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New Arcam DAC - Page 4

post #46 of 55


Originally Posted by tricka View Post




You called? Putting aside the grammar and spelling in the above quote (does anyone actually learn grammar these days - hmmm... doubtful), that "some individual" would be me. And I wasn't complaining. At least I may have been but I don't think so. It has been what I have been hearing. I think. I've been hearing something. Maybe it isn't the rDac. I know something got between my ears when the rDac was in the system and caused all sorts of unhappy faces. Might have been the voices I hear from time to time. Who knows??


Whether it was the rDac or something else the noise reaching my brain (and the brains of my mates...but I discount them - I mean whoever has the bad taste to know me cannot be relied upon) got very ugly indeed around the 80hr mark and is only just beginning to abate now - at about the 150hr  mark. I reported positive experiences up to the 80 hr mark. Or at least I think I did.


I am glad if you have not experienced the changes I have. Hope you don't. It may well be my unit is faulty. It may well be the type of music I listen to. It may well be the voices in my head. I don't know but to me all has not been well in Arcam land. Which surprised me: Arcam are a large global audio company with first rate r&d and reliable products - by and large - if not always to my taste.


I certainly don't rate the rDac up to 10k level of dac. No where near it. But if you think it does good for you. Can you send me some of the good stuff you obviously have access too? It would make this hobby a whole lot more fun and I would probably be $9500 ahead.


IMO it is a competent unit but doesn't lay a glove on the higher end dacs I own, have owned or heard. I hoped the dCS tech would elevate a budget dac into.... something ...else. Atm I am not convinced it makes it into Lavry Da10 territory let alone anything better. Actually I am sure it doesn't. But then again I am sure getting involved in a protracted land war in Afghanistan is a mistake so you can't take anything I say seriously.


The rDac It is fine with simple music but falls apart badly on complex pieces. But so do most dacs. I'm listening to Oscar Peterson's Last Call at the Blue Note as I think out loud here and the rDac is being perfectly pleasant and well behaved. The Eroica earlier today was a vastly different proposition. Ragged is how I would put it. But less ragged than it has been. So that is progress.


Of course these are my personal musings and not to be taken with anything other than a large grain of salt.Sea salt at that. YMMV  depending on what you are used to, what your system is and what you listen to. Oh and the phase of the moon, the BP stock price, how warm the beer is (shudder shudder) and whether I had marmalade on my toast this morning.


Now ..these are as cheap as chips...I suggest everyone go buy one and make up their own mind. 




Head-fi is a international community so the grammar is not always correct.


I have Audio-gd DAC-19DSP,DACMAGIC ,KRELL KPS25SC 24/96 and rdac.


I feel there is nothing to change in that review i trust my ears and brain and the great 25 years experience with digital audio.


"luxury" smoothness in midrange wich i dont recall to have heard  from DAC's under 10K"


but probably your unit faulty

Edited by thinker - 8/26/10 at 5:46am
post #47 of 55

Oh well...to each their own.


Happy hi fi.




post #48 of 55

Using the rdac with USB im getting some pops when i play music.  No issues with any other input.  I am running at 15 foot USB cable that isnt the best of quality so that may be the issue.

post #49 of 55

No pops (Windows XP via USB) or other problems.  @Tricka, no distortion or other such problems either. 

post #50 of 55

@ Barbes - excellent news. 



The rDac is beginning to settle nicely and produce some good sound  with strings. I am listening to  Sinfonia Concertante in B Minor KV 364, Violin Concertos, The 5 - Kremer, Harmoncourt as I type and the ease and fluidity I spoke of earlier is present. Violin appears timbre accurate and without distortion. Orchestra is still a little confused - but I don't expect that to go away anytime soon.
This is a good dac for the money. Let's hope it continues to develop and the burn in issue (if that is what it was) I reported is nothing of note.

Edited by tricka - 8/27/10 at 6:14pm
post #51 of 55

Righto - I have hit the 230hr mark. i think it is where it is going to get to.

This is what I can report: good clean competent mids as Thinker posted. Bass is clean fast and tight if a little bloomy. Highs with simple music are very nice. In fact all simple music is very nice. It leans to the analytical rather than musical IMHO. Great if you like detail, probably not one for the NOS and tube output fans. Although it is on the warmer side of analytical cf to the Benchmark.Which I like. I never warmed to the Benchmark and prefer the Lavry - so you see where I am coming from.

The issue I have with massed strings and orchestral in general continues. It is just plain poor with this type of music. It handles dynamic swings well. But suffers confusion and a lack of separation of instruments. But again so what? Most dacs have this issue and certainly the budget one's do.It reflects it's price point and compromise on psu/output stage and design compromises: I mean to get a dac to market for USD400 it would have to be manufactured for no more than USD200-250 ; probably alot less. That doesn't leave much room for excellence. The good news is that the psu is easily upgraded if one is of a mind too. I am not. 


My unit suffered some horrible periods during burn in. I know of another owner who couldn't listen to his for the first 5 days and then his opened up and he has had no further issues. Mine was bumpy for a day or two, settled down and then went very Pete Tong @ 80-160hr mark. I can only conclude that with this unit burn in is a real issue and purchasers should be prepared for a bumpy ride for the first couple hundred hrs. Again so what - many dacs are like this: even eg Ayre and their QB9 state burn in is an issue with perhaps the resin used on their pcb being the culprit. Or as I replied to Thinker it may be all in my head. The voices, the voices....


Disclaimer: Ok to try and stop the almost inevitable attacks these are only my personal musings...don't take anything from it than my own experience. Yours may be completely different. You may think it is the best thing since sliced bread. It is of course all subjective and reflects one's system, experience and what one is used to listening to. If you own or listen to dCS /Weiss/Metric Halo this dac will be found wanting. If you own a DacMagic and want a warmer sound you would I suggest be very happy indeed. If you listen to rock/vocal/electronic it is great fun. If you listen to large scale orchestral then this isn't for you (or at least it isn't for me).


It's $400 - it has dCS tech and is pretty good. What is not to like?


Above all have fun and happy hi fi/head fi.


Now if anyone wants a slightly used rDac PM me. I'm in Sydney.

post #52 of 55


Something about Glass Houses and Rocks comes to mind. People is wondering where you get off criticizing other peoples grammar? Sorry, now I'm doing it. People are wondering...




Posted by tricka View Post





You called? Putting aside the grammar and spelling in the above quote (does anyone actually learn grammar these days - hmmm... doubtful)



Arcam are a large global audio company with first rate r&d and reliable products - by and large - if not always to my taste.

post #53 of 55


Excuse my informality by not quoting your post #61 above. I seem to be having difficulty with my computer, or this forum.


Anyway. What you described about the sound being unlistenable, by both you and your friend(another owner as you described him/her) sounds very much parallel to my own experiences with the Halide Bridge, and many other's experiences with the same product(Bridge). I know that you are listening to a full-on dac here, and the Bridge is just a usb->spdif transport, but the idea and principals are the same I believe, and I say that without knowing exactly how the dCS technology works, which brings me to a question for you. Does the rDac require the installation of drivers on the computer? I'm thinking not, as I have never read about drivers concerning a dCS component before, nor in any literature I could dig up.


Ok, enough chit chat from me. Thanks for your perspective and thoughts, and for mentioning a few pieces of music that you used for evaluation.

Edited by digger945 - 8/31/10 at 3:32pm
post #54 of 55

@Yikes - I took Arcam to be a global company hence the plural "are". Perhaps you are right "is" may have been better. I stand corrected. 


@digger - No special drivers are required for dCS, or Wavelenght - which is what the Halide uses. The 24/96 limitation is in the usb drivers. Apple have now released 24/192 usb drivers. W7 have not. 


Burn in is a very contentious area. I am as big a sceptic as anyone. But have heard it too many times to discount it.Some gear suffers more than others. 

Happy to post - just happen to have a week off work and a toy to play with.





post #55 of 55

tricka, some relevant information is missing from your impressions: what other gear were you using? As in, music source, headphone amp, & headphones (or speakers if those were used instead). And how were you using it - optical, coaxial, or USB? If USB, were the digital files in a lossless format? And how much experience do you have with DACs in this price range?

Edited by Asr - 8/31/10 at 9:37pm
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