Arcam rHead Review | InnerFidelity

One thing I love about "traditional" HiFi is the history involved. There are decades worth of breakthrough designs, some quirky stuff that didn't really work out, and ahead-of-their-time products that only made sense years down the road. A lot of headphone-only folks I know (in person and online) are not really familiar with much outside their little personal-audio bubble, so they miss out on what I consider very interesting info.

Rear Panel Detail

Take Arcam for example. Known as A&R Cambridge (get it? Arcam?), the company dropped their first product over 40 years ago. I recently had a chance to play with their first release, the A&R Cambridge A60 integrated amp, and it held up surprisingly well. The example I used was unmolested save for aging capacitors being replaced, and while not possessing the same level of fine detail as a modern Arcam integrated, it was still highly listenable. I very much enjoyed its rich midrange presentation, and in the right system it might actually be preferable to current (and more analytical) designs .

How does the rHead compare to the competition? Is the Arcam pedigree worth anything in this context? No punches pulled here—I went straight to the Wall-of-Fame-winning Lake People G109P to test the Arcam’s capabilities. I can think of many similarly priced alternatives which make the rHead look good without question—Lehmann Audio Rhinelander, Burson Soloist SL, and Woo Audio WA7 just to name a few—but that’s not really the point. I wanted to challenge the newcomer with my favorite amp in this price range.