• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Denafrips ARES II USB R2R DAC Review

JohnYang1997

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
2,913
Likes
3,335
Location
China
I don't like it, even though those caps are 105°C rated LX Nippon-Chemicon caps, they are so cramped inside without any airflow that I worry about the longevity of those.
The operating temperature will be more like 35c or lower. Giving that -10c = twice longevity, I don't see that to be the issue.
However there can be an issue where the fail rate can go way higher than just 2 big caps and it's a pain in the ass to troubleshoot which cap fails. The chance is still low enough to be an product tho.
 

Dogen

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 31, 2018
Messages
210
Likes
288
Location
Durham, NC USA
Hats off to Denafrips for delivering a well performing product! They saw a market opportunity, questionable as the technology may be, and implemented it well. They’ve distinguished themselves in a crowded market without trading off performance, which is what every DAC manufacturer should aspire to.
 

pkane

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
1,321
Likes
1,932
Location
North-East
View attachment 48063
looks interesting, I know DS dacs usually perform well in this regard, but can anyone with a holo audio or this denafrips ares II in NOS mode can shine some light onto how it performs in NOS?
Here's Holo Spring DAC 12kHz -9dBFS in NOS mode, 48kHz:
48k-12khz-NOS.PNG


Turning on OS mode produces this:

48k-12khz-OS.PNG


Resampling the same signal to 96kHz and dithering produces this in NOS mode:
48k-12khz-Upsample96-NOS.PNG
 

pkane

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
1,321
Likes
1,932
Location
North-East
Now shift the phase half a sample interval.
Here you go:

48k-12khz-NOS-halfsample.PNG


Adding spectrum of the NOS mode 12kHz/48k sampled sine:
48k-12khz-NOS-FR.PNG


And spectrum of the same signal but using OS mode:

48k-12khz-OS-FR.PNG



In case anyone wants to know... Same signal upsampled to DSD256 using HQPlayer, Holo Spring still in NOS mode:
48k-12khz-NOS-FR-DSD256.PNG
 
Last edited:

solderdude

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
4,874
Likes
8,911
Location
The Neverlands
That will look a bit like the red trace I drew in (assuming filterless signed magnitude R2R or filterless DS)
20kHz -60dB filterless NOS 44-1kHz.png


The 20kHz will be beating with the 44.1khz sample freq. (-80 will look similar) not dithered 16 bit file but will look the same with 24 bit.
Effectively you (a 10 year old) will be perceiving a lower amplitude than when it was reproduced by a filtered DAC.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
52
Likes
53
In fact comparison of shapes of differentwaveforms on different frequencies and levels is all that you need to know about dac measurements in 2020.
Even onboard realtek have impressive parameters but... disgusting sound.
Simillar thing with headphones and speakers - squarewave rendering is one of the most important parameters.
Just for example 2 headphones on same stand with squarewave at 300 hz.

image_2020_01_31T22_46_03_016Z.png
image_2020_01_31T22_46_19_689Z.png


If i'll take some Beats in comparison you'll never know it was a square wave ;)

What in fact we want from dac\speaker\amp\headphone? Correct rendering of input signal, agree? And those 0,00001% THD measurements doesn't answer this question at all.
 

BDWoody

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
2,215
Likes
4,205
Location
Mid-Atlantic, USA. (Maryland)
In fact comparison of shapes of differentwaveforms on different frequencies and levels is all that you need to know about dac measurements in 2020.
Even onboard realtek have impressive parameters but... disgusting sound.
Simillar thing with headphones and speakers - squarewave rendering is one of the most important parameters.
Just for example 2 headphones on same stand with squarewave at 300 hz.

View attachment 48201 View attachment 48202

If i'll take some Beats in comparison you'll never know it was a square wave ;)

What in fact we want from dac\speaker\amp\headphone? Correct rendering of input signal, agree? And those 0,00001% THD measurements doesn't answer this question at all.
Do you listen to square waves?
 

YSC

Active Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
145
Likes
34
That will look a bit like the red trace I drew in (assuming filterless signed magnitude R2R or filterless DS)
View attachment 48195

The 20kHz will be beating with the 44.1khz sample freq. (-80 will look similar) not dithered 16 bit file but will look the same with 24 bit.
Effectively you (a 10 year old) will be perceiving a lower amplitude than when it was reproduced by a filtered DAC.
So I expect that’s the reason we hear a rolled off treble and music usually sounds softer
 

Frank Dernie

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
3,145
Likes
5,970
Location
Oxfordshire
In fact comparison of shapes of differentwaveforms on different frequencies and levels is all that you need to know about dac measurements in 2020.
Even onboard realtek have impressive parameters but... disgusting sound.
Simillar thing with headphones and speakers - squarewave rendering is one of the most important parameters.
Just for example 2 headphones on same stand with squarewave at 300 hz.

View attachment 48201 View attachment 48202

If i'll take some Beats in comparison you'll never know it was a square wave ;)

What in fact we want from dac\speaker\amp\headphone? Correct rendering of input signal, agree? And those 0,00001% THD measurements doesn't answer this question at all.
40 odd years ago when I was working in the business (record players) I did some experiments altering the phase of square waves to see how sensitive I was to it. I didn't alter the amplitude of the harmonics, just the phase.
On the 'scope the waveforms varied unrecognisably but I could not hear even a tiny difference in sound.
It was a big surprise and I haven't "listened" to a 'scope since - the shape of the wave means nothing whatsoever IME/IMO.
 

Frank Dernie

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
3,145
Likes
5,970
Location
Oxfordshire
I should explain my reasoning in doing the experiment.
With the exception, back then, of the Quad electrostatic speaker the phase response of all multi way speakers with a flat baffle and passive crossover the phase shift was huge, and the output of a square wave looked absolutely nothing like a square wave at all. I was checking how much of a loss this was, people were starting to make complex cabinets to reduce it, I am no longer too concerned about it.
DSP can easily fix it and whilst one DSP speaker prototype sounded great to me whether it was the phase accuracy that impressed I don't know but I doubt.
 

YSC

Active Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
145
Likes
34
40 odd years ago when I was working in the business (record players) I did some experiments altering the phase of square waves to see how sensitive I was to it. I didn't alter the amplitude of the harmonics, just the phase.
On the 'scope the waveforms varied unrecognisably but I could not hear even a tiny difference in sound.
It was a big surprise and I haven't "listened" to a 'scope since - the shape of the wave means nothing whatsoever IME/IMO.
I think that’s exactly why a lot of ppl actually prefer NOS dacs, or those old Philips chips, possibly beside the change in waveform in actual multi tone music, our brain adapt to the missing information better than some oversampling artifices like ringing?
 
Top Bottom