Arche Audio is the result of the teamwork between Mr Lee of Hyondae Sound Equipment and Mr Park of Pyon Sound, both of South Korea. Between the two companies, and their various artisans, they have many years of producing the highest quality products. As a team, they will combine the strengths of all parties. Initially, the results will be a line of very high quality electronics, including the Opus 6 DAC, the first digital product to be promoted by Mockingbird Distribution.
Opus 5 USB
Digital Analogue Converter Transformer
The Opus 5 DAC from Arche Audio is a USB DAC using nickel core output transformers. With a carefully selected chipset and transformer-coupled audio output, the Opus 5 is designed to produce natural sound, with sweetest and warmest tonality from digital music files.
Most USB DACs are notorious for artificial and sterile sound, despite their stellar technical specifications. These sonic characteristics are often associated with irritation and fatigue, which discourages extended listening sessions. The design of the Opus 5 began with diagnosing the above musical drawbacks of modern USB DACs, despite their ever-growing technical specs. We at Arche Audio wanted to create a USB DAC that people can listen to all day, without fatigue. The goal is warmth, sweetness, and emotional involvement from digital music files.
First, we thoroughly searched the parts suppliers in search of a musical sounding digital chipset. We have not focused on technical specs, but relied on actual listening, to find the chip sets we preferred. Through extended listening sessions, we finally selected the Texas Instruments PCM2706 chipset. Although this chipset only provides DA conversion up to 16 bit files, at 48 KHz sampling rate, the sound is natural and warm, with excellent resolution.
Second, we wanted to use the highest quality analog output stage. To accomplish this, we adopted line output transformers. The benefits of an output transformer design, for a digital application, are the most natural sound, more lifelike resolution, and constant output impedance (to maintain the same tonality throughout all frequency ranges). In a practical sense, transformers are incapable of reproducing the very oddly shaped quantization error distortion, the stair-steps, that creates the harshness we often hear with digital reproduction. For this reason, the world’s finest DACs have used transformers to help smooth the stair-steps, the result of quantization error. To enhance this anti-quantization effect, the Opus 5 uses a high impedance winding, a 2:1 step-down, and nickel core laminations.
Third, we world-class chassis manufacturing to maximize the performance of the Opus 5. The main body is entirely milled from a single piece of solid billet aluminum block for the highest rigidity. Then, we used the best quality custom RCA jacks for the finishing touch.
Recently added are XLR balanced outputs, giving the Opus 5 easy integration with any system. Which output sounds better is up to the user. In theory, balanced transformer output, driving a balanced input circuit, will have less distortion than single ended. It does sound different, and we encourage users to compare the sound of SE to Balanced, and to listen without prejudice.
The end result is that we have created a very special USB DAC with Transformer Output, at a reasonable cost, which communicates with musical souls, and touches the inner sensibility of musical emotion.
We at Arche Audio hope that music lovers will benefit from this special Opus 5 USB DAC, to enjoy digital music files year round, and find the beauty and loveliness of music, with the convenience of today’s digital playback.
2. Sampling rate: up to 48 KHz
3. Clock rate: on-chip clock generator with single 12MHz clock source
4. Digital-Analogue conversion type: 16 bit Delta Sigma stereo DAC
5. Outputs: SE and true balanced types (RCA and XLR connectors)
6. Output Transformer type: nickel-core EI-type, custom wound in house
7. No oversampling is employed
8. Input: one USB without software installation.
9. Output voltage: 3 V
10. Accepted music format: up to 16-bit and 48KHz music files
Dimension: W8″ x D5″ x H6″
Weight: 9 lbs
Opus 501 Detached Power Supply
A new addition to the Arche Audio line, the Opus 501 detached power supply, pictured above with the Opus 5, is available with the Opus 5, or by itself (for use with other USB DACs).
The Opus 501 is a detached power supply that uses an internal transformer to separate the digital source (your computer or server) from the USB DAC (also isolating the digital source from your system). Its built-in linear power supply feeds a clean voltage to the USB DAC
- The Opus 501 receives the USB signal, passes the digital signal through a 1:1 transformer, separating the signal from the low-quality DC power from your digital source
- The Opus 501 power supply (along with the Opus 5) decouples the USB DAC (and your system) from the computer hardware by use of transformers
- The Opus 501 power supply allows you to send much purer audiophile grade DC current to the USB DAC via an inbuilt linear power supply (no switching crap).
- So, the transformer prevents the coupling of digital computer noise to the DAC, and your system, and prevents potential ground loops.
- The build in power supply is a “linear” power supply, meaning it is done the old fashioned way, and not through “switching” methods which creates lots of noise.
- It comes with a silver USB cable–it is important to keep USB digital signal strength high since you are putting the signal through a transformer, therefore it comes with a high quality cable
Dimension: W8″ x D5″ x H3″
Weight: 4 lbs
Opus 5 and 501 combination
The Opus 5 and 501 are available as a pair, with the 2.5′ silver USB cable for $3,100
Opus 6 Moving Coil SUT
The Arche Audio Opus 6 moving coil cartridge step-up-transformer is a high performance step-up transformer for moving-coil cartridges. The Opus 6 has been developed over five years of extensive research and many experimental prototypes, to provide the best possible passive amplification for delicate phono signals.
Providing passive amplification (step-up), the Opus 6 is free from the electrical distortion and electronic noise of active circuits. Employing our exclusive transformer design and winding technologies, the Opus 6 renders the most musically complete retrieval of analogue music, magically presenting the most enchanting tonality and perfectly preserving the finest musical nuances.
All transformers are carefully hand-wound by our most skilled transformer artisan, while the massive monolithic case is precision-milled from the solid block of billet aluminum. The input and output sockets are also custom-manufactured by our own proprietary design, utilizing only the best materials such as the high purity phosphor bronze, Teflon insulation and the 20-micron super-thick pure gold plating.
The Opus 6 comes in two standard models:
- The L model for the cartridges with 3 or lower impedances.
- The MH model for the cartridges with 15 or higher impedances.
- Also, custom-made Opus 6s are available to suit the very special musical taste of demanding audiophiles and analogue lovers.
Gain: 29dB for the L model; 26dB for the MH model
Dimension: W180mm x D120mm x H110mm
Input and output: two pairs of RCA sockets for left and right channels, plus ground tab
Weight: 2.3Kg NET