I for one am delighted
I decided a few weeks ago to buy the new Denafrips Terminator II R2R DAC. I owned a Denafrips Venus for two years prior to this. I received it on the 4th of July weekend in 2019. I bought it because it was the “best” DAC I could afford at the time. I had tried and owned several of the top name brands from PS Audio and Mytek but they left me wanting something else. After I owned the Venus for a year I bought and installed the new DSP board. It made a big difference in the performance of the DAC. More horsepower as I was now able to play higher bit rate DSD with ease. I loved that DAC and although I wanted a Denafrips Terminator when I bought the Venus I told myself it was 80% to 90% of the performance of the Terminator. Boy was I wrong.
I recently found a little extra disposable income and decided to sell the Venus and buy a Terminator II. The Terminator II arrived two weeks ago on Wednesday. Let me first say this. It’s not 10% or 20% better than the Venus. It’s much better than that. Everything about the Terminator II is better than the Venus. I let it run in for 100 hours before I did any serious listening (sorry to those who think break in is not a real thing). The bass is more authoritative and deeper than the Venus. It actually freaks me out how great the bass is because I am listening to smallish bookshelf speakers. I kind of was expecting this since the power supply on the Terminator II is so much beefier than the Venus. The mid-range is also more exciting and the overall presentation is just better. Bigger soundstage. The instruments just stand up and salute. It’s a much better DAC than the Venus (sorry to the guy that bought my Venus). The presentation is just so relaxed I find myself turning up the volume knob a few notches and enjoying it more and more.
I have tried all file types from 16/44 Red Book CDs to DSD512 files. This beast I affectionately named Arnold (I know I am not the first one to call their Terminator Arnold) can handle anything I throw at it. My streamer is the Auralic Aries G1. I do 90% of my listening through Roon via USB from the G1 to Arnold. My speakers are the Dynaudio Special 40 bookshelf speakers. My integrated amp is the Ayre AX-5 Twenty. I cannot believe how big a step up this thing is over the Venus. And I thought that I was in heaven when I listened to the Venus. Now I am over the moon in terms of enjoyment.
Everyone is different and the room and the type of music you play will affect how you perceive this thing. I am blessed with a great room. My listening tastes are 50s and 60s Jazz. It’s what I listen to about 95% of the time. I plan to buy the Gaia DDC as soon as my budget permits. The two clock outputs on the TII will make that a must. This was a no brainer upgrade for me. If you are sitting there thinking about doing the same I can’t tell you that you will not be disappointed because I don’t know you or your situation. What I can say is that this might be the single best purchase I have ever made in audio. I for one am delighted.
Ayre AX-5 Twenty - Integrated Amp
Dynaudio Special 40 - Speakers
Jay’s Audio CDT2-MK2 CD Transport
Denafrips Terminator II DAC
Auralic Aries G1 Streamer
Schiit Magni Heresy Headphone amp
PS Audio P10 Power Regenerator
Cardas Clear Interconnects
Audience Au24 SE Speaker Cables
PS Audio Power Cables
Credit: John A. @ USA
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