dCS Lina – three-unit headphone set

English company dCS has added to its portfolio Lina – a series of components for systems with headphones. It includes a headphone amplifier, network DAC with Roon support, Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay 2, TIDAL Connect, UPnP and Qobuz, running Mosaic OS and a clock generator.

These devices (each with their own power supply) in compact housings are designed to work as a set, but they can also be used separately. dCS speaks of a completely new development, from the chassis and board layout to the touch screen control interface.

dCS Lina Network DAC

The dCS Lina Network DAC received 2 AES/EBU connectors, coaxial S/PDIF BNC, digital RCA Toslink, as well as USB ports: Type B, operating in asynchronous mode, and Type A for flash drives and hard drives. Playback control – also using Mosaic.

dCS Lina Master Clock

The dCS Lina Master Clock is connected to the DAC via the Word Clock port. It is equipped with a pair of thermostated crystal oscillators – one for each of the two carrier signals 44.1 and 48 kHz. A separate case, according to dCS, has a beneficial effect on the amount of jitter.

dCS Lina Headphone Amplifier

As for the dCS Lina headphone amplifier, this is a class AB device capable of delivering up to 2 or 1.6 watts of 30 ohm loads, respectively, to a balanced or unbalanced output. On 300-ohm headphones, the power will be 0.48 and 0.2 watts – it should still be enough.

The signal-to-noise ratio in the audible range is declared at 110 dB. Various connection options – 4-pin XLR and two jacks are displayed on the front panel. A balanced buffered output is also provided on the rear panel.

Components or the entire set of dCS Lina are available for pre-order on the website of the manufacturer and its dealers, and they promise to start sending real samples in June 2022.

In Europe, the dCS Lina Network DAC was priced at €14,350, the dCS Lina Master Clock at €8,250 and the dCS Lina headphone amplifier at €10,250.

dCS Lina Network DAC Specifications

  • Product Dimensions / Weight 121.5mm (H) x 220mm (W) x 339mm (D) 7.4kg
  • Analogue Ouputs
    • 1 x stereo pair 3 pin balanced XLR
    • 1 x stereo pair unbalanced RCA
  • L-R Crosstalk Better than –115dB0, 20Hz-20kHz
  • Streaming Compatibility Supports the following platforms and services:
    • UPnP
    • Qobuz
    • Deezer
    • Tidal
    • Internet Radio
    • Spotify
    • Apple AirPlay 2 (support at 44.1 or 48kS/s)
    • RoonReady
  • Digital Inputs
    • 2 x AES/EBU on 3 pin XLR 44.1-384kS/s
    • 1 x S/PDIF BNC Coax 44.1-192kS/s
    • 1 x S/PDIF on RCA 44.1-192kS/s
    • 1 x Toslink 44.1-96kS/s
    • 1 x USB Type B 44.1-384kS/s, PCM and DSD, DSDx2 in Async Mode
    • 1 x USB Type A connector for mass storage devices (navigated using Mosaic)
  • Frequency Response (set to filter 1)
    • Fs = 44.1 or 48kS/s +/-0.1dB, 10Hz-20kHz
    • Fs = 88.2 or 96kS/s +/-0.1dB, 10Hz-20kHz -3dB @ >38kHz
    • Fs = 176.4 or 192kS/s +/-0.1dB, 10Hz-20kHz -3dB @ >67kHz
    • Fs = 352.8 or 384kS/s +/-0.1dB, 10Hz-20kHz -3dB @ >100kHz
    • DSD64 +/-0.1dB, 10Hz-20kHz -3dB @ >90kHz
    • DSD128 +/-0.1dB, 10Hz-20kHz -3dB @ >100kHz
  • Residual Noise (6v output setting)
    • 16-bit data: Better than –96dB0, 20Hz-20kHz unweighted
    • 24-bit data: Better than –113dB0, 20Hz-20kHz unweighted
  • Sample frequencies and formats Supports the following audio formats and sample rates:
    • 44.1-384kHz • DSD 64, 128
    • Native DSD + DoP (input dependent)

dCS Lina Master Clock Specifications

  • Product Dimensions / Weight 121.5mm (H) x 220mm (W) x 339mm (D) / 7kg
  • Startup Time Typically 10 minutes to rated accuracy
  • Clock Accuracy Better than +/-1 ppm when shipped over an ambient temperature range of +5°C to +45°C
  • Word Clock Outputs
    • 2 x independently buffered TTL-compatible output on 75Ω BNC connectors
    • Output 1: fixed at 44.1kHz
    • Output 2: fixed at 48kHz

dCS Lina Headphone Amplifier Specifications

  • Dimensions / Weight 121.5mm (H) x 220mm (W) x 356mm (D) / 7.5kg
  • Headphone Outputs
    • 1 x dual 3-pin balanced XLR, right and left channel
    • 1 x single 4-pin balanced XLR
    • 1 x single 1⁄4” (6.35mm) headphone jack
  • Signal to Noise Ratio 110dB 20Hz-20kHz A-weighted (referenced to 6V rms balanced input and output)
  • Analogue Inputs
    • 1 x stereo pair unbalanced RCA, input impedance 48kΩ
    • 1 x stereo pair unbuffered balanced XLR, input impedance 16kΩ
    • 1 x stereo pair buffered balanced XLR, input impedance 96kΩ
  • THD+N <0.005% @ 1kHz 6V rms balanced output into 30Ω (80kHz bandwidth)
  • Frequency Response 1Hz-100kHz Better than +0/-3dB