Book worms. Below we see a slice of first musicbook dsd production before the standoffs atop the 6-layer motherboard were populated with a smaller PCB and the various snap connectors wired up with ribbon cables or wire harnesses. The earlier generation's exposed SMPS [see right] became a fully sealed 30w/12V Mean Well with 85-264VAC global power flexibility. That's housed in the black casing behind the power IEC with integral filter. The motherboard's small frontal recess clears the display.

Clearly these bookish Teutons are primo examples of surface-mount tech that does away with as many wired connections as possible. Owners of earlier versions now appreciate what's involved in a hardware upgrade: complete replacement of the mother and socketry boards. Only enclosure and remote control remain unchanged. Jochen called it when he named this new generation a complete makeover or "top-to-bottom renovation". Whilst the nomenclature merely grew a dsd suffix to signify, perhaps, nothing but a MkII-ish feature addition, under the hood these really are all new decks. Old bottles, new wine and all that. Zum Wohl!

Clearly Lindemann Audio, progress and boarding the bullet train of digital evolution huddle happily on the same page. What's more, part of smart engineering is the minimization of assembly time. Once outsourced PCB modules and chassis parts arrive, the faster they go together, the less labour fees must be rolled over into the final sell price. This makes for a better value buy. It's a dimension closed off to the very small boutique operator who solders up everything by hand, charges a lot more clams, then claims artisanal advantages for his sound. Perhaps.

As these photos show, the dsd versions stick with the predecessors' reliance on opamp outputs. So does the $2'850 Resonessence Veritas DAC without disc drive, headphone amp or PCM-->DSD conversion; the €5'700 Goldnote CD-1000 CDP/DAC with analog volume and one analog input but no headfi or on-the-fly resampling; and the €2'500 COS Engineering H1 with headfi/DAC but no preamp functionality or DSD resampling. These three recently reviewed examples document Lindemann's positioning for value built in Germany.

For a quick graphic representation of the various up/resampling options, we see, in CD mode though it's the same for USB file/streaming, native playback as 44.1-->44.1PCM; we see PCM44.1 rendered as DSD128, then maximally upsampled to DXD aka PCM352.8. In USB mode, we see an original PCM96 file rendered as DSD256; and finally the same 96 file first upsampled to 384 in PureMusic (replace with Audirvana, JRiver Media Center or similar), then rendered as DSD256 by the musicbook. By implication, any 128/256/320kbps MP3 streamed via Spotify & Co. can be upsampled to DXD or resampled to DSD128.

When the Lindemann is set to native, feeding it an already upsampled signal achieves otherwise missed target rates like 88.2/176.4kHz or 96/192kHz. When set to DSD, it renders Redbook files as DSD128. Upsampling those CD files to just 88.2kHz in player software then ups them to DSD256. If PCM upsampling is desired, the user decides whether to do it in 64-bit math with one of the many software players for Windows/Mac; on chip in the AK4137 SRC; or both. Physical discs obviously can't be pre-upsampled. They will always only render as DSD128, never as DSD256.