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Linn Numerik DAC

Discussion in 'audio' started by long-time-dead, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. didacus59

    didacus59 New Member

    Hello, I write from Italy, so excuse my English not perfect.

    I would use like you the Linn Numerik DAC to transferring music from my PC. I had already tried using a DAC Trends, but this did not work.

    Could you tell me what equipment do you use? The "converter" must have dual outputs BNC andCoax to work?

    Thanks for your help
  2. Mr Tibbs

    Mr Tibbs Infinitely Baffled Member

    Hello Diego and welcome to pink fish.

    The Numerik has two S/P-DIF signal INPUTS. Each of these inputs has an accompanying CD SYNC OUTPUT.

    The S/P-DIF input connectors are the BNC type.
    The SYNC output connectors are the RCA type.

    Any digital source device (whether CD transport or computer audio card or music streaming device) that has a S/P-DIF electrical output can be connected directly to an input of the Numerik, using the appropriate lead and connectors. None of these devices will be able to accept a CD SYNC signal from the Numerik (function works only with a Linn CD transport), but that will not prevent the Numerik from operating correctly as a standalone DAC.

    If you want to connect a digital source that only has an optical output, then you must use an optical to electrical signal convertor between the source and the Numerik. These convertors are available quite cheaply and seem to work well enough.

    Please note that the Numerik is only able to accept "standard resolution" digital audio at 44.1 kHz (CD) and 48 kHz (DAT) and therefore will not work with "high-res" signals.

    Hope that answers your questions.

    Mr Tibbs
  3. cheviot

    cheviot pfm Member

    This thread started in 2008 and some opinions (including my own) may be a bit dated, and I was just wondering if anybody has an opinion about the viability of this vintage dac these days, as many claims of dramatic developments have been made here and elsewhere.
    I know it's pretty long in the tooth - mine's a Numerik III used with a Squeezebox III - and time marches on, but I'm still curious about whether a more modern device would provide a really dramatic improvement with a Squeezebox III. Thoughts? Is it a relic?
  4. didacus59

    didacus59 New Member

    Yes MR Tibbs thanks for the information.

    Witch DAC You use?
    I would try the Trends Audio UD-10 USB; you know if it can work well with Numerik?

    Or you could advise me one?
    Best Regard
  5. Mr Tibbs

    Mr Tibbs Infinitely Baffled Member

    Good question.

    My thoughts are that the Numerik is still a superb DAC by any standards. That is, so long as you don't need/want the ability to convert 'high-res' digital, for reasons already mentioned.

    Certainly, I found it to be very much better than the much vaunted Benchmark DAC-1 that I tried for a while before I got hold of the minty Numerik I now use. Whether fed by an Airport Express (basement quality digital source) or by the optical output of a Macbook (average quality digital source), the Numerik was by far the most convincing music-maker of the two. Better still, when fed from my Karik III (and SYNC linked) the music really gels in a way that is head and shoulders above the Benchmark. Make of that what you will.

    It's worth pointing out, the Numerik is a very high specification piece of kit. The analogue filters (for instance) are fully discrete - a major factor IMO that makes the Numerik such a satisfyingly engaging listen. There may well be better DACs out there now, but at what price? I certainly have no interest in finding out what 'the next big thing' sounds like anymore.

    Mr Tibbs
  6. deltaunit

    deltaunit volume reveals detail

    A Musical Fidelity V-Link should work and there is also the HiFace. I use an Audio_Gd Digital Interface between my Numerik and Mac Mini. It works but I could not recommend the company or their UK dealer.
  7. Mr Tibbs

    Mr Tibbs Infinitely Baffled Member

    I can see no reason why it wouldn't work well with the Numerik, but I've never used any of these USB gizmos so cannot recommend any particular one. See above post by deltaunit.

    Mr Tibbs
  8. deltaunit

    deltaunit volume reveals detail

    I should add that I also used a cheap Chinese USB Spdif convertor purchased off eBay - this worked perfectly well with my Rega Io but would lose connection (or lock) with my Numerik.

    The Numerik does require a decent convertor/source (or is it a clock?) to lock on to.

    I actually did a null comparison with the two convertors and was surprised to find that the two files didn't null completely - the cheap one wavered slightly slowly forwards and backwards in time over a couple of seconds in comparison to the other - just enough for it to occasionally lose the lock.

    I don't think you'd be aware of it when listening but I found it interesting - you'd assume all timing errors were sorted out in digital!
  9. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    Yes - somewhere I've an article on this and Linn did (then) set the lock window tighter that the rather crap default of many processors (2-400ppm typically for the common CS8412 at the time, there were others)

    Not remotely surprised you got variable results from different converters. Many, may digital products out there seem to be a minimal-cost implementation of the chip manufacturers' datasheet, including default PLL filter values (which are a 'get in the door' basic serving suggestion at best). Very very few actually seem to test the result or really care, and getting anything worth having from a PLL (as used in USB-SPDIF converters and many, even expensive dacs) is a very, very sensitive game - and yes, even voltage regulation to this digital chip makes for significant differences in lock time and spur output = clock purity. But most boxshifters don't care; or even notice when the chips are flawed (eg CS8416..used widely). I bet JohnW could fill a few pages on this, for one.

    It's a major reason why the latest-and-greatest claims often really is NOT; lies, damn lies, and marketing measurements etc.

    - And also why the really good stuff is not ever cheap. At the very least, performance requires verification. And that takes time, and skill.
  10. didacus59

    didacus59 New Member

    Hello Deltaunit: I found used one Audio G-D but my Numerik not work.
    I can't find instructions to set the frequency of the DG of 48 kz, and I don't know to do

    Could you give me some help on this?
    Thank you very much.
  11. deltaunit

    deltaunit volume reveals detail

    Do you need it set to 48khz? I use mine as standard with my mac set to output 44khz.

    Here is an image showing the settings: http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/dac/USBface/DSP3.JPG

    I guess if it is used these might have been changed.

    I would think about outputting 44khz (CD standard) and not upsampling, if you do need to use 48khz then it looks like the 3rd connection up should be linked and MMD0 and MMD1 left unconnected.

    It should have come with some jumpers like these.

    Hope that helps
  12. Mescalito

    Mescalito pfm Member

    Certainly on a par when a colleague of mine brought his CD12 around so we could compare, anyway. Neither of us could split them.

  13. didacus59

    didacus59 New Member

    Hello guys. In the end I can work the two units.
    Before I removed all jumper and then I ... changed software!

    The problem is that, strangely but it doesen't work with Media River.
    It also works only with the BNC cable connection. I do not know if this is normal.

    However I am very happy and thank you very much for your help.
  14. romeo377

    romeo377 pfm Member


    I have an ND5XS.
    I found an opportunity for a very cheap Numerik.
    Do you think that the Numerik Dac is better than the internal DAC of the ND5XS?

    Thank you!
  15. romeo377

    romeo377 pfm Member


    Any ideas?

    Or anyone have listen a Naim Dac vs Numerik?

    Thank you!
  16. romeo377

    romeo377 pfm Member


    Any Idea?

    A naim user told me that the Numerik is as good as a CDS1? In that case it's better than ND5 XS built-in dac?

    Thank you.
  17. rhgbristol

    rhgbristol pfm Member

    If it reassures you, during the last 17 years I have owned and used extensively Naim cd3.5, Cdx, cd5x, cds3 and cd555 players in various systems but have 'gone back' to Linn Karik / Numeriks in both.

    To me, I do not feel I am losing or missing anything.
  18. Mr Tibbs

    Mr Tibbs Infinitely Baffled Member

    The Numerik is a superb music maker; hugely expressive and engaging, with a bell-like clarity that leaves nothing undiscovered (amp and speakers permitting). When partnered with a Karik (as CD transport) the combo is easily up there with the CDS2.

    Note though that it doesn't sound quite as good when sourced by anything other than the Karik (which allows the 'sinc-link' connection to lock the Karik to the Numerik's clock). Even so, it still does a fine job of playing music when fed from my macbook via a little optical adaptor to the spare BNC input - just not quite as involving compared to the K/N working as a team.

    Other things to think about; Look for a late version with the 'Slimline Brilliant' power supply as the Slimline PS seems to be a bit less flakey than the original Brilliant PS. Linn (apparently) no longer offer service or repair to the Numerik so it could end up as a doorstop if something major goes wrong. It obviously can't handle 'hi-res' digital so look elsewhere if that's an issue for you.

    Mr Tibbs
  19. Mr Tibbs

    Mr Tibbs Infinitely Baffled Member

    Now that does not surprise me at all.

    Mr Tibbs
  20. rhgbristol

    rhgbristol pfm Member

    Concur exactly with last post.

    Of my two Karik Numerik set ups it is the later one from 1997 with Smps slimline brilliant power supplies that has a slight edge, but the early transformered version is no slouch.

    I followed advice on this forum and avoided the short lived 'round brilliant' Smps from the period 1994 to 1995, which have known (but fixable) reliability issues.

    My main system in which both kariks shine is admittedly tri amped isobariks!

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