Yeah it does depend on whether sparkle matters to you. Personaly sparkle impresses me on a short term demo but naturalness is what I prefer to live with.
Can't argue with your findings. As I've just mentioned I haven't actually heard any DACS, so when these people mention "sparkle" it's hard to define, and how that would fit into the system/room acoustics/personal taste etc...
Interesting view, danny.
Leema Pulse MKII-S; Naim CD5i MKII; Denon TU-260L MKII; MA RS6 speakers; Pro-ject Xpression 1; loads of different cables...
Formerly known as plastic penguin
Another review mentioned that Elvis needs it. I'm no expert on Elvis or what his music needs but a bit of sparkle is probably right. Personally when I play the acoustic guitar, ukulele or piano it doesn't sparkle. Neither does most of the music at gigs I go to. Sparkle is possibly the cutting through the music of a mid-high frequencies caused by hard on hard sound such as that when metal or glass comes into contact with metal or glass. It can add excitement and texture to music but as someone who has a preference of breathy vocals, vibrating wooden boxes, nylon strings, skin stretched over tabla rather than steel guitar and snare drums and cymbals. I know which emphasis I want in my playback and find that too much sparkle saturates what my head takes in and detracts from the other qualities of the instruments despite losing out a little on a more obvious and immediate emotional response to the music.
Passive mini ITX low power core i3 ->
Audiolab M-DAC ->
Roksan Caspian M2 Power Amplifier ->
Atom HTPC ->
Audiolab 8200CD ->
Roksan Caspian ->
Dali Mentor 2
Cyrus CD 6SE ->
Cyrus 8vs2 ->
Onkyo 435 mini system ->
Acoustic Energy Aego T Satellite
I understand what full stops are honest. Its been a long day.
No probs, it's very readable.
I think that sparkle could mean 'edgy' or 'bright'. Most reviews have said my Leema is bright and lean, but in a well damped room and with the right source (and isolation) the amp is neither of these.
I've had Arcam amps for 14 years and some have said that they aren't as lively as other price compatible amp, and they are warm. I've never really found that: The older Alpha range was slightly richer than later incarnations, but sometimes, especially with budget gear, a little warmth is a marked benefit.
Like you, I'm clapped out.
If the title of this thread doesn`t bring Joel back then nothing will!
As a card carrying Arcamite (I too know the handshake) I would say that Arcam kit sounds fantastic, but their quality control is a bit rubbish. What I mean is, they have a tendency to release kit with bugs in the software/firmware that hacks off even the most ardent fan. Look at the on-going issues the AVR600 had. So Arcam kit is fantastic sounding, but Arcam is rubbish at producing world-beating kit because of the QA issues they have.
Hi Fi: Arcam A85, DV88 (CD only), Project Debut II, AE Compact-1. AV: Arcam AVR250, DV79, Sony BDP-S760, Monitor Audio Silver 8i, RS-LCR, RXFX, Sonos ZP90, Pioneer KRP500A. 2nd AV: Pioneer SX-SWR2, Dell Zino HD, KEF KHT2005.2 eggs, Sonos ZP90. That Cable HDMI, Chord Crimsons and Sonos ZPS5s everywhere & a spare Yamaha RXV-667!
Speaking as a Solo Mini owner, I have 2 main issues:
1. As gleaned from their other products, Arcam include some features as an afterthought which are half-baked e.g. the USB on the Mini.
2. As also gleaned from their other products, quality control falls through the cracks sometimes e.g. I have to switch to another source before I choose the rDock source for it to play at the correct volume.
Arcam really needs to jack up its quality control department - and they need to be informed that quality control does not only mean properly tightened screws.
Other than that the product is great.
Arcam Solo Mini/Monitor Audio RX1/Cambridge Audio 751BD/Samsung 37” LCD
Personally, I've no experience of any service or software problems, and the only contact I've had was when the volume control packed in on the Alpha 7. In the end I declined their offer of repair purely because of the carriage costs + parts.
BTW, Scene, thanks for the inspiration behind this thread...
pp: Good to see someone picking up the baton - if AE thinks it's a rubbish thread, so be it - but without reasoned and reasonable discussion these forums will die...
On the "Arcam is rubbish" - OK it's a controversial title - but it has promoted discussion and some valid points are being made. If Mr. Dawson is reading, please feel free to contribute. There is a lot of goodwill for Arcam out there, and the kit can sound superb, but some of the niggling problems with software does detract from your great products....
Yeah, I hope Mr Dawson reads this thread too, I mean it's a real pity. Just downloaded the digital WHF and read the Blu-ray supertest, and the Arcam lacks for nothing in the audio/video departments, but issues like the reported 24fps problem will keep me at a safe distance from such an Arcam product.
Yes, I too hope Mr Dawson is reading, I'm listening to a CD right now on my near 20 year old Arcam Alpha CDP, still sounds fantastic. However, if he'd like it back for research into the longevity of their kit I would reluctantly swap it for a brand spanking new CD37, it'd be a wrench, but I think I could just about live with it
He's not a diamond geezer, or called Joe!
No, it's emphatically not rubbish, although opinions of its merits will vary. Ridiculous thread.
Unless you spent 3 grand on a product which didn't work!
Naim Nait XS | Monitor Audio RX6 | J River MC18 | Teac UD-501 DAC | Oppo BDP-105 | Pioneer PDP-LX5090 | Yamaha YSP-4100 | BK XLS300/PR Sub | Chord Odyssey 2
I think 'warmth' as a characteristic of sound is useful in HiFi but not AV. I heard an AV600 with KEF floor standers all round, iq90 I think (except centre) playing Transformers 2 in Best Buy @cribbs. It may have just been the setup was poorly done, but to my ear it sounded far too coloured and personally preferred my own setup, all though my humble setup is much older and cheaper. I have no doubt the Arcam combo would have slaughtered my Onkyo/MA setup for music reproduction as I favour a warm sound for music.
Paul's BR/805 system thread
(where the photos live) Paul's Flickr page
Taking one for the consumer eh? Hats off to you and your sacrifice sir!
Formerly Still known as Lee H
Given our feelings about the forum it was appropriate to try at least promote a healthy debate. The title was very deliborate: WHFI sell thier mag, in the main, like any publisher, by having an eye-catching cover. On that premise "Arcam is rubbish" draws you in to at least look at the thread only to find everyone's comments has flipped the title around. It's probably the first thread, in some time, with more than 20 replies without any 'oneupmanship'. It was slightly risky. This could've backfired big-time - but it hasn't. Let's roll back the years.
And, yes, I really hope Mr. Dawson can read and respond to people's concerns. After all it is us mere mortals who've placed faith in the Arcam brand. Mr. Dawson, it's over to you...
© 2013 Haymarket Publishing