Denafrips FPGA Firmware Update

In case there are any Denafrips DAC owners out there that are not aware of the FPGA Firmware Update, here's the link:

I did the update on my Ares II earlier today and am currently enjoying the results.  It is definitely an improvement without question.


I just updated my used Denafrips Terminator DAC with the latest FW versions 3.6.


FPGA Model: EP4CE22E


The FPGA firmware update rewired the logic gates in the FPGA chip. Yes, this still need to run in time for the FPGA to burn in for optimum sound reproduction.


After run-in, I could hear the sound open up, it is just like the ‘music path’ being opened up wider with easy flow of music. The sounds come with better soundstage, better details, better bass etc.


Really appreciate it for this FPGA firmware update project by Vinshine Audio. My old DAC overall sound quality improved. I would highly recommend for all users of Denafrips DAC to follow the step-by-step procedure with no cost to update the FPGA firmware.

All, I made a very positive post about the FPGA upgrade the other day.  I deleted that post, because I think there is more listening to be done.  Initial impression - this is a significant change in the sound.  The early impressions are positive.  I upgraded the Terminator Plus.  You get more of everything.  More clarity, more distinct sound staging, less perceived noise floor.  The original FPGA sounds veiled in comparison.  One perception is that good and great recordings sound excellent, more detailed, more revealing.  Conversely, lower quality recordings can sound lower quality.  I would love to hear from a professional reviewer about their experience.  Because this new FPGA may be more true in its delivery, the quality of your streamer and the quality of your room (and treatments) may play a role in the enjoyment of this change.  Vinshine says that the chip has been re-routed and therefore will burn in over time.  It will be interesting to see what changes happen over the next 100-200 hours.

I am another owner of Ares II that was skeptical about the FPGA firmware update.
I really like the sound of Ares II, I know there are a few areas that can be improved (soundstage, dynamic range, bass),
but I was afraid that the update might change what I like about my Ares II, so I waited and waited.

Finally, begin of June, I decided to update, I first downloaded the original firmware, just in case I don't like the new firmware and can restore it back.

So thanks to Vinshine for providing both versions.

I followed the instruction and updated successfully.
I left the DAC on and played music in the background for a week, to get some burn-in time before some serious listening.

Before the update, I listened to a few CD's that I know well from Miles Davis, Bill Evans... made notes of sound quality.

After almost 2 weeks, I pulled out the same CD's and my notebook and started listenning with the new updated firmware.

I can hear the differences, more details, a little brighter in mid-range, bass seems tighter, but most of all, the soundstage is much wider than before the update.
With the wider soundstage and dynamic range improved, I really enjoy Ares II, just hope the brighter mid-range is reduced the more burn-in it gets.

Overall, I think it is really worth to update.

Thanks to Vinshine for the firmware and the support.


Finally had time to update the Venus 2. Have not burned it in so just posting initial impressions. Bigger soundstage as others have reported. More 3 dimensional. Pretty much same as what others have reported from Pontus. Question is do I love it or not? Will need to spend more time with it and not willing to make a call untill I've burned it in a few weeks. Will report back when done. 

In April I made an inquiry asking if the developers had ever considered changing the input USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 on the Terminator Plus DAC for those of us still using a computer/HQ Player combo and was sent this:

"I can’t trace your terminator order record with us. May I know when and where you purchased it?"

I didn’t see what my inquiry had to do with this question. Guess they wanted to make sure they weren’t wasting their time on someone who wasn’t even an owner of their product. I wasn’t asking for service or updates (the first I heard about the updates was in the response). But I informed them I was the 3rd owner (the unit was bought by the original owner 2/2021 from Vinshine Audio). Shortly after I received this reply:

"Our warranty policy:
The warranty of the product is transferable from the original owner to the second owner. We can’t do this indefinitely. Reason being we did not cater the additional resources it may need to support and service the third owner onwards

We seek your kind understanding on this matter..."

Many Thanks,
Vincent Ong
So to all thinking of buying used, make sure you’re the 2nd buyer and get the original owner to initiate the warranty transfer so the warranty transfer is validated. Otherwise, don’t expect to get any updates. If you’re owner #3 or greater and the unit needs servicing, be ready to pay even if you’re within the 3 year warranty window. And my original question was never answered.