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Jason36's picture
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Arcam rPac Setup question
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Hi guys I have just received my Arcam rPac in the post today so have been having a play with it for a bit on my work Laptop using Spotify.

 

However this is really for my home Laptop and Netbook. The Laptop is running Windows 7 and the Netbook XP. I just wondered if anyone knows what would be the best DSP setting for windows 7 to bypass the on board Soundcard.....WASAPI or ASIO?? I'm not sure what the Arcam supports.

 

Unfortunately I don't have a choice with the Netbook as XP doesn't support ASIO or is it WASAPI. 

 

Any Arcam owners (looks for Quadpatch) that can advise  :grin:

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RE: Arcam rPac Setup question

 Oh yeah I'm running JRiver MC17 by the way  :roll:

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RE: Arcam rPac Setup question

Hey Jason :), congrats on the rPAC, how are you finding it so far? I am just trying mine with the SoundMAGIC HP100's and OMG it's honestly the best combo for these headphones (which the slight warmth really works), even better than my Yulong D100 mkII and Shonyun 301 pro (£650 total) with these headphones!

To answer your question: Would you mind using Foobar on the XP netbook? Then you could use 'Kernal Streaming', a bit older but it does the same thing. I know XP doesn't support WASAPI, I'm not sure about ASIO, but you need another plugin for that :roll: . I did this with the Audinst MX1 and it worked fine there, it's worth a shot if you don't mind the software.

Otherwise WASAPI is the superior (which the rPAC definitely supports), especially with JRiver (WASAPI - event style)! And then you can get it to stream the music off your RAM too (advanced settings). This mostly seems to reduce any pausing or crashing issues (although not that common anyway). 

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RE: Arcam rPac Setup question

quadpatch wrote:

Hey Jason :), congrats on the rPAC, how are you finding it so far? I am just trying mine with the SoundMAGIC HP100's and OMG it's honestly the best combo for these headphones (which the slight warmth really works), even better than my Yulong D100 mkII and Shonyun 301 pro (£650 total) with these headphones!

To answer your question: Would you mind using Foobar on the XP netbook? Then you could use 'Kernal Streaming', a bit older but it does the same thing. I know XP doesn't support WASAPI, I'm not sure about ASIO, but you need another plugin for that :roll: . I did this with the Audinst MX1 and it worked fine there, it's worth a shot if you don't mind the software.

Otherwise WASAPI is the superior (which the rPAC definitely supports), especially with JRiver (WASAPI - event style)! And then you can get it to stream the music off your RAM too (advanced settings). This mostly seems to reduce any pausing or crashing issues (although not that common anyway). 

 

Cheers Quadpatch,

So far I am loving the Arcam rPac....using it with my work Laptop at the moment playing Spotify (as I dont have any music or music software on the office laptop) and I'm very impressed with it...especially with the V-Moda M-80's. In fact here in the office I used to use my Grado SR80i's and they havent been touched for two days. I plugged them in yesterday briefly and they sounded so weak out of the Arcam compared to the M-80's.

 

Anyway back on track.......I used to use Foobar, but changed to Jriver mainly because if you have bought it you can download it onto two machines at no extra cost.

 

I have the Laptop running Windows 7, set up no problem...using WASAPI Event Style and streaming direct from RAM.

 

However still having problems with the XP Netbook....I just cant get the arcam to turn on. Its showing Arcam as the speaker output but the only option I have under the DSP settings is ASIO4ALL. I may just get rid an use the Laptop alternatively will just have to use Direct Sound.

 

To be honest I have read quite a bit of stuff on HeadFi saying that there is no discernable sound difference between Direct Sound or ASIO (not sure about WASAPI).

 

However as a whole I am loving the Arcam rPac and M-80 combo  Laughing  Laughing

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RE: Arcam rPac Setup question

Hey I'm really glad you like the new combo! They were a staple work setup for me over several months and I had no complaints. Hey how does the T70 sound through the rPAC btw?

Sorry to hear that you are having probs with the XP netbook. Be warned that the rPAC won't output bit-perfect audio through JRiver @16bit (has to be 24bit). Something tells me that won't be your problem but wanted to throw that out there just in case.

I'm sure the difference between direct and bit-perfect is a pretty subtle one, if at all noticeable. I have never been blasted by any glaring differences but every now and then I play a track through iTunes (don't ask me why i use that) and it sounds really flat so I close it and start jRiver and it seems... just that bit more coherent/dynamic. Similar, or possibly even more subtle than the differences between 320kbp/s MP3 and lossless.

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RE: Arcam rPac Setup question

Cheers mate,

To be honest I've not had a proper critical listening session yet with the Arcam and T70's. I have this planned for Sunday afternoon when the other half is out. Then ill get a proper listening session with a combination of some standard and HiRes FLAC Files. in fact I have left the work Laptop downloading a 24/96 FLAC file of the new muse album. So that will Definately be getting a listen....I've only heard it through Spotify so far.

Anyway from my limited time with the rPac and T70's they seem to sing  Laughing What I have Definately noticed is whilst they are a fairly neutral headphone they do have a tendency to the treble (not critically), if you understand what I mean. Where the M80 does seem to have a more pronounced bass....to my ears the m80's are defnately a weightier headphone even for there size.

I'm also waiting a delivery from the USA of my Heir A.4i universal IEM's....I have heard that these are an extremely neutral IEM and can't wait to give them a try with the rPac, although these are also mainly for use with my portable setup. I don't tend to use IEM's with my desktop setups.

 

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RE: Arcam rPac Setup question

Oh yeah I forgot about your Heir A4i's, good luck with them they seem pretty insane. I'm curious how they will sound with the rPAC too. I feel like the rPAC adds a tiny bit of warmth to the sound but its really small, things like the HRT Headstreamer and Fiio E17 were more pronounced but they in turn were not as much as the Epiphany Acoustic EHP-O2D. If I want to avoid any bass plump at all I go for the Yuolung U100 and that suits the Denons great. On the other side (cold?) was the CEntrance DACport and that was always too far for me.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that although the rPAC doesn't quite feel as transparent as the Yulong I do think it hits a sweet spot with the signature that suits most headphones and that's without mentioning the soundstage and detail, which I find very impressive. Considering you have quite a few headphones I think its a great DAC to have. If you think about upgrading I think you'll have to spend a lot to notice it.

Right, now over to the headphone section to address your other question... Smile

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RE: Arcam rPac Setup question

Hi Quad,

 

Yeah I would definately say there is a bit of warmth there compared to the uDac2 I was using, but to be honest the Arcam is an another league completely and I cant see this going anywhere for a very long time. 

I think the more logical upgrade for me is likely to be toward a dedicated mains powered Headphone Amp...which I assume if it has a preamp stage I would be able to plug the Arcam into via the RCA connections? Especially bearing in mind I would eventually like to get a pair of LCD2's or possibly even try the Beyer T1's.

Just another question for you regarding the Arcam and the USB cable. Are you just using the supplied USB cable or are you using an aftermarket one? if the latter do you perceive any sound difference between the stock cable or third party cable?Just wondering really and whether it might be worth a small upgrade?

However I dont want to open up the cables debate...just in case anybody else is reading this  :roll:

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RE: Arcam rPac Setup question

Oh yeah absolutely, I keep forgetting about the RCAs on the back of the Arcam! This indeed would be a great option I think, and one that I intend to do as well. I am thinking Graham Slee desktop amp, or maybe a Lehmann, Violectric, Burson... or perhaps a nice tube amplifier from Schiit, Icon or Woo, maybe even a DIY tube amp like the Bottlehead... OMG the lists are endless but yeah, I get the impression that the rPAC would make a respectable partner to all of that.

As for USB cables, I have heard a couple DACs with nice cables but I have never A/B'd them. I have sometimes been tempted to drop £40-80 on a USB cable just to try it but I can't help thinking of the science of it all and then I struggle to justify it. I was made aware of another similar upgrade option recently, which is USB to digital interfaces. Not much use to the rPAC, but just in case you are interested here is a link:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/629782/yulongs-new-u18-usb-24-192-async-digital-interface

Oh I'm not too sure what kind of music you are into but since you mentioned 24/96 flac earlier I thought I would shout about a new album that I bought on HDTracks.com. I'm a big soundtrack nut, but there are not many available on that website usualy. I checked the other day and to my surprise they had 'The Dark Knight Rises' in 24/96 (and 24/192). I bought the 24/96 one, downloaded it and started listening (it's pretty good, if you like Zimmer stuff), it got to track 16 and I thought 'What the hell is this?'. It sounded like an instrumental pop song at first, then turned to some kind of dubstep (which I like). Anyway, I looked it up everywhere I could find and it turns out the last 3 tracks (2 zimmer ones as well) are not on any other recordning at all. Not on the CD, not on Spotify and not on any of the specialist soundtrack labels. Anyway, if you like that kind of thing I recommend it, it's only $18. Oh and it is available in this country too - a lot of HDTracks are not Sad

https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php?file=catalogdetail&valbum_code=HD794043160493

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