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."


Anyone with a Musetec 005 used the PS Audio PerfectWave Transport with it using the i2s input on the 005?

PerfectWave SACD Transport – PS Audio




Following up on the last post, I'd like to ask if anyone is using either of the two Musetec I2S inputs with any device at all in preference to the spdif or USB inputs.  If so, are you using the RJ45 input or the HDMI input?  If you're using the HDMI input does your device have switching to match output to input, or do you have a special cable to do the matching?  Thanks for the info.

Wanted to chime in as another very satisfied Musetec owner. And after a couple or real losers (Neardost cables) - I feel I lucked out on another couple of Chinese ’experiments’ too.

I am using the Musetec with an Argento Flow Master (copy?) power cord and an Audioquest Wel Signature digital cable. The Musetec and the cables all took a lonngg time to break in (2-3 months), but now that they have, its all very, very, good. Detailed warmth and depth of soundstage and overall, just a general no-fatigue analog sound. Jackpot baby !!


I've been traveling and away from audio for a while and saw your post.  Glad you find the Musetec as enjoyable as you do.  Since most of us are using USB as the digital connection and you are using spdif, I'd like to ask what your digital set-up is.  Are you connected to a DAC, transport or some other digital converter?


@melm - Currently just using a modified, rather pedestrian but serviceable Cambridge CXC v2 transport. For streaming I have a new in box Bluesound Vault 2i but have not hooked it up; will probably sell it NIB and upgrade soon. Still going through my CD collection and enjoying the music [more] again. The Musetec is nicely responsive and definitely revealing of power cord and digital cable changes; even reflecting power cord changes on the transport.