Arcam FMJ D33 SuperDAC: Underneath the glam

Some stellar news for you music lovin’ gadget fiends here, Arcam (who really, really enjoy the fact they are based in Cambridge) has introduced its latest and highest performing Digital to Analog Converter to date; the Arcam FMJ D33 SuperDAC at a cost of er…just £2000. Don’t worry, it’s awesome, and it can certainly work out the way you’ll want it to.


Totally compatible, The 6.2kg, 433 x 370 x 110 (W x D x H) D33 looks to transform sound on the Mac, PC, iTunes, alongside hi-res files, CD, DVD, Blu-ray, set-top boxes and more, giving each source a level of performance that is engaging. These are bold, yet do-able ideas.

What’s the crack? Well, this new model uses the latest high-end dual Burr Brown PCM1792, 24bit / 192kHz converters (one per channel), twin toroidal (circular) transformers in the power supply and state-of-the-art 4-layer printed circuit boards. Sexy stuff, eh?

The D33 features an asynchronous USB input offering the convenience of computer-based music (PC or MAC) and the ability to enjoy the very latest 192kHz ultra high-resolution recordings with decent quality. Two coaxial and two optical inputs plus a professional-grade AES/EBU connection complete the line-up so everyone can take advantage of the D33’s clear performance upgrade. Worth the dosh, innit?!

What’s really cool here is that, underneath the glam, you can certainly see that Arcam’s thirty five years’ worth of audio engineering experience has really been focused in on the D33, and they should most certainly be proud of how it’s come out. Users are without question going to see the benefit of the 0.5w standby power consumption and duplex RS232 control interface (which is suitable for custom installation).

Wait… hang fire, there’s some more… phew; the filter position with both LEDs off is a “bypass” mode that misses both the FPGA filters and instead uses the stock filter in the Burr Brown DACs according to the user’s choice. For the other two, they are handled in a FPGA and are minimum-phase digital filters with a fast, slow and roll-off. Both of these filters seek to remove the pre-ringing on transients found in normal digital filters – smoothly does it Arcam, smoothly does it. Indeed, the fast roll off filter redistributes the energy from any pre-ringing until after the transient. Although this causes greater post-ringing than the standard digital filter, it results in a much more natural sound as there is no pre-ringing in live music; and we can definitely dig that.

To conclude, and leave you to get reasonably excited… this grand piece of kit (complete with a sizeable multi-stage regulated power supply, stealth mat and sound dead steel construction as well as the full IR and RS232 remote control), is available and on demonstration at Arcam Concert Dealers right now. ‘Av a gander.

For more information visit the official Arcam website: