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Anyone using Arcam irDAC & what do you think of it?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

As title really :)

post #2 of 23

No one?

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

Well, I've bought one now so will post findings in a few days when I've had some 'time' with it :)

post #4 of 23

Please let us know how it sounded. I'm debating which one to go with Arcam irDAC, Meridian Director, Peach Audio DAC-ITX, or Bifrost Uber.

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

Ok so after a couple of days of letting it 'burn in' should it have needed to and some nice listening sessions under my belt I shall pass judgement on the irDAC :D

 

I'm coming from using an M-DAC and before that, an rDACkw. All the DAC's have been connected to a Lehmann Audio Black Cube Linear and then to my HD700 Sennheiser's which are well run in.

 

I always found the M-DAC a bit on the lean side, not bright at all but just a little clinical and when I think about it, years and years ago I found the same thing about their amp's and CDP's. The rDAC was warmer but I didn't spend that much time with it to be perfectly honest before moving to the M-DAC.

 

The irDAC seems to tick all my boxes as far as sound goes, it has a lovely detailed presentation (a little more forward than the rDAC was) but still retains a nice warmth that the M-DAC always lacked. I'm not a great fan of the cosmetic styling of the r-range of Arcam products and thought the M-DAC was by far the prettier box but then again, we're buying for sound quality, correct? ;)

 

I found that the irDAC's treble opened out, then became a smidgen harsh but then quickly smoothed out during burn-in to reveal a wide, open convincing soundstage (as far as headphones will allow) with excellent separation and space around voices and instruments. I later read someone's comments on the D33 burn-in and they said that it went through a similar stage where it sounded a little bright/harsh so I assume it's the Burr Brown DAC as both units use a similar chip.

 

A much more lively and enjoyable image than that provided by both its predecessor and the well regarded M-DAC. Some will prefer all the tinkering you can do with the M-DAC but the irDAC with its 'fit & forget' approach will appeal to many I'm sure. The remote is a welcome feature/addition at this price point and works well, is a good size and I think is the same unit that Arcam provide with the D33.

 

There's supposedly a lot of trickle-down awesomeness from the flagship D33 included in the irDAC and from my listening, I'd have to agree. I've not heard the D33 and am not likely too in my system anytime soon but I think the irDAC certainly punches far above its weight and I expect to see some very favourable reviews and group test accolades in its near future.

 

I guess the most telling truth in the irDAC's performance is I find it difficult to pull myself away from listening to music through it. Whereas usually I'd spend perhaps an hour listening to a single album, I now find myself listening to a second or a third... :D

post #6 of 23

What are you using as source and what are you using at the output? Also what file types are you playing?

I had mine on burn-in the week before and had a listen to it that weekend. Maybe I am still to imprinted by my Teac. I just can't get the Arcam to excite me. My ODAC sounds more impressive. So I am wondering if I am doing something wrong.

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxide View Post
 

What are you using as source and what are you using at the output? Also what file types are you playing?

I had mine on burn-in the week before and had a listen to it that weekend. Maybe I am still to imprinted by my Teac. I just can't get the Arcam to excite me. My ODAC sounds more impressive. So I am wondering if I am doing something wrong.

 

Source is an iMac > Audirvana+ (with AIFF files) and using a Lehmann Audio Black Cube Linear > Sennheiser HD700 as output.

post #8 of 23

I used an rDAC wireless in my office system for about 18 months, and never had a single problem with it.  I'm done with it.

 

It was a perfectly fine DAC for the price when it was introduced.  If you like the ARCAM house sound, you'll like the rDAC.  But it's limited to 96/24 via USB and 44.1/16 via wireless, and it gets curb-stomped in every way by the Concero.

 

I have no experience with the irDAC, nor am I planning to acquire any.  The Concero is good enough to be end-of-the-line for non-critical listening situations.


Edited by burnspbesq - 10/1/13 at 9:39am
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
 

I used an rDAC wireless in my office system for about 18 months, and never had a single problem with it.  I'm done with it.

 

It was a perfectly fine DAC for the price when it was introduced.  If you like the ARCAM house sound, you'll like the rDAC.  But it's limited to 96/24 via USB and 44.1/16 via wireless, and it gets curb-stomped in every way by the Concero.

 

I have no experience with the irDAC, nor am I planning to acquire any.  The Concero is good enough to be end-of-the-line for non-critical listening situations.

 

Ok......

post #10 of 23

Has anyone else compared the irDAC to the Schiit Gungnir with USB Gen2? They retails for $700 and $850, respectively, so worth cross-shopping.

 

The Arcam won WhatHifi's 2013 Award for Best DAC under 500 BPS.

 

(Their other winners were the AudioLab M-Dac, Chord Chordette QuteHD, and NAIM DAC V1.)

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by schneller View Post
 

Has anyone else compared the irDAC to the Schiit Gungnir with USB Gen2? They retails for $700 and $850, respectively, so worth cross-shopping.

 

The Arcam won WhatHifi's 2013 Award for Best DAC under 500 BPS.

 

(Their other winners were the AudioLab M-Dac, Chord Chordette QuteHD, and NAIM DAC V1.)

I've compared the irDAC to the Audiolab M-DAC and found the Arcam preferable to me. Tinkerers will prefer the M-DAC's user definable filters and the apparent (not really experienced by me) sound signature changes through different firmware revisions but I always felt the M-DAC to be a bit lean and clinical whereas the irDAC is more of a plug & play item that effortlessly produces 'music'.

post #12 of 23

I had no chance to compare irDac to Gungnir but compared it to X-Sabre, which I got here in the forum for the price of Gungnir, and it beats IrDac for me thanks to soundstage depth and imaging when paired with Decware CSP3 amp even when cheap tubes are used but I have cyro treated Tekefunken tubes costing more than a $100 each on its way to me so will see if it will make more difference. Sure your experience will be different depending on amp and if applicable tubes used 

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by olegausany View Post

I had no chance to compare irDac to Gungnir but compared it to X-Sabre, which I got here in the forum for the price of Gungnir, and it beats IrDac for me thanks to soundstage depth and imaging when paired with Decware CSP3 amp even when cheap tubes are used but I have cyro treated Tekefunken tubes costing more than a $100 each on its way to me so will see if it will make more difference. Sure your experience will be different depending on amp and if applicable tubes used 
I bought his arcam irdac and find it the smoothest detailed dac I have owned with depth and size,
But all my past dacs were not near same class..
Anyway it seems best dac in its price range..
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx134 View Post



Anyway it seems best dac in its price range..

Sure ! 

Or an used regadac  or the new pono with ayre inside....

post #15 of 23

I totally agree with Maxx134. I've been using irdac for a week now & couldn't be happier :D

Amazing dac for the price.


Edited by yinyang69 - 3/16/14 at 1:38pm
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