Lina upgrade to 2.0 possibly?

I’m just a lowly Lina DAC and clock owner (yes some sarcasm there)

With the Apex upgrades across product lines

Could Lina owners maybe get a 2.0?

I use in a 2ch system. No headphones

Perfectly happy, just curious

Judging by Bartok, it would most likely happen next year, as Lina is still fresh. But who knows.

Hey Chris B, any comments about the sonic difference you hear by adding the clock?

it adds “polish”. difficult to explain. improves details and separation very subtly, be the easiest way to describe

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Thank you Chris B. Much appreciated.

Chris, the Lina Welcome thread has quite a bit of discussion on this point, so you might want to read up there too.

That said, obviously dCS is not going to comment directly on what’s possible in the future, so, that leaves us user free to speculate :laughing:

A good place to start is to compare the Xilinx FPGA chip logic cell capacities between the Lina and the Bartok on the Ring DAC board.

The Bartok I believe has a pair of Spartan-3 chips between the left and right channel. If I’m not mistaken, it uses the XC32S100E chips for a total programmable logic cell capacity of 4,320.

The Lina, on the other hand, I think uses just a single but newer and much higher capacity Artix-7 chip. I don’t know which exact model, but even the smallest in the Artix range starts at 12,800 Logic Cells! Logic cell capacities are not the only measure of what’s possible, but it’s a good rough guide.

In which case, I think Lina owners can be quite hopeful that 2.0 (and much more) is not only possible, it’s likely just a matter of time :slight_smile:


The Lina network DAC employs a StreamUnlimited 800 series platform [right, sidewall]. More familiar, the 96 current sources (a 2x48 matrix) that comprise the RingDAC core [centre] are addressed via a Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA [lower left]. Note also the 48kHz/44.1kHz clocks [bottom]. Fully balanced, mixed op-amp analogue output [top] has its own regulated PSU


So, I got curious about which Artix-7 exactly is being used :slight_smile:

If dCS’ “Making of Lina” YouTube video shows the genuine Lina being manufactured, then it would seem dCS has pulled out all the stops and used the top-of-the-line Artix-7 XC7A200T chip with its whopping 215,360 Logic Cells. That’s a $500 Chip!


Wow!! Thanks!!

GREAT detective work :face_with_monocle: :+1: :+1:

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So… I was wondering why dCS would use such a high-capacity FPGA on the Lina; made sense when I looked properly at the Lina DAC Circuit boards;

Unlike the rest of the dCS families, Lina doesn’t have a separate Control board with FPGAs, so it would appear this one big FPGA is actually doing all DSP duties, though now in conjunction with an XMOS chip; input processing, filters, mapper, etc. etc.

All of which suggests Lina has quite a different evolutionary firmware stream from the rest of the dCS families.

Interesting times :slight_smile:


Adding my vote. No reason to hold this back from Lina owners.

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Perhaps this would suggest the possibility of further DSP options in the future? this seems to be something that is highly valued by the Headphone community


Definitely. Lina is one serious beast within!

Clearly parallels the Vivaldi stack in being years ahead of anything else in the dedicated HeadFi space. No doubt 10 years from now HeadFiers will be wishing they had bought Lina when it was first launched :rofl:

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Maybe. That whole electrostatic thing complicates matters. :wink:


Very true, but from just an amplification standpoint though - I have the same ‘issue’ with my Bartok/Stax - not a DSP (i.e. dCS forte) perspective that Urbanluthiar was alluding to.

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Completely agree. The processing power advantage Lina brings to the table is significant. And since that is all “in the DAC,” well . . …

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If the Lina is getting this level of technology, the replacement for the Vivaldi (whenever that happens) could be quite formidable :slight_smile:


Heh, maybe @Adrian will get his wish!

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If you’re thinking the Lina would no longer be the only product using its own firmware track (and this track would therefore become the starting point for all future dCS DACs), I would agree… All things come to those who wait!