Auralic Vega G2 or Denafrips Pontus II 12th + streamer?


I'm looking to add digital to my system as a supplement to vinyl (my main listening avenue), but I've been debating whether to go with a very capable combo unit like the Vega G2 or separates for some time. My main concern is longer term support re: various streaming service apps, etc that might make built-in streaming capabilities outdated in a few years in combo units.

I had a thought that maybe investing in a great DAC separate that will outlast changes in streaming tech where I could just upgrade separate streamers in the future if necessary might be a better approach, but I don't know.

I like the idea of keeping it simple with a combo unit a la Vega G2 or Hifi Rose or something, but I'm also not interested in anything that might be a brick in a couple years. Not interested in having the 'smartphone' experience of needing to upgrade every few years, especially at a multi-thousand dollar price point.

Having an excellent control app is 100% required for any streaming solution I consider as it needs to be very simple to use (will be controlled by family occasionally as well via an iPad most likely, which is mostly why).

I'd like to stick to under $5k total (used is fine). A used Vega G2 tends to sit at about $4500-5k on the market from what I've seen, so this would be the tip top end of what I could consider.

128x128mmcgill829

Do you use tube amplification or SS? I was a little concerned with the Orchid given I'm going to be running it through tubes. I feel like it might get a little too warm sounding overall.

That sounds like a very valid concern and may be a good argument for the Pontus, but in the end it’s all personal taste and system dependent.  If I had tubes downstream I’d go with the Pontus, but that’s just me.

 If I had tubes downstream I’d go with the Pontus, but that’s just me.

@soix Yeah, this is how I'm leaning myself. Likely going SET for my amplification, so it might be a little TOO much of a good thing going with a tube DAC as well.

@evank, you are not the only one. I have a bunch of customers with this combo, seem to work very well.

That’s funny “you don’t want a brick in a couple years” if so I would keep it separate. I’m where you are now. I got into streaming over a year ago and prefer my records but streaming is so easy. 
 

I’m using Auralic steamers, I started with Auralic femto clock added the s booster LPS then to G1. I like the app it’s wireless and never have drop outs, but it’s all I’ve ever known. I’m looking to upgrade now but don’t know where to go.

 

Dacs I started with RME/Teddy Pardo LPS and Chord Qutest but moved on to MHDT Orchird and Havana then to Pontus 2. 
 

If I could only keep one dac it would probably be the Pontus it’s very detailed and natural sounding for digital. The Orchid is even more natural but darker and rolled of highs vs the Pontus. I use 6922 and 6sn7 adapters on the Orchid and have a large stash of Amprex and Ken Rads plus many more. You can make that Orchid sound sweet. Changing out some critical film caps makes a nice different. Snip and solder, I didn’t even take out the board. Spending long periods of time with Pontus it’s nice to put the Orchid in it’s a breath of fresh air. Kind of like changing out cartridges. 
 

I’m using a Audio Hungary a50i class a tube amp and use different preamp tubes depending on which dac I use. The Orchid seems to like Telefunkens and RCA’s and the Pontus likes almost everything but sometime Telefunkens can be to much.