Arcam AV40 AV Processor Review & Comments

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I think those have been covered earlier. They use different version of the measuring kit, Amir has newer one than Arcam and some of their explanations were silly which other engineers at ASR found strange too. Sadly they weren´t happy to work together later on which is of course time consuming, Amir waited before publishing other models from them but they just went silent.

Amir has said he is on our customer side and it´s time to push the manufacturers to make better products cause they can. As for the AV40 he also said:

Note: usage of Dirac EQ in this product should make it subjective sound excellent, erasing the pain of the above graphs. I hope in the future though we get to have both: great room EQ and fundamental measured performance.

Also keep in mind that he found issue with Denon receivers which their engineers worked together long time and some D&M engineers even from Japan were intrested and helped!! He also talked with Marantz engineer side as their models didn´t measure as good as Denon, they said the data was similar to theirs. The HDAM adds some extra noise and distortion. Also Marantz uses slow roll-off in DAC and are tuned different to Denon. There was also some odd roll-off below 20kHz. But people who like Marantz sound will keep buying them. Engineer of course sees it different if certain product doesn´t measure like it suppose to.

Emotiva processor RMC? had some odd results in the review at ASR. They were against the review first, but when they talked with Amir the lead engineer found issue and together they fix it, Emotiva put out firmware update later and now Amir is working with them together in future.

He has also helped other manufacturers for the DACs, amps to make changes for their products. People get bit too heated up on these.. Still good that someone does the work. :)
 

unground

Active Member
exactly, and has happened multiple times but that doesn’t seem to stop people using it as source of reference/information 🤷‍♀️
Not by my reading, sadly. The response to Arcam's rebuttal was clear. Arcam don't seem to have covered themselves in glory by their initial refusal to engage in proper investigation or discussion, rather they seemed to dismiss out of hand. I've no idea if things moved beyond that.

I'm a happy Arcam owner but respect when someone has the expertise and kit to challenge a manufacturer's claims. I don't have that.

As I recall the review remarked that Dirac would likely smooth over any issues and the result would be a good sound. As such the measurements themselves wouldn't put me off buying, after a dem. The seemingly dismissive attitude of the company, however, could.

That said, I gather Arcam's team have been hammered on the support and firmware front and there are only so many hours in the day.

Understandable that people think the site is run by a crank with crappy test hardware and methods but the site owner's bio puts that to rest.
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
Personally I look at the ASR reviews and comments but they along with many other measurements show (hopefully) measured performance. The challenge is how well the measurements correlate to the sound produced. I wish it was that easy. Be great to have the Storm, Trinnov, Lyngdorf measured.

I know this unit has had some terrible press and it’s been a tough start, but I heard it 18m ago, I think it was at Bristol and for me it showed great promise, but it was buggy then. We should track down and shoot the HDMI designers... no wait Meridian were involved in that (implementation I think not concept)

Harman are a large company so there’s hope that bugs and problematic operation will be resolved. Given Phil’s comments in Comparison to the MP40 I’d not write it off
 

Classic2000

Active Member
I thought Phil Hintons review of the AV 40 both fair and accurate.
I agree with IWC Dopplel on both the AV 40 and Hdmi though I think he was too humane re the Hdmi designers as I would have them hung drawn and quartered!!😁
I also agree that the AV 40 was released with far too many bugs which is why although I love the arcam sound having owned an 888 and 950 I didn’t buy one until the end of August last year. It was buggy then but could be worked around.Since the beginning of January this year with the latest updates to the arcam and Dirac DLBC firmware available then it has continued to be as stable as it was when I first bought it but is now and continues to be totally bug free. I am on firmware 1.44 and Dirac 3.13 and have not updated as I don’t think it adds anything I need and if it works then don’t fix it!

I accept that I am not using the facilities offered by the AV40as extensively as many owners.

I only have a 7.2 system.
I have 7 ProAc Dt8 speakers each biamped with its own parasound 1500A power amp connected to the rca outs on the av 40 and 2 JBL 4645C passive subs connected to rca outputs 13 and 14 and driven by a crown XTI 4002 power amp
I have therefore had none of the power or noise issues. There is no hum or hiss from the speakers and normal listening is on average 68 on the arcam which is exactly the same as it was when I had the 888 and 950.

As I have a Lumagen pro I don’t use the video inputs and outputs on the AV40 as my Epson LS 10000 projector is driven by the video only output of the lumagen.
Similarly my sources namely an oppo 203 oppo 103 multi region and Apple4k tv box go into the lumagen and the audio only output from the lumagen goes into the uhd input of the AV40 which is the only one I use.

My reason for buying the AV40 was to hear what Dirac could do in my room. I have always believed that the most critical component of any audio system is the room it’s in so 21 years ago in consultation with Acoustic GrG I built the best cinema room I could afford in my garden to that end. Anyone interested can seei it in my thread Classic Cinema 20 years on in the Members DIY home cinema showcases.

As I don’t possess a laptop and am virtually computer and digitally illiterate I bought it and had it installed and set up by Gordon Fraser a client of whose I’ve been for over 13 years who as well as calibrating my Lumagen also has extensive experience with Dirac. Although I always thought the sound of my system in my room was good I was amazed at how much better it sounded with
Dirac. Increased clarity detail openness and phenomenally clean clear tight and powerful bass that goes through your body and your hair like never before!
Since I bought it I have had around 1500 hours of use from it thanks to Covid and being retired and it has worked flawlessly even with the initial bug workarounds.

Three weeks ago I upgraded my Lumagen pro to the 5348 and with its ultra low jitter audio only output has further improved the overall sound of the arcam most notably making the top end even sweeter.

Whilst my use of the AV40 and it’s facilities is somewhat atypical I am glad I bought it, would buy it again especially as it is now in my case totally bug free. I think I would have to spend a hell of a lot more to get anything significantly better IMHO
 
Last edited:

bandyka

Well-known Member
I thought Phil Hintons review of the AV 40 both fair and accurate.
I agree with IWC Dopplel on both the AV 40 and Hdmi though I think he was too humane re the Hdmi designers as I would have them hung drawn and quartered!!😁
I also agree that the AV 40 was released with far too many bugs which is why although I love the arcam sound having owned an 888 and 950 I didn’t buy one until the end of August last year. It was buggy then but could be worked around.Since the beginning of January this year with the latest updates to the arcam and Dirac DLBC firmware available then it has continued to be as stable as it was when I first bought it but is now and continues to be totally bug free. I am on firmware 1.44 and Dirac 3.13 and have not updated as I don’t think it adds anything I need and if it works then don’t fix it!

I accept that I am not using the facilities offered by the AV40as extensively as many owners.

I only have a 7.2 system.
I have 7 ProAc Dt8 speakers each biamped with its own parasound 1500A power amp connected to the rca outs on the av 40 and 2 JBL 4645C passive subs connected to rca outputs 13 and 14 and driven by a crown XTI 4002 power amp
I have therefore had none of the power or noise issues. There is no hum or hiss from the speakers and normal listening is on average 68 on the arcam which is exactly the same as it was when I had the 888 and 950.

As I have a Lumagen pro I don’t use the video inputs and outputs on the AV40 as my Epson LS 10000 projector is driven by the video only output of the lumagen.
Similarly my sources namely an oppo 203 oppo 103 multi region and Apple4k tv box go into the lumagen and the audio only output from the lumagen goes into the uhd input of the AV40 which is the only one I use.

My reason for buying the AV40 was to hear what Dirac could do in my room. I have always believed that the most critical component of any audio system is the room it’s in so 21 years ago in consultation with Acoustic GrG I built the best cinema room I could afford in my garden to that end. Anyone interested can seei it in my thread Classic Cinema 20 years on in the Members DIY home cinema showcases.

As I don’t possess a laptop and am virtually computer and digitally illiterate I bought it and had it installed and set up by Gordon Fraser a client of whose I’ve been for over 13 years who as well as calibrating my Lumagen also has extensive experience with Dirac. Although I always thought the sound of my system in my room was good I was amazed at how much better it sounded with
Dirac. Increased clarity detail openness and phenomenally clean clear tight and powerful bass that goes through your body and your hair like never before!
Since I bought it I have had around 1500 hours of use from it thanks to Covid and being retired and it has worked flawlessly even with the initial bug workarounds.

Three weeks ago I upgraded my Lumagen pro to the 5348 and with its ultra low jitter audio only output has further improved the overall sound of the arcam most notably making the top end even sweeter.

Whilst my use of the AV40 and it’s facilities is somewhat atypical I am glad I bought it, would buy it again especially as it is now in my case totally bug free. I think I would have to spend a hell of a lot more to get anything significantly better IMHO
These are the real life scenarios/reviews that matter.
 

shug4476

Active Member
I would urge anybody weighing up choices to place very little weight on Amir's ASR attempts at measurement.

The only reliable measurements on AV kit come from Paul Miller and, occasionally, Stereophile.

Beyond that, trust your ears.
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
I would urge anybody weighing up choices to place very little weight on Amir's ASR attempts at measurement.

The only reliable measurements on AV kit come from Paul Miller and, occasionally, Stereophile.

Beyond that, trust your ears.

Because amir tested your arcam and results came back badly?


Lol
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I would urge anybody weighing up choices to place very little weight on Amir's ASR attempts at measurement.

The only reliable measurements on AV kit come from Paul Miller and, occasionally, Stereophile.

Beyond that, trust your ears.

Arcam used older Audio Precision analyzer and couldn´t run most of the tests done by Amir. That was bit suprising for such big company. Some of those claims were silly about ground loop, Amir used XLR output and the purpose of XLR balanced out is to eliminate that problem. As i mentioned many engineers writing on ASR felt they were just fishing and guessing cause their analyzer can´t produce same tests. Then they bad mouth the measurements and don´t respond back even after Amir wrote back very lengthy respond for each claims they made, he offered to work together like with other AV companies, but no..

Funny how Storm Audio just worked with Amir on the ISP16 mk2 processor review which measured good. Same thing for Denon and Marantz both measurements were similar to theirs as Amir talks with each companies engineers to let them reproduce each test before putting it out. Emotiva was first against, but working together changed their tone from "something must be wrong to thank you for finding out some issues which didn´t see in our data - we will put out firmware update". Trinnov is coming next.

I understand how you feel as owner of Arcam products. The processor clearly sounds great with Dirac, but it also was rushed to market too soon. Technically it could be better and the software bugs everyone knows already. Seems Anthem did the same...
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
He also tests speakers.

With a ‘robot’.

And he measures them as a single box...?

Robot that many speaker manufacturers doesn´t even have (it costs nearly 100k$).

This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

As for why single box if you are intrested check video as there is good reason for it. :)
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
Robot that many speaker manufacturers doesn´t even have (it costs nearly 100k$).

This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

As for why single box if you are intrested check video as there is good reason for it. :)

What next criticism..that's hes Indian?
He also tests speakers.

With a ‘robot’.

And he measures them as a single box...?

Haven't followed how he tests speakers, but is what he doing any different than rew and umik1? Also I'd want my sources and amps to be as sound uncoloured as possible, then speakers final difference in sound siganture.

Oh and shug why aren't you complaining about the recent storm av pre?
 

Paul7777x

Member
What next criticism..that's hes Indian?


Haven't followed how he tests speakers, but is what he doing any different than rew and umik1? Also I'd want my sources and amps to be as sound uncoloured as possible, then speakers final difference in sound siganture.

Oh and shug why aren't you complaining about the recent storm av pre?

Most people use REW and UMIK-1 to help the speakers response in-room.

That makes perfect sense. A speaker does not have the final say; the speaker and room together do.

And I don’t know what a shug is. Nor do I know what a storm av pre is. And therefore I don’t know why I’d be complaining about one.

What has being Indian got to do with anything? And why would you mention it? No one else has?

Have you some deeper issues better dealt with professionally rather than in a hifi forum?

Also, I’d be obliged if you’d proof read your odd questions. It might make them more easily decipherable.
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
Shug - member above peeved his arcam avr got terrible result.

Storm av pre is that £15,000 av pre amir tested that did very well...so why isn't he dismissing those good results as nonsense?


Also please don't and try to change the subject deflect that I point most av gear fails badly by implying I need "profession help"

If you were as insane as the joker, would that validate or invalidate amir's results?
 

Paul7777x

Member
Shug - member above peeved his arcam avr got terrible result.

Storm av pre is that £15,000 av pre amir tested that did very well...so why isn't he dismissing those good results as nonsense?


Also please don't and try to change the subject deflect that I point most av gear fails badly by implying I need "profession help"

If you were as insane as the joker, would that validate or invalidate amir's results?

Ok. I give up.

I’ve never been a fan of care in the community.
 

Jonesthegas

Active Member
I am not a techie. So, what am I to make of an item of AV gear which tests badly but sounds good to those that have heard it? Why should I care about graphs?

Not in the market for this item but would like to know for future reference.

Martin
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
There are quite a few tests that determine whether a product is designed by competant engineers. If I'm paying good money I want to know that it's not just slapped together half arsed by a lazy audio company. Why support companies that continue such practise?

If you can't understand each test, perhaps someone can explain to you. I might not understand everything but I do understand enough. The most simple test is frequency response, does the product pass through audio in the typical 20hz-20khz range,.flat? The marantz avrs do not, they start rolling off about 16khz. Not exactly "hi-fi" what if you have speakers with super tweeters? what's the point if it's just using treble cut tone control which you cannot do anything about? Waste of time with that amp!


I would rather have dac with low jitter, than high jitter.

I would have rather a pre amp and Poweramp that measures flat, than not.

I would rather have a pre amp that can reach suitable and stable voltage (to my suitable Poweramps) ,.with low distortion, than not.

Other tests is noise floor, how pre amp steps, dac filter, power amplifier test etc

How well the digital section performs, ensure it doesn't cause interference elseware, shielding, power supply issues etc, video section - does that mean into audio section with high frequency nnoiwe etc.

In a good quality Poweramp you want to know how much power it has per channel, all channels driven, into 8 and 4 ohm loads.

Why would you not care something isn't designed properly, even if you can't understand, or to your ears it sounds fine?

Perhaps with low end avr it doesn't really matter, but for higher end stuff I think it does, and other people do also.

I'd be pretty angry if I found out my expensive 200w rated amps were actually 15w, couldn't do all channels driven, had high distortion etc.

Some issues are unforgivable ie the one with the arcam, past "75" pre out voltage doesn't increase, and it's at high distortion.

Even if you don't understand any of it, you should at least appreciate a well engineered audio product that receives a passing grade.
 

shug4476

Active Member
My Arcam AV9, CD93T, P7 and C31 combo has never been tested by Amir. It has been tested by Paul Miller and the results (which I trust) are available online.

Amir's tests of the newer Arcam kit were checked by, I believe, John Dawson, founder of Arcam (although no longer directly involved), who is a member of these forums.

I have posted on these forums multiple times how Amir does not seem to understand what he is doing or how to interpret the results he obtains.

There are real problems with new Arcam kit, but they are mostly firmware and useability problems. The company which invented the offboard DAC has not suddenly found itself unable to comprehend basic DAC implementation.
 

shug4476

Active Member
Can a moderator please PM me to explain how "rccarguy2" has managed to get around my ignore list?

I ignored him a while ago but unfortunately I can read his posts in this thread and when I try and click "ignore" it says he is already on my ignore list but unfortunately I still have to suffer his ramblings.
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
I am not a techie. So, what am I to make of an item of AV gear which tests badly but sounds good to those that have heard it? Why should I care about graphs?

Not in the market for this item but would like to know for future reference.

Martin

if it sounds good to you ... it is good. you can actually trust your ears... i would be very wary of stuff on the web... theres a lot of folk with opinions.. best way to cut through all of that is to check things out for your self.

as far as measurements ... makes no sense if dont marry up with what hear or can correlate yourself ...so if have explored for yourself and measurements dont make sense ... i would just ignore.
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
You've invested heavily in arcam gear so unfortunately you're going to have a emotional reaction when someone trashing your brand (even when they're right) I had a couple of arcam products the 9 which went faulty and few Poweramps.

There is hell of difference between a stereo dac and a complex avr.

If amir doesn't can't interpret the results then why did the storm get a good rating?

His uneven fr response of the marantz avr matches with audioholics response of marantz avr again 16khz roll off.

Yes you stated he doesn't know what he's doing, please explain why, and give your own electricsl engineering experience and qualifications.

Rather than put me on ignore and shove fingers in your ears.

Arcam excuses on bad results had "ground loops issues" as cop out in my opinion.

Do you really think the arcam "large" bug acceptable? Arcam digital system is broke, as can be demonstrated between the good analogue bypass mode, and the god awful digital DSP mode. If you can see that, you're in denial mate.
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I’m all in favor of measurements but Audio Science Review measured the TDAi3400 incorrectly and so got bad measured results. Lyngdorfs Equibit amplifiers are a completely different design to other Class D products and when measuring them you must

Turn off ICC
Use AUX-0025 filter in front of your Audio Precision unit
Measure a single channel at a time

On the two occasion Amir listened to the TDAi3400 amp he said it sounded superb, saying

Get yourself a pair of excellent speakers and pair it with the Lyngdorf and "you are done." Your tiny system will outperform tons of other systems without equalization.”

This is obviously completely at odds that better measurements = better sound.

He also said that RoomPerfect does nothing different to ARC which again is completely wrong.

I see factual errors in product reviews all the time, which could have been prevents if the writer checked them with the manufacturer before publishing. This is why I would not trust any review of a technical product that hasn’t gone through this process and that gives no right to reply.
 

Classic2000

Active Member
@rccarguy2
In your post #148 you say “You’ve invested heavily in Arcam gear so unfortunately you’re going to have a emotional reaction when someone trashing your brand (even when they’re right) I had a couple of Arcam products the 9 which went faulty and a few power amps.”

So are we to assume then that your experience of the Arcam products you owned, namely the 9 which went faulty and a few power amps, produced absolutely no emotional reaction in you whatsoever or any negative bias toward Arcam products?

So when Amir wrote a negative review of the AV40 you seriously expect us to believe that you decided with no ulterior motive, purely on the basis of and in the interest of scientific objectivity, to trash it solely on the basis of his test bench results, in spite of the fact that @Krobar has done some similar tests and come up with different results.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m assuming that you have no firsthand experience of the AV40.

I wrote at length on this forum (# post 130) to describe in detail my experience of the AV40 in the audio system in my home cinema room to offer a different perspective to the negative comments by many which seemed to be based on hearsay and not firsthand experience of it. In spite of a couple of firmware bugs that could be worked around, it was not broken when I first bought it last August and since the beginning of January this year with Arcam firmware 1.44 and a Dirac recalibration with firmware 3.13 it is totally bug free in my system. I have clocked up over 1500 hours since I bought it with over 600 hours of that since the beginning of January.

I have no idea what the Arcam “large bug” is because I only use it for watching movies on Bluray with Dirac always engaged and it delivers the best sound that I and others have ever heard in my cinema room.
 
Last edited:

The latest video from AVForums

LG G1 OLED Evo TV and SVS SB-1000 Pro subwoofer reviews, Samsung OLED rumours and more...
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

What's new on UK streaming services for May 2021
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung's 110-inch Micro LED TV on pre-order at Harrods
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Bang & Olufsen introduces Beosound Emerge speaker
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Sony launches native 4K VPL-VW290ES and VW890ES projectors
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 14th April 2021
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom