Introducing the LinQ
Our "Network Interface"
The new LinQ was created following a precise idea.
Fast and standard technical solutions do not belong to the aqua philosophy.
aqua has developed an extremely streamlined long-life platform and network bridge modules focused on audio playback functions.
We prefer to use know-how developed in-house, for a number of reasons in respect the aqua SQ standards.
This has required a considerable effort in terms of time and resources, but the result is immediately evident on first use.
LinQ is a highly modular device, based on a series of completely independent units.
Each module performs a particular function, for which it is optimized.
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 an exceptional possibility of future upgrades.
The communication lines of each module with the network are galvanically isolated. 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 a built-in LAN switch.
Always having the sound result as an objective, LinQ does not use a USB interface: the output is on AQlink, the aqua I2S proprietary connection. In this way the "passage" on USB is skipped, avoid 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.
NO-COMPROMISE AUDIO ENGINE
HQPlayer Core + NAA (cascade-modules). The breakthrough. LinQ knows no obsolescence.
Our focus was to create an Audio Engine for Roon with zero-setup. The ambitious vision to combine extreme Sound Quality with delight.
The Core exploits the new i.MX8 micro (ARM 64bit), with its incredible performance, low‑latency, and revolutionary power efficiency. And a customized lightweight kernel (UNIX-based).
Roon can be configured to implement of HQPlayer into a Zone. HQPlayer owns the final connection to the Audio Engine, and Roon is just passing along a stream of bits from media files / Streaming services as Qobuz and Tidal. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of HQPlayer SQ and the library management capabilities of Roon at the same time.
The Core is zero-configuration (Plug and Play). The license key of HQPlayer Embedded is pre-installed in our labs and the LinQ is ready to use.
The HQPlayer-based LinQ Core remains true to the philosophy of aqua brand, it is not aimed at digital signal processing.
• Proprietary fully floating hybrid 2-stage Network + FPGA module with proprietary code
• 4 Slots to implement future-proof network protocols (modules). Available now:
- HQPlayer Core + NAA (cascade-modules) | No-Compromise Audio Engine for Roon
- HQPlayer NAA | Renderer
- UPnP DLNA | Renderer
- Squeezelite | Renderer
- TIDAL Connect* | Renderer *Coming soon
• Full optimization of the UNIX code to run just the processes necessary for HQPlayer Embedded such as Audio Engine for Roon
• Internal custom developed LAN switch (isolated)
• Pure Bit-perfect FPGA signal processing
• Uncompromising digital interface AQlink PRO (I2S protocol)
• Galvanically isolated output stage (upgradable)
• 2 separate low noise C-Core power transformers for network circuitry and digital decoding
• MODULAR DESIGN with upgradeable multi board platform
• Qobuz, Tidal and other main streaming services supported
• Zero setup, direct access to the Network Module by key and IR5 remote
• High-quality parts
- ETHERNET network | n. 1 standard RJ-45 connector LAN
No network configuration is required (DHCP system)
- 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
INFO AND SUPPORT
Setting up LinQ | Core and Roon
“It’s almost as if the streamer is stripping away everything that isn’t music and presenting the DAC with the signal alone with precise yet fluent form that sounds so right it’s uncanny.”
”In short, I want one!”
Jason Kennedy | Hi-fi+
Read the full review >
LinQ and La Scala | Hi-Fi +
“Aqua takes the Competion to the Cleaners”
FIDELITY No. 57 with the LinQ Core
“With the LinQ, Aqua has created what I consider to be a class-leading, and maybe even market-leading, Network Interface. It was already superb in its initial incarnation but with every addition that is issued for the LinQ, its supremacy is further confirmed. The new Core module is not only a must for those who wish to obtain the absolute best sound quality but also for those who desire zero-config, true Plug & Play functionality.”
Christiaan Punter | HFA Hifi-Advice
Read the full review >
LinQ | HFA Award