A85 & AVR300 - feasible?

C

CyrilD

Guest
Hi everyone

I am keenly awaiting the arrival of the AVR300 and I am hoping to be able to keep the use of my existing A85 which I adore. Does it make sense, indeed is it feasible to use the A85 to drive the front stereo pair with the AVR300 driving the other speakers? Presumably I'd take the front pre-outs and connect them to an input pair on the A85 but what about matching the gain settings?

Would there be any benefits (or penalties!) in foregoing the A85 and just using the AVR300 for everything, perhaps bi-amping the fronts as I only plan to go for 5.1?

Your views would be much appreciated, thanks
 

MarkE19

Moderator
In the thread 'Another AVR300 Question' John Dawson from Arcam said the following on the performance of the AVR300:

Another way of putting it is that it is different from, but comparable with, the A80/A90 in terms of stereo performance.
So with that in mind you may well be no better off useing the A85, but of course you should try both options and see if you prefer the A85 connected.

Mark.
 

Harbornebloke

Active Member
Hello there!
I've just joined the forum and saw your question. I have an A85 bi amped with a P85 driving a pair of B&W CDM 1NTs fronts and an AVR200 bi amped with a P85/3 driving a pair of CDM SNTs and a CDM CNT, a REL Quake and an Arcam CD82 and DV88.

Bi amping does make a considerable differance really opening up the soundstage. Detail and bass depth and extension also improve. All music and film soundtracks sound more natural and effortless. It's definatly worth considering and I'm more than happy with the results.

The AVR300 looks very interesting and I'll be auditioning one as soon as possible.

Regards,
Phil
 

cameronl

Active Member
hi there, I'm kind of thinking a AVR300 & P25/3 would be a good combo. Do you notice much improvement for the center when it is bi-amped?

I know some people say that bi-amping in stereo is good, but is it the same possible gain for cinema as well?

thanks

CaM
 

Harbornebloke

Active Member
Hi Cam
I have compaired my system with and without the extra power amps for home cinema and there is a noticable improvement. This is mainly on the centre channel where I noticed more detail and a smoother sound. With the rears it depends on the material being played. Action movies seam bigger, more ambient soundtracks seam more spatial. It does really depend on the quality of the source material.

I didn't think that it would make a rear differance so I did some blind listening comparisons with a friend swithing between different combinations of single wired, biwired, bi amped etc and was very surprised by the improvement.

I know that it can be costly to biamp everything but its cheaper than upgrading to a better home cinema amp (or intergrated for hi fi use) to get a similar improvement. It's worth getting a demo at your local dealer and also check the ex display lists for a bargin.

Regards
Phil
 

cameronl

Active Member
ok, thanks for the info, it 'sounds' well worth checking out. I was thinking of a second hand/ex-demo P25/3 as I have seen these for much cheaper than a P90/3.

CaM
 
C

CyrilD

Guest
I'm keen to try the AVR300 with and without the existing A85. As I see it there are 3 (at least!) obvious configurations for a 5.1 system using the above:

1. AVR300 alone driving all speakers no biamping
2. AVR300 alone driving all speakers biamping the fronts with the "spare" 2 channels on the AVR300
3. AVR300 driving rears, centre and sub, A85 driving fronts

My immediate question is that if I do option 3 how do I set the gain on the A85 when I wish to use it in cinema or multi-channel audio mode? Presumably I have to find the correct gain setting through experiment and then always remember to return it to that setting before using a multi-channel source? I would like to keep the A85 not only because it has a phono input but if it adds no sonic value overall then I would need to find an alternative.

Thanks all
 

cameronl

Active Member
hi there, my A75+ (which will be the same as your A85) has an AV processer mode. When set to this mode the AV amp will control the volume and fix the gain.

CaM
 
C

CyrilD

Guest
cameronl

Aha! so that's what he AV input is for, I should read the manual but thank you very much indeed.

Regards......
 

thuur

Standard Member
hi there, my A75+ (which will be the same as your A85) has an AV processer mode. When set to this mode the AV amp will control the volume and fix the gain.

CaM

Hi,

I have (amongst others) an AVR100 and a A85 stereo amp. Stereo is definetely the most important in this household, so I'm not eager to give up my A85.

Processor Mode is not described in my manual. I can set it to a fixed gain (-30dB works fine for me), but the TAPE LED comes on and I get no sound through my front speakers. The Pre-Out of the AVR100 is connected on the AV inputs of the A85.

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks!
A


edit: nevermind, I found it already on this great forum :D
http://www.avforums.com/forums/1184699-post3.html
 
Last edited:

jgrg

Active Member
Doesn't the A85 have a pair of "power amp in" terminals, so you can use it as a power amp for the pre-outs from the processor?
 

jgrg

Active Member
Yes, I noticed how old the thread was after wondering why people were so excited about the AVR300 coming.
 

thuur

Standard Member
Doesn't the A85 have a pair of "power amp in" terminals, so you can use it as a power amp for the pre-outs from the processor?

Yes, it has. But then the complete Pre Amp is bypassed and thus unusable, leaving it to be just a power amp and nothing more.


R,
:)
 

jgrg

Active Member
Yes, it has. But then the complete Pre Amp is bypassed and thus unusable, leaving it to be just a power amp and nothing more.

Sure. So he'd have to control the volume on the AVR100.

Pity the AVR100 doesn't have a Zone 2 line out, or you could use that and control volume on the A85.
 

thuur

Standard Member
Sure. So he'd have to control the volume on the AVR100.

Pity the AVR100 doesn't have a Zone 2 line out, or you could use that and control volume on the A85.

The fact I pity more is the loss of control over CD and Phono playback :D


R,
;)
 

Jimbo64

Standard Member
An old thread yes, but relevant to me.

I've just got a cheap AV350 which will take over the work of the A90 and so thought about Bi-amping the front speakers. I want to keep the spare 7.1 outputs free. I also have a P35 and would perhaps bi-amp the centre speaker.

Is there any connections I need to be aware of, to turn off the A90 control and link with the AV350? It was mentioned in the thread above, but didn't quite understand the answer.

Ta

Jimbo
 

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