Arcam rPAC vs ???
Oct 15, 2012 at 8:32 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8


1000+ Head-Fier
Oct 24, 2011
Hello all,
I have an Arcam rPAC and it's quite great on the go, but am thinking of getting something else for home. Check my sig for my gear. I mostly listen to rock (classical and modern, i.e. Radiohead), classical, jazz, and big band. I haven't heard much of higher end DACs so was wondering where to go. 
Oct 19, 2012 at 9:47 PM Post #3 of 8
If it's convenient for you to connect your computer (Mac?) to your stereo, you may not need to buy another DAC. To make a long story short, I have a Rega Jupiter CD and bought the r-Pac exclusively for my MacBook Pro/Grado SR80i's. Dealer suggested avoiding iTunes so I experimented with about five or six free and sub-$100 playback software( with free trial periods). VLC (free), for example, just seemed louder; I settled on Decibel (free trial) because there was an audible musical improvement (with rock, jazz and classical). Wondered if a replacement for the stock r-Pac cable would make a difference. Wonder of wonders, a $20 Belkin made the sound audibly louder and more expansive. (Louder is louder, right? Not psycho-acoustic.)
The Decibel free trial expired and I happened upon a free trial for Fidelia by audiofile engineering, designed exclusively for Mac OS X- and it's only $20. The Arcam device came alive- it transported me back to the time I auditioned an Arcam CD player, which had a very exhilarating sort of sonic signature. Honestly, listening to my iTunes Library through Fidelia, I had trouble keeping still, and too hepped up to sleep.
In my opinion, if a component "sounds great with rock but not classical" (or vice versa) for instance, it's making compromises or poorly designed and not worth owning. It should make music with any genre. The r-Pac/Fidelia made sense of the music- gave the intent of the musicians, which results in communication/expression which IMO is what it's all about. When a component does good timing, it's like the disc is spinning faster, and at the same time things slow down and there's more "room" for the nuances. Think gyroscope, or fast film produces slow motion. (A tubed CD player I auditioned once had that holographic effect with classical music, but with rock it sounded like somebody put their thumb on the spinner.)
Anyway, Mr. FatmanSize48, if I didn't exactly address your concern for the home system DAC, you have a possible way to spruce up your traveling unit. It'll put pep in your step, and you'll be down to a size 42 in no time.
Oct 20, 2012 at 6:37 PM Post #4 of 8
Thanks for your detailed post. Unfortunately, in the time since opening my head-fi account, I have grown to a marvelous size 72. I completely agree with your stance that truly great components don't "sound great with rock but not classical or vice versa." By home use, I meant something that would sit on my desk (that I would still use mainly for headphone listening) but, after a bit of extra consideration, seems to be useless. I might as well make use of what I already have. I think I will definitely look into (and try out) some new music software. So, thanks for your post, here's some karma for you. 
Oct 23, 2012 at 10:45 PM Post #6 of 8
Anyone experienced just the DAC sections in the HRT Musicstreamer II and the rPAC? I've been thinking about selling the rPAC and getting a separate amp and DAC. Oh, and a new set of cans. And maybe a new set of IEMs. Damn this site. 
Nov 4, 2012 at 10:33 AM Post #8 of 8
I don't know-very good question. I'll see if I can hustle up an iPadcamera connection kit.

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