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Introducing the LinQ

Network interface

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Product Code LinQ Network

LinQ Network LinQ Network

1 module Roon Ready module (AQlink I2S – Dual AES output PCM 384 kHz – DSD128 $5,850

1 module UPnP DLNA (AQlink I2S – Dual AES output PCM 384 kHz – DSD128

$5,850

2 modules: Roon Ready & UPnP DLNA (AQlink I2S – Dual AES output PCM 384 kHz – DSD128

$7170


Our “Network Interface”

The new LinQ was created following a precise idea.
Fast and standard technical solutions do not belong to the aqua philosophy.
aqua has developed an extremely streamlined long-life platform and network bridge modules, focused on audio playback functions.
We prefer to use know-how developed in-house, for a number of reasons in respect the aqua SQ standards.
This has required a considerable effort in terms of time and resources, but the result is immediately evident on first use.LinQ is a highly modular device, based on a series of completely independent units.
Each module performs a particular function, for which it is optimized.
We will then have a Roon Ready (RAAT) module, a UPnP DLNA streaming module, etc.
Each module has its own dedicated power supply and plugs into a connector on the base platform of the device. In addition to the optimization on the particular function, this architecture guarantees an exceptional possibility of future upgrades.The communication lines of each module with the network are galvanically isolated. Note that further isolation is guaranteed by the fact that one of the modules is a LAN switch, developed internally by aqua. This is an important point: in fact, during the listening tests, and also in the laboratory ones, we obtained the best results with the use of this architecture with built-in LAN switch.Always having the sound result as an objective, LinQ does not use a USB interface: the output is on AQlink, the aqua I2S proprietary connection. In this way the “passage” on USB is skipped, avoid any losses in sound quality.
Furthermore, proprietary circuits have been developed in the output FPGA, in order to implement the S/PDIF, AES/EBU and dual-AES outputs.

FEATURES

• Proprietary fully-floating hybrid 2-stage Network + FPGA module with proprietary code

• Uncompromising digital interface AQlink PRO (I2S protocol)

• 4 future-proof network protocols (modules). Available now: Roon Ready bridge (RAAT) and UPnP DLNA

• 2 separate low noise C-Core power transformers for network circuitry and digital decoding

• MODULAR DESIGN with upgradeable multi board platform

• High-quality parts

• Input:
– ETHERNET network | n. 1 standard RJ-45 connector LAN
No network configuration is required (DHCP system)

•  Outputs:
– AQlink I2S | n. 1 Ethercon RJ-45 connector (PCM 32 bit 384kHz / DSD128 max)
– Dual-AES/EBU (IEC 60958) | n. 2 XLR 110 ohm connectors (PCM 24 bit 384kHz / DSD128 max)
– AES/EBU (IEC 60958-4) | n. 1 XLR 110 ohm connector (PCM 24 bit 192kHz / DSD64 max)
– S/PDIF (IEC 60958-1) | n. 1 BNC 75 ohm connector (PCM 24 bit 192kHz / DSD64 max)
– S/PDIF (IEC 60958-3) | n. 1 RCA connector (PCM 24 bit 192kHz / DSD64 max)

• OLED display with user off-selectable illumination

• RC5 IR remote controller (optional)

• Aluminium anti-resonant cabinet with Nextel

• Designed and handmade in Italy

5-year warranty


MORE PICTURES

La Voce S2 DAC – $4,300

A Newly Refined Second-Generation La Voce D/A converter makes its debut

The new La Voce S2 combines product innovation and state-of-the-art technology, producing superior sound performance and the best styling.
Designed to provide absolute modularity and the ultimate in sound quality, La Voce S2 D/A converter is the culmination of years of aqua’s research in the areas of electronic engineering in relation to digital audio reproduction.Further refined La Voce S2, a revolutionary design which employs modular R2R type converters in DFD configuration.


FEATURES

• High performance proprietary DFD (Direct From Decoder) digital decoding without digital filter for purest digital signal quality

• Galvanic isolated S/PDIF – AES/EBU Digital input

• Jitter free digital interface AQlink (I2S protocol), uncompromising digital connection to La Diva cd transport

• Zero S/PDIF Jitter design, digital receiver stage PLL (phase locked loop) technology

• precision sign magnitude R2R ladder DAC with 2 Burr-Brown PCM -1704 arrayed in  dual mono configuration (PCM1704 DAC option)

• Passive current / voltage conversion (I / V)

• Discrete Regulator (MOSFET, J-FET, BJT) for analog and digital DAC’s power supply

• RJ45 (AQlink) input connection, employs CAT6 cable

• 2 separate low noise power transformers, one for the analog and one for the digital section

• MODULAR DESIGN with upgradeable multi board system

• Fully discrete analog stage, not even a single Op-Amp is used

• Proprietary USB Firmware / driver :
Apple MAC OS – Linux OS : USB asynchronous native support, no need to install drivers software

• Fully upgradeable Bit perfect asynchronous USB module with resolution up to 24 bit and 192 KHz, operates with computers running OSX 10.7 and above, WINDOWS 10 , 8 , 7 and XP ASIO – WASAPI bit perfect high-speed

• AQ-i modular input: D111 XLR | D112 AT&T ST Fiber | D113 RCA | D114 TOSLINK with High Resolution platform

• Digital phase selector on front panel

• High-quality parts selected for sound quality:
– 105° long life capacitors
– low noise Metal Foil ultra-precision resistors
– metallized film pulse capacitor
– ultra-fast diodes

• Aluminum anti-resonant cabinet with Nextel

• Designed and handmade in Italy

• Input:
– RJ45 AQlink (I2S serial bus) – 24 bit / 192kHz
– BNC coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm  –  24 bit / 192kHz
– USB port  –  24 bit / 192kHz
– MODULAR INPUT upgradeable, options:
– AES/EBU balanced 110 ohm  –  24 bit / 192kHz
– RCA coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm  –  24 bit / 192kHz
– AT&T (ST Fiber) –  24 bit / 192kHz
– Optical TOSLINK –  24 bit / 96kHz

• Analog output:
– RCA single-ended
– XLR balanced asymmetrical


DATASHEET
SPECIFICATIONS

DAC architecture
Multibit sign magnitude R2R ladder (upgradable)
Supported Native Sample Rates
AQlink / I2S serial bus  – USB PC Audio : 44.1kHz to 192kHz PCM up to 24 bits
Digital filter
Proprietary DFD (Direct From Decoder) digital decoding without digital filter
Asynchronous USB (High Speed)
USB Audio Class 2 with Type B connector
Digital Receiver
PLL (phase locked loop) technology 128 or 256 FS internally selectable
AQlink (I2S bus)
CMOS level
Oversampling factor
1x
Digital inputs
– RJ45 AQlink (I2S serial bus) – 24 bit / 192 KHz
– BNC coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm  –  24 bit / 192 KHz
– USB port  –  24 bit / 192 KHz
AQ-i modular input:
– AES/EBU balanced 110 ohm  –  24 bit / 192 KHz (cod. D111)
– RCA coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm  –  24 bit / 192 KHz(cod. D113)
– AT&T (ST Fiber) –  24 bit / 192 KHz(cod. D112)
– Optical TOSLINK –  24 bit / 96 KHz (cod. D114)
Analogue Outputs
UNBAL 2 RCA Output 2.1 V RMS
BALANCED (asymmetrical output) 2 XLR Output : 4.2V RMS
Output Impedance
100 ohm RCA – 200 ohm XLR
Load Impedance
10 kohm (min.) RCA – 600 ohm XLR
Frequency Response
20Hz to 20kHz +0.5dB/-0.5dB
THD + N
<0.1% 1KHz -20dB
Front Panel
Power, input selector, Phase Invert switch
Power Consumption
100-115V / 220-240V; 50 or 60Hz – 58VA
Dimensions
( W x D x H ) 450 x 310 x 100 mm
Weight
7 kg
Front finish
Satin Alu Silver or Satin Black
Case finish
Grey Nextel powder coated

La Scala MKII Optologic DAC – $7,700

A never ending story: upgrading to the Optologic dac

La Scala MKII Optologic DAC

SPECIFICATIONS
Digital to analog conversion type
Proprietary Optologic D/A conversion system
Pure R2R ladder – FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) based without digital filter
Supported Native Sample Rates
AQlink / I2S serial bus  – USB PC Audio : 44.1kHz to 384kHz PCM up to 24 bits
DSD64, DSD128
Supports DSD via DoP on all inputs
DAC architecture
Multibit sign magnitude R2R ladder (upgradable)
Asynchronous USB (High Speed)
USB Audio Class 2 with Type B connector
Digital Receiver
PLL (phase locked loop) technology 128 or 256 FS internally selectable
AQlink (I2S bus)
CMOS level
Oversampling factor
1x
Digital inputs
– RJ45 AQlink (I2S serial bus) – PCM 24 bit / 384kHz – DSD64, DSD128 via DoP
– BNC coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm  –  PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP
– RCA coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm  –  PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP
– AES/EBU balanced 110 ohm  –  PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP
– USB port  –  PCM 24 bit / 384kHz – DSD64, DSD128 via DoP
– AT&T (ST Fiber) –  PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP (optional)
Analogue Outputs
UNBAL 2 RCA Output 2.2 V RMS
BALANCED ( passive transformer’s symmetrical ) 2 XLR Output : 2.2V RMS
Output Impedance
10 ohm RCA – 600 ohm XLR
Load Impedance
10 kohm (min.) RCA – 600 ohm XLR
Frequency Response
20Hz to 22kHz +0.5dB/-0.5dB
Phase Response
Linear phase
THD + N
<0.1% 1KHz -20dB
Front Panel
Power, input selector, Phase Invert switch
Power Consumption
100-115V / 220-240V; 50 or 60Hz – 58VA
Dimensions
( W x D x H ) 450 x 370 x 100 mm
Weight
9 kg
Front finish
Satin Alu Silver or Satin Black
Case finish
Grey Nextel powder coated








It’s testament to Cristian Anelli’s customer support ethos that the now middle model in their converter line benefited so rapidly from the R&D behind the flagship Formula and its FPGA-controlled discrete resistor ladders. It’s a very concrete benefit of Aqua’s modular approach. Existing owners get to enjoy the company’s IP advances without the usual sell/buy routine. Keep what you already have; bolt on real not cosmetic go-faster mods as they release. Anti obsolescence protects your valuable hifi investment with more current tech. Especially with fast-moving digital, the Joneses relocate a lot. Keeping up with them requires eyes glued on the ball. Aqua’s policy doesn’t drop it. That deserves applause. An already widely accoladed converter just became even better. It’s a most excellent place to invest your next upgrade grand into!

Srajan Ebaen
6MOONS

Read the full review >

“Back in March 2014, Aqua Hifi’s visually unassuming La Scala MKII D/A converter not only took out a DAR-KO Award but landed pole position on the Darko DAC Index, beating out contenders from AURALiC, Resonessence Labs and PS Audio….

In other words, the most satisfying DAC heard by yours truly to date just got significantly better. Modularity coupled to a manufacturer upgrade programme brings owners of existing La Scala MKII in from the cold (should they wish to).

In its Optologic incarnation, the La Scala MKII cements further its position at the very top of the DAR-KO DAC Index and DAR-KO Award assignation becomes as easy as it has ever been. In a word, primo!”

John H. Darko
DIGITAL AUDIO REVIEW

Read the full review >

“But not only existing customers profit from the additional efforts that Aqua has invested in La Scala, because even those who do not yet own one of the noble Ladder DACs can be convinced by the Italian qualities.” (TRANSLATED)

Philipp Schneckenburger
EINSNULL

Read the full review >

“While I’m not quite ready to sell my analogue gear, La Scala MkII is a fantastic product whose warm sonic embrace I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind describing as “digital”. It does have a sound though: It’s wonderfully musical, inviting, enveloping, and entrancing.”

Ola Björling
AUDIOSTREAM

Read the full review >

“Yes, LaScala slightly boosts intonation, yes, it feels it, it’s his own enthusiasm, but if you want that very not-conveyed “attracter”, then this is one of the most vivid examples of such an approach in the High End. Practically exemplary implementation of the music, in combination with the overall high class of reproduction. My best recommendation.” (translated)

Yuri Volobuev
SOUNDEX

Read the full review >

“You can not do much better! The La Scala Optologic is one of the best DACs I have ever heard.” (translated)

Christian Möller
AUDIO Magazine

Read the full review >

Formula xHD DAC – $16,200

Introducing our proprietary Optologic D/A conversion system

formula_fronte_1000

Introducing the new Formula xHD


The Optologic R2R conversion system

aqua believes that the more musical D/A conversion system is based on the circuit usually identified as “resistor ladder”.
This technology has been substituted in the mass-market by the so-called sigma-delta converters.
The sigma-delta converter is a near-completely digital circuit and for this reason it can be can be integrated on silicon and produced at low-cost.
A quality resistor ladder DAC instead uses a circuit based on a set of high precision discrete resistors: at least 2 resistor banks, one for each stereo channel.
The Formula DAC is the first in the aqua’s production to show a proprietary D/A conversion system, that we name Optologic.
The signals sent to the resistor ladders are generated by a proprietary digital circuit, implemented inside an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array).
Formula has a sign-magnitude converter structure, and this requires not two but four 24 bit resistors banks, each one made of very low tolerance discrete resistors.
In order to separate the digital section from the sensitive analog circuits,  galvanic and magnetic isolations are implemented between the FPGA and the four branches of the R2R ladder converter.
This creates complete isolation of all digital circuitry – including the clock – from the analogue section, for a clean, noiseless ground plane. It also plays the main role in the differential management of the R2R ladders, achieving perfect symmetry between the counter-phase halves. The result is the highest tonal contrast and naturalness.Pure 1x native sample rate DAC

The Formula, like the other aqua models, is a digital filter-less DAC.
Our conviction is that in spite of the instrumental measurements showed by upsampling / oversampling DACs, they rarely are able to produce the same emotional and realistic results.ModularityA third important aspect in the aqua production is the modularity of the various electronic circuits.
aqua equipment are not short life products: as modular, they are open to future improvements and to follow the evolution of the technology.
Formula is made of a set of circuits every one developed on a separate printed circuit board easily interchangeable.
As an example, each of the four resistors banks of the converter is separate and mounted on connectors.State of the art digital and analog electronics

As explained before, the Formula DAC uses no digital filter or any other compensation, relying instead on maniacal attention to each sub-circuit.
The separate analog and digital power supplies are executed purely by extensive use of discrete BJT, Mosfet, J-Fet and ultra-fast diodes.
Passive parts were selected not just for the best sonic result but also for their top quality, longevity and reliability. With the exception of six superior electrolytic capacitors, all other caps are Tantalum, solid-polymer OS-CON and double-metalized MKP.
The signal path itself is direct-coupled and completely capacitor-free.
The two output stages (one single-ended, one transformer-coupled balanced) use discrete BJT and J-Fet with metal-film resistors. All the electronics parts show an ultra-low RF noise.
An advanced ARM microcontroller manages the user interface on the front panel, the IR remote command and the communication port (serial, RS232 standard).The xHD update

This update has required significant optimization of code for the main FPGA of R2R ladder DAC which has improved sound quality.The new hybrid USB XMOS xCore 200 (dual core) + FPGA circuitry enables the high-resolution file playback up to 768kHz PCM and up to DSD256 (Quad DSD)xHD improvements:
• Proprietary hybrid 2-stage XMOS xCore XE216 + FPGA
• Fully-floating (isolated) USB decoding and clock generation by FPGA with proprietary code
• High quality, long life, low noise parts and modular design that distinguish aqua – acoustic quality equipment
• Sample rate in “Bit Perfect” up to 768 kHz PCM and quad rate DSD (DSD256)
• Latest version of customized XMOS X Core Driver on Windows OS (W7, W10)
• Native X Core Audio on Mac OS (Bit Perfect)
• USB Audio 2.0 operation on Linux (Bit Perfect)

Formula xHD
FEATURES

• Proprietary Optologic D/A conversion system. Pure R2R ladder – FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) based without digital filter

• Galvanic and magnetic isolations between the FPGA and the four branches of the R2R ladder converter

• Jitter free digital interface AQlink PRO (I2S protocol), uncompromising digital connection to La Diva cd transport

• Discrete R2R ladder DACs with low noise precision resistors

• Zero S/PDIF Jitter design, digital receiver stage PLL (phase locked loop) technology

• High-performance AQ Discrete Regulator (MOSFET, J-FET, BJT) for analog and digital DAC’s power supply

• 2 separate low noise C-Core power transformers, one for the analog and one for the digital section

• MODULAR DESIGN with upgradeable multi board platform

• Transformer-based true balanced audio output stage

• Fully upgradeable high-speed USB hybrid 2-stage XMOS xCore XE216 + FPGA, Fully-floating (isolated) USB decoding and clock generation by FPGA with proprietary code

• Proprietary USB Firmware / driver :
Apple MAC OS – Linux OS : USB asynchronous native support, no need to install drivers software

• Digital phase selector on front panel

• High-quality parts selected for sound quality:
– Tantalum, solid-polymer OS-CON and double-metalized MJP capacitors
– low noise Metal Foil ultra-precision resistors
– double metallized film pulse capacitor
– ultra-fast diodes
– halogen free cables

• Aluminium anti-resonant cabinet with Nextel

• RC5 IR remote controller (optional)

• Designed and handmade in Italy

La Diva compact disc transport – $8,600

The Art of the digital domain

diva-sc_fronte_1000
The Art of the digital domain

Uncompromised in every respect, La Diva cd transport is the culmination of aqua’s R&D in the areas of electronic and mechanical engineering.
FEATURES

• High performance proprietary ISDC (Isolated Synchronous Discrete Circuit) digital decoding  and clock manager

• Custom designed discrete circuit with high-speed photocouplers for Galvanic and magnetic isolation between CD drive unit and digital output

• Ultra massive chassis construction and newly developed high-rigidity sub chassis with Nextel for CD drive unit cancels internal and external acoustic and mechanical vibrations, enabling exceptionally accurate “Red Book” RF signal

• DC disc drive motor allows to read the data accurately and minimize Jitter

• Moplen clamp to avoid flywheel masses and vibrations

• Sophisticated signal processing technology assures excellent CD Red Book signal

• High-performance multi-stage voltage regulator (high-current stage for accurate servo DISC drive rotation, tracking and focus)

• Jitter free digital interface AQlink (I2S protocol), uncompromising digital connection to La Scala DAC, La Voce DAC

etherCON RJ45 (AQlink) output connection to DAC, employs CAT6 cable can connect both RJ45 and professional etherCON RJ45

• Separate custom-built toroidal transformers for digital and servo motors/actuators

MODULAR DESIGN with upgradeable multi board system

• Precision Philips CD-Pro2 transport customized

• High-quality parts selected for sound quality:
– 105° long life capacitors
– low noise Metal Foil ultra-precision resistors
– metallized film pulse capacitor
– ultra-fast diodes
– halogen free cables

• Aluminum top loading tray machined from billet

• Non-magnetic low-resonance aluminum chassis with Nextel

• Field upgradeable firmware

• Fluorescent display (VFD) with user off-selectable illumination

• Designed and handmade in Italy

• Output:
– etherCON RJ45 – AQlink (I2S serial bus)
– XLR AES/EBU
– BNC coax (S/PDIF)
– RCA coax (S/PDIF)
– ST fiber (AT&T)
– BNC word clock

 

gestalthifi@gmail.com      

808.640.8947