Any reports on the Lina 2.0 SQ?

The upgrade for the Lina 2.0 has been available for a few weeks now, but up to now I have not seen any topics regarding the SQ changes (maybe compared to the Bartok Apex)

This may well be because Lina 2 is not of the same nature as Apex upgrades which are hardware upgrades and where things like new output stages materially affect the sound. Lina 2 is a firmware upgrade which adds further settings options for the user (affecting mapper, upsampling and filters). As these are all user options any benefits will vary from person to person and their individual preferences. Hence there is nothing to report on that can simply be applied to everyone. Revisions to balance controls , remote operaton and display text sizes are not really SQ controls.

Aside from text size and separate channel balance controls which are unique to Lina what Lina 2 does is mostly bring the user choice options into line with the selections offered to owners of other dCS lines.

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I understand that the Lina upgrade is not hardware related, but for me going from Rossini to Rossini 2.0 was a nice step up in performance.

As the DAC board of the Lina is more “modern” then the rest of the dCS line, the 2.0 upgrade might be even more noticable. (and maybe not)

All of the changes that may affect SQ are user choices. Users need to try themselves to find what they prefer. For example Lina 2 mapping now offers three choices. When the same options were added to Vivaldi or Rossini some liked Map 1, some Map 3 and others decided to use Map 2 which is what they had already (Lina 2 also lets you stay as you were in these respects). If you can be bothered you can probably still find the posts in archives. The same applies with filters. There is nothing much to report other than that there is no correct" setting and, with mapping, numerous permutations. All of which you may like or not and is not easy to report on in terms of SQ . If I said Map 1 is an improvement ( in my case Vivaldi based) many may well demur even if I guess that may be the most common choice.

[quote=“imprezap2, post:3, topic:5912”]
As the DAC board of the Lina is more “modern” then the rest of the dCS line, the 2.0 upgrade might be even more noticable. (and maybe not)

The DAC board of Lina is not more modern than any Apex model as the hardware upgrade involved replacing that board.

So my well known phrase or saying in relation to this is “Suck it and see”.

And that’s my question, has anyone already listened to the Lina 2.0

According to the release notification the new mappers are running at double the speed of the original mapper. This “allows us to move matching noise further out of the audible band”, which might be more of a SQ impact than simply preference. I haven’t done the update yet, but will definitely try these after doing so. I’m grateful to dCS for keeping the original options since I’m enjoying this DAC as-is.

I would expect improvements similar to, for example, when the Bartok 2.0 was released. I noticed improvements in Bartok 2.0.

But as others mention, APEX is very different. BTW my Bartok goes to dCS this week for APEX!

But it actually is more modern:


Perhaps a quick response to the original post in this thread. I’ve had the full Lina stack for about 7 months now sitting right next to my Bartok (non-Apex) + Rossini Clock.

Pre Lina 2.0, in many hours of side-by-side listening comparisons, subjectively, I felt that the Bartok edged the Lina out ever so slightly; it had a slightly more relaxed sound, and a slightly more 3-dimensional soundstage. This was with the Bartok in Map 1 (IMHO, the best sonically), and the Lina pre-2.0 in its default mapper.

Post Lina 2.0, all else being equal, I would put money down that people will not be able to tell the difference in sound quality between the Bartok and the Lina (albeit, I haven’t spent as much time in close listening comparisons, work’s been busy).

I’m sure Apex possibly changes that equation. No knock on the Bartok, but in my personal opinion, the Lina stack is the best value for money state-of-the-art Streamer/DAC/H-Amp in the market currently, few others come close. And I will sell-off my Bartok when time permits :grin:


There is a review of the Lina stack in the new Hifi+

MAP 1 and DSDx2 improves SQ on Focal Utopia22 noticeably with my current setup.