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Aqua - LinQ - Network Interface

by Aqua
$9,695.00

Thank you for visiting The Audio Tailor.

We’re Stuart, Gabby, Liam and Vaughan. It’s a pleasure to have you here!

The first question we get from customers usually starts with, “What’s the difference between...”

When you’re shopping for new speakers, a turntable, or even thinking of putting together that home theatre of your teenage dreams - you’ll likely be faced with stacks of comparisons.

Why would I buy the Bluesound Pulse 2i when the Flex 2i is half the price?

Is Aqua the best?

Should I wait for a sale? Or get this now? What will I be missing out on when the new model comes out next year?

Endless questions. Lots of FOMO. Loads of hmm-ing and ha-ing.

And there SHOULD be.

Because you don’t go to a Hi-Fi store and drop $2000, $3000, or $15000 on something you're not 100%, positively, secure-in-your heart sure of.

It’s a lot of hard-earned money on the line.

Imagine doing hours of your own research. Reading up the suppliers’ websites, taking notes from Hi Fi blogs, categorizing the differing opinions as you trawl r/audiophile. You know what you’re getting. You’ve narrowed the online stores down to the final five. You’ve checked and re-checked that you’re getting the best deal. You’re sure you’re not getting ripped off by shipping.

You hit the “Checkout” button. Momentary relief!

That is...

Until your speakers haven’t arrived by the estimated delivery date and you have yet to hear a peep about its progress.

Until your new turntable arrives with a crack in the dust cover.

Until your long-awaited amp set-up fails to deliver the kind of sound you had in mind. Now you’re not even sure if you got the right one anymore, or how to troubleshoot it.

What could possibly be worse?

What about: No after-sales service. No phone number to call. And no one responding to your tickets.

Not to mention the hundreds of man hours you’ve already lost on reading layman opinions from the likes of Graham H. from Melbourne and Sarah D. from Perth; dutifully scrolling through pages and pages of reviews. Torturing yourself by looking for all the ones with less than 3 stars... when you could have been sitting back and diving into a whole new world of immersive sound and deliciously satisfying body vibrations.

Would it make sense to go to audio specialists that know brands, specs, and installation like the back of their hands?

Should you spend less time on weighing up pros and cons and more time enjoying good music?

Want to get the absolute best home theatre for your budget and surroundings without the weight of 100++ brand offerings bogging you down?

We like to think so!

And that’s why we’re here. Two things to know about us:

Thing 1: We were voted Australia’s 2021 Hi Fi Retailer of the Year (Yay! And THANK YOU!)

Thing 2: This is purely because we are sound specialists and audioheads - NOT salesmen.

We got into this business because we genuinely love audio and because we realized there was a lot of faceless dropshipping in the HiFi industry - and not enough expertise out there. People who keep coming back to us do so because they’re getting attention to detail and individualized solutions that they can’t find elsewhere.

Our clients don’t need to worry about budget, brand name, or size.

All they need to worry about, is talking to us.

Because, when you come to us, you’re in for a conversation.

We want to know the picture in your head.

That final portrait of you back from the flea market with Pearl Jam’s Ten, eager to place it gently upon a turntable you haven’t quite decided on yet.

A summer barbeque in your garden with the boys. Having a yarn around a beer-filled cooler while appreciating the crisp, clear, quality of sound streaming through the open doors of your listening space.

The kids having mates over - quiet for once - immersed in a good movie, lights out, in the comfort of the home theatre that is your pride and joy. “I wish we had one of these at our place!”

Once we know precisely what your ultimate scenario looks like, we’ll want to know what you’re working with.

What kind of budget have you set aside?

What’s the existing set-up look like?

How big is the listening room you have in mind?

How much ambient light is coming in?

Are you running drywall or wood panelling? Carpet or hardwood?

What about room resonance and reflection?

No idea what we’re going on about? No worries. We intend to talk you through all that. Our aim is that you get the absolute best sound system for your home, at a price point you’re happy with, and an aesthetic you can’t help but want to show off.

To get to this end goal, an unhealthy interest in all things audio simply isn’t enough. That’s why we spend countless hours behind the scenes sourcing products from only the most reliable brands and trustworthy suppliers - regardless of their branding and marketing.

We don’t rely on them to tell us what’s good about their equipment. We’ve developed our own proactive testing process to judge what’s what. So you get hands-on knowledge every single time. Coupled with our tight networks and stable supply chain meticulously refined over the years, we strive to ensure that the experience you get at The Audio Tailor is personal, seamless, and painless.

Personal, because it’s uniquely you in musicality, design, and taste. Your options are hand picked by us from amongst some of the world’s biggest, best, and most dependable brands.

Seamless, because we’re only small. You get one of us. Not one of dozens of salesmen milling about the place, working for commission and pushing the most expensive products.

Painless, because we don’t recommend anything until we’re clear about your needs. We follow up with you to make sure everything’s arrived in one piece. For us, the transaction isn’t over until your equipment is safely installed and fully satisfying.

TL;DR

Some of the big things we feel are missing in the HiFi world are:

  • The need for expertise before, during, and after the sale
  • A vast wealth of comparative knowledge, and
  • A commitment to end-to-end service.

At The Audio Tailor, we hope we’ve made it clear that service doesn’t shut off when a problem pops up. It’s an opportunity to tighten the ship we run, bolster our 5-star reputation, and most importantly - make someone’s day.

Hi! We see you’ve actually made it to the end of this page. Love it!

We’d like to end this by giving a shout out to all the enthusiasts and audiophiles we’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the years. It has been a privilege to share our desire, passion, and journey for the purest sound and finest entertainment solutions for your homes and businesses.

Thank you to all our customers - past, present, and future - for helping us chase after something above the ordinary.

To make your audio dreams come true - call, email, or hop on down to our Brisbane store.

We’re looking forward to meeting you!

Product Description

Aqua's "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. They 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 optimised.

Each module has its own dedicated power supply and plugs into a connector on the base platform of the device. In addition to the optimisation 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, Aqua obtained the best results with the use of this architecture with a built-in LAN switch.

NO-COMPROMISE AUDIO ENGINE

HQPlayer Core + NAA (cascade-module). The breakthrough. LinQ knows no obsolescence.

Aqua's 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 customised 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.

Features

  • 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-module) | No-Compromise Audio Engine for Roon; HQPlayer NAA | Renderer; UPnP DLNA | Renderer. In R&D: Squeezelite* | 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
  • Input: ETHERNET network | n. 1 standard RJ-45 connector LAN. No network configuration is required (DHCP system)
  • Outputs: 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

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