Arcam AV9 Purchase a Waste?

ianmacd

Active Member
I thought about the same thing but it would seem the processor you would need (with analog audio outs) would be one of the mid level ones so would be around the £800 mark and the pioneer BR player is about that anyway.

I am trying to live with my PS3 for BR atm but may crack if Arcam take too long coming out with a decent BR player.

Ian.
 

darron027

Novice Member
Arcam are exhibiting later this week at the European Hifi/AV show in Munich. At a guess this could well be the launch pad to announce any new models etc.
 

gbaby

Active Member
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.
I don't understand how the signal can be destroyed coming from the HDMI 1.3 pre/pro pre outs. If its good enough for an amp, it should be good enough for a clean analog 7.1 pass through like the ones contained on an AV9.
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
The DACs in something like a Denon 4306 or Onkyo 875 for example leave an awful lot to be desired. You gain HD audio format, but such a massive amount of detail is lost passing through the AVR (not just DACs but also DSP etc) back onto the AV9 again that you have lost more than you gained IMO.

However find a Blu-Ray player with decent DACs and internal decoding to analogue outputs and you can feed your 7.1 MCH input on the AV9 directly. We have plenty of setups using Zektor switches from BD, HD-DVD and SACD MCH outputs all into the AV9 and they sound better than any currently available HDMI based solution (excepting the Lexicon). The Sony 300 and Panasonic BD30 have good DACs on their MCH outputs, but don't decode all the formats. The Panny decodes all the lossy formats and just leaves DTS HD MA and Dolby True HD which is as close as we can get so far. Nice player too IMO. A perfect stop gap for a year or so until the technology is out of infancy and some decent products from decent manufacturers are available.

(I won't go on to the limitations of using HDMI interface to send audio in the first place! It's been more than covered)
 

gbaby

Active Member
The DACs in something like a Denon 4306 or Onkyo 875 for example leave an awful lot to be desired. You gain HD audio format, but such a massive amount of detail is lost passing through the AVR (not just DACs but also DSP etc) back onto the AV9 again that you have lost more than you gained IMO.

However find a Blu-Ray player with decent DACs and internal decoding to analogue outputs and you can feed your 7.1 MCH input on the AV9 directly. We have plenty of setups using Zektor switches from BD, HD-DVD and SACD MCH outputs all into the AV9 and they sound better than any currently available HDMI based solution (excepting the Lexicon). The Sony 300 and Panasonic BD30 have good DACs on their MCH outputs, but don't decode all the formats. The Panny decodes all the lossy formats and just leaves DTS HD MA and Dolby True HD which is as close as we can get so far. Nice player too IMO. A perfect stop gap for a year or so until the technology is out of infancy and some decent products from decent manufacturers are available.

(I won't go on to the limitations of using HDMI interface to send audio in the first place! It's been more than covered)
I would use a HDMI 1.3 pre/pro for the new codecs only. The signal would have to pass through the analog outs in the 1.3 HDMI pre/pro anyway. Why would there be a difference going to the analog outs that would go to an amp vs. the analog outs going to a pass through on the AV9?
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
Sorry perhaps I have misunderstood you. My point is that something like the Onkyo 875 has poor analogue outs (and ins). Going HDMI into Onkyo 875 the pre-outs into AV9 is pointless because of how poor the analogue is on the Onkyo. Same story for similar Denons, Pioneers etc but I know specifically for the Denons and Onkyos because I have tested them.

Analogue outs directly from a BD player *could* easily be the same story. But find one with decent DACs and you will do better than going via something else also.

If it is something else you are trying to do please do correct me!
 

gbaby

Active Member
Sorry perhaps I have misunderstood you. My point is that something like the Onkyo 875 has poor analogue outs (and ins). Going HDMI into Onkyo 875 the pre-outs into AV9 is pointless because of how poor the analogue is on the Onkyo. Same story for similar Denons, Pioneers etc but I know specifically for the Denons and Onkyos because I have tested them.

Analogue outs directly from a BD player *could* easily be the same story. But find one with decent DACs and you will do better than going via something else also.

If it is something else you are trying to do please do correct me!
I thought that the new codecs sounded good even in the inexpensive Onkyo pre/pros. I would not be interested in any other use for an inexpensive pre/pro with HDMI 1.3. The reviews have been good with those inexpensive pre/pros playing the new codecs, but the review have been poor with them playing legacy formats which is why I'd keep my AV9 and play the legacy formats through it.
 

regent8

Standard Member
Sorry perhaps I have misunderstood you. My point is that something like the Onkyo 875 has poor analogue outs (and ins). Going HDMI into Onkyo 875 the pre-outs into AV9 is pointless because of how poor the analogue is on the Onkyo. Same story for similar Denons, Pioneers etc but I know specifically for the Denons and Onkyos because I have tested them.

Analogue outs directly from a BD player *could* easily be the same story. But find one with decent DACs and you will do better than going via something else also.

If it is something else you are trying to do please do correct me!
I find this really interesting :clap:. I was a bit desillusioned since I went for a AVP700/P1000 and saw the high scores that the Denon, Marantz, Onkyo etc got.:(. All of them are decoding the HD sound formats and manages to get soundstreams via HDMI 1.x. Seeing this, tests made by someone who has access to the Arcams and some of the others, at least some highscorers, is rewarding. I haven't had the time to test them all.
 

cjohnson6

Novice Member
I don't think you'll ever get to hear them all.. if you did you'd never choose anything.

Are you happy with your AVP700 and P1000? I Really think the AV8 /9 would have been a better buy...

The new formats can wait in my view.

The new 'top models' are still only 'entry level'.. The best Blu Ray player is just £350.. and the best receiver is only £1000..

How does that work????
 

Ian_S

Distinguished Member
The problem right now is finding a Blu-ray player with decent analogue outputs. Avoid the Pioneers as for analogue out you are downgraded to DD/DTS, and in that instance you might as well use the AV9 etc's DSP. Ditto the Sony as it's a Pioneer in Sony clothes.

As has been said, if you want a decent high-end analogue Blu-ray solution right now you are ******. Come to that if you want a high end digital solution you are also ******. The wait continues. :boring:
 

HeweyBoy101

Active Member
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.
I don't own anything as good as the AV9 (I can dream!). I do have an Arcam AVR300, with 5.1 analogue from Panasonic Blu-ray BD10. I had an Onkyo SR805 amp for 3 weeks in Feb/Mar, which I purchased for HD audio, to replace my previous Yamaha DSP-A1.

I simply couldn't live with the Onkyo - it might have HD audio, and it might get good reviews, but it sounded horrible. On stereo music in particular it was even worse, suggesting (to me) very poor quality DAC's and processing. Music performance must be important even in an AV amp - after all many film sountracks contain a lot of music score. The Onkyo just sounded flat and lifeless on music.

I switched to the Arcam AVR300 and reverted to analogue audio for HD. This lowly integrated Arcam amp is a dream compared to the Onkyo, and is also considerably better han my previous A1 (particularly in stereo mode). Even legacy DD and DTS on the Arcam are far superior to so the "HD audio" on the Onkyo.

As someone said earlier, I am sure sure that any future Arcam HD audio implemeation will be in another league altogther.
 

gbaby

Active Member
Even legacy DD and DTS on the Arcam are far superior to so the "HD audio" on the Onkyo.
Please rephrase this sentence as I don't quite understand. Is it saying that on the Onkyo, the HD codecs sound worse than the legacy codecs on the Arcam?
 

regent8

Standard Member
I don't think you'll ever get to hear them all.. if you did you'd never choose anything.

Are you happy with your AVP700 and P1000? I Really think the AV8 /9 would have been a better buy...

The new formats can wait in my view.

The new 'top models' are still only 'entry level'.. The best Blu Ray player is just £350.. and the best receiver is only £1000..

How does that work????


Yes I'm still happy with my combo. Certainly an AV8/9 would have been even better but during the time for my buy the pricetags differed so much that, an AV8/9 was too pricey.

If I get an offer to upgrade I perhaps will do it. ;)
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
Please rephrase this sentence as I don't quite understand. Is it saying that on the Onkyo, the HD codecs sound worse than the legacy codecs on the Arcam?
The other way around. He's saying the Arcam on just DD/DTS sounds cleaner and more detailed and involving than DTSHD/TrueHD on an Onkyo through it's lets clear amps and poorer input staging.
 

adprom

Novice Member
Something worth remembering with the AV9 is that it is an outstanding analogue preamp which can compete with many higher end stereo preamps. There is a lot more to the processor than just the digital surround DACs :)
 

gbaby

Active Member
Something worth remembering with the AV9 is that it is an outstanding analogue preamp which can compete with many higher end stereo preamps. There is a lot more to the processor than just the digital surround DACs :)
You are correct. This is the reason I am considering an inexpensive processor with HDMI 1.3 to connect to the 7.1 pass through on the AV9. I will never sell the AV9 due to its superior analog stage.
 

Turtles

Novice Member
All I keep seeing is all these AV9's on ex dem or for sale and wondering 'how do I get the money'....but then think that the new vapourware AV10 will come with some more whatsits that I'm bound to need, even if the new range of Blu-Ray players will give me all the codecs..

They'll be some 'Mask of quiet Silence' or something.

But the idea of a AV9 keeps nagging me.
 

gbaby

Active Member
All I keep seeing is all these AV9's on ex dem or for sale and wondering 'how do I get the money'....but then think that the new vapourware AV10 will come with some more whatsits that I'm bound to need, even if the new range of Blu-Ray players will give me all the codecs..

They'll be some 'Mask of quiet Silence' or something.

But the idea of a AV9 keeps nagging me.
Keep waiting on the AV10 and maybe by the time it comes out three years from now, your ears will be shot and fidelity will no longer be an issue. :nono:
 
You should make this upgrade a priority. You are really missing out on EX, ES and Prologic IIx capability.
My AV8 is with Arcam at the moment, having it's power supply looked at. Once it's back, I'll give it some serious thought. Much will depend on whether I stick to my Denon or make a complete change to Arcam.
 

norks27

Novice Member
With all this talk of the AV9 I wondered what peoples thoughts where regarding the possibility of an AV8 to AV10 upgrade, thus skipping the AV9 step. I don't doubt that it would be more expensive than a straight AV9 to AV10 upgrade but am I on my own in hoping to make this step once the AV10 is released, whenever that may be.
 

Turtles

Novice Member
Obviously this is all speculation but I believe that the AV10 will be a new beast and those with earlier models will be left to pay up or put up. Could be wrong but with the changes now coming in the marketplace I don't see how without ripping all the insides out and starting again is going to make this possible.

Although if it is then Arcam should tell us immediately and I'll have my last reason to get an AV9!
 

gbaby

Active Member
With all this talk of the AV9 I wondered what peoples thoughts where regarding the possibility of an AV8 to AV10 upgrade, thus skipping the AV9 step. I don't doubt that it would be more expensive than a straight AV9 to AV10 upgrade but am I on my own in hoping to make this step once the AV10 is released, whenever that may be.
From everything I've read, the AV9 or AV8 cannot be upgraded to play the new sorround codecs under HDMI 1.3. So if this is what your looking for, you must wait. However, I would not as a you can get the new sorround codecs in a Blu-ray player that can properly play them through their analog outputs.
 

Turtles

Novice Member
I BLAME EVERYONE ON THIS THREAD!!!

(I'm buying an ex dem AV9 on Saturday!)

I'm as poor as an orphan and happy as Charlie getting the golden ticket! Can't wait!:D
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: The Best TVs and Projectors of 2020, plus AV, TV Show & Movie News & Reviews

Latest News

What's new on Disney+ UK for December 2020
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 2nd December 2020
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Klipsch announces four Cinema soundbars for UK
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Elipson adds Connect 250 streaming amp to Connected range
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Cyrus Audio announces XR series Hi-Fi products
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom