Arcam AVR280 vs Yamaha RX-V577

Simon6776

Active Member
Once again, I'm tempted to change my AVR280 for something more up to date, and am looking at the new line up of Yamahas.

I like the idea of HDMI passthrough, which I believe would mean I could get rid of my current switching box, and I'm also tempted by the Bluetooth and Wifi functions as it would be nice to have something to interact with my Apple devices.

I am aware that the Arcam would be hard to beat for sound quality, but would the Yamaha be at least on a par with the Arcam, and would any one here recommend upgrading for the additional functions the Yamaha would offer?
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
What speakers do you have?
The 577 is going to be no where near the sound quality of your Arcam. It will have more bells and whistles but not better where it counts. If you want to match your current sound quality then you are going to need to be looking at closer to the £1k mark.
 

Simon6776

Active Member
I thought that might be the case. Main speakers are large Mission floorstanders, with Bose Centre and rears (cubes), and a Mordaunt Short subwoofer.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Getting a decent centre would make a big difference. In fact most likely better to not use the bose one at all and let your fronts create a phantom centre instead.
 

Simon6776

Active Member
I've wondered about the Bose centre for a while, but I thought it should be OK, being Bose, and unfortunately my available space doesn't permit a larger one. It will be interesting to try your suggestion.

The main issue I have is when playing CDs, in standard stereo. I also have an Arcam CD player, but CDs always seem to sound 'flat' and muddy, lacking in bass. I don't know if it's because CDs sound generally poor these days, or whether it's something in my setup, but one of the reasons I bought the Arcam 5 years ago was to try to improve on music sound, which I was unhappy with, with my previous Denon AV amp. The Arcam doesn't seem to have all that much in the way of bass and treble adjustment. It sounds OK, but my car stereo sounds better, and that's just a basic Ford CD system.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Do you use it in stereo direct mode with the CD player? How is the CD player conected, RCA? Where are the floorstanders positioned? Have you tried moving the speakers around a little or toeing them in or out a bit?
It was the fact that it was a Bose centre that made me suggest not using it. Bose are not that good for the price and rely heavily on the sub module to fill in the lower stuff that the cube just can not do. Considering the centre speaker takes around 60% of the total sound output with movies it is not a speaker to compromise on. You really want the front 3 speakers to be the same make and model and a consistent size to ensure a good front soundstage. Sticking 60% of the sound output through a tiny Bose cube just does not make sense to me when you have some Mission floorstanders which will handle it better IMHO.
 

Simon6776

Active Member
Sorry, just to clarify, the Bose centre is a full sized 'proper' centre, not a cube. It's just the rears that are the cubes.

As for positioning, like most, I'm stuck with a family room layout rather than a dedicate 'cinema' room, so positioning isn't ideal. The TV is corner based, and the front speakers are either side, against each adjacent wall, but slightly toed in, so the 'crossover', if you see what I mean, would be pointing at round about the centre of the room. The rears are up on the walls, diagonally opposite the fronts, the centre is actually behind the TV (but the stand raises the panel so it's not blocking the sound), and the sub is about two thirds back along the side wall from the TV. I know it's a bit of a cack set up, but it's the only way I can do it due to the shape of the room.

With regards direct mode, I have tried, but it didn't make much difference. The CD is connected via digital coax.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Which Bose centre do you have? My bad in assuming it was a cube centre.
Corner TV placements are always tricky as you end up with a very narrow front soundstage.
Could you try rotating the speakers outwards so that the crossover points more to the back of the room?
The stereo direct mode on Arcams only works for analogue inputs. Have you tried connecting the CD player via analogue RCA leads and using this direct mode to see how it sounds?
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
How have you set the speakers up in the receiver? Are they all set to small? If so what is the crossover set too? What is the crossover set to on the back of the sub?
Do you get any of the sound issues you mention with movies or TV? Is the sound OK with other stereo sources i.e. a stereo TV program?
 

Simon6776

Active Member
The Bose centre is a VCS-10.

I have the front and centre set to large, on the amp, and the tears set to small. Crossover is set to 60Hz, matching the sub, as I wanted the fronts to handle more of the bass, and the sub just to do the low end stuff.

I haven't tried the CD with analogue phono connections as I'd always assumed digital to be better.

Thanks for your interest in this! :)
 

Simon6776

Active Member
Oh, and the sound issues are only with CDs. Films, DVD-A, etc all sound fine, as do music DVDs in standard stereo. I don't think it's the CD player either, as they sound the same when played through the Bluray deck (Yamaha BD-S1067).
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
I would set the fronts to small as well but keep the 60Hz crossover. This will take some of the load off the floorstanders which should clear up the mid range and give better sound quality. The sub crossover should then be turned to the max setting so that the AVR does all the bass management. The only issue with the 60Hz crossover you have at the moment is that the rear cubes will get no where near that low so you are sending material to them they can not handle.
 

Simon6776

Active Member
Hmm... OK, I'll give that a try when I get a chance.

What about the Bose centre? Now knowing it's a 'proper' centre, would you still recommend removing it, or exchanging it for something else?
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
I am not finding a lot of love for the Bose speaker to be honest and I suspect you will get improvements with a better one. You really want the front 3 to be the same make and model so not just a mission speaker but the one that is also from the same range as well.
The Bose only seems to go to 63Hz which would mean your 60Hz crossover is a little too low for that as well.
 

Simon6776

Active Member
Hmm... all these things I haven't considered! :confused: I can change the crossover back to 80Hz and see what difference that makes.

With regards the Mission speakers, my current ones are M35i, which I believe have now been replaced with the M5. Would the Mission centre I mentioned above (MXC2) be compatible with those, or if not, which one would be? The MCX3 looks quite a beast! Not sure I'd have room for it, though. I do have another issue, and that is the placement of the M35is, which I feel need to be further away from the wall, as they are rear ported. I may try to have a rearrangement of the room in due course - it's due for decorating anyway. :eek:

Having said all of this, is this actually addressing the CD sound? Obviously, that is just through the main front speakers, so do crossovers make that much difference in that regard?
 

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