dCS Announces Lina Three-Box Head-Fi System
dCS Lina head-fi components concentrate company's know-how into head amp, master clock and networked DAC desktop system.
dCS has made its name through its high-end digital systems. However, we're told that the company has been hugely excited to see many people embracing headphone listening over the past few years.
The result is Lina, the first dCS product series explicitly designed for headphone listeners. The Lina system features a dedicated Network DAC, Headphone Amplifier and Master Clock, which can be purchased individually or as a complete system. This also means that each component gets its own power supply.
dCS states that they had to consider headphone listeners' unique requirements, which required an entirely new approach to product design and a different way of thinking.
The dCS Lina boasts all-new electronic and mechanical designs, plus a new touch screen UI and new circuitry that has tested the limits of PCB design. This, we're told, results in a system that delivers a huge range of features yet is compact enough to live in a range of environments, from bedrooms and living rooms to shared workspaces.
Lina has the Applause Award-winning dCS Bartók to thank for its creation as the team took its streaming Ring DAC (not the APEX variety, though) with in-built upsampler, pre-amplifier and optional Class A headphone amplifier as a jumping-off point.
This means Ethernet-connected access to Roon, Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay 2, TIDAL Connect, and UPnP and Qobuz, all controlled via the Mosaic app. The DAC section also offers 2 x AES/EBU on 3 pin XLR (44.1-384kS/s), a S/PDIF BNC Coax and one on RCA (44.1-192kS/s), a Toslink (44.1-96kS/s), one USB Type B (44.1-384kS/s, PCM and DSD, DSDx2 in Async Mode) and a USB Type A connector for mass storage devices (navigated using Mosaic).
The Lina Master Clock features dual oven-controlled crystal oscillators (one for 44.1kHz and one for 48kHz derivatives). dCS tells us that keeping the signal clock away from the rest of the playback chain's circuitry and within a separate chassis significantly lowers the amount of signal jitter arriving at the Ring DAC.
The Word Clock ports enable you to connect the Master Clock with the DAC to allow the Master Clock to take over timing duties.
Finally, Lina's headphone amplifier is a Class A/B design with DC servo support for up to 2 Watts and 1.6 Watts into 30 Ohms via balanced and single-ended connections, respectively.
The spec sheet states that 300 Ohm headphones get 0.48 Watt from balanced connections and 0.2 of a Watt from single-ended. It offers 4-pin XLR and twin 3-pin fascia-mounted sockets, with single-ended and balanced inputs as well as a buffered balanced option at the rear. Signal to noise ratio is quoted at 110dB 20Hz-20kHz A-weighted (referenced to 6V rms balanced input and output).
Lina will begin shipping in June, with pre-orders available from May 24th onwards direct from dCS and a select network of specialist retailers. The Lina Network DAC costs US$12.750 | S$19,000, with the Lina Master Clock priced US$7,300 | S$11,000, and the Lina Headphone Amplifier selling at US$9,100 | $13,500 RRP.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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