Author Topic: An interesting Italian affair is in the Air  (Read 1688 times)

Offline Air

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An interesting Italian affair is in the Air
« on: August 12, 2016, 04:58:56 PM »
Keep an eye on this space, there is something in the Air.  ;)

Offline nvw

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Re: An interesting Italian affair is in the Air
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2016, 05:09:33 PM »
Makes one think of an opera. Intrigue. Drama. Surprise. Italian indeed.

Offline Nidri

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Re: An interesting Italian affair is in the Air
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2016, 06:16:36 PM »
Aqua?
North Star Design?

Offline Air

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Re: An interesting Italian affair is in the Air
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2016, 06:33:59 PM »
Clever, on 1st guess!  :clap:


Offline gavinbirss

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Re: An interesting Italian affair is in the Air
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2016, 07:51:54 PM »
TI/Burr Brown or Analog Devices DAC chips?
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 07:59:41 PM by gavinbirss »

Offline Air

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Re: An interesting Italian affair is in the Air
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2016, 08:29:11 PM »
Will be Burr Brown PCM 1704s in 1st round.

Offline gavinbirss

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Re: An interesting Italian affair is in the Air
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2016, 08:31:37 PM »
Will be Burr Brown PCM 1704s in 1st round.

I feel a race coming on, sorry shootout.
 :BWAHAHAH:

Offline scrarfussi

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Re: An interesting Italian affair is in the Air
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2016, 08:38:39 PM »
Time to start saving
suum cuique pulchrum est


"I refuse to prove that I exist,'" says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

Offline Nidri

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Re: An interesting Italian affair is in the Air
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2016, 09:51:50 PM »
Excellent news.

Offline Air

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Re: An interesting Italian affair is in the Air
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2016, 08:54:58 AM »
Here it is!  Soon I will post some of the over the top reviews of these Italians.



Offline Air

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Re: An interesting Italian affair is in the Air
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2016, 09:06:20 AM »

“La Voce's big brother, Aqua HIfi's La Scala, is justifiably well regarded as a master of musicality at a non uber-DAC price point.
Little brother La Voce… R2R NOS DAC is the genuine article; incredibly natural sounding with all genres, easily winning a place in my system up against various and sundry more 'modern' Sabre and delta/sigma based brethren.
Some things were done a certain way for a long time for good reason”

David Abramson
STEREO TIMES

"No DAC impressed me more in 2014 - or any other year for that matter - than the Aqua La Scala MKII."
"the best-sounding D/A converter we’ve heard to date. The La Scala’s almost sentient way with drama and textural reveal puts it at the very top of the Darko DAC Index"

John H. Darko, DIGITAL AUDIO REVIEW

"With the La Scala II, I got both plus. In that sense it was an audio equivalent of the Buddhist Middle Path high up the mythical mountain."
"Put my name down too on this growing list of outspoken admirers for the Aqua Hifi La Scala II."

Srajan Ebaen, 6MOONS

"Excellent musical presentation of the two devices. The converter : I hate to give back." (TRANSLATED)

Jόrgen Saile, HIFISTATEMENT

"Naturally relaxed, full of musicality" (TRANSLATED)

Leo Yeh, MY-HIEND

"the best ever for my system. The right size with lower registers under the fingers of the left hand filling the room impressively, the higher notes pinpointed where they ought to be. The sound is majestic to say the least"

Renι Van Es, THE EAR

"There’s no doubt that this is the finest sounding DAC to date to grace my life/system/website with its presence."

John Darko, DIGITAL AUDIO REVIEW

The sound is majestic to say the least and when I play the same piece on my beloved Esoteric DAC later on it sounded disappointing. Not that the D-07 plus wordclock are suddenly bad products, not at all, but the Aqua La Scala is the superior one.
 In the long term it all comes down to music not the technology, the Aqua La Scala has stolen my heart in so many ways that I hate to see it go. Whatever comes next to convert my files into analogue will have to face the impression La Scala leaves. I have put it on the top of my wish list and as soon as my own DAC fails beyond repair I will call the Italians to get a La Scala shipped to my place. It not only brings music, it is music,
 and that is the biggest compliment I can give the makers of this extremely fine product.

Renι van Es, The EAR

Offline Air

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Re: An interesting Italian affair is in the Air: Aqua La Voce Dac
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2016, 11:46:23 AM »
Some details of the the La Voce: Dac

• 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

• 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 / 384 KHz
- BNC coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm  -  24 bit / 192 KHz
- USB port  -  24 bit / 192 KHz
- MODULAR INPUT upgradeable, options:
- AES/EBU balanced 110 ohm  -  24 bit / 192 KHz
- RCA coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm  -  24 bit / 192 KHz
- AT&T (ST Fiber) -  24 bit / 192 KHz
- Optical TOSLINK -  24 bit / 96 KHz

• Analog output:
- RCA single-ended
- XLR balanced asymmetrical (optional)

DAC options:

- cod. D104K - Burr Brown PCM1704 (2 dac) - sign magnitude R2R ladder DAC 24bit / 192 kHz - DFD MODE
- cod. D101 - Philips TDA1541A - R2R 16 bit / 96 kHz - DFD MODE (R1, S1 grade selection on request)
- cod. D165 - Analog Devices AD1865 - R2R 18 bit / 192 kHz - DFD MODE

Offline Air

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Re: An interesting Italian affair is in the Air: Aqua La Scala MkII Dac
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2016, 11:48:02 AM »
La Scala
High performance proprietary DFD (Direct From Decoder) digital decoding without digital filter for purest digital signal quality

• Custom designed discrete circuit with high-speed photocouplers for Galvanic and magnetic isolation between Digital stage and Analog DAC ground

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

• Precision sign magnitude R2R ladder DAC with 4 Burr-Brown PCM -1704K arrayed in a true differential dual mono configuration

• Transformer current / voltage conversion (I / V)

• 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

• Valve-Mosfet direct coupling analog stage in pure class-A without negative feedback

• MOSFET Virtual battery circuit for analog anode supply

• Soft-start power up for extended tube life

• etherCON RJ45 (AQlink) input connection, employs CAT6 cable can connect both RJ45 and professional etherCON RJ45

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

• MODULAR DESIGN with upgradeable multi board system

• Regulated DC filament supplies with soft start for tubes

• 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 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

• Digital phase selector on front panel

• High-quality parts selected for sound quality:
   - 105° long life 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

• Designed and handmade in Italy

• Input:
- etherCON RJ45 AQlink (I2S serial bus) - 24 bit / 384 KHz
- AES/EBU balanced 110 ohm  -  24 bit / 192 KHz
- BNC coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm  -  24 bit / 192 KHz
- RCA coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm  -  24 bit / 192 KH
- USB port  -  24 bit / 192 KHz
- AT&T (ST Fiber) -  24 bit / 192 KHz (optional)

• Analog output:
- RCA single-ended
- XLR balanced symmetrical

Offline Air

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Re: An interesting Italian affair is in the Air: Aqua La Diva CD transport
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2016, 11:49:52 AM »
• 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 cloc

Offline Air

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The newly launched Formula DAC
The Formula Dac is the first in the aqua - acoustic quality’s production to show a proprietary D/A conversion system, that we name Optologic Dac. This conversion system follows the same multibit technology (already used in the previous world acclaimed dacs such as La Voce and La Scala) but with a discrete R2R resistors ladder instead of Burr Brown PCM1704 dacs.



Technology

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 pure clean 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 never heard before from digital sources.

The Formula Dac uses no digital filter or any other compensation, relying instead on maniacal attention to each sub circuit. The analog and digital power supplies are executed purely discrete by extensive use of BJT, Mosfet, Jfet 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 quality electrolytics, all other caps are Tantalum, solid-polymer OS-CON and double-metalized MJP. The signal path itself is direct-coupled and free of all capacitors. The two output stages (one single-ended, one transformer-coupled balanced) use discrete BJT and JFet with metal-film resistors. All the electronics parts show an ultra low RF noise.
The Formula Dac is the first in the aqua - acoustic quality’s production to show a proprietary D/A conversion system, that we name Optologic Dac. This conversion system follows the same multibit technology (already used in the previous world acclaimed dacs such as La Voce and La Scala) but with a discrete R2R resistors ladder instead of Burr Brown PCM1704 dacs.

Native Sample Rates Supported

Asynchronous USB (High Speed)
Digital Receiver
AQlink (I2S bus)
Digital to analog conversion type
Oversampling factor
Analog Conversion method

Digital inputs







Analogue Outputs

Output Impedance
Load Impedance

Frequency Response
THD + N
Main processor
Control connectors
Front Panel
Power Consumption
Dimensions
Weight
Front finish
Case finish
AQlink / I2S serial bus  - USB PC Audio : 24 bit / 384 Khz
S/PDIF - AES/EBU : 24 bit / 192 KHz
USB Type B
PLL (phase locked loop) technology 128 or 256 FS selectable
LVCMOS level
Proprietary Optologic DAC
1x
Pure R2R ladder - FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays)
based digital decoding without digital filter
- RJ45 AQlink (I2S serial bus) - 24 bit / 384 KHz
- BNC coax (S/PDIF) 75 Ohm  -  24 bit / 192 KHz
- USB port  -  24 bit / 384 KHz
Modular input:
- AES/EBU balanced 110 Ohm -  24 bit / 192 KHz
- RCA coax (S/PDIF) 75 Ohm -  24 bit / 192 KHz
- AT&T (ST Fiber) -  24 bit / 192 KHz
- Optical TOSLINK -  24 bit / 96 KHz
UNBAL 2 RCA Output 2.4 V RMS
BALANCED ( passive transformer's symmetrical ) 2 XLR Output :
3.8V RMS
10 Ohm RCA - 600 Ohm XLR
10 kOhm (min.) RCA - 600 Ohm XLR
20Hz to 22kHz +0.5dB/-0.5dB
<0,016% 1KHz -10dB
STM-ARM microcontroller
RS-232 D-SUB 9-pin connector
Power, phase invert, mute, input switch, RC5 remote sensor
100-115V / 220-240V; 50 or 60Hz - 82VA
( W x D x H ) 450 x 380 x 100 mm
9 kg
Satin Alu Silver or Satin Black
Grey Nextel powder coated