Line Magnetic, Spec, and DeVore Fidelity

A room full of friends. I have a pre-production pair of the DeVore X speakers ($15,890/pair) in-barn, John (of DeVore) and I are friends, and the Line Magnetic LM-502CA DAC ($1,795 pictured at the bottom of the rack) is distributed in the US by my friend Jonathan Halpern of Tone Imports. Using the Spec RSA-M3EX Integrated amp ($9,500) to drive the Xs with data being sent from a Mac to the LM-502CA, I thought the system sounded just like music. Like real, honest to goodness, sit back, relax, and lose yourself in it music.

Things got positively technicolor with vinyl spinning on the Spec GMP-8000EX 'table w/EMT 997 tonearm ($24,000) fitted with with the EMT TSD-15 cartridge ($1,950) or the EMT OFD-15 Mono cartridge ($2,200). The Hommage T2 Step Up Transformer ($4,995) was from Keith Aschenbrenner of Auditorium 23 (whom I'd like to consider a friend) and I happen to have an Hommage T2 in-barn, too.

The Line Magnetic LM-502CA DAC supports PCM resolutions up to 32-bit/192kHz via AES/EBU, coax S/PDIF (BNC), asynchronous USB, and Toslink. Among the insides resides an XMOS-based USB receiver, the ESS Sabre 9016, two power supplies (toroidal transformer for digital and EI transformer for analog), a SS or tube analog output stage using a pair of 12AU7/ECC82, and a 6Z4 for tube rectification (damn near killed him).