Arcam rPAC specs

Gordon Kelly

By Gordon Kelly


Key Features

  • TI Burr-Brown PCM5102 DAC chipset
  • 138mW headphone amplifcation
  • RF Suppression
  • Asynchronous USB
  • 3.5mm & phono output
  • Independent volume control
  • Manufacturer: Arcam
  • Review Price: £150.00
Physical Specifications
Weight 300g


April 27, 2012, 1:45 am

I've pondered on buying a dedicated DAC. including the DacMagic.

I see the benefit over taking analogue output from a soundcard, primarily the reduction in noise.

However I send audio over HDMI to my Onkyo SR608, which means it's digital right up until the amp's DAC.

The benefit in this case is far less clear to me; if you have a decent amp is an external DAC likely to give a noticeable improvement (assuming decent speakers/headphones)?


April 27, 2012, 12:37 pm

@Bugblatter, it wouldn't seem to make sense tbh. The Onkyo is going to have a fairly decent DAC in it already. If you want a better DAC surely replacing the Onkyo makes more sense as the DAC would be used for anything the Onkyo processes...this only benefits (and can only benefit) the PC sound.


April 27, 2012, 5:00 pm

What cjb110 said. There's little point in you buying a DAC for this setup, unless you use some high-end headphones with your PC.


April 28, 2012, 12:54 am

Cheers guys; guess I'll just have to find something else to sate my gadget lust :o)


April 29, 2012, 11:51 pm

Is it noticeably better than the Native Instruments Audio 2 DJ which is available from £67 online 100mW power though.


April 30, 2012, 5:01 pm

I bought the D7 sidewinder from ibasso after giving up waiting for E17 in February. I like it and on paper the D7 has a better a spec 24/192 over usb and it has an analogue volume control which solves the hunting for mouse issues. Any chance of a head to head three way with these?


June 16, 2012, 11:51 am

I am not one of the "99%" (of audiophiles who would consider £150.00- that's 250 bucks to me- "budget"), and I popped for the rPAC over the cheaper Audioengine D1, for example, because I am fond of British audio design (I own Rega everything, strained through Dynaudio X12s). Hearing music through a MacBook Pro/iTunes/Grado SR80 headphones, did absolutely nothing for me. I was expecting the rPAC to perform a miracle. The sound was certainly more detailed and expansive, but the Arcam device did not serve to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. The dealer suggested Pure Music software, I tried their demo and was sold- until some of the songs on my iTunes list that I had added from CD were grayed out and I was directed to iTunes to purchase. (Please, computer-philes, do not comment and offer suggestions. Thank you.) Next day, I played a CD through the rPAC and was pleased, and will purchase the device. Why? I think expectations played a large part here. There now was a head bobbing, feet tapping, smile factor here- not just an EQ expander trick. No, the $250.00 rPAC did not turn my Mac/headphones into a threat to my hi-end rig- that's simply unrealistic. However, I now see the device as a necessary link to acceptable computer audio- coupled with some type of playback software superior to iTunes- and, hopefully, free. Any-which-way I play it, the rPAC is expansive and detailed, though orchestral strings sound a bit steely, and I could use a bit more color (spend some time out in the sun, Cambridge guys). While I have your ear... Home-audition rules. Thank you, Pro Musica Audio, in Chicago, for being so cool about lending stuff. May our bricks-and-mortar audio and record stores thrive.

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