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."


@erniejade This first thing you will realise is the huge soundstage, the 005 projects a much bigger soundstage than many much more expensive DACs.

Expect a 6-8 week burn-in.

The 005 IMO is uncoloured and transparent so if your system is warm or cold it will reveal those characteristics. For example you use WW cables, they are very revealing, not wrong but revealing.

I wholeheartedly recommend the 005 and many will tell you in this thread the 005 never gets shown up by putting it with expensive components and cables.

It just ups it's game and stays the course.

i have not heard an 004 but in my time so far with the 005 i would say it has as much detail as any dac i have heard...others may emphasize treble more, put info more upfront, but that isn’t more detail...

what is nice about the 005 to my ear is that there is excellent detail retrieval but it is quite refined, and also, there is a fairly rich midband/midbass foundation on which the detail rests, so it doesn’t sound overly hifi, the overall presentation quite natural, treble micro details are presented in a nice holistic context, sort of what the denafrips pontus does as well, although in a less refined, more grainy resolution kind of way...

Clear Components, the Musetec distributer in Germany, is currently advertising it at 2999 Euros, VAT included. At the current favorable exchange rate that’s $3135. The VAT in Germany, though, is 19%. The net price therefore could be very favorable, though shipping out of the EU is not included. There's a voltage switch inside the cabinet.

I have read all the post here about Musetec 005,but not much about its bass

can it slam hard in the bass like a TAD dac or Mola Tambaqui they are very dynamic and hard hitting like nothing  else ive heard

also very curios about the new Gustard dac R26 compare to Musetec