Denafrips Pontus II Clicks Or Static?

There have been some who have reported clicks or static occasionally with their Denafrips Pontus II DAC units.  And there is a test measurement review of the Pontus II 12th on the golden sound website talking about the following:

"When DACs oversample, they can sometimes encounter a situation where the reconstructed/interpolated waveform goes above 0dBfs (the maximum possible digital value)."

"The Pontus 2 is susceptible to intersample overs, and unfortunately, in a particularly bad way."

"The Pontus 2 does not clip, but instead when a sample value reaches above the maximum, it ‘wraps around’ to the minimum negative value, causing a huge sudden transient which will be very audible and may appear as crackling/popping."

Has anyone with a Pontus II encountered this anomaly when playing CDs?  If so, can you elaborate about that?  I am aware that the Pontus II can be firmware upgraded, so if this is an occasional issue, it could be eliminated with an upgrade.




I have been playing my Pontus II with the new FPGA firmware update for about a week now and I can confirm that the random pops/ticks I was experiencing are now absent. This mirrors my experience with upgrading the firmware on my Ares II. So it seems the issue was in fact software based.

I am skeptical of that conclusion, as if it were true, there is no reason that the problem could not have been fully resolved. Instead, we get this:

  • Reduced the effect of Buffer overrun/underrun due to the Source’s Clock and the DAC’s Clock differences

"Reduced", not eliminated. What this suggests, and I would say clearly, is that it is in fact a hardware problem, which they are attempting to mitigate with a software patch.

Perhaps the approach will prove effective in reducing the audible artifacts to a very low level. But as I have pointed out numerous times previously, there is no reason that such a problem should exist in a relatively expensive, otherwise high-quality DAC. In other words, it is either a design flaw, or corners were cut on the related hardware.

@atp001 - how did you get the new firmware for the Pontus ii? Alvin said the update would not be available until the beginning of April. In addition to eliminating the pops, did the upgrade improve sound quality? If so, how? 

@whipsaw - you make a great point. Reduces is a lot different than eliminates. 


With respect to the topic of this post and the issue I personally experienced, the firmware appears to have corrected the problem.  Thus logically, it was a software related issue.

Now, regarding other aspects of the sound quality that you are speculating about, the Ares II and Pontus II have received almost unanimous acclaim for their sound quality.  If the new firmware improves (at least objectively) on that sound, then I'm happy for it.


I suppose I was lucky in that I communicated my issue with Vinshine just as they were preparing to announce the new firmware update.  So I got early access.  If the sound has improved in any other way, I have not noticed. 

@atp001 - how long did the upload/update take? People who have updated their Ares ii heard a big improvement in sound quality. Did you experience that with your Ares ii upgrade or was it similar to the Pontus upgrade and no major audible improvement? Thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions. 


I did get a sense that the sound improved on the Ares II with the new firmware (separation, imaging).  Was that due to expectation bias, I cannot say.  Unfortunately my sound memory is poor.