Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

ARC Reference Digital Sources

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • ARC Reference Digital Sources

    I am currently planning to purchase either the Audio Research Reference CD-9 Digital Player or the Reference DAC sometime next year. Both components are scheduled by ARC to be updated.

    The reason I am interested in these two components is due to their analog-like organic sound and their huge synergy with my Reference 10 Preamp.

    I recently borrowed the Reference CD-9 Player and placed it in my system with spectacular results, surpassing even the performance of my beloved Esoteric K-01X. I believe these results are being largely driven by system synergy with my Ref 10, Vandersteen 7 monoblocks and Model 7 MkII speakers. My experience was the equivalent of adding a top notch analog rig to my system.

    My difficulty arises from choosing between the two components, which one should I purchase? The Ref CD-9 is very easy. Just drop in a CD and hit play. There is also a built in DAC that will play CD rips and high res. files.

    The Ref DAC is a very interesting component as it has all the digital inputs of the Ref CD-9, plus it is a network player with an ethernet input that will enable NAS use, internet radio functionality and USB stick functionality. The negative is that in its current form, the interface functionality is rather clunky, which has consequently limited its sales.

    Both components use the Ref 5SE Preamp for their analog stage and have an extremely similar sonic signature. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with
    Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock,
    Renderer V2 and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: AudioQuest Niagara 7000

  • #2
    Ken, are the two ARC digital units PCM only? Did I miss they do DSD too?
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Myles,

      They currently only do PCM. They will be updated early next year to do DSD with the DAC 9 digital board.

      Ken
      "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
      --------------------------------------------
      Source: MSB Select II DAC with
      Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock,
      Renderer V2 and Roon Nucleus Plus
      Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
      Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
      Power: AudioQuest Niagara 7000

      Comment


      • #4
        the main thing is do you mostly play CDs for digital or do you want to fool around with a network player?
        Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

        Comment


        • #5
          If you´d be willing to stray from ARC I would check out Aesthetix. I´ve been exposed a lot to the Romulus Signature. It has spectacular sound with a bit darker flavor than the ARC-machines. It does CD and it is also a DSD-capable DAC. But it doesn´t include any streaming/nas functions.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JCOConnell View Post
            the main thing is do you mostly play CDs for digital or do you want to fool around with a network player?
            Hi JC,

            I generally play a mix of CDs, SACDs and high res. computer files. I would be open to using network player functions. If I sell my K-01X, I would have to get my SACDs professionally ripped to computer files.

            Best,
            Ken
            "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
            --------------------------------------------
            Source: MSB Select II DAC with
            Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock,
            Renderer V2 and Roon Nucleus Plus
            Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
            Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
            Power: AudioQuest Niagara 7000

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Per Sundell View Post
              If you´d be willing to stray from ARC I would check out Aesthetix. I´ve been exposed a lot to the Romulus Signature. It has spectacular sound with a bit darker flavor than the ARC-machines. It does CD and it is also a DSD-capable DAC. But it doesn´t include any streaming/nas functions.
              Hi Per,

              I have listened to the Aesthetix Romulus/Pandora many times and they produce a wonderfully organic sound. They would be my next choice after the ARC digital sources. I would prefer to stick with ARC due to the synergy with my Ref 10 preamp.

              Best,
              Ken

              "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
              --------------------------------------------
              Source: MSB Select II DAC with
              Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock,
              Renderer V2 and Roon Nucleus Plus
              Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
              Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
              Power: AudioQuest Niagara 7000

              Comment


              • #8
                My pic would be the one with the network capability
                why hassle with cd s when you be in the kitchen and pic a album. Network for me. Now my hope is dsd but again if it sounds great with cd s that's very good
                analog stuff.
                otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                Dacs lampi various

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Alpinist View Post

                  Hi JC,

                  I generally play a mix of CDs, SACDs and high res. computer files. I would be open to using network player functions. If I sell my K-01X, I would have to get my SACDs professionally ripped to computer files.

                  Best,
                  Ken
                  I think you kinda answered the question. While the ARC CD player is better, it's a bit of a lateral move and still limits your options. (money not being an issue of course.) The ARC DAC definitely will definitely serve you well and for probably more years down the road than the CD player. I guess my only question is whether ARC will clean up the interface down the road and it's worth waiting for?
                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                  -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                  -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                  -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                  -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                  -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                  -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                  -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                  -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                  -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

                    I think you kinda answered the question. While the ARC CD player is better, it's a bit of a lateral move and still limits your options. (money not being an issue of course.) The ARC DAC definitely will definitely serve you well and for probably more years down the road than the CD player. I guess my only question is whether ARC will clean up the interface down the road and it's worth waiting for?
                    Thanks for your response, Myles! Your question is a good one. I think the Ref DAC will function much better as a DAC with the new DAC 9 digital board (DSD 64/128), which has now been fully tested and released. However, I don't think it will ever be great as a network player, although they may be able to iron out some of its issues with this new SE version due out in the next few months. Another issue with all ARC DACs is their USB connection only works with Mac and Windows based music servers. The USB connection will not work with Linux based music servers such as Aurender. I find this to be somewhat limiting, especially with DSD files. The workaround for PCM files is to use its AES/EBU, SPDIF or Ethernet inputs, or use a USB to SPDIF conversion box.

                    Why should I bother dealing with all these issues? Especially when I have an Esoteric K-01X that has no issues whatsoever? The reason is because the Ref DAC and Ref CD-9 have one of the best sounding analog stages I've ever heard. The midrange sounds like great analog music with a wide and deep soundstage and holographic images. In my opinion, the improvement over the K-01X in my system in these areas is not subtle. I suppose I could always retain the K-01X for listening to my SACD collection and for use as a transport feeding the Ref DAC. I'm really looking forward to the introduction of these SE models early next year.

                    Best,
                    Ken
                    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
                    --------------------------------------------
                    Source: MSB Select II DAC with
                    Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock,
                    Renderer V2 and Roon Nucleus Plus
                    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
                    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
                    Power: AudioQuest Niagara 7000

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X