Arcam have always advocated analogue sound. That is before they were then drawn into the realm of Home Cinema and digital sources. Having said that, the brand has developed another high-end phono preamplifier!
Although the Arcam rPhono phono preamplifier belongs to the manufacturer's 'R' line, you can immediately tell that Arcam had more in mind than just a small phono box!
The circuit has been optimised to minimise noise level and distortion. The multi-layer PCB maximises the quality of the ground plane to minimise interference between components. It has several switches allowing for best compatibility with your vinyl turntable's phono cartridge, moving magnet and moving coil alike. The resistive (50-550 ohms), capacitive (120-440 pF) loading and gain can be adjusted. The MM position enables gains of 30, 40, 50 and 52 dB, which makes it also compatible with high output MC cartridges. The MC position enables a fixed gain of 30 dB, along with the MM gain range. This produces gains of 60, 70, 80 and 82 dB! It can definitely be paired with the most difficult Arcam rPhono MC cartridges in terms of output level! It also has a rumble filter that eliminates low frequencies below 45 Hz. This produces a cleaner sound with minimum speaker displacement in the sub-bass range.
The components have been selected to obtain a very precise RIAA curve. The elegant cast aluminium housing is a good clue of the overall build quality.
And the sonic performance is on a par with the efforts that the manufacturer from Cambridge has placed in the product! It exhibits the distinctive sound signature that has made the brand successful for over forty years. Arcam's rPhono phono preamplifier is very neutral and transparent. Playback is very subtle, yet punchy and full-bodied. It showcases the distinctive values, hence the qualities, of the Hi-Fi cartridge you pair it with.
Its musicality, rich timbre and settings make the Arcam rPhono versatile and a top pick in this category! Highly recommended!
SoundStage - Best of CES 2017 Franck
Compatible: MM and MC
Frequency response: 20 Hz-50 kHz +/- 0.2dB, -3dB at 7 Hz
Frequency response with rumble filter: 45 Hz-50 kHz +/- 0.2dB, -3 dB at 20 Hz, -13 dB at 10 Hz
Distortion (at 1 kHz, 5V Out), MC input, 30 dB gain: 0.005%
Distortion (at 1 kHz, 5V Out), MM input, 30 dB gain: 0.0015%
MC gain: 60, 70, 80 or 82 dB
MM gain: 30, 40,50 or 52 dB
MC input impedance: 50-550Ω + 1nF
MM input impedance: 47kΩ + 120, 220, 340 or 440 pF
Nominal output level: 0.5 V RMS
Max. output level: 6V RMS
Power supply: 12V DC/2.0A
Dimensions (WxHxD): 194 x 44 x 124mm
Weight: 1.1 kg
Accessory: stereo interconnect cable