Denafrips R2R DAC

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by GanGreinke, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    The whole extended treble, alert and forward sounding thing makes me think it is a bright sounding DAC.
     
  2. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Another new review of the Terminator, and comparing to some other high end DACs including Yggdrasil V1 near the end:

    https://www.computeraudiophile.com/...r-a-new-dac-part-3-denafrips-terminator-r740/

    He definitely prefers the Terminator over the Yggdrasil, although his friend who has the Yggdrasil has now sent it for the A2 upgrade, and he has said he will compare them again at some point.

    These are multi-kilobuck DACs he’s comparing against which are more than twice the price of the Yggdrasil, so way above what I would ever pay for a DAC. However it makes me curious about the Venus which seems pretty similar spec wise to the Terminator but a bit cheaper (still a fair bit more than Yggdrasil though I think).
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  3. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    There is always something new & better for more money.

    On Audiogon, a guy who owned the Terminator for a few months is saying the new (and more expensive) Marantz SA-10 completely blows it away.

    There is also a guy on youtube who did a DAC shootout, including the Terminator, & said the Rockna Wavedream (the balanced version) topped all of his DACs he tested.
     
  4. joeexp

    joeexp Almost "Made"

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    I know somebody, who watched Terminator on Youtube and whose uncle did a shootout in a basement a month ago.
    All top DACs;
    The ArgleBargle 4x4 (slightly unbalanced version) topped them all.
    Built like a tank and a real bargain for the measly $29.500,-- they are asking for.



    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> In Torq we trust!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  5. Xecuter

    Xecuter Brush and floss your amp twice a day

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    @Thenewerguy009 I loved the Rockna! It's probably the only DAC that I've heard under 20k that really interests me beyond the convert 2. Still need to hear the new MSB stuff though.
     
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  6. Reggy

    Reggy Rando

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    Certainly an interesting review by Darko, I can imagine synergy with the proper speakers is everything. I can't imagine whether the "alertness" may be a bit too much for certain speakers and some people's taste.
     
  7. AndreasK99

    AndreasK99 Rando

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    I've just taken ownership of a pre-owned Venus (below the Terminator) and currently going through the familiarization process with tracks and DAC settings, after which i'll post a more detailed review.

    From my initial listening I would agree in part. It certainly sounds more forward in my system and I've found that I don't need to adjust the tone controls (slight up on treble and down on bass) compared to my onboard parasound halo dac. But i wouldn't say that it's fatiguing. I'd call it extended but smooth in both directions; Very nice bass and extended but realistic and smooth treble. Acoustic guitar tracks and albums like Beck's 'Morning Phase' sound really amazing.

    I can't tell a difference between NOS/OS but the 'reversal' setting does seem to make a slight difference in sound stage. I this the later is possibly due to the phase reversal affecting the room acoustics ever so slightly based on speaker placement and distance to opposite wall.
     
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  8. neogeosnk

    neogeosnk Friend

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    Any more impressions?
     
  9. jmpsmash

    jmpsmash Rando

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    I'd like to add a couple more data points from my personal experience. I have both the Terminator and the Ares, but I don't have other highend DACs for comparison, the only other DAC I have is the Hugo 2.

    Some of what has been said of the Terminator is true. It is a more of a forward DAC. Mainly I think due to the Terminator has a slight lean on the V shape. Not overly so, but enough that it will not be associated with midrange warmth. So if anyone need some warmth to it, might need something to add that down the line. The is enough air and smoothness to the high, yet not piercingly so like some system. The bass is fast, crisp and well defined. Whenever anything hits it is hit with quick impact.

    The Terminator is very very detailed. You know with most DACs when there is a voice in front, just someone just talking, most of the time it is quite obvious it is not real. The Terminator has enough details and texturially (texture... rially.. is that a word?) correct that all the little hiss from the voice shows up.

    Imaging wise, instruments are thin and focused. Soundstage is wide and deep into the wall. Instrument separation is also very well defined, esp in a loud piece of symphonic music.

    The result is that the Terminator produce such a level of realism, it is very addictive listening to it.

    As for whether it is analog... I don't know. I don't have a good enough analog source to compare. I do hear that from my modest LP setup, analog does excel very well with texture and imaging.

    I mainly listen to it with NOS mode. Some ppl like the OS mode. I think the OS mode smooths out the top end a bit too much, and less detailed and focused. It might be a bit less fatiguing in the long run.

    Now, the Ares. The Ares shares the same overall sound character as its older sibling. But like the underaccomplished child of the family, sounds like the older brother but not as refined.

    The Ares shares the same wide and deep soundstage as the Terminator, it also shares the slight V shaped tonal balance. Bass is fast, crisp and well defined.

    However, the Ares isn't as detailed as the Terminator. There is obvious less texture. The upper end is not as extended. Focusing is also a bit more sloppy so instruments are more rounded. It is as if a lens is ever so slightly out of focus. So the color and everything kinda shows, but not forming as sharp of an image.

    As a result, the realism isn't as apparent anymore.

    Now, the Ares is like 1/5 the cost of the Terminator. I'd say it gets around 70-75% of the performance. Is it good value? probably, but ultimately, if one is looking for absolute performance, the Terminator is it.

    Oh, and the Hugo2. The Hugo2 is like a child from another family. It doesn't share the same signature as the Denafrips family. And one would not mistaken the 2 families.

    It is quite detailed, and slightly more warmth / less V. Imagining is not quite as sharp. It doesn't have the amount of air and high frequency extension as the Terminator. The bass is a bit more sloppy.

    The Hugo2 is a very competent DAC. I think it is more than the Ares but not close to the Terminator. The Hugo2 beat the Ares on clarity and texture, but loses out on sound stage and bass definition. The Terminator beats it on everything to be honest.

    Overall, I think the Ares is nothing too spectacular. It is a decent DAC and at the current price / used price, is not a bad deal. I am sure there are better DACs at the same price point but I have also heard way worse DACs at much higher prices. However, the Terminator is something special. The realism just pops out once plugged in. As I said, I don't have any nor have I listened to any other super high end DACs to compare with, maybe that's just normal and I am overreacting! :)

    Last disclaimer. Both the Terminator and Ares were purchased used and as a result, well burned in. I also put in maybe 100-200 hours producing music (I am trying to burn in another toy that I got). I also leave them plugged in and on around the clock. The Hugo2 is powered using the stock power supply. I once in a while unplugged and power it with battery but have not noticed any difference.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  10. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    Interesting. It's usually the opposite.
    No over-sampling usually sounds more smoother & organic, while Over-sampling is usually more sharper & digital sounding.
     
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  11. Reggy

    Reggy Rando

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    How does the Terminator compare with the yggdrasil analog 2 in terms of sounding completely natural and unhyped? I'm guessing the Terminator like it's little brother sounds very engaging, but a little too much emotion for what natural sound has to offer.
     
  12. jmpsmash

    jmpsmash Rando

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    I am afraid I don't have a Yggdrasil to compare with.
     
  13. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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  14. ReAlien

    ReAlien Acquaintance

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    Anyone compared this one to Soekris 1321?
     
  15. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Very few would have an idea. Only @Torq comes to mind...
     
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