Advice for analog 4.2 HiFi geek. Which AVR cuts the bill?

ThePercussionist

Standard Member
I have had an all analog Arcam FMJ A32 7.1 I’ve been running with the FMJ P7 with an Oppo BDP-95 for ages. Yes I know, old school. Now the A32 passed… So after a long run without having to bother I’m back in update mayhem. 😵‍💫🤓

I use my 4.2 system 75 % for music and my main focus is natural playback of all my music formats (LP, CD, SACD, DVD-A, Blue-ray). But since my fav artist started to release new material in Atmos and I want to steam lossless music, perhaps the passing of my trusty A32 was a sign. But I do watch quite a lot of movies on top and have streamed services but today they just go out in 2:ch…

My screen handles 4K but the Oppo does not. Therefore I plan to exchange it with a cheaper 4K player and let the new A/V preamp do the full decoding… So DAC performance is critical. The Oppo DAC is excellent. Whilst at it I’ll add Atmos speakers. Perhaps two additional side wall speakers (do they matter?). So I’ll go from 4.2 to 4.2.4 or 4.2.6 The FMJ P7 will continue to drive the current 4.2. No big load for the 0.0.4(6)… More speakers more mess so I’m planning to run Dirac Live.

Been looking at both Arcam and NAD mostly, but then you know what happens… You read a lot and then there are too many options and opinions, weird stuff written regarding SNR and DAC performance in AV receivers…

My fear is that I’ll loose the great natural sound I’ve gotten from my rig. I have a reasonably big (36m2) lightly, but well treated room and to my ears (and my geeky musician buddies) It sounds great…

But hence… the quest 🗡 has begun for a replacement… Advice greatly appreciated.

Great to find this forum. Seems like there’s a lot of experience around… I do hope to contribute in the future 🙏
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Welcome to the Forum.

You've answered your own question really. It is either Arcam or NAD for a good one box solution that will give a fair stereo performance for music and certainly for multi channel SACD. Your alternative, although perhaps even more expensive, is to use a lower quality AV amp alongside a stereo amp that has HT by-pass so that both AV amp and stereo amp can use the same front speakers. That, I believe, will give the outright performance of a stereo amp and is the solution I prefer to use.
 

ThePercussionist

Standard Member
@gibbsy, yes I know. But I’ll try to keep the units down to a minimum. In a perfect situation I’ll be able to just have the new X + P7, 4K Blue-ray and my Chromecast + my trusty old Thorens.
I was interested in feedback from people on the forum that have experiences and could give me their thoughts on the sound quality of modern AVRs compared to my - now - obsolete gear ;) Especially regarding the DACs. Then sound is obviously extremely dependent on speakers/room… not to mention personal taste 🤓

Thanks for the reply and warm welcome 🙏
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I would suggest you look at the new Arcam range. According to the owners the current software is fairly bug free and stable. It would be worth you looking at the owner threads of those higher end AV amps and ask questions on them.

The high end amps from Denon, the X8500 or the special edition A110, and the corresponding Marantz are better for stereo music than those models below it. The difference between those and the Arcams is Dirac which is superior to Audyssey, certainly in a difficult room. I wouldn't go below those top of the range amps with a strong commitment to music.

Your biggest headache is going to be availability in these strange times. I wish you luck.
 

ThePercussionist

Standard Member
Well quick decision 😵‍💫 Signed up for a NAD T778. Let’s see if it’s a keeper. Dealer let’s me return it with a full refund within 4 weeks. 🤓
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
Sound like a really great deal, enjoy
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Let us know how you get on, or not, with the NAD.
 

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