Review: Lake People DAC RS-06 – Stripped

There are a couple of menus that can be accessed through the front console, and admittedly, it is a bit of a pain.  Holding down the re-sampling button for two seconds will cause the “on” light to blink repeatedly and the “BAL” light to blink once, this means you have entered the digital roll off menu.  Hitting the input select button will make the “BAL” light stay lit up.  This means the digital filter will have a soft roll off.  Hitting it again will turn the light off, and that means the filter has a hard roll off.  Holding down the re-sampling button for two seconds again will bring you out of the menu.

RS 06 2

Now, holding down the input select button for two seconds, will cause the “LOCK” light to start blinking.  This means you are in the analogue output selection menu.  Here is what Lake People have to say about the analogue output:

“Unlike in the analog world, digital technology uses a clearly defined maximum level, described as 0 dBFs, or “zero deciBels Full scale” in clear text. From this maximum downward, signal levels are expressed with a negative sign.  The “translation“of the digital level into analog is provided by the D/A converter and is extremely flexible, whereby several standards have established.  Professional broadcast facilities in Germany – i.e. radio and TV stations -understand 0 dBFs as equivalent to +15 dBu analog level.  In other countries this may be handled differently.  Notabene, +15 dBu represent a voltage of 4.5 Veff which may exceed the capabilities of many audio devices designed for a voltage swing of 1…2 volts. Therefore, the maximum output level of the DAC RS 06 can be adapted by means of software. While factory-preset to +15dBu, the maximum balanced output level can as well be set to +21 / +15 / +9 / +3dBu. The unbalanced outputs have always 6 dB lower level: +15, +9, +3, -3 dBu (+9 dBu ex works).  While the level adjustments are made inside the D/A converter, these settings have no influence on the very low output impedance of all analog outputs.  Also there will be no signal degradation due to the truncation of the digital signal as the level setting is part of the 32 bit conversion process.  Theoretically the signal can be attenuated by 8 bit or 48 dB without touching the original 24 bit resolution. When there are only 16 bit signals present on the digital input (CD quality), the same would be true for 16bit or 96 dB attenuation.”

For practical purposes, what this means is that you can adjust the analogue output of the DAC like you would the gain level on an amp.  When you are in the menu, one to four of the lights will be lit:  The more lights, the louder the output.

With the RS-06, all of the inputs are capable of handling 192/24, with the possible exception of the USB input.  When buying the RS-06, you are given two choices of USB inputs.  It comes standard with the Tenor USB chip, which can do up to 96/24 (but not 88.2) and doesn’t need a driver to be downloaded to work with Windows.  For a price, you can upgrade that to an XMOS chip, which will do up to 192/24.  Of course, the RS-06 doesn’t do DSD, the reasons why were covered well by L in his V850 review.  As a person who isn’t on the DSD train, I have no issue with this.

RS 06 5

Now, where is the advantage to all of this?  Well, the V850 costs $1660 dollars.  It sounds amazing, to be sure, but as great as it sounds, that cost is hard for me to swallow.  I just want a great DAC, but all those bells and whistles will go unused by me.  The RS 06 is the answer to that.  With the Tenor USB chip, the RS-06 runs $940.  That is over $700 less than the V850, less than 60%!  That is a huge discount for getting rid of features I (and I have a feeling many others) wouldn’t have used anyway.  Now, don’t get me wrong, that is still a HUGE chunk of change, but I can honestly say, if you have the money, and are looking for a DAC, that it will give you your monies worth.  If you insist on being able to do 192/24 (or 88.2), adding the XMOS chip will drive up the cost to $1160, but that is still $500 off.  Just think, with the money you save, you could throw a G 109 amp by Lake People into the mix, and have a really killer setup.  Or maybe wait, as the Lake People have a pair of amps coming out as part of their Reference Series.  Here is hoping they are to the V281 what the RS-06 is to the V850.  Like a great man once said, “she may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid.”  The RS-06 provides end game sound for a less than end game price.  If you can afford it, go for it.

4.2/5 - (42 votes)

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11 Comments

  • Reply July 26, 2016

    Snazzy Labs

    Great review! Sounds awesome, I’m sure, but BLEH is it ugly! The weird font/logo etching in weird areas is so hideous. The LEDs look tacky and could easily be higher quality without adding hardly anything to the cost. I certainly wouldn’t want this eyesore in my rack. I’m sick of “value-based” equipment looking like crap.

    • Reply July 26, 2016

      Lieven

      It has the typical LakePeople look. Don’t forget this is the PRO line and not the consumer’s line. A lot of people like this kind of design but personally I don’t either. That’s why I pay more for the Violectric 🙂

      • Reply July 26, 2016

        qwak

        …PRO customers usually don’t care about “reference series” written 3 times on a front plate :)…it is really ugly…I would pay extra 50 just to get rid of all those lines and blah blah signs…I like Violectric products -they are ugly too but in a way one can like, but this is too much 🙂 (If someone from LP/Violectric is reading this)

  • Reply July 26, 2016

    Jordan

    Awesome review! Always enjoy reading them even if I can’t afford them. 🙂

    Although I just so happened to be looking at picking up a DAC and was highly considering the Violectric V800 to pair with my V200 and HE-500 headphones. I see rs-06 is only $90 more than the V800, so how would they compare sound-wise? Is this worth the extra $90? Thanks, Jordan.

    • Reply July 27, 2016

      Dave

      I haven’t had the pleasure of hearing the V800. I know L definitely prefers the V850. So, with the difference that small, I would go with the RS 06

  • Reply July 27, 2016

    Dave

    I think you are all crazy. As long as it is functional and well built, who cares how it looks?

  • Reply July 27, 2016

    Tobias Bigger

    Quoting from the “Technical Data” section:

    “Digital outputs:
    – XLR, transformer balanced, according to AES 3/11;
    impedance 110 ohms, output voltage > 4 Vss
    – Cinch, coaxial, according to IEC 958/AES-3id,
    impedance 75 ohms, output voltage > 1 Vss
    – TosLink, optical according to EIAJ RC RC-5720
    – optional 96 kHz USB output”

    “Analog inputs: 2 x XLR, electronically balanced, impedance 10 kohms”

    Did you notice that this doesn’t fit to a DAC?
    Seems you used a data sheet from an ADC piece of gear…

  • Reply July 28, 2016

    John

    I am considering some amps/DACs to pair with the Beyerdynamic T90 but I cannot make my mind since I am trying to keep the cost of amp + DAC under 1000$. The question is which one has more impact on sound stage and imaging? amp or DAC? With regard to amps, I am thinking of Bakoon HPA-01M, RSA Raptor, La Figaro 339, G109S and Beyerdynamic A20. Based on your review on Bakoon HPA-01M and 6moons’ review on RSA Raptor, I think both have great sound stage and quality but if I go for one of these two, I have to choose a cheap DAC. The other 3 amps that I am considering are cheaper and allow me to go for better DACs. Do you have any suggestion?

    • Reply September 3, 2017

      Danni Veng

      John, what did you end up with if I may ask?

  • Reply July 1, 2020

    Eddie

    Well I think it looks great! F I had a problem with the logos d just paint them out.
    Great review as always Thanks. ????

  • Reply May 16, 2021

    TreeofTruth

    It not ‘ugly’ at all. It’s industrial and functional and each can see that as they will. That poster should realise the difference between people’s personal preferences rather than blurting out their own as some sort of fact.

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