dcs bartok vs DENAFRIPS TERMINATOR-PLUS


Hi,
I'm considering to buy a new DAC, iv'e already heard the dcs bartok and it seems to be a wonderful DAC.
Iv'e got a lot of recommendations about the denafrips terminator-plus but i still didn't try it. Does someone have a conclusion which of this two options is better.
Thanks a lot !
A8286330 2a0a 4d6e 9565 f505d213df65haimr
No conclusion but I would think that British built in Cambridge is better than Chinese built sold in Singapore. 
Good luck finding anyone who has heard both.  And has your taste.
haimr


The DCS Bartok uses dCS Ring DAC converter, which is a bit of both each way bet on both sides of the fence it uses both "Bitstream" and "R2R Multibit" Back in the days when R2R Multibits were all chips and the last best ones were PCM-1704’s then the Ring Dac held up very well against best R2R dacs.

But today with R2R coming even more of age with discrete R2R ladder dacs even more precise than the K version 1704, I’d say they were out in front now, if done right.

And haimr don’t leave out the Holo May Dac beautifully built and Soekris dac2541 or dac1541 and naturally the ones who started the very first discrete R2R dacs MSB.

Cheers George
@fuzztone , @georgehifi Thank you both, i think for now i will go on the British build in Cambridge  bartok :) and i will investigate a bit about msb and sokeris.
Thanks guys .
You didn’t mention what you have today? The dCS and Denafrips are going to sound a bit different. The dCS is going to be a bit more more forward and detailed.

Alternative options would be the Chord Dave with an MScaler which I think beats the Bartok and is in the same league as the Rossini.  dCS and Chord have a similar approach (FPGA) and similar sound profile.  

For the more natural, slightly less forward sound of an R2R DAC, I would look at Rockna. The Wavedream Signature can go toe-to-toe with the MSB Premier in terms of sound quality.  It is a brilliant DAC.  Although not made in the UK, it is made in eastern Europe (Romania) rather than in China.  


@verdantaudio First of all thanks, i will investigate a bit about the chord dac. Today I'm building my new sound system, for mean time i have music fidelity dac that I'm not satisfied with him at all.
I've already ordered a CAT amplifier (JL5) , a piega coax 511 speakers and I'm continuing building my sound system. 
Thanks .
That amp and those speakers look amazing. Which DAC is best is going to depend on the exact tonal profile of the piegas. Assuming that is a typical ribbon (and is nor terribly bright) my hunch is the Dave and MScaler combo would be the slightly better choice. That being said, I also assume that the amp is not fully balanced. The single ended version of the Rockna Wavedream Signature lists for $11K and may be just as good for less money.

You could add the Rockna Wavedream (with Rockna) server or a K30 from Antipodes (with the Dave) and have and insanely good digital system that will give you every drop of clarity available from your new amp and speakers.

I am not running ribbons here at the moment but am running Art Audio Opus 4s which little KT88 based monos.  You and I might have similar taste.
No conclusion but I would think that British built in Cambridge is better than Chinese built sold in Singapore.  

That sound like pure, unadulterated bias. I have no opinion on the differences between the two DACs, but anyone who has owned a Denafrips (I own a Pontus II) can tell you that the build quality is absolutely equivalent to comparable, high-class products produced in the U.S. and Europe.

@verdantaudio Thanks a lot, you gave me great tips i will consider every one of them ! 
@whipsaw  Thanks for your advise and i know that Denafrips are producing great stuff !  
You'll find that DCS Bartok is more on the lean and forward side while Denafrips is about more along the effortless detail route.
@haimr

You are welcome!
Of course we all hear things a bit differently.
Having said that to my ears the Bartok is anything but thin sounding. IMO the Bartok presents music with substantial tonal body and a relaxed easy to listen to presentation along with good but not class leading detail. Most reviews position the Bartok vs Dave sound as almost yin and yang. More relaxed Bartok vs very detailed airy presentation of the Dave.

Also, most if not all professional reviewers who’ve compared the Bartok to either the Denafips or Dave, rate it clearly above the Denafrips and next level above the Dave as well, though the Dave is still quite good.

I spent quite a bit of time auditioning the Bartok before going in a different direction in my new headphone rig. I found it to be quite good as a DAC with an unremarkable headphone amp.

Good luck! 🙂
+1 to what @whipsaw said. I've had a Denafrips Pontus II for about 6 weeks. I just listened to a Chord Hugo TT / MScaler combination at a dealer this past weekend as a friend was auditioning amplifiers. The  Chord Hugo TT / MScaler sounded surprisingly flat so we put in the Pontus in its place. No comparison at all. It was immediately evident that the Pontus was fuller in sound, more engaging and was just able to 'play the tune' much better than the Chord Hugo TT / MScaler. I personally was ABSOLUTELY shocked at how much better the $1700 Denafrips Pontus sounded than the $10,000 Chord combo given all of the great reviews that I've heard about the Chord Hugo TT and the MScaler.

So I wouldn't sell the Denafrips short even if it's pedigree isn't as impressive as the dcs.


My suggestion may be to look for a used Terminator Plus. Try it in your system. Compare it to the dcs Bartok at the dealer if you can.

If you don't like it, you should be able to sell it for exactly what you paid for it.  That was my thinking in recently buying both a used Qutest & a new Pontus II. I figured I would keep whichever one I liked better and sell the other for about what I paid for it.
dcs bartok vs DENAFRIPS TERMINATOR PLUS ,.your title seems to be shouting out Denafrips model , maybe you’ve made your mind up already...
When I had the Terminator I never liked the way it reproduced transiences along with timbre and tone with well recorded vocals plus something else it did I don’t recall right now it’s been a while though maybe the plus is an improvement.

Theres word on the street the Holo Audio May KTE dac for less cost has the performance to directly compete of the likes of the DCS Bartok including the Chord Dave and certainly the Denafrips line .




Theres word on the street the Holo Audio May KTE dac for less cost has the performance to directly compete of the likes of the DCS Bartok including the Chord Dave and certainly the Denafrips line .
Could you tell me where you read that? I find it very daring


The choice between the dcs Bartok vs the DENAFRIPS Terminator-Plus is not going to be an easy decision.   This decision is further complicated by maybe considering some other DAC's such as MSB Discrete, Bricasti (M1SE or M21), Chord, DAVE, Holo Audio May KTE DAC, etc.   Additional DAC's should be added to this list.  

If possible, I strongly suggest you audition these DAC's before you make your decision.   Based on the responses you received so far, there is no consensus on what to purchase.

I went through a similar process and purchased the Bricasti M21 DAC.   The addition of the M21 substantially improved the sound quality of my audio system.  To my ears, everything sounds truly outstanding.   The M21's “advanced architecture means you can select, evaluate and enjoy three independent digital to analog converter signal paths: 24-bit delta sigma, 20-bit ladder DAC (I use the R2R option) and true 1-bit DSD for DSD content.  The M21 is a world class DAC and is recommended.  

My plan was to audition the DAC before I purchased it and, preferably, in my home and in my system.   I purchased the Bricasti because it sounded great in my home.   Both the dcs Bartok vs the DENAFRIPS Terminator-Plus are great DAC options and I suggest you arrange for a home demo to help you make a decision.    I hope this helps.  
And the only way to know if a new component sounds ‘great’ is to use it in your own home audio system. It might sound great in my system and horrible in yours. Or. The other way around. Cables, power cords, interconnect cables and all other components impact your audio systems sound quality.

My friend says “ There is no ‘perfect’ component. It is all about the synergy between components in your audio system”.

Tengo un dCS Bartok, así que pregunto. Aunque estoy muy satisfecho con el Bartok, estoy intrigado por el ladder dacs.
To my ears Denafrips Pontus sounds better than the more expensive Terminator.
I have an ancient Wadia 15 which plays redbook only and have heard nothing I prefer, until I heard a friends Mojo Mystique (V3 I think). This model has now been superseded and is the DAC I’m after.

My mate replaced a crazy expensive 3 box dCS (can’t remember which one) with the Mystique and his system transformed into a music machine. Who cares which one is more detailed or ? We now had a fun system to listen to and enjoy for hours instead of listening to ’hifi’
The IMO overpriced Chord Dave does nothing for me but have not heard it with the M scaler or whatever. Would rather listen to my Wadia!

Check out the reviews on the net. This thing just plays music.
If you decide to audition a Terminator Plus it should be with a Denafrips DDC to use the I2S input to the Plus. 

I have an Innuos Statement which has an excellent USB out, but converting the USB to I2S makes for a big jump in SQ from the Plus over the USB. 

Also, the DDC should be reclocked with the clock out of the Plus, reclocking has an even bigger effect than converting to I2S (when used with i2S).
Thank you all , you really helped me a lot. I've heard couple of DAC's they all sounded fantastic but i decided to go on the lumin x1 , it touched me a bit more than the rest.
Thanks again and have a wonderful weekend :)