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."


@yyzsantabarbara At 2.20 and later I find the PMc's vocals extended, sustained but what I hear I can't really call an echo.

However the electric guitar I'm sure is using an echo pedal.

@lordmelton Well my vocabulary is limited so let's go with your description. So you hear it too. I never really heard that before.

So I did a quick shootout between my Musetec 005 and the DAC3B on my new vm-1a tube headphone amp and the DAC3B stays with the amp. The 005 was excellent but I wanted a bit more bite with those 7 tubes. The 005 is the king with my 2-channel SS gear.

finally the long awaited MH-DA005 DAC has arrived.
soon I will publish photos and listening tests


@boxer12 "So I've been going through some of you guys posts & have ordered the following:

  • D-Link DGS105 (shipped but not received)
  • AQ Pearl Ethernet cables (received)
  • Fiber Patch Cable (received)
  • 2 Ethernet to Fiber converters (received)

Really liking the results so far. Hopefully the D-link will be delivered tomorrow. "


How did it go?