Denafrips Pontus II FPGA firmware upgrade 2023

After submitting my request for the upgrade yesterday, in the today morning I got the password and instructions to proceed. I got the time to do it this afternoon.

Now, I am listening for little more than an hour and my first impressions are of more clarity and tridimensionality. To assess things more easily I am using my Tidal playlist and so far I am very impressed with the SQ improvements - Auralic Aries Femto connected with Audioquest Carbon USB and Belden 8402 from the dac to the amp.

It is easy to say that now the soundstage depth and especially width are significantly enhanced. There seems to be another notch on realism and scale. Things are very composed and natural. 
My system was already performing beautifully in terms of engagement, totally commanding our attention to the music, and continues to be, detailed but non-fatiguing, but I feel that there is now a bit more liquid quality to the sound, a bit more relaxed in a good way... but I have to listen more of course.

So far, well done Denafrips.

Note: the firmware upgrade was less straightforward than I expected, but it was mostly Windows 10 related


I posed some questions to the FPGA development team at Vinshine regarding the update and here are the responses I received: 

"Congratulations to have successfully updated the DAC with the latest DENAFRIPS 12th Anniv. Firmware! The firmware is equivalent to the Pontus that is now currently shipping. "

"The FPGA firmware update essentially 'rewired' the logic gates in the FPGA chip. (Ref: link here). Please allow some time for the FPGA to burn in for optimum sound reproduction. Up to 300 hours will be good."

@mksun thanks for the information.

In my use scheme, it is around 40 days (8 hours a day)... so far 8 days have passed.

Now the sound is less glazzy and a bit less congested. But still not natural at all. And the qualities I miss the the most are: depth, center image , decay and separation. The sound, although less tin, is flat and uni not involving at all. I really hope  to get back those qualities.

Hi @audiofilo123 

Can I ask how your experience with the Firmware (v1.3?) is progressing?

I have a brand new Pontus 12th, which is only 5 days old.  So far, I'm moderately unhappy with its glassy digital tone, sibilant female voices and light bass.


Hi, I must say that I was expecting to hear some improvements on the FW1.3 but that never happened, in fact was the worst digital experience of my audiophile life.

Then I have returned to the FW1.0 and all was instantly amazing again... in fact it is the best digital experience of my my system. So I totally recommend the original FW, and Denafrips products and the outstanding customer support.

Have been apprehensive about doing the FW update to my 9 month old P-2 12th. I’ve had no clicking ever and am quite pleased with my system. Not being one to hear half of the nuance you guys do, I think I’ll stick with the old adage…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.