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Arcam rHead Class-A Analogue Headphone Amplifier

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  1. Arcam-Voice
    GREAT FIRST REVIEW on Audio Appraisal - http://www.audioappraisal.com/arcam-rhead-headphone-amplifier-review/
    "The rHead was able to equal the performance of a Sennheiser HDVA-600 at almost triple the price, even surpassing it when it came to musicality and listening enjoyment."

    "In summary, I simply don’t know how they do it. Another outstanding product from Arcam, and a real credit to the company’s existing product portfolio. At £399 in the UK and $599 in the US, it represents extraordinary value for money. Whether you’re a headphone aficionado or simply looking to add a headphone amplifier to your existing hi-fi system, the Arcam rHead should be at the top of your shortlist. Highly recommended."

  2. rmacaisa
    I'm excited! I'll now be testing on both a HD800 and a Hifiman Edition X-II, so definitely will put it through the works.
  3. cheznous
    Got the rHead for my birthday and really enjoying it.

    Have rigged up an external battery pack to enjoy when out and about.

  4. gnidrolog

    I'll be waiting for you impressions...
  5. Takeanidea
    Hi all ,
    I have finished my part of the Arcam tour and it'll be off to the next headfier shortly - in the meantime here is my 50 word taster impression :
    A  tastefully sculptured lump of black elegance, the rHead delivers a warm intimate sound that has some punch at the low end , powers most decent headphones both large and small -  don't expect them to push either an HE-6 or AKG K1000. Tested against  Mojo -sorry folks! My ears preferred Mojo.....
  6. ngoshawk
    Any update on the North American tour?

    Thank you in advance.
  7. project86 Contributor
    My impression of the rHead can be found at InnerFidelity HERE.
    Spoiler alert - it gets a spot on our Wall of Fame as best in its price class. Very, VERY impressed with Arcam's accomplishment! 
    bracko likes this.
  8. Army-Firedawg
    Very nice right up man, well done. 
  9. wswbd
    Comparison with Matrix M-stage HPA-3B? Both are class-A and priced comparablly.
  10. project86 Contributor
    Great question, unfortunately I haven't heard the M-Stage stuff in some time, and it wasn't the latest version either. From memory the older M-Stages could be a tad darker and less refined overall, but obviously it depends on opamp configuration for that amp. 
    Sorry not very helpful.
  11. Arcam-Voice
    Don't miss this great rHead review on Inner Fidelity. 
    "The Sound The rHead is not one of those flashy amps that jump out at you from the very first moment you hear it. There's not the same sense of excitement or "bite" I sometime experience when auditioning a new amp. Which is actually a good thing in the long run—amps that immediately stand out as being vividly expressive tend to become fatiguing after a while. That's really not what I'm after. No, the Arcam exhibits a quiet confidence, with a natural sound that only gets better as time goes by. The more I listen, the more I want to forsake my various responsibilities and just keep listening all day. That's always a good sign."

    Read more at http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/british-hifi-heritage-arrives-headphone-world-arcams-rhead-page-2#iTDvuHuCMzp0RTBb.99
  12. ngoshawk
    Any word on the US tour? Thanks.
  13. adonissk
    Wondering about it as well, I'd be very interested to be on this. 
  14. sheldaze
    Despite the lack of a US tour, I'm still not clear why this has not gained more interest. No, it is not the next top of the line amplifier, capable of driving the likes of Abyss, K1000, and HE-6 into bass monsters. It is not expensive as something to drive those rare headphones would cost. Yet it is still precise, small, simple - select the input and turn up the volume to whatever level you select. And as was stated in the InnerFidelity review, it lets you dial in just about any volume you would like, with perfect left-right output level balance. The sound too, I hear as being balanced from high to low. On the low, one of my bass fidelity stress tests is a song (Sting - Moon over Bourbon Street) where a bass and drum are played at exactly the same moment, most often blurring into a single sound. It was not until my recent listening to this via the Utopia headphone that I knew it was two separate sounds. But through rHead and the much more Earth-bound HD650 headphone, I heard the two sounds quite distinct from one another. Naturally. Easily. Listening to some higher frequencies, the articulation of Steely Dan - Aja, requires a delicate balance too. I want to hear the cymbal strikes precisely, with a natural decay, and not with such focus that they take away from the overall musical, and relaxed sound of this album. Nicely done by rHead too!
    Without diving deeply into a reviewer mode, I just think this is an excellent value. And at its price point, I can understand why an advertising campaign might not be feasible. But I am still surprised it has not become more spoken about, reaching more listeners by word of mouth or at meets. I jumped in at a recent MassDrop offering, where the value proposition became irresistible. Or so I thought - the number of MassDrop participants needed to get the drop through did not happen until just before the end. I'm puzzled, confused - call it what you will. What gives? The rHead is good, and at an approachable price. It does not output a gigawatt of power into headphones. It is a single-ended, simple, and a well-implemented solid state.
    bracko likes this.
  15. project86 Contributor
    Totally agree with your thoughts. The rHead is just a satisfying amp that does quite a bit right, for a fair price, without any theatrics. I think most people would be very pleased with this level of performance. 
    I suspect it might just be a marketing thing. While companies like Cavalli and Mr Speakers and Woo etc have really done well with engaging the enthusiast community, Arcam hasn't gone that route, and perhaps doesn't even need to. They are already very well established. Their gear is available in many brick and mortar stores, from large chains to small boutiques, all over North America and Europe and probably other places too. 
    When rHead first came out, I saw Arcam gear like the irDAC all over the place - Music Direct, Audio Advisor, Crutchfield... pretty much all the usual suspects. But rHead never showed up in those places. I thought it was odd, but now I notice a total lack of Arcam gear at any of those sites. So perhaps the company has made a deliberate switch to focus more on physical sales through local dealers.
    I'm just guessing, but that's the only thing I can come up with to explain it. I imagine they could sell a vast number of rHeads as add-on sales to folks buying the full size Arcam equipment. Those folks are a lot less likely to come here and read about the latest relatively obscure brand... but if they hear what rHead can do, it's a no brainer to add it on to their existing purchase. Maybe that's the strategy.  
    sheldaze likes this.
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