Lina Dac Balanced XLR output issue/question?

Hi, I recently sold my Lina amp for an amp with more power. I am still using my Lina DAC. I tried two different amps. the unbalanced line/rca connections have no issues. However i cannot get any sound out of the XLR unbalanced connections. Is it a compatibility issue? Am i not making a selection in the Dac function properly? Any help would be appreciated. It all worked fine paired with the Lina amp previously?

It would help if you would kindly tell us what the two amps are. The balanced outputs from the dCS DAC have to be connected too suitable inputs at the amplifier(s). So your advice on what you have tried may help.

One other albeit unlikely cause may be XLR interconnects that do not adhere to the standard pin count. Can we have some brief information on these?

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As always thanks for your quick response. Turns out it is an amp problem . HiFiman will address

Glad to hear you’ve found the root cause of the issue Anthony.

Just for reference, both outputs of the Lina DAC are active all the time, they don’t need to be enabled or switched at all. If the DAC is on and playing audio, they’ll both be giving out sound.

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Thanks again. I have another question if you don’t mind. I was recently watching a Lina review on You tube by the “Abyss” guys. They were going on about using the “Buffered” connection on the amp as being the best to use, especially with their headphones? I thought the was not recommended over the connections. Can you qualify/clarify. BTW over the past month my posts may show indication of my auditioning non-Lina options particularly for my Susvara power requirements. Just fyi, this search has been providing a relearning of just how impressive DCS components truly are. Looks quite possible $$$$$ and time later I will have a renewed appreciation on the Lina system. I just wish the AMP had a tad more power for my Susvara.

The Unbuffered input on the amp is the higher performance input. The Buffered input is very good at what it does, but is intended for use with high output impedance source devices. If you have a DAC that can drive the Unbuffered input properly (which, as you have the Lina DAC, you definitely do), then you will get the highest level of quality from Unbuffered.

I am curious, what is it about the performance of the Lina Amp you find lacking in terms of power? I appreciate that previously Hifiman have suggested things like using 150W speaker power amps with the Susvara, though I don’t think this suggestion is helped by the fact that some amps on the market are definitely more aspirational with their output power figures, which can lead to believing a huge number of Watts is required to properly drive them. The Drive post on the dCS Edit pretty much sums up my thoughts on this, but from an engineering perspective it really isn’t tricky to make an amplifier with loads of output power - the challenge is making one that can do that and still sound good.

In short though, the Lina Amp will drive them to 120dB+ continuous (a lot more than that on an individual transient) completely clean and unclipped, which is far more than you could use without going thoroughly deaf. In normal usage, it has more than enough in the tank.


The gentleman in the center of the Abyss YouTube Review of the Lina simply misspoke, I believe. After having tried the Lina HeadAmp and listened to it with the Lina DAC connected to the buffered and unbuffered inputs, I disagree with the gentleman on the left of the Abyss review, it‘s not track dependent which input I use. Every single track sounds much better with the unbuffered XLR connections and the Utopia22. Interconnects I used were the Oyaide Tunami Terzo V2 and the Cardas Clear Beyond headphone cable with the Lina DAC set to 2V.

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