Light Harmonic Da Vinci DAC costs £18,000

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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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.