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Review(not so positive) posted of Denafrips Aries II

MarcT

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#1
Review just posted over at Secrets of Home Theater and Hi-Fi. Not a very positive review, overall, and it seems like the author struggled to come up with many positive points about it. His bottom line impression is that the Aries II had "edgy" and "crisp" treble compared to his Oppo 205, while also having a "slightly more expansive" soundstage .

https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/dac/denafrips-ares-ii-dac-review/
 

majingotan

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#2
Here's the answer to his findings: Look at the right side of the FFT graph! R2R DACs have that distortion spray characteristics on the treble except for Holo Audio May R2R DAC:

 

majingotan

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#4
That spray is due to data truncation in the Yggy. Not necessarily present in all R2R designs.
Aries II, like Yggdrasil, is also 20 bits hence the spray of distortions in treble leading to the reviewers sense of treble edge just like how Amir noted that Yggdrasil treble is bright on his review.
 

gvl

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#5
If they dither to 20 bits it's not necessarily that bad looking as the Yggy. I don't expect a miracle at the 0.004% THD+N per the spec, but let's not speculate unless you have measurements to back up your statements.
 

solderdude

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#7
All speculations.

it was measured as SBAF and does not appear to measure as bad as the shown Yggdrasil plots in the distortion department.
Jitter was nothing to write home about.

Of course there are no level matched blind tests done between this DAC and other DACs.
The ones buying these DACs have better things to do and don't believe in tests that make everything sound the same ;)
 
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Ron Texas

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#8
If lots of subjective reviewers like the Yaggi with all its high frequency distortion something is really wrong. I'd take a cheap Topping any day over a Yaggi and spend the rest on bar tabs.
 

audiophile

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#9
One comment: the reviewer used only OS / "fast" filter settings in this DAC which is the default. He didn't even realize that Ares II has NOS mode and "slow" filter setting for OS as well. In NOS there is some high-frequency roll-off, so he could use it if he didn't like "edginess".

The ones buying these DACs have better things to do and don't believe in tests that make everything sound the same ;)
Correct :)
Still I look forward to see Amir's measurements of the Ares II, which as I heard are coming soon...
 

gvl

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#12
All speculations.

it was measured as SBAF and does not appear to measure as bad as the shown Yggdrasil plots in the distortion department.
Jitter was nothing to write home about.

Of course there are no level matched blind tests done between this DAC and other DACs.
The ones buying these DACs have better things to do and don't believe in tests that make everything sound the same ;)
Looks decent for an "entry-level" custom custom R2R model. That was Ares I, perhaps Ares II is better. Would be interesting to see how their higher level models perform. They do look very nicely built on pictures.
 

anmpr1

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#13
Reminds me of an old joke: "I spent most of my money on booze and women. And I wasted the rest."
Quips and a strophe from ex-Bonzo Viv Stanshall (may he RIP):

If I had all the money I spent on drink... I'd spend it on drink.

The only spirits I want tormenting me come from a bottle.

I'm trying real hard, I think I've served my time.
In the purple-stained arms of the daughter of the vine.
I'd like to settle down but first I gotta settle up,
With the understanding man in the embalming-fluid shop
 
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