Old "King" of R2R DAC Is Dead? Denafrips Terminator-Plus / Terminator+ Arrives
Aug 1, 2020 at 10:56 AM Post #91 of 130

zzzmonster

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Hi Sarjan,

Unfortunately I do not have the D300 Ref as I decided on the Antipodes instead.

However, I can say that digital AES output at 24 bits 96khz from my Bel Canto fm-1 never sounded so natural and real before the T+ .. even full flac at 24bit 44.1khz internal stations like french F3, Radio Paradise, JB Radio etc. while sounding detailed just does not have the magic of fm tuner.

Cheers.

Richard

I am not sure if I misunderstood your statement - I am not Sarjan - I am just a everyday Joe that loves music

ps: D300REF to T+ is to me a different magic compared to FM Tuner. The former has magical bass while the latter has magical treble
 
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Aug 1, 2020 at 11:06 AM Post #92 of 130

richardloh

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I am not sure if I misunderstood your statement - I am not Sarjan - I am just a everyday Joe that loves music

Hi zzzmonster,

Oops .. indeed not Sarjan but in response to your share on Soundaware D300ref.

To me fm tuner is natural and organic with a big soundstage plus local favors nearest to us .... the magic of the Bel Canto fm tuner in my system lies on midrange than treble. It is when I loses track of usual audiophiles' wants on details, extension, layering etc. etc.

It is unfortunate that local internet radios stations in Singapore max out at a terrible 64kbps aac. 😬

With apology and cheers.

Richard
 
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Aug 1, 2020 at 11:16 AM Post #93 of 130

zzzmonster

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Hey, I am also from Singapore - love listening to FM 95.8 on a vintage AKAI tuner from a 2nd hand shop (got it for S$20)
 
Aug 1, 2020 at 11:31 AM Post #94 of 130

richardloh

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Hey, I am also from Singapore - love listening to FM 95.8 on a vintage AKAI tuner from a 2nd hand shop (got it for S$20)

Hey zzzmonster,

Good to know a fellow singaporean !

I am more on 97.2fm especially on Sunday's oldies and goodies at 8.30 pm onwards .. I swear I will call up chen bi yu one day to ask what magical broadcast equipment she used during these sessions.

The bel canto fm1 is really really nice .. I sold my Accuphase T1000 and did not miss it .. newer T1100 and latest T1200 are simply too much $ and also importantly, its champage gold color does not match my all silver theme.

However, getting a bel canto fm is so difficult that none in hifishark except wtb ads and hence I jumped at a local set from a nice gentleman as spare despite being more expensive than my lucky strike in UK forum 1 year ago

Oops ..off topic and cheers.

Richard

Screenshot_20200801-232859_Chrome.jpg
 
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Aug 2, 2020 at 3:54 AM Post #95 of 130

Bling23

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The Terminator Plus and the Gaia are amazing together. Anyone deciding on an i2s cable should strongly consider the Tubulus Argentus. It’s still early, but I think the Wireworld platinum HDMI is going back. USB is much more holographic than AES into the Gaia, but this could be Aries G2 performing better via USB out (though Auralic says the AES is best). I’m excited to let everything continue to settle in, but I couldn’t happier with the Terminator Plus and Gaia combo. Smooth, detailed, engaging, limitless soundstage...
The Terminator plus sounds great is it really that good
 
Aug 2, 2020 at 5:26 AM Post #96 of 130

richardloh

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The Terminator plus sounds great is it really that good

Hi Bling23,

Compared to the standard Terminator, it is better for sure and obvious one. How good it is depends on the rest of our systems, our preference and past experience.

I find out these 2 nights how much better or if at all better for targeted sources e.g. usb, aes etc. connected to the gaia with synced clock and i2s input instead of directly to the T+ with non i2s input.

Very importantly, I will also find out if master clock daisy chained of my avator and gaia to the TP+ will work since I believe that the sealed ocxo clock in TP+ betters the gaia.

The demo gaia is in the back of my car and otw home 😃
20200802_170505.jpg


Cheers.

Richard
 
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Aug 2, 2020 at 11:06 AM Post #97 of 130

richardloh

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Hi All,

First of all, daisy chain of Avatar and gaia input to oxco clock output of T+ works !! This is really a denafrips ecosystem of digital playback though not advertised as such by denafrips or mentioned in detailed review by 6moon.😃

Secondly, key objective of getting aes-ebu output of my Bel Canto fm-1 tuner to gaia to convert to i2s and synced to oxco clock of T+ sounds so much better .. more detailed and clean with blacker background like veil had been lifted as compared to direct aes-ebu output directly to T+. Asked my dotter as I switch between the 2 and she remarked "you need to ask ? So obvious !" 🤣

Thirdly, on this main query if usb input directly to T+ or via gaia to convert to i2s that is synced to the oxco clock of T+, there is no miracle for the usb of my Antipodes ex and sounded less detailed and less engaging.

Speculative but the usb output from my Antipodes is no slouch and does not benefit from going via gaia but a lesser usb source may.

Similarly, the aes-ebu of my Bel Canto tuner benefitted very much via the gaia after conversion to i2s and synced to the ocxo clock of T+ but perhaps a higher quality aes-ebu or other digital source of say esoteric k series transport may not ... Avatar that I tested for sure benefits when synced to T+ .. more solid imaging and prat.

Hope this helps and YMMV since system dependent, personal preference and past experience ... I am still enjoying my Bel Canto fm 1 (this betters previous Accuphase T1000) for the last 2 hrs and it is unbelievable that fm radio can sound this good 😍😍

Cheers.

Richard

PS: Black gaia with customised blue leds ordered as with a 0.75m Argentus hdmi cable 🥰🥰
20200802_205112.jpg
 
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Aug 2, 2020 at 12:41 PM Post #98 of 130

richardloh

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Speculative but the usb output from my Antipodes is no slouch and does not benefit from going via gaia but a lesser usb source may.

Hi All,

For completeness of the abovementioned, I connected my allo's usb bridge to the gaia and behold the needed validation ... the sound quality improved to more detailed, dense and musical presentation ! 😃

Believe this final update sums up the outcome of my planned venture with gaia with synced clock to T+ and i2s and should help bros here to consider the digital source quality if gaia will improve the sound quality of your system if you have the T+.

Unfortunately, I cannot share further on validated result of the more common query getting the gaia for the standard Terminator or non Denafrips dac since having none.

I can only guess that without synced clock or even i2s connectivity of T+ which I covet due to their sound technical advantages, improvement is likely less but pure speculation of course while bro Blake, John, Abyss etc. had already reported improvement of the gaia with at least the standard Terminator and/or T+.

Cheers.

Richard

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Screenshot_20200722-051025_Chrome.jpg
 
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Aug 2, 2020 at 4:17 PM Post #99 of 130

richardloh

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Hi,

Just listened to the allo's usb bridge signature via the gaia and T+ and compared the Antipodes directly via the T+ with various same tracks on both.

Without the gaia for both allo's and Antipodes to the T+ that I am very familiar with, it was like subjectively 60-70% for the allo's if Antipodes is at 90% ....

With the gaia for allo's, it gets to 75-80% of the standalone Antipodes which is quite impressive and nice as a backup server but it also tells me just how nice the Antipodes is .. crisp, clear and extended in comparison.

Again ymmv and this helps further ... 4am and really to shower and sleep but no worry of listener fatigue to have messed up the subjective comparison.

Cheers.

Richard
 
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Aug 2, 2020 at 4:41 PM Post #100 of 130

Bling23

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Hi Bling23,

Compared to the standard Terminator, it is better for sure and obvious one. How good it is depends on the rest of our systems, our preference and past experience.

I will like John find out these 2 nights how much better or if at all better for targeted sources e.g. usb, aes etc. connected to the gaia with synced clock and i2s input instead of directly to the T+ with non i2s input.

Very importantly, I will also find out if master clock daisy chained of my avator and gaia to the TP+ will work since I believe that the sealed ocxo clock in TP+ betters the gaia.

The demo gaia is in the back of my car and otw home 😃20200802_170505.jpg

Cheers.

Richard
Thanks for the reply, thats some nice gear you got , enjoy
 
Aug 8, 2020 at 12:27 AM Post #101 of 130

richardloh

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Aug 17, 2020 at 9:22 AM Post #102 of 130

m-i-c-k-e-y

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Steve's review is up. And comparo with his "old" Termi...

 
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Sep 12, 2020 at 2:23 AM Post #103 of 130

masteretch

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Maybe somebody here can help me with a question. I am aware that you cannot possibly have heard all these permutations but maybe you can make estimated assumptions to what could be best. I have a simple HP setup (THX AAA 789 + Audeze LCD4-z) and have just sold my DAC. I also have a pair of Kii 3s and Kii Control. I go directly PC USB out
-> Kii Control now. This sounds too digital and glary / hashy. Now I have identified two options to mitigate this. Either via a very good DDC/DAC that is so good that I can feed it directly from my PC and the DDC will eliminate all noise and jitter. Or by investing in a very good streamer and not using the PC. Or doing both. Do you have any experiences what would sound better? I have identified two possible setups:

1. PC -> Denafrips GAIA -> Denafrips Terminator +. I can take a digital out from the GAIA and go into the Kii Control. The Terminator + feeds the HP amp. In this setup, I would need an additional streamer and I have identified the Auralic Aries G2.1 as my favorite. Is this really necessary? Will streaming to an Aries G2.1 sound better than going from PC to the Audiobyte stack?
2. PC ->Audiobyte Hydra VOX.ZAP.HUB stack. I can listen to HP directly or via THX AAA 789. I can take a digital out from Hydra HUB and go into the Kii Control. Would it sound better to stream to the HUB than going from PC USB to the HUB USB in?

Can you save the streamer, if the DDC is good enough or will a dedicated audio source such as the Aries G2.1 still sound better than a PC despite DDC. As I have digital speakers, I need the DAC only to feed the headphone amp. Will I even hear the quality of a DAC such as the Audiobyte VOX or the Terminator+ on headphones or is it enough to go with something lower priced such as e.g. a Denafrips Pontus or a Schiit Yggy?

Many thanks for you opinions.
 
Sep 12, 2020 at 7:38 PM Post #104 of 130

sajunky

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@masteretch. With all digital setup, network streamer is the most flexible option. As a standard LAN port gives galvanic separation by default, it can be the best sounding out of the box solution. You can make setup on the old PC/laptop.

I only wonder why THX 789? A nested loopback seems better pairing with DS DACs where sound is already decimated. If you chose R2R DAC, a class A low-feedback amp seems better option to me.
 
Sep 13, 2020 at 1:46 AM Post #105 of 130

masteretch

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@masteretch. With all digital setup, network streamer is the most flexible option. As a standard LAN port gives galvanic separation by default, it can be the best sounding out of the box solution. You can make setup on the old PC/laptop.

I only wonder why THX 789? A nested loopback seems better pairing with DS DACs where sound is already decimated. If you chose R2R DAC, a class A low-feedback amp seems better option to me.

I must say that I can't quite follow. What are DS DACs? Do you mean the PS Audio Directstream? I'm not planning to get that. YOu think R2R DACs decimate sound? You think THX decimates sound? Can you please elaborate? What are example of low-feedback HP amps?
 

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