The Lina network streaming DAC boasting Ring DAC technology is both a continuation and a new beginning for dCS Data Conversion Systems.
Lina DAC's design combines renowned dCS technologies with new innovations developed for headphone listeners – resulting in a bold new interpretation of the dCS experience, and a complete re-imaging of form and function alongside Lina headphone amp and Lina master clock.
READ ALSO The inside story behind Lina DAC's creation
What doesn't change, however, is a level of new immersion, resolution and realism that accompanies any dCS; even at Lina's new entry-level point. There are multiple ways to get your music aboard Lina DAC, with Spotify and Tidal Connect, plus Roon Ready status, standing by for easy connectivity right from set-up.
With Lina DAC, dCS took core playback technologies, including the dCS Ring DAC and Digital Processing Platform, and added new innovations developed for headphone listeners. [See Product Desc. For More]
Headfonia didn't do a very good job, trying to prevent their jaw from dropping at Lina's performance. Lina's "energy, dynamics, and a very strong level of detail retrieval" floored Headfonics. It saw Headphone Guru's headphones replace his speakers over a month of testing. She was a Hi-Fi News Outstanding Product. These impressive results translated to speakers too, for Steve Huff.
A sensible flex-ridged circuit board allows dCS to deliver all of the features you’d expect from a dCS DAC in a much smaller chassis that would sit handsomely on a desktop or coffee table.
READ ALSO The exhaustive breakdown of dCS Ring DAC technology
At the heart of all dCS DACs is the Ring DAC, and Lina is no different. Ring DAC denotes a proprietary digital-to-analog conversion system.
Ring DAC is renowned for its ultra-wide bandwidth, technical accuracy, and ability to reveal astonishing levels of detail in digital recordings – from the subtlest of sounds, to the sense of time and harmonic movement, and the atmosphere that surrounds a musical performance.
A Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA comes loaded with the dCS Ring DAC mapping algorithm, and custom dCS oversampling linear-phase filters. FPGA technology allows dCS to supply constant firmware updates with time, by way of network updates.
This showcases Lina's status as a true software product with each firmware upgrade yielding audible and functional improvements that sees dCS DACs always stay relevant.
READ ALSO Software-driven hardware design at dCS
After digital signal processing at Lina DAC's FPGA, the oversampled signal is then processed by a high-performance array of resistors and current latches controlled by the Ring DAC mapping algorithm, to form the basis of Lina's supreme performance discrete delta-sigma DAC.
Designed from the ground up by dCS, not relying on performance-limiting off-the-shelf DAC chips, there is literally nothing out there like Lina DAC.
Lina gives all listeners the capability to expand its potential beyond a single box – its high-current discrete analog line output stage, fully balanced and differential – is designed to preserve the transparency of the Ring DAC.
It can feed directly the unbuffered input section of Lina headphone amp, for full resolution and best signal-to-noise ratio.
Lina master clock meanwhile sits alongside ready to supply a reference clock source via dual BNCs for Lina DAC. Pushing phase noise and jitter far below audibility, the difference Lina master clock makes is profound, even on a decoder already as supreme as Lina DAC – and must be heard to be believed.
The result is a powerful, supremely capable product designed for use in a wide range of environments, from living rooms to studios and workspaces.
With its wide dynamic range, crisp, clear playback, expansive soundstage, and tonal neutrality, Lina DAC provides a deeply natural, highly detailed, and profoundly musical sound that encapsulates our singular approach to audio.
Add unique headphone optimisation technology like digital crossfeed, an elegant and tactile design, and a high-performance streaming platform, and you have a hugely versatile source that delivers spectacular sound, however you choose to listen.
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View the rest of the Lina family here so that you may build on the magnificent performance of this network DAC, or view our other desktop products here.