Review: dCS Lina Network DAC – Harmonic Brilliance Unleashed

Review: dCS Lina Network DAC - Harmonic Brilliance Unleashed - Dive into auditory opulence and he Resonant Elegance of dCS Lina Series with dCS Lina Series

In audiophile craftsmanship, dCS stands as a beacon of excellence, and its latest creation, the Lina Series DAC, attests to the brand’s unwavering commitment to sonic purity. Comprising a triumvirate of exquisite components – a digital streaming player, an external clock, and a headphone amplifier – the Lina Series emerges as a compact yet formidable force in high-fidelity audio. With meticulous design and uncompromising quality, dCS introduces a symphony of auditory pleasure, inviting two-channel and headphone enthusiasts into a world where precision, innovation, and sonic sophistication converge.

Harmony Unleashed: Navigating the Lina Series Experience

At the intersection of form and function, the dCS Lina Series DAC takes center stage, captivating audiophiles with its compact yet powerful presence. This sonic marvel navigates the delicate balance between digital streaming prowess and the nuanced art of analog decoding. As we embark on a journey through the intricacies of each component – the digital streaming player, the external clock, and the headphone amplifier – we unravel the symphony of design brilliance and sonic mastery that defines the dCS Lina Series DAC.

Pinnacle of Audiophile Innovation: dCS

Dedicated to pushing the boundaries of sonic excellence, Data Conversion Systems (dCS) stands as an illustrious name in high-end audio. For over three decades, dCS has consistently set the benchmark for precision engineering and technological innovation in digital-to-analog conversion. Renowned for its commitment to uncompromising audio quality, dCS has earned a revered position among audiophiles worldwide. The company’s pursuit of perfection extends beyond mere functionality, embodying an ethos that marries cutting-edge technology with a profound appreciation for the artistry of sound reproduction. With the launch of the Lina Series, dCS reaffirms its position as a trailblazer, offering a symphony of components that redefine the essence of audiophile craftsmanship.


Product Dimensions / Weight121.5mm (H) x 220mm (W) x 339mm (D) 7.4kg
Shipping Dimensions / Weight320mm (H) x 360mm (W) x 530mm (D) / 10.3kg
FinishBlack machined aluminium with crystal LED display
ElectronicsdCS Ring DAC and Digital Processing Platform on flex ridged PCB
Stream Unlimited S800
Automatic voltage switching
Digital Inputs2 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)
Analogue Inputs1 x stereo pair 3 pin balanced XLR
1 x stereo pair unbalanced RCA
Network InterfaceRJ-45 connector
Streaming CompatibilityUPnP
Supports the following platforms and services:Qobuz
Internet Radio
Apple AirPlay 2 (support at 44.1 or 48kS/s)
Sample frequencies and formats44.1-384kHz
Supports the following audio formats and sample ratesDSD 64, 128
Native DSD + DoP (input dependent)
UpsamplingMulti-stage DXD oversampling with switchable DSD
Word Clock2 x Word Clock inputs on 75 Ω BNC connectors
Will lock to 44.1-192kHz
FiltersPCM mode: 2 filters + MQA
DSD mode: 4 progressive filters
Crossfeed SettingsStandard crossfeed
dCS Enhanced crossfeed (E1)
dCS Enhanced crossfeed (E2)
PowerIEC inlet & power switch on rear panel
90-120v & 220-240v, 50/60Hz nominal
Automatic voltage switching
Power synchronised with other dCS control link products (RJ45)
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
Spurious ResponsesBetter than –105dB0, 20Hz-20kHz
L-R CrosstalkBetter than –115dB0, 20Hz-20kHz
CertificationCE / EMC

Unveiling dCS Lina Series: A Symphony of Sound Precision

In the ever-evolving landscape of high-fidelity audio, the dCS Lina Series emerges as a magnum opus, seamlessly blending technological finesse with the nuanced artistry of musical reproduction. This exquisite series represents the pinnacle of dCS’s commitment to sonic purity, encapsulating decades of expertise in digital audio conversion. Comprising a digital streaming player, an external clock, and a headphone amplifier, the Lina Series is a harmonious ensemble designed to elevate the auditory senses of even the most discerning audiophiles.

Each component within the Lina Series is a testament to dCS’s unwavering pursuit of sonic excellence. From the intricate network streaming player to the precision of the external master clock, every facet of the Lina Series is meticulously crafted to deliver an unparalleled audio experience. With a nod to compact sophistication and a relentless focus on sound precision, dCS invites audiophiles to embark on a musical journey where technology and artistry converge in perfect harmony.

Craftsmanship Redefined: Build Quality and Design in the dCS Lina Series

In the realm of audio perfection, the dCS Lina Series embodies meticulous craftsmanship, where every curve, material choice, and construction detail converges to create a visual and tactile masterpiece. The build quality of each component in the Lina Series is a testament to dCS’s commitment to excellence, exemplifying a perfect fusion of form and function.

The exterior design of the Lina Series components is a symphony of elegance and practicality. Encased in sleek, robust housings, the digital streaming player, external master clock, and headphone amplifier share a unified aesthetic language that reflects modern sophistication and timeless appeal. Precision-machined surfaces, thoughtful placement of controls, and the incorporation of premium materials underscore the attention to detail that defines dCS’s approach to craftsmanship.

Beyond the aesthetic allure, the Lina Series’s robust build quality ensures longevity and serves as a shield against external interferences that may compromise audio purity. The choice of materials and the engineering precision invested in every component speak to dCS’s unwavering dedication to delivering not just sound but an immersive audio journey encapsulated in a design that is as enduring as it is enchanting. In the dCS Lina Series, craftsmanship is not just a feature; it’s an art form that elevates the sensory experience of music connoisseurs.

Seamless Connectivity and Functionality: The dCS Lina Series Unveiled

The dCS Lina Series redefines connectivity, seamlessly marrying cutting-edge technology with intuitive functionality to create an audio experience that transcends expectations. At the heart of this series lies a commitment to versatility, ensuring that audiophiles can effortlessly integrate the components into their audio setups while enjoying many features that cater to the modern music enthusiast.

Connectivity in the Lina Series is a multifaceted gem. The digital streaming player, equipped with network DAC capabilities, effortlessly embraces various sources, whether network streaming, traditional digital connections, or even CD turntables and TVs. Including XLR and RCA output terminals provides flexibility, allowing direct signal output to power amplifiers or active speakers. The Lina Series does not merely connect; it orchestrates a symphony of options, offering users the freedom to tailor their audio landscape.

In the context of the dCS Lina Series, functionality is an art of simplicity and depth. The components operate on a foundation of user-friendly interfaces, ensuring that the power of technology is wielded effortlessly. The Lina Network DAC, for instance, goes beyond the conventional with its volume control and preamplifier capabilities, offering a comprehensive solution for audiophiles seeking a streamlined audio journey. The master clock, with its dual crystal oscillator design, meticulously controls the timing of digital signals, minimizing jitter and maximizing the sonic purity of the entire system.

In essence, the connectivity and functionality of the dCS Lina Series epitomize a harmonious blend of innovation and user-centric design. This series is not merely a collection of components; it’s a gateway to a world where connectivity is seamless, and functionality is an art form that enhances the enjoyment of every note, making the dCS Lina Series a true marvel in the realm of high-end audio.

Intuitive Usability and Unique Functions: Navigating Excellence with dCS Lina Series

The usability of the dCS Lina Series transcends mere functionality, offering an intuitive interface that seamlessly integrates cutting-edge technology into the audiophile’s world. From the outset, the series beckons users with a user-friendly design, ensuring that the complexities of advanced audio technology don’t hinder the joy of music exploration.

One unique function that sets the dCS Lina Series apart is its incorporation of Android as the operating system. This choice aligns with contemporary tech trends and opens up a realm of possibilities for users. The Android base allows for the utilization of apps, offering a familiar touch-based experience akin to smartphone controls. Navigating through the system becomes second nature, bridging the gap between audiophiles and sophisticated technology.

Another distinctive feature lies in the Lina Network DAC’s ability to act as a preamplifier with volume control. This functionality streamlines the audio setup, eliminating the need for additional components and providing users with an all-encompassing solution. The Lina Series doesn’t just playback music; it orchestrates a personalized symphony of controls, making the interaction with the system an engaging and enjoyable experience.

The dCS Lina Series stands out for its intuitive usability and unique functions in high-end audio, where complexity often accompanies advanced features. It transforms the exploration of music into an art, ensuring that users, whether seasoned audiophiles or newcomers, can effortlessly unlock the full potential of their audio journey.

Mesmerizing Musical Moments: A Journey through Soundscapes

Jacky Cheung and Eva Cassidy: Navigating through Jacky Cheung and Eva Cassidy’s vocal renditions, the dCS Lina setup masterfully captures intricate musical details. Under Boss Zhang’s calibration, the equipment’s transparency paints a vast sound canvas, offering a noble yet realistic high-end audio experience.

Nils Lofgren’s Acoustic Live: Transitioning to the emotive melodies of Nils Lofgren’s “Acoustic Live,” the system excels in reproducing the ambiance of live recordings. Every pluck of the strings resonates authentically, showcasing the system’s ability to balance detail and naturalness.

Elton John’s “Your Song” and “Star Wars: A New Hope”: The dCS LINA DAC presents a unique auditory experience with Elton John’s “Your Song,” creating an immersive sonic journey that shifts perceptions of proximity. Switching gears to the grandeur of “Star Wars: A New Hope,” the system’s balanced and majestic sound envelopes listeners, offering a captivating musical journey.

Sonic Mastery Unleashed: dCS Lina Series Sound Test and Unmatched Music Quality

Embarking on a sonic journey with the dCS Lina Series is akin to stepping into a concert hall where every nuance of the music comes to life with unparalleled precision. The sound test of the Lina Series is not just an evaluation; it’s an immersive experience that reveals the depth of its audio prowess.

Equipped with a Network DAC that seamlessly integrates network digital streaming and digital-analog decoding, the Lina Series unveils a sonic landscape characterized by clarity, depth, and a meticulous representation of musical details. The series doesn’t just reproduce music; it elevates it to an art form, capturing the subtleties and nuances that often escape even the most discerning ears.

The Lina Series offers an extensive range of digital filtering options, enabling users to tailor the sound to their preferences. Whether the warmth of a vinyl-like experience or the precision of a clinically detailed presentation, the Lina Series adapts to the user’s desires. The addition of DSD128 upconversion operation and left-right balance control in the latest software update further expands the sonic canvas, providing audiophiles with the tools to craft their ideal listening environment.

Listening to diverse genres, the Lina Series exhibits remarkable versatility across musical landscapes. From the delicate intricacies of acoustic melodies to the thunderous energy of orchestral compositions, the Lina Series renders each note with a finesse that transforms mere sound into an emotional journey.

In the realm of audiophile-grade sound quality, the dCS Lina Series reigns supreme, offering an unmatched musical experience that transcends expectations. It doesn’t just reproduce music; it paints a sonic masterpiece, inviting listeners to rediscover the magic within each composition.

Conclusion: A Harmonic Tapestry of Art and Audio

In conclusion, the dCS Lina Series is a testament to the pinnacle of audio engineering, where craftsmanship, technology, and musical artistry converge. Its culmination in sound precision and versatility positions it not merely as a set of audio components but as an instrument of sonic revelation. The series redefines the boundaries of what is possible in audio reproduction, providing audiophiles with a portal to a world where every note, every pause, and every crescendo are unveiled with unprecedented clarity.

As the final chords of this audio odyssey resonate, the dCS Lina Series leaves an indelible mark on the landscape of high-fidelity audio. Its unwavering commitment to sonic excellence, intuitive usability, and exquisite craftsmanship make it a symphony of sound that transcends the ordinary. For those seeking an audio experience that transcends boundaries and explores the true depth of musical expression, the dCS Lina Series is an unrivaled masterpiece in the ever-evolving symphony of high-end audio.

Reasons to Embark on the dCS Lina Series Journey:

  1. Unparalleled Sound Precision: For audiophiles who seek the utmost in audio quality, the dCS Lina Series is a sonic revelation. Its meticulous engineering and cutting-edge technology deliver an unrivaled level of sound precision, allowing you to experience your music in a way that transcends conventional boundaries.
  2. Crafted for Connoisseurs: The Lina Series is not just an audio system; it’s a piece of audio craftsmanship. Built with attention to detail and a commitment to excellence, these components’ build quality and design reflect the pinnacle of audio engineering. If you appreciate the fusion of artistry and technology, the dCS Lina Series is a masterpiece worth considering.
  3. Versatile Connectivity and Functionality: Offering many connectivity options and versatile functionality, the dCS Lina Series seamlessly adapts to your audio preferences. Whether you’re a vinyl enthusiast, a digital purist, or someone in between, the series accommodates a wide range of sources, ensuring a tailored and immersive listening experience.


  1. Investment in Excellence: The dCS Lina Series represents a premium investment in audio excellence. While its performance justifies the cost for those who prioritize uncompromising sound quality, it might be beyond the budget of those seeking a more budget-friendly option.
  2. Complexity for Casual Users: The array of features and settings in the dCS Lina Series, while a boon for audiophiles, may be overwhelming for casual users who want plug-and-play simplicity. If you prefer a straightforward audio solution without delving into extensive customization, the series might offer more than you need.

In essence, investing in the dCS Lina Series hinges on your commitment to an audio journey characterized by unparalleled sonic experiences, exquisite craftsmanship, and the willingness to explore the depths of high-fidelity audio. It’s not merely a purchase; it’s an invitation to embark on a symphonic adventure where music is not heard but felt in its purest form.