Arcam A28 vs A18 for driving Tannoy v4s

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by loveless, Feb 20, 2013.

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  1. loveless

    loveless
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    Afternoon all,
    I picked up an Arcam A18 and a pair of Tannoy v4s last week and though it sounds good, and represents a considerable step up from my comical old kit, I do find the A18 a little 'unengaging'. I see from forum chat and reviews that the A28 and A38 are more engaging with better stereo imaging, more clarity and generally a better experience, but wonder whether my v4s might be a little below par for such a step up in the amp department? I have decent-ish interconnects and biwired the speakers, and am listening to an old Cam Audio CDP. I'm not a purist in any way shape or form, hence not looking for a subtle improvement (for example, I may miss the tone controls on the A28 and A38 if I do upgrade, as I tend to use them when listening at low volumes) but do feel the current set up, especially on low volumes (<40/72 on the dial) does sounds a little lifeless. I'm listening to a wide range of house, guitar-stuff, soul and jazz.
    So, assuming the A28 or A38 would give me my required 'amp improvement', would my v4's be sufficiently decent pieces of kit for me to appreciate this improvement?
    Many thanks indeed for any thoughts.
     
  2. Tone-uk

    Tone-uk
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    You amp looks more than adequate for the job and so I'd suggest either changing your speakers or concentrating on speaker positioning/ room acoustics.

    Changing the amp will not imo change anything!
     
  3. loveless

    loveless
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    Interesting. So you think the Tannoy's are weak link here? The room is fairly big, 6m x 5m, with 3.7m ceiling.
    The speakers are 4.5m apart, and i'm sitting 3-4m between them. I was pretty sure the detailing, separation and imaging were more to do with the amp than the speakers, but I may well be very wrong.
     
  4. Tone-uk

    Tone-uk
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    I wouldn't necessarily say they are the weak point but maybe placement is an issue. To me they seem too far apart. Try moving them in a bit and try sitting closer/further back. You quickly hear the difference (good or bad) even a few cm's can make!

    The speakers do all the detailing, separation and imaging imo!
     
  5. Broosta

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    Loveless, is your new gear brand new? Because it may need more playing hours for it to sound better. I don't know how long these components need but some need longer than others before they sound how they should.

    Incidentally, how would you describe the way it currently sounds? I'm very interested as I've just bought some V4s and hovering over buying the A18!
    I've also been reading all the reviews I can find on the A18 and the internet is full of people saying A18 is average at best and you need to spend more for the Arcam A2something or A3something as they are loads better. Actually most of the 'info' on hifi in general on the net seems to spout from whifi forum member 'MattPlasticPianoPenguine' or something.
    But I think when you consider the A18 now only costs £300 new it puts it in a different light, and as the A28 costs £850 (or much more in most places) of course it sounds better!!:laugh:
     
  6. Craig uk

    Craig uk
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    Over the last 18 months I went through the Arcam FMJ 2 channel amps. The A18 is a great little performer for the money, IMO it can deliver a fairly decent sound which is enjoyable to listen to. Moving to the the A28 was a large improvement though. I was using some RX6 speakers at the time and the control the A28 had was immediately noticeable, music was more engaging and the A28 managed to resolve more detail.. certainly doing a much more convincing job, it didn't lose control when things got going like the A18 tended to do. I was often adjusting the volume on the A18 as sometimes it just didn't sound good. The 28 didn't have this problem.

    When I went up to the A38 the improvement was slightly less noticeable and took me a little longer to appreciate where the improvements were. For me the most noticeable improvements were more controlled bass and even finer resolution, nothing like that feeling when you upgrade and put some of your favourite music on and suddenly you hear some vocals/instruments you couldn't quite make out before:)

    It was nice to hear for myself if there were any differences between them, the last thing I wanted to do was take some else's word for it. Each time I was considering the upgrade I was fortunate enough to have a home demo before committing to buying, I had a week with the amps which was plenty of time for me to compare them. Whether or not they justify the extra cost is another conversation but for me they certainly did.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013

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