Denafrips FPGA Firmware Update

In case there are any Denafrips DAC owners out there that are not aware of the FPGA Firmware Update, here's the link:

I did the update on my Ares II earlier today and am currently enjoying the results.  It is definitely an improvement without question.


This is really more of a hardware update than a software update. The new code changes the configuration of the FPGA which can activate logic gates that have never been activated. 

That said, I'm not sure how this would need burn-in since analog signals are not flowing through these transistors. I suppose it is possible that the gate switching timing could change subtly after burn-in which could theoretically change the sound.

I upgraded my Terminator + and was not crazy about the sound when I first checked it. I let it run for 72 hours with the amps off (so was not getting used to the sound), and did feel it sounded better when I listened to it again. But it had been a few days since listening to the previous version, so who knows. 

If there really is a change over time, then I could see how no burn-in would be required by switching back since this will use the same logic gates that are well burned in since I assume the DAC was well run-in with the old code. 

I sold my woofer towers just after I made the upgrade and am still waiting for the replacements. My main speakers only play down to about 170Hz so it's hard to make a final assessment of the new firmware until I have the new woofer towers. But I'm liking the sound at this point. I'm currently using the NOS mode which I always thought was a little dull sounding with the original firmware. 

@bobo1000 Just FYI, I avoided the first update because of the reports of increased brightness.  But opinions were very different regarding 1.4.  I took a chance and I am very pleased with the upgrade.  If there was any added brightness I would have rolled back to the original firmware. But, at least IME, the highs were as sweet and smooth as ever, maybe even moreso.

I should also point out that I had to disconnect the power to the DAC when I did the update, so when I first listened after the update, the DAC was not very warmed up.

I've found that my DAC takes a few hours to really sound it's best, and I generally leave it on 24/7. So this could have easily been the difference between my first listen and a few days later.

Anyone update to FW 1.4 and then revert back FW 1.0 on Pontus II. I did just that. The FW 1.4 sounded less natural as if DSP has been added to the sound like you get in AV receivers. Also I am getting micro-distortions on the sound randomly which is not repeatable.

@dandaroy I need to listen more (unrelated server issues have kept me from listening lately), but my initial impressions were different.  I found the sound slightly better, and no worse in any respect.  I guess YMMV, but, so far, I don't intend to revert to previous firmware on my Pontus II.