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Line Magnetic 502ca


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Just curious to see if anybody has heard this dac from Line Magnetic and what your thoughts are. Any comparisons to other tubed dacs such as any level of the Lampizator line would be nice as well. Thanks!

Sonore microRendu>Lampi L4G5>Herron VTSP 3a r03>Herron M1a monos>Vapor Cirrus Blacks

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Just curious to see if anybody has heard this dac from Line Magnetic and what your thoughts are. Any comparisons to other tubed dacs such as any level of the Lampizator line would be nice as well. Thanks!

 

I bought one second hand here in Hong Kong for about $500USD, tube rolled with a pair of genalex 12au7. I've compared it with Chord Hugo and preferred it over the Chord. The Chord was definitely more detailed but the LM502 and Genalex combo was more intimate sounding and it has deeper insights and more able to translate the emotion of the music.

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I bought one second hand here in Hong Kong for about $500USD, tube rolled with a pair of genalex 12au7. I've compared it with Chord Hugo and preferred it over the Chord. The Chord was definitely more detailed but the LM502 and Genalex combo was more intimate sounding and it has deeper insights and more able to translate the emotion of the music.

 

Thanks for the reply!

 

I read on the Killer Dac forum that if you change out the stocks tubes including the rectifier tube that it can dramatically increase the performance. I'm hoping to try one out here in the next month or two but just wanted to see how many people have either owned this dac or have at least tried it. Also trying to demo a Lampizator dac around the same time so hopefully I'll get a good sense of what a descent tube dac can do. The way you describe the sound of the 502ca is kind of what I'm looking for.

Sonore microRendu>Lampi L4G5>Herron VTSP 3a r03>Herron M1a monos>Vapor Cirrus Blacks

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I just read through the Killer Dac forum thread you were referring to. Sounds promising on some of the other mods they performed on the DAC. I'm gonna try rolling the stock 6z4 tube with a NOS 6x4 tube this weekend and see how much more of an improvement I can squeeze out from it.

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Yeah, some really make it sound like its the best thing since sliced bread in that forum. Seems like the 502ca has been around for a few years but has kind of flown under the radar. But whoever does own one seems to really like it. The price here in the U.S. is around $1800 but you can order one online from Aliexpress for about $950. I'm a little apprehensive about ordering from them though.

 

There is supposed to be a dealer near me that has one that can be loaned out so thats what I'm going to try and do to see if I like it before buying. Everything I've read about Line Magnetic from thier amps to preamps has all been positive so they seem like they make quality stuff.

Sonore microRendu>Lampi L4G5>Herron VTSP 3a r03>Herron M1a monos>Vapor Cirrus Blacks

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hello

i have received one LM 502 dac from aliexpress for 800 $ without problem into france

sound great with mazda 12AU7 tubes

soon i change the receiver

only pb with yosemite and usb xmos input : many plocs so i use only SPDIF input

 

Well thats nice to hear about Aliexpress. I like the options the 502ca has with all of its inputs. I have a DSPeaker thats in my chain and want to try using the Toslink input on the 502ca as well as the usb input coming straight from my Auralic Aries.

 

ghostdog, have you had any other dacs you could compare the 502ca to?

Sonore microRendu>Lampi L4G5>Herron VTSP 3a r03>Herron M1a monos>Vapor Cirrus Blacks

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I bought one second hand here in Hong Kong for about $500USD, tube rolled with a pair of genalex 12au7. I've compared it with Chord Hugo and preferred it over the Chord. The Chord was definitely more detailed but the LM502 and Genalex combo was more intimate sounding and it has deeper insights and more able to translate the emotion of the music.

 

 

I can't see how the less detailed DAC can offer a deeper insight to the music....

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I can't see how the less detailed DAC can offer a deeper insight to the music....

 

To me, insights means more than just hearing the details. With the 502ca, even though it is less detail than the Hugo, I feel more involved and seem to go deeper and understand the music more.

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hello

i have received one LM 502 dac from aliexpress for 800 $ without problem into france

sound great with mazda 12AU7 tubes

soon i change the receiver

only pb with yosemite and usb xmos input : many plocs so i use only SPDIF input

 

Have you swapped out the 6z4 rectifier tube yet? I just changed the stock Chinese one to a Tungsol 6x4 and got huge improvements from it. I was quite surprised. Soundstage and layering improved dramatically and overall sound is more focused and smooth. Highly recommended and huge improvement for a small cost.

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Have you swapped out the 6z4 rectifier tube yet? I just changed the stock Chinese one to a Tungsol 6x4 and got huge improvements from it. I was quite surprised. Soundstage and layering improved dramatically and overall sound is more focused and smooth. Highly recommended and huge improvement for a small cost.

 

have you change or modify the socket because the wire on pins are different between 6z4 and 6x4 ?

An adapter ?

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Have you swapped out the 6z4 rectifier tube yet? I just changed the stock Chinese one to a Tungsol 6x4 and got huge improvements from it. I was quite surprised. Soundstage and layering improved dramatically and overall sound is more focused and smooth. Highly recommended and huge improvement for a small cost.

 

Thats great to hear! Can't wait to hear one of these.

 

Any particular year of the Tung Sol? I've heard that the 1950's Tung Sol 12au7's are a great sounding tube but don't know if it matters to rectifier tubes or not as far as a certain decade or time period being better.

Sonore microRendu>Lampi L4G5>Herron VTSP 3a r03>Herron M1a monos>Vapor Cirrus Blacks

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Thats great to hear! Can't wait to hear one of these.

 

Any particular year of the Tung Sol? I've heard that the 1950's Tung Sol 12au7's are a great sounding tube but don't know if it matters to rectifier tubes or not as far as a certain decade or time period being better.

 

The Tungsol 6x4 I'm using is from the 50's. One thing to note is that wiring on the legs is different between 6z4 and 6x4 so you can't plug the 6x4 tube in directly even though the legs are the same. You can either re-wire yourself or get a converter off ebay. I'm using the converter now but it raises the tube too high so the case can't close. I'm gonna try to figure out how to resolder the wires myself so I won't have to use the converter anymore.

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The Tungsol 6x4 I'm using is from the 50's. One thing to note is that wiring on the legs is different between 6z4 and 6x4 so you can't plug the 6x4 tube in directly even though the legs are the same. You can either re-wire yourself or get a converter off ebay. I'm using the converter now but it raises the tube too high so the case can't close. I'm gonna try to figure out how to resolder the wires myself so I won't have to use the converter anymore.

 

ok

i ' ll receive adapter soon

i have too a tungsol

i see a ez80 to 6z4 adapter

do you know ez80 ?

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  • 1 month later...
I realized that you don't even need an adapter, there is a jumper by the tube that allows you to switch to 6x4.

 

By the way I'm selling my 502 and upgrading to a Lampizator if anyone is interested in buying. It is 220v though.

 

Which Lampizator model are you going for or have heard?

 

If your 502 was 110 I would be interested. I'm supposed to hear a demo unit from Lampizator of NA but have not heard back yet.

Sonore microRendu>Lampi L4G5>Herron VTSP 3a r03>Herron M1a monos>Vapor Cirrus Blacks

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I've heard this LM DAC and found typical tube sound in 1000-1500$ region.

Not my cup of tea. Lampi is much better and more expensive.

 

It's good though that you can find it cheap from China. Around 800$.

 

Was that with rolled tubes or stock tubes? Changing the stock China tubes really upgrades the sound I found.

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and lampi is very more expensive !

hope is very better !

 

I got a used Amber with upgraded chokes and caps for half the price of new so it is hard to not to upgrade. But the 502 was better than the NAD M51 and Chord Hugo I've had before. Not side by side comparison just judging from memory so maybe that doesn't say much.

 

Also with the Amber I'm upsampling files to DSD with HQ player while with the 502 I was only upping to 192 so that accounts for the difference in sound quality as well.

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