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Article: CA Bits & Bytes Volume 3: 2012 CES, Upcoming Reviews

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I too would have hoped the DAC portion would have been different or the driver issues addressed at the very least.<br />

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We will see. There seems to be many gimmicks in the unit, something unusual for ARC. Personally, I don't see the reason for a unit like that to have to display metadata on the unit and streaming??, well we will see.<br />

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More importantly, I guess they aren't listening to their customer base which is a somewhat disappointing. dCS did listen as we are seeing with their DSD solution. ARC it seems are not addressing the numerous calls from their endusers about the need to use a Wavelink solution for a Mac based server or the better results with a Windows solution and the inability to use a PK90 USB solution because of a failure to address the driver issue. <br />

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I don't want to pre-judge, so I will wait for their take. Also, if they are going to introduce a "new" reference DAC, one would think they would address 32 bit and higher sample rates as well as DSD as competitors are starting to do.<br />

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Thanks again. <br />

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wants to include UPnP, I would have like to see a more upgraded USB solution in a 15K DAC.

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I love my ARC stuff and really want to buy a REF DAC, BUT, if it is built on DAC 8 USB, it is kind of non-starter. I am not sure that a 15K DAC, without the ability to do DSD over USB or 32/384 is going to make a tough sale, regardless of tube analogue. <br />

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DLNA media streamer, usb stick inputs and front display just doesn't seem like and ARC REF product to me<br />

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I will TRY to keep and open mind and see what it ultimately turns out to be, BUT......

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ARC other than the huge amount of money I have invested in my system, but I have already made my concerns known to people at the top of the food chain of ARC. No commitments or comments from them but they do know where I and others like me stand.<br />

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Just releasing a REF product is not enough in the digital domain where others are competing for the same business unless that REF product offers the best of what ARC is best at and incorporates what their competition is offering.<br />

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As to the Naim and Linn approach that is another matter and ARC is not the type of company that tries to be all things to all people. <br />

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ARC should stick to what they are best at, and while I am hopefully optimistic, I am not that optimistic based on what they showed at CES.

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I am "hopefully optimistic", but surely this diverts from what they have done and made them so successful in the past.<br />

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I understand what you are saying about UPnP and as I have said in prior posts, that is not my beef. My beef is that it appears, they have NOT addressed the shortcomings of their USB architecture, a much more important facet of a ARC REF Dac than adding a bunch of gadgets, such as an iPhone port, a usb stick port, a display and for that matter UPnP capabilities. <br />

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I can tell you that as a "typical" ARC customer, I buy ARC because usually, when you buy their stuff, SQ is first priority and most of their stuff is upgrade-able to a degree, such as my REF 5, which, is not being replaced, but upgraded for a small fee.<br />

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Of course I will wait, but from what I see, which by their own words, it sounds like DAC 8 USB architecture, I am not thrilled by the direction. <br />

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The approach they are taking,

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their strategy, but I highly doubt it.<br />

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I have been an ARC customer for years, and if what you are saying is correct (maybe you are right) I would highly doubt they would release a REF product as a so called watershed product. But maybe you are right and I remain open to see what it ultimately turns out to be. However, again, if they are releasing a REF product, I would still expect them to address the limitations of their USB input and it doesn't seem that any of their inputs (including UPnP) is addressing 32/384 or DSD streaming.<br />

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It does look like they are trying to be all things to all people, which is atypical for ARC. <br />

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It also seems like they are almost copying PS Audio's new MKII DAC and adding a tube analogue output.

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