I been eyeing Denafrips models for the quite some time now. I am intrigued by their topology and I found their reviews to be mostly positive. So I ordered a Venus II. Yet part of me knew that I would always wonder if I should have purchased Terminator. So at expense of a possible buyers remorse and an expensive credit card bill, I upgraded to Terminator II before my order was shipped. If you stop reading right here, just now I have not regretted my decision.
My current DAC is LKS MH-DA004. It’s a wonderful DAC and it does everything you can ask of it. However, coming from vinyl to digital, I felt something was always absent. No, it’s not noise or clicks...lol. Fast forward to now, I prefer digital to Vinyl for a multitude of reasons. However that void never left me....I missed something but just didn’t know what it was. Anyway, back to Terminator II. After only 48 hours of listening to it, I finally know what was missing, music!
As silly as it sounds, Terminator surpassed LKS in many ways. The difference is not mind blowing but it is very noticeable. First, the stage is now wider and deeper. I listen to the same tracks (I am a bit boring), but I get to know them quite well. I know where certain sounds usually come from and with Terminator everything went wider, not stretched, as center was still very focused, but ambient sounds just came from a wider angles. The depth also increased but maybe to the smaller degree.
I also find instruments location to be a bit more precise with Terminator. Again, LKS was already very good at it, so I am impressed it was even possible. But anyway, to the most important observation....there just seems to be more music in the air. The notes stay in the air a bit longer, tones just have more richness; there is “more meat to the bones”. It’s like eating a sugar alternative dessert versus the real deal. Later, just feels right; it quenches the primal self.
Terminator is also a bit more detailed than LKS, not dramatic but certain sounds that were there before but were ignored by my brain, now came up to my consciousness. It’s actually quite magical to listen to the same tracks and find even more appreciation for them. Anyway, I don’t think anyone would regret purchasing this DAC, even if it is a bit out of your budget, as it was for me. It’s worth every penny, I mean Singapore dollar lol
Credit: Dimitri @ USA
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