LH Labs Vi DAC

The LH Labs Vi DAC comes in two flavors; Vi DAC ($5000) and the Vi DAC Tube ($7,000). Inside every fully balanced dual mono Vi DAC resides a pair of ESS9018AQ2M converters, one per channel, and dual Femto Oscillators (one for 44.1kHz and Integer Multiples, a second for 48kHz and multiples). The chassis, which I like looking at, is all aluminum with no parallel walls aids in taming resonance and noise. The Vi DACs can handle PCM resolutions up to 32/384kHz and DSD to a whopping 12.228MHz.

Inputs include 1x USB, 1x Toslink, 1x AES/EBU, and 2x Coax S/PDIF. Outputs are singel-ended RCAs and balanced XLRs. There's also a 1/4" and balanced XLR output up front for your headphones. Tube lovers who opt for the Tube Output Buffer, get an extra set of RCAs to accommodate those valves.

The system we're looking at and I listened to includes amplification from Pass Labs driving a pair of Estalon XB speakers. With the flivk of the remote I could switch between the tube and solid state output where I noted the "tubes sounded rounder." That's a good thing.

There was also a prototype of the forthcoming Roon-Ready Source ($TBD) music server serving the bits. Input is via Ethernet or WiFi while outputs are handled by 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, I2S over HDMI, AES/EBU, and Coax S/PDIF. The Source comes with up to 4TB of internal storage.