La Scala MKII Optologic D / A converter

La Scala MKII Optologic D / A converter
La Scala MKII
Optologic
D / A converter
Owner’s Manual
Rev 2.0
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICES
The triangle with the lightning flash symbol displayed on the unit advises the user of
dangerous uninsulated voltage inside the product’s enclosure.
To reduce the risk of electric shock, do not remove the cover.
The triangle with the exclamation point symbol on the component suggests that the owner
refer to important operating and maintenance instructions in the owner’s manual.
Modifications and alterations not approved by the manufacturer may violate adherence to
EC regulations and make the appliance no longer suitable for use. The manufacturer
declines all responsibility for damage caused to persons or property due to the misuse or
malfunction of device subject to unauthorized change.
In order to make changes that improve the already excellent quality of its products, Aqua Acoustic Quality reserves the right to modify the information or the contents of this manual
at any time and without notice.
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La Scala MKII Optologic D / A converter Owner’s Manual
Aqua - Acoustic Quality audio products are warranted to be free from manufacturing
defects for five (5) years from the original date of purchase. The warranty includes parts
and labour. In the event of a defect or malfunction, contact your dealer or Aqua – Acoustic
Quality directly for return authorization. Aqua - Acoustic Quality will remedy the problem by
repair or replacement, as we deem necessary, to restore the product to full performance.
Products must be returned using original packaging material only. Packing material may
be purchased from Aqua - Acoustic Quality if necessary. This warranty is considered void
if the defect, malfunction or failure of the product or any component part was caused by
damage (not resulting from a defect or malfunction) or abuse while in the possession of
the customer. The warranty excludes the following components:
-Audio tubes
-NOS (New Old Stock) Components
CAUTION: Changes or modifications to this equipment not expressly approved by the
manufacturer could void the user’s authority to operate the equipment.
GENERAL SAFETY INFORMATION
The following general safety precautions must be observed during all phases of operation
of this equipment. Failure to comply with these precautions or with specific warnings
elsewhere in this manual violates safety standards of design, manufacture, and intended
use of the equipment. Aqua - Acoustic Quality assumes no liability for the customer’s
failure to comply with these requirements.
• DO NOT operate the product in an explosive atmosphere or in the presence of
flammable gases or fumes. For continued protection against fire, replace the line fuse(s)
only with fuse(s) of the same voltage and current rating and type. DO NOT use repaired
fuses or short-circuited fuse holders.
• Keep away from live circuits. Operating personnel must not remove equipment covers or
shields. Procedures involving the removal of covers or shields are for use by servicetrained personnel only. Under certain conditions, dangerous voltages may exist even with
the equipment switched off. To avoid dangerous electric shock, DO NOT perform
procedures involving cover or shield removal unless you are qualified to do so.
• DO NOT operate damaged equipment. If the built-in safety protection features have been
impaired through physical damage, excessive moisture, or any other reason, REMOVE
POWER and do not use product until safe operation is verified by service-trained
personnel. If necessary, return the product to Aqua - Acoustic Quality for service and
repair to ensure that the safety features are maintained.
• DO NOT service or adjust alone. Do not attempt any internal service or adjustment
unless a person capable of rendering first aid and resuscitation is present.
• DO NOT substitute parts or modify equipment. To avoid the occurrence of additional
hazards, do not install substitute parts or perform any unauthorized modification to the
product. Return the product to Aqua - Acoustic Quality for service or repair to ensure that
the safety features are maintained.
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La Scala MKII Optologic D / A converter Owner’s Manual
In This Guide…
1 Operation and Features
2 Specifications
3 Analog stage
4 Front panel
5 Back panel
6 PC connection
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La Scala MKII Optologic D / A converter Owner’s Manual
1. Operation and Features
Make sure the supplied voltage is the one required by the device. Please ensure the
quality of the connecting cables, paying particular attention the coaxial / AES EBU digital
cable. Often, numerous tests have revealed the importance of this cable for obtaining the
best sound quality. The transport unit which is responsible for the extraction of numeric
data, is affected by jitter, which is non-temporal coherence. In more recent years, this
issue has been taken seriously by some manufacturers, significantly improving the results
in terms of sound quality. Aqua - Acoustic Quality counsels that this quality should be
carefully assessed in order to achieve the desired result.
Key features
• High performance proprietary FPGA-based digital decoding without digital filter
• Galvanic and magnetic isolations between the FPGA and the four branches of the R2R
ladder converter
• Custom designed discrete circuit with high-speed optocouplers for Galvanic and
magnetic isolation between Digital stage and Analog DAC ground
• Jitter free digital interface AQlink PRO (I2S protocol), uncompromising digital connection
to La Diva cd transport
• Zero S/PDIF Jitter design, digital receiver stage PLL (phase locked loop) technology
• High-performance AQ Discrete Regulator (MOSFET, J-FET, BJT) for analog and digital
DAC’s power supply
• Valve-Mosfet direct coupling analog stage in pure class-A without negative feedback
• MOSFET Virtual battery circuit for analog anode supply
• Soft-start power up for extended tube life
• MODULAR DESIGN with upgradeable multi board platform
• 2 separate low noise power transformers, one for the analog and one for the digital
section
• Transformer-based true balanced audio output stage
• Regulated DC filament supplies with soft start for tubes
• Fully discrete analog stage
• Proprietary USB Firmware / driver :
Apple MAC OS - Linux OS : USB asynchronous native support, no need to install drivers
software
• Fully upgradeable asynchronous USB high-speed module with resolution up to 24 bit and
384 KHz, operates with computers running OSX 10.7 and above, WINDOWS XP, 7, 8 and
10 ASIO bit perfect
• Digital phase selector on front panel
• High-quality parts selected for sound quality:
- 105° long life capacitors
- low noise Metal Foil ultra-precision resistors
- double metallized film pulse capacitor
- ultra-fast diodes
- halogen free cables
• Aluminium anti-resonant cabinet with Nextel
• Designed and handmade in Italy
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La Scala MKII Optologic D / A converter Owner’s Manual
2. Specifications
Digital to analog conversion type
Proprietary Optologic DAC
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 selectable
AQlink (I2S bus)
LVCMOS level
Oversampling factor
1x
Analog Conversion method
Pure R2R ladder - FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) based
digital decoding without digital filter
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
- RCA coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm - PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP
- AES/EBU balanced 110 ohm - PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via
DoP
- USB port - PCM 24 bit / 384kHz – DSD64, DSD128 via DoP
Modular input:
- RCA coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm - PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP
Options:
- AT&T (ST Fiber) - PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP
- Optical TOSLINK - PCM 24 bit / 96kHz – DSD64 via DoP
Analogue Outputs
UNBAL 2 RCA Output 2.2 V RMS
BALANCED ( passive transformer's symmetrical ) 2 XLR Output :
2.2V RMS
Output Impedance
100 Ω RCA - 600 Ω XLR
Load Impedance
10 k Ω (min.) RCA - 600 Ω XLR
Frequency Response
20Hz to 22kHz +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 - 88VA
Dimensions
( W x D x H ) 450 x 370 x 100 mm
Weight
9 kg
Front finish
Satin Alu Silver or Satin Black
Case finish
Grey Nextel powder coated
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La Scala MKII Optologic D / A converter Owner’s Manual
3. Analog stage
Aqua – Acoustic Quality R & D department has developed a single-stage signal amplifier.
It uses VALVE / MOSFET direct-coupled. The first stage uses ECC81, a High-Frequency
triode noted for its low noise characteristics. This is direct connected to High-Voltage
MOSFET, which allows particularly :
−
−
−
−
−
−
−
simplicity
wide bandwidth
fast response
no overshoot, no ringing, no roll-off
lower output impedance compared to conventional circuits
no feedback
low distortion
La Scala MKII uses long-life valves with an average life of approximately 10,000 hours.
• DO NOT substitute parts or modify equipment. To avoid the occurrence of additional
hazards, do not install substitute parts or perform any unauthorized modification to the
product. La Scala MKII is equipped with a virtual-battery power supply. Dangerous
voltages may exist even with the equipment switched off.
4. Front panel
On the front panel, you will find:
● power on/off switch
● rotary switch for selection of the digital input
● PHASE ( 0 / 180 ) switch
● LED power indicator
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La Scala MKII Optologic D / A converter Owner’s Manual
5. Back panel
On the rear panel, you will find:
● IEC connector of the power supply (220-240V or 100-120V).
● 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
- RCA coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm - PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP
- AES/EBU balanced 110 ohm - PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP
- USB port - PCM 24 bit / 384kHz – DSD64, DSD128 via DoP
Modular input:
- RCA coax (S/PDIF) 75 ohm - PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP
Options:
- AT&T (ST Fiber) - PCM 24 bit / 192kHz – DSD64 via DoP
- Optical TOSLINK - PCM 24 bit / 96kHz – DSD64 via DoP
● The TX LED which indicates the timing of the digital signal S/PDIF / AES/EBU
● analog outputs :
- RCA single-ended
- XLR balanced symmetrical
For the best sonic results, please do NOT use at the same time the RCA single-ended
and XLR balanced.
PIN ASSIGNMENT
The pin assignments of all of the XLR-type male analog outputs, the XLR-type
female digital inputs are as follows:
Pin 1: Signal ground
Pin 2: Signal + (non-inverting)
Pin 3: Signal - (inverting)
Connector ground lug: chassis free
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La Scala MKII Optologic D / A converter Owner’s Manual
6. PC connection
ADVICE: Windows users must install the driver prior to connecting the USB cable to
the PC (please refer to download section http://www.aquahifi.com/download.html ).
The USB cable that connects to a PC, must conform to the 2.0 specifications, and should
be of adequate quality. Please avoid using cable more than 2m, to avoid invalidating the
bus performance
True plug’n’play operation with Mac
Mac computers with OSX 10.6.4 and later have a native support for audio devices
compliant with USB Audio Class 2.0. This means that the driver is already included in the
operating system and the user needs not to install anything. Just connect the La Scala
MKII DAC to your Mac and it will be immediately recognized by the OS and ready to use.
Macs with older OS need update.
To use aqua USB as output device for your Mac, you need to select it as default output
device from the Audio Control Panel (Preferences -> Sound).
After selecting aqua USB, please check settings, you can select the sampling frequency
fixed for La Scala MKII DAC, regardless the native sampling frequency of all audio tracks.
For the best sonic results, you may want to use a player which follow the native frequency
of the tracks, like Sonic Studio Amarra or Channel D Pure Music.
True plug’n’play operation with Linux
PC with Linux 1.0.24 and later have a native support for audio devices compliant with USB
Audio Class 2.0 This means that the driver is already included in the operating system
and the user needs not to install anything. Just connect the La Scala MKII DAC to your PC
with Linux and it will be immediately recognized by the OS and ready to use.
Windows XP, VISTA, 7, 8 O.S.
For the best sonic results, you may want to use a player which support ASIO*, like Foobar
or JRiver Media Center
*ASIO is a trademark of Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH
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La Scala MKII Optologic D / A converter Owner’s Manual
Handcrafted in Italy
aqua - acoustic quality
www.aquahifi.com
info@aquahifi.com
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