Arcam FMJ D33 D/A processor Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog Sources: Linn Sondek LP12 turntable with Lingo power supply, Linn Ekos tonearm, Linn Arkiv B phono cartridge.
Digital Sources: Ayre Acoustics C-5xeMP universal player; Apple 2.7GHz i7 Mac mini laptop running OS10.7, iTunes 10, Pure Music 1.86; Shuttle PC with Lynx AES16 soundcard & dual-core AMD Athlon processor running Windows 7, Foobar 2000, Adobe Audition 3.0; dCS Debussy, Musical Fidelity M1DAC, Logitech Transporter D/A converters; Ayre Acoustics QA-9 USB A/D converter; Empirical Audio Off-Ramp 4 USB-S/PDIF converter.
Preamplification: Liberty B2B-1 phono preamplifier, Classé CP-800 D/A line preamplifier.
Power Amplifiers: Classé CT-M600, Lamm M1.2 Reference (both monoblocks).
Loudspeakers: Sony SS-AR2, KEF LS50, Vandersteen Treo.
Cables: Digital: DH Labs Silver Sonic. AES/EBU: AudioQuest Coffee, Belkin Gold USB. FireWire: AudioQuest FireWire 400 (prototype). Interconnect: AudioQuest Wild (balanced), AudioQuest Cheetah (unbalanced). Speaker: Cardas Clear. AC: XLO Reference 3, manufacturers' own.
Accessories: Audio Power Industries 116 Mk.II & PE-1, APC S-15 AC line conditioners (computers, hard drive); ASC Tube Traps, RPG Abffusor panels; Target TT-5 equipment racks; Ayre Acoustics Myrtle Blocks; Shunyata Research Dark Field cable elevators. AC power comes from two dedicated 20A circuits, each just 6' from breaker box.—John Atkinson

COMPANY INFO
Arcam
US distributor: American Audio & Video
4325 Executive Drive, Suite 300
Southaven, MS 38672
(866) 965-6050
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COMMENTS
Robby's picture

While the measurements look alright, can this product actually produce enjoyable music? It's called Faithful Musical Joy after all...

This device is full of way too many opamps with vanishingly low THD+N spec sheets (high negative feedback, class AB output stages anyone?) and even the reviewer has found the sound 'harsh' and 'in your face' in some cases! Even the balanced outputs are created by an opamp from a single-ended signal... is this where high-end is going?

For $3200?

How can this be 'recommended' over the dozen of other less expensive, better engineered and cheaper alternatives?

Congratulations to Arcam for being able to demonstrate the integration of so many different TI chips in a single device, they probably got a good deal on that order.

John Atkinson's picture

Quote:
This device is full of way too many opamps with vanishingly low THD+N spec sheets (high negative feedback, class AB output stages anyone?). . .

Philosophical objections like this aside, what did you think of the Arcam FMJ FD33's sound?

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

Robby's picture

Generally speaking I haven't enjoyed the DACs I've recently listened to that use TI digital to analog converter chips. And by listen I mean, spent time with them in my own system. I didn't get to hear Arcam's DAC seriously hence why I appreciate reading what *you* think about it.

Fundamentally I don't believe it's a question of what the readers think about it, but rather what you guys think about that product since you have the opportunity to listen to way more DACs than us mere mortals.

What you write has the potential to influence people's decisions to a certain extent and to me 'recommending' something means that in the context of that product's price range, features, etc... you would yourself select it instead of a competitor's offering. (at least that's how I interpret the summary).

Would you pick the Arcam as a DAC for yourself if you were shopping for a DAC in that price range?

John Atkinson's picture

Robby wrote:
Would you pick the Arcam as a DAC for yourself if you were shopping for a DAC in that price range?

Yes, because its F1 filter is one of the best-sounding reconstruction filters I have tried.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

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