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Denafrips R2R DAC (plays 512 DSD) reviewed as giant killer

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http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/denafrips/1.html

 

for those who are interested in these types of DACs, looks very interesting. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I was wondering when\if someone would post a link to their review.

The Terminator is one I've been trying to keep an eye on.

As much as I eschew much of 6Moons philosophy, it is nice to see an audiophillia site review a piece of Chi-Fi gear.

I'm on the search for a DAC.

Gawd what a ball & brain buster.

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Certainly is one of the best looking DAC interiors out there. They should make it with a glass top!

 

 

DFT.jpg


Synology DS1515+ >  PS Audio P10 > Innuos Zenith Mk II running Roon Core > IsoRegen/LPS-1 > Lyngdorf TDAI 2170 > Tekton Double Impact Speakers

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7 hours ago, Milt99 said:

As much as I eschew much of 6Moons philosophy, it is nice to see an audiophillia site review a piece of Chi-Fi gear

They have gotten much better in the last year or so about pointing out equipment that gives value for the dollar  and sounds as good as more expensive stuff. 

 

If I was DAC shopping, I'd be tempted to give this a try. Web site needs to have some sort  2 week or 30 day return policy, though.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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So does this DAC do true R2R for DSD like the Holo Spring?  If so, I am very curious how they implemented it as I am still not entirely sure how Holo does it.

 

Also, from a quick scan of the review, it says this DAC can do up to DSD256 only?


12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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1 hour ago, tboooe said:

So does this DAC do true R2R for DSD like the Holo Spring?  If so, I am very curious how they implemented it as I am still not entirely sure how Holo does it.

 

Also, from a quick scan of the review, it says this DAC can do up to DSD256 only?

Yes, in one place I read it does DSD 512, that may not be accurate.

Hard to understand from the write ups, but apparently it does does DSD in HW, not a chip. Sounds like it takes the DSD signal directly and filters it. Isn't that sort of what the Lampizator chipless DACs do with DSD? What all that means exactly, maybe someone else can explain. Here's what the manual says:

Quote

 

The Terminator is equipped with 26Bit R‐2R DAC to decode PCM data stream and 32 steps FIR analog filters hardware decoder to decode DSD data stream.

These designs guaranteed the PCM format can be perfectly decoded, at the same time, the DSD format can be

perfectly decoded as well. It is rare in the currently market that a R‐2R DAC can hardware decode both PCM and DSD formats.

 

 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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10 hours ago, tboooe said:

So does this DAC do true R2R for DSD like the Holo Spring?  If so, I am very curious how they implemented it as I am still not entirely sure how Holo does it.

 

Also, from a quick scan of the review, it says this DAC can do up to DSD256 only?

The Terminator takes it to whole nother level as far published specs & docs.

Rather than recite the Denafrips site, etc., simply use google plus read the 6moons review.

They did an excellent explanation of the design philosophy, specs, pics, & SQ.

On the face of it and like was posted above, at it's price point, right now it seems an incredible value.

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i don't totally trust 6moon audio for their reviews as i had some bad experience with some " golden rewards" items .

but that is subjective , what is objective is  3800$  for DSD 256 do'esnt seems an incedible value for me .  IFImicro DSD or chord stuff or even a 2900€ T+A dac8  with DSD512 and analog volume control are better values.


PC audio /Roon + HQPLAYER / INTONA /T+A DSD8 dac / /  VFET NEMESIS amp / EMS field coil speaker

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2 minutes ago, Milt99 said:

Firedog, yes the Denafrips does 512 DSD.

By all accounts in order to get the best from the DAC 8 DSD, everything needs to be converted to DSD 512.

A PC capable of running HQPlayer and doing the conversion is not a cheap endeavor plus it won't as of yet work

with a linux NAA like the Rendu products.

Odd that even the website says it does up to DSD256 only.


12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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11 minutes ago, tboooe said:

Odd that even the website says it does up to DSD256 only.

DUH, my mistake. 256 is correct. Thanks for the correction.

I have read just about everything there is on the Terminator and DACs in general.

I think I need to take a break. The numbers are melting together.

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I have a schedule to provide Denafrips DAC for HI FI newbies. (group-buy)

 

I think that Venus' spec and price are suitable for them.

 

But there is no informations about Venus.

 

For them, Terminator is too expensive.

 

And Pontus seems to be not good.

 

I want to know comparison data about Venus vs Terminator.

 

[(ex) Venus is 70% of Terminator]

my.jpg


Speakers : Accuton 3ways 5speakers (D-25)

Source : SGM 2015 EVO / SGM Extreme   DAC : Trinity DAC
Pre Amp : KX-R Twenty     Power Amp : HF : NHB-108 LF : 400W Mono Block   Cables : All Entreq Atlantis
Grounding : 3 Olympus Tellus, 4 Poseidon, 1 Silver Tellus, 1 Atlantis Tellus 6 Atlantis Minimus, 3 Silver Minimus, 3 Gaia,  All Atlantis Eartha, 60 Peak
Power Conditioner : 2 Atlantis,

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On 2017-09-23 at 3:00 PM, Milt99 said:

Firedog, yes the Denafrips does not do 512 DSD.

Corrected by tboooe, I misread the spec.

By all accounts in order to get the best from the DAC 8 DSD, everything needs to be converted to DSD 512.

A PC capable of running HQPlayer and doing the conversion is not a cheap endeavor plus it won't as of yet work

with a linux NAA like the Rendu products.

 

I'm not here to defend Denafrips or 6moons just trying to be neutral.

Like I posted above, it's both an exciting time & a frustrating time to be DAC shopping.

I really have an aversion to all of the ancillary gear that many feel are required to get the best

out of the "source".

@Milt99 I am wondering where you have found the information re Linux -Hq Player and dsd 512. I have been chasing this issue for months using I7 6700k- switch- Micro Rendu 2.5 OS (dsd512)-Singxer Su1-i2s - Gustard X20 pro.

 

For or the most part I can get Roon 512 and occasionally Hq player 512 but nothing consistently. 

Have literally tried everything under the sun.

Would really appreciate some direction or confirmation if this is the case. 

Thank you.  

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There's a couple of threads here on it. I think searching on DAC 8 DSD should get you there.

Sorry I can't be of more help. It's been awhile since I followed them.

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From the description it sounds like the Denafrips does DSD conversion similarly to how Miska's DSC-1 works, with a 32 bit element discrete FIR filter.  But it does not seem to say much else in detail, being Chinese it might be just a direct balanced version of Miska's design, but without further investigation, who knows, and what additional filter elements (passives) it might use is up for grabs as well.

I would be interested in seeing a much simpler, DSD only version of this, especially with an added volume control and discrete output buffer.


ROON: DSD 256-Signature Rendu optical--Buffalo PRO or DSC-2--Ncore 400 Stereo-Focus Audio FS888-JL E-112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, Cardas Clear AC, Iconoclast XLR, Nordost Frey speaker, cables, Synergistic Blue & Hi Fi Tuning Supreme Cu Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.    Design/Build Consultant with Sonore

 

                                                                                                  SONORE computer audio

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I've a loan Ares, it doesn't playback DSD512, only up to DSD256 natively via Linux based OS (ALSA) or Windows/MAC DoP. Playing back DSD512 will resulted in loud hissing noise.

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On 10/3/2017 at 9:58 PM, guymrob said:

Playing back DSD512 will resulted in loud hissing noise.

It looks like broken synchronization at high frequency via USB input. Could you check LVDS over HDMI input with Hydra-Z/Singxer SU-1/Matrix X-spdif2?

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22 hours ago, pm325 said:

It looks like broken synchronization at high frequency via USB input. Could you check LVDS over HDMI input with Hydra-Z/Singxer SU-1/Matrix X-spdif2?

Unfortunately I don't have a chance to the test II2/HDMI, the unit has already returned to the distributor. According to them, an Amanero based chipset will likely resolve the issue.

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I just emailed Denafrips about the DSD playback limits, they confirmed in Q2 2018 they'll release a new DSP board that supports DSD512 over USB and I2s inputs. So, the Terminator DAC is officially getting DSD512. And that puts it square on my list for my DAC replacement. 

 

I'd love to have a shootout with this and the T+A DAC 8 DSD. 

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Thanks for the news, Ben.

Man, looking for a new DAC\Source.

My gut tells me to go easy, go for value but the Terminator is so tempting.

A great sign would be if Denafrips offers an upgrade to current owners for 512 DSD capability.

I understand it may not be possible given the design but if it is, that would be a good sign for the future.

Hopefully, Chris will post an in-depth review of the new Auralic G2 series to help out.

 

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I received the Terminator several weeks ago and it has been playing non-stop.

It is replacing an Eastern Electric Minimax supreme dac.

The Terminator has improved my digital sound so much that is approaching that of my vinyl system.

It really is a game changer for me as this is the most dramatic improvement to my digital sound.

The improvements are across the board but in particular the bass, imaging, and soundstage were greatly improved.

My iphone real time analyzer clearly shows and extra bar of bass that was not there before.

Even my non-audiophile girlfriend noticed the improvements, especially the bass.

So far very pleased!

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20 hours ago, Milt99 said:

A great sign would be if Denafrips offers an upgrade to current owners for 512 DSD capability.

 

That is indeed the case, according to Alvin, from Vinshine Audio (worldwide distributor of Denafrips) :

"However, the dsd512 is not supported at the moment. We plan to implement it in 2nd quarter of 2018. Customer can purchase the DSP board to replace the existing one to upgrade."

 

This is a confirmation that the Terminator has a modular design, as is also told on another forum :

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=150966.40

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Sigh.

Going against my previous tenet that DAC Tech is in flux right now & that the prudent thing would be invest in mid-price R2R,

I'm thinking that the Denafrips Terminator with DSD 512 capability is a solid price-performance-value proposition.

Obviously not inexpensive but looking at the design philosophy, build quality & modularity what's not to like?

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1 hour ago, Milt99 said:

Sigh.

Going against my previous tenet that DAC Tech is in flux right now & that the prudent thing would be invest in mid-price R2R,

I'm thinking that the Denafrips Terminator with DSD 512 capability is a solid price-performance-value proposition.

Obviously not inexpensive but looking at the design philosophy, build quality & modularity what's not to like?

I'm in much the same place as you, and considering it for the same reasons.

 

JC

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