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Arcam rpac. Quick review

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kusum65's picture
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Ive been looking for a headphone Amp for my Denon hd2000s  and went through a few before i got a hold of the Arcam unit. 

I had the HRT headstreamer which worked but  controling the volume from the pc just didnt work for me. Then i got hold of the FiiO e17 which sounded good and had great functionality. Unfortunatly i got through 2 faulty ones before i gave up on it.

So now i have the Arcam and have been using it for the past week. I am going to miss the FiiO  and its various outputs/inputs especially the way it worked with my ipod. But the arcam has better SQ and boy does it have headroom. This thing can go loud and keep its composure. It also appears to have no background noise , i forget im listening to a rubbish notebook run of the mains. 

If anyone is considering this unit i would say dont hesitate in giving it a go. My sennheiser 25s benefit as well with a much better bass response. Its a cool little unit. 

dalethorn's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review
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quadpatch's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review

Hey another happy Arcam rPAC customer! This should help push Jason over the edge Smile

I echo your thoughts about the sound quality, it does great things to bass and soundstage! and agree that if you are toying with the idea of getting the Arcam, just do it!

I didn't have any issues with the E17 though, I'm quite shocked that you went through two of them! I bet that put you off them for life! I have been having issues with my rPAC on Spotify (it crashes and makes a hissing noise after a couple of minutes). I took it to work today to test it and it played all day fine while on Spotify so it's deffinitely got something to do with my home PC and the software/hardware together - weird! 

Maybe you didn't have your E17 working for very long but with the gain boost it will go louder than the rPAC. The rPAC struggles a bit for volume on my 600ohm Beyerdynamic DT880, that's not exactly surprising though. 

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Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC Audiolab 8200P Tannoy DC6T SE 

Headphone: Q701HP100HE500, M80TH900Mad DogD7000DT880M100K550TH600 

DAC: E7U100rPACModi/Magni120DsHP-A8DAC2 HGC, BDP 105EUEHP 02DiDAC 

quadpatch's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review

dalethorn wrote:

Good tip - Quadpatch also likes it:

http://noblehifi.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/arcam-rpac-review.html

Thanks Dale, you beat me Smile

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Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC Audiolab 8200P Tannoy DC6T SE 

Headphone: Q701HP100HE500, M80TH900Mad DogD7000DT880M100K550TH600 

DAC: E7U100rPACModi/Magni120DsHP-A8DAC2 HGC, BDP 105EUEHP 02DiDAC 

Jason36's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review

I dont need pushing over the edge Quadpatch 

 

I have decided that the rPac is the portable DAC / AMP I am going for excellent!

 

should hopefully have it eary next week and seeing as all my headphones are fairly low impedence and easy to drive I am expecting god things from it.  party time!

 

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quadpatch's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review

Hey congrats! Please let us know what you think of it with your headphones, not that I have any doubts that you'll love it Smile

You certainly won't have any problems with volumes. The rPAC will still drive the DT880, just not to ear-bleedingly loud, or quite enough for classical, but for most things it's fine. 

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Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC Audiolab 8200P Tannoy DC6T SE 

Headphone: Q701HP100HE500, M80TH900Mad DogD7000DT880M100K550TH600 

DAC: E7U100rPACModi/Magni120DsHP-A8DAC2 HGC, BDP 105EUEHP 02DiDAC 

kusum65's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review

I did like the E17. The first one worked for a month but then the output socket started to cut out on one channel. The replacement didnt even charge. Shame , great design.

Never had any problem with spotify. That must be annoying.

dalethorn's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review

The rPac should sound a lot better than the E17. My Headstreamer, Audioengine D1, and Dragonfly all sound significantly better than my E17.

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kusum65's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review

I tought the e17 was fine but the arcam sounds better most definetly.

Ben123's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review

Im also looking at the rpac.  I've looked at the fiio but yes quite a few people reporting build quality issues on @mazon (but im sure if you get a good one you will be ok).  I could do with someone who has done a rpac comparison with a beresford dac which i have and has a built in headphone amplifier - and a good one too.  It has the ability to deafen me on my akg 450's quite easily and sounds great.

As for quadpatchs problem with his pc, i would suggest getting a mains powered usb hub to sit between the rpac and the pc so the rpac has its own supply.  From what ive read this cleans up a lot of problems with usb and dacs/headphone ampifiers etc.  I ended up switching to optical on my dac because of usb problems but i appreciate usb is the only option with the rpac.

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dalethorn's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review

Ben123 wrote:
As for quadpatchs problem with his pc, i would suggest getting a mains powered usb hub to sit between the rpac and the pc so the rpac has its own supply.  From what ive read this cleans up a lot of problems with usb and dacs/headphone ampifiers etc.  I ended up switching to optical on my dac because of usb problems but i appreciate usb is the only option with the rpac.

I don't have any problems with my USB-powered mini-DACs, since I fixed certain things. One is, I turn off services like Skype before listening, because even if you put Skype on amoeba priority and Foobar2000 (for example) on RealTime, Skype still interrupts. So it's best to close all of that. Then I use WASAPI (event) as output preference, which gives the best performance for me.

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quadpatch's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review

Ben123 wrote:
As for quadpatchs problem with his pc, i would suggest getting a mains powered usb hub to sit between the rpac and the pc so the rpac has its own supply. 

I could try this actually but it's not a fix that I need because my desktop PC is normally plugged into the Yulong D100 mkII, I was only pointing it out to illustrate that the Arcam is not the most reliable DAC out there. I've had other issues with it on different computers too, not as annoying as the more constant issues I had with the iBasso D7, but most DAC/amps have given me no issues at all. 

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Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC Audiolab 8200P Tannoy DC6T SE 

Headphone: Q701HP100HE500, M80TH900Mad DogD7000DT880M100K550TH600 

DAC: E7U100rPACModi/Magni120DsHP-A8DAC2 HGC, BDP 105EUEHP 02DiDAC 

dalethorn's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review

If you have a USB-powered DAC, you would do better with battery power than mains power, like the Mophies or the Kingrex Upower box. For desktop use this is OK, but for laptops it's just too many boxes and cables.

Edit: For ultimate convenience, you could use a Dragonfly and laptop and eliminate all cables except the headphone.

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OneBoxSystem's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review

Can I ask what setting bit-depth do you run the Arcam rPac on please? Some people think there is no benefit of 96000 Hz, and indeed, makes it a 'drier' sound, unless you have HD playback in 24-bit? Any thoughts appreciated.

quadpatch's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review

OneBoxSystem wrote:

Can I ask what setting bit-depth do you run the Arcam rPac on please? Some people think there is no benefit of 96000 Hz, and indeed, makes it a 'drier' sound, unless you have HD playback in 24-bit? Any thoughts appreciated.

I'm not sure if the Arcam properly supports 16bit, if I try to run bit-perfect audio to it the software wont send a signal @16bit and forces the audio to be up'd to 24bit. The sample rate doesn't get altered though as 44.1khz seemed to output fine. This was true of Foobar and JRiver.

I'm not quite sure what you're asking there thoough, Are you asking if 96khz works without 24bit? or are you asking about HD audio in general?

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Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC Audiolab 8200P Tannoy DC6T SE 

Headphone: Q701HP100HE500, M80TH900Mad DogD7000DT880M100K550TH600 

DAC: E7U100rPACModi/Magni120DsHP-A8DAC2 HGC, BDP 105EUEHP 02DiDAC 

OneBoxSystem's picture
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RE: Arcam rpac. Quick review

I'm wondering if you should set the bit depth to the recording, i.e. CD would be 44.1? Any higher resolution may be lost, or does it not matter? I've also been reading about WASAPI vs. Direct Sound via iTunes and wondered which one you guys use, if you use iTunes of course. If not, is foobar any good? Thank you.