Denafrips Pontus II 12th VS Gustard R 26

Im upgrading DACs and am down to the Denafrips and the Gustard DACs.. I have not listened to either so I need your help. Please share any thoughts you might have about the Pontus II 12th VS the Gustard R 26 . I would be very grateful for your thoughts!


I bought the Pontus II and the Gustard X26 16 months ago.  After going back and forth for nearly three months I decided to keep the X26 and sell the Pontus II.  I preferred the better soundstage and sense of space the X26 offered vs a somewhat richer, warmer presentation of the Pontus II.  After the R26 was introduced I read the glowing reviews and decided to leap on a Black Friday sale last November and bought the R26 in part because I felt streaming Roon through a Raspberry Pi might be one of the weak points in my system.  Within the first day of using the R26 with the LAN connection as a Roon endpoint I knew that I liked it a lot more than the X26.  The R26 is very musical and dynamic while preserving the great soundstage etc. of the X26.  It sounded like a big tube upgrade in a preamp or even the difference between streaming and vinyl.  I love it and feel it has got to be one of the best DACs out there for the money and probably for a lot more money.  Note my experience is only relevant to using it as the LAN connection to Roon but I have no reason to believe any of the other inputs are less than stellar.  And right now ShenzhenAudio has the R26 on sale.


I was about to buy Pontus II 12th and then I saw reviews for R26. So I got stuck. Now there is a firmware update for Pontus II 12th a.e. and it would be nice to see comparison between Pontus with this new firmware with R26. Some say this firmware really elevates the sound quality. So I'm again stuck. If I could somehow have both on test at the same time, this would be ideal. But that's not going to happen. :-)

I’m in a similar position - trying to decide between the two. Such is the nature of buying Chinese-sourced DACs that comparisons are very tricky.

My current DAC is embedded in my Hegel H390. By all accounts it’s a pretty decent unit - I’ve read it’s equivalent to $1k (Qutest territory).

Musically, I prefer a rich mid-range over absolute detail. I’m not that bothered, tbh, about sound-staging.  

From what I've read I suspect the Denafrips will probably favour me.  If so, do I go for the Pontus at 1700, or the Venus at 2900 ?

Thanks for the responses. Im not looking for a Unit with a Streamer. Im looking for a Unit that provides the most Information and Sounds the best. Of course its in the eye (Ear) of the listener


Thanks Again!