New SS Integrated from ARC DSi200 ...

...MSRP at $5,995. Has anybody heard this yet? Interested to hear from existing ARC amp owners who might have switched over to this new SS amp from ARC. Here's a link with an overview of the new amp from arcdb:
It looks like it might be a switching amp since my google search produced a webpage noting that it got an "Energy Star" rating. Also, no heat sinks and very little in the way of ventilation through the top of the case. Could be a fan doing the work but I'm thinking this is a next gen digital amp.
I think you are looking at a prototype photo on the ARC data base. ARC own website just says comming soon and provides no technical data.
It's more than a prototype as ARC has been demoing the unit with its dealers (at least they have done so at my local ARC dealer) to gather feedback on customer receptivity for a SS integrated from them at this price point. By the way, arcdb also had the Ref2 phono and Ref5 linestage previews before the official announcements on ARC's web site. Anyway, for those folks who have had the opportunity to hear this new design from ARC, please share your thoughts. I recognize that this may be way early in terms of the public's exposure to this new unit. Thx
I listened to this puppy today at my local dealer and was very impressed. For the record, the picture linked above looks identical to what I heard. The dealer felt it wasn't fully broken in (had about 200 hours, and he thought 400 was optimal, which is what I've heard about digital amps) but it sounded very good, nonetheless. It was used with an Ayre cx-7 and a pair of Proac Future 5's (I'm not sure what the cabling was). I was actually there to audition the McIntosh MA6600, but the dealer felt that the ARC amp would be a better mate with my Dali MS-4 Euphonias, because he felt the MA6600 is too forward for a ribbon (which isn't exactly what I felt).

It's obviously hard to give a proper comparison, as they had different cabling, and one had a plasma between the speakers, the other had a tall AV unit.

With those caveats in mind, here's what I thought:

Sound staging was very good, left to right, but the stage was perhaps a little narrower and deeper than the McIntosh, with the same speakers (but a Mac cd player). Again, this could be because of the plasma between the speakers with the Arc setup, although I would have that that a reflective surface, such as glass, would have made the soundstage shallower, not deeper. The setup with the Macs made for a larger soundstage in height and width.

Overall the tone was very pleasant. The dealer felt it had a warmer sound than the Mac; however--and this shows you how subjective this all is--to me it sounded a bit more congested in the midrange. Bass was very competent. Highs were the most surprising, as thats what bothered me with the other Class D integrateds I've heard. Highs were free from any grain or edge, which is hard to do with a ribbon tweeter, in my experience.

Fit and finish are first rate: It's very attractive , especially the display which is also one of the clearest I've seen from across a room (plus, it's nice to be able to turn it off, or select from a range of brightness settings). Having 2 balanced inputs is great, and a rare thing for integrateds.

Listening to the same track (Bonny Rait's "The Glow"), which seems to be recorded on a slightly low level, it seemed like the Mac had a little more power, as I had to crank to the Arc up higher to get to the same level (by my judgement). It's not like I was anywhere near 100, so it doesn't really matter, and I think this has more to do with Mac's generous headroom (a conservative 200 WPC) than the Arc being under-powered. Just thought I'd note it for full disclosure.

I think this is a very appealing integrated (I'm not going to get into price, because that's relative) and, depending on what's up the chain, could easily make someone--even me--happy long term. If anyone has any specific questions, let me know and I'll write back. It's late and my memory is getting foggy anyway.
Thx Mimberman for sharing your listening impressions. I guess the unit is out there at dealers for buyers to audition so hopefully we can get more comments from other folks who have had a chance to listen to this new product from ARC.
Here is Stereophile's Neil Gader, reporting on the DSi200 at RMAF:
Hifi News' March 2010 edition just gave the DSi200 a very positive review.
Just heard one tonight, quite wonderful, and it's not even broke in yet. I expect great things from it. Even has a mono switch! And for all you constant whiners about heat/amps, this is babyfingers cool to the touch.

Any other real world- experiences with this amp?

I'm wondering how it would compare to the 50W ARC VSI-60 integrated Valve amp, more specific concerning how those two differ in sound? Esp. when powering moderate sensitive speakers in the 88-90 db-range.


Many people thought the Sophia IIIs, driven by the DSi200, were some of the best sound of the show when Wilson´s Peter McGrath demoed the new speakers in Gothenburg, Sweden last weekend.
@ Cmalak.

I've just bought this amp a couple of days ago in Germany.

I upgraded from a Krell KAV 500i and this amp is amazing!!

The voices sound wonderful and it has a much more relaxing sound compared to the Krell. And it still needs a 600 hrs burning in so i have some time to go. ;-)so should be improving more.

Also the bass sounds very good and strong, almost at the same level like the Krell.

But if we talk about power the DSI is no match for the Krell
Thx for the feedback Denona1xva. Enjoy your new amp. ARC makes great products.