Biketony the Aqua Dacs are truly special aside from their amazing musicality, Aqua is one of the very companies that actually builds products that can continue to evolve.
Over the years we have been told by manufacturerers that their products are upgradable and boom a few years later a new platform and zero upgrade ability.
Aqua has proven they will deliver on that promise, a user who bought a La Voice Mk I can upgrade to a Mk II and then a Mk III.
The complete modularity of their designs is truly refreshing as well as their stubborn philsophy of only adding a design feature if and when they can make it sound proper.
We asked Christian Angeneli to add a digtial streaming board to help make the dac’s more competitive at their price points. Low and behold we got an email back showing the really inexpensive commercial board that many "high" end companies put in their products.
Christin is open to the soluton but only if it is a really good one.
Market driven in terms of sound quality, obsolesence proof, and not willing to compromise to sell more product is a refreshing difference.
One of our biggest discussion points is a very popular company whose products are always going through a new firmware every year that magically makes the Dac sound so much better.
The reality is that many companies use FPGA and never change their firmware other than big fixes, because the design is a mature one.
The real way to gain long term satisfaction is to make a product that can easily morph into the next generation product.
We opened up a La Scala MK II dac and counted either 8 or 9 individual boards, in the design, you can for a nominal cost impliment changes because each part of the dac is addressable. Swap out input boards, output boards, power supplies, clocking etc.
The highly rated FPGA array based dac with the every year new miracle software dac that so many here talk about is built on three board with one being the streaming board, the other is the power supply and the main board. To change anythiing you have to throw out the main board.
Upgradable via software only yes to a point, we will take upgradable with both FPGA possible firmware upgrades coupled to a completely non compartmentalized multi board design any day of the week.
Aqua continues to make better and better sounding digital.
A great dac from a company that really cares about its clients.
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Aqua Hifi Dealer