New Arcam Universal Disc Player on the way...maybe?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by nrighton, Feb 22, 2014.

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  1. nrighton

    nrighton
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    I had accidentally come across a directory on the Arcam website that hosted several files related to updates for the BDP300 and BDP100 etc. Of note was the file titled UDP411. It is pure speculation but given the name UDP (universal disc player maybe?) and it's company (the other files being BDP updates) it seems that such a universal player may be in the works. I hope this turns out to be true. I really enjoy the Arcam house sound and would love a universal player designed by them.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  2. spl23

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    If Arcam are going to sell a universal player, I'd be very surprised (and slightly worried) if it was indeed designed by them! Given the complexity of the design of such devices, they'd do better to license an Oppo and put an Arcam badge on the front - although I'd guess that taking the chassis of the BDP103 and putting their own DACs on the output wouldn't be a bad approach. Mind you, even that's a bit of a pointless exercise given the lack of multi-channel inputs on Arcam's AVRs...
     
  3. Import racer

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    hmm sounds expensive
    3 - 5k for a Blu ray that also plays DVDs and CDs
    and don't they already have one of those, the BDP 300

    sounds like money for old rope :)
    although some still like old rope so might sell well
     
  4. Damian1978

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    I accidently saw that directory ages ago. Don't hold your breath :)
     
  5. nrighton

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    What caught my attention was the January 2014 date associated with the UDP411 file...now the file is gone....very interesting :)
     
  6. Damian1978

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    Hmmm....has gone. Doh!
     
  7. nrighton

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    Who knows, maybe it will incorporate irdac or airdac type functionality also.
     
  8. spl23

    spl23
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    I can't really see what Arcam can bring to a universal player that would make it competitive with an Oppo 103 or 105. As other manufacturers (Meridian etc) have admitted, it's very difficult to improve on the digital video sections of even a budget (£200) player from one of the mainstream manufacturers, and Arcam have surely learned from the BDP100 debacle that you need a well-supported platform to cope with disc compatibility problems, which means they aren't about to design one from scratch.

    So that leaves them with buying in a universal platform from someone else (which basically means Oppo...) and breathing on it. Arcam don't do multichannel analogue any more, so an Arcam multichannel DAC isn't happening. All they might be able to do is to take the stereo DAC from the BDP300 and stick it into an Oppo 103 or equivalent and perhaps tweak the power supply; they'd then need to sell it for at least as much as an Oppo 105. Much as I like my kit to match visually, there's no way I'd buy the above player over an Oppo 105, whose high-quality Sabre DACs are easily a match for those in the BDP300, and which has hardly got a shoddy power supply to start with.

    Unless a cosmetic match of kit is vitally important to you (and I can understand if it is), I can't see how an Arcam universal player can compete with an Oppo, not given the limitations of what they can do to make it an "Arcam".
     
  9. nrighton

    nrighton
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    Oppo does not develop their players from the ground up. They use OEM parts from the Mediatek company and develop their players based on that platform. Many other hifi and midfi companies develop their players this way. Cambridge Audio, Primare, and Ayre are a few examples. CA, Primare, and Ayre use the Mediatek OEM platform similar to Oppo but develop their own individual players. While some of the functionality is the same they are quite different in many ways (DACs, analog output stages, power supplies, etc.). Many people think that these companies use the Oppo when in actuality they do not. This is where I believe Arcam could be successful. Develop a player based on the Mediatek platform and use proprietary design for the dacs, analog audio outputs, and power supplies.

    To compliment my opinion I am attaching a file with the internal view of the Primare BD32, Cambridge Audio 751BD, and Oppo 93. All 3 players are based on the same Mediatek platform but you can see the many differences in the players.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  10. spl23

    spl23
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    True to some extent, but what most (all?) of those companies will have done it is to take the OEM's reference Blu-Ray circuit design and just lay it out differently, at least up until the point at which the signals leave the digital domain. Your list above (DACs, analogue output stages, power supplies) is a pretty accurate reflection of the remaining bits which the individual manufacturer could customise - but as above, given that Arcam are now relying entirely on HDMI for multichannel connections, the most they could really do is to add an upgraded stereo DAC for CD playback, which just gives an SACD and DVD-A compatible BDP-300. (By using their own DAC, they'd lose the Oppo's compatibility with HDCD discs, for example.)

    The question is where Arcam might be able to price such a product that would mean it competed with the existing products in the market, of which the Oppo is probably the one to beat. Realistically, they'd have to match or undercut the price of the Oppo 105, which has reference-standard DACs across all 8 channels and even higher quality stereo outputs with multiple DACs per channel and balanced connections - the BDP300 doesn't bother with those.

    It seems to me that Arcam's entire market for such a player would be from people who want a cosmetic match with their AVR; there might be a market for people who want a universal player with "better" CD playback than the Oppo 105, but I think Arcam would struggle to achieve that.
     
  11. spl23

    spl23
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    Incidentally, look more carefully at the digital boards in the CA and the Oppo - that's the one to the top right of the case - they are pretty much identical, other than the one in the CA being blue and the one in the Oppo being green - the same components in the same layout. Those players only really differ in the DAC and output board (top left of the case) and potentially the power supplies (hard to tell with the cover over the CA PSU, but the output connections from the PSUs are the same).
     
  12. nrighton

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    I agree with your assessment. I was puzzled when Arcam disregarded the analog multichannel input on their new AVR series and the AV950. With such a price premium for the new equipment I felt it was quite irregular to leave such a basic and audiophile friendly feature out.
     
  13. potshot

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    I asked a dealer about a update to the BDP300 and he said no and the discount is only there shift the units they have got at the moment. It could be case they have a build up of stock and need to shift them. But who knows they might have something waiting in the wings.
     
  14. spl23

    spl23
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    I suspect the main reason for the discount is that the BDP300 hasn't been flying off the shelves. At £1k, it is very hard to see why anyone would buy one instead of an Oppo 105 - I know I for one didn't agonise over that decision for more than about half a second...
     
  15. dazmb

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    Having just bought the Oppo 105 and really liking the analogue sound it makes far more than I thought I would as an Arcam house sound fan ( my last 3 CDP's have all been Arcam universal players ), I think that Arcam could make a worthy player that would sell in the current audiophile marketplace. But (and it's a big but as they say) they will jolly well have to pull their socks up with the spec and the performance never mind the RRP having to be no greater than the Oppo. Can they do that? Technically yes if they were to use either the QDEO or ABT video boards + their own 2ch Wolfson analogue. But that must be accompanied by full universal disc playback, toroidal PSU, audio only mode, media file input for playback through DAC and decent build quality even if made in China. Putting out another half baked upper-middling stereo performance deck like either the 100 or 300 BDP's simply will fail - especially if they expect to sell it for £1k + with more air inside the case than the recent UK storms have blown through the countryside!

    I was told by someone (a dealer) that there may be something coming despite Arcam emails to me saying there was not. But if there is something it must be good as they are in last chance saloon with many former die-hard Arcamites.
     
  16. dazmb

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    A last thing, I hope that Arcam still employ the designers and assemblers that made the DV139. That would give me the confidence that something good can be launched. The 139 is even now a stunning piece of kit in both quality and performance. Sadly after 6 years the transport is a bit poorly. But so nice is it that in fact despite getting the Oppo I just can't bring myself to part with it even though it is still worth about £300 second hand (and I won't even use it again for years - maybe never). It's just simply something too lush and quality to part with. Lovely just to look at that lovely machined fascia and the green LCD now and again :)

    Quite simply Arcam (Mr Dawson), make a worthy successor to the 139 equal to it's performance and quality and the sales will come to you guranteed as long as it is not too far the wrong side of £1k as the BDP300 £400 discount shows how much 'cream' there is in the Arcam pricing.
     
  17. fuzzybk

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    If they do make a universal player, I expect it to be uber expensive.
     
  18. Nuri58

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    But it seems it's there - at the Munich show ...
     
  19. spl23

    spl23
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    Really? Any details or a link? Is it genuinely universal (SACD and DVD-A) or is it just an improved BDP-300?
     
  20. DOBLY

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    translated from audiovideo2day.eu:

    In 2014 we expect from Arcam, after the introduction of the new AVR series in 2013, many news. The High End Munich promises to give the kickoff Arcam's best ever integrated amplifier - the A49 . A powerful, fully balanced constructed 2 × 200 Watt amplifier, the term control should give a new meaning. In this price range Next to the A49 Arcam introduces directly surpassing C49 front and P49 power amp . Obviously belongs here an appropriate source at which we find in the form of UDP411 Universal Disc Player , a top class all inclusive BluRay player and streaming! We are working hard by Arcam to the successor of CD17 in the form of CDS27, including streaming, to show - so fingers crossed. More information about the A49, C49, P49 can be found in the flier .
     
  21. spl23

    spl23
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  22. spl23

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    According to a comment by Arcam on their FB page today, the UDP411 is perhaps a bit less "universal" than people might have been hoping - "supports all current disc formats...no HD-DVD or DVD-Audio"

    While the lack of HD-DVD is hardly surprising, not including DVD-A support is bizarre - as far as I know, DVD-A requires no dedicated hardware on a DVD-V player. The only reason I can think of for excluding DVD-A is not wanting to pay the license fees for the MLP codec, and I can't imagine they are huge compared to the likely retail cost of this player.

    Looks like I'll be keeping my Oppo...
     
  23. herky10

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    Network Music Players & Streaming | Music Matters

    Preliminary information only. Arcam has a policy of continuous improvement; we reserve the right to change features without notice. E&OE 2014

    Few specialist manufactures have ever stepped up to the plate where development of video playback is concerned. The technological know-how required for the successful design of high performance video sources is vast. With more than ten years of digital video experience, not tomention global recognition of its efforts, Arcam is proud to announce the arrival of it’s newest disc player, the UDP411.



    • Class leading 3D Blu-Ray player
    • Blu-Ray, DVD, SACD & CD playback
    • UPnP and CIFS audio and video streaming
    • Audiophile grade music playback
    • TI/Burr Brown PCM1794 DAC
    • Balanced and single-ended audio outputs
    • IR and full duplex IP & RS232 control
    • Stunning picture and sound
    • Low power 0.5W standby


    The UDP411 embraces movie and music playback, offering outstanding performance in both disciplines. Unlike most Blu-Ray machines music from SACD & CD is delivered with outstanding quality while movie performance with either 2D or 3D films is to the very highest standards currently available. Using Arcam’s unique and hard won engineering expertise the UDP411 delivers a truly emotional portrayal of your favourite discs, delivering blockbuster experiences straight to your arm chair.

    The UDP411 uses a very simple, almost direct video path from the disc to its ultra-high precision outputs. This short path approach allows pictures to be presented without unintentional artefacts and delivers the kind of pristine picture quality that will truly captivate anyviewer. Using broadcast quality digital video clocks during processing means the resulting picture quality is simply stunning.

    To ensure the UDP411’s music performance meets the same “reference” standards the class leading TI/Burr Brown PCM1794 digital to analogue converter (DAC) is used. This device, coupled with a linear phase Bessel output filter and high precision re-clocking system resultsin audio quality comparable to a dedicated audiophile CD player. Even the UDP411’s power supply has been specially designed for outright performance. Discreet sub-regulated power supplies on the drive, audio and DAC boards deliver significant benefits to the overallperformance of each element and thus allow each section to work truly independently and without interference.

    As with all its FMJ devices, Arcam has gone to incredible lengths to maximise the performance of this next generation player. As an example the UDP411 benefits from a critically dampedcover and chassis to virtually eliminate damaging microphonic vibration from reaching the sensitive electronics inside. The UDP411 is designed with a single purpose; to deliver the very best music and movie experience for discerning owners. It also features a full suite of discrete IR, IP and RS232 codes making it perfect for integration within a high performance home cinema installation.

    The UDP411 is designed in the UK and is available in a discrete black finish.

    Specifications

    Analogue Audio Output

    Digital to Analogue conversion : 24-bit 192kHz Delta-Sigma DAC

    Signal to noise ratio 110dB CCIR

    Harmonic distortion (1kHz) 0.002%

    Frequency response (±0.5dB) 10Hz–20kHz

    Output level (0dB) 2.2Vrms

    Output impedance 47?

    Minimum recommended load 5k?

    Video Outputs

    HDMI 19-pin HDMI connector Supported video formats are: 720 x 576p, 720(1440) x 576i, 720 x 480p, 720(1440) x 480i, 1280 x 720p, 1920 x 1080i, 1920 x 1080p Audio to 8-channel/96kHz or 2-channel/192kHz (24-bit).

    Digital interfaces

    USB USB 2.0 High Speed (480 Mbit/s)

    Network 10 BASE-T / 100 BASE-TX

    Physical

    Dimensions W433 x D400 x H100mm

    Weight 6.2kg nett/8.5kg packed

    Power consumption 20W maximum

    Digital output connection 75? co-axial optical TOSLINK

    Supplied accessories

    Mains lead CR301 remote control 2 x AAA batteries

    Wi-Fi antenna

    E&OE

    NOTE: All specification values are typical unless otherwise stated
     
  24. sounddog

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    Now if it supports Bluray ISOs it will be worth a look :thumbsup:
     
  25. spl23

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    Looking at the data sheet for the Burr-Brown DAC used in the UDP411 (http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/pcm1794a.pdf), there is no mention of native DSD support. That means that DSD from SACD will have to be converted to PCM before the DAC, which throws away most of the supposed audio advantages of the SACD system, at least if you listen via the stereo analogue outputs. That's rather disappointing on a supposedly reference-standard player, particularly when combined with the lack of support for DSD over HDMI on the AVR750 et al.
     
  26. spl23

    spl23
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    I also can't help but notice that the press release for the UDP411 is pretty much word-for-word identical with that for the BDP300 (still on Arcam's site)...
     
  27. felty99

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    So no multichannel analogue outputs then, just 2ch outputs presumably to complement the lack of any MCH inputs on their current range of receivers and processors?

    Seems a bit pointless to emphasise any audiophile credentials if this is the extent of its features.
     
  28. spl23

    spl23
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    £1200 according to Facebook - available in Q3 this year.

    At that price point, it's very hard to see why anyone would choose one over an Oppo 105, I'm afraid - the Oppo does everything this does and more (DVD-A, HDCD), has proper native DSD decoding, dual HDMI outputs, multichannel outs with high-quality DACs for each channel, usable as a high-quality external USB and SPDIF DAC etc.

    Sorry, Arcam, but this is a disappointment, and I suspect it won't fare any better than the BDP300 did.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  29. dazmb

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    Yes I noticed that too! Lazy marketing dept!
     
  30. dazmb

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    But I disagree with you SPL here. I think this might do decent sales for Arcam. I hope so. Not because it is better spec than Oppo 105 (it clearly isn't), but because it's a decent enough spec with what I imagine will be a very fine sounding 2 channel analogue if this is a similar DAC / internals from the D33(?). Arcam still get great reviews for their sound, even with their cheapy DAC's. This player may just have enough to make people buy it, even with some spec shortcomings and technical reservations. It may not sound better than the Oppo 105 if you can quanitfy what better is, but I bet it will sound nice. I would not buy it myself (for reasons I will explain on other thread), but I can see many people who would.

    Time will tell.
     

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