Elsewhere, Wolfson’s WM forms the core of the conversion circuitry. How to buy To make the most of your investment in one of our systems, we’d advise you to talk to one of our specialist dealers. The front of the small cast-aluminium and largely inert chassis—spanning just 6. Vocals are well presented and believably real with the sense of space and decay vital for the suspension of disbelief. The RSS feed provided is for personal, non-commercial use only. Building on the rDAC’s success, and incorporating feedback from enthusiastic rDAC owners, the Arcam engineering team have produced the irDAC, an enhanced design that raises the performance bar and is delightfully simple to use. Arcam has been here before, but never with such mainstream appeal and never at such an aggressive price.

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Turning to the rDAC afforded the vocal performances a more emotional presentation, as acoustic guitar solos became more precise and incisive; cymbal-induced treble traits were now light as a feather. Back in the realms of conventional hi-fithe rDAC faces stiff competition from the large selection of very accomplished performers over more conventional digital connections, which means that it deserves a place on a slightly longer shortlist, but it certainly deserves a place nonetheless.

A rubberized, non-slip neoprene plate forms the chassis floor and acts as a deadening facility, reducing microphony. Areas such as isolation of digital and analogue stages, ultra-low noise power supplies and direct coupled signal paths make a big difference to outright performance.

Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist! The only question you need to ask is: This track came over bright and full of energy, and we felt the sound compared very closely with that of the coax input and CD transport source. In addition, a DAC can also plug into your computer, allowing you to take your PC as a serious digital source—possibly for the very first time.


Arcam rDAC (£) – Outboard DACs

The headphone output stage has been taken from the flagship A49 amplifier and is capable of driving the most demanding of rddac. Soon after the birth of the CD player Arcam was the first company to add outboard digital to analogue DAC conversion as a sonic upgrade.

A completely versatile DAC with an awesome headphone output stage, my music has never sounded better! Internet radio, set-top boxes and game stations can be connected via coaxial or optical leads to receive a dramatic increase in sound quality.

The unit itself is small, but pleasant to look at and use and is styled as part of the Solo range — although it doesn’t look so different from other Arcam separates to be visually at odds if placed with them.

The circuits developed for the D33 anddeployed in the irDAC produce a signal that is almost entirely jitter free. Such an arrangement eliminates the need of worrying about single-box downsides like electrical cross contamination and other associated distortions.

Arcam rDAC (£375)

The market’s not short of little DACs ready to bring your digital music collection to life. As you’d imagine, it’s a lot more complicated on the inside.

Areas like isolation of the digital and analogue stages, ultralow noise power supplies and a direct coupled signal path make a big difference. Great multi-taskers, DACs can enhance your audio-visual experience as well.

This unique system is usually reserved for ultra high-end HiFi and professional audio applications.

rDAC / rDAC-kw – USB DAC – Arcam

Against Can lack pace and attack Only a single optical and ueb input. During the late s, research into jitter and a change in philosophy saw the DAC fall out of favour and Arcam’s output at this time was comprised entirely of one-box CD players.

Jitter reduction is an obsession within our engineering team. Arcam says that this will involve more technology from dCS and a wireless dongle.

What Hi-Fi?

Arcam returns to DAC’s with a diminutive but well implemented design with the added benefit of wireless Getting rid of all those computer cables can make wireless hi-fi seem like the next essential, especially if usg life revolves around the laptop in your bag rather than a tower under the desk.


An enhanced design that raises the performance bar and is delightfully simple to use. The goal is to clean the data up before you turn the ones and zeroes into audio. The RSS feed provided is for personal, non-commercial use only. We have gained a lot of knowledge developing class leading DACs. jsb

The transmission will handle everything up to lossless files and will open up another way of extracting audio from a computer, as well as making a great deal of sense if the rDAC is already connected into a particular computer via the USB input and you wish to use another computer ‘on the fly’.

Switching to the wireless connection gave the subtlest of changes, with a slightly smoother or softer result. On the back, along with the optical, coax and USB input xrcam and the RCA phonos for analogue output, is a connector for the miniature arvam.

The only real downside of this control and relaxed nature is that given a genuinely exciting recording, there is a sense that the rDAC is keeping some of the dynamics and force in check. Consequently, the Black Box was highly regarded and sold well. Coaxial and optical inputs are also included on the rDAC, but the company recommends that, while fine for CD players and other external fittings, you do not plug your PC into the optical port, as doing so will trigger the return to audio chaos.