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Denafrips ARES II USB R2R DAC Review

Mnyb

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This picture is complete bollocks though, lol. These filters don't have such major effects how could they possibly? Have you ever read a bit about (over)sampling theorems and what's behind it rather than going by some AKM Velvet Sound marketing picture?
+1 especially the myth about preringing . Just because some filters pre ring with a special test impulse ( a kind of signal that can’t enter the system with proper bandwidth limiting ) does not mean that actual music you play will pre ring in any way .

The filters that do have effect are those who filter to early , young folks may miss content above 17kHz.
Or filters to little and letting gunk out to make imd with the rest of your kit :)
 

NikJi

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Either that, or:

Yup. Just as a reference all this while I not using an external hires DAC for I don’t want to sign up for the services that provide hi res music. Then Apple music came along with lossless music and I wanted to try it out as I subscribe to it. so 4 weeks ago, I started with using the amazing AK4452 with DIDRC circuits (Onkyo A-9150). Sounded good and smooth but my feet did not tap with the music. Purchased a Schiit Modi3 and the sound was definitely more lively. That told me that DACS are different and produce analog signals quite differently as opposed to the general belief that they don’t. So then I got myself a SMSL D300 and that was even better than the Modi3. Foot tapping for sure. That led me to order the Denafrips Ares ii last week and listening to it since yesterday. Foot tapping was just natural with it. Keep in mind, all of this in just 4 weeks with with the same iPad, amplifier , cords and speakers. The only variable was the DAC.
 

BDWoody

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That told me that DACS are different and produce analog signals quite differently as opposed to the general belief that they don’t.

Try it without peeking...as mentioned in the video you didn't bother with.

That's enough for this thread.
 

voodooless

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Funny how foot tapping seems to be a new measurement. :-D
Oh, you didn’t know that there is a direct relation between the way you tap your foot, and the impulse response of the DAC? There’s tons of research on this! Just Google it! There was this one paper that outlines how you can film a foot tapping, and though some AI magic and image processing, derive the impulse response of a DAC. Mind truly blown o_O
 

sjeesjie

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It’s the same as with getting goosebumps. Sometimes you can get goosebumps from hearing a song on the car stereo (and I can assure you, that’s not a good stereo). Sometimes you don’t get any from listening to a high end set. It’s all about the setting, the mood.
 

Artzox

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Just got an Ares II.
Went through an onkyo tx-8130 internal dac, Tempotec Serenade idsd and E30II before that. Excluding the Onkyo as a dac, as this is fed the files through Ethernet, all the other DACs sounded different. All except the Ares use AKM chips, obviously different ones and different opamps, psus, etc.
As I posted on another thread - for me it is about enjoying the music. If you can do it with one DAC and can't with another, and I am not talking A-B-ing, blind tests, double blind, although I did all that, you cannot really claim that all DACs just turn digital to analog and they are the same if they measure the same. Obviously in this case they don't, so maybe not the best example.
Again, if you want to come back to one DAC and not to the other, then there is something which works better in this system with one DAC and not with the other.
Unfortunately it is a bit like building a PC, so not everyone has the same experience unless all components match, but in this case add the room acoustics to the mix when using speakers.
I am all for giving measurements to compare different products, but unless you are using only a DAC as an end-to-end component (streamer+DAC+amp) and only with the same headphones then the experience will not be the same.Not even talking about differences in hearing. I really don't see the point in chastising people because they hear a difference which you can't imagine existing on principal alone without actually listening to their system.
 
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sjeesjie

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Just got an Ares II.
Went through an onkyo tx-8130 internal dac, Tempotec Serenade idsd and E30II before that. Excluding the Onkyo as a dac, as this is fed the files through Ethernet, all the other DACs sounded different. All except the Ares use AKM chips, obviously different ones and different opamps, psus, etc.
As I posted on another thread - for me it is about enjoying the music. If you can do it with one DAC and can't with another, and I am not talking A-B-ing, blind tests, double blind, although I did all that, you cannot really claim that all DACs just turn digital to analog and they are the same if they measure the same. Obviously in this case they don't, so maybe not the best example.
Again, if you want to come back to one DAC and not to the other, then there is something which works better in this system with one DAC and not with the other.
Unfortunately it is a bit like building a PC, so not everyone has the same experience unless all components match, but in this case add the room acoustics to the mix when using speakers.
I am all for giving measurements to compare different products, but unless you are using only a DAC as an end-to-end component (streamer+DAC+amp) and only with the same headphones then the experience will not be the same.Not even talking about differences in hearing. I really don't see the point in chastising people because they hear a difference which you can't imagine existing on principal alone without actually listening to their system.
That’s because you talk about entire systems in entire environments. A DAC is just a DAC and you can measure its performance (like it’s done right on this very forum). That way you can have an objective discussion about it.
 

Artzox

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That’s because you talk about entire systems in entire environments. A DAC is just a DAC and you can measure its performance (like it’s done right on this very forum). That way you can have an objective discussion about it.
Fair enough.
Just missing the point of having an objective discussion about a product if it makes me buy something I don't like, but hey - gotta start somewhere.
This is why I really prefer having a sound-based comparison review in addition to measurements. As abstract as calling a sound signature "mellow" may sound, if I know that for my system the "mellow" is actually neutral I have a starting point, but I guess this is a discussion for another forum.
 

zepplock

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Just got an Ares II.
Went through an onkyo tx-8130 internal dac, Tempotec Serenade idsd and E30II before that. Excluding the Onkyo as a dac, as this is fed the files through Ethernet, all the other DACs sounded different. All except the Ares use AKM chips, obviously different ones and different opamps, psus, etc.
As I posted on another thread - for me it is about enjoying the music. If you can do it with one DAC and can't with another, and I am not talking A-B-ing, blind tests, double blind, although I did all that, you cannot really claim that all DACs just turn digital to analog and they are the same if they measure the same. Obviously in this case they don't, so maybe not the best example.
Again, if you want to come back to one DAC and not to the other, then there is something which works better in this system with one DAC and not with the other.
Unfortunately it is a bit like building a PC, so not everyone has the same experience unless all components match, but in this case add the room acoustics to the mix when using speakers.
I am all for giving measurements to compare different products, but unless you are using only a DAC as an end-to-end component (streamer+DAC+amp) and only with the same headphones then the experience will not be the same.Not even talking about differences in hearing. I really don't see the point in chastising people because they hear a difference which you can't imagine existing on principal alone without actually listening to their system.
you are delusional if you think ethernet or chip will affect the sound.
your PC analogy is good though, do you think Intel CPU does 2+2=4 and AMD does 2+2=5? Unlikely, right? Cause every CPU was tested and works according to specs. DAC chips are the same way. The differences in DAC chips are so nuanced that we can't hear that anymore, there's no way you can hear 120db vs 118db noise floor for example.
 

digicidal

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Fair enough.
Just missing the point of having an objective discussion about a product if it makes me buy something I don't like, but hey - gotta start somewhere.
This is why I really prefer having a sound-based comparison review in addition to measurements. As abstract as calling a sound signature "mellow" may sound, if I know that for my system the "mellow" is actually neutral I have a starting point, but I guess this is a discussion for another forum.
Interesting... I feel exactly the opposite. I can't see any point in having a subjective discussion for similar reasons. I guess if I found some people that had exact copies of my eyes, ears, brain, experience... then I'd feel differently. While I can see your point re: "mellow sound signature" - you've already got two steps required before I can attempt (and likely fail) to extrapolate your subjective preference relative to my own system and preference. With charts it's much easier to say (for example) I know I'm likely to enjoy (or not) how that device sounds, now it's just a matter of cost/appearance/support/etc. that I have to consider when purchasing.

While discussing music (as opposed to signal chain devices) subjective is nearly all there is... however, even there it's not entirely likely that someone that likes a number of albums I also enjoy will predict further agreement. It is a much more enjoyable subjective discussion at least IMO.
 

Artzox

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you are delusional if you think ethernet or chip will affect the sound.
your PC analogy is good though, do you think Intel CPU does 2+2=4 and AMD does 2+2=5? Unlikely, right? Cause every CPU was tested and works according to specs. DAC chips are the same way. The differences in DAC chips are so nuanced that we can't hear that anymore, there's no way you can hear 120db vs 118db noise floor for example.
I don't remember mentioning ethernet as affecting sound but merely as the source of the music and not being able do a proper comparison component for component. You can actually have different sounding dacs with the the same chip, as well as similar sounding dacs with different chips.
I have three DACs to test with at the moment. Sound difference is immediately noticeable.
Comparing CPUs is a good enough analogy - you have better single threaded performance with Intel and better multi-threaded performance with AMD.
So it is up to the dev to optimize even if you end up with comparable performance, the same way it is up to the developer of the Dac to properly implement a chip, a power supply, an ouput stage.
I am not comparing noise floors where I agree with you that it doesn't matter. Even if we say that a DAC's job is to turn 1s and 0s to electrical signal it does matter what's in the Dacs output stage. For example - changing the opamp in one of my DACs is giving different results - rolled off highs and better centering of the image. I can promise you it is not subtle at all when you play something harsh.
Anyway, if you don't hear a difference you can just listen to any Dac as long as it supports the necessary formats and has the required ouputs you need. We, delusional people test things in the system, and keep what sounds good to us.
 
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