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A90 7.1 + P90/3 versus AVR300

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by dm57, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. dm57

    dm57
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    Hi,

    there has been a lot of discussion regarding the comparison between A90 7.1 plus P90/3 and AVR 300. My understanding is that while AVR 300 can decode some of the digitally coded signals, A90 7.1 can just accept (process) analogue signals. In other words a digital signal like DTS 5.1 from the DVD player can be transferred in the digital form to AVR 300 and decoded there, while A90 7.1 can not decode any digital signal. However, if the DVD player (like DV89) has a decoder for DTS 5.1 itself, it can decode the signal and send it in analogue form via 5 (6 including .1) lines to A90 7.1 where they are then amplified and sent to the corresponding speakers (front, central, back and .1 to subwoofer).

    Having said all that, I would like first of all to confirm my thoughts and second to ask somebody who has tested both conversion on AVR 300 (from AVR 300 and DVD player) to comment on the quality of the conversion.

    Conclusion:

    If I go A90 7.1 I have DVD-Audio and DTS 5.1, DD,.. and all other digital formats only if DVD player can decode them, but they are transferred through the analogue lines (interconnects).

    If I go AVR 300 I probably have much more digital formats that AVR 300 can decode, but I believe the amplification of AVR is not comparable with A90, particularly not in stereo.

    I prefer to go A90 7.1

    Am I right?
     
  2. RaceTripper

    RaceTripper
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    That is correct. The A90 multi-channel option is analog only and has no facilities for decoding digital PCM or bitstream data, i.e. it has no optical or coax digital inputs. You will need to use an outboard DD/DTS decoder such as that found on DVD-A players. Standard DVD video players typically do not have decoders.

    Another other option if you want greater flexibility (you want to use a STB with digital audio, for example) is to use an AVR300 with external P90 amps, although the A90 might still sound better than the AVR300 for 2 and multichannel analog audio.

    Also, while the multichannel A90 has 7.1 analog inputs, I believe DVD-A players typically have 5.1 outputs, so you won't get 7.1 with the analog option (someone correct me if wrong).

    I'm using an AVR300 with external Alpha amps and really like the sound, although I may switch to the AVP700 when it comes out and the P1000 amp later on.
     
  3. barnythebear

    barnythebear
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    Would agree with dwette. I was told by a dealer that there would be little advantage in getting a fmj A22 to add to my kit for 2 channel music. From previous posts it would appear that some of the 7.1 upgrades are no longer available so it might be worth checking just in case. I certainly feel that the AV300 + P25/3 works well both for surround and music and it is music that we use them for mostly.
     
  4. davehk

    davehk
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    I have an AVR300+P90, and a Pioneer DVD656A player which does have built-in decoder, so I am able to do a comparison - but not till the end of the month as I have no time at the moment.

    I did audition the AVR300+P90 against an A90 for stereo and did not find any significant difference - though of course, your ears may vary!
     

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