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On board DAC in ARCAM 280 vs external DAC - whta difference in performance?


Active Member
I just bought an Arcam 280 to replace my Marantz 6002 as a stereo amp. I used ch 6 and 7 to bi-amp speakers.
(New amp is a mega improvement !):thumbsup:

I want to input digital streams from PCs, as well as being able to physically separate the Arcam from my CD player by say 7 meters
I can see 3 ways to do this:
1) use the SPDIF TOS link into the onboard ARCAM DAC
2) use the SPDIF TOS link into an external DAC (eg CA DacMagic)
3) Buy a Logitek Squeezebox Duet and feed into the Arcams photo inputs.

a) Arcam use a Wolfson 8770 DAC in the 280.
b) To get the optical stream from one of our PCs I'll use a Toshiba Multimedia Centre audio usb hub.
c) there is no perceptible difference in performance when using the analog op of my Marantz 6002CD versus the optical link into the Arcam.
d) PC library will mainly be FLAC based.
Solution 1 costs about £10, solution 2 costs £210 and soln 3 costs £260.

Does anyone know if there will be a perceptible difference between 1, 2 and 3.



Distinguished Member
Can you borrow a CA DacMagic or Logitek Squeezebox Duet? What you can hear is not necessarily what we can hear.


Active Member
Mark - that's a good idea,thanks.
The trouble is that I don't know anyone who lives near me (New Forest) with either box. I could use buy and return but I already have a £200 credit vouchers from Richer Sounds after returning the nvg Marantz6002 amplifier and I dont want to extend it to £250 as well as messing them around.
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Active Member
Usually when playing lossless files through a dac, you will hear quite an improved sound over using a cd player and the reason is you need to discard what Dac is in there, that's only part of the issue, the real issue is that by ripping cds to lossless format, it tries to rip perfect copies, scanning for errors on disk, whereas some of the signal is lost with cd players because you don't allow it this opportunity. Furthermore there is electronic interference caused by the mechanism and the laser which both degrade sound quality.

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