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Aqua Formula xHD

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Product Description

Aqua Formula xHD DAC

R2R ladder DAC

Find Out What Your Trade Is Worth | Questions? Call 303-653-6341 or email us.

Seriously Considering the Formula? Audition it!

If you are seriously considering the Aqua Formula xHD, why not find out how it will sound in your own system? We have a Formula xHD available for in home auditions.


"If you're an audio aboriginal who goes deep walkabout into gargantuan soundstages to cherish size,
scale and utmost specificity about recorded space, this Italian formula has your number." -


Formula xHD Reviews

Aqua Optologic

What exactly is Optologic, and why is it so special? Aqua's Cristian Anelli states that "Galvanic and magnetic isolation are implemented between the FPGA and the four branches of the R2R ladder converter. This not only creates complete isolation of all digital circuitry including the clock from the analogue section for a pure clean ground plane. It also plays a vital role in the differential management of the R2R ladders, achieving perfect symmetry between the counter-phase halves. The result is high tonal contrast and naturalness not heard from digital machines.

"But it's not merely about the usual 3D markers and how precisely and widely spaced they are. It's about an added dimension. That accesses
the emotional mood or climate of the playback scenery. Whilst costlier decks came through earlier, none of them did it at that potency. "
Srajan Ebaen,

The Aqua Formula DAC uses no digital filter or any other compensation, relying instead on extreme attention to each sub-circuit. The analog and digital power supplies are executed purely discrete and with BJT, Mosfet, Jfet and ultra-fast diodes. Passive parts were selected not just for sonics but top quality, longevity and reliability. Except for six extreme-quality electrolytics, all other caps are Tantalum, solid-polymer OS-CON or double-metalized MJP. The signal path itself is direct-coupled and free of all capacitors. The dual output stages—one single-ended, one transformer-coupled balanced—use discrete BJT and JFet with metal-film resistors. All parts are characterized by very low RF noise."

"Finally there's this peculiar easy-digital aspect as though your brain's usually active aural processor went on holiday because it's not needed.
As such, I must highlight Aqua Hifi's Formula with one of our sparsely administered awards. True, it's serious money. But it's seriously well
built. And it delivers very serious performance. Yet all this multi-stage seriousness melts away when one is faced by such deep holistic
listening satisfaction. 
" - Srajan Ebaen,

formula dac

Formula xHD Features

  • Proprietary Optologic D/A conversion system. Pure R2R ladder - FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) based without digital filter
  • Galvanic and magnetic isolations between the FPGA and the four branches of the R2R ladder converter
  • Jitter free digital interface AQlink PRO (I2S protocol), uncompromising digital connection to La Diva cd transport
  • Discrete R2R ladder DACs with low noise precision resistors
  • 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
  • 2 separate low noise C-Core power transformers, one for the analog and one for the digital section
  • MODULAR DESIGN with upgradeable multi board platform
  • Transformer-based true balanced audio output stage
  • Fully upgradeable high-speed USB Audio Class 2 module, PCM 44.1kHz to 384kHz PCM up to 24 bits, DSD64 / DSD128, operates with computers running OSX 10.7 and above, WINDOWS 10, 7, 8, XP with ASIO bit perfect
  • Proprietary USB Firmware / driver :
  • Apple MAC OS - Linux OS : USB asynchronous native support, no need to install drivers software
  • Digital phase selector on front panel
  • High-quality parts selected for sound quality:
    • Tantalum, solid-polymer OS-CON and double-metalized MJP capacitors
    • low noise Metal Foil ultra-precision resistors
    • double metallized film pulse capacitor
    • ultra-fast diodes
    • halogen free cables
  • Designed and handmade in Italy



Native Sample Rates Supported
  • AQlink / I2S serial bus

  • USB PC Audio : 44.1kHz to 384kHz PCM up to 24 bits
    DSD64, DSD128

  • Supports DSD via DoP on all inputs

DAC Archetecture: Multibit sign magnitude R2R ladder (upgradable)
Asynchronous USB (High Speed): USB Class 2 Audio with Type B connector
Digital Receiver: PLL (phase locked loop) technology 128 or 256 FS selectable
AQlink (I2S bus): LVCMOS level
Digital to analog conversion type: Proprietary Optologic DAC
Oversampling factor: 1x
Analog Conversion method: Pure R2R ladder - FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays)

aqua formula dac

Digital inputs
  • RJ45 AQlink (I2S serial bus) - 24 bit / 384 KHz - DSD/128
  • BNC coax (S/PDIF) 75 Ohm - 24 bit / 192 KHz - DSD/64
  • USB port - 24 bit / 384 KHz - DSD/64 & DSD/128
  • Modular input:
    • AES/EBU balanced 110 Ohm - 24 bit / 192 KHz - DSD/64
    • RCA coax (S/PDIF) 75 Ohm - 24 bit / 192 KHz - DSD/64
    • AT&T (ST Fiber) - 24 bit / 192 KHz - DSD/64
    • Optical TOSLINK - 24 bit / 96 KHz
Analogue Outputs
  • UNBAL 2 RCA Output 2.4 V RMS
  • BALANCED ( passive transformer's symmetrical ) 2 XLR Output

Output Impedance: 
3.8V RMS
Load Impedance: 
  • 10 Ohm RCA - 600 Ohm XLR
  • 10 kOhm (min.) RCA - 600 Ohm XLR
Frequency Response: 20Hz to 22kHz +0.5dB/-0.5dB
THD + N: <0,016% 1KHz -10dB
Main processor: STM-ARM microcontroller
Control connectors: RS-232 D-SUB 9-pin connector
Front Panel: Power, phase invert, mute, input switch, RC5 remote sensor
Power Consumption: 100-115V 60Hz - 82VA
Dimensions ( W x D x H ): 450 x 380 x 100 mm
Weight: 9kg
Front finish: Satin Silver or Satin Black anodized aluminum
Case finish: Gray Nextel powder coated
"With the Formula, the moods of this aural landscape—the feel, atmosphere and virtual weather conditions
of the venues hosting the various performances—were unusually varied from recording to recording. Added
to such tacit personality profiles of recorded space was their apparentness at low volumes. It took no array
of powerful flood lights aka high playback SPL to sense it. Easy. Obvious. As such, a most natural entirely
non-mechanical perception process.
" - Srajan Ebaen,

Call 303-653-6341 For More Information Or To Schedule An In-Home Audition of the Aqua Hifi Formula




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