ARC (Aural Resonance Cascade) is a project 2 years in the making. Over the years of selling our famous Objective2 and ODAC line of products we've received incredible feedback and suggestions in how to improve our products. We took all of it and designed a completely new platform from the ground up, only carrying over the enclosure from the Objective2 line. Our main focus was with the ARC was to bring in modern design and components, doing it better than the competition. We've somehow packed a powerful headphone amplifier, ultra-clean DAC, Microphone ADC and RCA jacks into an extremely small box, all while being made in the USA.
- Built with a driverless DAC compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux and the PS4.
- High output headphone amplifier with 1 watt of power at 32 ohms.
- Built-in bass boost DSP (Digital Sound Processor).
- Handmade and individually tested in our US-based facility.
- Digital Volume Control
- Smart Sensing RCA Output Jacks
- Optical (Toslink) Input for use with Xbox
- 100-240v 50-60hz power supply US Type Plug
- Frequency Response: +/-0.05 dB (20Hz-20kHz)
- THD 1 Khz 150 Ohms: 0.0026%
- IMD CCIF 15 Ohms: 0.0007%
- IMD SMPTE: 0.001%
- Noise 24/96 (A Weighted): -109 dBu
- Max Output (32 Ohms) : 1W (THD+N < 0.003%)
- Max Output (150 Ohms): 365 mW (THD+N < 0.003%)
- Max Output (600 Ohms): 92 mW (THD+N < 0.003%)
- Output Impedance: 0.096 ohms
- Crosstalk (150 ohms) : -65 dB
- Channel Balance (50% volume): 0.2 dB
- Dynamic Range (A-Weighted): > 120 dB
- Linearity Error: -90 dBFS 24/96 -0.1 dB
- USB Jitter Components: 11025Hz -112dB
- RCA Line out: 1V RMS
- USB: 24/96, 24/48 - Driverless
- Optical: 24/192, 24/96, 24/48, 24/44.1, 16/192, 16/96, 16/48, 16/44.1
- Compatible with ASIO4ALL
- Uses the Pcm5242 DAC
- 4.25” W x 3.25” L x 1.25” H
- Weight: 8.5 oz.
- 100-240v 50-60hz US style plug. (Use US to local plug adapter if needed)
- 5v DC, 2A with 6.5ft (2 Meter) long cable
Robust, clean and easy to use product. Quality of sound and power delivered is very, very good and running Sennheiser Game headsets and 6xx it's able to make it very painfully loud, and keep the sound clean. Microphone is likewise, in my ears, extremely clear and clean as I've been told by the recipients of my ramblings.
This is by far the best audio improvement after purchasing a good set of headphones, I can hear sounds and clarity that my motherboard (on board) could not even start to reproduce. Just buy one......job done...A****
Long story short - it's worth its price tag and I hope future revisions iron out a few simple quirks. 5 Stars for a reason but I'll keep it brief: Pros: - High Gain powers High Impedance headphones without fault. I'll never it need to even hit the middle point for my current headphones. - Audio quality is phenomenal and seemingly uncolored (Without DSP obviously). DSP off sounds like the band is in your backyard, DSP on sounds like they're playing a private underground venue and you're sitting in the first row. I said 'sitting' because that band still cares about its mixing, even if they're having a little fun with it. - Mic input. The quality is great (ModMic 5) but it requires USB. I'd love to use USB for mic and Optical for output at the same time. (Haven't tested, I will later today - I've read it doesn't work) - Industrial look and feel, machined parts are tactile and enjoyable. Cool supporting products 'Made in the USA' - Long term support (10 year warranty and plenty of juice, you very likely could use this product til you're ) Neutral: - Cost is up there, but it feels fair. Cons: - DSP is lovely, but I feel like it's a little too saturated for my tastes. After a few glasses of wine - I don't care as much. - EQ audio options unavailable, you'll have to use third party if you want additional control. Other thoughts: I upgraded to this from the SoundBlasterX G5. The digital knob on this prevents imbalance, the audio quality is fantastic, the power it has drives hungry cans even at low listening levels. I'm happy with the purchase and I'd easily point others to the same.
Shipment arrived on time. Living in Canada, I was expecting import taxes but looks like its taken care of my Mayflower Electronics. I have Oppo's PM-3 paired with a Mod Mic 4. The ARC significantly improved my audio experience. The sound of my headphones is now significantly louder. Before with my on board audio, I had the sound set to about 80-90% in windows, I get around the same level at 40% on low gain with this dac/amp. The sound signature of my headphones is untouched, with an improved soundstage it is great for competetive gaming. It feels like my headphones were starving for more juice without an amp. The DSP mode is great if you want more immersion in your games, personally I don't really use it. The ARC also improved my microphone. I was a little worried from a video I've seen on Youtube comparing the microphone with/without the ARC. It seems like some tweaks were made on that level. The microphone is louder than my old setup and picks up my voice way better and more consistently. I can speak with a lower tone and the mic will not cutout. The ARC becomes a little warm to the touch after a while, I think the closed metal enclosure is actually designed to work as a heat sink. The setup was a little more complicated than what I expected. The Arc was working by simply plugin it via USB 3.0, but I had audio dropouts in games. Took me few days to figure it out, now it is working flawlessly. If you experience audio dropouts in games, have windows 10, an Nvidia graphics card and Realtek audio drivers, Try the following: 1. Open Device Manager, 2. Click on Sound, video and game controllers, 3. Find Realtek High Definition Audio, 4. Click on update drivers, 5. Select Browse my computer for driver software, 6. Select Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer, 7. Uncheck Show compatible hardware, 8. Choose Microsoft as the manufacturer, 9. Select High Definition Audio Device Version 10.0.16299.251, 10. Click next, let it install and reboot,
I have already used a Grace SDAC and O2 Amp before, paired with Sennheiser HD6XX's, but made the swap to the ARC to have a more compact and hopefully same quality (or better) all-in-one solution with a microphone jack. From audio quality perspective, the ARC is very good, at least on par with the SDAC+O2 combo I had before. But I can sense a bit more weight on the bass than with the SDAC, but without compromising too much on other areas. I'd say it's a bit more on the "fun" side to listen to, especially electronic music and while gaming. Personally I don't really need the additional Bass DSP mode, as the bass is quite present without it. When it's enabled it feels a bit fuzzy and oversaturated in the low end, somewhat "out of place". And it takes about 5+ seconds to actually switch the mode (during which no sound at all plays). That's a tad bit annoying, but I am not using it much so not really a problem. The second small gripe I have is that the ARC cannot output to both Headphone + Powered Monitors at the same time. There is also no convenient switch, you'll have to unplug the Headphones and after again some 5 seconds, it will switch output to the Monitors (L+R RCA output on the back). I have now preserved my old SDAC, hooked up to the powered monitors, but will use the ARC as my daily Headphone driver. All in all, can recommend over nearly any integrated PC soundcard for music and gaming, the price is fair, and the microphone support is quite handy.
I bought the Arc a little worried that I wouldn't be able to discern a difference between it and my computer's sound card. After setting it up, though, it has totally and utterly blown me away. Music sounds so much more crisp and full. I've been looking for a high end audio solution for a very long time now, and the Arc is by far the best audio purchase I have ever made. It drives my Sennheiser HD58X Jubilees and Klipsch ProMedia 2.1's perfectly. It's like I'm hearing my music for the first time again. I really cannot recommend the Arc enough. It will redefine your listening experience.
Before I purchased the Arc I got the Sennheiser MX1000 mostly because I have used and love Sennheiser headphones for years. When I got the MX1000 I was very disappointed with the amplification level. It didn't really seem to amplify the sound at all. I don't know about you, but when I buy an amp. I expect to have some POWER! So I decided to return the MX1000 and ordered an ARC. I just wanted to let everyone know how blown away I am. The ARC has so much more power. It is exactly what I was looking for. Music is so clear it feels like you are in the studio. In games, I can turn up the sound to hear those sneaky campers small movements. Setup is so easy, just plug it in and select your main devices in your voice chat programs. I am just all around amazed with this product. Well done!!!
This thing is legit. People were saying my voice was coming in very robot-like in voice comms & on my stream and after getting this thing it fixed that issue. Crystal clear sound! Love it!
I use my PC for a mix of audio listening, gaming, and occasional recording. Trying to find a sound output solution has been challenging. I've tried almost everything. Default motherboard output has too much noise in the output. "Gamer"-oriented sound output has more processing on the speakers and mic than I want, and come with driver complexity and compatibility issues for my setup. On the studio equipment side, it was difficult to find something that allowed me to put my headset mic and cans into the same unit and have a handy hardware volume control for the cans within easy reach. Mayflower ARC finally solved my use case. The headphone sound output is amplified and extremely clean. The headset mic input is clean. There are no driver issues to get tripped up on. There is a handy hardware volume control. I use the unit at 24bit, 96000hz for some things and 24bit, 48000hz for games, with one USB 3.0 interface. It works for me, very pleased.
Recently made the move from the tiny Fiio EK10 to the ARC. I wish I had done so sooner! After getting some more than capable headphones the ARC was my missing link. Both the sound quality and perceivable separation blew me away. I can't put into words how happy I am with this new soundstage I have the pleasure of listening to. THe sound is neutral and oh so crisp and clear. The DSP function adds buckets to the low end. This is certainly not meant to be used with music and only with games. Artillery now sounds truly terrifying. The DSP function works up to the bitrate of 96k when using the optical input, beyond that Windows throws a tantrum. To negate this I use the optical input for 192k and swap to USB input when gaming. The switch at the rear is very handy for this. Most times Windows does pick up on the change, if not it's just a mouse click away to swap them over. The unit is a nice sturdy chunk of metal. The volume knob is substantial and well finished. It's a very smart looking device that look right at home on a desc. The indicating LEDs do not flood the room with light, a welcome change from the previously blinding light the EK10 produced. To top it off their customer service is on point. Within minutes of emailing they had responded to my issue and the problem was solved. Overall: Perfect for gaming and listening to high quality audio files. A neutral sound. Great build quality and customer service.