darko is one of my favorites on yt and on web print
he and his colleagues are mature, articulate, clearly states context and boundary conditions for his findings, minimal hype
Me too, but also check out reviews at www.soundnews.net — some of the best out there IMHO and he reviews lots of good, interesting stuff. That said, I thought Darko did a good job of explaining why product comparisons are so critical to creating a truly useful, effective, and more relatable review. Are you listening TAS???
Amen!!! You getting any of this TAS, or are you just gonna keep spewing out basically useless reviews where you simply wax poetic about a product in a bubble with no comparisons and frequently not even disclosing what equipment is in the reviewer’s system? Trash. Absolute trash and lazy reviews that do nothing except get the reviewer paid without being pinned down or accountable for any of their assertions and conclusions. What a joke in glossy print. Argh!
Good write up. He missed at least one major difference - remote control of functions like inputs. For example Denafrips has none. After having this feature, I couldn’t live without it.
The review ends with "all good." They each do at least one thing better than the others do. Clearly it’s inappropriate to ask others "advice."
I like Darko a lot.
One problem with all reviews, for me, is that the products keep coming and they must say something about them. But while audio evolves, it doesn’t evolve that fast. Many products that don’t change much and are just echoes of other products.
Yet newness and excitement drive viewership.
Therefore, even the best reviewers are in a bind; they’re loved for their honesty and yet the constant influx of new products means that it is very hard to be truly honest. If they don’t skirt the truth, they have to come up with convincing patter, which can sound disingenuous at best.
This is one way in which a forum can be superior to a reviewer. People here are under fewer professional compunctions to praise things. They can say "meh" with impunity.
I have the Pontus ll and I thought about it not having a remote, but once I set it up, I rarely change anything. I have a Hegel H390 and it offers a DAC Loop option, where everything runs through the DAC, so the Hegel’s remote does the changes from streamer to CD transport and back.
Good for you. So not everyone NEEDS remote info. You don't need to know about setting Benchmark jumpers either
I like being able to choose among 5 streamers, a non network player and a CD spinner without having to get up.
A very good review but it points out the elephant in the room... Speakers vs. Headphones. Headphones will reveal tiny things that speakers from 10 ft away will never or rarely reveal. How I translate his nuances into my system seems a far reach. Same with review sites that emphasize measurements. That relevance kind of went out with Stereo Review. Not knocking the info but after 50 years as an audiophile it doesn't get any easier selecting new equipment.
Differences were stated with different system combos which is a very useful way to do it….keeping personal preferences mostly out of it. That might help explain why different people will have different choices. I could care less about what someone else prefers. I want to choose based on what I am most likely to prefer given my setup. Others may well choose different based on the review. That’s one of the reasons I thought the review was well done and useful…..does not assume everyone will have the same preferences…..good call!
One comment involving the headphones focus of this review, it’s great for that application. But the sound from these dacs might be experienced very differently played through speakers in a room. Headphones take all those variables out and leave only the gear and your ears. One of the attributes of better dacs is the kind of soundstage presented versus lesser engined and spec’d products. A frequent comment by reviewers of the Denafrips PontusII is the realistic way music occupies space in the listening room for a dac at that price point. Not sure you can fully get a sense of what these three dacs can do in that area from listening through cans.
@knownothing My impression was both a HeadFi and home system were used to evaluate the DACs, but I agree totally that headphones in general cannot reveal the finer points of imaging/soundstage like a big rig can. Not even close.
I will never buy anything from Denafrips as the name bothers me. What the hell is a Denafrips? Schiit doesn't bother me and I do buy their stuff including a Bifrost 2/64 (got the upgrade) that some feel sounds pretty much like the YGGDRASIL+ which I have not heard. Why? The name...I refuse to compromise my name issues.
John Grandberg is the best. I read his reviews with great interest and appreciation. Not only does he write well, hear well and think well, but he often comes into the review with a novel approach or idea that makes it more than the usual "beauty contest" recitation that many audio reviews are.
IMO John Grandberg and Herb Reichert (Stereophile) are the best audio reviewers working today. I met Herb at an audio show and talked to him a bit (fascinating person). Would love to meet John.
@wolf_garcia Soooo, Denafrips bothers you but Schiit seems more acceptable? Also, fyi from the Denafrips website…
”Fun fact:The name, Denafrips, stand for D-ynamic, E-xquisite, N-atural, A-ttractive, F-idelity, R-efined, I-ntoxicating, P-ure, S-ophisticated - This means a lot to the team, and it is the house sound of Denafrips products.”
No idea what Schiit stands for. Stereo Component Hifi Invented In Toilet maybe?
Sorry man, but questioning my personal esthetic won't harsh my mellow...and no, Schiit seems sort of hilarious especially when you see Jason Stoddard guzzling wine during an entire interview (who, by the way, was part of Sumo, a GREAT name for an amp company), and Mike Moffat seeming like King Curmudgeon. Denafrips sounds like a tooth remedy and even hurts my brain a little to simply THINK the word. I'll continue to bask in the glow of my Freya while others can wince along to whatever Dena...man...I can no longer even write the word...Also, what it stands for doesn't make it better, but it does remind me how hip Schiit is.
@wolf_garcia I suppose they coulda just spelled it backwards as Spirfaned. Would that be better? Sounds like a decongestant to me. How about Fanispred? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that). Full disclosure — not a fan of Dena….. either, which is why I bought a Musician Pegasus instead of a Pontus ll. Or maybe it was cause it was $500 cheaper. Can’t remember, but a win win either way I spose.
Another happy Pontus II owner here. I agree with the review, although I don't use cans, only speakers. The review makes me want to try balanced cables from the Denafrips to my pre. Even though the pre goes to my amp via unbalanced cables, maybe it will give me more of what the review talks about.
FWIW, I tried a Schitt Gungnir before the Pontus II. I only had it for a day. The relay clicking and cutting off of the very first note or two of individual tracks drive me nuts. I took the restocking hit and returned it. If the Yggy does the same thing, consider how you will use it. If you listen only to complete albums, you're good. But if you like to mix tracks on playlists, be prepared for lots of clicks and missing the first note or two of most tracks.