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Light Harmonic crowdfund another DAC: the Geek Pulse

  • Crowdfunding a product isn’t a new concept but crowdfunding a hi-fi product’s development and manufacture certainly seems to be taking off.

    Remember The Orbit’s Kickstarter campaign from time last year? A sensibly-priced record player for the man in the street: matte black MDF plinth, tonearm and Ortofon Omega MM cartridge, all for US$150. That’s one sweet deal.


    Then came Light Harmonic’s Geek DAC. A DSD/DXD dongle DAC that goes up against the likes of HRT’s microStreamer and Resonessence Labs’ Herus. Crowdfunded through Kickstarter, the Geek DAC campaign reached ten times its original US$28K funding target. That’s a success any way you choose to look at it.

    And it seems Light Harmonic’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Gavin Fish has really caught the crowdfunding bug. Light Harmonic’s bigger, badder brother to the Geek – the Geek Pulse – has just tipped US$255K of crowd money from an initial target of $38K, this time on Indiegogo. That’s the same website used by comedian Doug Stanhope to help an atheist rebuild her life after the Oklahoma tornado.

    Check out the language used on the Geek Pulse’s Indiegogo page. Fish knows how to talk to the kids.


    What’s a Geek Pulse?

    It’s a desktop DAC and headphone amplifier. It’s a desktop DSD/DXD DAC with quarter inch headphone output that promises enough power (3000mW) to drive pretty much any headphone on the planet. There are single-ended RCA outputs for connection to your main rig. Special attention has also been paid to DC regulation which (hopefully) translates to a more immersive listening experience.

    Inputs? USB UAC 2.0, toslink and a pair of S/PDIF RCAs.

    The Geek Pulse campaign has seen Light Harmonic source more than money. It has sought suggestions for the Pulse’s feature set. The latest add-on to get the green light is ‘Geek Blue’; an aptx-ing Bluetooth 4.0 option.

    The ‘Early bird’ Geek Pulse is still available for US$299, after which pricing will revert to US$349 (30% off the RRP). The Geek Blue add-on sells for US$169.

    The first Geek Pulse units will ship in May 2014.

    Further information: Light Harmonic Geek Pulse on indiegogo

    John Darko

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram


    1. I wish there was some way to alert the user when hi-fi -related kickstarter or indiegogo projects pop up. Any ideas how to catch them? Bumping into them feels like trying catch a butterfly with a landing net..

      • Mikko, perhaps you could petition both Kickstarter and Indiegogo sites to develop some kind of customized email alerts for their users?

    2. I hope this trend in hi-fi equipment crowd-sourcing will continue – for multiple reasons. One of them: you can actually request specific features that you’d like to see in a finished product. Another one: you can buy into a project early and save substantial money.

      In case of Light Harmonic campaign on Indiegogo, I funded a double product (the ‘Geek’ and the ‘Geek Pulse’, for a total of US$ 398). The Geek Pulse will stay with me and the Geek will go to my daughter who is not an audiophile (as of yet)…

    3. Looking at the Orbit it seems to be a very serious turntable. First off it looks like a $399 Rega but has a 24 volt motor like a $1,000 Rega but with the addition of a low slung close-in counterweight like the $149 Groovetracer Rega add-on, then a unipivot arm like a $1,000 Hadcock arm or like the arm mounted to the $1500 Clearaudio Concept and the motor is mounted like in the $1700 Music Hall turntable. Interesting, I hope they can do quality control on the production line and I hope we can get some reviews soon. It could be a gamechanger.

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