Arcam Solo Mini

Hard to believe how much plant on the floor space of a shoebox fits. The Arcam solo mini with nine centimeters is so flat, that little more than a pair of slippers is found space.

For a full CD-receiver with dual tuner (FM/DAB) it has enough anyway. And because increasingly other sources play a role in modern families, the developer in Cambridge have also thought of the MP3 group.

The solo mini is again about a USB stick; via its USB port on the front of music files from external storage media, iPod owners can leave with the optional remote control the Apple player available rDock (200 euros) and in the display of the receiver display artist, album or song title. For other MP3 players or music phones, there is still an additional audio input with mini jack on the front.

Speaking of front: the design of the Arcam impressed by concentrating on the essentials. With a mixture of British understatement and German Bauhaus functionality, it dispenses with decorative Klimbim. All buttons are grouped together in a bar across the front that allows easily to reach and operate safely. Even the drawer was the minimalist look and the low height to the victims.

In place of the usual slipcase, Arcam deploys a slot-shaped slot-in drive as it used to sample Apple in his notebooks.

The Arcam transport by the colleagues of the computer industry but differs in two important respects: he works much fixer and treats herself to no pesky Memorial seconds at the discharge. In addition, he pushes the disc so far out of the housing, that easily accessible it through the center hole, without the data layer with your fingers to grope.

The DAB tuner got bought a telescopic antenna, that memories of the good old transistor radio can be. Who renounces in Germany (in the absence of choice of channels) digital radio reception, can this detail owed the British clientele, but also unscrew and keep safe – until the program situation improves in this country.

Inside, the mini can not deny its audiophile origin: ferrite tiles on major ICs to eliminate mechanical and electrical troubles, as is custom with Arcam. Circuits of the large FMJ series (“Faithfull musical Joy”) and same power transistors such as in the sister model solo music, the developers promise to further sound profit. However, the space in the housing is scarce, which is why the toroidal transformer with fewer windings must be as in the most integrated amplifiers. AUDIO had been CD players in the test, whose Trafo was more ample sized. However the power plant in the solo mini must mobilize only about 30 watts per channel, more than adequate for volume – if the connected speaker.

Who rises the solo mini for around 1000 euros, must combine a few boxes themselves. Because the German Arcam distributor of GP acoustics has also KEF in the program, speakers of the BBC Designer are expected to be at the dealer often Kent next to the solo mini.

A chic classy box like the KEF XQ_10 (pair price: 1400 euro) fits also optically perfectly to the elegant design of the Arcam. So, combined AUDIO the black luster at first with the solo mini – and was disappointed. Marianne Faithfulls voice (“before the poison”, naive) lack of tone. For the heights came almost on present and a little zischt; as the Secondary seater in the concert were very quiet with tinfoil paper Crackle.

This could be in terms of the Arcam developer. So hastily replaced the noble XQ_10 against the larger, but also significantly cheaper (500 euro) iQ_30, Kef, and Lo and behold: the weaknesses were blown away. Marianne Faithfull kept her slightly throaty, Smelly timbre, listened to but much healthier – such as the character singer had spent a couple of weeks holiday at a resort.

The XQ_10 support lacked the Arcam no doubt by a subwoofer. In addition, the amplifiers ICs seemed not quite cope with the speakers. This was also the cross-check on the Denon receiver RCD-CX_1 (see page 37), with the small KEF sounded much better. Just compact Design boxes are often more difficult to drive than large models. Who chooses the speakers go to the optics, maybe never stops, including his solo mini is audible in the location.

Because both the brand new iQ_30 Kef and the elderly Canton Vento 802 (test in AUDIO 10/06) prepared the small mini listening pleasure. In fun and dynamic, he hardly was the considerably more powerful Denon receiver, sometimes even surpassed these when it comes to a rock band with live character in the listening room. (“American Prayer”, Dave Stewart & his rock fabulous Orchestra, Sony BMG).

Tend to be weiträuming and with powerful, open high-frequency reproduction the Arcam for every style of music – are suitable as long as the boxes with the when in harmony. The KEF iQ_30 proved to be hot tip in this respect. For about 500 euros, she brings the Sonic qualities of the solo mini accentuated – which leaves even the same expensive complete set of audio Pro behind this combination.


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