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Line Magnetic LM-32DAC – D/A Converter with Tube or Transistor Output Stage

Analog warmth for digital sources, this is what Line Magnetic promises for the new D/A converter Line Magnetic LM-32DAC, because it combines a DAC with an output stage that uses either tube technology or transistor.

What should it be? Tube or transistor? This question is not a fundamental one with the new Line Magnetic LM-32DAC, but can be answered simply by switching. The new D/A converter from Line Magnetic has an output stage that leaves it up to the user to decide whether to use a tube or a transistor.

The fact that the passion of the company’s founders lies first and foremost in tubes should not be concealed, so it is obvious that the new Line Magnetic LM-32DAC is primarily focused on its tube output stage.

Line Magnetic LM-32DAC – Analog warmth for digital sources

Thus, the company promises above all analog warmth for digital sources, whereby this, according to the manufacturer, should be guaranteed free of artifacts, thus offering music listening at the very highest level. The Line Magnetic LM-32DAC is thus intended to live up to the best analog hi-fi tradition in every respect, to which the company founders of Line Magnetic have always been committed.

Line Magnetic LM 32DAC 01

One of the most modern converter components

According to the manufacturer, the heart of the new Line Magnetic LM-32DAC is one of the most modern converter components available today, describing the ESS9028PRO Sabre DAC from the specialist ESS Technology Inc. used here.

This has the so-called ESS Hyperstream Technology, which is to be distinguished by ultra-precise clocking and thus an absolutely exact signal processing free of sound-damaging jitter with simultaneous high dynamics and large frequency range. The D/A converter is able to process signals with up to 32 bit and 384 kHz in Linear PCM as well as DSD including DSD256.

Line Magnetic LM 32DAC 02

Versatile use

In order to be able to integrate the new Line Magnetic LM-32DAC in the best possible way into the most diverse configurations, it is to be able to come up with numerous interfaces on the part of the inputs in addition, outputs.

Thus for digital sources an AES/EBU is just as available, as a S/PDIF interface implemented as BNC. In addition, there is a classic coaxial and optical S/PDIF interface. These inputs support signals in Linear PCM with up to 32 bits and 192 kHz, and a PC or Mac can be connected via the USB 2.0 port, which also supports the full resolution of Linear PCM with 32 bits and 384 kHz or DSD with up to DSD256.

Tube or transistor?

Tube or transistor? Line Magnetic’s LM-32DAC makes this decision easier, as the output stage can be easily switched between the two options. Two 12AU7 tubes provide warm sound rich in overtones with a fascinating stereo stage, while the high-quality transistor circuit brings out even the finest details, according to the manufacturer’s assessment. Both signal paths are realized with carefully selected components and output an audiophile signal in every respect via unbalanced RCA or balanced XLR jacks, which should perfectly show off the quality of high-quality downstream hi-fi components.

Line Magnetic LM 32DAC 03

Two power supplies for audiophile sound at reference level

According to the company, even an uncompromising circuit design can only show off all its advantages if the power supply is accurate, so the new Line Magentic LM-32DAC was meticulously designed in this respect as well.

The digital part uses an RL transformer with high-precision transistor rectification, while a toroidal model with high current delivery capability is used for the analog circuits. The rectifier here is a 6Z4 tube – a circuit topology that has also contributed significantly to the musical sound of historical audio engineering. The use of two separate power supplies not only ensures a perfect voltage supply for each signal processing stage, but also prevents any influence on the analog circuits by high-frequency interference from the digital part, thus exemplifying Line Magnetic’s consistently audiophile approach.

Simple design of timeless elegance

Already the housing size of 430 x 325 x 105 mm and a weight of stately 6.7 kg indicate the Line Magnetic LM-32DAC as an uncompromising high-end device. The matte black housing with its brushed front panel is characterized by simple understatement and fits seamlessly into any sophisticated HiFi setup.

Three smooth-running buttons can be used to select sound sources and switch between tube and transistor output stages. A two-line dot matrix display informs about the selected signal source and its digital resolution at any time. Its discreet golden-yellow color scheme ensures best readability without ever being distracting and underlines the overall design of the Line Magnetic LM-32DAC as a high-quality audio component with a clear focus on musical enjoyment instead of superficial effect showmanship, as described by the manufacturer itself.

The new Line Magnetic LM-32DAC is to be found immediately in specialized trade, whereby the noncommittal recommended retail price is indicated with € 2.499, -.

Getting to the point

The new Line Magnetic LM-32DAC is first of all a D/A converter that is equipped for all eventualities. It doesn’t lack connections, nor does it lack support for all relevant resolutions, be it Linear PCM or DSD. In addition, however, there is an output stage that leaves the user the choice between transistor and tube.

Manufacturer:Line Magnetic
Distribution:IAD GmbH
Price:€ 2.499,-

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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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