🔷 Denafrips Ares II

I wouldn’t say there is a burn in period but as dago mentioned the dac does need to warm up and does sound different after having been on for about 40 minutes to an hour


i’m pretty sure denafrips does in house burn in before shipping, so should just have a inital warm up period and it will be good. I do recommend leaving the DAC on instead of having to go through warm up period every time you want to listen


Yeah they will burn it in for 100 hours before shipping. They also recommend leaving the device permanently plugged in.


So… you guys were right. The thx 789 and the ares 2 are not a great combo. They look really nice stacked on top of each other though lol.

It seems my previous dac, a modi 3 with an apple charger, paired better with the thx 789 giving it more bass and less harsh treble.

The clarity of the ares 2 is clearly a step up. I can finally hear the singer take breaths on good recordings.

The real issue is somehow this combo makes the treble too forceful, and everything is in your face. The bass impact, sub bass on my ear, has reduced greatly with my Anandas. It seems you guys recommend the liquid platinum, but… it’s pretty ugly. Is there an amp I can pair with the ares 2 that would also stack well like the thx?

If this is how people have heard my beloved Ananda’s, no wonder they think it lacks bass :confused:

I’m going to try this for peak audiophile behavior

I currently have the ares 2 attached to my speaker system. Reverb is pretty nuts with it, specifically for piano. Can I get that same effect with headphones? Bass impact is noticeably reduced over a modi 3 atm.

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Have you tried NOS mode yet? I think that helps overall. I don’t think that’s going to fix the pairing with the THX amp, though.

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Doesn’t it come with NOS turned on?

I don’t think so…but also don’t know for sure. Mine was used and arrived with it deactivated. Here’s how to make sure:


Thank you!

If you find that you are still not satisfied with the ares ii + 789 pairing after trying NOS mode (nos really should help imo, but either way the ares ii might accentuate some of the problems with the 789), I do really think the liquid platinum pairs really well with both the ananda and ares ii (great impact and dynamics, better timbre, very spacious, good detail as well, warmer fun signature) but if you can’t take the looks, a lake people g111 does a fairly good job and should smooth things a tad in the treble while giving much better spatial information and a fairly linear sound signature. Also I have a feeling a flux fa-12s would do a good job in a similar price range, have one on loan and it’s pretty nice for the money imo for something a bit warmer smoother more tonally dense, with a bigger stage and more relaxed presentations, good timbre. You could also consider going for something higher end though and get rewarded for it lol.


Thanks! By higher end… how much are we talking about?

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Hmmmm most likely around the 1-1.5k mark on the used market is where I would want to be, If you could find something like a bryston bha-1, auralic taurus mk2, burson soloist 3x, xi broadway come to mind as good matches with the ares ii and the ananda, but after that, you might be wanting to upgrade your headphones afterwords and what you plan on going with is pretty important to know before making that jump imo (like those amps can make sense if you jump to an arya, but let’s say you find yourself wanting to go for a zmf auteur or focal clear mg, then you might want to rethink what amps you go with, but it’s not always something you can predict now lol)

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Uhhh guys this tweak actually works

Bass is about the same level a modi with iPhone charger now. Only issue now is I’m not getting the reverb I am from my speakers. Is that a thx issue, or a headphones issue?

Huh, I can’t really see how that would do absolutely anything to affect the sound of the device, but interesting

So it’s somewhat both. The thx is a fairly spatially dead sounding amplifier imo, it’s flat in it’s staging, it doesn’t have much width nor depth to offer you, and also does mask some low level information. Also it’s microdynamics are somewhat poor as well. So that is part of the problem for sure. I don’t exactly know what’s in your speaker setup, but typically speakers will be able to convey more spatial information than headphones can given they are on a relatively similar tier, but you can still get good spatiality in headphones too

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Looks like it came in oversampling mode. Nos really softens it up, thanks! Can’t really describe it, but’s more musical/natural, but less detailed.

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That has to be the cheapest snake oil in the hobby.

Personally an easier way to think about it might be that it sharpens things up in oversampling mode where it’s easier to pick up surface level details and things pop more, but you loose lower level information since it’s more hidden in the process of making larger things pop, don’t have natural transitions since things are pushed more forward to pop more, and in oversampling mode you loose some dynamics as well since some things are pushed more forward than they should be so there is a less natural range to work with

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Speakers are nothing special, just an old Marantz flag ship AVR, sr7008, in pure direct mode with Jamo c607 speakers. The ares 2 sounds so good, I’m having a hard time deciding what to pair the dac with. I was thinking of getting a stereo integrated amp though.


Generally you will find that dacs like the ares ii vastly outperform what integrated dacs can do in all in one speaker amps if that’s what you are talking about, so later on it might be worthwhile to grab another nicer dac for the speaker setup (what a great excuse to try out another higher end dac lol)

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Is this like when you over sharpen an image in Photoshop and the detail isn’t real, just artifacts?


Ouch M0N my wallet can’t take this much lol.