DCS Lina Headphone Amp

$13,500 $13,500

No one knew exactly what to expect from dCS Data Conversion Systems' first separate analog power amplifier, but neither is anyone surprised by the excellence of Lina headphone amplifier anyway. 

Headfonia didn't do a very good job, trying to prevent their jaw from dropping at Lina's performance. From "planar headphone fan" Headfonics, "this is a tremendously satisfying and engrossing world-class solid-state amplifier". Lina saw Headphone Guru's headphones replace his speakers over a month of testing.

Exhibiting remarkable specs on paper, it's immediately apparent how Lina's discrete transistor solid-state reference amplifier product translates those into spectacular audible results – an analog product that proves worthy of bearing the dCS name.

A pinnacle of frequency extension and transparency, Lina headphone amplifier makes its case to be the ultimate, final headphone source you'll ever need – conjuring macro and micro dynamics before your ears while always sounding relaxed and completely natural in its tonality.

READ ALSO Building a dCS statement in analog design

When fed by dCS' accompanying Lina network DAC, Lina amp's fully-balanced, differential design encased in solid aluminium brings out even more than you thought your flagship headphones could produce. [See Product Desc. For More]

$13,500

Our Price | $13,500

Product Description

Lina amp outputs up to 2 watts per channel with enough current-handling ability for loads like the Abyss AB1266 Phi TC, Hedd Audio HEDDphone and HIFIMAN's Susvara. At the drawing board, dCS invest every effort in building Lina amp as a linear open-loop design. 

Rather than achieving current-handling capability via the usual technique of building with more output transistors in parallel, Lina amp opts for quality over quantity and a lower parts count. Less is more, and dCS elegantly selects fewer but more unconventionally capable devices with current capability exceeding the normal needs of headphone amplifiers.

Feeding this potent array of beastly power transistors is a proprietary driver stage that dCS designed to operate linearly with low open-loop distortion, unfazed by pushing the large output devices.

This secret voltage gain circuit is more than up to the task of passing along and upsizing the signal of Lina DAC transparently without adding noise and distortion, thanks in part to cascodes operating supplementary and reducing voltage-induced non-linearities.

Said cascodes also play a part reducing capacitance at the bases of transistors where they operate, which provides tremendous high-frequency performance with Lina amplifier extending out to 100Khz at -3dB.

Meanwhile, Lina amp's DC-coupled nature also means bass extends down to subterranean levels – this kind of frequency performance down low and up top guarantees superbly flat phase reproduction in the audible human hearing range for potent and realistic musical dynamics. Through the audio microscopes that are flagship headphones, Lina's perfect phase response is undisputedly audible.

The above – low output impedance, excellent current-handling, low distortion and frequency extension – all remarkably achieved in the open-loop. After getting these basics of an excellent analog circuit right, dCS then apply the cherry on the cake – closing the loop with negative feedback to make an already good design great.

dCS thus achieves the amplifier ideal of a straight wire with gain, adding as little colouration as possible to let your transducers speak freely, to the fullest of their potential.

It's been thoroughly thought out. When used with Lina DAC, Lina amp takes advantage of the former's high-current line-stage. The latter boasts an unbuffered balanced input, bypassing unnecessary active input stage devices and simplifying the circuit further for less chance of error. 

Now we see – with the gargantuan task of creating a standalone amplifying product that lived up to the dCS name, these digital specialists pulled off a masterclass in analog design. A true testament to the skill of the designers, for the benefit of the most dedicated headphone listeners.

Elsewhere, explore the digital chops from the rest of Lina here, or browse our other desktop products here.

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