Denafrips product owners please fall in

Acholate

New Member
Jul 11, 2020
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1. Compared to the Terminator, the plus offers better detail retrieval, holography and bass decay but having said that, the Termy is no slouch either, it’s a mighty fine piece of engineering and will hold up well against higher priced DACs.....no sweat. Mate a Gaia to the Termy and you will be a very happy bunny till you hear the TP/Gaia combo of course. The TP is a reference model.
2.Once you hear the TP, nothing else matters. LOL but personally I’m not a fan of Chord cause I find them too analytical and mechanical. R2R is my cup of tea. I had the Qutest once and a Pontus side by side. I have heard the Wavedream only once, so no comments there.
Hi, my first post here.
Since you tried all combination, can you give a score or in term of % for each.

1. Stand-alone Termy
2. Stand-alone TP
3. Termy+Gaia
4. TP+Gaia

If possible, can you describe the sound difference between stand-alone TP vs Termy+Gaia.
I'm Terminator owner, still deciding on how should I upgrade.
Thanks :)
 

Abyss Man

Active Member
Jun 17, 2019
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Hi, my first post here.
Since you tried all combination, can you give a score or in term of % for each.

1. Stand-alone Termy
2. Stand-alone TP
3. Termy+Gaia
4. TP+Gaia

If possible, can you describe the sound difference between stand-alone TP vs Termy+Gaia.
I'm Terminator owner, still deciding on how should I upgrade.
Thanks :)
Hi,
Please have a read through this thread and my post on the 1st of August. Enjoy.
https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/59219-new-dd-converters-from-denafrips/page/4/#comments
 
Sep 11, 2019
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Hi, my first post here.
Since you tried all combination, can you give a score or in term of % for each.

1. Stand-alone Termy
2. Stand-alone TP
3. Termy+Gaia
4. TP+Gaia

If possible, can you describe the sound difference between stand-alone TP vs Termy+Gaia.
I'm Terminator owner, still deciding on how should I upgrade.
Thanks :)
Hi Acholate,

I will say go for the TP .. early converter from standard TP to Tplus here.

Ymmv since all system/source dependent and your expectation as well as past experience but I will attempt to spend some efforts to answer to your queries in arbitrary ballpark manner:

1. Stand-alone Termy
richard: say 75% as basis for below rating to theoretical 100%

2. Stand-alone TP
richard: 90% when in single synced clock and 85% without ..details, transparency and PRAT .. more so than standard T and midbass/bass tightens up to tuneful manner aka PRAT and hear more of EVERYTHING aka details and transparency

3. Termy+Gaia
richard: no experience since standard T gone before Gaia and hence no comment

4. TP+Gaia
richard: Only needed for sources without clock input from TP be daisy chained else direct to TP please ... 85%

Hope this helps.

Cheers.

Richard
 

Acholate

New Member
Jul 11, 2020
2
0
1
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Hi,
Please have a read through this thread and my post on the 1st of August. Enjoy.
https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/59219-new-dd-converters-from-denafrips/page/4/#comments
I actually read your post at AS already, which is very useful. But I want to know sonic difference between Termy+Gaia vs stand-alone TP. Is TP better in everyway? From what I read, Gaia will bring in 3D and holographics, while TP more detail?

Hi Acholate,

I will say go for the TP .. early converter from standard TP to Tplus here.

Ymmv since all system/source dependent and your expectation as well as past experience but I will attempt to spend some efforts to answer to your queries in arbitrary ballpark manner:

1. Stand-alone Termy
richard: say 75% as basis for below rating to theoretical 100%

2. Stand-alone TP
richard: 90% when in single synced clock and 85% without ..details, transparency and PRAT .. more so than standard T and midbass/bass tightens up to tuneful manner aka PRAT and hear more of EVERYTHING aka details and transparency

3. Termy+Gaia
richard: no experience since standard T gone before Gaia and hence no comment

4. TP+Gaia
richard: Only needed for sources without clock input from TP be daisy chained else direct to TP please ... 85%

Hope this helps.

Cheers.

Richard
Thanks! This is exactly kind of answer I looking for. Just miss out your experience on Termy+Gaia.

Both of you seem to like stand-alone TP more than Termy+Gaia. But I'm not so sure whether I will like TP. I afraid too much detail will make my system too bright.
 
Sep 11, 2019
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Singapore
Thanks! This is exactly kind of answer I looking for. Just miss out your experience on Termy+Gaia.

Both of you seem to like stand-alone TP more than Termy+Gaia. But I'm not so sure whether I will like TP. I afraid too much detail will make my system too bright.
Hi Acholate,

Most welcomed .. you cannot change a standard Terminator to a TPlus with any DDC .. someone here tried and was reportedly fine but also ended changing .. ...

In my opinion, the DDC can improve non i2s and non oxco clocked sources but only below a certain level like my sgd450 allo usb bridge signature but not my 10x $ Antipodes also via usb.

Btw, Terminator is not bright but neutral while indeed detailed and transparent and will not make your system bright sounding unless something else in your system is bright sounding. In fact, its tight but bodied midbass and bass at least in my system is what I deem outstanding because it improves PRAT or what I term as enjoyable boogie factor.

Hope this helps further.

Cheers.

Richard
 
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Aug 31, 2020
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Denafrips Gaia is at home!
Gaia has replaced my previous (pretty good for the money) Matrix Audio X-Spdif 2. Mainly use as USB to AES/EBU conversion from Aurender N100H to Simaudio Moon 380D DSD dac.
Just first impression (right out of the box, after just one hour of listening):
- impressive compared to X-Spfif 2
- sound is more airy, more analog like
- deeper, more holographic soundstage
- more realistic voices

Will update my findings after couple of days...

F2BDC343-7944-48FB-B8A8-C8E1FB4005B1.jpeg 709B7E2D-8AB8-4464-8492-589DE001A30F.jpeg 1DF45DE1-F2E4-47AA-B6BB-F1B70A986BBF.jpeg
 

Abyss Man

Active Member
Jun 17, 2019
186
126
43
Hi Guys,
Any update with the HDMI cables? Much appreciated.
 
Jun 28, 2018
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Hi Guys,
Any update with the HDMI cables? Much appreciated.
Hi Raj,

It seems my HDMI cable comparison is now further delayed.

We had a big wind storm here (110+ mph winds), which knocked over trees, which knocked over power lines, which took out power to my house for a few days. I hadn't been paying close attention (I have been working in my home office as my firm's offices are closed for COVID, and I have been listening to my new headphone rig while I work and therefore haven't been listening to my main speaker rig for a few weeks) so I am not sure if it was from the power situation but I went to listen to my main speaker system and noticed my Gaia wasn't powered on, and it now won't power up.

It wasn't a power surge, it was just a power outage, and even if it was a surge, I am double protected with a Blue Circle Yalu Balula and my PS Audio DS Power Plant 12, and all of my other audio gear is working fine and the Yalu Balula did not blow so that confirms it wasn't a surge situation.

I was thinking it was just a fuse replacement scenario. However, the Gaia owner's manual says there are no fuses or user serviceable parts in the Gaia. When I plug in the Gaia, I can hear some relay switching, but no LED's on the Gaia light up and the Gaia is not sending any signal to my Terminator Plus.

I ordered an Iris for my headphone rig, but it has not yet shipped. So, until I get the Gaia working, or the Iris arrives, my HDMI experiment is on hold :(
 
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Likes: Abyss Man

Abyss Man

Active Member
Jun 17, 2019
186
126
43
Hi Raj,

It seems my HDMI cable comparison is now further delayed.

We had a big wind storm here, which knocked over trees, which knocked over power lines, which took out power to my house for a few days. I hadn't been paying close attention (I have been working in my home office as my firm's offices are closed for COVID, and I have been listening to my new headphone rig while I work and therefore haven't been listening to my main speaker rig for a few weeks) so I am not sure if it was from the power situation but I went to listen to my main speaker system and noticed my Gaia wasn't powered on, and it now won't power up.

It wasn't a power surge, it was just a power outage, and even if it was a surge, I am double protected with a Blue Circle Yalu Balula and my PS Audio DS Power Plant 12, and all of my other audio gear is working fine and the Yalu Balula did blow so that confirms it wasn't a surge situation.

I was thinking it was just a fuse replacement scenario. However, the Gaia owner's manual says there are no fuses or user serviceable parts in the Gaia. When I plug in the Gaia, I can hear some relay switching, but no LED's on the Gaia light up and the Gaia is not sending any signal to my Terminator Plus.

I ordered an Iris for my headphone rig, but it has not yet shipped. So, until I get the Gaia working, or the Iris arrives, my HDMI experiment is on hold :(
Hi Blake,
Oh man, I am so sorry to hear of the mishap and hope family and you are ok. No worries sir with the comparison its not a biggie. As for the Gaia, if after power cycling its still doesn't start up I pretty sure the relays have gone. It happened to me once with my Termy when I initially got it many moons ago. The relays were changed out I think. I would usggest getting in touch with Alvin, I'm sure the board can be replaced by you since they use a modular design.

Stay safe sir.
 
Jun 28, 2018
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Hi Blake,
Oh man, I am so sorry to hear of the mishap and hope family and you are ok. No worries sir with the comparison its not a biggie. As for the Gaia, if after power cycling its still doesn't start up I pretty sure the relays have gone. It happened to me once with my Termy when I initially got it many moons ago. The relays were changed out I think. I would usggest getting in touch with Alvin, I'm sure the board can be replaced by you since they use a modular design.

Stay safe sir.
Yeah, I am so ready for 2020 to be over (COVID, we also had an earthquake, then the windstorm... probably swarms of locusts and zombies invading next, because why not?).

You are probably right about the relays. I haven't contacted Alvin yet, but will do so. I am not worried about it as Alvin's customer service is the best in the business! He and I will get this sorted out, but now that I can't listen to my speaker setup, I really miss it.

I have been having some fun with my new headphone amp though, rolling in different NOS tubes. Can't wait for the Iris to arrive to inject even more clarity and holography.
 

Abyss Man

Active Member
Jun 17, 2019
186
126
43
Yeah, I am so ready for 2020 to be over (COVID, we also had an earthquake, then the windstorm... probably swarms of locusts and zombies invading next, because why not?).

You are probably right about the relays. I haven't contacted Alvin yet, but will do so. I am not worried about it as Alvin's customer service is the best in the business! He and I will get this sorted out, but now that I can't listen to my speaker setup, I really miss it.

I have been having some fun with my new headphone amp though, rolling in different NOS tubes. Can't wait for the Iris to arrive to inject even more clarity and holography.
Cool, I have a heavily modified Little Dot Tube amp as well but its just picking up dust now. Its got Mundorf silver gold caps with upgraded wires as well. It sounds very good for the money. Damn, I think I might just bring it out again, but my SPEC is such a brilliant amp. Try running some Russian tubes, you will be surprised, especially the 6SN/L7 versions. Have fun Blake.
 
Likes: Blake
Jun 28, 2018
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Cool, I have a heavily modified Little Dot Tube amp as well but its just picking up dust now. Its got Mundorf silver gold caps with upgraded wires as well. It sounds very good for the money. Damn, I think I might just bring it out again, but my SPEC is such a brilliant amp. Try running some Russian tubes, you will be surprised, especially the 6SN/L7 versions. Have fun Blake.
Sorry Denafrips folks, this is a detour... please ignore.

Its got Russians in it now as they are the only source of of the 6C33C power triode tubes (only a couple Russian factories produced them), but the driver tube I have been using is an awesome RCA 5691 red base. But I just snagged some super rare West German military versions of the Mullard ECC35 to swap in for the 5691. These are all 6SL7 variants.

ZanaDeux-1.jpg
 
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Jun 28, 2018
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Cool, I have a heavily modified Little Dot Tube amp as well but its just picking up dust now. Its got Mundorf silver gold caps with upgraded wires as well. It sounds very good for the money. Damn, I think I might just bring it out again, but my SPEC is such a brilliant amp. Try running some Russian tubes, you will be surprised, especially the 6SN/L7 versions. Have fun Blake.
Your SPEC amp and Abyss are operating at the highest levels for sure TOTL stuff!
 
Aug 31, 2020
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Yeah, I am so ready for 2020 to be over (COVID, we also had an earthquake, then the windstorm... probably swarms of locusts and zombies invading next, because why not?).

You are probably right about the relays. I haven't contacted Alvin yet, but will do so. I am not worried about it as Alvin's customer service is the best in the business! He and I will get this sorted out, but now that I can't listen to my speaker setup, I really miss it.

I have been having some fun with my new headphone amp though, rolling in different NOS tubes. Can't wait for the Iris to arrive to inject even more clarity and holography.

Hi Blake,

I am very sorry to read about such issues. Please, let us know, when you will have any info from Alvin about repair process. If it was really problem of relays... As a fresh owner of Gaia I am little bit disturbed by such a flaw. And I am afraid, there is only a little chance of "module swap", because Gaia is single board design...
 
Jun 17, 2019
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Your SPEC amp and Abyss are operating at the highest levels for sure TOTL stuff!
Thank you the compliments Blake, u are very right, the SPEC and Abyss are a brilliant pair. It also pairs well with WA33 and Cayin H300.
 
Jun 17, 2019
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Hi Blake,

I am very sorry to read about such issues. Please, let us know, when you will have any info from Alvin about repair process. If it was really problem of relays... As a fresh owner of Gaia I am little bit disturbed by such a flaw. And I am afraid, there is only a little chance of "module swap", because Gaia is single board design...
Nothing to worry Koso, with Alvin you are in safe hands, very safe hands even if u are from Timbuktu.
 
Likes: Blake
Sep 27, 2020
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Hi everyone, this is my first post. I recently (2 months ago) received my new Denafrips Venus II in silver. I had been using a BlueSound Vault 2i with its own internal DAC, or the DAC built into my surround processor for some time, but now I have taken the plunge to two channels only! So, most of the surround components are down in the basement collecting dust while I’m on a quest for two channel excellence. The Vault was replaced by the SMS-200 and the Venus II. At the change, my system took on a smoother and more detailed sound by quite a bit. Now, I’m almost 100% on board with adding the Gaia to my system, so I’ve been reading everything I can about it. I know several of you have added the Gaia with seemingly great results. I have all the usual questions, like “how on Earth could the Gaia help me?”, but so far the choices made by me have been pretty sweet. My system was teetering in “bright”, but the Venus II really made a difference. I am happy to be here and learn as much as I can. Thanks.
 

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Aug 31, 2020
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Hi everyone, this is my first post. I recently (2 months ago) received my new Denafrips Venus II in silver. I had been using a BlueSound Vault 2i with its own internal DAC, or the DAC built into my surround processor for some time, but now I have taken the plunge to two channels only! So, most of the surround components are down in the basement collecting dust while I’m on a quest for two channel excellence. The Vault was replaced by the SMS-200 and the Venus II. At the change, my system took on a smoother and more detailed sound by quite a bit. Now, I’m almost 100% on board with adding the Gaia to my system, so I’ve been reading everything I can about it. I know several of you have added the Gaia with seemingly great results. I have all the usual questions, like “how on Earth could the Gaia help me?”, but so far the choices made by me have been pretty sweet. My system was teetering in “bright”, but the Venus II really made a difference. I am happy to be here and learn as much as I can. Thanks.

Hi Hifihandyman,

Congrats to Venus 2!
Now, straight for your question “how on Earth could the Gaia help me?”
Well, in my opinion Gaia actually could help you. Your system is pretty good candidate for adding Gaia.
In general, I suppose, Gaia is not only great as DDC, but especially great in rising the sound quality of almost any digital source. The worse streamer or network player is used as source, the best result you can expect. In my opinion, the following ratio applies for digital source range vs sound quality improvement by Gaia or any other good DDC:
A: streaming straight from PC - BEST
B: dedicated streamer basic quality - GREAT
C: dedicated streamer medium quality - GOOD
D: high-end dedicated streamer - SMALL (if any)

Your SOtM sMS 200 lies somewhere between B and C range, so you will benefit from adding Gaia to your system. My streamer Aurender N100H is in my opinion better than sMS 200 (say C range), but still benefits from Gaia.
Let me think out loud for a while. Why are there so many models of streamers/ network players from the same manufacturer? In many cases the same functionality, similar design, same enclosure, same display, same control app. But the price of higher model is several times higher. I had compared N100H vs N10 once, and N10 is noticeably better. But why? What is different? There must be some difference, right? And there is. Better power supply, better filtering, better clocking (femto or higher), galvanic separation... Resulting in quieter and jitter free signal. The problem is that Aurender or Auralic or Melco or any other high-end company charges horrendous sums of such an upgrade (for example, my Aurender N100H is 2800 EUR, but one step higher model N10 is 8500 EUR).

And here comes Denafrips Gaia, which does exactly the same task (extremely precise clocking, quieter and jitter free output signal), but for fraction of the cost of high-end model of streamer.

So that's why I think Gaia could help you. It won't make a day to night difference, but it will be improvement. In your case (having Venus 2) you can benefit from i2s connection as well.
 
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GAIA REVIEW UPDATE:
I’ve promised that I will report my findings after Gaia settles a little bit in my system.
I am only at one third of burn in time period (roughly 300 hours is recommended by Denafrips), but I just can’t resist to share that sound quality of GAIA is still improving. As I wrote before, initial impression was very good, but just after a week of continual using I am really impressed.
It is almost unbelievable how big improvement can this DDC bring to already decent digital setup (Aurender N100H streamer + Simaudio Moon 380D dsd DAC). What I wrote before is still truth, but somehow multiplied and even more refined.
Sound is even more relaxed, soundstage and space around instruments has even more natural feel. The effect of “disappearance” of speakers is even closer to ideal (...to achieve this in my listening space, smaller square shape room, is very challenging).
EVERYTHING is more realistic! Voices and acoustic instruments are just THERE.
Great job Denafrips!!
 

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