Welcome dCS Lina


Just published by dCS: the final instalment of a series exploring the Lina Headphone Amplifier: 1. Drive 2. Linearity and now 3. Flexibility


Really appreciating this series.


@James my question is now finally answered :+1:

The use of the gain switch ties into the volume control used on the unit. Most headphone amplifiers feature an analogue volume control (unlike DACs, which tend to feature digital volume control systems). One important factor that must be considered when designing an analogue volume control system is the range of operation through which the potentiometer used to control the signal provides good matching of the left and right channels.

At the edges of this range–when the volume dial is set towards the minimum or maximum position, for example–the volumes of the left and right channels may not be equal. This creates a number of problems, such as skewing the soundstage. For this reason, it’s always best to use analogue volume controls within a sensible region, close to the 12 o’clock position if possible.

Higher quality potentiometers offer–among other things–a greater range of operation where the left and right channels are well-matched. With the Lina Headphone Amplifier, the volume control potentiometer sits in the feedback loop of the amplifier, and not in the signal chain. This means fewer components in the signal chain (which is crucial to achieving good performance). It also provides a major benefit when using the amplifier with sensitive headphones: when the volume control is turned down, the noise floor of the amplifier goes down with it. This is important as higher noise floors are readily audible when listening through sensitive headphones and IEMs.

The potentiometer is trimmed in-house at the dCS factory to achieve a level of performance above what its specifications would suggest. This, paired with the flexible inputs and gain switch, means the Lina Headphone Amplifier is flexible enough to be paired with almost all available source devices and headphones.


Sorry Erno, this question completely passed me by before! Got there eventually thought :smile:

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All good :grin:

Published today: dCS Lina amp report:


Published yesterday:

Hi-Fi News Verdict
dCS should be applauded for taking its most affordable DAC down the upgrade path so soon after launch. Now with variable line outputs to drive a power amplifier, and with greater options for ‘sound seasoning’, the Lina Network DAC is still desktop-friendly in design but is now even better equipped to front a conventional hi-fi set-up. Performance, meanwhile, is bang on the money.


I believe this is new :+1:t2:


I’m loving my Lina stack for headphones. Wondering if the Lina and clock are the best choice for my two channel system.

Using a hifi rose and McIntosh amps and preamps and MEN220 and B&W diamonds.

Is the Lina a better choice vs other offerings? I don’t mind the form factor.


The short (and long) answer is yes.

You may have read this already but if not, here’s a link for you to explain why https://dcsaudio.com/edit/lina_network_dac_deep_dive

The Lina DAC is at home in any system, 2 channel or headphone based.

Hook up your main system and share your experience!

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The “best” choice for you is related to many factors of which important ones can only be known to you e.g. what you prefer.

So I cannot say more other than that CS products are always of the highest rank. You may be interested in this review of Lina, mainly when used as a 2 channel source :

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You will probably find the Lina to be substantially better than the dac1 or 2 depending on the pre you have. That’s my comparison with the dac2 on a C2700. I’ve since moved onto a Pass Labs 32 pre

A review from a french audio website.

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I’m using the DAC in my Hifi Rose 150b bc it sounds better than the DA2 in my 2700.

Upgrade may have to wait since I’d want the clock as well for my rig, and I just ordered a new car :crazy_face::joy:

But I think for me it’s safe to assume the sound will be upgraded and thankfully I can check by connecting my headphone gear to my rig prior to buying.

Conversely, I guess if I wanted to move my headphone rig I could, and not need to buy another 2 boxes but I love having a setup in my office just for headphones.

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