dCS Lina vs Tambaqui

In my search for a streaming DAC to replace my Benchmark DAC3 i’ve narrowed it down to the dCS Lina and the Mola Mola Tambaqui.

The Tambaqui has received really excellent reviews but it is a streamer only if you are a Roon user. So I would need to buy a streamer which I’m willing to do if this is the best SQ combo… Or I could use Roon with which I don’t have any experience. Both products are priced fairly similar.

I plan on auditioning the Lina next week. But don’t have anywhere to audition the Tambaqui near me.

So have any of you dCS owners compared/auditioned these two streaming DACs?
If so what were the deciding factors that made you purchase the dCS model.


Hi Joseph,

Yes, I have made A/B comparison in my system, and chose the Lina.

In my experience the Lina is more accurate and natural sounding. They are both beautiful sounding, but I would not call the Tambaqui “accurate”, despite the fact it measures very well.

I prefer the Lina driven through the Ethernet connection. When driven by streamers through the other digital inputs, the streamer and cables change the SQ - and in my experience - not for the better.


I compared my previous Aqua LaScala, Lina and Bricasti M3 in my speaker system.

I have kept the Bricasti M3 and I am very pleased with it. This one has the optional headphone amp, remote and network (streaming) card, although I feed it AES or SPDIF from my Auralic Aries G2.1.

The Bricasti is good for all genres of music, and slightly warm in presentation ; the La Scala is an excellent DAC that I considered better for classical, acoustic and jazz. The Lina didn’t integrate well enough in my speaker system & room, even with the Lina clock, and for me wasn’t worth the extra outlay - it could sound stunning on some tracks, but not those with a strong bass line.

I spent the ‘savings’ on a balanced power supply and isolation feet which I beta-tested for Factor-One.co.uk - a very satisfactory outcome. I also added a pair of Studion Connections Black Star analogue interconnects over this period, which I know some other dCS owners use.

The Bartok APEX also featured here for a demo-week and that is a really good unit although costly for my budget. One for the future…