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Arcam AVR100 to ...

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Chester, Aug 18, 2003.

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  1. Chester

    Chester
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    Hi there!

    Being mi first post, let me introduce myself: I am Chester, bass player from Peterborough. I've been interested in Hi-Fi ever since I worked with the very addictive equipment from the age of 15. I also ride Triumph motorcycles (Daytona 955Fi) and I most certainly have the gadget bug.

    Right, down to business... :)

    Currently I have an Arcam AVR100. I'm not looking to upgrade as such, more cure problems that have presented themselves through an inflexible configuration of the amp. The rest of my system comprises of:

    Micromega Stage 2 - CDP
    Pioneer DV-454 - DVDP
    Yamaha - MD recorder
    Acoustic Energy AE109 floorstanders
    Boston Acoustic diplar rears
    B&W centre
    [At the minute] non-descript Scchhhhiiiittttee Sony sub!

    It's mostly used for home cinema, but being a musician, it's important to me that it works well for music too. Even though I like action films and my fave band is Metallica (the proper early stuff), I prefer revealing detail than out-and-out power.

    I'm considering a change to the AVR200, or perhaps NAD's T752. Does anyone have any experience with these or perhaps could recommend something else?

    Thanks in advance for your help.. :cool:
     
  2. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    What issues are u trying to solve from the AVR100?

    Matt
     
  3. sr78

    sr78
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    At stereo the AVR200 is hard to beat, even by more up-to-date, powerful AV receivers.

    However, as an AV amp it is underpowered for more demanding speakers (not an issue for you), and it does skimp quite a bit on the feature front compared to other amps in that price range.

    Better bet is to go for a good stereo amp like a NAD 320BEE or Arcam A65+ and combine it with a cheap AV amp, like a Marantz SR4300 or other cheap Pioneer/Sony/Denon etc. etc., that would give you the best of both worlds. Just make sure stereo amp and AV amp match correctly, I have an A85 and an SR4200, and they don't quite match...
     
  4. Gatto

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    Surely go for the NAD T752, these are the advantages:
    more flexible, more ins and outs, can be upgrade to 7.1, More processing DDEX DTSES PROLOGIC 2 Etc..., and its a complete power house . EXcellent in stereo and multichannel music, compares to NAD Stereo AMPS. (by the way its built by the same Arcam Chinese OEM supplier, to NAD Specification)

    Just Check thats its installed with Software Version 1.19 Upwards
     
  5. Chester

    Chester
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    Issues with AVR100:
    • It doesn't play DTS tracks correctly. I'm told that this issue can be solved: upgrade the firmware. I've enquired about this at my local dealer, and they keep shrugging their shoulders.
    • It doesn't allow you to use the sub-out in stereo. The lounge really does need the sub to lend a hand. I know subs like MJ Acoustics and REL can use speaker level inputs, but I'd rather use amp to redirect the low-bass signals.
    • Speaker configuration is awful. I cannot change the rear speakers to small with large fronts. There are only 3 presets!

    I trust Arcam to do a great job in stereo. The NAD gets such a mixed reception, it's just left me confused. Perhaps I should just audition the thing myself. I'm still waiting for a response from NAD in answer to the question: can you run a sub in stereo like you can on the Arcam AVR200?

    Also I'm told that there is a new AVR300 on its way. Does anyone have any info on this new box? Perhaps the key to my quest is to wait.
     
  6. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    AH.. I see... what issues did you have with DTS ? I have just bought a avr100 second hand.. and have been trying it out.. I agree with points 2/3 with regards to setup.. thought it had a lovely sound. more laid back than my onkyo.. but I have had no issues with DTS..

    Have u tried plugging the sub into one of the main left/right preouts for stereo. and then just set the crossover on the sub to the relevant level ?

    I did ask about a firmware upgrade with Arcam.. I thought that all that did was improve the BAss management.. I did not think it made any difference to the processing..

    Cheers

    Matt
     
  7. Chester

    Chester
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    A friend of mine contacted someone who works for Arcam whilst experiencing the problem (watching Pitch Black R1/DTS). She said that the LFE channel is wrongly decoded with -10db! If you stick your head right by the sub, you can hear a tiny amount. There's no such problem in DD.

    It is possible to disable the Arcam's subwoofer output, and then use a sub with high level inputs to capture the low frequencies from there. But you're adding more circuits into the signal path of the LFE channel, as in it is being amplified to speaker level, sent to the sub, and then brought back down to line level, filtered, and then amplified again. The AVR200 allows you to use the subwoofer output for stereo, and doesn't have the DTS decoding problem.

    Other than that, I wouldn't want to part with the AVR100! So I've read, the whilst the 200 is virtually identical to the 100 on the outside, it's virtually completely redesigned and built from the inside. I guess they had plenty of those chassises to fill!

    Glad you like the Arcam sound. :)
     
  8. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
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    What's your budget? The Rotel RSP 1055 is superb and second hand can be got at half new price in mint condition (if you can find one). Or, maybe the 976 would be worth a look although I don't think it has DPL2.

    I have tried many, many amps and for around a grand (or half second-hand) the Rotel recievers are unbeatable IMHO.

    Kill 'em all certainly rocks on mine.:D
     
  9. Gatto

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    Yes the DTS Problem was shared with AV equipment that was based on a certain DSP. I remember I had a NAD t751 which is basicly an Arcam AVR100 and shared the same flaw. The DTS level had to be set to pluss 10 to really hear something from the Amp. But did not have probs with the Stereo and LFE output! While the speaker setup was extreemly limited compared to the AMPs at that time.

    I have now Upgraded to a NAD T762. All the issues have been tackled by NAD. The T762 and T752 are extreemly flexible (software wise) and cater for any connection required. I went to NAD again because I really Love the way the Amplication installed works. They can literally drive any speaker load with ease and the sound is warm and sweet!

    They both process all the current formats, except DTS 24/96, but the T762 have 6 amps installed internally etc. while the T752 caters for 5 Amps with the option to upgrade!
     
  10. Chester

    Chester
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    Mmm, budget for the AV receiver... Definitely no more than £800. And that's dependant if I can get good money for the AVR100.

    I can't remember the last time I looked at any Rotel stuff. I'll have a wander over to their web-site later on today and see what they can do.

    Thanks ;)
     
  11. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
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    If you can find a 1055 for £800 it'll destroy anything under a grand, even the much raved about 2011 and 3803 (both very good though). If you like your music, your choice is really Arcam, Nad or Rotel at that king of money. Either that or a cheap Yammy AV reciever linked up to a good Arcam stereo amp or similar.
     
  12. Chester

    Chester
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    King of money?
     
  13. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
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    Oops, let slip my true identity.:D
     
  14. Chester

    Chester
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    Does anyone have any experience in one of these Rotel jobbies in stereo?
     
  15. Chrissywis

    Chrissywis
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    I have an AVR100 that is just over 2 years old and it has an option for stereo subwoofer on/off. Thanks for the info on DTS LFE level, I've avoided using DTS because of it.:(
     
  16. simonb68

    simonb68
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    Chester, I have the RSX-1055, and am very impressed with it. After getting it for AV use, extra formats etc, I now probably use it more for stereo. I have it paired with Dynaudio Contour 1.1 speakers and a Primare V25 DVD player as CD source. I'm no audiophile, and have to admit I went mostly on dealer recommendation, not listening to much else, but I found the sound very clean, open, lots of detail, great treble and enough bass for my tastes. Thats not to say I'll never upgrade it, but my upgrade focus is probably a dedicated CD player, from what I've heard, improving the pre-amp section would take considerable money.

    I can only suggest you have a listen to it if possible.

    Simon
     
  17. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Ok.. this is not much help... but how do you check for the stereo sub on/off?

    I only ask as I have my AVR100 hooked up at the moment.. and my DTS is thumping out bass like no tomorrow.. with the sub trim set at 0! I'm guessing arcam have fixed it with later amps.. (not sure how old mine is though!)

    Dead impressed with the sound.. and I have been testing with DD/DTS dvd's I can switch between just to make sure..

    Armageddon DTS Rocks

    Cheers

    Matt
     
  18. Chrissywis

    Chrissywis
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    Hmmmm. According to my AVR100 manual the speaker settings page has the presets and the setting for each speaker but no mention of Stereo Subwoofer. However my AVR100 OSD makes no mention of presets but has the line Stereo Subwoofer on/off as well as the size setting for each speaker. This may be one for Arcam to resolve as mine has been back to the factory and may therefore have had new s/w installed.
     
  19. Chester

    Chester
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    This is getting more interesting as time goes by! :)

    I have spoken recently with an audiophile /friend of mine. He says he has great respect for the Rotel philosophy and said if Rotel have produced a 'proper' A/V receiver, I should check it out. So the 1055 could be a solution. Does anyone know of any Rotel dealers in the Cambridgeshire area, or just outside?

    I get the impression that my AVR100 is quite an early model. I will be talking to Arcam shortly (probably today) to make enquiries about the firmware. I suspect there may be a charge involved. Whatever the event, I will let you all know the outcome of this situation.

    Incidentally, I'm pretty certain that the stereo subwoofer control is only available on the AVR200. Chriss - Are you sure that you have the 100? You can double check this by trying to switch surround mode from a stereo source to Dolby Pro Logic II. Play a CD that has a lot of treble content and listen to the rear speakers. If there is virtually no 'top' to the rears, it's the AVR100 with Dolby Pro Logic; otherwise you have the AVR200 & Dolby Pro Logic II.
     
  20. JonLeach

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    Hi Chester,
    i had a Arcam AVR100 until very recently, it had all the problems you mentiond lack of bass, no managment, etc. etc.

    it was sent to Arcam to fix a mains hum, but what they did do was upgrade the firmware to let you change individual speakers, s,l off for all speakers.

    plus the added option of sub on for stereo.

    so they must be able to do it.

    P.S. i have change to a rotel pre/pro setup, very sweet indeed. havent heard the intergrated but the current model looks like a RSP1066 with the 985mk 11 bolted on. 100w /channel
    which is exactly what i have.


    Jon
     
  21. simonb68

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    Chester, you may well already be aware of this in which case ignore, but there is a bass management issue with both the RSX-1055 and RSP-1066. I dont confess to fully understanding it (as I don't have a sub its not an issue to me), but it results in bass doubling on the multi channel inputs below 100hz I think.

    It can be fixed with a combination of latest firmware and a hardware mod. The mod involves snipping a couple of resistors I think, it is fully supported by Rotel (in the US at least, France wont apparently), and can be performed by yourself, a dealer, or shipped back to Rotel. Some people have added a switch to the 'snip' to allow it to be reversed if desired.

    It may have been discussed on here but there has been extensive discussion in the Club Rotel forum on the US HT Guide site.

    That forum is also a good place to ask any other questions you might have about Rotel products.

    There is a dealer search on the Rotel web site

    Simon
     
  22. Chester

    Chester
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    Jon
    Thanks for that. I've e-mailed Arcam and hopefully they'll follow up my enquiry soon. Failing that I'll give them a call.

    I believe that the AVR100 will be fine for my needs once the firmware has been upgraded. I'm quite looking forward to it!


    Simon
    That's a brilliant reference. Could be useful for anyone with these Rotel components, or anyone looking at buying one. I would imagine it's been at least ten years since I've heard any Rotel amplification, and I'm sure they've improved in leaps and bounds since.

    Cheers ;)
     
  23. Chester

    Chester
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    Well, it's been a while since I gave an update regarding my AVR100. The obvious choice once I contacted Arcam is to stick with what I know, and go with a firmware upgrade.

    Now they were reluctant to perform this operation, because they have to dismantle most of the amplifier, in order to get to the firmware IC at the bottom! Poor design from a maintenance point of view, but the AVR100 still sounds fine to me! However, since my box was an early issue they obliged, so I drove down there and delivered it myself.

    This was worthwhile since I thought the warrantee period was only 12 months, when in fact it's twice that. So despite having to take time off work to drop it off and pick it up, it was well worth it.

    On its return to its rightful place in the rack, I plumbed it in. Obviously it all needed configuring again, but that was no problem. The presets had gone, and instead I can independantly set speaker size, and the sub-woofer option in stereo is now available. And boy does it make a difference, even with some Dire Straits (Latest Trick), even with the sub output relatively low!

    DTS soundtracks still seem to be a little light compared to DD tracks to me, but the problem of hardly any LFE at all is gone. I take it that during Dolby Digital decoding, there's a lot of rerouting of sub-bass frequencies from the front two channels to the sub. I've yet to try many DTS tracks since I don't have many in my collection.

    Overall I am very pleased with the results, and happy that I no longer need to audition home cinema equipment. The AVR100 does everything I need it to, and now the speaker set-up is more flexible, it's improved it further.
     

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