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Has Arcam IR-Dock improved my sound or not...?

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
2,556
2
0
So just a few days ago I picked my ATC MCS40 speakers along with an ATC SIA2-150 amp.

The sound was pretty amazing on some things, and fine on others, I guess depending on the original recording/source material.

I was playing my iPod through the headphone out.

So I just picked up an Arcam IR-Dock, which everyone has told me will improve the sound significantly.

Has it...I don't think so, but it's early days. Certainly there is a patina of brightness, and in some sections I can sense that I am hearing more detail. But on the other hand I feel I have lost a fair bit of solidity & quality to the sound, and frankly some parts now just sound brash & harsh.

Maybe my ears will adjust. But was wondering if anyone else out there had a similar experiance?

Someone told me these DAC's need to be 'run in' before they lose some of that over brightness. But that makes no sense to me - aren't they just working in a digital algorithm? Surely that can't change after a few hours of playing???

In summary, the sound is brighter, but I feel I've lost some 'body' to the sound, even out of my ATC setup! Am I going mad here, or has anyone else found this?

Thanks,

Mark
 

Timbot

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2010
74
17
18,545
Does the Arcam IR-Dock have a dac built into it? I didn't think it did. Could be wrong though...

Edit: I went for a Pure i20 as it does have a built in dac. It also has optical out so can be plugged into an external dac like the Arcam r-dac at a later date. Most certainly a HUGE improvement over the headphone jack to phono route.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
IR-Dock defo does not have a built in DAC. It takes an analogue signal and thus relies on the iPod's own DAC, which is the weak link. But IR-dock should still sound better than using the headphone socket.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I had this dock. After an initially dodgy one (cutting out on one channel) we went through 3 at the dealers to find one that was working. Got it home and 'ran it in' - horrid sound (dull, flat and lifeless to my ears) and I sold it after a week!

The iPod through the USB on my little Denon was far superior.........
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hi - the IR-Dock I'm sure has a DAC, I think this is the point of it. And I'm sure I've read reviews that referred to its' use of some great new DAC chip etc.

But still I'm not convinced, yet, on the sound...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
What the reviews etc are referring to is, simply that the "IR-dock uses audiophile grade components and design techniques to deliver the best possible sound quality" from the iPod. But it definitely takes an analogue signal from iPod and if you read the Arcam website there is no mention of it having a DAC, which it would if it had one.

http://www.arcam.co.uk/products,solo,iPod-Docks,irDock.htm
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
546
37
18,920
As the Arcam irDock is an analogue dock with no DAC of its own, it is heavily dependent on the iPod connected. So, IMHO, iPod classics from the past 4 years are going to sound rubbish. And so heavily dependent on the rips as well. For my money an iPod touch with AIFF rips should make the irDock sing.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
OK - it seems I might have been wrong. I thought I was buying a DAC, not just a dock! ;)

Think I'll take it back to the shop. Thanks for your feedback all.

Mark
 

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