Denafrips Terminator 2 bs. ?

should read vs. not bs. TYPO   I can’t seem to be able to edit the title.  Sorry 

I am strongly, considering the terminator to 12th anniversary.
I did some research Red reviews, and a friend of mine actually has the plus which he loves my system consist of a Parasound halo amp and preamp all Morrow series 6 cables, and PBN speakers

for $5000. Do you think there is anything I should strongly consider without making this an impossible task

they currently have a Gustard X 26 pro which I will be replacing



Buy a used Terminator plus like your friend has instead of a new (standard) Terminator 12th.  They are about the same price and a much better value.

I like the idea of the plus.  Hard to find the newer version 12th anniversary 

thanks for the input.  

There are a thousand dacs out there. No matter what you buy, you will always think maybe you should have bought something else. Buy the best you can responsibly afford and listen to music. 

The Terminator 12 is night and day better I sold the Gustard the terminator 

12 is a bit better then the2, for an extra $2k maybe less as a demo 

and beats the terminator plus12 th and Holo may KTE 

As a whole is the Very well reviewed T+A 200 dac that as a demo can be had for $6200 and has a Ton of technologies built in and a very good stand alone preamp 

if you wanted one ,not a cheap digital preamp, and has HQ player built in as a power option if you wanted to use it ,the program I think around $215 

an Excellent example of solid German engineering ,and Galvanically isolated on every level , read several reviews ,then look to find a dealer to demo it .

itsnot over 40 lbs likely terminator , it’s only 15 lbs. it replaces technologies over old style brawn,and sounds great doing it. It can go toe to toe with Any dac upto $15 k .

thst is the truth,in our multi state audio get together I have heard very good comparisons at the same 1-2 days   From Lampizator ,golden gate, chord Dave,

 Mola Mola , Bricasti 21SE , and a bunch of others , one dac may be fuller or more razor sharp in detail ,but as a whole theT+A very good and a keeper to 90% to owners who have one .

Investigate what makes sound the way you like it.  Send your lonely Gustard  to me and I will upgrade that for a lot less then buying another DAC and you won't look back.  Look inside each model and then see how much they are different.  Probably not much as far as the best parts available.  So you will just be swapping out one for the other.  How much improvement are you hearing between the two units?  Is one 50% better than the other?  Probably not.

Well thank everyone or our comment though some are ridiculous and riddled with no value. For those who truly responded respectfully ; I thank you. 
I ordered the Denafrips after many outstanding reviews.  
I’ll be back to post my thoughts once I’ve done my evaluations.

This is a forum for learning and trying to appreciate experiences by hearing what others have already experienced, it’s for hackles and jokers who probably have an old Magnavox …… 

I have the Pontus ll 12th anniversary. It's still breaking in but I'm really enjoying it so far.   Happy listening 🎶.

I compared the Terminator Plus 12th and the T+A DAC200 and purchased the T+A.   Both were great.   I thought the T+A was a bit more musical and had a lot more dynamic presentation.   I did most of my listening to both in the R2R NOS mode, so I can’t speak to all the other filter options.   I’m not sure you could go wrong with either.

It really depends on your ears.

For example one person above says that the Terminator beats the Holo May KTE for sound quality, and I would disagree whole heartedly. I believe the Holo May is much, much more musical.

I am also auditioning the T+A now.

Funny, I still have an ancient, still working fine, Magnavox CD player with the venerable TDA1541A DAC chip and yep, it sounds pretty good.

Seriously, good luck with the Terminator 2. I hope it does what you want. I’m probably going to "tap out" at the Pontus 2 - 12th and call it a day.

I own a Terminator 2 Plus. I listened to a Venus II prior and the T+ offered a small but important set of improvements. I have not listened to a 12th gen or a Gustard X26, so hard to say how it would compare. It did beat a number of SMSL and similar ESS pro based DACs in smoothness and presentation. The Denafrips do depth and air very well. If those are important qualities to you, then you will not be disappointed.

I have the following 3 DACS on rotation in my system via the USB output from a Lumin P1 (which has a killer internal DAC btw so I guess that makes 4 DACs actually):

Gustard R26 w/ external LHY OCK-2 clock

Weiss DAC204 w/ Ferrum Hypsos LPS

Lampizator Baltic V4 

Sold my Terminator II as it didn't hold up in terms of dynamics and resolution against the other DACS in my system, but its tonality and soundstaging was at least on par if not better than the Gustard and Weiss. I suspect the newest generation of the Plus would be on par across all parameters with the DACs I have but its price doesn’t make it a good value proposition.

IME the Baltic V4 is the best DAC at 10K or under I have had in my system so far, and by some margin. I think it is $7K new right now, but for pure price/quality ratio the Weiss /w LPS for $4K all in would be my choice as a recommendation especially if you like a big, bold resolving sound.

I’m not sure what that means unreadable? There have been many comments and input given…. 

I've had a Terminator Plus for a few years now and was very pleased with it.  But I got the itch to try something else and demoed a DCS Bartok Apex.  I was surprised to hear quite a bit more detail, deeper soundstage, and much more pronounced bass (in a good way).  The DCS is a different price point so in that respect they are not compatible but I have to admit the DCS is quite different/better. 

Well ajhsu2 correct me if I’m wrong but I believe that retails for $20,000. If that’s anywhere near that price it’s 4x the Denafrips Terminator. I’m glad you are enjoying it. I received my unit today and just started warming it up. I’m happy to say I’m very pleased and thank everyone out there who helped make my decision. 

Has anyone heard of the denafrips terminator 15

is this something new from denafrips?

I do not believe there is a 15.  May be a misprint. Where did you see this? The website shows all of their newest equipment and Alvin Chee the owner is very helpful with matching the correct equipment for your system. There is no upsell 

Thank you for responding

Iam sure the explanation is simple

I'll contact them directly ..



As a long time Denafrips user I find the above link very interesting and quite surprising. A picture is worth a thousand words so unless the photo has been photo shopped it seems there is still another new version of the Terminator.  It also seems like an explanation from Denafrips/Vinshine is in order.

@bcrock did you contact and hear back from Denafrips/Vinshine?  There is not too much chatter about this “new version” that I have seen, which if true, is suprising  


I will contact Alvin later and try to get a solid answer. We’re all curious here

Yes ...I emailed them this morning 

Waiting on a response.My terminator 15th 

If I may say 15th ..does sound very good ,but still in the break in stages 

Iam curious about the explanation also


I started a thread yesterday, as I received a Pontus 15th after ordering the Pontus 12th-1. I too emailed Vinshine; Annie responded to say the Support Team would reply to my email.

Looks like there are new versions of at least the Terminator and Pontus

Just to add; it seems odd that there’s been no hint of the 15th versions. Google turns up nothing at all, and both Denafrips/Vinshine’s web pages are only showing the 12th versions of their DACs.

I would have thought there’d have been some teasing/lead in hints of new versions by Alvin on YT, or something by email upon ordering to inform that I’d be receiving the 15th Pontus

It may be an error and we’ve been shipped our 15th versions in error 🤔

Received a response:

We are the 1st few to receive the variant version 

Of the Terminator..the 15th this is the new variant 

No word on the changes inside the box ,that will be coming down the road very soon


I contacted Alvin at Vinshine about the apparent release of the 15th version which I thought he'd want to address. He thanked me for letting him know and plans on contacting DENAFRIPS about it and will respond accordingly. He mentioned that he's currently on a business trip so there may be a delay in his response.

The DENAFRIPS site has been updated to reflect the new 15th version: DENAFRIPS Terminator 15th DAC

If you’re going to the effort to make what I can only assume are meaningful upgrades to a product to the point that they warrant a new model designation, how long does it take to at least update a product web page to tell people what changes were made and why or even to just announce that the new model even exists? And to do this apparently not only on one but at least two models simultaneously (Terminator and Pontus)? And then to not even bother to mention anything to the main distributor that any of this is happening while the new product is already being shipped to customers? What??? I respect Denafrips as a solid company that produces excellent and high-quality products at reasonable prices, but this seems to be a silly and unforced error on their part.

@soix I agree; I think they dropped the ball on this one. I respect Denafrips and their products a great deal, but for Vinshine to not seem to be aware of the 15th DACs being shipped seems odd.

@bill_k thanks for this. I've seen the Pontus 15th is also viewable in Denafrips' website too 👍

Looking at specs of Terminator II 12th vs 15th - I only see a few differences:

Terminator II 12th (from Vinshine site):

  • Oven Controlled Crystals OCXO
  • THD: 0.08%(RCA), 0.004%(XLR)

  • S/N Ratio: 105dB(RCA), 115dB(XLR)

  • Warranty: 36 Months

  • Price USD $4,929.76

Terminator 15th - they seemed to have dropped the, "II" (from Denafrips site) :

  • High-end Oven Controlled Crystals OCXO
  • THD: 0.05%(RCA), 0.002%(XLR)
  • S/N Ratio: 110dB(RCA), 120dB(XLR)

  • Warranty: 12 Months (but their support page says 3 years)

  • Price  $6,099.00 (USD$ - not sure)


Wow that’s great information and thank you.  I do feel better knowing that non of those specs will affect my listening as  Distortion levels that low mean nothing at my listening levels and overall basically the same component   
this hobby is a step towards insanity for sure 



Hey a tidbit of fun facts

. I know we’ve talked about highs and lows and breakin periods for bass …. Denafrips DACs love Boz Scaggs recordings and will show off any bass you thought you never had.  Play a few tracks and let me know your thoughts   We sometimes get so caught up on our equipment and cables and breakins …. Sometimes it’s just how it was recorded 

just my opinion 

@bobbyloans absolutely! "Silk Degrees" - I love the way it's been recorded. Drums and bass are done just how I like to hear them. And yep, even with the little Ares the album sounds great. Haven't listened to it with the Pontus 15th yet, but I will later, its 5:30am here; I don't think my long suffering other would appreciate me blasting Lido Shuffle 😂