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."


Hi, thank you for the help. Unfortunately I need a high end desktop for work, and having built this one myself, I can guarantee its got the best processor, gpu, and motherboard I can afford. Adding a usb card will just add to the total cost of this chain and won't likely fix this issue. I have plenty other DACs at my place, including the old one this unit replaced, the VMV D1se. The VMV DAC is all in all a mediocre dac in comparison, however, it has never once failed me in the many months I've owned it. The 005 DAC is a constant source of disappointment for me. Once again I recorded another video of it just pumping out high pitched ringing sound and barely any music. I sent the video the shenzenaudio to hear what they would say. Every few minutes/hour I have to unplug it to reset it. Super annoying. It begs the question why a 3k$ DAC requires constant reseting and a < 1k$ DAC does not. The sad part is I'm going to have to spend an arm and a leg shipping this back to china. Im trying so hard to fall in love with the 005, but I just can't.

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I don’t see the point of a USB card. In effect the DAC is your USB card.

If you send it back to Shenzhen, tell them it’s defective with the video as proof. That should minimize your cost to return, perhaps to nothing. They might give you the option of a new one. Your call.

However, they might forward the video to the factory for comment. Actually you might do the same and short-circuit the communication. I suggest that you do. Send Jinbo the video. Jinbo is the engineer who designed the 005, and aims to please his customers. If anyone can advise you or can spot the defect, surely it is him. He will definitely answer within 24 hours, probably with a very brief, but to the point, response. He is: bleerock(at)


@turcoda it seems your unit must be somewhat defective. When I got mine going first time with DSD the lock with the standard DPLL settings didn't work consistently, I tinkered and found settings that did work, and my unit improved in 24 hours to the point it became a non issue. Chances are good you can get Jinbo who has been responsive to me to respond if you email him and share this forum so he is incentivized to help you out. 

You can ship the unit back to China by USPS. I sent my Gustard X26 Pro back to China for replacement, and it cost me $116. The 005 is a bi heavier so the cost will be more. Though this was all before the Russian invasion and transport costs were lower.