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Aqua - La Voce S3 Discrete - DAC



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Designed to provide absolute modularity, the La Voce S3 is a pure R2R ladder - FPGA-based DAC without digital filter. It has a sign-magnitude ladder converter.

The absence of digital filtering means no processing of the input signal. The original digital samples are translated to the reproduced sound, preserving the transient shape and avoiding any ringing. In this way we also avoid the "intersample overs" problem that is vital to faithful reproduction, considering current recording studio practices.

With Aqua's R2R conversion technology the sound is natural, fast, dynamic, and without the sense of compression characterising others converters.



  • High performance proprietary FPGA-based digital decoding without digital filter
  • Discrete R2R ladder DACs with low noise precision resistors
  • Galvanic isolated S/PDIF - AES/EBU Digital input
  • Jitter free digital interface AQlink (I2S protocol), uncompromising digital connection to La Diva cd transport
  • Zero S/PDIF Jitter design, digital receiver stage PLL (phase locked loop) technology
  • Discrete Regulator (MOSFET, J-FET, BJT) for analog and digital DAC’s power supply
  • RJ45 (AQlink) input connection, employs CAT6 cable
  • 2 separate low noise power transformers, one for the analog and one for the digital section
  • MODULAR DESIGN with upgradeable multi board system
  • Fully discrete analog stage, not even a single Op-Amp is used
  • Proprietary USB Firmware / driver: Apple MAC OS - Linux OS: USB asynchronous native support, no need to install drivers software
  • Fully upgradeable asynchronous USB module with resolution 44.1kHz to 384kHz PCM up to 24 bits, DSD64, DSD128, operates with computers running OSX 10.7 and above, WINDOWS 10, 8, 7 and XP ASIO - WASAPI bit perfect high-speed
  • AQ-i modular input: D111 XLR | D112 AT&T ST Fibre | D113 RCA | D114 TOSLINK with High Resolution platform
  • Digital phase selector on front panel
  • High-quality parts selected for sound quality: 105° long life capacitors, low noise Metal Foil ultra-precision resistors, metallised film pulse capacitor, ultra-fast diodes
  • Aluminium anti-resonant cabinet with Nextel
  • Designed and handmade in Italy



  • Digital to analog conversion type - Proprietary Discrete D/A conversion system. Pure R2R ladder - FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) based without digital filter
  • Supported Native Sample Rates - 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 architecture - Multibit sign magnitude R2R ladder (upgradable)
  • Asynchronous USB (High Speed) - USB Audio Class 2 with Type B connector
  • Digital Receiver - PLL (phase locked loop) technology 128 or 256 FS internally selectable
  • AQlink (I2S bus) - CMOS level
  • Oversampling factor - 1 x
  • Digital inputs:
  • RJ45 AQlink (I2S serial bus) - PCM 24 bit / 384kHz – DSD64, DSD128 via DoP
  • BNC coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm - PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP
  • USB port - PCM 24 bit / 384kHz – DSD64, DSD128 via DoP
  • AQ-i modular input:
  • AES/EBU balanced 110 ohm - PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP (cod. D111)
  • RCA coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm - PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP (cod. D113)
  • AT&T (ST Fiber) - PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP (cod. D112)
  • Optical TOSLINK - PCM 24 bit / 96kHz (cod. D114)
  • Analogue Outputs - UNBAL 2 RCA Output 2.5 V RMS, BALANCED (asymmetrical output) 2 XLR Output: 5.5 V RMS
  • Output Impedance - 100 ohm RCA - 200 ohm XLR
  • Load Impedance - 10 kohm (min.) RCA - 600 ohm XLR
  • Frequency Response - 20Hz to 50kHz +0.5dB/-0.5dB
  • THD + N - <0.1% 1KHz -20dB
  • Front Panel - Power, input selector, Phase Invert switch
  • Power Consumption - 100-115V / 220-240V; 50 or 60Hz - 58VA
  • Dimensions - ( W x D x H ) 450 x 310 x 100 mm
  • Weight - 9kgs
  • Front finish - Satin Alu Silver or Satin Black
  • Case finish - Grey Nextel powder coated

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