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Aqua LinQ streamer and La Scala MkII Optologic DAC

I played this system to a friend who chose Black Sabbath’s audiophile favourite (not) ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ [Paranoid, Vertigo] and he couldn’t believe how clean it sounded, putting his finger on what makes the LinQ so powerful in the process. It reduces the low-level grunge that undermines digital audio to a far greater extent than most streamers, this isn’t something you are necessarily aware of until its gone or you play a vinyl record on a great turntable. Here it seems to have totally disappeared.

Aqua LinQ streamer and La Scala MkII Optologic DAC

By using a protocol that’s designed for audio rather than one for connecting computer peripherals (UPnP/DLNA), Aqua has found a way to raise the streaming game to a new level. It would of course be intriguing to hear their UPnP module which would establish whether it’s the software or its implementation that’s doing the trick but if you buy the HQPlayer version of the LinQ and combine it with a La Scala MkII it seems very unlikely that you would want to try anything else, however it’s nice to have the future proofing that this approach offers. In short, I want one!

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

LinQ

Type: Solid-state network streamer with modular renderers

Analogue Inputs: none

Digital Inputs: LAN (via etherCON RJ45 connector).

Supported Digital Formats: AAC, AIFF, DFF, DSD, DSF, FLAC, WAV

Music services/Wi-Fi inputs: Tidal, Qobuz via Roon/N/A

Analogue Outputs: N/A

Digital Outputs: Two coaxial S/PDIF (via RCA and BNC jacks), one AES/EBU, dual AES, AQLink I2S

Frequency Response: Not specified

Distortion (THD + Noise): Not specified

User Interface: Roon

Dimensions (H×W×D): 100 × 450 × 370mm

Weight: 9kg

Price: £4,982

La Scala MkII

Type: Hybrid high-resolution PCM and DSD-capable digital-to-analogue converter

Digital Inputs: One AES/EBU, two coaxial S/PDIF (via RCA and BNC jacks), one USB B, one AQLink (via RJ45 etherCON)

Analogue Outputs: One stereo single-ended (via RCA jacks), one balanced (via XLR connectors)

DAC Resolution/Supported Digital Formats: All PCM from 44.1kHz to 384kHz with word lengths up to 24-bit, DSD64 (2.8224MHz) and DSD128 (5.6448MHz). The following format restrictions apply: DSD128/384kHz and beyond are supported through AQLink & USB only

Frequency Response: 20Hz–22kHz, ± 0.5dB

Distortion (THD + Noise): < 0.1%, 1kHz at -20dB

Output Voltage: 2.2Vrms

User Interface: front panel display

Dimensions (H×W×D): 100 × 450 × 370mm

Weight: 9kg

Price: £6,200

Manufacturer: AQ Technologies

Aqua Homepage – https://www.aquahifi.com

LinQ – https://www.aquahifi.com/linq.html

La Scala MkII – https://www.aquahifi.com/la_scala.html

Dealers – https://www.aquahifi.com/retailers.html

UK Distributor: Elite Audio

Tel: 0800 4647274 (UK only)

URL: eliteaudiouk.com 

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