Focal has released the $3799 Arche DAC/headphone amp simultaneously with its new high-end closed Stellia headphones (see here for Stellia information).

The Arche electronics were developed for Focal by Micromega, another French company with which its equipment is often combined in some markets. It combines twin balanced DACs with two alternate amplification circuits which are user-selectable. 

The DAC section parallels twin AK 4490 DACs operating at an extended 32-bit/768kHz, and processing PCM to 384kHz, as well as DSD up to DSD 256, from the USB-B input. The optical and coaxial, digital inputs operate to 192kHz. 

The converted analogue signals are then routed to a choice of two separate pure class-A amplification circuits, user-selected as ‘voltage’ and ‘hybrid’. The ‘Voltage’ option is a pure current amplifier providing an output impedance of just 0.1 ohm, while the ‘Hybrid’ offers a higher output impedance with which Focal says “the tonal balance slightly favours the bass, midrange and extreme treble registers”.

Focal has also nicely served its existing headphone customers by including dedicated solutions for each of its Utopia, Stellia, Clear (pictured above), Elegia and Elear headphone models, via presets with the products’ names. Both balanced and unbalanced headphone sockets are available.

Inputs to the Arche include one unbalanced analogue RCA, one USB-B input for computer connection, and one each of coaxial digital S/PDIF and optical digital input, both operating to a maximum 192kHz sampling rate. A headphone stand can be attached to the top of the Arche.

Other specs:

Maximum power: 2 x 1W @ 1kHz under 32Ω  
Frequency response: 10Hz to 100kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): < 0,001%
Signal-to-noise ratio: > 116dB @ 32 Ω (Class A)
Dimensions (HLD): 321 x 200 x 297mm
Weight: 4.65kg

Price is $3799.00

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