dCS Lina DAC in a 2-channel system

Just published: a dCS Lina DAC review, but now in a 2-channel system:

The companion review of the Lina in a headphone system.

I see Steve Huff and Tom Martin from The Absolute Sound using Lina for 2-channel and that confuses me. I thought Rossini should be used. It makes me wonder if Lina vs Rossini is it just a different taste or somewhat identical. Confused. My dealer said that definitely do not use Lina as it is for headphone.

If you read the above review then you will see your questions answered. If it is too long:

The Lina worked as perfectly in my two channel system as it did in my headphone system. I fired up Roon and let the music flow. The sound was so engaging and inspiring that I had to write it up as one of my great audio experiences of the summer. The Lina Network DAC shares many similarities with the original Rossini and Vivaldi, that’s how good it is!

After reading it. I can see the appeal of it. Even without mapper it can be a solid source to build on. I am thinking to trade in my ND555 for a NAP500 to have classic Naim pre+power and a dCS streamer. Lina might be a cheaper choice to Rossini maybe.

Lina certainly is a cheaper choice to Rossini. But mind you, the reviewer wrote

By original he means non-APEX. The Lina will not sound the same, but it has similarities with Rossini non-APEX.

As you point out Erno, the hardware in the Lina DAC is definitely proper, 100% dCS and so is the measured and sonic performance. Same high spec components used throughout - including the resistor & latch array in the Ring DAC, same clock crystals, same analogue output stage as original Vivaldi & Rossini, same streaming capabilities, same inputs and outputs, and the same FPGA and software upgradability built in.

The software update back in March for the Lina brought the unit in line with the rest of the range in terms of feature set, adding in a digital volume control to go along with the variable output voltage so the unit could be connected directly to a power amp in a 2-channel setting (or to better gain stage in a headphone system).

We’ve been having a blast recently getting Lina installed in dealers’ reference demo systems and hearing how well it punches above it’s weight. We also have a number of reviews coming soon featuring Lina in a 2-channel setup, so keep your eyes peeled.


It’s amazing in a 2 ch system. I have the clock with mine. Never sees any headphones. Why? It allowed me to get components one at a time as I could afford. Perfectly happy running to a Pass Labs XP-32