly bad as a DAC, didn't even bother to listen to cans on it.
Comparing to my Ares II, it seems like the thing that draws people into the rmeme is a fancy display and the form factor.
One of my mates traded his Ares II for an rmeme and it has been his biggest regret.
These are fighting words
 
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Gabehcuod

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Currently, I have Ares II on OS slow filter.
I have Audirvana upsampling to 32/1536 or DSD512 (when playing DSD files)
Would it be better to switch to NOS mode since the OS isn't really doing anything when playing back the maximum sample rate?
I read above people talking about the NOS not having analogue filters but does this matter when playing back this rate?
 
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sajunky

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Currently, I have Ares II on OS slow filter.
I have Audirvana upsampling to 32/1536 or DSD512 (when playing DSD files)
Would it be better to switch to NOS mode since the OS isn't really doing anything when playing back the maximum sample rate?
I read above people talking about the NOS not having analogue filters but does this matter when playing back this rate?
Not having analog filters seems is not affecting our ears directly, but unfiltered images (products of the conversion) intermodulate on the downstream electronics and speakers, adding distortions in the audible frequency range. These unwanted products of conversion are higher when not using upsampling, as upsampling shifts these images to the higher frequency range, it is easier to get rid of.

I would only use upsampling (if any) for the 44.1/48kHz source, as DSP processing has negative effects. For the higher sampling rates there is no need for upsampling as the first order output filter in the DAC is sufficient combined with more low pass filtering on the cables, preamp inputs, etc...

In other words, for higher sampling rates of the original source there is no reason for upsampling. You have NOS without negative aspects.

Upsampling everything to the maximum hardware capacity doesn't make any sense. It only increase jitter and transient errors during conversion.
 
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How do I connect with iPad? I have a marantz CD player and peachtree nova 150 what is the best way to connect for CD player and iOS output? New to the game, slightly clueless, and help much appreciated
 
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Gabehcuod

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How do I connect with iPad? I have a marantz CD player and peachtree nova 150 what is the best way to connect for CD player and iOS output? New to the game, slightly clueless, and help much appreciated
Not sure what you mean by connecting with iPad, alot of people use Roon or Audirvana with a server/streamer. Alternatively, if you want a cable, AudioQuest make a few cables for apple devices afaik. For connecting a CD Player, I would use Coax since this DAC has no I2S/AES inputs.
Kinda sad to use such a nice DAC with a single-ended integrated amplifier. You'd be better off with a Pre/Power Amplifier.
If you want to use the peachtree as a stopgap then just take the RCA out of the denafrips to an input of the peach tree.
 
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