DENAFRIPS DAC ---- Owner Impressions, Feedback, General Discussion, Questions and more....


DENAFRIPS lists the following R2R DACs:

Ares, Pontus, Venus, and Terminator (in increasing price order).

"DENAFRIPS incorporated in year 2012, focus in developing high end audio equipment at a very affordable price. Throughout the years of intense Research & Development, and continuous improvement of the product lines, DENAFRIPS had finally settled with the current product range equipped with R-2R ladder DAC technology. The reason behind this is the designer strongly believe that R-2R DAC is the best way to reproduce music.

The name, DENAFRIPS, stand for:


This mean a lot and it is the house-sound of all DENAFRIPS products." [Copied From Denafrips About Us section]
Ag insider logo xs@2xdavid_ten

Service has been outstanding for me. Alvin of Vinshine Audio has been a pleasure to deal with.

I cannot answer as to where the warranty work would be done. I imagine given the shipping costs both ways, it would be more cost effective to have it done locally. Perhaps Denafrips or Vinshine can comment on this.
David when I checked the website where to pay ? I thought they set their pricing on exchange rate, usually Monday, I could be wrong, but again if it's less than 5k that's even better....iam still open to hear this terminator, if indeed is worth spending 2k plus more with the yagdrassil, why not? I have the Gumby and it's really good....My mind is set to get the new yagdrassil, iam willing to wait until , i hear the terminator.....I will keep the Gumby since I have 2 systems...
Hi guys,

I'd like to clarify that DENAFRIPS does not use the Soekris DAC board.

Enjoy the music!

@jayctoy   Really happy that you are strongly considering the Yggdrasil. It is an excellent DAC. Also great that you will have the chance to listen to the Denafrips DACs at Axpona. If you are ever this way (New Orleans), reach would be great to have you over.

My understanding (and mine alone) is that the chart is for a reference to help folks get a snapshot of pricing in Euros, US Dollars, etc. Banks / Credit Cards will apply the appropriate rates when the transaction is processed. 
Can you share how USA warranty work would be handled? 
Alvin they are asking where the service will be done just in case the unit need it.Do you have service here in the US? 
David thanks for inviting me, I will let you know what is my impression of this two great DACS when I listen to them. I was granted vacations already, It would be really fun...I do appreciate all your info here a Agon, and you email, salute to you David.If you decided to show up at Axpona 2018 .You are more than welcome to hear my systems , and I will treat you with good pizza and beer😀David I live 30 minutes from the venue...
@jayctoy @grannyring 

For now, the warranty will be handled directly by us.

In event of the unit is faulty within 30days, we bear all cost to replace it, one-to-one. Thereafter, within a year, the customer bears the cost to ship it back to us, and we shall repair and return it at our cost. Details can be found here.

p/s: We may have US local partner(s) soon to address the repair/ service concerns. The online direct sales business model remains the same though, i.e. customers to buy directly from us. 

May reach out to me via email to discuss further. 

Many thanks.

Alvin thank you, see you at AXPONA IF you decide to attend.
Audiostream just did a quick comparison of 2 Totaldac Dacs with a Borderpatrol SE and a Denafrips Terminator. Apparently the panel preferred the Totaldacs 1-2, then the Borderpatrol 3rd and bringing up the rear the Denafrips Terminator. Don't shoot the messenger please.


Thanks for clarification. Since 0.005% tolerance on the resistor is only enough to achieve 14 to 15 bits resolution are you randomizing the selection of the resistor network used every clock cycle in order to achieve higher bit resolution?

World Class DACs have close to 21 bit resolution above noise floor currently - so just wondering how you get close to achieve that? Having 500 resistors per channel suggest you might achieve 19 to 20 bit resolution with noise reduction from random selection among 512 resistors...

FWIW I have full confidence you have a world class product just curious if you have overcome the bane of Resistor ladder and R-2R DACs which has been bit resolution (due to finite accuracy of resistor manufacturing tolerances). The huge multitude of resistors in your design is a big clue to me that they serve a clever purpose rather than just a curiously high specification...

I have my credit card out of my wallet and ready....but I am a painstakingly technical buyer so I would like more info if you can share (hopefully this aspect isn’t a trade secret).

At those prices, the Border Patrol did really well!

Interesting but the set up is colored to begin with (no 7 inch woofer can do mid range properly) so I think the conclusion was simply what worked with the gear used. If anything the Denafrips might be more accurate since they heard exactly the deficiencies of that speaker....
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@twoleftears You are likely correct regarding the Border Patrol DAC SE

@shadorne You are likely INcorrect regarding the Devore Fidelity Super Nines

At the end of the day, we should buy whatever we like but there is zero chance John Devore works on and designs a speaker over several years that doesn't get the midrange right. Zero. That is his wheelhouse.

Your assertion that the speakers were flawed makes no sense.  The consensus of the group was 2 of the 4 dacs sounded exceptional, 1 dac sounded great and 1 sounded not so great.  I'm not saying their conclusions are right but rational people might buy in and believe the Terminator was not broken in or warmed up but to assert the Terminator was the only one of the four that actually got it right is not credible at all.

I own none of the products/brands under review/comparo and I hope the Denafrips is a stellar piece since you appear to be about to buy it unheard. The only brands mentioned in this review that I have heard personally are Devore and Pass Labs and they are both fine brands and are well known for their musicality. Warm regards.
+1 on your questions to Alivn shadorne, looking forward to his answer.

Cheers George

Sorry to burst your bubble but a 7inch mid range crossed over to a 0.75 inch tweeter means a big hole in the mid range. The Devore Gibbon Nines will sound pleasant even when pushed because of the recessed mid range. This anything but high fidelity but it is exceptional cabinetry using OEM scanspeak drivers. Also plastic drivers (polypropylene) have a nasal woody character (Mission developed the polypropylene driver about 40 years ago and it is not highly regarded any longer). Using such a colored speaker for evaluation is not useful even if many folks love that old 80’s sound - “highly musical” is a good way to describe it. A good speaker to suit certain tastes just not ideal for reviewing electronics.
@shadorne I remain exceptionally impressed by those among us who know how something sounds without hearing the item in question.

In the case of polypropylene drivers, I generally agree with you. I'm not a fan of those utilizing poly I have heard, but I haven't heard them all.

By the way, the Devores in question use paper drivers, NOT polypropylene but you must have looked at a picture, assumed they were poly because they kindof look shiny, and determined how they would sound. I don't know if they are awesome or not as I haven't heard them nor have you.

I will reiterate that I'm sure the Denafrips is a really cool DAC and I hope everyone has alot of fun with it BUT, your credibility on the Devore assertion is non-existent.
I have owned many great speakers over the years with wonderful midrange from Soundlabs to Silverline. My current Living Voice OBX RW speakers excel in midrange with two 6.5 inch drivers. Not merely good, but excel. Depends on design. Never judge a book by its cover. Yes you can get wonderful mids with a 6-7 inch midwoofer design. You will not get the deepest bass.
I have no horse in this race, but I have heard Devore Nines, and they do have a sound, ie, they aren't neutral. And if that's typical for the house sound, then they wouldn't be good speakers for this comparison. Devores I heard are nice and fast but pretty lean sounding. 

7 inch mid range will beam above 1Khz. A 0.75 inch tweeter is not much use below about 4 KHz. So you get a hole in the mid range where the mid range beams and before the tweeter kicks in. 
@nitewulf Did you hear the old "The Nines" or the just released at 2018 CES "Super Nines"?
@shadorne I give, I have no axe to grind nor do I believe it productive to debate how something sounds with someone when neither one of us has a clue how they sound because neither one has actually heard them!

You have to admit though, you jumped to a couple of incorrect conclusions based on your faulty assumption of poly drivers. Stereophile seemed to enjoy what they heard at 2018 CES, which also proves nothing until we listen for ourselves. Peace.
@ghasley , I heard the old ones. But that was a flagship I believe for a while. They are great for small scale acoustic stuff, that's why you see them paired with Lebens, they are made for a purpose.
Basically I'd take that article with a huge grain of salt, I think there's a lot of expectation bias going on, specifically with the TotalDACs. If you read any reviews/impressions on Superbestaudiofriends, there aren't any good impressions on these dacs. But older audiophiles with money to burn sure love them. 
@nitewulf Indeed might be the case re: expectation bias.

The Silverback Reference was the top offering from Devore until recently, replaced by the X/Ten.

Regarding the informal DAC shootout, the market has a way of sorting things out in due course. The flavors of the month come on strong and either remain in the conversation or fade back into the very crowded DAC landscape.

SBAF (I still can't believe there is an audio website whose name sounds like it was created by summer camp counselors) seems to grab onto the latest Gustard or Holo this or that and then move on to the next big thing. I truly hope Denefrips sounds great and has staying power for all who are taking the leap of faith.  Regards to all.

@dlcockrum Everyone is different but I have not read one review from 6 moons because they REQUIRE a manufacturer to purchase ad(s) prior to reviewing a product.
Everyone is different but I have not read one review from 6 moons because they REQUIRE a manufacturer to purchase ad(s) prior to reviewing a product.
Never knew such a thing can happen. Maybe I am too naive.
@jayctoy   How could I refuse Chicago's famous pizza.... : )

There is a slight chance I may be able to make it to Axpona but I will not be able to confirm until closer to the dates of the show. I will send you a PM should it come together. If it does, I'd love to take you up on your offer. Thank You.
@jon2020   I'll take you at face value with respect to your post... : )

Never knew such a thing can happen. Maybe I am too naive.

I actually find 6Moons' move to a 'pay for ads to play' (my words) system refreshing since they are upfront about it. You can read more here:

The question is whether you prefer knowing this upfront or prefer not knowing despite it being a reality.
David just pm me, if you make it, I would love to treat you, because you are very nice....
@david_ten ,

Yeah, right! :)
Has anyone compared the Denafrips with Soekris dacs or Lessloss?
As I understand it, Lessloss actually uses older Soekris boards and costs a lot more. For anyone interested in a r2r should definitely just get the Soekris flagship dac, very affordable and apparently stunning. It's OS so wasn't really in my list, but if you don't care about having NOS, it's possibly one of the best options.
Everyone is different but I have not read one review from 6 moons because they REQUIRE a manufacturer to purchase ad(s) prior to reviewing a product.

You just dashed my hopes with that statement. I was hoping to find more information on the Wyred4Sound STP-SE Stage-2 which they reviewed favorably. The reason I was eyeing it because it is a passive/active design that has been praised in a couple of professional reviews and they said it has that clean sound like a TVC.
I understand your concern ghasley, but, based on that logic, the positive reviews for the Lavorgna-exalted totaldac and also Lampizator, Pass Labs, Metrum, Aqua, Allnic, Gryphon, Less Loss, SOtM, COS, and many others are all invalid.

While all of these manufacturers must be paying advertising fees to six moons since their products are all reviewed there, very few of them receive Blue Moon awards as the Terminator did. That must have cost Denafrips a fortune!

Stereophile, and thus its daughter publication Audiostream, have long been known to give preference to their advertising partners for review selection and even giving their paying partners second chance reviews when things go badly the first time. I think the Schiit Yggdrasil review shows what happens to manufacturers that buck the tide with John Atkinson.

Makes one wonder what Stereophile/Audiostream toes were stepped on to merit the drive-by hatchet job that Lavorgna did on the Border Patrol and Denafrips DACs in that sorry excuse for a DAC comparison.


@dlcockrum your 2 data points using the all positive reviews from 6 moons and the quasi negative review of the Schiit by Stereophole kindof proves the point. I’m not saying all of the reviews by 6 moons are invalid, they’re just all positive all the time. The measured problems JA observed in the Schiit are very real although if you like the sound you like the sound. Im certain the Denafrips is cool, many will buy and enjoy it. It will eventually be reviewed by reputable publications, I will read those with great interest.

The Audiostream reported observations of the 4 dacs seemed a reasonable outcome but I have heard none of the 4. I viewed their choice of the 2 totaldacs at 1-2 predictable but the way I read it the Borderpatrol became congested during the complex passages of that particular musical selection (which happens) but they seemed to believe the Denafrips had trouble during all of their musical choices. By any measure, the fact that the Borderpatrol hung with dacs at multiples of its price is impressive. A home demo will provide the answer. I look forward to the observations voiced by fellow Audiogoners.
Would really be fun to see the Soekris DAC1541 included in this conversation. It has volume control and is available at a reasonable price even though it's their top model.
I plan to set up a test run of the AXPONA demo comparing the 4 Denafrips DACs switchable in a real-time demo in Farmingdale NJ in early April time frame.  PM me if you can attend and be among the first to hear it.
Vinh Vu
Gingko Audio and Danacable
The measured problems JA observed in the Schiit are very real although if you like the sound you like the sound.

High level feedback.... And this in no way is a poke at your post @ghasley . Rather, I'm just calling into question JA's measurements in general.....

It's my understanding that the measured Yggdrasil (analog A) "problems" JA found were disputed by Jason Stoddard. Story goes Jason submitted third-party tests indicating otherwise. JA chose to stick to his findings.

Unrelated to DAC but relevant to JA measurements.... I do know for a *fact* that JA found some undesirable measurement data with the Golden Ear T Ref (speakers). However,  Sandy Gross successfully demonstrated the "flaws" with JA's measurement, to which JA agreed and revised his published statements (or revised them before it went to print).
@gdhal Excellent points and exactly the kind of information we should be sharing with one another. Thank you.

To expand on the topic somewhat, all reviews are merely observations and there is no substitute for listening. It is nice that some reviewers do post measurements and it is also a great frame of reference for many. Im glad JA when presented with a contrary outcome in conflict with his findings revised his opinion on the Tritons. To me that actually shows some character. I’ve had a Yggy in my system and I couldn’t figure out what the fuss was about but that has been some time ago. Have a terrific day.

To the original topic of the thread, its great that @bube will be making the 4 Denafrips models available for listening at Axpona. It would be better still if there were a couple of popular models from other companies that would provide a frame of reference. When launching a new brand into a market, it helps when reputable and objective community members post their general observations. 
Vinh, I do appreciate you coming to Axpona to hear your products, many likes them, but like the other post said, listening is the best way...See you then at Axpona...                                                   I would buy a gear with good sound with horrible measurement than a gear with a good measurement with a bad sound, Robert Harley got it right on Yaggy....
@jayctoy to be clear Denafrips are NOT my products. I represent Gingko Audio and Danacable and we are the main exhibitors in Room 1524 at AXPONA.  Denafrips are made in China and sold exclusively worldwide by Vinshine Audio (Alvin) in Singapore.  I am just a happy Denafrips customer who bought the Terminator sight unseen strictly on recommendations from Dana Robbins (of Danacable fame).  I was so impressed with my Terminator I convinced Alvin to be a partner in the room at AXPONA.  Then I came up with this crazy idea of showing all four of his DACs hooked up to the same system so we can switch among them in near-real-time (details are still being worked out).  Alvin was gracious enough to agree to loan me all four models for the demo and I am expecting to have them in time to break them in and stage them in the system that I am bringing to AXPONA.
So I hope to have a working demo for the early April time frame.  Stay tuned for more details in the days to come.
Vinh Vu
Gingko Audio and Danacable
rja2,007 posts03-10-2018 2:50pmWould really be fun to see the Soekris DAC1541 included in this conversation. It has volume control and is available at a reasonable price even though it's their top model.

+1 for that, seeing they're both doing R2R discretely in a similar fashion.
And the DAC1421 is even better value again same as the 1541, if you don't need xlr at 850eu.  

Cheers George
Vin thank you for the effort of loaning those Denafrips dacs, Alvin thank you as well....It would be really nice for future dac buyers and for those who are looking .. at least many options to choose from ...
@bube Looking forward to hearing about your findings from the early demo of the full DENAFRIPS DAC line prior to Axpona.

Vinh, by the way, I have your Danacables Lazuli Reference leash for my Focal Utopias. A fabulous pairing for the Focal Headphones! I see you have the step up Ultra in your lineup now. Can’t imagine it getting better, but I’m sure it does. : )
@jayctoy I am just happy to introduce fellow audiophiles to a nice product.
Having been in the business for 20 years, I know how difficult it is to break into the market with new products.  I have been fortunate to have had helps along the way and am just looking to pass it forward.  I had a recent session at my place to show off the system I am bringing to AXPONA (including the  Terminator) and everyone seemed to like it.
@ david_ten glad you are enjoying our Danacable Lazuli Reference on your Utopia.  The Ultra is better but at a cost.  There will be an upcoming review comparing the full Lazuli line (Lazuli, Lazuli Reference, and Lazuli Ultra) on the Abyss Phi headphones.  That should give you some info about how the Lazuli Reference fares against the Ultra.
Vinh Vu
Thanks for the clarification.