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Light Harmonic 32/384 Da Vinci DAC


Light Harmonic True 32/384 Inventing Da Vinci DAC

Da Vinci is the world's first true bit-perfect 384K asynchronous DAC using USB 2.0 technology.It's unprecedented, unique, and superb. But don't just take our word for it. Editors have widely praised Da Vinci's award-winning design and performance, calling it "state-of-the-art," "way ahead of the curve," "stunning" and "truly outstanding."
And described the music Da Vinci produces as "lively, detailed and fresh,"elegant and coherent" and "phenomenally rich."..



Rich with patent-pending technologies, Da Vinci boasts 40 ultra-low-noise power regulators, dedicated digital power, a three-layer buffer, triple clocking, and a proprietary audio processing unit. Additional characteristics include a
lifelike soundstage, musical coherence, transparency, and a best-in-class noise floor.

How Da Vinci Shines

Light Harmonic designed Da Vinci from the ground up, incorporating the latest thinking, developing new technologies, and addressing a multitude of issues, including the following:

Automatic LSB Correction

As research advanced, we confronted the Least Significant Bit (LSB) extension error, a problem that plagues every currently available DAC. LSB is a mathematical error affecting 16- and 24-bit digital files that causes a mismatch of up to three percent in every note. Da Vinci solves this with new and proprietary technology that automatically corrects each music sample.

Precision Timing

In digital signal conversion, timing is everything! To ensure computer speed fluctuations would not influence Da Vinci, and that it would run at a constant speed, Light Harmonic developed a proprietary (and patent-pending) Three-Layer Buffer similar to the buffering technology many of today's high-speed computers employ. This is the first time such a design has been applied to audio.



At the same time, our Triple (3X) Clock architecture divides the tasks usually handled by one clock among three clocks — one for 44.1K audio, a second for 48K audio, and a third for USB signal transmission. Da Vinci also uses the best non-phase-locked loop (PLL) clocks, which are set very near the analog conversion module. Advanced computer simulations and PCB modeling ensures that the transmission length of each digital audio signal is identical, with a maximum possible error of one one-thousandth of an inch.

No Up or Over-sampling

Light Harmonic's analysis suggests that 99 percent of audio DAC manufacturers upsample and over-sample. This makes measured numbers appear impressive, but the DACs doing this never sound quite right to our ears. We even tried, during Da Vinci's gestation, to make the industry's best upsampler using top-level delta sigma conversion technology and a finely tuned digital filter. But the results couldn't compete with our analog reference system, and we scrapped them. In the end, we stuck to our guns: bit-perfection all the way!

Core Conversion

Da Vinci refrains from using common delta-sigma integrated circuits (ICs) for the digital-to-analog conversion modules at its core. Instead, we use precision resistor-ladder architecture with low noise, a complex programmable logic device, parallel mechanisms for core conversion, and eight of the finest shunt local regulators we could build. The result: precise signal conversion.

Proprietary Duet Engine

Our patent-pending Duet Engine effectively doubles low sampling rates without digitally up- or over-sampling signals or using digital filters. Instead, sophisticated aligned analog interpolation does the trick. The result: Duet Engine technology delivers smoother highs and eliminates any need for a so-called brick-wall filter to cut off audio signals above or below a selected frequency. The improvement is especially apparent when listening to CDs.

Pristine Analog Output

Instead of opting for negative feedback, off-the-shelf integrated circuits or operational amplifiers, we created a unique, proprietary analog stage to achieve the output needed to meet Da Vinci's demanding goals.



The stage consists of a dual mono, discrete, balanced, single-ended Junction Field Effect Transistor (JFET) with an output buffer and non-negative feedback. It uses no operational amplifiers, and the buffer has far fewer high-order harmonic distortions than other designs. We've found this offers a more natural sound, especially in the high frequency range, even if at the expense of what we consider to be synthetically impressive measurements.

Six-Piece Aluminum Chassis

Solid as a brick, Da Vinci possesses the best-designed chassis in the industry. It is constructed of CNC-milled aerospace-grade, 6061-T6 aluminum blocks, which provide exceptional thermal stability, resonance control, and shielding from radio and electromagnetic signal interference. Special damping materials between the chassis's several layers minimize internal vibrations, and Da Vinci's 61-lb. weight and unique shape effectively eliminate vibrations from outside sources.

Multistage Isolated Power

Da Vinci's unique design enhances its appearance while also isolating the power supplies and preventing overheating. Set in the lower half of the two-piece chassis, the power supplies handle all AC to DC conversions, the display and controls, and the clocks. The lower half also houses a uniquely shaped heat sink that ensures Da Vinci runs within specific temperature tolerances.

To minimize AC and inter-modulation noises, Da Vinci employs more than 40 high-quality regulators, including 8 discrete shunt regulators in the primary digital conversion module, 3 nano-volt noise regulators in the clock power circuit, 5 high-precision regulators in the USB module, and 8 high-current discrete shunt regulators for each channel of the analog output and buffer. An R-Core transformer ruthlessly minimizes electro-magnetic signal interference.

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