Looking to upgrade my Dac with $5k budget 

I’m thinking about this three options 


2. DANAFRIPS TERMINATOR (used) with Ifi Zen Stream 

3.MUSETEC  (LKS) MH-DA005 DAC with Ifi Zen Stream 

Anyone have experience on above dacs?

(PLS IM NOT) interested in Auralic , Lumin or Aurender

my equipments 

Speakers : Cornwall IV ,EPIC CF4 and Sony SS-M7

Amps: SimAudio Moon W8 and W7

Pream: SimAudio Moon P8

Cambridge Azur 851N and Ifi Zen Stream 

100% Tidal Hifi  streaming

I mostly listen to 70s,80s and early 90s Blues and country I do enjoy great female vocals thanks 🙏 




Take a look at Bricasti M3 w/network card. If you are streaming from the services it is all you need  I had a Musetec 005 in the house at the same time and they are not even in the same league. 
You get  rid of issues of USB , Made in America with terrific support. 

I use iFi Zen Stream with a Holo May DAC....very musical/detailed. Great with female voice from Billie to Billie.  The KTE version has an even better USB input stage and Tim Conner at Kitsune Hifi is quite technically astute and handles US distribution and warranty work.  He even has some great USB cable that work well for your application.


Based on this forum's responses/feedback many are very happy with the Musetec 005 and the Denafrips Terminator DACs. Another DAC that is quite highly regarded in this price range is the Merason DAC 1 from Switzerland. It receives much praise. You'll have no shortage of good options.


In that price range look at Holo May. I would buy if I wanted to go that high. My Gustard R26 just shipped from china today. Can’t wait!

Slightly above your budget, but I expect to keep my Aqua La Scala for many years to come, and prefer to the Merason DAC 1. 

The Denafrips terminator2 is $4600 exceptional if you want excellent detail a very natural 

analog type sound and very big soundstage with a deep front to back image depth 

I bought one now looking to upgrade to the $2k more Terminator +, to someit maynot be worth the extra $2k. But if you want that last few % in low level detail 

and just a bit better then it’s worth it but-the T-2 is a bit more analog when streaming even lesser quality music sounds very good .

You have a lot of Simaudio. Have you considered the 280D? Nice streaming DAC. A little below your budget at $4k. I picked one up earlier this summer and really like it a lot. 

I would at least try the new Gustard R26 discrete R2R. Much cheaper, looks very promising.

@lordrootman, whatever you do make sure to demo as many DACs as you can, preferably at home, before making any decision. Some folks don’t mind switching between components as their tastes and budgets change. It’s a hobby so you might as well have some fun. But I try to limit the number of $5,000 mistakes I make in a day if I can help it. 

  I’m going to recommend the DAC that is in my system, because out of all the different DACs that I listened to the Chord Hugo TT2 sounded the best to my brain using the headphones and speakers that I have at home. 

Don't over look the Sonnet Morpheus.

$3200 proprietary R2R DAC from Cees Reutenburg also of Metrum Acoustics.

He's using a less expensive case then the Metrum DACs  but uses his 3rd generation R2R boards with the option to use the defeatable built in volume control. Also has an MQA board available for purchase. Sounds like a next level Metrum Adagio at a more affordable price.

The Rose is more than just a DAC as I'm sure you know. Are you looking for a combo box or just a DAC? The Holo Audio May KTE is very good and also popular.

Almost all recommended dacs will sound wonderful and without actually comparing side by side you will be hard pressed to tell huge differences. Myself I'd be buying made in USA for best customer support YMMV

try the w y r e d 4 sound 10th anniversary dac the reviews have been really good one of the reviewers put it up against his VPI turntable with a $5,000 Japanese cartridge and he said that it was every bit as analog sounding, cost is $4,500 US and it's bested dacs costing much more. and they also give you a money back guarantee if you don't like it you can send it back.

I bought the Mustec LKS MH-DA005 and I am very happy with it paired with Altec A7. A friend of mine preferred the Musetec to the Terminator II in his system which led me to my purchasing decision as I was looking at the Denafrips Dacs as well as the Holo Audio. 

The Audio gd and Denafrips DAC'S are superior for the $$.....Chinese is the BEST value dollar fo dollar ...

Thanks everyone for great responses 

for money and performance I will definitely consider MUSETEC  (LKS) MH-DA005

but I want more than that  aesthetic is 40% important  sound quality is 40% wife acceptance 20% usability and APP is super important too since I depend on it to stream from my iPhone 

my experience with denafrips pontus II was not great there was not definitive difference between my Cambridge Azur 851N or cocktail Audio X45 I know terminator is definitely on different league 

I’m going to give HIFI ROSE a try looks gorgeous amazing screen modern full rack design I think silver will match my SimAudio’s silver P8 and W8 thanks and appreciate all the responses 

I have nothing wrong against Chinese dac or whatever except I don’t like the over hyped on Auralic , Lumin or Aurender 

any post on here about DAC recommendations sure they’re the one going to response first I don’t know 🤷‍♀️ they’re dealers or actual owners 

I have try Auralic Altair G1 from Upscale Audio and I hate it return it few hours later app sucks I don’t care about the sound and is not full size rack mount overall not my cup of tea