Denafrips 'Pontus' R2R ladder DAC - close up view
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rixlbg

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Hello, everyone.

I have a little problem with my very recently arrived Denafrips Venus, I hope someone, or even Alvin, can help me. The DAC works great through the USB connection with my PC, but I can't make it work through the coaxial or optical connections with my blu-ray player/source Oppo BDP-105. The sound gets full of cracks and distortions and, eventually, the only thing you can hear are the cracks. A bunch of LEDs goes on and off as if the Venus could not decide what kind of format is being fed into it (just a speculation, I really don't know what the issue is). That's a pity because a have a bunch of CDs I was hoping to primarily use the Venus as a DAC for the Oppo and just secondarily for my PC. The BDP-105 does not have a USB out, so I am stuck to coaxial or optical. I already changed every possible configuration option on the Oppo, including changing the format fed to the coaxial and optical outputs from bitstream to LPCM, with no success; but I don't think the problem is with the Oppo 105 because my old DAC works with it immediately with many diverse configurations. Did someone have a similar experience with other DACs and does somebody have any idea on what is happening and what could I do to solve it, if anything? I hope the Venus hasn't been damaged.

Sorry for posting a question about the Venus in a Pontus thread, but there is no specific thread for the Venus. I am also going to repeat the question on the Ares thread and maybe on the Terminator's.

Thank you for your help.

Cheers.
 
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post-13813159
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alvin1118

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Hi @rixlbg ,

No worry, you may email me at vinshineaudio@gmail.com with your order number #.

I'd try my best to assist you.

Many thanks.

Rgds ,
Alvin
Vinshine Audio
 
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rixlbg

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Disclaimer: I have no relation, any, zilt, nicht, nada, with Denafrips (apart from the fact that I own one of their products, of course) or any other audio manufacturer in any country on Earth.


Hi, all

I’ve had an issue with my Denafrips Venus when it first arrived (original post below) and I want to describe my experience with Denafrips customer service. At the start, I was a bit afraid if I really would get any customer service at all because I am the second owner of my unit and I live in distant-hot-and-out-of-the-radar-for-audiophile-stuff Brazil. I’ve been attended by Alvin here in the forum and by email and I described him my troubles; he immediately detected the issue: I would need to replace the DSP board, which is a very straight-forward process of just open the chassis and unplug-plug-and-play. But I got a little flea behind my ear: he had found the problem too quickly, just by my descriptions, “maybe this Alvin guy just doesn’t know what he is talking about”, I asked myself. He sent me the replacing DSP board (and the instructions) free of charge and well packed through DHL and I did the switch easily. And… everything worked great! The cracks and distortions of old had gone and I ended up with this great crystal sound. I am very happy!

What got me pleased the most in my experience with the Denafrips customer service is how they didn't have any excuses or caveats with the fact that I’ve bought my Venus second hand (here in the 'for sale forums') and I don’t have an invoice with my name on it. Alvin just attended me as he would any new client and honored their warranty with no concerns about the expensive DSP board replacement going to expensive-shipping and distant Brazil. We know that this is the way things should work in any company but I am afraid the truth is that many of them just look for the minimal poor excuse to not spend a buck on you: “Oh, I am sorry, the warranty is not transferable” or “Sorry, we do not offer service in your poverty-stricken country” or “I just don’t like the fact you implied some product of ours could ever need any customer service, so, no customer service for you!” or “Oops, we just did not received your last 17 emails; are you certain you sent them or even if you just know how to type?” or just plain and simple silence; these are few of some of the lines you may listen to/read in interactions with many other businesses out there but not with Denafrips. Alvin/VinShineAudio/Denafrips' super quick, precise and no-problem-about-it attitude makes me confident in highly recommend their products even if you buy them second hand. And, also, alongside the great sound quality I’ve experienced with the Venus, it makes me put their brand in the very first position for any upgrade of equipment I may consider in the future… maybe I can see a Terminator coming my way soon… :thinking:

Thank you very much, Alvin, my confidence in the humankind has been restored and all that thing; and sorry for taking so much time for posting my experience here in the forum.

(I am going to post this in the Denafrips Ares thread as well as I’ve written about my former problems there also. The fact I haven't written this in the ‘Denafrips Venus thread’ is that it seems to not exist one until my original post came out.)

I hope this post can help someone.


Cheers from Brazil.


Ricardo




Hello, everyone.

I have a little problem with my very recently arrived Denafrips Venus, I hope someone, or even Alvin, can help me. The DAC works great through the USB connection with my PC, but I can't make it work through the coaxial or optical connections with my blu-ray player/source Oppo BDP-105. The sound gets full of cracks and distortions and, eventually, the only thing you can hear are the cracks. A bunch of LEDs goes on and off as if the Venus could not decide what kind of format is being fed into it (just a speculation, I really don't know what the issue is). That's a pity because a have a bunch of CDs I was hoping to primarily use the Venus as a DAC for the Oppo and just secondarily for my PC. The BDP-105 does not have a USB out, so I am stuck to coaxial or optical. I already changed every possible configuration option on the Oppo, including changing the format fed to the coaxial and optical outputs from bitstream to LPCM, with no success; but I don't think the problem is with the Oppo 105 because my old DAC works with it immediately with many diverse configurations. Did someone have a similar experience with other DACs and does somebody have any idea on what is happening and what could I do to solve it, if anything? I hope the Venus hasn't been damaged.

Sorry for posting a question about the Venus in a Pontus thread, but there is no specific thread for the Venus. I am also going to repeat the question on the Ares thread and maybe on the Terminator's.

Thank you for your help.

Cheers.
 
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post-14318617
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smodtactical

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Mr. Pontus still in my system and sounds great. I'm happy with it.
Wow I am surprised a Pontus took down the LKS 004 !!

Views on that dac are all over the place... here its beaten by pontus but other people say its above yggy. So confusing.
 
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smodtactical

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Anyone compare Pontus to Gungnir ?
 
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allhifi

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So in your opinion the Denafrips Pontus ($1600) shipped is equal to or better than Holo Spring Level 3 Kitsune ($2600)? This is what you are implying with your deuce statement correct? This is very encouraging to hear from someone else who has listened to these dacs. I posted on my thread asking about the Denafrips line and was going to purchase a Holo Spring Level 3 but was discouraged from it when I tried to contact Kitsune to ask questions about a week ago and they never replied. I tried again without effect. Made me question what the customer service would be like if I had an issue after dropping $2600 on one of their units plus a Singxer? Not worth the risk in my opinion if they can't even have the decency to answer question about hardware they sell to a perspective buyer. So I contact Vinshineaudio to inquire about their Denafrips dac line and get an immediate response to all my questions from Alvin Chee. I explained to him the dacs that I am considering and he states that (in his opinion so taken with a grain of salt) the Denafrips Pontus is equal to or greater than the Holo Spring Level 3 dac and the Venus is steps above. To read confirmation from someone outside of the company that makes and sells the units that this is their experience with said dac is very encouraging! Then the level of customer service I have received and read about from Alvin thus far makes this purchase decision easier. It looks like I will be purchasing the Pontus or the Venus!
benny: You make a great point regarding customer service:

" ... was going to purchase a Holo Spring Level 3 but was discouraged from it when I tried to contact Kitsune to ask questions about a week ago and they never replied. I tried again without effect. Made me question what the customer service would be like if I had an issue after dropping $2600 on one of their units plus a Singxer? Not worth the risk in my opinion"

By now, we're all very aware that 'Chinese' product can be excellent indeed. BUT, as pointed out (I believe correctly) some of the Chinese "names" are anything but consistent in terms of quality/performance. In particular, Audio Gd DAC's (older models?) was mentioned and pointed out as being particularly 'off-spec' from one to the next. No doubt other brands as well.

The point being both customer service and quality control are key components to successful, consistent products. Such steps, not surprisingly adds additional cost to the product.
I'd suggest keeping this in mind when considering off-shore brands.

pj
 
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allhifi

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Disclaimer: I have no relation, any, zilt, nicht, nada, with Denafrips (apart from the fact that I own one of their products, of course) or any other audio manufacturer in any country on Earth.


Hi, all

I’ve had an issue with my Denafrips Venus when it first arrived (original post below) and I want to describe my experience with Denafrips customer service. At the start, I was a bit afraid if I really would get any customer service at all because I am the second owner of my unit and I live in distant-hot-and-out-of-the-radar-for-audiophile-stuff Brazil. I’ve been attended by Alvin here in the forum and by email and I described him my troubles; he immediately detected the issue: I would need to replace the DSP board, which is a very straight-forward process of just open the chassis and unplug-plug-and-play. But I got a little flea behind my ear: he had found the problem too quickly, just by my descriptions, “maybe this Alvin guy just doesn’t know what he is talking about”, I asked myself. He sent me the replacing DSP board (and the instructions) free of charge and well packed through DHL and I did the switch easily. And… everything worked great! The cracks and distortions of old had gone and I ended up with this great crystal sound. I am very happy!

What got me pleased the most in my experience with the Denafrips customer service is how they didn't have any excuses or caveats with the fact that I’ve bought my Venus second hand (here in the 'for sale forums') and I don’t have an invoice with my name on it. Alvin just attended me as he would any new client and honored their warranty with no concerns about the expensive DSP board replacement going to expensive-shipping and distant Brazil. We know that this is the way things should work in any company but I am afraid the truth is that many of them just look for the minimal poor excuse to not spend a buck on you: “Oh, I am sorry, the warranty is not transferable” or “Sorry, we do not offer service in your poverty-stricken country” or “I just don’t like the fact you implied some product of ours could ever need any customer service, so, no customer service for you!” or “Oops, we just did not received your last 17 emails; are you certain you sent them or even if you just know how to type?” or just plain and simple silence; these are few of some of the lines you may listen to/read in interactions with many other businesses out there but not with Denafrips. Alvin/VinShineAudio/Denafrips' super quick, precise and no-problem-about-it attitude makes me confident in highly recommend their products even if you buy them second hand. And, also, alongside the great sound quality I’ve experienced with the Venus, it makes me put their brand in the very first position for any upgrade of equipment I may consider in the future… maybe I can see a Terminator coming my way soon… :thinking:

Thank you very much, Alvin, my confidence in the humankind has been restored and all that thing; and sorry for taking so much time for posting my experience here in the forum.

(I am going to post this in the Denafrips Ares thread as well as I’ve written about my former problems there also. The fact I haven't written this in the ‘Denafrips Venus thread’ is that it seems to not exist one until my original post came out.)

I hope this post can help someone.


Cheers from Brazil.


Ricardo
HI Ricardo: Thank you for sharing. That was a great story -and very commendable customer service/honesty.

It's such situations (and subsequent corrective actions) that I retain when considering a product. As both my brother and I are looking to upgrade our DAC's (and seeing positive reviews on Denafrips DAC's), the name/company has been added to the (short) list.

Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your new DAC.

peter jasz
 
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:dt880smile:

Thank you, guys!
 
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Hi Guys,
Just bought a Pontus and Singxer. I have 2 set ups, one is a tube and the other SS.

Tube: LD Mkvi with the Pontus as DAC, Singxer in tow.
SS: Simaudio HAD430D with the DAC duties being done by the Qutest.
HP: Abyss Phi CC/LCD3f/hifiman 400i

Its been a day now with the Pontus, initial impression, Wow. Damn, she sings. Very coherent, nice staging, instrument separation. Pianos and Guitars sound as they should. No hint of digital glare whatsoever. It sounded beautiful with my tube amp, with the Moon its just so natural. Neutral is a loosely used word, but I use it for lack of a better word. Its got that nice warm feeling of an analogue equipment.

Please don't ask me how it compares to the Qutest cause I really cannot tell them apart except that the Pontus sounds a tad warmer, not by much though. Qutest with the optical connection will probably be just as warm, but am currently running the Qutest with the BNC connection thru the Singxer. Just for fun sake to see how it sounds. I have a plethora of combinations to play with now. The Moon went up a few notches too being plugged into the Singxer via a SPDIF connection.

Looking for a new DAC, pencil in the Pontus before pulling the trigger on a DAC of your choice. As for me, I just believed in Alvin and took the plunge and am so thankful to Alvin for making me do it. Here's to more music nirvana. What am doing here when I should be in sonic heaven. LOL.

PS: The Singxer is a very good addition as well, Highly recommended as a pairing. I guess it will make any DAC sound better.

Happy listening guys.
 
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The perfect DAC for enjoying music.

Pros - Truly enjoyable music with less bright treble
Bass extension is deeper
Excellent details and Transparency
Wide soundstage
Value for price

Cons - R-2R architecture DAC requires some "heat up" before performing at its best.
Having a remote can be a nice option too

First of all, I like to thank Alvin from Vinshine Audio for loaning me this Denafrips Pontus DAC. I own both Hugo and Mojo for both portable and transportable (in fact desktop) audio setup. I was always looking forward to owning a true discrete R-2R ladder DAC but was always put off by the high prices.

It’s the 1st R2R DAC i tried but what really captures my attention is the well solid build casing. My friends have always told me that I have a soft spot for (visually) beautiful product, and I must admit that I was captivated by Pontus when I unboxed it.



It’s worth mentioning that Pontus is a true balanced, dual mono R-2R network arrays DAC. I have seen a lot of “balanced” DAC/Amp around the market, but true balanced ones are far and few. Most of them are designed for high end HiFi market.



Unfortunately I wasn't able to test out the balanced out option as I only have my Cavalli Tube Hybrid amp connected via RCA. However, I plan to own the Massdrop THX 789 amp & Liquid Platinum in near future.

One key feature that captures my attention is the inclusion of the linear power supply. For folks (like me) who appreciate the differences in having a LPS in your audio setup, this inclusion really saves you the trouble of finding one that is suitable for your DAC. Adding a LPS can easily add on another 10% to the cost.

For my setup, I have it paired with CTH and my Kennerton Odin headphone. Source is from my macbook air playing both wav and dsd music files via Audirvana Plus.



As suggested, I turned both the DAC and Amp for 20-25 mins before trying to listen. My first impression listening to it - very large and wide soundstage. Hugo 2 is capable and known for its soundstage and transparency but Pontus brings it to even a higher level. When comparing the two, Hugo 2 is like listening to music in a room while Pontus makes me feel that i am in my hall.

Both Hugo and Pontus have excellent dynamics, transparency and details. It's hard to say which is better but there's definitely a difference when I listen to it for long. I often get a bit of fatigue with my Hugo 2+CTH setup when I listen to it for more than 30 mins. With Pontus + CTH, I was so immersed in listening to the playing music and often forget how many times have the album repeated itself.

Bass wise, it's obvious that Pontus has a clear edge over my Hugo 2. The bass hits deeper and sound much less "digital". I had the habit of putting my fingers

Overall wise, I am able to truly enjoy listening to my favourite songs and albums and not having to worry when I should stop for my ears to take a rest.

Last but not least, Pontus is a very affordable R-2R dac considering the features and price (SGD$2298 : ~US$1670). The inclusion of various digital input options (i2S, USB, BNC/Coax, AES, RCA) makes it so easy for me to plug and play any source in future!
 
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