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."


I invite all followers of pseudoscience to view this object ... no measurement is reported ... so presumably it will have lower performance than Toppings


@batvac2 😂🤣😂🤣you make me laugh, are you a flat-earther?

The signal to noise ratios rather meaningless for dacs in general, far below analog portions of our setups. Jitter measurements do have bearing on what we hear, still relatively small variations in ASR measurements really don't have much real world impact since the rest of streaming network provides much greater variability of jitter.


It would be interesting to see Wadax measured at ASR, presume it would not be stand out in overall measurements. That's what gets me most about ASR, the relatively small variability of dac measurements tell you so little about how these dacs sound in real world setups, let alone how they sound relative to each other!

Flat earther? No- academic physician, lead a large research group, teach, and have hundreds of published papers. Afraid I have drank the Kool Aid of reality.

I agree completely with sns - tiny differences in signal to noise ratio or jitter are unlikely to be audible; there is absolutely NO reason to choose a DAC based on a sinad of 130 versus 127. That was never my point. The point was that gross errors in basic measurements - whether audible or not - are worrisome for larger design and engineering flaws. Plus it feels like buying a brand new car with a ding on it.

Yes Melm that was a good review and agree that classical is probably the best for auditioning because it is typically natural instruments in space. I am generally unmoved by “quality of the parts” arguments except maybe for the analog attenuator- would be more excited if Nelson Pass or Air Tight designed the output stage.





what you do or what you have has no value for me, what you are has value for me.

the way you speak shows only ignorance, presumption and a huge ego. I tell you to Socrates, you should simply understand one thing, the more you know the more you know you don't know ...

for the record, at the present time the Wadax is considered the best DAC on the world hi-end market


too bad the recent entries in this thread have become such a bore

anyhow, hope you are still enjoying the 005

i suppose in sum total it is a good thing this thread has continuing participation, so that more folks coming here can learn about the dac and the good value in represents in higher end dacs