Denafrips 'Pontus' R2R ladder DAC - close up view

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by PitBul34, Jun 18, 2017.
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  1. rudra
    My pontus has been shipped.Can't wait to try the Pontus given that I like its sibling the ARES so much. :L3000:
    alphanumerix1 and alvin1118 like this.
  2. norbert2nd
  3. HoloSpice
    So hows the sound quality?
  4. rudra
    I haven't had much time listening. Will post my impression soon
  5. rudra
  6. alvin1118
    Yes it's a mistake in the 6moons preview. All DENAFRIPS DAC at this moment support up to DSD256.
  7. rudra
    Finally got around to spend some quality time listening to the Pontus and the Ares. These are my opinions. Take it with a grain of salt.

    Equipment used;
    Preamp: Parasound P7
    Speakers: Paradigm Studio 100
    Subwoofer: Seaton Submersive
    Amplifier: Earthquake Cinenova Grande 7
    Source : Rpi 3

    I listened to different genres of music and different resolutions. Redbook to HD (flac) to DSD 128.

    Pontus vs Ares

    slightly bigger sound stage compared to Ares.
    On the Ares the soundstage is slightly behind where as the with Pontus it is between the speakers
    Better micro dynamics and improved separation between the instrument.
    the bass on the Pontus is more controlled, tight compared to Ares. On the ares the bass seems bit bloated.
    where the Pontus really shines compared to the Ares is the the ability to keep up the dynamic range.
    OS/NOS is a bit of hit or miss. what ever it is doing is so subtle that on some tracks OS was preferred. IMO NOS is over hyped.
    To me the high frequency is slightly rolled off in the Pontus which seems like an ideal pair to my SS preamp and aluminium domed tweeter.

    Is the pontus 3x better than Ares considering that the difference in price is 3x? The answer is NO.

    If you have equipment that scales well then Pontus is a good buy otherwise using Ares one won't be missing a lot(at least not 3x less). To put it in other words if you buy a Pontus make sure that your equipment downstream is resolving otherwise Ares is a good value for money for a R2R dac.

    Finally a shout out for Alvin for the excellent customer service provided.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
    HoloSpice likes this.
  8. alvin1118
    @rudra , you're most welcome.

    Do give allo usbridge a try, it's good.
  9. rudra
    @alvin1118 thanks for the suggestion mate, but tbh I don' t think a Allo usb brige,SotM or Microrendu is going to make a whole lot of difference in my setup.
  10. alvin1118
    @rudra , rpi3 USB port share the same interrupt with the Ethernet port. It's the major downside of the rpi if one would like to use it with external DAC.

    I'm using allo USBridge, it's surprisingly good.
  11. rudra
  12. alvin1118
    Okay, I digest :)
  13. burdie
    Any Pontus owners here using the I2S input?
    I am thinking to use either
    1) Raspberry Pi direct I2S out or via reclocker like Allo Kali
    I need a confirmation that the built in clock of Pontus will reclock all incoming data from all digital input including I2S input (run as master DAC) or Pontus ran in slave mode which reclocker is required for lower jitter. For those having RPI as source and able to use I2S input, please comment on the SQ versus other digital input.

    2) Laptop USB to I2S conversion with ultra lower jitter clock, like Hydra Z or Singxer SU-1
  14. PitBul34
    I'm waiting my Cayin iDAP-6 digital transport to test I2S input.
  15. alvin1118
    Hi @burdie,

    Pontus reclock all input except for i2s. i2s is configured in slave mode, i.e. it requires master clock input from the source device. Hope it helps!
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