Comparing streamers and DACs (eversolo vs Arce; yamaha SACD DAC vs Pontus II DAC)

it’s been interesting comparing things.

Added the Yamaha CD-S2100 SACD player last week, and also added a Denafrips Arce streamer about the same time.

I have an Eversolo DMP-A6 standard edition going into a Matrix X-SPDIF 2 DDC, then into the pontus II DAC.

Started out with Arce going into the pontus II (trying i2s and AES/EBU), but then I’m also trying it into the Yamaha’s DAC via Coax.

The Yamaha goes into the Luxman L509X via balanced XLR.

I will say, I think they both sound fabulous, and I can’t really tell the difference, to be honest.

I like the Denafrips Arce streamer, even though it doesn’t have the fancy screen of the eversolo. The Arce supports HQPlayer NAA, but I don’t know that I need it. (I have HQPlayer and am testing, but it requires a separate mac to run it, and i don’t know that the fuss-to-payoff is worth it.)

If I wanted to clean house, it would be easy. I could stream the Arce through the Yamaha’s DAC and get rid of the Pontus II, the Eversolo DMP-A6, the Matrix X-SPDIF 2 and the Teddy Pardo LPS.

Anyone else with a good SACD/CD player just using its DAC for their streamer transport, vs a separate DAC?


I have examined McIntosh Dac, then Oppo 205 Dac, then Bluesound Node DAC, then NeoStream Dac with its galvanic isolation box, then added Elite Power to Neostream, then Topping Velvet DAC, then latest Pontus DAC (using NeoStream as streamer; USB between, have not yet succeeded with I2S interface). My next step would be Playback Designs Dream MPD8, though this awaits broader system upgrade.

Each step improved refinements in SQ in all ways, establishing that my current system has resolving depth sufficient to reveal the changes. Have yet to hear anywhere (including ultra high end systems, though maybe its my brain wiring) any performer forward of the speaker stage which lives nicely and widely behind the speakers…singers in particular, with good recording, elevate and float beautifully in this ethereal, elegant sound stage.

Move to Pontus was most significant step. The gap between digital (Audirvana/Qobuz) and my vinyl system has reduced substantially (vinyl still wins on SQ but digital convenience vastly better and mostly deployed).

Vinshine reponse to me re Arce…If you do not use roon, i will not recommend Arce. Arce works very well as roon endpoint, however, it lacks streaming services support and its support of DLNA is of low resolution. As such, it may not be a good streamer for customers who do not use roon.

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Totally agree with that. It really is a Roon-specific device. Interesting that it’s not yet Roon-ready, but roon sees it just fine. Doubt sound quality will change with certification. It might get its own little icon in roon (instead of the generic “speaker” icon), but that might be it.

The eversolo is sooooo flexible, as it can run all the services (you can manually add apps like pandora and siriusxm), and it supports all the protocols (bluetooth, airplay, etc…). It just works.

Arce does have airplay, so that’s nice, and I could stream pandora/siriusxm via that. But you have to manually select airplay on the front of the device for airplay to be seen. (When my kids use the system, they like that they can just turn on the amp and start playing music, vs having to futz with the different devices.)

Firmware updates are easy on the eversolo, and a bit more old-school on the Arce. But once you do it, it’s no big deal.

The main thing is that I’m really not hearing much of a difference between the two streamers, and not hearing much of a difference when i use the Pontus vs the Yamaha’s DAC.

It all sounds really good, and I don’t know that I’m gonna go back and forth for a month playing the same test tracks trying to discern minuscule differences. Others might hear 'em, but I don’t. But, I might leave things in place for a while to see what habits develop, and if I’m drawn to a particular mix of components.

So it’s really about what to keep in this system, what to use elsewhere, and what to sell off.

Side note: One really cool test track I found is Talking Heads - Papa Legba (off True Stories)… the intro has drums and other percussion that swirl around the soundstage. Super fun.

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I use the dac in my Luxman D-08u for streaming Tidal and Qobuz, it sounds quite satisfying. Right now I just use a usb cable from my MacBook Pro (internet service is fiber based) and there’s little to complain about. I just added a Auralic Altair 1.1 to my second system and have been quite pleased with the performance for the modest sum it cost on closeout sale. So much so, I am now on the lookout for an Auralic Aries 2.1 streamer to use with the dac section of the Luxman D-08u in my main system.


if you don’t hear a difference, why pay for it?

don’t Airplay, Pandora, and Sirius have limit regarding higher res streams/files?

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Right. Either all the components are lateral moves, and I’d need to spend a LOT more to hear a difference. Or my ears/system just isn’t resolving enough to discern one.

Yep, absolutely. Airplay i think goes up to 44/16 CD quality, but the other two are limited to 192k mp3. Which is just fine for background music.

Pandora’s “radio station” algorithm is so good. (And I love that you can customize a station with an artist, or two or five, and tell it that you want “deep tracks” or “only the hits” or “find other artists”, etc…)

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control expenses, buy ice cream


Nice. Yeah, i was hunting for a Luxman disc spinner to go with my L-509X, but just can’t justify it at the moment. Then this Yamaha came up locally and i snatched it up for $1000.

Playing CD’s/SACD’s sounds soooo good.

That’s why I’m thinking, simplify, and just use the DAC in the Yamaha for everything. If it sounds good, what’s the downside?

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