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Mayflower ARC MK2 Gaming DAC AMP: Powerful, Portable, Nearly PERFECT


so I’ve had a lot of good things to say about the Mayflower Ark in the past there really does hold a special place in my heart because it’s the first product I ever use that really helped me understand just how amazing audio can be but it wasn’t perfect it did have a couple of opportunities but now Mayflower is back with the long-awaited Ark mark 2 that hopes to address some of that we’re gonna see if it does you ready let’s go y’all Bryan P your watch your bad C check and today we’re checking out the Ark mark tube gaming deck camp from Mayflower electronics retail it for two $69.99 the ark mark 2 is a deck and headphone amp with a microphone impact in one very small footprint the same size as the original Ark or an o2 amp or o deck unit all the magic happens in this little guy right here you guys know I don’t like to bury the good stuff at the end of the video so I guess the main question people will have here is does this unit sound better than the mark one and the answer is no it sounds largely identical the improvements here are related directly to the quality and the sound of the mic in and the feature set and one of those features is a game changer if you’re new to this party some

quick specs here it’s a 24-bit 96khz response of 20 Hertz to 20 kilohertz it has 1 watt of power at 3200 M 365 milliwatts and 150 ohm and 92 milliwatts at 600 ohms so it’s gonna drive just about everything you can throw at it and it’s got a low game mode as well so you can use it with sensitive IMS this unit like the original Ark is completely driverless so it works with Windows Mac Linux and ps4 but it also has an optical in for sources like your Xbox so you’ll get audio there with no chat support the mark 2 adds a much requested 3.5 millimeter aux in so you can now use it to amp any source that can output over a 3.5 millimeter jack the only caveat to the optical and aux inputs is that you’ll still need to power the unit this is one area where there are two really differs from the first version it included AC adept and the main reason is because if you’re running over USB you don’t need one this unit has the same output power in the same audio fidelity as the mark one but it doesn’t over bus power this feature combined with the small footprint makes this a really portable solution for your laptop and eases the idea of cable management on your desktop as well so using that optical or aux in

means you’ll need to have USB powering the unit or you’ll have to purchase an additional AC adapter which you can do by contacting Mayflower so let’s talk about the improvements to the mic in what you’re hearing right here is a mod mic five set an omni mode going directly into the input of the original arc mark one and if this unit has any one major drawback this is it for sure the mark two on the other hand increases the power available to the mic and to get more gain and clarity out of mics exactly like this as you can hear the mic quality has seen a big improvement a lot more natural bass in my voice a lot better noise floor overall so this will work with a mod mic as well as any gaming headset you have that has a splitter to break out the mic and the headphone this is also a great solution if you’ve got a laptop that only has a single combo jack and you’d like to take advantage of your headphone in a mod Mike at this point the only real drawback for me in terms of mic performance is that there’s no side tone on offer here or the ability to hear your

microphone back in your own headphones in fairness a very small amount of audio products actually offer this and there’s a big reason why the orc doesn’t to do so would require a driver and the Orcas designed specifically to be driverless Windows doesn’t really do a bang-up job of handling audio devices to begin with so being driverless make sure that no matter how hard Windows tries to mess up one of your devices with an update the arc remains unaffected the other notable improvement in addition to the mic and the aux input and the deletion of the AC adapter is the ability to switch between the RCA line outs on the rear and the headphone jack without inserting or removing a headphone plug it used to be auto switching but some people didn’t like the idea of having to plug and replug their headphone jack over and over to switch sources so now you just have a dedicated switch an important note here because some people were confused about the function of these RCA outputs this is a lineout signal which means you’ll use this to send a signal to a powered speaker system or mixer board the actual volume control for the speaker system will not be controlled by the knob on the but rather whatever speaker system or mixer you’re using to say it another way

these are not powered outputs they’re not gonna drive a speaker system by themselves and the knob on the arc is not going to control the volume in terms of how it sounds I’ve always been a fan of the audio presented by the Orcas those present a little darker to me than say the new audio or their Magnum OD stack we do still have the base DSP here and while I hardly ever use this for closed back headphones I’ve enjoyed this for a while for being able to add some bass punch to open-back headphones that have a tendency to be a little bass anemic in a closed back set that’s already a little bass heavy this is going to be overkill on everything that’s not music designed specifically for bass throw at DT 770 on this thing with the DSP gauge that you can fibrate your eyeballs I’m not joking the other thing too is that they smooth out the transition between the DSP on and off so instead of just losing signal for a few and then the volume coming right back you now have this nice slow gradual ramp back to full volume so let’s talk value because to $69.99 is not a

little bit of money functionally the only opportunity I see on the mark 2 is the fact that the actual headphone out is limited to a 3.

5 millimeter jack this meets certain phones like my fostex th xoo Ebony’s for instance don’t work without an adapter and there’s not one included for two hundred and seventy bucks you’ve got options Magnum OD stack the JD Sol atom stacks you could even do a GS X 1000 and a JD s atom which is a beast of a gaming setup and probably the most compelling in terms of value you could do a hell which ones a hundred and eighty nine bucks you’ll be seeing a full review of that very soon even the Sound Blaster g6 have 130 may cover your needs and I wanted to go deep into that value comparison on this video I really did you guys know me I really really did but once I started typing that this whole thing grew to like this freakishly long like review on one side in complete overview of the entire gaming deck and a camp stack market on the other end of this thing so this overview is gonna be a second video but I swear on my

mother I’m not gonna make you wait long for it and I promise it’s gonna be worth it it’s almost done as for the art mark 2 I’m just gonna say this if you need a mic input on your device it narrows your choices considerably if you need specific inputs like USB optical and a 3.5 millimeter input it narrows them even further and if needed to be portable as well with this kind of power handling I can only think of one unit this one I really like what Mayflower has done to the ark here all the improvements are a step in the right direction if you’ve got the budget in the functionality fits your needs it’s an easy recommend leaves for everything we talked about today down in the description I know these are in stock right now at Mayflower electronics comm and there’s stock on the way to Amazon if it’s not there already by the time you see this video in like all the Mayflower’s stuff all of this is designed manufactured built here in the US and it does have a 10 year warranty there’s always any questions hit me in the comments or drop by the discord and that’s it for this time I’m bright Pete thanks so much for watching don’t forget to hit that like button hit that sub button and until next time stay up

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