Arcam AV40 AV Processor Review & Comments

vkvedam

Active Member
Maybe I can bring it back to some debate. Her are my Rightmark measurements at Volume 79 from the RCAs on my AV40.

View attachment 1482097

They aren't awesome but they are good, much better than the ASR results and well beyond CD dynamic range.

For anyone interested in the extra detail/graph the attached file can be opened in Rightmark Audio Analyser which is free.
But you are using A weighting though and it always ends up with a better number
 

LexLoofah

Standard Member
If you are wanting to purchase a new processor the best advice i can give is get a home demo. If you are spending this sort of money and in the current state of the world, any decent dealer will be happy for you to buy the kit on an understanding you can return it within a demo period if you don't like it.
 

Krobar

Well-known Member
i am a little confused - is there any processor worth buying short of lyngdorf or trinnov sort of expenditure? reading this thread it doesnt look like any processor sub say £5k is worth a purchase.

Until they are tested I would not assume good results. Datasat was passable when tested by ASR; I had an RS20I for a few weeks and the noise floor on XLR was the same as the AV40 on XLR for me (AV40 on RCA has a much better noise floor in my setup).
 
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Krobar

Well-known Member
But you are using A weighting though and it always ends up with a better number

Unweighted results are in the file and are the ones I reported at the start of the thread (Which is why they are slightly lower).

To see unweighted results load the file in Rightmark, right click the result and click details.
 

Lrehcsa

Active Member
Comparing this to a Lyngdorf MP-40 is frankly ridiculous, as soon as you look at Dirac vs Room Perfect it's game over for the Arcam and that's before you even consider build quality, reliability, customer support, buggy software, future proofing.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Comparing this to a Lyngdorf MP-40 is frankly ridiculous, as soon as you look at Dirac vs Room Perfect it's game over for the Arcam and that's before you even consider build quality, reliability, customer support, buggy software, future proofing.

So, you're saying a nine grand product is better than a four grand product? Huge if true.
 

steve sph

Well-known Member
In fairness any comparison between this and the MP40 is a bit apples and oranges, given that the MP40 is over twice the price.
Personally I'd be more interested in how it squares up to the Denon 8500 or the Marantz SR 8015 as they are in the same ballpark and likely contenders for anyone in the market for a decent AVR.
 

CaroleBaskin

Active Member
In fairness any comparison between this and the MP40 is a bit apples and oranges, given that the MP40 is over twice the price.
Personally I'd be more interested in how it squares up to the Denon 8500 or the Marantz SR 8015 as they are in the same ballpark and likely contenders for anyone in the market for a decent AVR.
Wouldn't those be better compared to the AVR20/30? Considering this is a processor after all and the Denon, and Marantz are both receivers. I guess the 8500 is an AV amplifier, either way tho, receivers to processors...
 

barnitto

Active Member
The Arcam AV40 needs to be good, given they have increased the price to £4K. The Anthem AVM70 is 10% cheaper and realistically the only competitor you might be able to demo in the U.K./Europe.

if buying blind the MOnoprice HTP1 would be my choice of Dirac based processors -you can import one for around £3.3k I think.

coming back to the review, what it is clearly saying is that it worth a demo - things have clearly moved on in the last 12months, otherwise Arcam would not be putting these units out to reviewers.
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Comparing this to a Lyngdorf MP-40 is frankly ridiculous, as soon as you look at Dirac vs Room Perfect it's game over for the Arcam and that's before you even consider build quality, reliability, customer support, buggy software, future proofing.
It was easy to compare as I have the Lyngdorf here and have been using it a while, seemed logical to mention that the AV40 gives it a run for its money in terms of sound quality, EQ and build. The build quality on the AV40 is very good and about the same as the MP-40. Yes, there were a few little bugs and niggles with the AV40, but as they are software related and not hardware, they will get smoothed out, some already have been. Plus, you get more HDMI inputs and outputs on the AV40 compared to the 3/1 on the MP-40 and the differences between Dirac and RoomPerfect in my use case, in my room, are not night and day as you suggest. Just thought I'd add those points as I have both here and it's easy to compare.
 

CaroleBaskin

Active Member
Funnily enough Steve had a similar finding with the Arcam AVR30.

The Arcam AVR30 isn't perfect, but this cracking AV receiver delivers insane levels of immersion that would give systems three times the price a run for their money.

@Phil Hinton Did you manage to try firmware 1.46 with your review unit? It has hammered most of the bugs you experienced, a real shame otherwise, although I can't imagine it would have made a night and day difference to your overall review.

There is eARC on board which may help with the majority of possible problems in some setups but it will not solve the issue for gamers.

I was curious about this too. Will eARC not solve the 2.1 feature set dilemma? I can't see how it wouldn't solve the issue for gamers if the PC/Console is plugged into the TV 2.1 port and audio fed to the Arcam.
 
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markymiles

Distinguished Member
Comparing this to a Lyngdorf MP-40 is frankly ridiculous, as soon as you look at Dirac vs Room Perfect it's game over for the Arcam and that's before you even consider build quality, reliability, customer support, buggy software, future proofing.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Not everyone would agree with you.
 

Krobar

Well-known Member
Funnily enough Steve had a similar finding with the Arcam AVR30.

The Arcam AVR30 isn't perfect, but this cracking AV receiver delivers insane levels of immersion that would give systems three times the price a run for their money.

@Phil Hinton Did you manage to try firmware 1.46 with your review unit? It has hammered most of the bugs you experienced, a real shame otherwise, although I can't imagine it would have made a night and day difference to your overall review.

There is eARC on board which may help with the majority of possible problems in some setups but it will not solve the issue for gamers.

I was curious about this too. Will eARC not solve the 2.1 feature set dilemma? I can't see how it wouldn't solve the issue for gamers if the PC/Console is plugged into the TV 2.1 port and audio fed to the Arcam.

If EARC works then yes it does resolve the issue which is why HDMI 2.1 switching is not as important as previous generations IMHO. You lose the OSD and cabling might be more difficult if the console is not near the TV so native 2.1 switching definitely still has its advantages for some people.
 

symphara

Active Member
In fairness any comparison between this and the MP40 is a bit apples and oranges, given that the MP40 is over twice the price.
Personally I'd be more interested in how it squares up to the Denon 8500 or the Marantz SR 8015 as they are in the same ballpark and likely contenders for anyone in the market for a decent AVR.
The Denon is a receiver, although I believe you can turn off the amps and use it in pre-processor mode. I'd say the core differences between Denon/Marantz gear and Arcam gear is that the former is cheaper and will probably still work perfectly in 5 years.

The nearest competitor in my opinion, as I said, is the Rotel 1576 MKII, which has a similar feature set to the AV40, most notably full Dirac room correction. I investigated rather superficially, but I believe it lacks eARC, streaming, and I'm not sure if it has Dolby Vision pass-through. Unlike the Arcam it does have a balanced analog input, and multichannel input.

The Rotel's published SINAD (112) is better than Arcam's published and much better than Arcam's measured. But we have no measurements on the Rotel so the figure should probably be treated as wishful thinking.

Here where I live the Rotel is a cool 1k Swiss francs cheaper than the AV40, which one could put into a streamer and an eARC gizmo. That's what I'd do, if I wanted to spend 4k on an AV processor.

Then there's Anthem's AVM70 and its basically endless list of bugs and issues for those brave pioneers interested in the train wreck type of audio experience. I'd rather watch it from afar, on the news if possible. And be aware that its previous incarnation, the AVM60, was declared basically broken when measured, it's that badly engineered. None of this surprises me, after dealing with Anthem.

So these are the options. Personally I would not touch this AV40 despite the excellent impression it left on our host.
 

Krobar

Well-known Member
The Denon is a receiver, although I believe you can turn off the amps and use it in pre-processor mode. I'd say the core differences between Denon/Marantz gear and Arcam gear is that the former is cheaper and will probably still work perfectly in 5 years.

The nearest competitor in my opinion, as I said, is the Rotel 1576 MKII, which has a similar feature set to the AV40, most notably full Dirac room correction. I investigated rather superficially, but I believe it lacks eARC, streaming, and I'm not sure if it has Dolby Vision pass-through. Unlike the Arcam it does have a balanced analog input, and multichannel input.

The Rotel's published SINAD (112) is better than Arcam's published and much better than Arcam's measured. But we have no measurements on the Rotel so the figure should probably be treated as wishful thinking.

Here where I live the Rotel is a cool 1k Swiss francs cheaper than the AV40, which one could put into a streamer and an eARC gizmo. That's what I'd do, if I wanted to spend 4k on an AV processor.

Then there's Anthem's AVM70 and its basically endless list of bugs and issues for those brave pioneers interested in the train wreck type of audio experience. I'd rather watch it from afar, on the news if possible. And be aware that its previous incarnation, the AVM60, was declared basically broken when measured, it's that badly engineered. None of this surprises me, after dealing with Anthem.

So these are the options. Personally I would not touch this AV40 despite the excellent impression it left on our host.
Assuming you are also using these specs:

The spec does not mention SINAD or even THD+N (THD is nowhere near the same)

The 112dB A weighted dynamic range is 4dB better than the 108dB I measured with my AV40 (Arcam claim 110dB).

Digital source THD of 0.003% is bad and would put the THD+n / SINAD of the Rotel <=90dB (I wonder if it is a typo in the Rotel spec).
 
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symphara

Active Member
Assuming you are also using these specs:

The spec does not mention SINAD or even THD+N (THD is nowhere near the same)

The 112dB A weighted dynamic range is 4dB better than the 108dB I measured with my AV40 (Arcam claim 110dB).

Digital source THD of 0.003% is bad and would put the THD+n / SINAD of the Rotel <=90dB (I wonder if it is a typo in the Rotel spec).
I think I looked at the main page. You’re correct, it’s SNR, not SINAD. Like I said, superficially. Once I discovered it doesn’t have eARC I discounted it immediately. It’s a puzzling product for 2020-2021.

I feel positive about the brand since I still have an old Rotel receiver which has always worked absolutely flawlessly (not a single bug or glitch) and still does, it’s obsolete now as it doesn’t have HDMI, but it’s a quality product for sure. Pity that they seemed to have missed the required feature set for today’s AV enthusiast and rushed an incomplete processor.
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
I think I looked at the main page. You’re correct, it’s SNR, not SINAD. Like I said, superficially. Once I discovered it doesn’t have eARC I discounted it immediately. It’s a puzzling product for 2020-2021.

I feel positive about the brand since I still have an old Rotel receiver which has always worked absolutely flawlessly (not a single bug or glitch) and still does, it’s obsolete now as it doesn’t have HDMI, but it’s a quality product for sure. Pity that they seemed to have missed the required feature set for today’s AV enthusiast and rushed an incomplete processor.
My lexicon has never locked up. The only time was due to psu failure m
 

bandyka

Well-known Member
I wonder how this AV40 compares to the AVR30 when the AVR30 is hooked to power amps for the front stage and only using its internal amps for the surrounds?

Would be great to get some opinions on this as spending the extra $$$ for the required power amps for 8 surrounds is rather lofty and I would rather get the AVR30 if it is very close in sonic qualities to the AV40 when used with power amps.

This is from the AVR 30 review so assuming processing and pure sound quality would be the same?:

the AV40 pre/pro retains the same processing but swaps the AVR30’s amplification for balanced XLR outputs.

On that account would the sme be true for the 20 or the 10 so the only major differentatior is the built in amplification??
 
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bandyka

Well-known Member
I am also a contender for the MP-40 but for now I would rather spend that extra cash elswhere.
 

Krobar

Well-known Member
I wonder how this AV40 compares to the AVR30 when the AVR30 is hooked to power amps for the front stage and only using its internal amps for the surrounds?

Would be great to get some opinions on this as spending the extra $$$ for the required power amps for 8 surrounds is rather lofty and I would rather get the AVR30 if it is very close in sonic qualities to the AV40 when used with power amps.

This is from the AVR 30 review so assuming processing and pure sound quality would be the same?:

the AV40 pre/pro retains the same processing but swaps the AVR30’s amplification for balanced XLR outputs.

On that account would the sme be true for the 20 or the 10 so the only major differentatior is the built in amplification??

The Dacs, DSP and nearly everthing that counts are identical. It is possible that having the amps connected could reduce the max output of the preouts but the AVR850 did not have this issue so probably not. Otherwise the AV40 has just a smaller dedicated PSU which I suspect makes little difference and an XLR conversion board in place of the amps. Same applies to the AVR20 but AVR10 has a different DSP/DAC board and PSU and is limited to 7.1.4.
 

bandyka

Well-known Member
The Dacs, DSP and nearly everthing that counts are identical. It is possible that having the amps connected could reduce the max output of the preouts but the AVR850 did not have this issue so probably not. Otherwise the AV40 has just a smaller dedicated PSU which I suspect makes little difference and an XLR conversion board in place of the amps. Same applies to the AVR20 but AVR10 has a different DSP/DAC board and PSU and is limited to 7.1.4.
Thanks so in my scenario even the 20 would suffice if I wanted a very similar basic audio perfromance without its internal amps and the DAC in the 10 would produce inferior sound output?
 

maxbrooker

Active Member
Having started my journey many many years ago with Onkyo, Denon and then Yamaha AVRs in addition to my ever evolving high-end 2 channel system. I upgraded to separates with a Marantz 8805 processor which I was never happy with, then an Emotiva which I couldn’t get on with either and I am now a very happy owner of an AV40. I’ve had one minor bug that is now sorted, but I trust my ears and I know what I like and the Arcam sounds amazing, as does the rest of the system TBH. I think I’d have to spend silly money to improve on it. So it’s thumbs up for the AV40 from me.
 

bandyka

Well-known Member
Having started my journey many many years ago with Onkyo, Denon and then Yamaha AVRs in addition to my ever evolving high-end 2 channel system. I upgraded to separates with a Marantz 8805 processor which I was never happy with, then an Emotiva which I couldn’t get on with either and I am now a very happy owner of an AV40. I’ve had one minor bug that is now sorted, but I trust my ears and I know what I like and the Arcam sounds amazing, as does the rest of the system TBH. I think I’d have to spend silly money to improve on it. So it’s thumbs up for the AV40 from me.
I've been through a similar journey, I've been very content with the MRX 720 and power amps for years but its time to step up. The new Arcam are the logical choice before I make the jump to the MP-40. I see you have the ESLs, I am contemplating to upgrade my 60xt as well to ESL, I am only a little hesitant due to the supposedly very narrow sweet spot but this of topic sorry.
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
did I read this correct ?
  • No DTS:X Pro
seems absolutely bizarre for a brand new release that doesnt have this capably ? . seems like quite a glaring omission at this price point ?
 

CaroleBaskin

Active Member
did I read this correct ?
  • No DTS:X Pro
seems absolutely bizarre for a brand new release that doesnt have this capably ? . seems like quite a glaring omission at this price point ?

The AV40 alongside the other members of the HDA range were unveiled at Cedia 2019... omission of DTS:X Pro and HDMI 2.1 in that context is not all too odd. Sure it would be nice. Arcam support have said HDMI 2.1 is more likely down the line than DTS:X Pro, at this time. In fact the HDMI version in the latest firmware was just updated with this possible upgrade in mind.
 
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