Conclusion HIFI Pig
The Linear D was surprisingly good choice for me to play with. Where I usually prefer tube headphone amps in order to get the musicality and personality in the sound, I felt very happy getting to know this product, both with analogue and digital sources. The sound was powerful, human, never flamboyant, but still sensitive to detail. It worked well with all I played, from classical, jazz, pop and folk. Having that extra 20dB of power up my sleeve was also good for those less efficient planar headphones that are flooding the market. I would therefore most certainly give this product a listen to if you are in the market for a headphone/DAC duo.
Build Quality: Minimalist, well-built design, both component design and construction
Sound Quality: Accurate, full frequency sound with lots of warmth and vivacity
Value For Money: This is not a basement price offering, but bearing in mind the price of the headphones you should be using with the Linear D, this is excellent value
Pros: Immense musicality ,Full sound ,Works on all music ,Detail that doesn’t tire you out ,Detailed soundstage
Since Lehmannaudio turned the “emergency exit” of classic hi-fi amplifiers into a gate to a new musical perception with their Linear back in 2004, headphone outputs with frustrating sound have become a thing of the past. Now the Linear D shows that things can even get better: the Linear’s multi-award-winning analogue section has been upgraded with a high-resolution digital-analogue converter of the latest generation.
"Already the first bars foreshadow its potential, the music is reproduced with enormous clarity."
— Hifi & Records
Comfort and performance
The Linear D is the perfect complement to streamers and CD players. It recognises digital signals, automatically selects the optimal input and needs no input selector. The Sabre DAC from ESS on the quad-layer circuit board, which has been optimised against HF interference, offers both digital S/PDIF and Toslink inputs.
Low-loss mica capacitors on the mainboard and in the converter analogue filter as well as ultra fast amplifier stages on the converter board guarantee reference quality. Owing to three settings the Linear D adapts to the most diverse headphone-source combinations, and with one analogue and two digital inputs it also delivers a breathtakingly expressive performance as a preamp on active loudspeakers.
The Linear D makes people happy who want to enjoy music in an intense and pristine way and brings together those who share musical enjoyment: two parallel outputs on the discrete class A solid-state output stages powerfully feed two headphones of equal impedance without compromising the listening experience. SSC absorber feet decouple the Linear D from its base and provide calmness. So the Linear D sounds even more sculptural now: with lush, yet never ostentatious lows, delicate resolution and zero-gravity elegance over the entire frequency range.
Turn the massive, damped potentiometer of the Linear D. Rediscover your analogue and digital musical treasures!
The impressing technical details of the Linear D.
Input impedance 47 kOhms
Maximum gain 0 dB, 10 dB, 18 dB, 20 dB
selectable via DIP switches
Frequency response 10 Hz (-0.3 dB) to 35 kHz (-1 dB)
Signal to noise ratio > 95 dB at gain 0 dB
THD < 0.001 % at 6 mW/300 Ohms
Channel separation > 80 dB at 10 kHz
Output power 400 mW/60 Ohms
200 mW/300 Ohms
Output impedance Line Out 50 Ohms
Headphones Out 5 Ohms
Connectors audio Neutrik headphone jacks with gold plated contacts
1 x switching Line Out
1 x non switching Line Out
gold plated RCA sockets with teflon insulation
Power consumption 15 W through internal, regulated power supply
Special feature vibration-absorbing SSC feet
Outer dimensions W x D x H 280 mm x 110 mm x 44 mm (11 x 4.3 x 2 in.)
Weight 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs.) net
Digital inputs 1 x Toslink (automatically prioritised)
1 x RCA 75 ohms
Sampling Rates 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 192 kHz
Resolution 24 bits
Chipset ESS Sabre K2M
Analogue filter Silver Mica capacitators
Max. output level DAC 1 V eff.
Special feature The analogue input is automatically activated, when no digital signal is recognised
Advise Silver or Black Faceplate