Here we see the single-ended output board behind which...


... hides the balanced equivalent but its two silver symmetrizing transformers are easily made out. Unlike R2R brands which omit a separate output stage to instead tap the output voltage of their converter directly, Aqua Hifi clearly believe in a dedicated stage tasked with driving your preamp or integrated across the connecting cable.



The dedicated USB board centres on the latest XMOS transceiver chip.


Here we look at a massive L bracket slash shielding plate which mounts and separates the two output boards.


Another thick steel divider separates the converter + output half of the deck from the power supply, with chimney-style heat-sinked voltage regulators mirrored in the divider whilst the double stack of boards in front of it shows more evidence of Aqua's fully modular approach.


The visual formula to the Formula DAC is top-shelf internal build quality that should be the envy of any number of competitors who give little to no thought to easy future upgrades via module swaps.