The ARC digital amplifier by Totem Acoustic represent the speaker maker's first foray into connected amplification. The company recently launched a Kickstarter campaign
to help the fund the initial production of its new ARC amplifier, which is priced at $350 per unit.
The ARC campaign is currently well on its way to being funded, with $23,461 pledged as of this writing. The campaign's goal is $100,000, and at this pace it should meet its goal. A pledge of $25 only gets you a T-shirt, but a pledge of $250 gets you one of the first ARCs and a T-shirt. That option already has 36 backers, with a limit of 100. A $750 pledge gets you an ARC plus a pair of KIN Mini speakers, and a pledge of $1200 adds a KIN Mini Sub to the package. Finally, if you are a dealer you can order a KIN 10-pack for a $2400 pledge.
According to Totem, the ARC is the "likely to be the first in a series of new-school digital amps designed to offer high-fidelity sound reproduction," that are designed to be attached to passive speakers. Totem is betting it'll be a popular option for music lovers seeking simplicity—you can stream CD-quality sound directly to the ARC from a smart device using Bluetooth with aptX audio technology.
The ARC connects to sources with USB; its DAC can handle up to 24-bit/192 kHz audio, and it provides 60 watts per channel of power for 8-ohm stereo speaker systems. THD at that power rating is quite low at 0.05%—perfect for critical listening—and it works with 4-ohm speakers.
“All you need is a set of nice speakers and the ARC. Done.” says Robert Valtierra, the inventor of the ARC. The ARC amp uses Class D amplification, which allows it to stay cool in a compact enclosure. An app for iOS and Android allows you to select or customize the system EQ. The ARC also includes dual subwoofer outputs.