Denafrips Terminator II 12th anniversary VS. Terminator PLUS 12th anniversary


I currently have a Pontus II 12th as my first dive into digital and since I have been enjoying the flexibility of having digital as a supplement to my vinyl front end, I have been considering potential upgrades (sigh. it never ends, does it).

I am a bit confused about these two offerings, however, and was wondering if anyone has heard them both:

Terminator Plus 12th - $7700 approx USD
Terminator II 12th - $4975 approx USD

An approximate $2725 premium for the PLUS. The only difference in specs I could find is 'high end OXCO' in the PLUS and a 'fancier' faceplate. I'm not sure if these small differences warrant a ~55% premium?

---

As a side note, I do enjoy the Pontus II I have now, but after hearing some higher end DACs recently - Lampizator Poseidon was a big stand out - it's glaringly obvious that the Pontus II is a lower price point DAC. 😅 While it definitely sounds excellent for the price point, I'm definitely wanting for more, even with the Gaia DDC.

It's not quite as 3D and can get a little bit veiled sounding to me - especially on the top end sometimes. The better DACs I've heard are better able to get that 3D effect and get more detail and air around the top end without sacrificing a laid back or natural sound.

While I was enthralled with the Poseidon I heard, it's quite outside of my price range (and I simply do not have room for that monster of a DAC, nor pretty much any of the Lampi DACs due to their height). I feel like it probably makes more sense to stick with Denafrips for an upgrade as I can continue using the Gaia with either of the Terminator options easily.

I am open to consider other DAC options in the 5-10k range, but need to be 7" or shorter (with feet). I'm not really interested in any streaming/DAC combination units as I use a stand alone digital source (Innuos Zen mk3) so would prefer to have a DAC without all that extra stuff thrown in.

128x128mmcgill829

I have the T2 12th running with a Mini Zen 3 and LPS, my understanding is the mini with the LPS is about 90% of the Zen Mk 3. The synergy of the mini/LPs with the T2 is very good. Big soundstage on depth height and width, instrument placement is exceptional, very warm weighty sound,and amazing layering,  far exceeds my Eversolo T2 combination. The T2 12 is a killer Dac, I’ve never heard had a T+ for comparison unfortunately. It also seemed to me the premium for the T+ was too much for for what it brings over the T2 12. Many times the price for the top isn’t warranted by performance levels, I’m extremely happy with my T2 and it really loves the Innuos sound. I think you’ll love the Zen MK 3 with the T2 12.

@toneranger58 Thanks for the info! Yeah, I am struggling to see what premium the + offers over the T2 that warrants that big of a price jump. Some hand-selected parts and a new faceplate seems like a bad deal. But, if it made a big difference in the sound when compared between the two then perhaps it could be justified.

Good to hear that it sounds great with the innuos gear. I have a Zen now, but may end up upgrading to a pulsar in the future. I got the zen + pontus II to get a somewhat entryish level streaming setup to see how I liked it and if I ended up using it often enough to warrant investing in nicer components, and sure enough - I have been using it quite a bit to supplement vinyl. Lot of modern music doesn't sound the best on vinyl unless it's specifically mastered for it, so being able to queue up on Qobuz and utilize that has been very nice.

Anyway - thanks for the info!

Hopefully there's someone out there that has listened to both and can give some feedback on the comparison.

I emailed Alvin at Vinshine Audio to bring this thread to his attention so that he will hopefully respond.

Thanks for the headsup, Bill!

 

The Terminator II / Plus 12th DAC is a great choice! Can't go wrong with either.

(Sorry, my salesman hat was on)

 

Let me take this opportunity to explain the differences between the TPlus and TII.

The differences between the Terminator II and Plus, the Terminator Plus comes with premium offering of:

  • Aluminum anodized curvy front panel
  • Precision, hand-picked, premium OCXO
  • Hand-picked R-2R board

 

Essentially, the Terminator II DAC is a trickle down of the more expensive TPlus. In my opinion, it sounds very close to the TPlus, and most of the serious audiophiles will be very happy with the TII DAC. It ticks most of the audiophile 'boxes', if I may put it this way.

 

Hope this clarifies things!

 

Many thanks,

Alvin Chee

Vinshine Audio