Arcam AV9 Purchase a Waste?

tvh3ad

Novice Member
The Panasonic DMP-BD10/DB10A does NOT do DTS-HD Master audio, the Sigma chipset used in that and many other early BD players does not have the horsepower according to Sigma themselves to handle MA. It does do DTS-HD High Resolution, however there aren't many discs with HR on them. ... Three of the latter are on their way this year so far, the Panasonic DMP-BD50, the Denon DVD-3800BD or the Marantz BD8002. All will decode all HD audio, are at least profile 1.1 compliant and all are supposed to have 7.1 analogue audio outs.
Re HD Master: I was wrong about this -- I misread the Panasonic site. The BD10A only does DTS HR, not DTS MA. That's too bad, but if the replacement carries 7.1 forward, I guess it won't matter.

Re new BD players with 7.1: that's great news!
 

tvh3ad

Novice Member
I know that the designers of HDMI are trying to "simplify" things for people by running audio over HDMI too but maybe its time for an upgraded version of toslink/spdif that has the capacity to pass bitstream/PCM for HD sourrces.
There's another reason this would be a good thing: if your display supports input-specific calibration, the best picture is often obtained by running HDMI from multiple sources. However, unless you invest in splitters, doing so pretty much requires that you omit the receiver/processor, in which case you need an alternative signal path for the audio.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Three of the latter are on their way this year so far, the Panasonic DMP-BD50, the Denon DVD-3800BD or the Marantz BD8002. All will decode all HD audio, are at least profile 1.1 compliant and all are supposed to have 7.1 analogue audio outs.
OK, so I wait a bit longer.
 

regent8

Standard Member
Well, maybe its not a waste. Since my last post, a representative for the Arcam distrubuter in the USA agreed to upgrade my recently out of warranty AVP700 just as promised by webbhammer. Thanks! And, in thinking about the AV9, whats needed temporarily is a Blu-Ray DVD player with analog outputs to access the High Def codecs, that will also play SACD and have a crossover. I think Arcam is capable of such a player.
Hi, What was the AVP700 upgraded with? (also having a AVP700)
 

regent8

Standard Member
I think the fact that you can easily purchase a second hand AV9 in the US for half this amount is amazing.. Used AV9s are quite common on Audiogon.. typically priced at $3000.. AV8s go for $2000... Now that's a real bargain!

Buying either AV8 or AV9 is not a waste ( especially at used prices ). It's a great foundation for a system. Just build around it.
I'm not fully understanding how the future sounds will be, but how can you say that it is a great foundation?
 

gbaby

Active Member
Hi, What was the AVP700 upgraded with? (also having a AVP700)
I upgraded the AVP700 with the AV9. I was trying to sell the AVP700, but could not sell it so I decided to keep it and get it upgraded. The Arcam AVP has been upgraded, however, I never opened the box once I received it from the distributor because I already have the AV9 and have no use for the 700 except as a backup if for any reason the AV9 fails.
 

RumNYC

Novice Member
The Denon DVD-3800BD bd player seems to have 7.1 analog outs and it has bd 1.1 and dual audio decoders for pip. If i were to pair a blueray player with the av9, this would be it...

The upcoming Marantz BD8002 may also have similar features.
 

PenguinHiFi

Novice Member
Hi everyone,

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think things have a little evolved since this thread has started.

1°) the BRD/HD-DVD war is over. And BR is the winner. Toshiba, the last HD-DVD warrior has fallen a month ago...

2°) apparently, Denon has released a pre-pro / power amp combo that does it all : Dolby True-HD and DTS-Master Audio. It seems to do it over HDMI 1.3a, but also has 7.1 analogue inputs. Don't know the price nor the sound of it though... But what I can tell for sure is that, in general, the japanese high-end offers really good sound. Even though for personal reasons, when I spend so much money, I won't get something from a mass-market brand. I'd rather get me BMW series 5 or 7 than a Citroen C6 or a Renault Vel Satis... (personal taste, please do not flame me).

For some time I now own an Arcam AV-8. What I can tell is that it is ABSOLUTELY not a waste of money. I got it second hand from Audiogon, where I paid it slightly less than 2000 dollars (there are currently two others : one for 1700 dollars and one for 1800 dollars that are more than real bargains !!!!!).
The sound coming out of it is simply stunning. The difference between the AV8 and the AVP700 is incredible. And the AVP700 offered good performance already. But here, we're in a different league.

And concerning all this HD fuss : what do those formats offer ? I haven't heard them. But as far as I can tell, I think the point is : new formats now offer superior sound quality, but from now on, each new format will only bring improvement that is only marginally audible. Again : personal opinion. Don't flame me please :)

Regards.

PenguinHiFi
 

regent8

Standard Member
Hi everyone,

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think things have a little evolved since this thread has started.

1°) the BRD/HD-DVD war is over. And BR is the winner. Toshiba, the last HD-DVD warrior has fallen a month ago...

2°) apparently, Denon has released a pre-pro / power amp combo that does it all : Dolby True-HD and DTS-Master Audio. It seems to do it over HDMI 1.3a, but also has 7.1 analogue inputs. Don't know the price nor the sound of it though... But what I can tell for sure is that, in general, the japanese high-end offers really good sound. Even though for personal reasons, when I spend so much money, I won't get something from a mass-market brand. I'd rather get me BMW series 5 or 7 than a Citroen C6 or a Renault Vel Satis... (personal taste, please do not flame me).

For some time I now own an Arcam AV-8. What I can tell is that it is ABSOLUTELY not a waste of money. I got it second hand from Audiogon, where I paid it slightly less than 2000 dollars (there are currently two others : one for 1700 dollars and one for 1800 dollars that are more than real bargains !!!!!).
The sound coming out of it is simply stunning. The difference between the AV8 and the AVP700 is incredible. And the AVP700 offered good performance already. But here, we're in a different league.

And concerning all this HD fuss : what do those formats offer ? I haven't heard them. But as far as I can tell, I think the point is : new formats now offer superior sound quality, but from now on, each new format will only bring improvement that is only marginally audible. Again : personal opinion. Don't flame me please :)

Regards.

PenguinHiFi

1) True. BR is the format.

2) If a good mastering is made etc. so the only difference is the bitstream (higher on HD formats) the experiences differs from big difference till minor differences (only detectable during A/B tests).
One example http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=13372647"
(take it for what it is)

Or if the HD sound is decoded in the dvd-player and sent analogous then I cannot see that there will be a noticable difference - between a AVP700, AV8, AV9 or any other serious piece (even from other brands :D) - since there will be just amplification - no further decoding will be done.

In what disciplines have you experienced that the AV8 better than the AVP700? I mean DVD o CD or Vinyl or DAB, FM playback ?

Since often both formats (the old DD or DTS and the new HD DD or HD DTS) are present on the blueray discs it would be interesting to know if an AV8, AV9 will decode the old formats and amplify them better than a processor decoding the new formats and amplifying them? (Arcam doesn't have any processor or dvdplayer yet for the new formats).


Regards Lars
 

ianmacd

Active Member
1) Since often both formats (the old DD or DTS and the new HD DD or HD DTS) are present on the blueray discs it would be interesting to know if an AV8, AV9 will decode the old formats and amplify them better than a processor decoding the new formats and amplifying them? (Arcam doesn't have any processor or dvdplayer yet for the new formats).
I have been wondering that for some time and have posted a few times with respect to that too. I did have an answer from someone with a Toshiba ep35 HDDVD player who said they found the internal decoding of HD audio tracks sounded batter than decoding of DD or DTS on the Amp (AVR350 iirc). That does surprise me though.

Ian.
 
I have been wondering that for some time and have posted a few times with respect to that too. I did have an answer from someone with a Toshiba ep35 HDDVD player who said they found the internal decoding of HD audio tracks sounded batter than decoding of DD or DTS on the Amp (AVR350 iirc). That does surprise me though.

Ian.
I don't understand why this would be so surprising. Yes the Arcam is going to be way ahead of most with Standard DD and DTS, but when it comes down to the HD formats, even if the Toshiba has fairly basic processing, it is dealing with a far superior signal to begin with and therefore is going to sound better. A Toshiba or Samsung sending TrueHD or DTSHD-MA into an AV9 via analogue is better than sending standard DD or DTS via bitsream, no questions asked.
 

Helicon

Banned
The superiority of the HD audio should be apparent immediately. Even though i've only watched a few films via Blu-Ray, i can hear that even the standard DD signal off Blu-Ray sounds better than that off DVD. I suppose you would do given the bitrate is about 50% higher. So yes, a Blu-Ray decoding HD audio and sending it to an AV9/P7 will sound better than sending a bitstream DD/DTS signal to the AV9 to decode.

As for whether the Arcam is a waste of money - probably a little harsh. It's going to be much better than the majority with music, and it's still kick ass with DD/DTS soundtracks. But, Arcam do need to do something pretty soon as there will come a point when cheaper products are leaving their pre/powers behind regarding HD audio reproduction. A good start would be to keep the current AV9 customers by producing a cost effective HDMI HD upgrade. After all, it has been plugged as upgradeable.

I once bought a Tag AV32R because it was supposed to be upgradeable and futureproof. Luckily i didn't lose too much money there. But i'll be damned if i'm going to spend many thousands just to be left with a product nobody wants because it can't do the latest thing which everybody else is doing for a fraction of the price. I can see a lot of these pre-amps being handed down to teenage sons........

37!!
 

gbaby

Active Member
The Denon DVD-3800BD bd player seems to have 7.1 analog outs and it has bd 1.1 and dual audio decoders for pip. If i were to pair a blueray player with the av9, this would be it...
You are right! This particular unit has solved the problem for me with the AV9. It has multiple crossover frequencies at 40, 60, 80, 100 and 120hz respectively. I also found out that the new codecs through this player sounds the same as if it were played from a pre/pro. Too bad it does not have SACD, but, I haven't played any of my SACDs for quite some time so they may go the way of my vinyl; storage.
 

regent8

Standard Member
I got feedback from a person testing AVP700 and a flagship receiver.
"When I purchased the unit, I compared it to the yamaha flagship receiver I had....even with TrueHD audio, I found the standard DD soundtrack with Arcam's DLPIIx processing for 7.1 to be superior. The rear soundstage came alive in my set up. "
 

Helicon

Banned
The Yamaha must've been set up wrong then!!
 

PenguinHiFi

Novice Member
In what disciplines have you experienced that the AV8 better than the AVP700? I mean DVD o CD or Vinyl or DAB, FM playback ?

Regards Lars
Hi Lars,

To my ears, the sound difference was quite audible in both CD playback and DVD (HT) playback.
But it was the most obivous on HT playback in multichannel. Explosions, rain, surround effects of a plane orrocket coming from left behind and going to the front right is really obvious.
I now fully understand the "Home Theater" concept, where I thought I was missing a little of it with the AVP700.

Concerning the CD playback difference, the AVP700 was doing a great job, but the AV8 does it all with a kind of relaxed force that makes it sound as he would do everything in an easy and natural way where sometimes you had the impression the AVP700 was a little more hard at work.Don't know if that does mean something...


Now I got myself a 42" plasma display, I will consider the acquisition of a Blue-Ray player. But befre I'll do that, I will have to be convinced of the sound improvement. And now I have the AV8, I think the difference might grow a little smaller ;-)

Regards

Gallows Pole
 

regent8

Standard Member
Hi Lars,

To my ears, the sound difference was quite audible in both CD playback and DVD (HT) playback.
But it was the most obivous on HT playback in multichannel. Explosions, rain, surround effects of a plane orrocket coming from left behind and going to the front right is really obvious.
I now fully understand the "Home Theater" concept, where I thought I was missing a little of it with the AVP700.

Concerning the CD playback difference, the AVP700 was doing a great job, but the AV8 does it all with a kind of relaxed force that makes it sound as he would do everything in an easy and natural way where sometimes you had the impression the AVP700 was a little more hard at work.Don't know if that does mean something...


Now I got myself a 42" plasma display, I will consider the acquisition of a Blue-Ray player. But befre I'll do that, I will have to be convinced of the sound improvement. And now I have the AV8, I think the difference might grow a little smaller ;-)

Regards

Gallows Pole

Thanks for sharing this.

I've thinking regarding this. I believe the internal DACs are better on the AV8 (AV9) than on the AVP700.
But as a Blue-Ray player needs to deliver multichannel analogous signal (when used with an ARCAM) and a CD player also does the same (delivers an analogue signal, Stereo or DVD-A or SACD),
What is then left for the preamp/processor than just select source, (play DAB/FM if built in), and amplify the signal to the poweramp?
Can the difference be that obvious for this scenario?
I'm just curios

r Lars
 

regent8

Standard Member
Seeming to post replies on myself :rolleyes:

I haven´t made a rigorous research but I believe that there are a lot to be said about the human nature and behaviour.

One person having got acquainted with a product, will immediately notice a difference if the product is replaced.

Hence I trust that the AV8 (AV9) is sounding better.

One person said the following (when the AV8 was new) "I borrowed an ARCAM AV8 over the weekend and the hard thing is that it sounds better than my ALPHA 10 DAVE/DTS/DD Försteg/Slutsteg combo. To be honest it sounds better than, I believe, the anything I've heard...

****, how should I manage to live on water and porridge the rest of the year ;)"

Personally I'm pondering if a AVR350 is sufficient, but the AVP700/P1000 gives me more options for the future - I can exchange my processor (however get nothing for it on the 2nd hand market then:thumbsdow)

an equation not easily solved....

Life is like that that :D


Lars
 

Turtles

Novice Member
Whilst not wishing to contravene any rules of the forum – if anyone with an AV9 wishes to get rid of their tired, outdated ,pre-processor could you PM me and I’ll pop round and take it off your hands. Honestly, I wouldn’t even insult you by offering money for it! Anytime guys. :thumbsup:
 

cjohnson6

Novice Member
Buy an AV8 on the second hand market.. it's a 'no brainer'. They are the best bargain out there right now..Another 'ARCAM classic'.. One guy on here picked one up for less than £600..

You'd be daft not to! You will NEVER loose money on it... and you will gain hours, days, weeks, months, even years of listening pleasure!

IMHO, it's the 2nd best product ARCAM has ever produced ( CD36 takes the top slot )...:thumbsup:
 

gbaby

Active Member
:thumbsdow
Buy an AV8 on the second hand market.. it's a 'no brainer'. They are the best bargain out there right now..Another 'ARCAM classic'.. One guy on here picked one up for less than £600..

You'd be daft not to! You will NEVER loose money on it... and you will gain hours, days, weeks, months, even years of listening pleasure!

IMHO, it's the 2nd best product ARCAM has ever produced ( CD36 takes the top slot )...:thumbsup:
My understanding it that the Arcam AV9 is the third best processor in the world with only the Meridian and Theta Casablanca sounding
marginally better for an exponential amount more in price. As far a a comparison of the sound of the AV9 vs. the AVP700, I have both, and the AV9 is much quieter (less noise), reveals more nuiances in the music and less fatiquing to listen over a long period of time over the AVP700. The 700 is not bad, but the AV9 is in another league.

While I started this post, please know that I no longer see the AV9 as a waste as the 7.1 analog inputs saved the day, and its simply not worth it to get a new pre/pro just for the new codecs when one can get it through a good blu-ray player. Besides, who wants a new pre-pro with all these upcoversions and Audessey room corrections and the like which can contaminate the sound. I like Arcam's keep it simple approach.
 

Timbo21

Well-known Member
:thumbsdow

While I started this post, please know that I no longer see the AV9 as a waist as the 7.1 analog inputs saved the day, and its simply not worth it to get a new pre/pro just for the new codecs when one can get it through a good blu-ray player. Besides, who wants a new pre-pro with all these upcoversions and Audessey room corrections and the like which can contaminate the sound. I like Arcam's keep it simple approach.
Completely agree. Amps like the latest Denons sound apalling with no room eq switched in.

I would prefer straight DD with a good processor and power amps over a Denon/Onkyo with Dolby True HD.
 

regent8

Standard Member
Completely agree. Amps like the latest Denons sound apalling with no room eq switched in.

I would prefer straight DD with a good processor and power amps over a Denon/Onkyo with Dolby True HD.
:thumbsdow

My understanding it that the Arcam AV9 is the third best processor in the world with only the Meridian and Theta Casablanca sounding
marginally better for an exponential amount more in price. As far a a comparison of the sound of the AV9 vs. the AVP700, I have both, and the AV9 is much quieter (less noise), reveals more nuiances in the music and less fatiquing to listen over a long period of time over the AVP700. The 700 is not bad, but the AV9 is in another league.

While I started this post, please know that I no longer see the AV9 as a waste as the 7.1 analog inputs saved the day, and its simply not worth it to get a new pre/pro just for the new codecs when one can get it through a good blu-ray player. Besides, who wants a new pre-pro with all these upcoversions and Audessey room corrections and the like which can contaminate the sound. I like Arcam's keep it simple approach.
Thanks alot for your input, I've got really useful info from this thread as
having being a bit confused regarding the new formats and how to transfer the sound from the BlueRay disc to my ears.

"Less is more"
Meaning
"The notion that simplicity and clarity lead to good design"
 

gbaby

Active Member
I was thinking about whether or not one could buy a processor with HDMI 1.3a, connect its audio outs to the 7.1 pass through on the Arcam AV-9 and have an HDMI 1.3 unit. Does this make sense and will it work?
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
Of the options already available (i.e. getting Onkyo/Denon/Pioneer etc etc amps and running the pre-outs) it's not worth doing. The signal is already destroyed once it comes out of the analogue stages of the AVR. Unfortunately if you want a high end solution you are very much limited in choice just now and will be for a while. The best approach is using analogue pre-outs on a decent player into something like the AV9.
 

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