The Formula "Optologic" DAC from aqua acoustic quality.

The Formula Optologic DAC from aqua acoustic quality.

Source: Official website, Last Accessed: 2016/08/08

The Formula DAC is aqua's first product to show a proprietary D/A conversion architecture called the Optologic. Optologic follows the same multi-bit technology (already used in aqua's previous world acclaimed DACs such as La Voce and La Scala) but features a discrete R2R resistor ladder topology instead of the Burr Brown PCM1704 d/a ICs.
Both galvanic and magnetic isolation is implemented between the FPGA and the four R2R ladder converter networks used for the digital-to-analog conversion. This ensures complete isolation of all digital circuitry - including the clock - from the analogue section for a noise-free ground plane. It also plays the main role in the differential management of the R2R networks, achieving perfect symmetry between the two, non-inverted and inverted phase, halves. The result, according to aqua, is the highest tonal contrast and naturalness, never heard before from digital sources.
The Formula DAC uses no digital filter or any other compensation, relying instead on obsessive attention to each sub-circuit. The analog and digital power supplies are purely discrete extensively using BJTs, MOSFETs, JFETs and ultra-fast diodes. Passive components were selected not just for the best sonic result but also for their top quality, longevity and reliability. With the exception of six superior quality electrolytic capacitors, all other caps are Tantalum, solid-polymer OS-CONs and double-metalized MJPs. The signal path is direct-coupled. The two output stages (one single-ended, one transformer coupled balanced) use discrete BJT and JFET circuits featuring metal-film resistors.
Formula supports 24bit/384kHz streams through its RJ45/I2S bus and USB ports and 24bit/192kHz streams through its BNC 75 Ohm coaxial input. The user can install more input features as a module add-on which includes RCA 75Ω coaxial, AES/EBU, Toslink and a (rather rare these days) AT&T (ST Fiber) optical input too.

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