Credit to Mr. Pluto @ headfi.
The winner of the most unfair fight was clear from the first notes. .....But the performance of Ares was actually quite shocking to me. First thing that astonished me was the deepness of the soundstage. Such deep well defined, real 3D soundstage represents a serious touchstone for many DAC`s that cost even ten times as much as Ares and is unheard under 2K. All the instruments are solidly placed and well defined on the soundstage. Images are life sized and palpable. The soundstage is a bit lower and narrower than SA-1 so some instruments are placed bit closer to the centre. But the image stays solid and defined even at most complex passages
The other thing that immediately amazes is the deep, controlled and articulated bass that just seems surreal considering the size of Ares.
Tonality is really sweet and not fatiguing. I would characterize it as slightly velvety. It reminds me of Accuphase DP-67. Absolutely pleasure to listen.
It basically has it all.... First class soundstage, beautiful tonality, loads of details, decent micro/macro dynamics, musicality etc. Seriously, I was not able to find any flaw in it’s presentation. Ares is real high-end DAC that plays in much higher league as it’s price suggests. It's actually insane what the $600 buys to you.
Credit to soundfanz @ headfi.
Thought I'd post my comments. Take them for what they are, my thoughts.
Firstly- the Denafrips Ares is my very first external Dac. In the past I've relied on the internal dacs of my CD players to play my music. Apart from my vinyl rig which is my favourite format and has been for quite a few years. I'm also now getting more and more into head-fi, and wanted a dedicated Dac to be able to play all the ripped CD's and downloads from my Hard Drive via my laptop, running into my Bakoon Headphone amp. Hence a DAC purchase.
I have only had a short time playing files, but am mightily impressed. The files through the Ares sound at least the equal of my 2 CD players (Rega Apollo and E.Sound E.5 European Edition. Back to more music, here are a couple of pics. Can't wait to see whether the inclusion of the USB Regen, LPS, and Curious Regen Link cable improves it even more.
Credit to rudra @ headfi.
ARES is in the house. Ordered it from Vinshine. Alvin at Vinshine has been great to deal with and kudos to him for been able to come up with a very competitive price for the ARES. I am listening to ARES with the ZMF Ori cherry wood and Cayin iHA6 amp balanced and later with my balanced LD tube amp. Tried all the different file types to test the USB input.. All of them work. That is a good start in my book. Configured FB2K to output DSD. Just found out that I can upsample PCM to DSD in Foobar2K. . Poor man's HQP.Some un-boxing photos. Just for giggles I have compared the size of ARES to the AGD NFB 17.32. Initial impression(subjective with the usual caveats) against the AGD. Better micro details, good instrument separation. I am not good with audiofoolery words to describe the sound. After 100 hours I will chime in with my final impressions.