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A85 multi volume control?

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by 803cd, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. 803cd

    803cd
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    Does anyone have experience of the new multi volume control unit for the A85/A90 etc?

    I'm considering this for use with a DV89A for 5.1 DVD-A and video - I'm more interested in the multi-channel music angle than the video.

    My current set up is a 2 channel system based around the A85 and I don't really have the room or inclination to add in a separate AV processor etc.

    Thanks
     
  2. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Hi 803cd,

    For a full first review see February's Hi-Fi Choice (which may still be in the shops and is available from the publisher, Future Publishing) - this covers the A90 with 7.1 module and the P90/3.

    For copyright reasons we can't e-mail you the review but to quote "In multichannel form the quality of sound is essentially the same as stereo - the trebel is pure and fluid, the bass warm and full."

    The conclusion stated "In combination with the P90/3 and Arcam's 7.1 module, the A90 forms the basis of a highly effective purist surround solution."

    The system was awarded "Best Buy" status.

    HTH.

    John Dawson (Arcam)

    PS - owners of A85s can have the 7.1 module factory fitted for £350 in the UK. Contact our support team for full details.
     
  3. 803cd

    803cd
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    Thanks John

    Which power amp would I match with my A85 given the P85/3 has been discontinued. Will the A85 work alright with a P90/3?
     
  4. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    You can use a P85/3 or 90/3 - these are electrically identical. We only changed the name to tie up with the change in integrated amps from A85 to the improved A90.

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  5. vanwel

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    John, I have the DV88+ and the A85. What do you think is a better solution to get surround:

    1. AVR300

    or

    2. 7.1 card, DVD-A card, P90/3 amp (about GBP1800 in the Netherlands, so it costs probably a lot more than the AVR300!)

    And I have another question, that I hope that someone can answer.
    How do you connect the DV88+ (or perhaps a cheap receiver with a decoder) to the A85 and then to the P90/3? Which cables will I need?

    Thanks!
     
  6. bobbob

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    Also, I'm curious as to how the 7.1 input is selected as there doesn't seem to a button on the facia ?
     
  7. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Vanwel - if you are mostly interested in multichannel music with some movies from your DVD source then the DV89/A85 multichannel solution will IMO provide the best overall sound quality.

    If you need to decode other signals like TV sound into surround then you should consider the AVR300 route as there is no DD/DTS decoder in the multichannel A85.

    Given this you can only connect a DV88Plus with two analogue cables - a DV89 would need 6 of course. A (cheap) decoder also needs 6 analogue cables - these all go to the relevant phono sockets on the multichannel module.

    Bobbob - you select between the two multichannel inputs using the two buttons to the right of the record and mode switches on the A85/A90 - these are labelled with down and up arrows.

    HTH.

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  8. bobbob

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    John - that's a bit disappointing considering how fiddly those buttons are, makes the upgrade look a bit of an afterthought IMHO.
    Couldn't the firmware be modified to allow the user to reassign one or two of the source buttons (say AV and DVD) to the 7.1 inputs instead and maybe the up/down buttons could cycle through all inputs so that the two 'lost' stereo inputs are still useable ?
     
  9. vanwel

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    Thanks for your reply John. I'm not in tv surround at the moment, because I haven't ever tried it yet. Maybe if I do, I don't want to go back. The AVR300 should be the choice then.

    You say the A85/D89 will probably give the best sound quality, but I wonder how flexible it is. On the Arcam site, there's nothing about the DTS decoder on the DVD-Audio card. Is there some manual with all the specifications available?

    Thanks!
     
  10. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Bobbob - The buttons were always intended to support this kind of function, it was just difficult to define precise labels several years ahead of deciding exactly what would be supported. The buttons are used in this manner (i.e. set in the window) in thousands of other products, like our tuners, without any problems.

    And, with respect, it is a lot of work to change this and there is IMO absolutely no need, so thank you for your suggestion but I shall politely decline to recommend to implement it :) It would also be very costly, not so much because of the actual SW rewrite but because of all the documentation including manuals in 6 or more languages that would need to be scrapped / changed. About £10000 I should think.

    With best wishes,

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  11. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Hi Vanwel,

    The DV89 manual is on our website. It may be found at http://www.arcam.co.uk/support/handbooks/handbooks.cfm

    Both English and Dutch are available (we aim to please!). It is not obvious from the manual but the subwoofer crossover frequency is variable from 50 - 150 Hz in 10 Hz steps. Note this version of the manual does not cover the variable global audio delay of 0 - 150 ms available in the latest SW v4.18.0 - this is designed to compensate for video processing delays in digital displays like plasmas.

    Sincerely,

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     

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