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Mayflower Arc

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by Kerry56, Jul 1, 2017.
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  1. Kerry56
    Mayflower Electronics, probably best known as a manufacturer of the O2 amp, have announced a new amp/DAC combo unit called the ARC. I rather like the name, but it stands for Aural Resonance Cascade, which is an unfortunate affectation. It is designed from scratch and doesn't seem to share any characteristics of the O2.

    Features include both USB and Optical input, a microphone input on the front of the case, pass-through capability of the microphone signal, analog output through RCA connectors, a 3.5mm headphone jack and DSP modes.

    The price will be $249.99, but they are offering a $20 discount for a short time for pre-orders.


    Frequency Response: +/-0.05 dB (20Hz-20kHz)

    THD 1 Khz 150 Ohms: 0.0026%

    IMD CCIF 15 Ohms: 0.0007%

    IMD SMPTE: 0.001%

    Noise 24/96 (A Weighted): -109 dBu

    Max Output (32 Ohms) : 1W (THD+N < 0.003%)

    Max Output (150 Ohms): 365 mW (THD+N <

    Max Output (600 Ohms): 92 mW (THD+N <

    Output Impedance: 0.096 ohms

    Crosstalk (15 ohms) : -65 dB

    Channel Balance (50% volume): 0.2 dB

    Dynamic Range (A-Weighted): > 120 dB

    Linearity Error: -90 dBFS 24/96 -0.1 dB

    USB Jitter Components: 11025Hz -112dB

    RCA Line out: 1V RMS
    Audio formats

    USB: 24/96, 24/48

    Optical: 24/192, 24/96, 24/48, 24/44.1,
    16/192, 16/96, 16/48, 16/44.1

    4.25” W x 3.25” L x 1.25” H

    Weight: 8.5 oz.

    You can see the ARC here on the Mayflower site.

    And there is this weird video to go with the announcement, which adds a few details if you can sit through it.
  2. Kerry56
    Hmm, tough crowd. I'd have thought there might be more interest in a direct competitor to the Schiit stack, with some unique features that will appeal to game console users.
  3. SirMagnificat
    It looks like a great all around dac/amp if you're also a gamer.
  4. Azurik
    Any ideas what kind of DSP this will be using? Dolby headphone, dts headphone x, etc??

    Just got a reply from mayflower saying it was a custom DSP which didn't sound good. They have now fully removed the surround bit and all that's left is the bass boost.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  5. SirMagnificat
    According to the video, the DSP is just a minor bass boost. IIRC, the optical input was stereo only, so that makes sense. If you're looking for virtual surround, you'll want to look elsewhere. Personally, I used to prefer Dolby Headphones but after using plain stereo for a while, I actually find stereo more than adequate for accurate positional audio. The main thing I would want out of a DSP would be height information rather than just left/right directionality (I think maybe Atmos can do this?).

    On the plus side, I emailed to ask about USB audio support for PS4 since the PS4 sends a really weak signal to all of the USB DACs I have (i.e. I have to put amps on high gain to hear anything). Apparently, the PS4 forces the volume to ~20% by default with no way to override and they claim to have fixed that in their DAC, so I'm excited about getting clean audio and mic through USB only. Currently I plug my mic in through the DS4 slot which requires a y-adapter and resetting the output device every single time which is such a pain.
  6. overhaze
    Any reviews of this floating around? On paper at least it looks great.
  7. Blinding
    Z reviews has a video review on it on his youtube channel.
  8. selvakumar
    Received yesterday works perfectly gamers dream neutral DAC no opamps and clean mic input
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  9. selvakumar
    Tech yes review
  10. overhaze
    Hmm mic input sounded somewhat artificial. I'd actually say the Sennheiser GSX 1000 (the only other device in this category I've tried) has a better sounding mic in. Though I don't doubt the ARC is much better sounding amp/dac.
  11. selvakumar
  12. selvakumar
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  13. selvakumar
    Completely neutral sound DAC
  14. davidjo_
    anyone else got any input?
  15. selvakumar
    • Wurth polymer caps
    • AKM AK4117VF audio interface (24/192)
    • Gold-plated 3.5mm jacks
    • Linear Technologies LT8471 (dual channel DC-DC converter)
    • Omron relay
    • Micro Controller

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