Denafrips 12 anniversary

I have heard Denafrips new 12 th anniversary Terminator+ 

it is $1000 more ,and just slightly better a bit warmer and slightly more refined in detail , then the previous + another guy in are multi state audio club the The terminator 12 anniversary and compared to the T2/ and price only $300 more  this is a far better deal the 12+ anniversary now $7500 Waay overpriced it is 98% thesame as the regular terminator2 ,12 anniversary .

you can buy the HoloSprings May KTE for under $6k 

the Terminator2-12 anniversary is by far the best bargain out there and being under $5k. A Best Buy , I would have  bought the + dac if it just went up $3-400 like it’s sibling ,a bit greedy ,and the Steve huff  review ,almost a carbon copy of the previous + dac review it’s your $$ just our viewpoint from a value ,performance perspective.


Ridiculous pricing....   a little more and you can get real world class digital.   Bricasti, T + A,  MSB...     to call something "12 th Anniversary "  is  equally silly.

this company is learning the marketing b-s game fast, for a crew of quality obsessed chinese nerd engineers, showing expertise in how to suck $$ out of customer wallets with impunity

next will be 12.5a special edition with upgraded vishay i2s sockets

Big time money grab.    Dozens of tiny , cheap Chinese caps populating the board. Not if they will fail, when.    micro skipping in any DAC is inexcusable , happens often.    Where is the value proposition here?  That’s serious money

I looked at the previous model there was a $1k difference between the Terminator2

and-the T+.  The transformers have a mix with silver andGold ,copper shielding on wires, and a redesign shorter signal path .

the Terminator 2-12 anniversary is a good deal , the T+ a ripoff  theHuff review was boring it said nothing ,it should have been a side by side . 
the Holo springs May KTE may be a better deal , the Terminator2 is a bit richer in tone both are great dacs and Best Buy’s. .

what other dacs are great in the $10k and under category ? 
i wish Bricasti mad a dac without the preamp built in for myself and many others use a active preamp which sounds better.

Agreed. Denafrips claim to fame has been that they provide amazing SQ and above average build quality at an affordable price point. I think they're losing the plot once they start raising the prices like this, especially as many new entrants from the chinese market (e.g. Musician, Musetec) as well as eastern europe who are making awesome and affordable DACs. Wiith all due respect, Denafrips doesn't have the panache to start acting like Chord, Playback Design, or dCS. And I say this as a proud owner of Denafrips Terminator 2.

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If you like solid state the upper level Moon DACs are great.   The Merason DAC is less money , made in Switzerland. Sounds great.  Those are just two DACs I have heard in the last few months that would make me drop $5 or$6k 

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Did any of you get your Denifrips preferred customer Black Friday email offering 3.5% off? Oh and it was only good for the first twenty orders.

With the latest price hikes, I found it a bit of a joke.

"We run an honest business, we strive to keep the cost low, therefore, effectively pass down the saving to you, our customer. We do not support return/refund of any product. Thank you for your kind understanding."


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The Terminator II/12 has my interest, although I’m still quite happy with the Terminator 1. I wasn’t wowed by the original T2 to justify the cost of upgrading. Fwiw, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to a couple Dac’s in the $10K range, (chord dave & Lampizator). The Lampi sounded gorgeous but for the money I cannot get past the DIY build quality. The Dave left me scratching my head, how it has attained stardom is beyond my comprehension. It leaves me to believe that the Terminators offer a hell of a punch for the money and should not be overlooked based upon where they are made. 

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No refund or possibility of demo?  Of course it sounds great, you're stuck with it.... $7500 Chinese DACs are a good value?    C'mon.   There is about $7k profit built into that price.  Nothing racist , it's called capitalism.   Stop with the woke and wake up....

just to be clear, my problem with denafrips and their direct selling partners is the greed aspect... they already have direct sales, zero dealers in usa and europe, yet they are doing all the crass marketing gimmicks which smacks of harvesting their customer base on the higher end given their recently established market recognition -- this has nothing to do with the fact they are chinese, it has everything to do with how they are playing the game

i suggest to folks to get a pontus, stop there, that is value sweet spot in everything they sell, don't get sucked into higher products, ddc's to make the dacs sound right, all that nonsense

Last year I was sucked into buying the Pontus Before the 12/17/21 price hike.

I did. Guess what. No hike. They have the game down. I sold the damn thing

and broke even. No more Denafrips for this buyer.


The Lampi sounded gorgeous but for the money I cannot get past the DIY build quality. The Dave left me scratching my head, how it has attained stardom is beyond my comprehension. 

In this scenario  I’ll opt for “sounded gorgeous “ every time. It seems there’s no middle ground with the Chord Dave. People either find them fantastic or highly over rated and overpriced. With DACs there’s genuinely something for everyone.




Yes now that we have a Gustard R26 for $1600 that sounds as good or better than my Terminator II, will Denafrips be forced to up its game in the lower price bracket gear war to stay competitive, or does it go upscale and try to compete with Chord or even MSB? I think in many ways it would be easier to use better parts and tighter tolerances etcetera than having to innovate and cost cut...

What Denafrips failed to see is that China labor costs are 4-5x less 

and they still want To read the higher $$ 

if anything with thus current economy they should have went up 10% at most 

Last year I was sucked into buying the Pontus Before the 12/17/21 price hike.

I did. Guess what. No hike. They have the game down. I sold the damn thing

and broke even. No more Denafrips for this buyer.

while we share the sentiment, i also feel there is no need to throw a baby out with bathwater

i believe the pontus, for ~1500 bucks used, is an excellent dac, outstanding build quality, lovely spacious well embodied sound with just a subtle grain heard on only the most resolving systems... there is always something new coming out in the dac market, this gustard r2r thing, the musetec thing, whatever...

but despite my dislike for the commercial behavior of denafrips and their sales channel, let’s please not lose sight of the fact that the pontus will make a lot of people very happy in how it makes digital music sound very good

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Wow! That’s impressive hearing 1st hand instead of a reviewer. Better grab one before the price goes up as I’m sure it will. You have me contemplating ordering one to compare with my Musician Aquarius. If better sell the Aquarius and come out ahead. 

 I will say the R26 internal pics looks pretty damn impressive. 


While one’s impressions regarding sound quality can be subjective, but one thing you cannot deny is that Denafrips build quality inside out is on par with the best out there. They sell a lot of DACs and I have yet to hear too many complaints when it comes to quality or longevity. This is the first time I have heard anyone accusing them of using cheap chinese caps and micro skipping. Most reviewers who have opened up the box are impressed with the quality of parts inside.

The Terminator 2 that I own is built like a tank (weighs 42 lbs., not that it necessarily implies higher quality) and sounds pretty darn good. I had the Merason on loan for 2-3 weeks and really liked it too. It leans more towards the romantic, warm side ... similar to the Luxman DA-06 that I owned as well. But I’m sorry the build quality is just not that great. The Terminator 2, while not as warm or romantic, IMO performs at a higher level. The retrieval of micro-details, soundstage width and depth is amazing.

I have also owned Denafrips Aries II and Pontus II. I agree that Pontus is the sweet spot in their line up. But comparing the Pontus next to Terminator 2 made it clear that the T2 offers more of everything. I don’t think the difference is night and day, but enough (at least in my case) to justify the higher price.

Yeah, the greed monster is taking over. I'd hold out for the special limited edition 9/999 with gold knobs, personally signed by Metallica or whoever.

Confucius say "When no selly put up pricey".

I owned the Terminator 2 excellent dac ,the new 22th addition s bit warmer sounding slightly bigger soundstage and a hair more resolution 

I bought the Bricasti M3 for its streamer dac aspect which is very clean sounding and detailed , the Terminator 2 is a bit better , their M1SE has many filters and is noticeably better then even the Terminator+ , and  will most likely be my new dac,streamer ,my brothers friend is a dealer so getting 25% off makes it very attractive.and great resale if I want to go up to the M21 .

Chifi trying to get US manufacturers prices for garbage. I’d never buy any audio equipment made in China. What garbage. 

Coming from China, have you all checked your Denafrips does not contain spyware?  They can package it very small and hide it carefully.

“Chifi trying to get US manufacturers prices for garbage. I’d never buy any audio equipment made in China. What garbage. “

Anyone who has ever been in the biz knows what a $6000 Chinese DAC costs to build. About 1/10 it’s price  If that    $600 US is a lot and covers parts and labor  

There is a huge amount of profit, Denafrips has a number of price points to fully exploit this .    

It’s just a guess but I believe that $7500 DAC costs less than $800  to manufacture parts and labor are cheap so it’s easy to do 

No way I’m spending that kind of money on stuff made in China.   

How can RME build such a good DAC in Germany and sell it for $1200 ?  They make money, distributor makes money,  end point of sale makes money… still it’s a great DAC.    Two reasons , they are pro audio and aren’t caught up on Audiophoolery .   That’s it.  They could have easily put it in a rack width unit and charged “ audiophiles” twice as much.   Food for thought. 



Oddiofyl....I can see how readers are seeing your  post as kind of  coming off  somewhat racist,IMO.Your one step from wearing a MAGA hat.For you to say all Chinese made gear is garbage is foolish at best..Just stop it. There are tons of Denafrips owners on this site that really like or love their units.The Holo DACs are very nice,the spring 3 level 3 for the money being one of them.Very tough finding a used one and even the May is hard to find on the secondary market.The new Pontus at its price point is great,and if one buys  on the used market forgetaboutit,Ive owned all three...The resale on all of them is fantastic so id say that overrides your assessment of Chinese gear is garbage!

too bad this thread is taking a turn towards hate

everyone should check their assumptions at the door if you haven’t worked in china, dealt with chinese businesses, sourced from china, especially in more sophisticated, technology-based goods

what we are saying here is akin to western europeans saying americans are all dumb, fat, lacking any sophistication ... well that may be true, but only sometimes, and most importantly, it simply shows how gross generalizations just create heat and no light, it offers nothing constructive to the discussion

if one thinks china made is stuff is garbage then please throw away your iphone, ipad, computer, memory cards/hard drives, household lighting, appliances, wiring.... you get my drift

Why are we even comparing RME with Denafrips' most expensive dac? A more appropriate comparison is between RME and Denafrips Ares II dac which sells for roughly $850. I have owned both and will take the Ares every time. 

I have owned three Denafrips dacs to date -- started with Ares II, moved up to Pontus II, and currently own Terminator 2. I bought the Ares II for $850 and sold it for $725 after three months since I wanted to move up the chain. I then bought a used Pontus II for $1600 and believe it or not sold it for $1600 after a couple of months. There are very few brands that retain their value as well as Denafrips. The market has spoken and it says that this brand is considered excellent value and not garbage by any stretch of the imagination.


Not saying anything is junk , but most of it is way overpriced.    I used the RME as an example because it’s packed with technology and affordable 


would you rather have a German car or a Chinese car?  

Chinese people don't even want Chinese cars. At least that's the way it was when I lived there 8 years ago. Things may have changed. 

Not saying anything is junk? said it was garbage if we are being got called out and now your trying to back track on all the foolishness you wrote..

c’mon guys this is getting rather moronic

would you like an american made cellphone over a chinese or korean made one? well i am sure you do, but there aren’t any! that’s because the american high tech manufacturing industry can’t compete

chinese auto making/componentry/assembly is low on the learning curve, so of course you wouldn’t want a chinese car today, any more than you would’ve wanted a german car in 1950 or japanese car in 1970, but 40-50-60 years later, things completely change right?  it is called industrial development, industrial competence and experience

let’s get a grip...

While I agree that the price of the Denafrips 12th Anniv Terminator Plus is a little over the top, I don’t understand why people think it’s greed. Since when did greed in a free market economy become a bad thing? The right price for anything in the free market is what the customer is willing to pay based only on supply and demand.

Apparently, a lot of customers are happily paying $6.5K for the regular Terminator Plus. Not only that, customers are willing to pay top dollar for even used Denafrips units. What does that tell us about the quality and reputation of this company.

Or are we saying that only manufacturers in the western world have the right to charge exorbitant amounts for their gear (most of which is made in China anyways)? Didn’t realize only certain countries have the right to make high profits.