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Aqua Lascala Optologic

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I think I should have a pair of spare tubes.

Don't want to wait when time will come...

Are the current ones good for about 10,000 hours?

 

Someone suggested these (identical to current one):

ECC81 Telefunken / RFT (NOS) - Vorstufenröhren: Doppeltrioden Tube

 

Are these the same?

www.thetubestore.com - Telefunken ECC801S / 12AT7WA Audio Tubes

 

Wisnom in this thread suggested other makes...Not sure I agree these Telefunken sound dead...

 

Anyone want to team up with me and try some?


Mac Mini Late 2014 (16G/SSD) w Uptone JS-2 w OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini RAID (JS-2) / Uptone ISO Regen w Uptone UltraCap™ LPS-1 / Roon + HQP / Aqua Formula xHD w Siltech Classic Anniversary USB w Ocellia RCA Interconnect / Hattor Passive Preamplifier w Uptone UltraCap™ LPS-1 w Ocellia RCA Interconnect / Nagra MPA w Nirvana power cord / Magico V2 w Ocellia cables w Shunyata Dark Field Elevator / REL Stadium III w Shunyata Diamondback power cord.

 

All equipment, including subwoofer on Modulum platforms.

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Hi,

I am looking into ways to boost the performance of my DAC even more.

Based on my experience with Uptone's Ultracap, I am quite certain that there is a strong potential to up the performance with cleaner power. LIO's MINI PURE-DC-4EVR is another option.

 

Does anyone know how the board runs?

 

Thanks


Mac Mini Late 2014 (16G/SSD) w Uptone JS-2 w OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini RAID (JS-2) / Uptone ISO Regen w Uptone UltraCap™ LPS-1 / Roon + HQP / Aqua Formula xHD w Siltech Classic Anniversary USB w Ocellia RCA Interconnect / Hattor Passive Preamplifier w Uptone UltraCap™ LPS-1 w Ocellia RCA Interconnect / Nagra MPA w Nirvana power cord / Magico V2 w Ocellia cables w Shunyata Dark Field Elevator / REL Stadium III w Shunyata Diamondback power cord.

 

All equipment, including subwoofer on Modulum platforms.

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Mac Mini Late 2014 (16G/SSD) w Uptone JS-2 w OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini RAID (JS-2) / Uptone ISO Regen w Uptone UltraCap™ LPS-1 / Roon + HQP / Aqua Formula xHD w Siltech Classic Anniversary USB w Ocellia RCA Interconnect / Hattor Passive Preamplifier w Uptone UltraCap™ LPS-1 w Ocellia RCA Interconnect / Nagra MPA w Nirvana power cord / Magico V2 w Ocellia cables w Shunyata Dark Field Elevator / REL Stadium III w Shunyata Diamondback power cord.

 

All equipment, including subwoofer on Modulum platforms.

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Just FYI - Had the firmware upgrade a few weeks. Update fixed an issue where some sounds would generate a "buzz". Did not happen often but could repeat 100% of the time with a small number of tracks. All gone!

 

This DAC is an absolute winner. Will try to set-up a comparison of the Nagra Classic DAC and/or Nagra HD DAC in the near future along with the Formula. Will gather a group of great ears for this.

 

In the meantime, could not be happier.


Mac Mini Late 2014 (16G/SSD) w Uptone JS-2 w OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini RAID (JS-2) / Uptone ISO Regen w Uptone UltraCap™ LPS-1 / Roon + HQP / Aqua Formula xHD w Siltech Classic Anniversary USB w Ocellia RCA Interconnect / Hattor Passive Preamplifier w Uptone UltraCap™ LPS-1 w Ocellia RCA Interconnect / Nagra MPA w Nirvana power cord / Magico V2 w Ocellia cables w Shunyata Dark Field Elevator / REL Stadium III w Shunyata Diamondback power cord.

 

All equipment, including subwoofer on Modulum platforms.

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Just FYI - Had the firmware upgrade a few weeks. Update fixed an issue where some sounds would generate a "buzz". Did not happen often but could repeat 100% of the time with a small number of tracks. All gone!

 

This DAC is an absolute winner. Will try to set-up a comparison of the Nagra Classic DAC and/or Nagra HD DAC in the near future along with the Formula. Will gather a group of great ears for this.

 

In the meantime, could not be happier.

 

Looking forward to reading the impressions of your group. I am considering an upgrade to the formula.

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Just FYI - Had the firmware upgrade a few weeks. Update fixed an issue where some sounds would generate a "buzz". Did not happen often but could repeat 100% of the time with a small number of tracks. All gone!

 

This DAC is an absolute winner. Will try to set-up a comparison of the Nagra Classic DAC and/or Nagra HD DAC in the near future along with the Formula. Will gather a group of great ears for this.

 

In the meantime, could not be happier.

 

On WBF, MikeLavigne compared the Aqua Formula, Nagra HD and Lampi Golden Gate using the SGM server and HQP. The Aqua Formula was preferred in the end.

 

If its not against the forum rules, http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?22299-GG-Nagra-HD-Aqua-Formula-and-SGM-server

 

Wonder how close the La Scala is to the performance of the Formula?

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I am also extremely please with my La Scala Opto. Major upgrade from my QB-9 DSD.

 

I use HQP + mRendu with LPS-1. Sound is simply stunning, lifelike and very realistic.

 

I am curious to hear about other users experience with HQP settings.

 

I have so far tried no oversampling, oversampling to 192K and 352K more as a proof of concept than anything.

I have not done critical listening comparing. I used poly-sinc-shrt and NS9.

 

Hope to hear from you!

 

Do you prefer no upsampling or oversampling?

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Now that Tidal has finally 'flipped the switch' to enable MQA streaming, I hope that Aqua gets on board with MQA decoding. Has anyone heard anything about this possibility? TIA!

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Thought this review of the latest Aqua LaScala Optologic DAC from Digital Audio Review's John Darko would be of interest.

 

Conclusion excerpt:

"In other words, the most satisfying DAC heard by yours truly to date just got significantly better... In its Optologic incarnation, the La Scala MKII cements further its position at the very top of the DAR-KO DAC Index and DAR-KO Award assignation becomes as easy as it has ever been. In a word, primo!"

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Of course it pretty much is impossible to tell for sure, but my impressions are that the sound has tightened up a bit over time. Sort of like a really clean expensive turntable now. Maybe more a extension of its former self, than a diversion.

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Hi Kimo, I have the MkII and I am thinking of upgrading. How does DSD sound? I remember reading an interview with the designer of the Berkeley Alpha DAC, who I believe said they could have included DSD, which they did not, for an extra $100.


Roon software, Lenovo TS 440 server, IPad Air 2 for remote control and Dell 2340T display, Dell Latitude 7140 tablet (Windows 8.1, 256 SSD and 8 GB RAM) with Dell docking station, Aqua Hifi LaScala mk ii DAC, Allnic L 5000 DHT preamp, Shaker Logic Attune with two outputs for the amplifiers, Vitus SS-101 mk ii amp, Bosendorfer VC-7 speakers and Focal Sub Utopia Be subwoofer.

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Hi Kimo, I have the MkII and I am thinking of upgrading. How does DSD sound? I remember reading an interview with the designer of the Berkeley Alpha DAC, who I believe said they could have included DSD, which they did not, for an extra $100.

 

Sorry, but I can't report on the DSD. I set up the original DAC to work with a Vanity HD board converting DSD to PCM, prior to outputting. Had no choice at the time.

 

I thought about switching the out the old Vanity Board for a new one, which will output DSD, but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

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Now that Tidal has finally 'flipped the switch' to enable MQA streaming, I hope that Aqua gets on board with MQA decoding. Has anyone heard anything about this possibility? TIA!

 

When I inquired a month ago about the upgrade, they said they were looking into MQA but no other information was provided. I asked because I only want to ship the unit back to Italy one time not two times so I may wait to see what happens.

 

The cost of the upgrade by the way is 1,800 Euros or about $2,000 not $1,000 as reported online. This cost includes shipping both ways. The Formula undoubtedly sounds better but the cost seems prohibitive.

I can upgrade the La Scala for about $2,000 or sell it for about $3,000 and pay $13,700 for the Formula, a $9,000 difference. Interestingly 6 Moons said specifically they were comparing the Formula to the old La Scala and in another review said they were comparing the La Scala Opto to the old La Scala. It seemed like they purposely did not compare the La Scala Opto to the Formula. I would rather put $9,000 into better speakers.


Roon software, Lenovo TS 440 server, IPad Air 2 for remote control and Dell 2340T display, Dell Latitude 7140 tablet (Windows 8.1, 256 SSD and 8 GB RAM) with Dell docking station, Aqua Hifi LaScala mk ii DAC, Allnic L 5000 DHT preamp, Shaker Logic Attune with two outputs for the amplifiers, Vitus SS-101 mk ii amp, Bosendorfer VC-7 speakers and Focal Sub Utopia Be subwoofer.

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Well.. Slingshot over here the optologic upgrade is exact € 900. That's including shipping costs from Poland to Italy.

Can you provide me the comparison of Aqua la Scala MK2 vs optologic upgraded.

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Well.. Slingshot over here the optologic upgrade is exact € 900. That's including shipping costs from Poland to Italy.

Can you provide me the comparison of Aqua la Scala MK2 vs optologic upgraded.

 

Yes, when I have it upgraded it which will be in a while. I believe they use air freight to the U.S. which is expensive.

I bought it directly from them two years ago before they were selling it here. They are very responsive to emails. They are also very honest people. The Euro had declined from when they first gave me the price and they lowered the price about $500.


Roon software, Lenovo TS 440 server, IPad Air 2 for remote control and Dell 2340T display, Dell Latitude 7140 tablet (Windows 8.1, 256 SSD and 8 GB RAM) with Dell docking station, Aqua Hifi LaScala mk ii DAC, Allnic L 5000 DHT preamp, Shaker Logic Attune with two outputs for the amplifiers, Vitus SS-101 mk ii amp, Bosendorfer VC-7 speakers and Focal Sub Utopia Be subwoofer.

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Well.. Slingshot over here the optologic upgrade is exact € 900. That's including shipping costs from Poland to Italy.

Can you provide me the comparison of Aqua la Scala MK2 vs optologic upgraded.

John Darko has reviewed the new Aqua LaScala MkII Optologic DAC and compared it in detail to the pre-Optologic version.

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Interested in the Aqua LaScala Optologic but I'm wondering about two topics.

 

Is the power switch on the front just to turn tube stage? Does the digital portion stay on warm and stable and one just use the power switch to take out of stand by?

 

When the tubes need replacing does the DAC requires a service technician to readjust or calibrate the gain levels or bias?


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I own one. Awesome DAC.

I think the switch is a full on/off.

I leave it on most of the time. Tubes are cheap.

It takes 5 mins to change the tubes. Nothing special needed.


Mac Mini Late 2014 (16G/SSD) w Uptone JS-2 w OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini RAID (JS-2) / Uptone ISO Regen w Uptone UltraCap™ LPS-1 / Roon + HQP / Aqua Formula xHD w Siltech Classic Anniversary USB w Ocellia RCA Interconnect / Hattor Passive Preamplifier w Uptone UltraCap™ LPS-1 w Ocellia RCA Interconnect / Nagra MPA w Nirvana power cord / Magico V2 w Ocellia cables w Shunyata Dark Field Elevator / REL Stadium III w Shunyata Diamondback power cord.

 

All equipment, including subwoofer on Modulum platforms.

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I am in the market for a new DAC and I recently auditioned and compared three candidates in my system. One of them being the new Aqua La Scala mk II optologic. The other two: the Metrum Pavane and the Chord DAVE.

 

My impressions: the Aqua and the Metrum are in the same league but totally different. In short, the Aqua is for audiophiles, the Metrum is for music lovers. An analytic, neutral and a bit sterile presentation vs. a musical one. The Aqua is better in layering and sound staging, the Metrum in engagement and delivering emotion and a more analogue sound field. I somehow expected the opposite because of the tube stage of the Aqua. The Metrum rocked in my headphone system, the Aqua was flat and uninspiring. With the Aqua I found direct USB input delivered the best quality. With the Metrum, the optimal connection was via AES/EBU fed by a Mutec MC-3+ USB. The USB implementation of the Metrum seemed of lower quality.

 

If I had to choose between the two I would not hesitate and go for the Metrum. The new Adagio (with volume control) has updated DAC modules and I was informed that the Pavane will get this modules as well and will sound even better. Btw, as other contributors to this thread, I also experienced a popping noise in the right channel with the Aqua when switching sample rates.

 

As price would suspect, the DAVE is in another league. It is musical, it creates a soundstage and gives spatial clues that I consider as a new industry standard and almost close to perfect. And oh, that timbre... For me, the only downside is the form factor and especially the build in headphone amp. It is not certainly not bad but it is not a competitor to my Bakoon HPA-21. I hoped it was. I suspect because my LCD-3's are difficult to drive. The combination with the Bakoon on the other hand even bettered the Metrum.

 

There a some other DAC's I want to audition (Ayre QX-5 twenty, new Weiss DAC 50x) before I make a decision but until now the Chord DAVE is on top of my list!

Edited by skatbelt

Roon server (Mac Mini/i7/SSD/16GB/Uptone DC mod/external SDD via firewire/Uptone Audio JS-2 LPS) Streamer dCS Network Bridge DAC Chord DAVE Amplifier / DRC Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Speakers Lindemann BL-10 | JL audio E-sub e110 Cables CAT6 UTP ethernet, Transparent premium AES/EBU, Nordost Leif Red Dawn analog RCA, Kimber 8TC speaker cables, custom star-quad power cables with Oyaide termination Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) | Audio-technica ATH-M50 Software High Sierra | Roon 1.6 | Tidal hifi Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, 0.0001pf, balanced) | Vibex one 6R power distributor | Uptone EtherREGEN | Emo Systems EN-70HD network isolator | Jensen CI-1RR isolator

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Skatbelt, you should also try thr Lampizator Golden Atlantic, The Bricasti Dac, the Berk Ref 2 and the Aqua top of the line Formula Dac.

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Skatbelt, you should also try thr Lampizator Golden Atlantic, The Bricasti Dac, the Berk Ref 2 and the Aqua top of the line Formula Dac.

 

Thanks for your suggestions. My budget is not unlimited. I hope to find something satisfying within the 10k range.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile


Roon server (Mac Mini/i7/SSD/16GB/Uptone DC mod/external SDD via firewire/Uptone Audio JS-2 LPS) Streamer dCS Network Bridge DAC Chord DAVE Amplifier / DRC Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Speakers Lindemann BL-10 | JL audio E-sub e110 Cables CAT6 UTP ethernet, Transparent premium AES/EBU, Nordost Leif Red Dawn analog RCA, Kimber 8TC speaker cables, custom star-quad power cables with Oyaide termination Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) | Audio-technica ATH-M50 Software High Sierra | Roon 1.6 | Tidal hifi Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, 0.0001pf, balanced) | Vibex one 6R power distributor | Uptone EtherREGEN | Emo Systems EN-70HD network isolator | Jensen CI-1RR isolator

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Thanks for your suggestions. My budget is not unlimited. I hope to find something satisfying within the 10k range.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

Golden Atlantic is less than $9K (single ended), Bricasti is about $1k more, Berk Ref2 is $19K, Formula is $14K.

 

By way of comparison the DAVE is about $14K.

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Golden Atlantic is less than $9K (single ended), Bricasti is about $1k more, Berk Ref2 is $19K, Formula is $14K.

 

By way of comparison the DAVE is about $14K.

 

I forgot to mention I am in the EU and meant 10K euro. The DAVE is just under here in the Netherlands. The Bricasti and the Berkeley are way more because of shipping, VAT, import duties etc. I am open to Lampizator DAC's though.


Roon server (Mac Mini/i7/SSD/16GB/Uptone DC mod/external SDD via firewire/Uptone Audio JS-2 LPS) Streamer dCS Network Bridge DAC Chord DAVE Amplifier / DRC Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Speakers Lindemann BL-10 | JL audio E-sub e110 Cables CAT6 UTP ethernet, Transparent premium AES/EBU, Nordost Leif Red Dawn analog RCA, Kimber 8TC speaker cables, custom star-quad power cables with Oyaide termination Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) | Audio-technica ATH-M50 Software High Sierra | Roon 1.6 | Tidal hifi Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, 0.0001pf, balanced) | Vibex one 6R power distributor | Uptone EtherREGEN | Emo Systems EN-70HD network isolator | Jensen CI-1RR isolator

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I forgot to mention I am in the EU and meant 10K euro. The DAVE is just under here in the Netherlands. The Bricasti and the Berkeley are way more because of shipping, VAT, import duties etc. I am open to Lampizator DAC's though.

 

Understood.

 

In that case, yes, the DAVE, and The Lampi will be will both be low Euro10K for sure. Not sure what the Ayre Qx-20 runs for in Europe...but should be in the mix too, price wise.

 

I own a Chord Jute EX and a Lampi Golden Gate, in case you are interested.

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Understood.

 

In that case, yes, the DAVE, and The Lampi will be will both be low Euro10K for sure. Not sure what the Ayre Qx-20 runs for in Europe...but should be in the mix too, price wise.

 

I own a Chord Jute EX and a Lampi Golden Gate, in case you are interested.

 

The most interesting Lampi for me would be 'Der Siebener DAC'. Problem is, there is no dealer in the Netherlands. Except for adventurous lower budget stuff, I always want to try out a new items in my own system for some days before I decide anything. I know Lampizator has a 7 days return policy but even with this, costs for shipment will be substantial. Again thank you for your suggestions but let's make this an Aqua La Scala thread again.. ;)


Roon server (Mac Mini/i7/SSD/16GB/Uptone DC mod/external SDD via firewire/Uptone Audio JS-2 LPS) Streamer dCS Network Bridge DAC Chord DAVE Amplifier / DRC Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Speakers Lindemann BL-10 | JL audio E-sub e110 Cables CAT6 UTP ethernet, Transparent premium AES/EBU, Nordost Leif Red Dawn analog RCA, Kimber 8TC speaker cables, custom star-quad power cables with Oyaide termination Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) | Audio-technica ATH-M50 Software High Sierra | Roon 1.6 | Tidal hifi Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, 0.0001pf, balanced) | Vibex one 6R power distributor | Uptone EtherREGEN | Emo Systems EN-70HD network isolator | Jensen CI-1RR isolator

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