Musetec (LKS) MH-DA005 DAC

Some history: I was the OP on a four year old thread about the Chinese LKS MH-DA004 DAC. It achieved an underground buzz. The open architecture of its predecessor MH-DA003 made it the object of a lot of user mods, usually to its analog section, rolling op amps or replacing with discrete. The MH-DA004 with its new ESS chips and JFET analog section was called better then the modified older units. It has two ES9038pro DAC chips deliberately run warm, massive power supply, powered Amanero USB board, JFET section, 3 Crystek femtosecond clocks, Mundorf caps, Cardas connectors, etc., for about $1500. For this vinyl guy any reservation about ESS chips was resolved by the LKS implimentaion, but their revelation of detail was preserved, something that a listener to classic music especially appreciated. I made a list of DACs (many far more expensive) it was compared favorably to in forums. Modifications continued, now to clocks and caps. Components built to a price can be improved by costlier parts and the modifiers wrote glowingly of the SQ they achieved.

Meanwhile, during the 4 years after release of the MH-DA004, LKS (now Musetec) worked on the new MH-DA005 design, also with a pair of ES9038pro chips. This time he used more of the best components available. One torroidal transformer has silver plated copper. Also banks of super capacitors that act like batteries, solid silver hookup wire, 4 femtoclocks each costing multiples of the Crysteks, a revised Amanero board, more of the best European caps and a new partitioned case. I can't say cost NO object, but costs well beyond. A higher price, of course. Details at

The question, surely, is: How does it sound? I'm only going to answer indirectly for the moment. I thought that the MH-DA004 was to be my last DAC, or at least for a very long time. I was persuaded to part with my $$ by research, and by satisfaction with the MH-DA004. Frankly, I have been overwhelmed by the improvement; just didn't think it was possible. Fluidity, clarity, bass extension. A post to another board summed it up better than I can after listening to piano trios: "I have probably attended hundreds of classical concerts (both orchestral and chamber) in my life. I know what live sounds like in a good and bad seat and in a good and mediocre hall. All I can say is HOLY CRAP, this sounds like the real thing from a good seat in a good hall. Not an approximation of reality, but reality."



Sorry to hear that.  I wonder if the issue is parts, which he sources from all over the world.  That's been a problem these days for manufacturers of all sorts. 

Actually, shortly after I posted that, I got a tracking number.  I bought mine from Midwest Audiophile in Indiana.  They even sent me a battery for the remote in the mail. Nice!

I'm trying to find a good dac that galvanically isolates usb well. Anybody know how well this does without a reclocker/isolator? I'm also curious how this unit compares to a Singxer SDA-6 Pro. I'm going with one of these two, as they're the only two units I'm aware of with some level of usb isolation. I almost purchased a x26 pro, but found out it has virtually 0 isolation.

@turcoda Hi, The 005 has an Amanero USB board which drastically reduces jitter. Re-clocking is not necessary, in fact it would be detrimental.

The 005 weighs 9kg, the Singxer 2.7kg 'nuff said.


Singxer has primarily been known for its devices that input USB and output I²S. In the earlier days of PC DAC use, many DACs did not have this function at a very high level and this sort of extra component was often used. LKS made a similar independently powered device using an Amanero board. LKS and other makers eventually brought this function into the DAC and the demand for the Singxer device waned. There has been some discussion in this thread about using a Singxer SU-6 in front of the Musetec but it would be redundant, as the Musetec Amanero board does the same thing, and probably far better. Better clocks, better power supply.

The Singer SDA-6, though, is a fully functional DAC at about $1300 for its "advanced" version and it looks like a very nice unit at that price. There are many good Chinese DACs now at about that price. My guess, based on its heritage, is that it has a very good USB input.