Arcam irDAC-II D/A processor Specifications

Sidebar 1: Specifications

Description: D/A processor & headphone amplifier with volume control. Digital inputs: 2 coaxial (RCA), 2 TosLink, 1 USB (Type B), 1 Bluetooth. Analog outputs: 1 pair unbalanced, fixed output (RCA); 1 pair unbalanced, variable output (RCA); 1 headphone (3.5mm). Digital formats supported: 16–24-bit/32–384kHz, PCM; DSD64/128, USB; 16–24/32–96, TosLink; 16–24/32–192, coax; SBC, aptX, aptX-Ll, AAC, Bluetooth. Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz, ±0.05dB. THD+N: 0.0007% ref. 0dBFS. Signal/noise (A-weighted): 115dB. Maximum output level: 2.15V RMS, line; 4V RMS, headphone. Output impedance (headphones): 1 ohm. Supplied accessories: Bluetooth antenna, remote control, stereo phono–phono cable, optical & coaxial digital cables, USB A–B cable.
Dimensions: 7.6" (194mm) W by 1.75" (44mm) H by 4.9" (124mm) D. Weight: 2.4 lbs (1.1kg).
Finish: Black.
Serial number of unit reviewed: EDIC801291 ("Made in PRC").
Price: $749. Approximate number of dealers: 175.
Manufacturer: Arcam, The West Wing, Stirling House, Waterbeach, Cambridge CB25 9PB, England, UK. Tel: (44) (0)1223-203200. Web: US distributor: The Sound Organisation, 159 Leslie Street, Dallas, TX 75207. Tel: (972) 234-0182. Web:

US distributor: The Sound Organisation
1009 Oakmead Dr.
Arlington, TX 76011
(972) 234-0182

tonykaz's picture

Who else should I ask?, am I asking the right person?

This Lamm Reference RIAA preamp for instance. Is it Class A Recommended? or is the Manufacturer claiming it to be well above Class A?

Seems like plenty of outfits are claiming their stuff to be Reference Class.

So, should we now expect there to be : Reference Class, Class A, Class B, Class C, etc?

Besides, is there anything in the Vinyl chain that could be Reference?, like a Clock traceable to WWV's HP Atomic Clock.

Maybe "Reference" is a "Tuning Fork".

Of course 16/44.1 Redbook would have to be a Reference, wouldn't it? and now 24/44.1 & 24/48 are useful References, aren't they?

How can a Vinyl Record be Reference, there are virtually no standards (what so ever) in the Vinyl industry or in Playback gear.

Un-less, what Chad Kassem says is true: most of the Vinyl being made is from the Digital Master ( which is of a Reference Standard ).

Confused Tony in Michigan

John Atkinson's picture
tonykaz wrote:
Who else should I ask?, am I asking the right person?

Right person but possibly the wrong thread, as this is the Arcam DAC review.

tonykaz wrote:
This Lamm Reference RIAA preamp for instance. Is it Class A Recommended? or is the Manufacturer claiming it to be well above Class A?

When you see the word "Reference" in a Stereophile review, it means that the word is part of the product's formal name, nothing more.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

tonykaz's picture

it means nothing more, it's just a name, an arbitrary selection by the Company, no reference to any Established Reference.

I suppose, in short, it's BS.

Why do we have these ><)))))'> smells in Audiophile marketing?

I suppose this is why we need our JA & Tyll

Tony in Michigan

dalethorn's picture

"Besides, is there anything in the Vinyl chain that could be Reference?, like a Clock traceable to WWV's HP Atomic Clock."

Last time I checked, the Atomic Clock by HP will give very accurate results, but is not regulated for jitter. That's the inherent problem in converting Cesium streaming to other formats.

tonykaz's picture

You always seem smarter than me.

How'm I supposed to know about Cesium jitters?

I live in Fly-over country,

The god concept alone gives me the jitters, now I gotta worry about my clocks giving jitters.

Maybe I should return to my first love : Vodka

Tony in Michigan

Glotz's picture

Fo' sure. Great review and references, as I own many of the same Gabriel recordings referenced in the review. I really wish it had MQA.. but I am patient.

Might I make recommendation? Try Herbie's Audio Labs' products sandwiched between the rack shelves of your Target TT-5. I have, and for the absolute pittance in price, sooooo worth it. (Tens of dollars for the entire rack.. not hundreds.)

Platinum-cured silicone is really an amazing material for audio. Nothing like Sorbothane or other squishy products similar to that material. It actually 'de-couples' gear very well, and at a 1/100th of the cost of ball-bearing feet, etc. Their Grungebuster platter mat competes with the best mats out there, and is extremely reasonable in price as well. Any one using an acrylic platter should look into this product (if an aluminum platter is not financially feasible). I reeeeally want to see a turntable company use the products as a 'sandwich' filler some day.

Their website is 'meh', but it's about the products. (I have no relationship whatsoever with their company... just a customer.)

mrkaic's picture

...machine reviewed here. I was under the impression that this magazine has become a newsletter for the scientifically uneducated ruling class.

A few more reviews like this one and I will say "Bravo!"

tonykaz's picture

Good one, Mr. mrkaic !

mind if I borrow it, from time to time?

Tony in Michigan

ps. I might simplify it by say'n : Uneducated Ruling Class or Inherited Ruling Class. Either which way, I bow to your wisdoms.

mrkaic's picture

... is probably not a very common one and has nothing to do with politics and more with my perception of social power. For example, I think than rich anti vaxxers, clueless movie and music stars who pontificate about every moral panic they can think of (without having any scientific qualifications, of course), professional athletes, pundits and talking heads who talk about just any issue without ever doing any serious analytical work etc. are the true ruling class of today.

The Onion nailed this years ago:

But feel free to borrow the phrase, no problem.

tonykaz's picture


I had to look up anti-vaxxers. ( my chiropractor is an anti-vaxxer, I'm not! ).

Tony in Michigan

Anon2's picture

I am a proud Arcam fan and loyal owner of the brand's products.

I am encouraged by the fact that the writer of this article saw fit to hook up this next generation Arcam DAC directly to his power amp. I am seeing more DAC/headphone Amps that allow a more budget-constrained consumer a quicker path to separates.

Keep making the hints. We'll keep taking them.

I have been an enthusiastic fan of Arcam DACs. I plan on continuing to purchase Arcam DACs. I do regret that they elected to discontinue the superb performance and portability of the r-Pac. The r-Pac has become "my stereo" (along with headphones) for most of the week.

There is one thing that I hope Arcam addresses. Perhaps they have addressed this issue. On the rDac, including two that I have owned, there is this strange clicking noise, and blanking out of the sound, when these devices are on certain outlets. This occurs through power strips where other electronics (TVs and audio gear) show no strange or similarly intermittent performance. A perusal of web postings shows that I am not the only reporter of this apparent defect of the rDac.

My dealer had to replace an rDac that had this problem. The replacement exhibits the behavior intermittently. I have learned to deal with it because, besides this problem, the rDac is a category-leading device.

I hope Arcam has fixed this. Perhaps we can get some Stereophile or manufacturer comments to this effect in this comments stream.

Besides this problem with the rDac, which I hope has not happened with successor models, Arcam is a superb brand offering great performance for the money (though I'm still to be sold on Class-G amplification).

wozwoz's picture

I cannot think of anything more inappropriate or off-putting in a high-end hi-fi product than the inclusion of wireless or Bluetooth. The very last thing I want in my personal musical sanctuary is to have my brain or body made the subject of unnecessary radiation that is known to damage DNA in scientific tests. And while Bluetooth is generally a low-strength power source, if it is close enough to your body, it has an effect, just like mobile phones or wi-fi routers. I don't use a Bluetooth mouse or keyboard for the same reason - they give me headaches / buzzing which I frankly don't need. Aside from the health reasons, why you would want your music compressed and distorted by low-res Bluetooth compression in a high-end hi-fi product is simply beyond belief, and serves to discredit both this product and its manufacturer.

labjr's picture

"Carpenters' Singles 1969–1981 (DSD64 file, A&M/Analogue Productions)"

Is there a version of this album that was an "Analog Productions" project and not just a DSD file that Acoustic Sounds is selling?

John Atkinson's picture
labjr wrote:
Is there a version of this album that was an "Analog Productions" project and not just a DSD file that Acoustic Sounds is selling?

No, it is the DSD version that Acoustic Sounds sells.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile