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  • Writer's pictureDENAFRIPS

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.

Equipment List:

  • 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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