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Pulse DAC (Back to Top)
Pulse DAC is an audio digital-to-analog converter and headphone amplifier that was crowd-designed and crowd-funded here on Indiegogo! Since we launched the campaign, word has spread quickly and Pulse DAC has become the most successful crowd-designed high performance audio component in the world. 1,262 backers (who we lovingly call "Geek Force") have contributed to its development, helping us to pre-sell over 9000 units.
What does Pulse DAC do?
Many people don't know this, but our human ears can't actually hear digital audio.
Digital data has to be converted into analog before we can hear it. To do this, we use digital-to-analog converters, also known as DACs.
DACs are everywhere: in our phones, in our cable boxes, in our computers. Seriously. They're everywhere. The problem with the DACs that we find in all of our devices is simple: they're made to do the job with the least amount of effort and the lowest cost to build.
Pulse DAC is designed to differently. Instead of just barely getting the job done, it goes the extra mile to get the job done well. Very well. So well that there's no other DAC that can do what it does without having to pay three times the price.
Three different configurations.
Pulse DAC: This is what others might call a base model, but we prefer to think of it as where awesome starts.
Pulse DAC X: This is a fully-balanced, dual mono version of Pulse DAC. On the front, in addition to the 1/4" stereo headphone jack, you get a four-pin balanced headphone output. On the back, there's another way for your stereo: a pair of balanced XLR outputs.
Pulse DAC Xfi: This is Pulse DAC X on steroids. Remember that optional dual femto clock upgrade? This is where you get it. It also has upgraded passive components (capacitors and resistors) as well as upgraded active components (opamps and controllers).
Pulse LPS (Back to Top)
LPS stands for "linear power supply." If you really want to get the most out of Pulse DAC, PULSE LPS is a must.
Pulse LPS takes dirty AC power from the wall and delivers clean DC power to Pulse DAC. This clean DC power has very low noise, which improves the sonic quality of the music coming out of Geek Pulse. With clean power, you get more natural music.
As an added feature, Pulse LPS can be used to clean the noise off of the USB connection from your computer to Pulse DAC. Just connect your computer to Pulse LPS using a USB cable, then connect Pulse LPS to Pulse DAC (or any USB DAC, for that matter) using a second USB Cable. When you do this, Pulse LPS disconnects the 5V power coming over the USB cable from the computer and replaces it with clean (under 6uV noise) 5V power coming from its super-regulated power circuits.
Special note: With USB 2.0, cable length is very important. You cannot go longer that five meters in total length and expect consistent results. Because Geek LPS does not incude a repeater or amplifier (due to noise concerns), the sum of the lengths of both the input and output USB cables cannot exceed five meters.
Two different configurations.
Pulse LPS: This is Pulse DAC's linear power supply buddy that we told you about earlier. It has one 120 or 240 volt AC input, one 12 volt DC output, one USB input, and one USB output.
Pulse LPS4: This is just like Pulse LPS, but it has four 12 volt DC outputs instead of just one. It's perfect for other audio gear you might have that uses 12V DC power.
Accessories for your Pulse Audio Components (Back to Top)
We've created these little goodies that match up perfectly to your Pulse Source, Pulse DAC, or Pulse LPS.
LightSpeed 1G USB Cable: LightSpeed 1G is an affordable high-end USB cable that boasts more than twice the bandwidth of USB 2.0's Audio Specification standard. Due to its wide bandwidth, the USB controller inside your DAC isn't overburdened when jitter makes its way into the signal, making your DAC run optimally and signal noise-free.
LightSpeed 1G Micro USB Cable: With exactly the same topology as the standard LightSpeed 1G, this cable is fitted with a micro-USB connector allowing you to connect mobile devices to your DAC.
LightSpeed 2G USB Cable: This USB cable's bandwidth is four times USB 2.0's standard bandwidth of 480 MHz. Similar to LightSpeed 1G, the wide bandwidth of this cable ensures a low-jitter signal environment inside your DAC, giving you lifelike, bit-perfect music.
Technology breakdown. (Back to Top)
About LH Labs
LH Labs is an amalgamation of audio geeks and engineers who have partnered together with one sole purpose in mind: bringing the sound of high-end audio to the masses.
Based in Northern California, the epicenter of the high-end audio industry, LH Labs was founded on the principal that music lovers deserve something better than just the "usual." We've made it our mission to create the best products possible for both audiophiles and music enthusiasts.
We've earned all kinds of awards, including a CES Innovations Honoree Award, A Publisher's Choice Award from TONEAudio, a Greatest Bits Award from Audio Stream, a Writer's Choice Award from Positive Feedback Online, and a Blue Moon Award from sixmoons.com. We've been featured in Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Street, Stereophile Magazine, The Absolute Sound, The Business Journals, and The Daily Swarm, among many other publications.
The LH Labs Team
Larry Ho, Electronics Engineering Lead
Always challenging the status quo. A die-hard tube, vinyl, high-definition music lover.
Gavin Fish, Marketing & Communications Lead
The nerdiestest marketer on the West Coast. Gavin is LH Lab's campaign architect and lead communicator.
Casey Hartwell, Online Media Lead
Social media enthusiast. Record Facebook session without going to the bathroom: 51 hours, 22 minutes. Recommended by 4 out of 5 people that recommend things.
Kayla Bejsovec, Industrial Design Lead
Kayla loves four things: bionic cats, Rock Band (in expert mode), Taylor Swift, and fresh industrial design. Not in that order.
Frequently Asked Questions
Besides 6922, what other tubes can I use in your Pulse tube gear?
6DJ8/ CCa / 6N11 /ECC88 / E88CC / E188CC / 7308 / 6N23P / 6H23 / CV2492 / CV2493 / 8223. Try to find a close match pairs. And don't mix them.
I've changed my mind. Can I get a refund?
Sorry, Indiegogo's policy is No Refunds. Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do about this. When your contribution is deposited into our PayPal account, it comes from Indiegogo, not from you. So if we were to refund your contribution, it wouldn't make it back to you. Please see Indiegogo's rules here.
What is the difference between Geek Out, Pulse DAC and Vi DAC?
Pulse DAC is a desktop version of Geek Out; the conversion and analog circuits are shared by both products. The difference between them is mostly in the power circuit. The USB bus powers Geek Out. A very clean DC power circuit powers Pulse DAC. Additionally, Pulse DAC has multiple digital inputs and has both a headphone output and a line stage output. Vi DAC is the home stereo version of Pulse DAC. It integrates the linear power supply of Pulse LPS and the digital and analog circuits of Pulse DAC into one chassis. It comes with an option tube output stage.
What kind of headphones can I use with Pulse DAC or Vi DAC?
We're including a gain setting switch in Pulse DAC/Vi DAC thanks to the suggestions of some of the backers of the campaign. With this switch, Pulse DAC and Vi DAC works well with 99% of the headphones that are on the market, including IEMs.
What kind of speakers can I use with Pulse DAC or Vi DAC?
You can connect Pulse DAC or Vi DAC to speakers in two different ways. First, you can use self-powered speakers— speakers with an amplifier built into them. Second, you can connect Pulse DAC or Vi DAC to a stereo amplifier, which in turn powers your speakers. Either way, it will sound great.
Can I get multiple perks?
Yes! You can back our campaign as many times as you want, choosing as many perks as you want.
Can I change my perk?
Unfortunately, not during the campaign. But before we send you your gear, we'll send you an email with a link to a system that will help you manage your perk, input your shipping information, and purchase add-ons if you choose.
When you ship, will you please declare a lesser value on the customs form?
Is the USB connection asynchronous?
Yes. Yes, it is.
How does volume control work on Pulse DAC or Vi DAC?
We handle volume attenuation in the digital domain using a 64 bit volume attenuation circuit.
What's the warranty?
Pulse audio components each come with a 1 year limited liability warranty that protects you against manufacturing defects.
How much is shipping?
It really depends on where you live and what shipping service you choose. Rather than include an average shipping cost in the perk price, we prefer to give you shipping weight and dimensions so you can get a shipping quote. When it's time to ship, we'll ask you to choose a carrier and will send you a PayPal invoice to cover our costs.
Pulse DAC: 14" width, 14" depth, 5" height, 8 lbs
Pulse DAC X: 14" width, 14" depth, 5" height, 9 lbs
Pulse DAC Xfi: 14" width, 14" depth, 5" height, 9 lbs
Pulse LPS: 14" width, 14" depth, 5" height, 9 lbs
Pulse LPS4: 14" width, 14" depth, 5" height, 11 lbs
Vi DAC: 20" width, 16" depth, 6" height, ~35 lbs