Articles

Breakthrough Technology

Dear music lover,

We're on a journey together. Once Thomas Edison gave us the first practical audio recording and playback device, a race to develop better and better technology began. During that time, there have been great strides in both the analog and digital domains. We believe we've accomplished something special with our first product offering, Da Vinci, that has taken the digital domain another great stride forward toward the industry's ultimate goal: audio reproduction that sounds live.

What makes Da Vinci different from all the other USB DACs on the market? Well, there's actually quite a lot we can say.

Bit-perfect
Contrary to the standard industry approach, we've determined the use of upsampling, oversampling, or any digital filters or signal-manipulations to be ineffective. Our approach is to preserve the integrity of the digital music stream by developing new buffering and clocking technologies. This ensures that our core conversion module produces an accurate analog music stream. Da Vinci is a true 384K/32 bit asynchronous USB DAC.

Precision Timing
During Da Vinci's development, our target was to reduce clock jitter to an error rate less than 0.12 picoseconds. To do so, we developed a patent-pending three-layer buffering technology, a proprietary 3X clock circuit, silent clock power technology, and a -166dB phase error oscillator. Utilizing these and other breakthrough technologies, Light Harmonic has produced the industry's best DAC to date. DaVinci offers both the most accurate timing and the lowest jitter, giving the listener the purest, most exact audio playback experience possible.

Highest Sampling Rate
Upsampling can make measurements appear impressive. Unfortunately, it destroys the essence of the music. As we developed more than a dozen prototypes, we discovered that when the original master tape is downsampled to 44.1 kHz (to match the CD format) and then upsampled to a higher sampling rate (the normal situation for CD listeners), the music is destroyed twice. One reason for this is that upsampling is usually accompanied by digital filtration which creates several forms of distortion, resulting in harsh sound and a compressed soundstage. This is why we decided that upsampling was not acceptable. While that choice made the process of engineering more complex and difficult, it is one of the reasons we've been able to preserve the natural timbre, texture, and spatial qualities of music. Da Vinci is the real deal: a true 384K/32 bit DAC.

Eradication of Noise
Without a doubt, your computer's power supply is a giant high-frequency noise generator. Eradicating high-frequency noise caused by your computer consumes time and effort, and in the end, it's usually fruitless. Light Harmonic nips this problem in the bud with our proprietary USB ground galvanic isolation technology.

Our USB interface module is powered by a dedicated digital power supply that is completely independent from the PC. There is not a single power, ground, or signal line directly connecting your computer to Da Vinci's core. We've eliminated high-frequency noise caused by a computer's power supply through the use of total power isolation.

Ease of Use
Installing Da Vinci is easy because it is in compliance with USB 2.0 standards. On Mac and Linux, all you have to do is plug and play! There is no software driver to install. On Windows, we provide an easy-to-install downloadable driver. Once you're up and running, your user settings are automatically stored so you don't have to readjust them each time you power up your system. Real time sampling rate and volume information is clearly displayed on the front panel.

Modular Architecture
The modular design of Da Vinci consists of six printed circuit boards, each of which represents a key functional unit of the DAC:

  1. Power
  2. Control
  3. Digital Signal Input
  4. Core Digital to Analog Conversion
  5. Left Analog Channel
  6. Right Analog Channel

Having each key functional unit running separately on its own PCB also means separate communication paths, which improves signal performance by eliminating possible interference. Additionally, a modular upgradable design allows for ease of maintenance and gives owners of Da Vinci the option to upgrade to future features. This preserves your initial investment and extends the life of the product for future enjoyment.

In creating Da Vinci, we were true to our vision in providing the best digital to analog playback experience available on the market today. Audiophiles, reviewers, and industry VIPs who have heard Da Vinci are universally pleased with what they hear. We invite you to read some of their testimonials. After you do, please contact us to arrange a demo so you can hear the difference Da Vinci can make in your system.

Sincerely,

Light Harmonic