Denafrips Sub-Brand or Rip-off? The case of Musician Audio's Pegasus R2R DAC
Sep 14, 2020 at 1:45 PM Post #106 of 304

HIRESfan

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Hello all,I am new here. Has anyone made a comparison of this Pegasus DAC with any of the Denafrips DACs that are getting rave reviews all over the place. I've never had a R2R DAC or a standalone DAC ever before. I have stuck with the DACs that came with my cd players all my life. I have had a Yamaha CD-S2100 cd player (not exactly a entry level cd player) for about 5 years now. Will this Pegasus DAC or a Denafrips DAC be an upgrade from my Yamaha CD-S2100 cd player or not?

Thanks,
 
Sep 17, 2020 at 1:05 PM Post #107 of 304

Sherwood

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Ears can be fooled without proper training. That makes experienced reviewers (even biased) better suited than a body of dull amateurs. Quality over quantity. Over time you can judge a professional reviewer.

This is a community of amateurs, and with some discipline you can definitely rely on their (our) conclusions. While amateurs lack training, they also lack financial motivation. Sure, confirmation bias exists, but amateurs are happy to tell you which of their headphones sound the best and reviewers never will.

The best way I’ve yet found to evaluate gear without hearing it is to befriend someone with good ears who buys everything, then just ask them what they like. That’s the real end game.
 
Sep 17, 2020 at 4:32 PM Post #108 of 304

tuckers

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Should there be an 'official' thread about the Pegasus? I'm not sure how to start one. After a week I am still positive in my impressions of the DAC, my first sonic impressions have held up. I need more time and fiddling before I form any definite conclusions though. I am in the process of changing my digital chain of components, so there is a lot to sort out.
 
Sep 17, 2020 at 6:21 PM Post #109 of 304

hedphonz

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I received my Pegasus 3 days ago and have it hooked up to a Laptop using Audirvana, Audio-GD Master 19 HP amp and Focal Utopia headphones.
My initial impression is the level of detail is incredible yet absolutely no sibilance or brightness.

After 10 years of being an HP audiophile enthusiast I have experienced the wow factor many times whenever I step up a notch in gear and this DAC has me grinning ear to ear. I am very happy with the purchase and recommend it.
Cosmetically I would have preferred bigger LED lights as they are tiny and i dont like the one foot only at the rear as it wobbles if you put anything on top of it like my headphone stand.
I will update my impressions in a couple of more weeks.
 
Sep 17, 2020 at 9:23 PM Post #111 of 304

smallcaps

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Should there be an 'official' thread about the Pegasus? I'm not sure how to start one. After a week I am still positive in my impressions of the DAC, my first sonic impressions have held up. I need more time and fiddling before I form any definite conclusions though. I am in the process of changing my digital chain of components, so there is a lot to sort out.
I made a new thread here and a gear page here.
 
Sep 18, 2020 at 11:47 PM Post #112 of 304

]eep

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This is a community of amateurs, and with some discipline you can definitely rely on their (our) conclusions. While amateurs lack training, they also lack financial motivation. Sure, confirmation bias exists, but amateurs are happy to tell you which of their headphones sound the best and reviewers never will.

The best way I’ve yet found to evaluate gear without hearing it is to befriend someone with good ears who buys everything, then just ask them what they like. That’s the real end game.
Its not that i feel the need to defend myself or argue with you since you are right in a way but your arguments are not very strong. I can shoot holes in them all day long.

This might have started as a community of amateurs but i see plenty of (welcome) professionals contributing. And even when they have obvious financial interest i never suspect them of having any other primary motivation than the love of good music (reproduction). If you go into hifi to get rich you're an obvious idiot (excusez le mot). Yet there are entrepreneurs blinded by the prices of 'high end' gear thinking they can make a profit; I'm not going to speculate further...

Often the word 'amateur' is perceived as 'not professional', hobbyist, easily mislead, newby, only aware of the basics and even 'loser' while originally it just means 'a lover of...'. So I wouldn't use it as you do. Professionals love they job too. Most often they started as amateurs. Amateurs can be ignorant or dumb without anyone holding them accountable. Professionals are held to a certain standard (that's capitalism 101).

Who says amateurs have no financial interest and why would that be the sole or foremost cause of bias? They are biased, I have met plenty of 'amateurs' who clearly are (fanboys). Irritatingly so. That is not just 'confirmation bias' but can be anything from belief in science (scientism), trust in commercials, nationalism (!), bad experience with some retailer or factory customer service, nostalgia vs futurism to plain snobism.

As to your last statement: that friend with good ears won't buy just anything either. He thinks before he buys too. And they have preferences. My old dealer/retailer did that too. I could trust him blindly (still do) because he has integrity and a love for music just like i do. And i consider him a friend, not just a box grocer. So how do you know who to trust?

So i understand what you are saying but it's just one way, hard to find someone like that. Unless you mean me. I buy anything i have confidence in and try it. And i will tell you what i like. I'm an amateur but I'm not unprofessional.

Here's a good analogy; when you go to a football game: who are the amateurs and who are the professionals? The fan(atic)s in the stadium love the game. But more than the game they love their club. They will stay fan whatever. Whether they win or lose, regardles of performance. And the players get payed according to their worth. They switch clubs when they can if they like. They love the game too but they are way more objective. Or you can say they are opportunistic and follow the money. But if you ask them what club they like best they have perslective. But have you ever seen a fan switch loyalty following performance? You think a fan will ever - only- consider performance when speaking about the 'competition'? Its always the total experience: city, culture, rivalry, friendship, peer pressure /groupthink etc.

In short: better the devil you know...
 
Sep 22, 2020 at 2:41 PM Post #113 of 304

m-i-c-k-e-y

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Yeah from the start its already weird...

 
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Sep 24, 2020 at 11:33 PM Post #114 of 304

]eep

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soooo... this is not a good review despite the financial incentive! He was told he could keep the unit, yet he seems honest, tries to be balanced but really can't be positive about the unit or support. Communication with the manufacturer is severy lacking (they have no idea how to respond so they come across as dismissive and arrogant). Very honest, very good display of integrety. At least, that is how I see it.

As for the description of the sound vs the Denafrips Ares, exactly what I expected. Going for the wow-factor. And boast-factor. Not for austere exterior with inner values but boosted output, good looks and 'better specs'; ie cosmetics. They messed up the output stage. Boosted signal with loss of information. Loss of timing accuracy (spatial clues) and high rolloff.

As for the swapped channels on optical sp-dif: that seems like a timing issue of the digital signal. Quite severe. Since sp-dif sends packets of left and right sequentially in one stream. And the loud noise is just going on tilt completely. I would blame that on the computer first (as load exacerbates the problem). But the receiver could be finicky. It might not be the fault of the 'Musician', but it does lay bare a fault in the support department and a lack of knowledge there.

All in all I'm happy with my Ares II and not enticed by the Pegasus at all. This video confirms my suspicions on marketing tactics and quality strategy.
 
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Sep 25, 2020 at 12:13 AM Post #115 of 304

HIRESfan

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soooo... this is not a good review despite the financial incentive! He was told he could keep the unit, yet he seems honest, tries to be balanced but really can't be positive about the unit or support. Communication with the manufacturer is severy lacking (they have no idea how to respond so they come across as dismissive and arrogant). Very honest, very good display of integrety. At least, that is how I see it.

As for the description of the sound vs the Denafrips Ares, exactly what I expected. Going for the wow-factor. And boast-factor. Not for austere exterior with inner values but boosted output, good looks and 'better specs'; ie cosmetics. They messed up the output stage. Boosted signal with loss of information. Loss of timing accuracy (spatial clues) and high rolloff.

As for the swapped channels on optical sp-dif: that seems like a timing issue of the digital signal. Quite severe. Since sp-dif sends packets of left and right sequentially in one stream. And the loud noise is just going on tilt completely. I would blame that on the computer first (as load exacerbates the problem). But the receiver could be finicky. It might not be the fault of the 'Musician', but it does lay bare a fault in the support department and a lack of knowledge there.

All in all I'm happy with my Ares II and not enticed by the Pegasus at all. This video confirms my suspicions on marketing tactics and quality strategy.
He's a petty li'l boy reviewing a defective unit (appears to have some problem with this vendor).

Here's a real review from another reviewer (an adult for a change).
 
Sep 25, 2020 at 11:05 AM Post #116 of 304

T 1000

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Why doesn't Windows show me Pegasus as a playback device?
USB connected

Resolved
The Pegasus was delivered to me in four days in Germany
It is connected to Bryston BHA1, HE 560 and SENN. HD 540 GR
I expect the most from the HD 540 GR
The burning period will be with interconnection cables of 10e
Does anyone have a recommendation for a good XLR connector up to 300e

After 10 minutes of PEGASUS for the first time turned on, I get a very detailed presentation, very good layering, separation, nothing is overemphasized and a clear picture ??? ... with interconnect cables of the lowest quality.
I am excited about what the future holds for me with this system

I don't know what DENAFRIPS ARES II sounds like, but to say that PEGASUS has a flaw is nonsense

After an hour of listening; I get to know my music in a much more detailed edition

Those who run MUSICIAN should find a way to display their DACs to multiple reviewers.
It would be a shame for such a good DAC to be a little noticeable.
 
Sep 25, 2020 at 7:58 PM Post #117 of 304

]eep

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He's a petty li'l boy reviewing a defective unit (appears to have some problem with this vendor).

Here's a real review from another reviewer (an adult for a change).


Please refrain from the derogatory language. Your ignorance of who he is (NBT team) and what he does is showing and it's definitely uncalled for. He doesn't have a problem with his 'vendor', the unit was given to him for review. How dumb and unprofessional can you be as a startup brand to send defective units for review? [edit:] Now, as I said, I doubt it is defective but the handling of the situation is not good. That is the real problem.

Moreover, this is one of the few reviewers who actually dare to compare the original Denafrips against the knockoff because 'Musician' blatantly forbids them to do this. So... no review but just a mention of what he noticed regarding to sound quality. This has nothing to do with the perceived 'defect' of channel switching which (as i said) is probably not caused by the dac. Just that the sound is not as good as the original Denafrips (despite the 'superior' powercaps and resistors).

PS: I meant the power caps; array vs large elcos. Not the ones in the passive output which are all Wima MKP10 when i look at the latest iteration (possible upgrade?)

PS2, I just watched the 'Soundnews' review. First thing I noticed is that this 'adult' uses the exact same phrases and disclaimers as all the other reviews I read. How peculiar. When a group of witnesses (or 'journalist', 'influencers' or 'reviewers') use the exact same words to describe something an interrogator knows they are lying, or at least agreed on the narrative to hide the truth. If that is what it means to be 'adult' then please send me any child or drunkard because then at least truth will be told. Please get me back to the age of innocence.

When people are out of arguments they start attacking personal integrity.
 
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Sep 25, 2020 at 8:52 PM Post #119 of 304

]eep

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Regards to all...

After 10 minutes of PEGASUS for the first time turned on, I get a very detailed presentation, very good layering, separation, nothing is overemphasized and a clear picture ??? ... with interconnect cables of the lowest quality.
I am excited about what the future holds for me with this system

I don't know what DENAFRIPS ARES II sounds like, but to say that PEGASUS has a flaw is nonsense

After an hour of listening; I get to know my music in a much more detailed edition

Those who run MUSICIAN should find a way to display their DACs to multiple reviewers.
It would be a shame for such a good DAC to be a little noticeable.

So,... you are happy with your new R2R dac. That is to be expected. But how would you know if you are missing out on even better sound when you have not heard the original or know what the technical differences are? All I know is you spent over €1000 when you could have had better for €700 (ungefähr). I'm not saying you wasted your money, not at all. It is still a top notch dac, better than 99% out there. I don't want to be a 'Spielverderber' (spoil sport). But 'flaw' is always relative to the unflawed original, or competitor if you like. Like you, I haven't heard both, but I do have a lot of other dac's of all kinds. And I modified most of them. I come from an R2R NOS DAC with passive filtering so I know what to expect. And i say, just by reading carefully and looking at the Pegasus internal pictures; it is flawed.

As for your last paragraph, read Srajan Ebaen's (6-moons) opinion on the matter (see opening post). Professional reviewers are not idiots. They know their reputation is their worth. Integrity is important if you want to be taken serious and want your viewers to trust you. If they sell out to a manufacturer who makes all sorts of secondary demands that will come out and damage reputations. The manufacturer should know better and face the competition 'mit offener Visier' (open visor), not scheming and manipulating.
 

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