Any great line-stage must possess transparency, ultra-low noise performance and absolute stability. It must anchor the incoming signals and deliver them onwards, propelled from a firm footing that ensures dynamic and musical authority. It must pass the source signals in your system, without limitation or disturbance, leaving no trace of itself on their passage. Any great line-stage needs to be the next best thing to sonically and musically invisible, the hi-fi equivalent of effortlessly enacting its own audio super power.
Like all CH Precision products, the L1 uses fully discrete, balanced and complementary design, ultra-short signal paths and exactingly selected components. It is fed from heavily regulated and filtered power supplies, is wide-bandwidth, high slew-rate and DC coupled. But in this critical application, that’s not enough. It’s one thing to eliminate unnecessary components from the signal path and eliminate DC offset at the inputs, but the L1 takes things much, much further than that. Completely separate left and right channel circuit boards prevent crosstalk, while a super sophisticated, software driven R-2R network for each channel employs precision metal-film resistors and allows precise level control in 0.5dB steps with the minimum possible number of components. DC offset is monitored and eliminating not just at the inputs but throughout the volume control ladder and at multiple points throughout the entire circuit. That makes the L1 not just one of the quietest line-stages ever built, it makes it one of the quietest in operation too.Read more (PDF)