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  1. #1
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    The New Arcam receiver AVR 400

    Has anyone got the chance to audition the new Arcam AVR 400? If so, what is your opinion of their sound quality? I heard so many good things about the legendary sound of Arcam. So what is so special about their sound and what differentiates Arcam sound from other sounds? Is The Arcam sound that extraordinary? Any idea how much is it selling for in Canada or U.S.? I understand Arcam products sell at a premium. Does their "unique sound" justify the premium price? Thank you all for your valuable comments.
    Last edited by ken88; 02-07-2011 at 11:57 AM.

  2. #2
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    I heard a recent Arcam receiver but not sure of the model, it sold for $4 or 5k. It was impressive but it should at that price. With HT technology changing the way it does I can't see going that route.

    Arcam first gained reputation fast for offering outstanding sound at a budget price then they took their game upstream. They still make some of the best CD players around in their price range, IMO. Overall sound is system dependent but in general you can usually count on Arcam being open, very detailed and quick. Arcam amps have also amazed me at the speaker loads they are capable of driving. The Arcam HT receiver's strong point is they can sound very good in 2-channel as well as HT.
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  3. #3
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    I just found out that the unit retails at $2,600 and is available as from next week in Canada. I am pretty sure they are already available in U.S. I am just curious to know how much are they selling for - should be at least 20% cheaper. Has anyone auditioned it and what is your impression? Does the high pricetag justify the product? Thanks

  4. #4
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    This is the one I heard http://www.hometheater.com/receivers...0_av_receiver/ the AVR-600. I have yet to hear an Arcam that wasn't worth it's price tag. I'll have to check to see if the dealer has the AVR-400
    Mark Levinson #512 SACD & 532h power
    Pass Labs XP-10 preamp
    Clearaudio Performance DC & Maestro v2 E, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    JBL 4367's & SAM3ha
    Revel S30's & SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet & Surgex SA15&20

  5. #5
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    Now that the Arcam AVR 400's have been out in the market for a while, can any new owners share their views and experiences about their sound quality, user-friendliness regarding their firmware updates, etc. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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    Does anybody know how the firmware upgrade will be handled on this model?

  7. #7
    RGA
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    I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

    Here's why. It has nothing to do with the sound quality - Arcam and most of the upper scale receivers have pretty good sound for music replay. I heard an older flagship Arcam and it sounded pretty good - about as good as their dedicated integrated.

    The problem is that the flagship home theaters are basically obsolescence boxes that in a few years will lack one or other important feature - how many 5-8 year old flagship $5,000 receivers have HDMI 1.4 inputs and ouptuts and 1080p upscaling and 3D support etc etc?

    What makes more sense to me is to purchase three or four 2 channel dedicated power amplifiers. Decent ones like the Rotel RB 1050 can be had for about $400 each. 4 of them give you eight channels and cost $1600 (and less if you buy used - no reason to pay new prices for power amps as they'll last decades). Power amplification done this way will better any receiver I should imagine. Now the difference you can buy either a receiver with preouts on the back that has all the "current" features like the $599 Yamaha RX-V667 which will do pretty much everything you could possibly want. It has preamps for all 7 channels so you simply connect an RCA cable to the power amp - easy. http://hometheatergears.com/yamaha/y...x-v667-review/

    Here's a What Hi-Fi Review http://www.whathifi.com/Review/Yamaha-RX-V667/

    All of this costs a lot less than the Arcam and while the Arcam may have an edge in sound quality of the preamp - my bet is that the Rotel or other dedicated power amps will trump that.

    With my proposal in 5 years when the Arcam is completely out of date - you might get 1/5 what you paid for it. Receivers are basically worthless in the trade in shop. in 5 years the Yamaha will also be out of date but so what? You paid $600 and you can probably sell it for $200 and then just buy a new Yammie with even more and better features - when you only get 1/5 for the $2500 receiver and lose $2000 on it - well losing $400 in trade is acceptable losing $2000 is tough to take. Remember nobody will want a used out of date receiver for the "sound quality" since they will get WAY better sound from an Arcam Delta 290 integrated for $300. And in 5 years the yamaha $600 receiver will "do more" than the 5 year old flagship Arcam - this is why receivers are worthless. my dealer sells old $4000 receivers for $250 and even then I wouldn't buy them. Too much stuff inside them and when they fail it will cost three times that to fix the damn thing.

    You don't have to get rid of the power amps - they don't really go out of date.

    A dedicated processor is another option - but it needs to have the features and be reasonably priced IMO for it to be worthwhile.

    Advantages of Yamaha/Rotel

    1) Less Expensive
    2) Better power amplifier sound quality
    3) Easier upgrade path for the processing and you'll lose less in 5-8 years when you sell the receiver/processor
    4) if one thing breaks it's not a total loss. If for instance something big fails in the Arcam out of warranty it's pretty much a paper weight - repair rates are very high. If one power amp fails - sure you lose money on the one power amp but a $400 power amp is better than $2500+ receiver. Further you saved money with the Yamaha/Rotel to offset a failure. Also, separates don't get as hot and failure is less likely than with a receiver to begin with due to better build. Each Rotel has a toroidal transformer versus one shared one in the receiver.

    Disadvantages - takes up more space - 5 boxes rather than one box. Although frankly the five boxes to me makes the stereo look a lot sexier and look a lot more like a serious home theater system as opposed to receiver which is analogous to the "All in One Printer" does everything but nothing well.

    The receiver advantage

    1) Space saver
    2) Easier to set-up
    3) May have a better preamp - but it may not - until someone directly compares them you might be surprised - my $399 Marantz receiver "sounds" better than my top of the line Pioneer Elite receiver. I would not assume that the Arcam is better because it costs more and it's a more famous audiophile brand name. It may sound better but Yamaha has bounced back and Yamaha has a huge economy of scale advantage over a small outfit like Arcam.

    Disadvantages of Arcam or other upper scale receiver
    1) would likely have a few more features than the $599 Yamaha but in 3 years the next $599 Yamaha receiver would easily beat out the Arcam. You take a much bigger loss if you trade up
    2) if one thing goes wrong the entire amp goes wrong - far costlier to fix and if unfixable out of warranty you lose far more money. I worked at a store that went through 4 receivers in 6 months from reputable names - so...
    3) less versatile
    4) costs more

    And ultimately it is number 4. My route runs the system at about $2200 and gives you pretty much all the features available with much superior power amplification. You could always buy a dedicated preamp with a pass through to the home theater for serious two channel music - with the dedicated power amps you have more possibilities.



    I find the British receiver makers behind in absolute terms when it comes to features
    Last edited by RGA; 04-02-2011 at 07:25 PM.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

    Here's why. It has nothing to do with the sound quality - Arcam and most of the upper scale receivers have pretty good sound for music replay. I heard an older flagship Arcam and it sounded pretty good - about as good as their dedicated integrated.

    The problem is that the flagship home theaters are basically obsolescence boxes that in a few years will lack one or other important feature - how many 5-8 year old flagship $5,000 receivers have HDMI 1.4 inputs and ouptuts and 1080p upscaling and 3D support etc etc?

    What makes more sense to me is to purchase three or four 2 channel dedicated power amplifiers. Decent ones like the Rotel RB 1050 can be had for about $400 each. 4 of them give you eight channels and cost $1600 (and less if you buy used - no reason to pay new prices for power amps as they'll last decades). Power amplification done this way will better any receiver I should imagine. Now the difference you can buy either a receiver with preouts on the back that has all the "current" features like the $599 Yamaha RX-V667 which will do pretty much everything you could possibly want. It has preamps for all 7 channels so you simply connect an RCA cable to the power amp - easy. http://hometheatergears.com/yamaha/y...x-v667-review/

    Here's a What Hi-Fi Review http://www.whathifi.com/Review/Yamaha-RX-V667/

    All of this costs a lot less than the Arcam and while the Arcam may have an edge in sound quality of the preamp - my bet is that the Rotel or other dedicated power amps will trump that.

    With my proposal in 5 years when the Arcam is completely out of date - you might get 1/5 what you paid for it. Receivers are basically worthless in the trade in shop. in 5 years the Yamaha will also be out of date but so what? You paid $600 and you can probably sell it for $200 and then just buy a new Yammie with even more and better features - when you only get 1/5 for the $2500 receiver and lose $2000 on it - well losing $400 in trade is acceptable losing $2000 is tough to take. Remember nobody will want a used out of date receiver for the "sound quality" since they will get WAY better sound from an Arcam Delta 290 integrated for $300. And in 5 years the yamaha $600 receiver will "do more" than the 5 year old flagship Arcam - this is why receivers are worthless. my dealer sells old $4000 receivers for $250 and even then I wouldn't buy them. Too much stuff inside them and when they fail it will cost three times that to fix the damn thing.

    You don't have to get rid of the power amps - they don't really go out of date.

    A dedicated processor is another option - but it needs to have the features and be reasonably priced IMO for it to be worthwhile.

    Advantages of Yamaha/Rotel

    1) Less Expensive
    2) Better power amplifier sound quality
    3) Easier upgrade path for the processing and you'll lose less in 5-8 years when you sell the receiver/processor
    4) if one thing breaks it's not a total loss. If for instance something big fails in the Arcam out of warranty it's pretty much a paper weight - repair rates are very high. If one power amp fails - sure you lose money on the one power amp but a $400 power amp is better than $2500+ receiver. Further you saved money with the Yamaha/Rotel to offset a failure. Also, separates don't get as hot and failure is less likely than with a receiver to begin with due to better build. Each Rotel has a toroidal transformer versus one shared one in the receiver.

    Disadvantages - takes up more space - 5 boxes rather than one box. Although frankly the five boxes to me makes the stereo look a lot sexier and look a lot more like a serious home theater system as opposed to receiver which is analogous to the "All in One Printer" does everything but nothing well.

    The receiver advantage

    1) Space saver
    2) Easier to set-up
    3) May have a better preamp - but it may not - until someone directly compares them you might be surprised - my $399 Marantz receiver "sounds" better than my top of the line Pioneer Elite receiver. I would not assume that the Arcam is better because it costs more and it's a more famous audiophile brand name. It may sound better but Yamaha has bounced back and Yamaha has a huge economy of scale advantage over a small outfit like Arcam.

    Disadvantages of Arcam or other upper scale receiver
    1) would likely have a few more features than the $599 Yamaha but in 3 years the next $599 Yamaha receiver would easily beat out the Arcam. You take a much bigger loss if you trade up
    2) if one thing goes wrong the entire amp goes wrong - far costlier to fix and if unfixable out of warranty you lose far more money. I worked at a store that went through 4 receivers in 6 months from reputable names - so...
    3) less versatile
    4) costs more

    And ultimately it is number 4. My route runs the system at about $2200 and gives you pretty much all the features available with much superior power amplification. You could always buy a dedicated preamp with a pass through to the home theater for serious two channel music - with the dedicated power amps you have more possibilities.



    I find the British receiver makers behind in absolute terms when it comes to features
    I have done basically what you have suggested. EXCEPT that my receiver is an
    Integra 6.9. AND you only need buy an amp for the fronts, most higher end receivers
    can handle surround duty quite handily.
    Obsolescence is no longer the problem it once was, there was quite a turmoil, and my receiver got caught in it, but things have for the most part settled down.
    2000p IS QUITE A WAYS DOWN THE ROAD, and sound codecs and the like really
    can't get much better, and you can basically ignore marketing gimmicks like 3D unless
    you just have to have the latest thing .
    Nothing is going to beat 1080p, lossless 7.1 for a very long time, if ever.
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  9. #9
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    Hi Ken88,

    I bought an Arcam AVR 200 when they first came out and I think it was obsolete within 6 months after I paid $1400 for it. Better to heed the advice of RGA and pixelthis.

    I've had the Arcam since about 2002 or 2002 and where H.T. is concerned there really isn't any sound that I can clearly declare as being uniquely Arcam and it does not floor me but it's still working so i'm still using it.

  10. #10
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    Thanks to all of you for your great advice. Please keep posting for any other info. Thanks again.

  11. #11
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    Sigh....

    After running throgh several rounds of HT receivers in my main rig, I must agree with this. Although my 4 year old Onkyo 905 is not totally out of date and I don't intend to go 3D anytime soon, it is angering to have big money (for me at least) HT components go obsolete so fast. I intend to go seperates next time that way I can swap out the pre-amp and keep the power amps. I don't have the room for a ton of power amps but a good fat 5 channel power amp would be the way to go.

    Worf

  12. #12
    Forum Regular winston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worf101
    After running throgh several rounds of HT receivers in my main rig, I must agree with this. Although my 4 year old Onkyo 905 is not totally out of date and I don't intend to go 3D anytime soon, it is angering to have big money (for me at least) HT components go obsolete so fast. I intend to go seperates next time that way I can swap out the pre-amp and keep the power amps. I don't have the room for a ton of power amps but a good fat 5 channel power amp would be the way to go.

    Worf
    and I seconded this quote

    RGA, said it all anyway that's o lot of good advice at any budget for free (and I hope the "OP" Heed to those advice) cause I finally got the memo after $$$$$$

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  13. #13
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    Here's why. It has nothing to do with the sound quality - Arcam and most of the upper scale receivers have pretty good sound for music replay. I heard an older flagship Arcam and it sounded pretty good - about as good as their dedicated integrated.

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