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concern is longer term support re: various streaming service apps, etc that might make built-in streaming capabilities outdated in a few years in combo units.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.


Thanks for the tips!

I think I have decided on going the Zen Mini mk3 + PSU and Denafrips Pontus II combo. I don’t want to dump a ton of $ into streaming setup at this time since I primarily listen on vinyl, but I think this will be a very solid start. If I want to upgrade in the future, having the separates will make it easier to just swap something out like, say if I wanted to get a Lampizator DAC or something. Just not really wanting to make that kind of investment into it unless I’m spending around 1/2 my listening time with streaming.

I should be able to track down a used Zen mini + PSU for ~$1500 I’d think - just have to wait for a pair to pop up. There's usually a few pontus examples on market used at any one time so that’ll be fairly simple too unless the 12th anniversary one is worth just shelling out the few hundred extra it would cost vs a used pontus II (non 12th).

You might consider this Zen Mk3 for $2k instead of the Mini as it’s better overall, you won’t need to buy the LPS, and you don’t need the Mini’s DAC. I think you’re making great choices with both the Innuos and the Pontus BTW and think you’ll be very happy with the pairing. Just fyi and FWIW, and best of luck.

@soix I considered that, but the form factor of the mini and ability to just stack it on its PSU is very helpful for me. Don’t have a ton of space to fit this stuff in on an already pretty full rack, so saving half the horizontal shelf space is a major benefit. Would allow me to have the streamer and DAC on the same shelf next to each other or could squeeze it next to something else if necessary. I haven’t seen or found another streamer solution that is this small form that offers the level of robust UX as this does. There are some more DIY solutions, I suppose, with something like a Pi, but I don’t want to mess with that or use a computer like that as a source.

But, if I somehow stumbled on a used Zen at the same price point as the mini + PSU, I'd probably strongly consider it anyway.


I own a Vega G2 as well as a Terminator Plus. I'm using a Sonore Signature Rendu SE into a Denafrips Gaia as my streamer for the T+. 

I would not be concerned with the steamer becoming obsolete.  I think every steamer on the market is software upgradable. 

The Denafrips is a touch smoother with a deeper, wider soundstage, but the Auralic is no slouch. The Auralic is the more reliable steamer - never falters - while the Sonore has occasional pauses and sometimes just stops playing. 

I bought the Auralic for my bedroom system because I wanted high quality but a minimum of boxes. The one big advantage of the Auralic is that it combines a built in preamp with a high quality relay-stepped-attenuator. 

The Denafrips DACs have fairly high output impedance, so you will almost certainly need a preamp after the DAC. If you already have one (which I'm assuming you do), and don't mind the multiple boxes, then the Innuos + Pontus is probably the slightly better choice, particularly since you can further improve performance with a DDC. 

@soix I pulled the trigger on the Zen 3 and it should arrive later this week. I should be gearing up to pick up a DAC shortly as well, but I'm still on the fence a bit.

Right now, I think I'm torn between either:

Denafrips Pontus II 12th + Denafrips Iris DDC


Lampizator Amber 3 (I could get one used in about the same price range as the denafrips combo).

I'm leaning toward the Denafrips though, I think.