Denafrips Ares II

I'm interested in trying this DAC.  For anyone familiar with it, what have you compared it to?  I currently have a Benchmark DAC1, and am looking for a more involving and analog sound.  Thanks very much!
The Ares II will give you what you are looking for, especially relative to your current DAC.

However, you need to consider the end result you seek: "involving and analog sound" through the entire lens of your system.
Instead of starting a new thread, figured I would add to this one.

Picked up a used (only a few months old) Ares II off US Audio Mart. Had my eyes set on this DAC, and was lucky to grab this one as they sell almost immediately.

Fooling around with it, have come to the same conclusion as most after numerous testing; that OS/Slow filter selection sounds best. Very pleased with this DAC.

Now to my question for you digital guru’s. Today I started switching the Phase button on and off. When lit (opposite of the default ‘off’ I assume) it sounds better. The overall detail, especially in the mids and highs is better, more transparent, detailed, ‘airy’, less ‘veiled’, and separation seems better within the center image. I checked and rechecked my cabling, and all is as it should be. What would cause this? I’ve heard that certain recordings may like the phase one way or the other, but this improvement seems across the board and with all the CD’s I run through it. Does it have to do with the equipment I’m using behind and ahead of it?

Just very curious. Thanks in advance.

CD’s are being fed by a Yamaha BD-A140 Blue Ray/CD player (using as a transport) fed to the DAC via a digital cable -> Parasound ZPre3 preamp -> iFi MiniTube2 -> Belles 400A amp.

I do have have the Ares I , it’s a good DAC for the money, it’s bigger sounding than his bigger brothers, I listen to them all at Axpona.If you are talking musicality my guest the black ice Fx DAC will be the choice.Iam planning to get one for my other system, Read the review of black ice its stellar.
the ares 2 was part of my big dac shootout i conducted the first half of this year - tried some 25 well reputed dacs as i implemented streaming into my system 

the ares 2 is a spacious sounding dac with extended treble and bass, and lots of features (os/nos, xlr etc etc), it is a great value for the money - though as on all dena dacs the leds are a pita (can barely see them)

in my system, i found this dac to be lacking a little in treble refinement compared to others i liked better - this can be heard in sibilance on vocals (yes i tried different inputs and cables :) )

moving to the pontus improved this critical aspect for me, sound definitely had a family resemblance but more subtlety in handling of treble region and also a slightly silkier midrange

also (still) have the jolida/black ice tube dac - this is not nos (burrbrown 24 bit 1798 dac chip), but it has a tube output stage... the advantage of this one is a volume control (non remote control) as well as the ability to tube roll - overall this one sounded a little sweeter more relaxed to me than the ares 2 on a/b comparison (volume controlled of course)
So are you saying you liked the Black Ice better than the Pontus and the Ares? 
So are you saying you liked the Black Ice better than the Pontus and the Ares? 

pontus and black ice >> ares 2

pontus vs black ice... lateral ... slightly different presentation, one not clearly better than the other (note my black ice is upgraded by wally/chris j)
To the OP I just got Ares ii and it's musically involving. I tempted to get Pontus II.
i certainly felt the pontus is a significant step up from ares 2 - much better control of sibilance in my experience while maintaining a similarly organic full yet lively sound
Having more hrs on the Ares I found the "S" sounds maybe a smidgen not as clean as Qutest. But not bright or grainy. Maybe Ares a smidgen sunnier. But surprisingly Ares sounds more analog & less like bits strung together.
Subtle differences. Great bargain for sure. Highly recommended 😊