aqua - acoustic quality & CLONES audio

Well Pleased Audio Vida distributes some interesting gear including the aqua La Scala MKII Optological DAC ($6600). The relevance of the "Opto..." in La Scala's name comes from the use of high-speed optocouplers (photocouplers) between the digital side and the analog side of the circuit. La Scala uses "a discrete R2R board similar to the one found in aqua's flagship Formula DAC - it's called Optologic" for D/A conversion and that little window up from offers a view of the ECC81 triodes employed in the tube/MOSFET class A output stage. DSD fans are accommodated up DSD128 via the USB input.

the HOST is sitting under the CLONES AP2 Preamp ($1200)

Feeding Lac Scala its bits was the CLONES audio HOST Music Server ($2300 w/1TB SSD) which houses an SSD for storage (256GB/ 500GB/ 1TB/ 2TB). The HOST runs Roon Server on top of custom Linux OS (Daphile is also available). Connectivity for audio consists of Gigibit Ethernet in and audio class 3.0 out.

2_channel_ears's picture

This was the most amazing room for sound quality. I went in blind, never heard any of the equipment before. Mark, the host, told me to close my eyes. I did and all boundaries disappeared. Sound was expansive, deep, clear, and downright tingly.

I listened to three tracks, then I asked for a specific title. He streamed it redbook from Tidal. It was amazing. I turned around and shook his hands and thanked him. That good. I went back just before I left the show for another taste.

It was a very simple and elegant setup. Besides the La Scala and amps, the room used Anti-Cables throughout ($5000) and Rhea Alta speakers ($4500). I had never heard of any of this stuff before except the cables. Molto bene.

wisnon's picture

I dont think so. BB1704 is a multibit chip, not discrete ladder tech. BB1704 does NOT do DSD natively, so internal conversion to PCM must be going on.

Apart from that, tube Dacs generally sound good, so not surprised there.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
I've corrected the text accordingly. Thanks for the heads up.