When I only had the su-9, I wondered how could it get much better than this?I often think about going R2R but may need to wait till I afford at least the Pontus II and untill there is a proper preamp that measures like the Topping Pre90 and has compatibility with higher output impedence DACs. Currently Pre90 only allows for DACs with output impedence of no more than 2200kohms. The Ares or Pontus has much higher output impedence and isn't compatible with the Pre90. That means one needs a clean preamp to go with the Denafrips DACs and another preamp plus the Ares II would eat up the budget...yeah, that Rihanna song!
From what I read, there is little benefit of improving on Delta Sigma DACs...RME ADI2 does come to mind, though!
Any suggested preamp to go with the Ares/Pontus?
It was crystal clear resolving and detailed but as I found out with the Ares II, the intangibles are difficult to imagine. As Morpheus might say, "no one can be told what the r2r is, you must hear it for yourself".
imo measurements are overrated, I have the audio-gd master 19, had it before I got the Ares II and it luckily for me they are a good match. I forgot the impedances of the dac and amp but it sounded good and I wasn't going to change the amp (I really like the audio-gd m19). It has preouts which I use to connect the loxjie p20 which I think sounds really good. But I'm using it for headphones and not speakers.
I don't know much about preamps but I would imagine you can't go wrong with a nice tube preamp, but thats probably going to eat your entire budget
If I could go back, I'd save up for the Pontus or something similar thats more affordable, the Ares II is awesome but it doesn't have an i2s connection which I didn't care about before but really want now along with a DDC.