Aqua Acoustic Quality Introduces LinQ Digital Network Interface

Aqua Acoustic has launched a digital network interface focused on audio-first connection principles – the LinQ.

A company with a focus on longevity in its products, Aqua designed the LinQ to adhere to a precise idea of an streamlined, long-life platform with network bridge modules, focused on sound quality and audio playback functions above all else.

“We prefer to use know-how developed in-house, for a number of reasons in respect to the Aqua SQ standards,” said Cristian Anelli of Aqua. “This has required a considerable effort in terms of time and resources, but the result is immediately evident on first use.”

With Ethernet-only on the input side (PCM 32-bit/384kHz – DSD128 max) and SPDIF (75-Ohm BNC, PCM 24-bit/192kHz – DSD64 max. RCA, PCM 24-bit/192kHz – DSD64 max), AQlink I2S (PCM 32-bit/384kHz – DSD128 max), Dual-AES (PCM 24-bit/384kHz – DSD128 max) and AES/EBU (PCM 24-bit/192kHz – DSD64 max) outputs, the LinQ features a host of independent, function-specific, modular, galvanic-isolation features in its design making it a digital-noise gatekeeper for feeding sensitive DAC inputs the most uncorrupted signal possible. The lack of USB comes as no surprise as many high-fidelity companies are finding that dealing with USB’s less-than-ideal interface (from an audiophile point of view) is not where they want to focus their engineering prowess, choosing instead to hone-in on connections migrated from years of established success on the pro-audio side of I/O.

Not only does each module (RJ-45, Roon Ready –RAAT, UPnP DLNA streaming, etc.) perform specifically-optimized operations, each has its own power supply and separate board connector to allow for future-proof upgrades. Aqua also designed the Ethernet module its own switch after confirming through in-house listening and measurement tests that this feature garnered considerable sonic benefits rather than utilizing a seperate, external one. “The communication lines of each module with the network are galvanically isolated,” said Anelli. “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.”

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
  • 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

LinQ Network – 1 module: Roon Ready or UPnP DLNA (AQlink I2S - Dual AES output PCM 384 kHz - DSD128 ) List Price: $5,850 USD

LinQ Network – 2 modules: Roon Ready & UPnP DLNA (AQlink I2S - Dual AES output PCM 384 kHz - DSD128 ) List Price: $7,170 USD.

COMPANY INFO
Aqua Acoustic
Via Luciano Manara, 17 - 20122 Milano
info@aquahifi.com

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