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A85 Biamp Question, and system commentary with dv27a update

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by musicwave, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. musicwave

    musicwave
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    Does anyone have any experience bi-amping the A85 with an AVR200? Is there a noticable enough difference to merit doing this? I'm not a surround-sound kinda guy, at least until I can do it right (lots of denero), and would like to maximize my stereo sound.

    On a side-note, I hooked my CD73t back into my system (recently bought dv27a, check out for more info:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=226754&highlight=dv27a+dv29

    The CD73t is absolutely much more detailed than the dv27a... hands down, no contest. I replaced my EPOS ESL-3 mini monitors with the B&W CDM-NT1's... best upgrade yet, speakers are arguably the most reflective component of all... so here's my setup:

    A85 -> CD73t (Audioquest Cheetah interconnect)
    -> DV27a (Generic interconnect)
    -> CDM-NT1s (Vanderhaul hybrid speaker cables biwire, but bridged)

    * AVR200 (just sitting around waiting for some good use)
     
  2. Mingo

    Mingo
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    Hi musicwave

    I can't help you ... but maybe you'd help me :lease:

    I have an AVR 200, and I'm thinking to add an A85 ... Do you think is a good idea? In only stereo, the A85 is far better than AVr200 ?

    Thanks

    My equipment: Arcam AVR200, Sonus FAber Concerto, REL Q201E, Opera Consonance 2.2, Pioneer 717
     
  3. musicwave

    musicwave
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    Hi Mingo, are you planning on bi-amping, or are you building out a seperate system? The A85 and AVR200 are very comparable... you might be able to hear a slight difference, but it's not like a night and day difference, say for instance going from a cheap kenwood int to an arcam a85. You might look into getting a P85/90 for additional amplification if that's what you're after... hope this helps...
     
  4. mrkeeling

    mrkeeling
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    Either we have a completely different definition of what is comparable, or there is something wrong with your equipment. :confused: :eek:

    When I added P85 to my AVR 200 the difference was definitely not subtle. I got the best results using only P85 for my fronts. Trying to bi-amp with AVR and P85 diminished the sound.
    Later I added another P85 and bi-amped my fronts with two P85's. That was another improvement but not as big a step as going from only AVR200 to P85.

    As P85 is basically A85 without pre-amp section I can not imagine them sounding different – hence my surprise.
    :eek:
     
  5. musicwave

    musicwave
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    I was simply comparing the sound difference between the AVR200 and A85, in stereo only... to me, I could not tell a big difference in sound... more resolution maybe? I have not tried bi-amping, hence why I'm asking advice... but from the sound of it, I might offload my AVR200 and go with a power amp for additional amplification... did you end up keeping your AVR200?

    John :smoke:
     
  6. ttree sound

    ttree sound
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    Musicwave,

    I recently compared an A90 to an AVR300 at my local dealer. We played a range of cds but neither of us could tell which one was playing at the time, there was no difference. I remember reading a post from John Dawson of Arcam who said that the AVR300 had been designed to the same performance standard as the A85/90 for stereo.

    As the AVR200 is of the same ilk as the AVR300 so there should not be any discernable difference in sound quality.

    Now, bi-amping, in my experience does improve the sound quality noticeably with the AVR300 using its 6th and 7th spare channels as the extra amp, so if you were to bi -amp your AVR200 with a P85, this would be a noticeable improvement.
     
  7. mrkeeling

    mrkeeling
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    I am still quite surprised. The reason for that is that AVR200 (as a pre) with P85 driving speakers sounds noticeably better than AVR200 alone (using it’s internal amps).
    I never did direct comparison between A85 and AVR200, but I guessed (looks like wrongly) that A85 would sound more like AVR200+P85.
    I did compare AVR200 and AVR300 (using only 5.1 analog inputs on both) and I couldn’t hear much of a difference. Adding power amp to AVR200 gave me much more improvement. :D

    As far as bi-amp goes:
    I tried bi-amping my fronts with AVR200 (driving HF) and P85 (driving LF), but it sounded better with only P85 driving the speakers (and AVR200 as a pre only). I added another P85 later and bi-amped my fronts with two P85’s. That brought another improvement, but not as much as going from AVR200 only to AVR200 (as pre) + P85.

    Yes, I still have my AVR200. Currently P85/3 drives HF of my fronts + centre channel, another P85 drives LF of my fronts and AVR200 drives surrounds only. :D
    :beer:
     
  8. Mingo

    Mingo
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    Lots of thanks.
    I want to improve stereo mode ... with 5.1 I'm satisfied ... so the idea is adding an stereo amp that works alone in stereo, and when playing films (5.1) it works like a power amp with fronts. That's the reason I'm asking if an A85 is a good improvement, in stereo.

    Thanks
     

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