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Absolutely Preposterous Denafrips DAC Reviews

SuicideSquid

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Denafrips paid a fair bit of money to make this review show up in my news feed today:

Denafrips Ares II, Pontus II, Venus II, and Terminator Plus - Hi-Fi Advice

The review reads like it was auto-generated by AI full of audiophile buzzwords - it's nonsense from start to finish without a single measurement across four pages and endless blather about all the amazing differences switching from a $2,000 DAC to a $7,000 DAC can bring. But one part literally made me laugh out loud and elevated this to needing a share:

As some of the photos suggest, the DACs have also been listened to when stacked on top of one another. While this is not endorsed if you want to obtain the best from any audio component, whilst swapping the order of the DACs, I found that the differences as induced by them being stacked were actually smaller than the DACs’ inherent sonic differences.

I'm shocked - SHOCKED - to read that design differences between two devices make a bigger difference than physically placing them one on top of the other. I simply will not believe it!

Also something I continue to find utterly baffling, and is just conclusive evidence that these nutbags have no idea what they're talking about: Flat ethernet cables. They're clearly visible in several shots. Standard ethernet cables are twisted pair, which makes them highly resistant to noise. If you flatten them, you lose that noise rejection (I'm not an electrical engineer but perhaps someone can verify - if you straighten a twisted pair, wouldn't you actually have worse exposure to noise relative to a single wire, since you're now running two conductors on the same circuit in parallel?)

Anyway, try not to have conniptions reading this, but wow. Just insufferable nonsense from beginning to end.
 

Chrispy

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LOL the marketing/justification for such as this sort of nonsense always cracks me up.....let alone any desire/consideration of such a ridiculously priced dac as the denafrippy thing

Altho if getting an appropriate blow job while shopping, maybe for a few minutes the dac under test could be interesting?
 

KeithPhantom

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I can’t quite read audiophile media anymore, the lack of objectivity and the disregard of basic scientific principles just frustrates me beyond measure.
 

HarmonicTHD

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Denafrips paid a fair bit of money to make this review show up in my news feed today:

Denafrips Ares II, Pontus II, Venus II, and Terminator Plus - Hi-Fi Advice

The review reads like it was auto-generated by AI full of audiophile buzzwords - it's nonsense from start to finish without a single measurement across four pages and endless blather about all the amazing differences switching from a $2,000 DAC to a $7,000 DAC can bring. But one part literally made me laugh out loud and elevated this to needing a share:



I'm shocked - SHOCKED - to read that design differences between two devices make a bigger difference than physically placing them one on top of the other. I simply will not believe it!

Also something I continue to find utterly baffling, and is just conclusive evidence that these nutbags have no idea what they're talking about: Flat ethernet cables. They're clearly visible in several shots. Standard ethernet cables are twisted pair, which makes them highly resistant to noise. If you flatten them, you lose that noise rejection (I'm not an electrical engineer but perhaps someone can verify - if you straighten a twisted pair, wouldn't you actually have worse exposure to noise relative to a single wire, since you're now running two conductors on the same circuit in parallel?)

Anyway, try not to have conniptions reading this, but wow. Just insufferable nonsense from beginning to end.
I think you have found the top contender for the snake oil of the week award. (Personally I keep it like Doodski - I stopped reading these tales some time ago).

Edit. Typo.
 
Last edited:
OP
SuicideSquid

SuicideSquid

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I think you have found the top contender for the snake oil of the week award. (Personality I keep it like Doodski - I stopped reading these tales some time ago).
I never read this nonsense either but I make it a point to click on hi-fi snakeoil ads in my Facebook feed, because then I get more of them, and it wastes these vendors' advertising dollars. And I'd never heard of this site and was curious to see if there would be *any* actual measurements at all.
 

VintageFlanker

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The review reads like it was auto-generated by AI full of audiophile buzzwords - it's nonsense from start to finish
Just insufferable nonsense from beginning to end.
Just another regular subjective review among millions of others. You could swap the exact same word salad for just any product reviewed.

Same shit over and over that has been during for decades...
 

somebodyelse

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Also something I continue to find utterly baffling, and is just conclusive evidence that these nutbags have no idea what they're talking about: Flat ethernet cables. They're clearly visible in several shots. Standard ethernet cables are twisted pair, which makes them highly resistant to noise. If you flatten them, you lose that noise rejection (I'm not an electrical engineer but perhaps someone can verify - if you straighten a twisted pair, wouldn't you actually have worse exposure to noise relative to a single wire, since you're now running two conductors on the same circuit in parallel?)
Flat ethernet cables ought to be using 4 twisted pairs, just laid side by side instead of in a square as they are in ordinary round cable. I haven't cut one open to find out if that's what they're actually doing though. Ribbon cable used to be available like this for sensitive applications - small parallel sections where you could crimp the IDC, with long sections of twisted pairs in between.
 

voodooless

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Flat ethernet cables ought to be using 4 twisted pairs, just laid side by side instead of in a square as they are in ordinary round cable. I haven't cut one open to find out if that's what they're actually doing though. Ribbon cable used to be available like this for sensitive applications - small parallel sections where you could crimp the IDC, with long sections of twisted pairs in between.
SCSI had this:
68-pin-male-to-female-scsi-ribbon-cable25101783127.jpg
 

NYfan2

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A while ago I attended a demo with the new KEF Blade Meta, Reference 1 and LS60. A guy sitting next to me was very busy on his laptop so I asked him what he was writing, he was a reviewer for one of the audio sites here in the Netherlands. About 2 weeks later I read his review of the demo and I realized that all these reviews are for 90% made up to get a nice reading article, about 10% was correct information about the demo.
These guys don't write scientific review articles, they are writers who write a nice story that attracts readers.
 

Adi777

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Guys, this is nothing. Look at this :D
Doesn't that look great? :D
PS Terminator Plus looks really nice, but expensive. What about measurements?
 

Mnyb

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Flat ethernet cables ought to be using 4 twisted pairs, just laid side by side instead of in a square as they are in ordinary round cable. I haven't cut one open to find out if that's what they're actually doing though. Ribbon cable used to be available like this for sensitive applications - small parallel sections where you could crimp the IDC, with long sections of twisted pairs in between.
Less work :) just replace Denafrips with another device and you have the next review ...
 

MadMaxx

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I owned the Denafrips Pontus 2 for about 6 months, in 2021. I had read so much about how amazingly "musical" and "detailed" and how "it just made music come alive so brilliantly that thrilled owners everywhere..." However, once it was connected to my computer and power amp, I honestly couldn't hear much, if any, difference between my $1700 P2 and $650 Topping D90 AK4499. Eventually, I sold both and got a FiiO K9 Pro ESS (dual 9038 Pro). I'm done dac shopping.
 

restorer-john

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I'm shocked - SHOCKED - to read that design differences between two devices make a bigger difference than physically placing them one on top of the other. I simply will not believe it!

Stacking components and the order of that stacking can make an enormous difference to the way they perform. You can have the best DAC in the world and it gets a hideous hum when placed too close to your power amplifer.

Preamplifiers on top of power amplifiers are a no go. Any form of low level device near a high current device is a no no.

Some CD players, DACs and DVD/Blue ray can interfere with phono/preamp stages. Radiated transfromer PSU noise etc.

The placement of preamplifers alongside power amplifiers needs to be determined where transformers are concerned to minimise noise. All this is well known and I've dealt with it since the 1970s, especially back in the day with tape recording where the placement of the deck with respect to every other piece of gear was extremely important.

When testing a device, it should be always placed in the same location, away from anything that may affect or compromise its performance.
 

Andersonix

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The review reads like it was auto-generated by AI full of audiophile buzzwords - it's nonsense from start to finish without a single measurement across four pages and endless blather about all the amazing differences switching from a $2,000 DAC to a $7,000 DAC can bring.
Likely you're just not sophisticated or imaginative enough to pick up on the writer's clues that make it a very insightful piece of marketing and not AI. Even while mocking it, you missed the breadcrumbs sprinkled out for the thrifty audiophile: that one can just buy the cheapest one, add a fancy power cord, sink it in concrete, and you have the SAME sound as the flagship DAC! Also, mdf is never good enough for a rack, just listen to it, but you didn't need a review to tell you that?
 
OP
SuicideSquid

SuicideSquid

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Stacking components and the order of that stacking can make an enormous difference to the way they perform. You can have the best DAC in the world and it gets a hideous hum when placed too close to your power amplifer.

Preamplifiers on top of power amplifiers are a no go. Any form of low level device near a high current device is a no no.

Some CD players, DACs and DVD/Blue ray can interfere with phono/preamp stages. Radiated transfromer PSU noise etc.

The placement of preamplifers alongside power amplifiers needs to be determined where transformers are concerned to minimise noise. All this is well known and I've dealt with it since the 1970s, especially back in the day with tape recording where the placement of the deck with respect to every other piece of gear was extremely important.

When testing a device, it should be always placed in the same location, away from anything that may affect or compromise its performance.
He is talking about stacking DACs on top of each other. He is not talking about high-current devices. Furthermore, read the review - the DACs he is not actively testing are disconnected and powered off.

It is possible that a poorly or improperly designed device can cause hum in nearby (not necessarily "stacked") devices. I have never encountered this in practice (outside of guitar amps) with either professional recording equipment or home audio gear. If it does happen, it's obvious, it's not some subtle degradation.
 

FrantzM

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Once upon a time, I was on a forum where a speaker and electronics designer.. insisted that one of his preamp sounded better upside down... :rolleyes:... Seriously.

I have witnessed a person who was capable of hearing the differences brought in by a clock:eek: .. in another person system ... Yep!! Said clock did rearrange the electrons so that they would move coherently :eek::eek:... It made a "vast" difference in his system too...
 

restorer-john

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Once upon a time, I was on a forum where a speaker and electronics designer.. insisted that one of his preamp sounded better upside down... :rolleyes:... Seriously.

He inverted the polarity. :)
 
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