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A90 v AVR300 - which is best?

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by malcolm mccabe, Nov 10, 2004.

  1. malcolm mccabe

    malcolm mccabe
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    I've been thinking of upgrading my AVR200, but am a little confused as to what to upgrade to.

    It seems the A90 is better for Stereo and with the 7.1 upgrade board, some would no doubt say is better than the AVR300, so what's the difference?

    I listen/watch CD's and DVD in equal measure, hence it's not a straight forward route.

    What are others thoughts? of course if santa is a nice fellow, I might even take a look at the FMJ AV8.
     
  2. RaceTripper

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    The multichannel A90 will provide better analog sound quality.

    On the down side, it provides no DD/DTS decoding nor other DSP facilities, nor digital audio (coax/optical) inputs. So you will need an outboard Dolby/DTS decoder and bass management, such as that provided in DVD-A players like the Arcam DV79/27A/29.

    If you want this primarily for video (movies, sat, etc) you might be better off with a AVR300, to which you can add some P90s to further improve sound quality.

    Why not ask Santa for a AV8 and 7 P1s. :D

    Dean
     
  3. Icarus

    Icarus
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    Following on from this post I am going for a dem on Friday and going to have a listen to A90 against my AVR300 and a P90 and either adding that to the AVR300 or to the A90, trust you are with me so far? :)

    If I went for the A90/P90 for stereo how would I link in the AVR300 for AV? it would be in the same room with the same front mains.
     
  4. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    You would use the pre-outs from the avr300 to the av in on the A90/P90. This allows the avr300 to control the gain (volume) while watching movies without having to adjust the volume control of the integrated amp. All Arcam gear is gain matched so you will not have a problem:) This was one of the reasons I chose Arcam products in the first place was because they offered this av in functionality. I use the pre-outs from my Denon avr3802 in much the same way to improve stereo performance greatly. The addition of a power amp allows you to bi-amp and gain all the benefits in doing so. A good designated cd player is a must too to get the best out of your music on such a system imo rather than relying on a dvdp which may not be up to the job:)
     
  5. Icarus

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    Hawklord you are a star!

    I never understood what gain was, now I do :eek:, volume he says... :) So... It is a measure of loudness at the socket, whether in or out. By gosh I think Iv'e got it.

    Wiring them up is that simple eh, I am happy with the pre-outs, on the AVR300 but where on the amp or power amp do these go in?

    Hopefully got the CD replay sorted as I have had a CD93 for a few months now and it is just rearing to go.
     
  6. malcolm mccabe

    malcolm mccabe
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    Icarus,

    I have a P90/3 and that really stepped up the performance, I'd be really interested to hear you thoughts on your demo, I may add the A90 to my AVR200, P90/3 combo, but was thinking of going down the FMJ route until I learned that Arcam have a new range coming out soon.
     
  7. Icarus

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    >until I learned that Arcam have a new range coming out soon.

    Oh! have they now... :)

    Will post my thoughts post dem. May borrow it/them for the weekend.
     
  8. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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  9. MattTheBeanster

    MattTheBeanster
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    How good would you speakers have to be to get an improvement by adding a p90/3 to an AVR300?

    I have B&W602s3 stand mounts and a LCR60 but have been hesitant to spend the £700-£800. Can't easily get a demo from my normal dealer either :(
     
  10. Icarus

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    A lot of speakers (of the slightly more pricey variety) have two sets of binding posts and sometimes three , and these often if not always work best when bi-amped, tri amped etc. I am not at all technical but my ears tell me a huge difference can be obtained, how much difference I would guess depends on the speaker.

    If you cannot easily get a demo from your dealer, I strongly suggest you change dealers. How can you decide if something is going to be a worthwile addition to your system without a dem and preferably a home loan?
     
  11. barnythebear

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    Similar opinion to Icarus. I added a FMJ P25/3 to my AV300 with three Leema Xens for the front three channels. Much better sound especially bass as these are very small speakers. I use the 300 in stereo direct rather than with a sub and cannot complain. I would be interested to know how you go with the A90 as it could cost me more money if it makes a real difference in stereo.
     
  12. johndon

    johndon
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    I've just, about an hour ago, added a P90 to my AVR300 to run the front speaker and it sounds absolutely fantastic :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

    John
     
  13. RaceTripper

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    Yes, I recently added a Alpha 10 to drive the fronts and an Alpha 10P/3 to drive the center/sides. I thought it sounded great before, but now it sounds even better. Biggest improvement was in bass response & clarity/detail in the mids. I might yet add an Alpha 9 for the rears.

    I'm not bi-amping, but it sounds really great.

    Dean
     
  14. Icarus

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    Well chaps.

    I heard an P90 on the AVR 300 and it was ok certainly an improvement but........ I also heard a Musical Fidelity 3.2 integrated plus the MF 3.2 power amp and it blew my socks off. It is a revelation!

    I have it at home on a weekend dem and its a wow all day long.

    Major problem is it doesn't integrate at all well with the AVR300 for AV work, the gain is entirely different, and I will have two volumes controlls to deal with so it may have to go back to the dealer on Monday.

    How do folk overcome these problems?
     

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