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$2,000 v. Sky the Limit

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by Jesse350, May 30, 2004.

  1. Jesse350

    Jesse350
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    One of my friends told me I should not purchase the Arcam AVR 300 since it goes for only $2,000 and my B&W 802s (Nautilus) sells for $8,000. When I soon listen to the 300 (hopefully with the 802s) at a dealer, if I find that I like it, I plan to purchase it. Do any of you feel the same as my friend. I really do not have much room for separates so thus, the receiver. I plan to biamp two of the channels of the receiver. Thanks for any feedback.

    Jesse
     
  2. RaceTripper

    RaceTripper
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    That's a pretty narrow-minded statement for your friend to make. What's his rational?

    I spent about about $7K on my set of Dynaudio Audience speakers and the AVR300 I have is an excellent match for them. I'm very pleased with the result. Plenty of power for both stereo and 7.1 playback, and the sound quality is first rate.

    Go listen to the AVR300 and decide for yourself. Don't let your friend make the decision for you. He's not the one who has to live with the choice.

    Dean
     
  3. warrj

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    Do any of you feel the same as my friend. I really do not have much room for separates so thus, the receiver. I plan to biamp two of the channels of the receiver. Thanks for any feedback.

    It's not a question of money. The Arcam receiver is simply not capable of delivering enough current to drive the 802s properly. At best it will sound awful, at worst you'll damage the speakers. For Nautilus speakers (especially the big ones) you need serious amplification. Names like Krell, Chord, Bryston and Theta spring to mind.

    Regards,

    Jules.
     
  4. RaceTripper

    RaceTripper
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    That makes more sense. I'm unfamiliar with those speakers, but to say they need more power is a better way to put it.

    Dean
     
  5. Daneel

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    That is a bit strong. If you are only using them at low voume, I'd imagine it will sound fine. As soon as you start to push it though things may go wrong. I'd be worried about damage.
     
  6. rags

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    This isnt really going to help if your on a tight budget but I would only use monoblocks or at the very least a big power amp as per the names mentioned above to drive the 802's. An Arcam P7 might be good enough if you biamp the front two but forget about the AVR300. Damage issues aside there would be a significant mismatch in terms of price between your speakers and your amp - I know this is big generalisation but I cant help feeling that a reallocation of budget ie maybe $5500 speakers & a $4500 amp would produce significantly better result than what you are thinking about.

    The amplification on the AVR300 simply isnt good enough to do the 802's justice. Your friend isnt being narrow minded at all - he is right. Watts, ohms etc aside I personally wouldnt use te AVR300 to drive anything more than a $3-4000 speaker package (and thats for all 7 speakers).
     
  7. fvdbergh

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    I understand your point on driving 802s. Would an AVR300 have enough power to drive a CDM 5.1 set up (CDM9 front / CDM1 back) ?
     
  8. rags

    rags
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    Not sure about the CDM9's. Their quoted at 8 ohms impedence but im pretty sure they drop down to less than half that. The AVR300 should put in a respectable performance but it depends on how hard you want to drive the speakers - you would have to try it yourself but personally I feel its on the limit.
     
  9. warrj

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    I understand your point on driving 802s. Would an AVR300 have enough power to drive a CDM 5.1 set up (CDM9 front / CDM1 back) ?

    I think it would struggle. IIRC the CDM9 shares some drivers with 804 and is known to be almost as hard to drive properly as a proper Nautilus. IMHO it's a bit of a pointless speaker really - nearly as expensive as a Nautilus, hard to drive and yet not nearly as transparent as a Nautilus.

    Have you considered the newer 700 series? I'm not sure how current hungry they are.

    Regards,

    Jules.
     
  10. lowrider

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    I believe the power should cost the same as the speakers to garanty good results, of course there are exceptions, but that is not one for sure... :rolleyes:
     
  11. Jesse350

    Jesse350
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    I want to thank you guys for your advice about the AVR 300. I should have mentioned that for the last ten years I have been using a Krell KST-100 amp (100 watts at 8 ohms and 200 watts at 4 ohms). It still sounds very good to me at the volume levels I use. I want to get into home theatre and thus, the reason for buying a new receiver or amp if I can figure out how to put everything component into this apartment. Thanks again.

    Jesse :confused:
     
  12. Jesse350

    Jesse350
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    I should have said that it would be difficult to fit every component in our living room in this NYC apartment. Sorry about that. :confused:

    Jesse
     
  13. RaceTripper

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    Then it may be reasonable to audition the AVR300, since it has the same 8 ohm power rating. If you ever move to a larger place and want more volume, you can always add a more powerful outboard amp.

    Personally, I would rather have better audio quality and be somewhat underpowered if I had to make the choice. The Dynaudios I have on my AVR300 could benefit from more power (they also present a relatively difficult load on amps), but I am quite pleased.

    Admittedly, I've not heard the Nautilus, so don't know how they compare to the Dyns (4 ohm, 86 db sens.) in terms of efficiency and power requirements. But I can drive my Dyns to reasonably loud levels in my 14x22x8.5 room.
     
  14. lowrider

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    The same rating means nothing, but you can keep the Krell for the front channels and use the receiver as processor and for the other channels...
     
  15. rags

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    The Krell you have will give out a lot more juice than the AVR300. I agree with Lowrider the amps arent in the same league - rating means nothing.
     
  16. RaceTripper

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    I didn't mean to imply identical ratings are the same across amps. But Arcam tends to rate conservatively, so when they say 100WPC, they mean that with all channels driven. And if the AVR300 does a good job with Dyns, it'll do a good job with many speakers.

    But I'm also aware of Krell quality and power and don't dispute its merits.

    Neverthless, the best way to tell is to audition, especially in these price ranges.

    Dean
     
  17. crion

    crion
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    Having listened to the 802 quite a bit I can testify that they do require grunt to come into their own. I have not measured or listened to AVR300 yet I'm going today to help set it up at a girlfriends house though.

    If you have not yet purchased speakers I would rather recommend Revel speakers as they are a better load on the amplifier and would let them perform well. The 802 and above are notorious to be grumpy when it comes to electronics.

    So go Revel and your AVR300 will be fine to biamp with. I also think Revel has a more natural tweeter sound. Closer to Meridian in my opinion (which I use).
     
  18. Jesse350

    Jesse350
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    Thanks for your info but I have had the B&W 802s for a few years now and feel they are great. I have stereo components only right now and I am finding it very difficult to decide not only about receivers or amps but universal players, back speakers, etc. Also, I do not have enough room for all of this new equipment and this is the reason for trying to find a receiver that will do the 802s justice. I do not play the stereo blasting loud so maybe a receiver can do the job. Thanks again.

    Jesse
     
  19. sticker

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    Jesse,
    I don't believe that there is any AV reciever out there that will do the 802's justice, only a decent power amp ith either a dedicated processor or a reciever acting as one using its pre-outs

    John
     
  20. Barend

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    Just downloaded the AVR-300 manual, its features don't differ much from my present H.K. AVR-5550; I feel the AVR-300 is a bit overpriced, I would certainly not buy it for the 2350 Euro they charge here (fyi that's 2955 usd !).
    I've ordered the unit for 1450 Euro, but they still didn't deliver, so I wouldn't be surprised if this dealer will try to hand me an AVR-200 instead...

    As for the the current capability I can only say that the Arcam A85 drove my two KEF Reference 203's with ease, and they're finicky...
    I've read somewhere that the output stages of the AVR-300 are similar to the A65 (rather the A85 considering the o/p power).
    BTW- My H.K. doesn't give me any trouble either, but then H.K. is wellknown for its high current output amps.
    Barend
     
  21. Jim_R

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    The What Hi-Fi review compares the sound of the AVR300 to that of the A65. The following comment is from an earlier post by John Dawson (with which I agree, based on personal experience)...

    28-01-2004, 04:42 PM #21
    John Dawson
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    There is a direct path for analogue inputs like CD - we have paid a huge amount of attention to this and in the opinion of one of our key listeners to whom I spoke yesterday its sound quality in this mode is somewhere between an A80 and A85 - not exactly the same as either you understand but definitely in that league. This is an excellent result and IMO well ahead of the competition.

    HTH.

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     

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