Light Harmonic Da Vinci DAC costs £18,000

27 Feb 2012

Light Harmonic Da Vinci

We rather like the industrial design of this unusual looking DAC from Light Harmonic. But you'll need to win the lottery to buy it.

Unveiled at the Bristol Show over the weekend, the Light Harmonic Da Vinci (to give it its full name) costs a cool £18,000.

Apparently it's the result of "thousands of hours of R&D" by Light Harmonic's team of engineers and designers.

It eschews upsampling, over-sampling or digital filters in favour of a bespoke digital architecture. Special buffering and clock technologies make the Da Vinci a "true 384Kbps/32-bit asynchronous USB 2.0 DAC", the company claims.

And the output stage is also unusual. Instead of using integrated op-amp cisrcuits, Light Harmonic developed its own balanced mode, dual mono, Class-A JFET stage, designed to "deliver a supremely natural sound, specifically in the high frequencies".

All the power supplies are located in the bottom of the two-piece chassis with a heat sink to keep the DAC running within tight temperature tolerances. Input connections include AES/EBU and S/PDIF.

The Light Harmonic Da Vinci DAC will be distributed in the UK by Anthem AV Solutions.

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does it play mp3s?

Light Harmonic partnered with us at the recent "Salon de Son et Image" in Montreal.  I can confirm from several days of blissful first-hand experience that its Star-Trek looks and NASA-grade price tag are more than matched by its astonishing sound quality.  Having reluctantly handed the Da Vinci back, life will be lessened by its departure.  But the memories will remain for a long time.  Its that good.