Aqua Formula - new upgrade, retrofittable!

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
8,817
34
48
London
#61
Wow, the GG is $20k+ USD. Separate thought but has anyone compared the Lampizator Pacific to MSB or TotalDAC 12?
Has anyone compared Pacific to GG yet? Pacific valves are still restricted, the other valves haven't rolled out, so I will be able to valve tune my GG to beat the Pacific.
 
Sep 17, 2015
286
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Monaco
#62
My q is not so much whether balanced is better.
I gather the vast majority of, if not all, dacs sound better balanced.
It’s whether single ended is decidedly worse, and loses any performance superiority the dac has.
How much of a SQ discount there is with RCA compared to XLR, I suspect is quite preamp dependent

Our experience with Aqua Formula playing through RCA is very limited. Sorry can not be more helpful
 
Dec 17, 2015
195
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Moscow
#63
Here is a very nice review of the Formula xHD dac: http://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/review/digital-reviews/spdif-dac-reviews/aqua-formula-xhd-dac/, some comparison to other DACs, USB vs other inputs, XLR vs RCA.
I noticed that Formula has a modular input option. The available options for the Modular Input are AES/EBU, RCA, AT&T ST Glass and Optical TOSlink. The reviewed sample had AT&T ST Glass input. Is this an Ethernet input or something else? What source can be used with this input?
Thanks.
 
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Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,073
3
38
#64
Here is a very nice review of the Formula xHD dac: http://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/review/digital-reviews/spdif-dac-reviews/aqua-formula-xhd-dac/, some comparison to other DACs, USB vs other inputs, XLR vs RCA.
I noticed that Formula has a modular input option. The available options for the Modular Input are AES/EBU, RCA, AT&T ST Glass and Optical TOSlink. The reviewed sample had AT&T ST Glass input. Is this an Ethernet input or something else? What source can be used with this input?
Thanks.
thank you for the review link. the nicely written review mirrors my views on the Formula dac as a top performer and clear view on the music. too bad not much on the addition of dsd to the performance.
 
May 19, 2014
693
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16
Round Rock, TX
#65
My thoughts too. I'll probably do it in a few months but would like to know how natively DSD sounds.
 

r32nj

New Member
Jan 10, 2018
3
0
0
#66
Does anyone know how the Formula decodes DSD since it is a ladder DAC? Does it convert DSD to PCM internally or does it actually have some sort of on board DSD decoder?
 

r32nj

New Member
Jan 10, 2018
3
0
0
#69
Can someone with the xHD upgrade + HQPlayer share what settings you have found to work well with the Formula xHD?
 

r32nj

New Member
Jan 10, 2018
3
0
0
#70
I emailed Aqua and they confirmed that the Formula does convert DSD to PCM internally. They tried different solutions for DSD playback and determined that the best sounding solution was via DSD to PCM conversion.
 
May 19, 2014
693
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Round Rock, TX
#71
I thought the upgrade rectified that and does DSD native?
 
Dec 17, 2015
195
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Moscow
#72
I am now listening to an Aqua Formula xHD. The unit is brand new and probably needs another week of burn in. But so far, I am quite pleased with what I am hearing. Despite the internal conversion of DSD to PCM, DSD playback is comparable to my Lampi, and PCM is simply stunning.
https://youtu.be/ySXOhTEbVKw
 
May 19, 2014
693
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16
Round Rock, TX
#73
Awesome! BTW - who is playing in the video?
 
Dec 17, 2015
195
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16
Moscow
#75
I really enjoyed the sound of Formula till I put my Lampi back... Now I am at a complete loss, as I no longer hear the difference, that I think I heard before. Maybe I imagined it:( Maybe it’s a burn in issue.
Anyway, I will give the Formula another couple of days but I doubt that there will be any dramatic changes.
 

wisnon

Active Member
Dec 12, 2011
2,478
5
38
#76
I really enjoyed the sound of Formula till I put my Lampi back... Now I am at a complete loss, as I no longer hear the difference, that I think I heard before. Maybe I imagined it:( Maybe it’s a burn in issue.
Anyway, I will give the Formula another couple of days but I doubt that there will be any dramatic changes.
What tubes do you use in your GG?
 
May 19, 2014
693
0
16
Round Rock, TX
#78
I really enjoyed the sound of Formula till I put my Lampi back... Now I am at a complete loss, as I no longer hear the difference, that I think I heard before. Maybe I imagined it:( Maybe it’s a burn in issue.
Anyway, I will give the Formula another couple of days but I doubt that there will be any dramatic changes.
For what it's worth it took a long time for my Aqua Formula to break in. Aqua recommends 200 hours but I found it took closer to 300 for it to settle down.
 

wisnon

Active Member
Dec 12, 2011
2,478
5
38
#79
I wish it was a GG;) It’s a Level 4 dac.
Oh geez. You should buy a used GG then. It will be less than a new Formula retail. Ask Lykasz...I am sure he has trade ins for PAC buyers.

I had L2 and then L4 and the B7 and then GG. GG is far far beyond L4. I know for a fact.
 
Dec 17, 2015
195
0
16
Moscow
#80
Oh geez. You should buy a used GG then. It will be less than a new Formula retail. Ask Lykasz...I am sure he has trade ins for PAC buyers.

I had L2 and then L4 and the B7 and then GG. GG is far far beyond L4. I know for a fact.
If I don’t go for the Formula, I am thinking about a new GG2. It’s just more expensive and lots of confusing options to choose from. But that’s a topic for another thread.