After crafting a formidable reputation as makers of R2R DACs, clocks and DDCs, Denafrips has today announced its first network streamer, ARCE, whose proper pronunciation (“AA r – s eh”) will be enough to bring the dad jokers to the yard (myself included). It’s clear from the marketing materials that the Denafrips development team got ‘arsey’ about using an off-the-shelf streaming board or an SBC and developed their own. Why? For better sound quality.
The result is a bespoke streaming board that carries “a Quad-Core AMR Cortex Processor, high-quality crystal oscillators, LT Fast Transient Response, Low Noise, and LDO Regulators” plus a fully-customised operating system. The latter means that, out of the box, we get support for Roon Bridge, AirPlay, DLNA (including directly attached USB storage devices and SD cards) and HQPlayer NAA. Roon Ready certification is reportedly in the works. Also on the development timeline are Spotify Connect and Tidal Connect but that information comes with no promises from Denafrips as to when they will land.
There is no DAC circuitry inside ARCE so we must connect our own. On digital outputs, we count four: TOSLINK, coaxial, AES/EBU and I2S (but no USB). The two neighbouring BNC sockets are for external clocks and as the chassis is all aluminium, the ARCE is Ethernet only (with no wifi). Also worth noting is how the streaming board’s I2S output is first sent to a DSP board where it is isolated from the digital outputs with optocouplers.
Pricing on ARCE has been set at S$1349 (Singapore dollars) which at the time of writing converts to US$1008. Your choice of silver or black.
Further information: Vinshine Audio