Schiit yggdrasil + Less Is More vs. Denafrips Pontus II

Considering adding either the Schiit Audio Yggdrasil + Less Is More or the Denafrips Pontus II to my system. Anyone have any direct comparison with these two DAC’s?




Haven't head either.  was strongly considering the Schiit but decided to go up to the next level.  Denafrips seems to me to be overhyped so I would definitiely listen to it rather than trust reviews.  

Does Schiit still give free 30 day trials?



Hello Jerry, Thanks for the reply. What DAC are you using, if I’m not beung to forward...The Yggdrasil + LIM ships in 1 - 3 days, but unfortunately Schiit only offers a 15 day return policy and a 5% restocking fee and I’ll pay $50. in return shopping.

Amazon has the Denafrips Pontus II for $2018.00 + $30.00 shipping but I’ll have a 30 day easy return. However the unit ships from China and has an estimated delivery date of May 24th - June 15th.

I found a US dealer for Denafrips and he’s carring the Pontus II - 12th Eddition. The 12th addition has upgrades. New larger encapsulated dual toroidal transformers, a steel plate between the power supply and the circuitry and ships within 2 - 3 days. Unsure about returns I’ve emailed the dealer for more information.

I’m seeking guidance, would appreciate any comments from anyone who has compared these units.

soix, Thanks for the recommendation. What is your experience with the Gustard R26? Have you heard the Yggdrasil or the Denafrips Pontus II?


@nutty I'm using the the Chord DAVE.  I do have a Schiit Bifrost II in my second system which I think is excelent for the price.


carlsbad2 - Thanks for the info. I originally set my sights on the Bifrost 2/64 but there is a 10 to 12 week backlog so Iooked at the Schiit LIM. Do you feel the Bifrost 2/64 is better than the LIM? 


I've owned both the Yiggy OG and Pontus II. Have not heard the less is more version or Pontus 12th, which is their current model.  Still own the Pontus which of the two I slightly prefer. Plus its $500 cheaper if you buy from Vinshine. But they are both great DAC's.  You'll be very happy with either one.


I own, and love, the Pontus II residing in my second/home office system. I'm currently comparing it with Gustard R26 and so far I prefer the Pontus. 

One thing to keep in mind that the Yiggy, at least the original version, does not play DSD or higher res files. I apologize if this information is no longer valid. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. But the Pontus plays higher resolutions including DSD files like a champ. It might not be relevant to you at this time, but always good to know that you can play hires or DSD in the future if you want to go in that direction.

The latest pontus 12th anniversary is betterstill , and if you decide later to spend under $600 the Iris oversample ddc is very good and has even better pre filtering and a Temperature controlled clock ,same one in the more $$ Venus 12 anniversary and it a good I2S input which is a hdmi , I use a good inefrom wire world  makes a nice improvement especially is using a computer,


I have no experience with the Yggy, but I did try a Gungnir when I was looking for a new DAC.  I only had it briefly, as the loud relay clicking between tracks, and the loss of the very first few milliseconds of the tracks, led me to return it and take the restocking hit.  Yes, Schitt did warn me about the relay clicking, but it was much more intrusive than I had imagined.  I tried a few more non Chinese DACs in an attempt to avoid ChiFi, but in the end, the Pontus II was a clear winner in this price range.  I am really enjoying it's analog, smooth yet detailed sound.  FYI, I am using the original firmware with no plans to upgrade to the new firmware.

I own the Yggdrasil Less Is More and upgraded from a very highly modified Cary DAC-100.  The DAC-100 was very antiquated but with bypassing they’re buffer circuitry and coming directly off the Wavelength DAC board with a high end cable soldered directly to it and going into the tube input of my preamp sounded very rich and sweet.  It just lacked the detail of newer DAC’s and I was looking to upgrade.  I had tried the Cary DMC-700 which listed at $8500 but was only a small upgrade over the setup I had.  
The Yggdrasil LIM (not +) sounded extremely thin but detailed at first.  It kept sounding better as it burned in.  I kept music from my custom server with JRiver playing 24/7.  Two weeks in it started to smooth out and it wasn’t for about 3 weeks until I felt it was listenable.  It was just so bright and thin sounding.  A couple months in it sounded really great but would still probably not perform well on a very bright system.  (So a couple of weeks with it is not enough  time to really know what it sounds like). My system is very detailed all tube system with ET LFT-8b speakers and the panel tweeters don’t like brashy sources.  I really like the Yggy LIM but you’ll have to make sure it’s right for your particular system.  If your system is overly detailed it might not be a great choice.  If you need to open up the sound then it could be perfect.  It is a truly good sounding DAC with excellent sound stage and imaging.  I like it better than the DMS-700 even if it isn’t as warm sounding.  Also every time you unplug the Yggy LIM it takes most of the week to get back to its best sound quality.  

P.S. I don’t notice any loss of sound on the beginning of tracks ever. The relays only click when changing sampling rates and it’s very quiet. I really barely notice it. Maybe because the Yggy has a bigger, more solid case than other models. There is no clicking in between tracks, only between different sampling rate tracks and as I said, no loss of music at all. If others have relay clicking then maybe it’s the setup of their music server software. I have JRiver set with no quiet segments between tracks. So it’s not having to re-lock onto the track.

@carlsbad2  Not sure why you would consider the Pontus overhyped especially for the price. The more direct competitor to your Dave (which I personally am not a fan of) is the Terminator 12th. All the Denafrips DACs represent excellent value and performance for the money. Even more so if you prefer the Denafrips house sound. 

@harpo75 Just to clarify, yes, if you listen to an album straight through, there is no relay clicking between tracks.  I often listen to individual tracks on playlists.  In that case, I experienced loud relay clicks between almost every track, even if there was no change in the resolution or format.  It was loud enough to hear anywhere in my room.  And, IME, the relay click would cut off the very first few milliseconds of the new track.  Of course, this was with the Gungnir, not the Yggy, so YMMV.  Sound wise, I acknowledge that I did not let the Gungnir break in.  Even if I had, I wouldn't have been able to abide the relay clicking.

I've looked into the Gustard R26 and have crossed it off my short list. Priced right but I'm reading the Streamer is less than par but more importantly I read a thread by Steve Guttenberg where he had service issues. 

I'm down to two DAC's, The Schiit Yggdrasil + Less Is More or Denafrips Pontus II 12th Anniversary Eddition. 

Has anyone heard the Yggdrasil + Less Is More or the new 12th Eddition Denafrips? 



Couldn’t locate any negative reviews or comments on the Schiit Ydggdrasil, or any version of the Denafrips Pontas.After carefull consideration I purchased the Denafrips Pontus II 12th Anniversary Eddition.

I inquired about upgrading the internal fuse and here is Alvin’s response. "...The Pontus II DAC does not incorporate a fuse. Instead, DENAFRIPS has implemented intelligent power management that includes both thermal and overload protection...’



While I want to take the mfgr. at his word...In light of what Alvin stated about the Denafrips Pontus II 12th not having a fuse, has anyone braved taking the top panel off to verify? I might likely want the Synergistic Research Master fuse installed.


Congrats on the Pontus.  You should consider adding an Iris or Hermes DDC at some point to take advantage of the Pontus’ i2S input — it’s a significant upgrade in sound.  FWIW. 

Or avoid the DDC by considering a streamer like the Mercury V2, iFi NEO Stream (faster bit rates than the Mercury, but you're paying for a 2nd DAC), or other streamer that supports I2S natively. I own the Denafrips Pontus II and Iris DDC, and recently moved to the Mercury via I2S over RPI4/RopieeeXL  using USB -> Iris -> I2S, because of better sound (more resolution at the high end). I've just discovered the quality improvements of upsampling, and I'm intrigued by the iFi NEO Stream owing to the higher bit rates possible. 

Thank you soix and sfgak, I'll consider your recommendations!! I have been reading about the I2S connection.


Alvin is one of the most stand up guys in the industry. He always gives truthful replies why would he fib about there being no fuse in the Pontus 12th? He is not the manufacturer but does know every inch and circuit of everything Vinshine distributes. He opens Denafrips equipment on YouTube giving detailed information about what all the upgrades entail consistently.


I am another happy Pontus II owner, but not the anniversary.....though I'm sure it's even better. I do use the Iris DDC outputting I2S between my Node 130 and the Pontus II, though I'll be replacing the Node later this year for a better streamer. Then I'll assess if the DDC vs whatever streamer I choose is needed.

And no the Pontus is not "over hyped", in my opinion it's the best DAC anywhere near $2,500.

balooo2 - I appreciate your comments and meant no disrespect. I have mad respect for Mr. Chee! I discussed the alternate fuse with him and here is his response : The Pontus II DAC does not incorporate a fuse. Instead, DENAFRIPS has implemented intelligent power management that includes both thermal and overload protection. 

I found his explanation more than sufficient and I agree, he knows DENAFRIPS gear very intimately. 


vthokie83 - Thank you for the encouraging words regarding the performance of the Pontus II. I'm looking forward to it's arrival. I need to research the DDC's and the compatability of streamers. I had the opportunity to use the I2S cable/interface many years ago when Audio Alchemy first hit the market. All of their gear performed well through the interface. 


I also use the I2S input on my Pontus II.  I have a Sonore Ultradigital to convert from USB to I2S over HDMI.  Worked without a hiccup.

    I think the talk about fuse upgrades comes from the Holo May offerings?

  Happy Pontus II owner here, still burning in- deciding on OG firmware or the FPGA upgrade version.  It is mellowing out with time, more detail, esp in the high end.

SACD via i2s is the best sound from my standalone headphone sys...Aria phones.

I owned a Schitt Yggdrasil OG and was considering a LIM conversion. Schitt reluctantly admitted that the LIM has less detail. Less detail reminds me of a Spring 3 KTE. The OG can be bright on a few recordings, depending upon the rest of your system. In most systems I am sure it is fine. When I say a few, one comes to mind, and it may well have been recorded bright. If into mods, virtually no one is, I would recommend a Lampizator Amber 3, and probably a 4. The output caps need to be bypassed, or upgraded to/by V-Cap ODAMs, or ODAMs bypassed with CuFT's. There is an adapter available on ebay that will allow you to convert the 12A? Tube to a 6SN7 which is an awesome upgrade, but the cover cannot be used with the bigger tube. That will blow away any of the DACs anywhere near 3K that I have heard.

jaybe - I’m using Vinshine Audio however there based in Singapore. Alvin Chee is a total professional. You can reach him through the website. 

The fine print -

  • Vinshine Audio webstore processes the order in Singapore Dollars S$

  • Upon checkout, the product price will be shown in S$ 

  • The exact amount charged by the Credit Card / PayPal may vary slightly depending on the Credit Card Provider's / PayPal's exchange rate

I don't understand why so many people constantly reply to posts and they have no experience with either product or/and want to talk about some other product that has nothing to do with what the person asked.  It's like someone will ask does anyone have any direct comparison with product A and B and the person will post and start with: I have no experience with either product but...  it's such a waste of time for everyone involved. 

I don’t know how (Denafrips with) the Pontus 2 work this magic of convincing the audio world that this is the most phenomenal DAC in the hobby today. If you go online and check all the obvious influencers/reviewers and you’ll find they are tripping over themselves to tell you that this is Product of the Year material. Truth be told, they’re really excellent DACs and they’re certainly priced competitively. However, if I’m telling the truth there’s not a lot of sonic difference from other R2R units available for audition (like Mytek, for example) . I’ve had both the LIM and the Pontus in my home for good, long serious auditions. I’ve had the brilliant Auralic Vega in and out of my system for a good couple of years and it never failed to impress me given its purchase price. Imagine my disappointment to purchase and find that the Pontus 2 was pretty much the same with a very slight dimensional edge over the (Swiss Army knife of DACs) Auralic’s Vega. All I can say is, there’s a lot of questionable hype or group-think out there surrounding this Denafrips favorite.

The Pontus 2 over the Schiit Yggy LIM? I put a lot of thought and time into both of these units. While the Pontus offers great clarity and excellent soundstaging, it lacks the sheer, inexplicable magic offered with what’s coming out of the (the less format agile) Yggdrasil LIM. All the dimensionality along with the air is there, the bass is deeply exquisite and the playback somehow brings me a breathlessly analog feel, unlike any other playback I’ve had for the entire time (over 30 years) I’ve been playing with digital media. It bears mentioning that the Yggy LIM is the only Schiit Yggdrasil I’ve ever heard. I have not heard the ’OG’ or the ’MIL’ or any of the USB iterations. They may very well be better than the LIM, but I know enough to leave well enough alone when I find something is good and I can’t remember being this impressed with any DAC since the first CAL Sigma (tube) came out back in the early ’90s and that was wonderful with an endless supply of cheap, magical 1950s & 60s NOS tubes you could roll with, but I digress...

As they say, ’your mileage may vary’. Best thing you could do is dig a little deep if you cab & you’re serious about this and audition everything you want to hear.