Audio

The taste of something fine: Arcam DT-91

"All I want is a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air. With one enormous chair; Oh, wouldn't it be loverly?" This is not the sort of song the refined Arcam would sing

We've looked at tuners with aristocratic aspirations before, but none so Maharajan in their vaulting ambition. This £499 Arcam DT-91 is the filet mignon of the DAB tuner world, the Fabergé egg of digital receivers, the 24-carat gold-leaf dressing on your Swiss pralines. Slap in your monocle and light up your opium pipe Holmes, this DAB is pimp.

Arcam has carved out a fine reputation for good-quality audiophile components and the DT-91 is clearly of the same stock. While tuning in stations, you feel the irresistible urge to dab politely at its mouth (LCD) with a handkerchief. Finger prints on the fascia will not be tolerated: remove them immediately with a quote from Alexander Pope. It's difficult to stand next to the DT-91 without feeling slightly intimidated.

All the standard fare is inside -- a DAB/FM tuner (both Band 3 and L-Band) with 16 presets for storing favourite stations. The Arcam applies digital processing to the FM signal as well as the DAB. In our brief audition this morning, output from the tuner was delightfully operatic.

From the opulent living rooms of Calcutta's merchant traders to the Knightsbridge penthouses of obscenely wealthy venture capitalists, the DT-91 carries a majestic tune. Expect a full review soon, sir. -CS