DENAFRIPS Terminator: the King of R2R dac
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daytrader

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Lately seems so many people talking trash about terminator. I wonder if its just a vendetta against denafrips or that people just genuinely not liking it anymore? I still enjoy my terminator v2.. but makes me kinda doubt my choice. Feel like I should move on to rockna or something.
You are your own final arbiter! Take forum commentary like it’s a crapshoot, the good, the bad or ugly(agenda driven) but in the end you decide for yourself. Like a box of chocolates, you never know till you bite into a piece. LOL
 
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Saleh84

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Hi All,

I've loved my terminator for a year and a half, the 2nd DSP upgrade was a revelation to me, and now seems the 3rd is even better. However with my always present curiosity, I have recently decided to get a Rockna wavedream signature balanced dac. Its almost 4 times the price of Termi, to be clear, so certainly not in same category from financial aspect.
I've never bashed my Termi, and still would take it over chord dacs anyday. But I got a good deal on the Rockna, and i was curious.
Arguably someone could say when you pay 3-4 times the money, the sound should be better without even listening to check for yourself, cause you've "paid", but i don't judge based on MSRP. Well, I haven't heard heard the 3rd DSP, and i have sold my Termi before the Rockna Arrived. But from Memory, I can confim the Rockna is better and in a different league.
However, is it worth such a huge difference in price? that's a choice which only belongs to you. I was able to afford it, and i was very curious, and I desired more, as it is always with this hobby.
What did stand out for me is the purity, tonality and imaging/3d of the rockna. Its certainly more life-like. Denafrips stage size (except depth) and dynamics are on par with the 2nd gen DSP.
I have a lot of respect for Denafrips still, and I'm sure they are not done yet, they keep raising the bar and improving their sound. So i assume the future will have much better products that still represents a very good value for money. But sometimes, you really get what you pay for, and I feel that was the case for me with Rockna dac. Indeed some other times, you can pay more without getting your money's worth. Its a tricky hobby and lots of shabby products out there. Neither denafrips (with new DSP sound) nor rockna are one of those, I do recommend both )) it all boils down to your budget and your desire to have a "better" sound. It never ends sort of i guess... :)
 
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smodtactical

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You should have no doubt, it’s the best DAP under 15000$.
Its a bold claim. I hope its true! I haven't compared to other super high end dacs. But keep in my chord dave and even rockna wavedream balanced sig can be had for under $15k on the used market.

The dark domain forum actually claimed that bifrost was at the same level as terminator, facepalm.
 
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Saleh84

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I know which forum you are referring to. That is with Terminator old, sluggish and thick sounding DSP, which some still would prefer. In my opinion, it sounded lush and thick, but lack on PRAT and dynamics. DSP2 raised the bar a lot, and now I'm a bit curious what the 3rd revision did.
 
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smodtactical

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I know which forum you are referring to. That is with Terminator old, sluggish and thick sounding DSP, which some still would prefer. In my opinion, it sounded lush and thick, but lack on PRAT and dynamics. DSP2 raised the bar a lot, and now I'm a bit curious what the 3rd revision did.
Ya I got massive gain in SQ with dsp2. I am curious about dsp 3 but kinda sad it came out so fast.
 
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This guy says that Terminator benefit from software upsampling: https://audiophilestyle.com/ca/reviews/my-quest-for-a-new-dac-part-3-denafrips-terminator-r740/

It was two years ago. No wonder why there are constant improvements in new versions of DSP. BTW, In my opinion a real comparison between DAC's should be always made in NOS mode. DSP can cheat to make sound more pleasant and hide weaknesses.
The Aries G2 upsampled into the Terminator is quite a step up from upsampling in the Terminator.
 
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digitaldufferme

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This guy says that Terminator benefit from software upsampling: https://audiophilestyle.com/ca/reviews/my-quest-for-a-new-dac-part-3-denafrips-terminator-r740/

It was two years ago. No wonder why there are constant improvements in new versions of DSP. BTW, In my opinion a real comparison between DAC's should be always made in NOS mode. DSP can cheat to make sound more pleasant and hide weaknesses.
The Aries G2 upsampled into the Terminator is quite a step up from upsampling in the Terminator.
The large and very actively engaged user base of HQPlayer (famed for it's upsampling and filters) as well as premium platforms like ROON show there is a group of hobbyists who believe that the massive computing power of today's pc's electrically isolated from the DAC e.g. via ethernet or whatever the FOM device being pedalled is superior to whatever can be done on a DAC or streamer alone. A brief scan of a forum like CA will show the large amounts of money & engineering time being expended in this belief. Some of the filters and upsampling in HQPlayer are now so computationally complex and demanding that they cannot be done on the fly anymore even with the best that Intel or AMD can provide. One of the attractions of these NOS R2R DACs such as the Terminator are that they then allow you to tune the sound to your expectations via external computation.
 
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The large and very actively engaged user base of HQPlayer (famed for it's upsampling and filters) as well as premium platforms like ROON show there is a group of hobbyists who believe that the massive computing power of today's pc's electrically isolated from the DAC e.g. via ethernet or whatever the FOM device being pedalled is superior to whatever can be done on a DAC or streamer alone. A brief scan of a forum like CA will show the large amounts of money & engineering time being expended in this belief. Some of the filters and upsampling in HQPlayer are now so computationally complex and demanding that they cannot be done on the fly anymore even with the best that Intel or AMD can provide. One of the attractions of these NOS R2R DACs such as the Terminator are that they then allow you to tune the sound to your expectations via external computation.
I agree. It was a long way wrong path in the audio industry, ranging from the very old devices having a simple zero-filling algorithm called 'oversampling' to the high end DACs sophisticated upsampling with a custom DSP window function which started to appear around 15 years ago, now it takes a form of a separate upsampling device with high-powered DSP. I fully agree that a physical separation is needed to give a good galvanic isolation. It is one thing. The other positive aspect of this trend is that you have a chance to try various algorithms. I think, those who are looking for a reproduction of sound as close to the original will end up with conclusion that this is all about tricking our brain. If you are about a real natural sound, it still comes from NOS.
 
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Anyway rockna even used is at least 2x price of terminator so I think ill stick with terminator for now.
 
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Hello guys,

Like to share the users' impression of the DENAFRIPS DAC.
https://www.denafrips.com/news

I am extremely happy and encouraged to read these positive impressions. This is simply the best encouragement and drive for me to continue what i am doing and i will do better!

Thank you for your support!

Alvin Chee
www.vinshineaudio.com
 
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Anyway rockna even used is at least 2x price of terminator so I think ill stick with terminator for now.
Smod,
I don't think there is a another DAC out there that plays so well at the price of the Terminator and gets mentioned in the same line as a Vivaldi, Bartok, Totaldac etc. That says alot of the quality of the Termy doesn't it, and now with the Gaia it has just gone up a few notches closer to the Top of the pile. Just my honest opinion.
 
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Smod,
I don't think there is a another DAC out there that plays so well at the price of the Terminator and gets mentioned in the same line as a Vivaldi, Bartok, Totaldac etc. That says alot of the quality of the Termy doesn't it, and now with the Gaia it has just gone up a few notches closer to the Top of the pile. Just my honest opinion.
Really? Any comparisons to those TOTL Dacs? That is very impressive wow!
 
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gimmeheadroom

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Thank you for your support!
Hi,

I don't know you but I'm interested in your products. I really appreciate that you made an effort to make it painless for European customers to buy your products by collecting the correct tax and eliminating delivery surprises! When I get some extra cash this DAC is on my list.
 
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Really? Any comparisons to those TOTL Dacs? That is very impressive wow!
Hi Smod,

Which TOTL dacs ? What local prices ?

Looking for upgrade from my Terminator but limited Vit M :)

Cheers.

Richard
 
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