this is where I am at now in my journey of musical enjoyment
Being fairly new to this hobby and R2R DACs in particular I found myself cycling through a series of Denafrips products pretty fast within a 3-month period.
Nothing like pandemic lockdowns to make one homebound and spend even more time enjoying the music, right? :-)
I started with the Ares II, which opened up my ears with it's musicality and soundstage. If this was the entry level product, I thought, I wonder how the midrange could be -- and found the Pontus II to also very capably add an even deeper soundstage, enhanced clarity and lower noise floor -- pretty amazing for its asking price.
I quickly understood how much 'cleaner' power influenced things and was convinced that de-jittering was my next step. Being 100% digital sourced through USB made it a no brainer for me to invest in the Iris DDC as well. The combo of Pontus + Iris's I2S connection transported me to a listening experience I had never achieved before with my mid-fi components. The next step therefore was to go for the Terminator's even better flagship level power supply, honkin higher bits, and clock sync -- and this is where I am at now in my journey of musical enjoyment.
I think I'll stay here for a while.
I have nothing but props for the Terminator except for its lack of a remote control. Although I suspect the design philosophy of not introducing or isolating any potential noise source makes having to get up from my seat to switch sources a bit more palatable. Especially since my super small 12" x 10" listening room can feel like a cathedral at times especially when I listen in complete darkness, I literally have to pinch myself.
Oh, do yourself a huge favor and squeeze out a little bit more goodness by investing in isolation pucks to prop up the Terminator. You'll thank me later, I guarantee it.
[For background listening] DAC: Denafrips Ares II with Ifi iPurifier3 USB Amp: Reisong A10 + Gold Lion EL34 tubes
Speakers: Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 Roon core: Intel i3-based Lenovo Thinkcentre Roon Core El-cheapo CD transport from Taobao
[For focused listening] DAC: Denafrips Terminator II + Iris DDC on IsoAcoustics pucks
Amp: McIntosh MA252
Speakers: ProAc Response DB1 + REL Tzero subwoofer
Streamer: Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra with Topping linear power supply