Italian digital electronics specialist Aqua has a new LinQ streaming bridge. This modular design was developed in house avoiding “fast and standard technical solutions [that] do not belong to the aqua philosophy”. LinQ is a modular device, based on a series of completely independent units. Each module performs a particular function, for which it is optimized with a Roon Ready (RAAT) module, a UPnP DLNA streaming module being available at launch.
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 of the particular function, this architecture guarantees that future upgrades can be accommodated. The communication lines of each module with the network are galvanically isolated, and 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, we obtained the best results with the use of this architecture with built-in LAN switch.
Always keeping sound quality as the primary objective, LinQ does not use a USB interface: the output is on AQlink, Aqua’s I2S proprietary connection. In this way the “passage” on USB is skipped, avoiding 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. Pricing for the LinQ depends on how many modules are required, with one module (Roon or DLNA) AQlink I2S – Dual AES output PCM 384 kHz – DSD128 it is €5,680 with two modules (Roon and DLNA) with the same facilities is €6,960.
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
n. 1 standard RJ-45 connector for the ETHERNET network
No network configuration is required (DHCP system).
n. 1 Ethercon RJ-45 connector for the AQlink I2S signal
n. 2 XLR 110 ohm connectors for the dual-AES/EBU signal (PCM 24 bit 384kHz / DSD128 max)
n. 1 XLR 110 ohm connector for the AES/EBU signal (PCM 24 bit 192kHz / DSD64 max)
n. 1 BNC 75 ohm connector for the S/PDIF signal (PCM 24 bit 192kHz max)
n. 1 RCA connector for the S/PDIF (IEC-60958) signal (PCM 24 bit 192kHz max)