Right up the Ares II

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Grumpytim
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Re: Right up the Ares II

Unread post by Grumpytim »

Good luck with the firmware upgrade. I've just given up on a SMSL Sanskrit, which up to this morning was the DAC for the study PC. windows 11 however had a different idea and after an update it's now not recognized. So after an hour of farting around with drivers etc I've declared a victory and made a cup of coffee.

Zarking Windows!
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Fretless (Wed Mar 15, 2023 3:01 pm)

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CN211276
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Re: Right up the Ares II

Unread post by CN211276 »

Fretless wrote: Wed Mar 15, 2023 10:22 am Our own high-end-estoteria correspondent George Hincapie gave me a heads-up on a firmware upgrade to the already-excellent Denafrips Ares II DAC, available free from distributor Vinshine Audio. This apparently boosts the performance considerably.

Step 1 is to open up your treasured DAC and send a photo of the innards to Vinshine so they can see which model processor is inside and send you the appropriate download. Then you flash that directly into the unit via its own USB connection.

Info here: https://www.vinshineaudio.com/post/dena ... 02f11b97c9

I am starting on this process - will report further. :geek:
There is quite a bit about this on the Steve Hoffman forum which you might find informative.
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Fretless (Wed Mar 15, 2023 5:26 pm)
Main System
NVA BMU, P90SA/A80s (latest spec), Cube 1s, TIS, TISC(LS7)
Sonore OpticalRendu, Chord Mscaler & Qutest, Sbooster PSs
Network Acoustics Eno, ifi iPurifier3, AQ JB FMJ, Cisco 2940 & 2960
DH Labs ethernet, BNC & USB cables, Farnells cat 8 ethernet cable

Second System
NVA P20/ A20, Cubettes, LS3, SSP, SC
Sonore MicroRendu, Chord Mojo 2 MCRU PSs, AQ Carbon USB cable & JB FMJ

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Grado SR325e/Chord Mojo, Beyerdynamic Avetho/AQ DF Colbat

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Re: Right up the Ares II

Unread post by Fretless »

It is a rather complicated procedure ..... :doh:

..... but the accompanying step-by-step guide from Vinshine is very clear. and helpful. :dance:

The process involves downloading 3 separate files:
1) Thesycon USB driver
2) Windows configuration tool
3) Firmware update tool.

Windows 10 has problems with 'unsigned' files so the PC has to be restarted in Troubleshooting mode to disable that.

Following the Vinshine guide and trying not to get nervous ( :angry-screaming: ) eventually gave a result and the DAC firmware was updated.
:happy-cheerleaderkid:

The USB receiver now has a new name so needs to be reselected on the PC, and then there is music!

:music-listen:

First listen has a ' Wow!' moment as there is noticeably more definition and resolution in the soundfield.

The best just got better! :banana-wrench:
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CN211276 (Thu Mar 16, 2023 11:48 am) • slinger (Thu Mar 16, 2023 3:22 pm) • antonio66 (Fri Mar 17, 2023 6:34 am) • George Hincapie (Fri Mar 17, 2023 6:39 pm)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: P50sa - Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a (x2)
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 - BMU+ Aiyima A07 MAX (x2) + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d
Office:
Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith THX AAA 887
Headphones: German Maestro, Monolith & AQ

Grumpytim
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Re: Right up the Ares II

Unread post by Grumpytim »

Glad it worked out well for you, windows and some USB DAC's do not seem to play well for some reason.
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Fretless (Thu Mar 16, 2023 5:21 pm)

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Re: Right up the Ares II

Unread post by Fretless »

Some USB modules in DAC's need very specific drivers - that then aren't available for all versions of Windows. Volumio has a problem with some DAC's as well - for instance the Metrum Musette, which it will not recognise.

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: P50sa - Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a (x2)
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 - BMU+ Aiyima A07 MAX (x2) + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d
Office:
Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith THX AAA 887
Headphones: German Maestro, Monolith & AQ

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Re: Right up the Ares II

Unread post by Grumpytim »

Yep and I'm damned if I can find the right combination. So for now, and probably forever it's now running like this, PC - Creative USB sound card - optical to SMSL Sanskrit. All things considered it actually sounds Ok, so while the execution is Heath Robinson, the result is very listenable.
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Fretless (Thu Mar 16, 2023 11:30 pm)

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Re: Right up the Ares II

Unread post by Fretless »

Chalk and cheese. :think:

The problem with running two very different installations is that it is hard to make direct comparisons between them. Downstairs isn't set up for critical listening - the speakers are far from ideally positioned. Upstairs is 'properly' arranged, but in a small space.

The updated Ares II is very impressive in the Downstairs rig, a higher level of effortless detail and space with a new degree of definition. Coupled with the NVA amps and Arcam speakers, this set suddenly comes over with a solid, liquidly-transparent authority that hasn't been there before.

Moving upstairs and playing the same tracks, the Sabaj setup, with its upfront, direct presentation, is confined and 'tinny' in comparison.

This calls for a shoot-out between the Ares and the Sabaj A10d DAC's in the near future just to see what the sonic differences are when put through the same system.

:violence-pistoldouble: :violence-rocket:
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antonio66 (Fri Mar 17, 2023 6:34 am)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: P50sa - Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a (x2)
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 - BMU+ Aiyima A07 MAX (x2) + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d
Office:
Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith THX AAA 887
Headphones: German Maestro, Monolith & AQ

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Re: Right up the Ares II

Unread post by Fretless »

Just thanked Vinshine for the thoroughly worthwhile (and free!) upgrade and got the following reply:

Congratulations!
Glad to hear you have successfully updated the Ares II DAC with the latest DENAFRIPS 12th Anniv. Firmware!

The FPGA firmware update essentially 'rewired' the logic gates in the FPGA chip. Please allow some time for the FPGA to burn in for optimum sound reproduction.

The FPGA firmware update project is an initiative of Vinshine Audio to improve the DAC sound quality (overall, all inputs) for our existing customers. We have been working on this for a long time, and put in considerable efforts and resources for this project. I hope our efforts are worthwhile, and, most importantly, you like the sonic improvements of the new FPGA firmware :)


FPGA chip. See Wikipedia here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field-p ... gate_array

With burn-in on this, the SQ can be expected to improve further.

Nice ! :banana-blonde:
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George Hincapie (Thu Mar 23, 2023 2:33 pm)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: P50sa - Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a (x2)
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 - BMU+ Aiyima A07 MAX (x2) + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d
Office:
Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith THX AAA 887
Headphones: German Maestro, Monolith & AQ

NSNO2021
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Re: Right up the Ares II

Unread post by NSNO2021 »

Cheers for the feedback Fret. I have all this to come on my Pontus 2. The upgrade apparently goes live on April 1st. This will test my techy skills which I know are inferior to yours
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Fretless (Tue Mar 21, 2023 8:11 pm)
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Re: Right up the Ares II

Unread post by Fretless »

Just follow the instructions ......

:whistle:

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: P50sa - Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a (x2)
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 - BMU+ Aiyima A07 MAX (x2) + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d
Office:
Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith THX AAA 887
Headphones: German Maestro, Monolith & AQ

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