Denafrips 'Pontus' R2R ladder DAC - close up view

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by PitBul34, Jun 18, 2017.
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  1. rixlbg
    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.

  2. alvin1118
    Hi @rixlbg ,

    No worry, you may email me at with your order number #.

    I'd try my best to assist you.

    Many thanks.

    Rgds ,
    Vinshine Audio
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  3. rixlbg
    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.


    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  4. FiGuY1017
    Deleted:moved to mhdt thread.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  5. mock-up
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  6. smodtactical
    So you liked the pontus more than the LKS 004 ?
    HoloSpice likes this.
  7. PitBul34
    Mr. Pontus still in my system and sounds great. I'm happy with it.
    HoloSpice likes this.
  8. smodtactical
    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.
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  9. smodtactical
    Anyone compare Pontus to Gungnir ?
    HoloSpice likes this.
  10. allhifi
    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.

    HoloSpice likes this.
  11. allhifi
    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
  12. alvin1118

    Thank you, guys!
    smodtactical likes this.
  13. smodtactical
    Alvin is a cool dude... I can attest to that! Just bought a terminator from him.
    Sage Encore and HoloSpice like this.
  14. Sage Encore
    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.
    HoloSpice likes this.
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