Making the most of your iPod with the Arcam Solo and Totally Wired.
Arcam’s dedicated rDock and rLead allow two way communication with your iPod and Solo, with remote control and songs displayed on the Solo’s front panel. The rDock improves upon the sound quality further. And with Solo Mini, the front USB connection will work with both iPod and many other players.
The Arcam Solo range is your introduction to the new face of Arcam – this is a complete system – CD player, tuner and amplifier all combined into one sleek and user friendly package – from just NZ$ 2000 inclusive. What is unique about the Arcam Solo is its level of integration with the iPod and the performance that accompanies this.
Using Arcam’s rDock (NZ$ 500) or rLead (NZ$ 200) you are able to suddenly have control over your iPod via the Solos own remote control. But better than this is the iPod information is presented on the display of the Arcam - all song information etc and this makes for a much better level of operation. In essence it means the Arcam Solo has a very flexible, efficient and cost effective hard disc option. This is very smart thinking and makes an already worthwhile product much better.
The rDock is a weighty standalone device that expects to sit on or beside your Solo. Independently powered, connections offered at the back include phono audio out, phono video out, S–video out and a connector that will allow you to connect it to the company's Solo Mini, Music and Movie systems.
The brushed metal design is minimalist as it could be and the only detailing is a button on the front accompanied by a blue or red light. That button isn't, as you might expect, an on/off switch in the traditional sense of the word, but a switch that allows you to decide whether or not while your iPod is in the dock you want it charging.
Arcam say this not only allows you to let the iPod run out before recharging (it’s better for your battery) but because the more astute listeners at the company believe that without the charging you get a better sound running off the iPod battery alone. There‘s logic in that, since mains power can induce interference in audio devices. No hiss, no feedback issues, no dropout, just very clear sound. How is this possible? The rDock includes a pre-amp for iPod with high performance op-amps and low noise, double-regulated power supplies. Hooked up and routed through studio amplification and reference monitors, playback sounds better than you‘d expect from a device loaded with compressed audio files
Learn more about the rDock at the Arcam site by clicking here. And more about the rLead here.
Review Excerpt - –
Top products for the home: audio systems
Best High-End Audio iPod Integration: Solo and rLead
‘I’ve often lamented the fact that the high–end–audio industry has largely ignored the iPod. After all, Apple’s player supports both uncompressed and lossless music formats, and the iPod⁔s line–level audio output is as good as that of many CD players–in other words, the iPod can be a high–quality source that stores hundreds of full-quality albums. So it was a significant event when upscale U.K. audio vendor ARCAM released its rLead iPod connector . Designed for use with the company’s acclaimed Solo all-in-one stereo system, the rLead is, basically, a cable that connects your iPod to the Solo for playback. But the Solo is smarter than your typical stereo: once your iPod is connected, you can control it from the Solo’s remote as if the iPod were an integral part of the system—playlists, artists, albums, and genres are all browse-able via the Solo’s own screen, as if the iPod’s contents were on a hard drive inside the stereo itself. (If you have a USB power adapter handy, the rLead can charge your iPod, as well, via the attached USB plug.)
Of course, to use the rLead, you need a Solo, but that’s a good thing, as the Solo is an Apple-like hybrid of functionality and simplicity–in a single, small, attractive enclosure, you get a CD player, a 75–Watt amplifier, and an AM/FM radio, all of audiophile pedigree. As one reviewer put it, ‘If Apple made amps and CD players, this is what they’d look like. This is what they’d feel like, too.‘ For discerning music fans, iPod listening doesn’t get much better than this.’ –DF
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