Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by Sweden, Sep 3, 2004.
Do they sound the same in two channel ?
No! More distortion and less detail on the avr300. But the A90 was just superb for stereo. Didn't need P90 in my opinion.
Sorry to disagree, but when my AVR300 came in June I still had my A85 and tested them against each other on Stereo Direct, and could hear absolutely no difference.
When you compared the AVR300 and A85 in stereo, was the AVR300 biamped or not? And what speakers did you use it with?
I'm curious because I have the A85 and wonder, if I can replace it with a AVR300, biamp the front speakers and not lose detail in stereo.
At that time, no biamping.
And really, I could not hear any difference (direct mode), and I compared with my CD82t player, and many different cds.
No distortion noted either (as someone posted), I wonder was that harmonic distortion or IM distortion?
IM distortion is ALWAYS bad, harm. distortion as in tube amps can be more like a feature, and is probably one of the aspects of the "Arcam sound".
But I wouldn't really call it "tuby", as the bass is powerful and well controlled and far down reaching, which is a real challenge for tube finals as their output transformers often are the limiting factor.
So it CAN be a good idea to use a tube preamp and a solid state final.
Any way, I don't see any reason not to go for an AVR300 compared to the A85.
I would not use separate finals for the M/H range too, as this would make the sound much less Arcammy...
And sure, you might be amazed what a separate bass amp can do for your...mids and highs!
Speakers KEF Reference 203.
I would be a little wary about replacing your A85 with an AVR300 and you should certainly demo the 300 first.
When I listened to the AVR300 (in direct stereo mode) compared back to back with my A85 through the same speakers, there was a dramatic difference. The AVR300 was not as clean or detailed or pleasing - nowhere near as good. Both myself and my other half decided in under 30 seconds not to buy it (although we gave it a decent hour's trial in total). The staff in my local dealer had to agree that the AV receiver just wasn't in the same league as the hi-fi amp in terms of sound quality although I gather it sounds a lot better than many other AV receivers...
Instead I bought a P85 for the rear channels and a multichannel board for the A85 and the end result sounds better (IMHO) than the AVR300.
Sorry Sweden just re-read that and realise I'm talking about A85 and you have an A90.
I should add I initially compared the dealer's A90 and an AVR300 with the same result. I subsequently demoed the AVR300 at home v. my A85.
I haven't heard a lot of difference between the A85 and A90 when I've compared them directly in the past and I felt they both beat the AVR300.
Hi, Yes i have the a90.Nice to hear that the a90 sounded better to you .Where there any difference ,if there where any between the 85 and 90 ?
Maybe i would like to get the p90 aswell. Does it mean that it will be 2x180 w ?
If i had the p90 (in your opinion) what should be better ? More power ? 2x180w ? Better seperation ?
You said you got the multichannel board for the A85. I thought it was only available for the A90, C30 and A32, not the A85? How much was it? Is in "only" a set of inputs plus a global volume control or does it have other functions as well?
Since multichannel music from SACD is more important to me than movie sound, maybe I should also considering this upgrade path. Is it possible with the multichannel board to have the fronts biamped but not the center and rears?
Sweden - I didn't hear any real difference between A85 and A90 but I only made a brief comparison when the A90 was released to reassure myself that my A85 was still up to it.
I don't think you could describe the power output as 2x180 watts - I presume you mean biamping the A90/P90 driving one stereo pair of speakers. There's still only 90w going to each drive unit but I really don't know what 'counts' as 180w or 90w etc. Does it really matter what the power output is provided the amp is powerful enough to drive your speakers?
Yes the MCH board is available for A85 as well. It was £350 factory fitted arranged by my local dealer. If you are more interested in music than movies I urge you to at least consider this option. I bought it for movie surround sound (don't have DVDA or SACD) because I thought the AVR300 (& other AV receivers) was so much poorer than this option.
It has 2 sets of 7.1 channel inpputs and a global volume control. It is possible to trim each channel +10 to -10 dB from the menu.
The board has preouts for centre, surround L & R, back L & R and sub. The amplifier's existing pre outs supply the front L & R channels. It would be perfectly possible to biamplify any or all of the channels by daisy-chaining P85/90/C35's etc. via their audio in & out sockets. I thought about biamping the fronts... must stop spending money on hifi gear.
Yes i mean biamping. No you are right about the power output it doesnt matter. But could you tell me the advantage of biamping ?
I found the P90 made very little difference. Certainly at average volumes it wasn't worth the extra £350 though the bigger your bass units the more worthwhile it is.
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