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Superaintit's picture
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Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

Hi guys,

 

I recently prurchased a RDac and I'm very happy with it. So much so I'm about to buy a 2nd hand arcam a32.

As I play my files from my hard drive and my mac mini is nowhere near where I want my stereo amp, I'm thinking about a wireless connection for the Rdac.

The two options I'm considering are the airport express or arcam dongle + antenna.In an ideal situation I would like a wireless connection that can stream from any software on my mac. The reason being that I plan to play high resolution files which don't seem to work in Itunes and the fact that I like other musicplayers better.

I have an airport extreme, so I could go either way: express or arcam antenna. Sound quality is paramount; I dont mind paying more for one option if the resulting quality is just that little bit better. Could any of you advice on what the benefits of either route are or share experiences with wireless hifi?

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

Is the rdac wireless to buy now?

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

Have you tried getting Airtunes to work with your AE?

I use that for Spotify, radio, iTunes etc, as advised on this forum.

(Excuse me if this doesn't work, I'm not a technohead).

On the A32 front, are you planning to hook this up to the rDAC?

 

 

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

Hi Joel,

 "Have you tried getting Airtunes to work with your AE?"

I haven't tried airport or airtunes yet. I have an rdac, an airport extreme, but no airport express. I was wondering if it would be better to buy the wireless version of the rdac (or is there a possibility to upgrade?) then to go the airport express route?

I plan to hook it up to a 2nd hand A32 as I very much like the arcam sound.

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

Not sure if it is much help, but you can use programmes like dbpoweramp to convert flac (including hi rez such as 24/192) to apple lossless so that you can play them through iTunes.

As far as I'm aware (and I'm not particularly aware) most wireless will limit the resolution you can stream to around CD quality. 

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

Hi ID,

I was under the assumption that Itunes just wouldn't read it as it seems it cannot convert flac files by itself. But I just converted a high resolution file "Raising Sand" -music from Alisson Krauss and Robert Plant- and it works in itunes! Thanks for that.

 I also had a look at the rdac manual for some clues on the max audio streaming rate of the wireless version. What I found was the following: "Please contact your
dealer about upgrading the standard
rDAC to the wireless model. Wireless USB
transmitter available separately. " " Wireless 44.1kHz,
Bit depth 16-bit, 24-bit (except wireless) "

This seems to confirm what you said. I guess I'll have to choose then between wiring the dac to the mac mini or going for cd quality only.

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

I know Arcam are pushing the quality of the USB connection, but I find it baffling that the optical connection takes such a limited rate while the coax goes up to 24/192. I'd have thought that after USB optical would be a pretty popular choice for use with a computer, and while I don't have much at 24/192 (pretty much everything is at CD quality lossless), I don't like the idea of not being able to take advantage of the potential increase in the availability of hi-rez downloads.

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?
ID.:I know Arcam are pushing the quality of the USB connection, but I find it baffling that the optical connection takes such a limited rate while the coax goes up to 24/192. I'd have thought that after USB optical would be a pretty popular choice for use with a computer, and while I don't have much at 24/192 (pretty much everything is at CD quality lossless), I don't like the idea of not being able to take advantage of the potential increase in the availability of hi-rez downloads.

I agree that they might as well include optical at 88.2 and 96 hz. What saves the rdac is that in my experience the usb is better then the optical connection at CD quality. Smile

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

I just bought one yesterday from RS brighton. As i am now travelling and will only be back in malaysia next week, cant comment yet on its performance. Will compare it to MF M1 DAC next week.

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

Hi El Hefe,

My Rdac needed a lot of 'burn in' time to get to the level it is now. In fact,my rdac only reached it's full potential after several weeks of listening 2 hrs a day. The musical presentation stayed the same all the time, only the amount of details and the cleanliness of the sound has increased.

Anyway, the moral of my story: you'll know within half an hour if you like the rdac's way of playing music; when you do it'll only improve the next couple of weeks.

Let us know how you get on with your new toys.

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

I have hooked up the rDAC to my set up. Have been running it in for 24 hours now. Will do a head to head comparision with MF M1 this weekend.

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

I look forward to the review.

Does anyone know when rDac will be released in wireless form?

I think I read somewhere that the regular one could be upgraded to wireless, but does anyone know whether that will be a simple DIY (plug and play?) DIY job or whether it might require getting your dealer to do it? 

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

Could not wait till weekend and since I am still jetlagged from the trip. Here goes my review of 1 hour listening to janet seidl, celine dion and metallica black on rdac after running in for 24 hrs.

Set up used:

1. MF xray v3 to rdac via coaxial
2. Marantz CD6000 to rdac via coaxial
3. Sony MD player to rdac via optical

Repeated the above with M1 DAC.

Coaxial and optical cable used - QED
IC used from dac to amp - QED

So the only variable in any set up above is the dac itself.

First 10 minutes with celine dion - Big contender to M1

Spacious and airy soundstage. Detailed stereo imaging with defined bass but a bit harsh on the high pitch vocals.

Switched to metallica enter sandman. Solid bass. Very convincing guitar riffs can be heard.

Overall, it can match M1 in terms of soundstaging but unbalanced with treble or high pitched vocals.

Swicthed to MD via optical. Used Gypsy Kings version of Hotel California. Unfortunately, rDac is no match to the M1. maybe because of the upsampling done by M1. The rdac produced a muffled sound. Only listened for 3 mins.

Now the more unfortunate review. The rdac is giving me a cracking sound on my right speakers in between songs when the CDP is changing track. I have changed the IC, coax and even tried it on optical but the cracking sound is still there. Very dissapointed on this. The risk we tourist take when purchasing items overseas. I am sure there is something wrong with the rdac. Even tried changing the input from aux 1 to aux 2.

Build wise, of course the M1 has a better and solid finish. Even power supply is much better. The input switch on the rdac is also a bit noisy compared to M1 silent unit. However it does cost 100 pounds more than rdac.

So there you go. 1 hr review of rdac unit. Given the head on challenge with M1, i must say M1 has the better edge.

I will however try the rdac with airport express this weekend.

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

As I am still curious on why the cracking sound, I brought down the rdac and marantz player downstairs and connect it to my yamaha av amp. Same thing. I let it run for 24 hours. Still producing the cracking sound. The sound is more evident when I physically change the track compared to letting the cd progresses to the next track on its own.

I then switched off the rdac for 24 hrs, and voila today the sound dissapeared. Very odd. Will hook up airport express tomorrow.

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

Spent the whole sunday streaming music via airport express into rdac and feed through my yamaha av amp. Didn bother to hook it up to my main system. Using target optical cable.
First few songs by foo fighters sounded heavy on bass. Then tried vocals with sarah brightman and andrea bocelli. Wow that was sweet and uplifting experience. Vocals were bold and the rdac brought out the atmospshere of being upfront. Point to note, no effects were run on the yamaha and treble and bass settings were on flat.

All sources above were apple lossless files.

Running cd quality mp3 files, not much different can be heard compared to the above.

Overall I would still say rdac is a fine buy but will restrict it for airport express and marantz cd player on the 2nd system.

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Re: Arcam Rdac wireless- what's best?

El Hefe,

Following your test efforts with great interest. One recommendation I can make is to try to hook the rdac up to a laptop/pc using the usb input. This yield the best results to my ears- a lot better than optical via cd-player. YMMV, but give it a try.

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