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Arcam AVR390 / AVR550 / AVR850 including Dirac Live®

Saul Goodman

Well-known Member
Now this looks very interesting:-

Arcam has unveiled its first Dolby Atmos AV receivers at CEDIA Expo 2015. The new AVR550 and AVR850 models feature seven HDMI 2.0a inputs with HDCP2.2, as well as high-end room correcting technology from Dirac Research. The pair feature three HDMI outs, two for dual display use and a third for multiroom. System control is offered through IR, RS232, IP and Arcam's own iOS MusicLife app. The duo also mark the return of the volume knob to Arcam’s AVR design.

Both receivers are 7.1 designs - the headline AVR850 offers Class G amplification. Arcam has told Inside CI that it is also working on a four channel power amp for those users looking to install a 7.1.4 Atmos configuration. The receivers are also DTS:X ready - and will be firmware upgradable as and when the software becomes available. In the meantime, the focus is very much on Dolby Atmos.

“Dolby’s innovative approach to delivering sound that better connects viewers with the richness, detail and clarity of the on screen experience is something we are excited to deliver to our customers”, says Arcam CEO Charlie Brennan. “The ability to now deliver moving audio that fills the room with breathtaking detail and control is a ground-breaking achievement in the home theatre environment. In addition, Dirac Live for Arcam will provide users with world class precision room equalisation with amazingly transparent results.”

The AVR550 and AV850 will retail for £2,400 and £4,200 respectively, and will ship in November.

Arcam unveils Dolby Atmos receivers with Dirac Live - Inside CI

firmware 4.41

Dropbox - AVR850_System4v41_20180201.fw - Simplify your life
 
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Rickyj at Kalibrate

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I wondered how long before someone pulled it into here from the Arcam section:) We are not allowed to start threads, but have been itching to tell people, as I think the addition of Dirac makes Arcam a very interesting proposition this year...

More information is expected to be with dealers next week, and they are officially announced at Cedia later next week.
 

indus

Well-known Member
That looks very interesting indeed. The article doesn't make it clear, will the AVR 550 allow 7.1.4 with external amps?

Thanks
 

indus

Well-known Member
Hi Indus

Apparently yes, I just hope Dirac willbe able to eq the full 7.1.4 channels!
Thanks.
If it applies dirac across all channels, allows 7.1.4 and allows you to assign the amps then it'll be on my shortlist.

I was going to pull the trigger on a Denon 7200 but I'll wait until the specs of the Arcam are fully released.

My only other concern with Arcam is usability. I'm no expert on this brand but over the years I've read so many posts about reliability, handshake issues and general quirks
 

Rickyj at Kalibrate

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Thanks.
If it applies dirac across all channels, allows 7.1.4 and allows you to assign the amps then it'll be on my shortlist.

I was going to pull the trigger on a Denon 7200 but I'll wait until the specs of the Arcam are fully released.

My only other concern with Arcam is usability. I'm no expert on this brand but over the years I've read so many posts about reliability, handshake issues and general quirks
It is true that around the x00 series I.e. 600/500 they had many issues with bugs mainly around the HDMI board, but they realised this, and with the last generation they changed the way the boards were made, and were much more stable.

Assignable amps is something I very much want/require for ourselves and customers, so as soon as I know I will report back.
 

giogt600

Distinguished Member
Do we assume that these new AVR's which are advertised as 7 channels are still capable of processing 11 channels in a possible 7.1.4 setup provided you add the extra amplification ?
 

giogt600

Distinguished Member
Hi Indus

Apparently yes, I just hope Dirac willbe able to eq the full 7.1.4 channels!
That surely will be the key to the overall success of these products. I've been a fan of Arcam for a number of years now and if these new AVR's allow all the channels in a possible 7.1.4 setup to EQ'd with Dirac Live then surely Arcam will be onto a right winner here and I for one would be definitely interested. If thats the case and if reliability is not an issue anymore I think people will happily pay the recommended price for either model. Will these new AVR's also include pre outs for the likes of myself who already own a Arcam P7 and is there any news on a new AV processor that will also include Dirac ?
 

stevos

Well-known Member
wow me want!!

I have always liked Arcam's approach to AV gear, focusing heavily on audio and not on useless extras that no one uses like streaming etc (everyone at this level of purchase has 10 different devices that can do this), but lack of room EQ meant I wouldn't buy them. My AV system is also my primary 2 channel experience, so at last having a AVR option that can maximise both is very interesting. Looking forward to the reviews.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Yeah but you wonder how much better an integrated one box AV receiver could possibly sound? I've had flagships from Yamaha, Anthem and Denon in recent years and you'd be hard pressed to notice any meaningful difference or superiority. Where they do differ is in features.

I wonder how much the four channel power amp will add to the cost?
 

stevos

Well-known Member
Where they differ is 2 channel sound. I know from bitter experience that Yamaha and Denon sound terrible with 2 channel and Arcam sounds acceptable. No idea on Anthem.

For surround sound, I would tend to agree, the differences are pretty minor post room EQ work.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Well I've been listening to two channel on a Denon X7200WA this morning and I couldn't fault it. Likewise the Anthem 710 it replaced. But there you go we all have different tastes, tolerances and ideas.

I'm really of the mind that at the flagship level there is little to differentiate receivers sound wise. Once you go to separates and much more money that's different.
 

sergiup

Distinguished Member
That (by which I mean the cheaper one..) looks like just the ticket for replacing my MRX300; I'm not really itching to get more speakers around the place, but I was considering a Dirac processor, so this would really work. Let's hope the EQ is on all channels, and amps are assignable!
 

geogan

Well-known Member
If only I had the money for the Class-G AVR850 + 4 channel add-on amp... :(
 

xsnv

Member
Looks like my next amp as well. Quite disillusioned with Anthem and their pricing of the AVM60 - especially with the minimal improvements over the '10 series.

I do hope it's got enough DSP to apply Dirac on all 11 channels. I presume the requirements are not as taxing as the algo's are run on a computer.

PS. Any ideas how beefy these class G amps are?
 
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AidenL

Well-known Member
This will be a nice piece of kit!
 

giogt600

Distinguished Member
Looks like quite a few forumistas might be investing in a new Arcam! :smashin:
If Arcam get these right.....they'll be right up there with the best.....and a serous contender for many.....including my good self....!!!
:thumbsup:
 

potshot

Well-known Member
Looks like my next amp as well. Quite disillusioned with Anthem and their pricing of the AVM60 - especially with the minimal improvements over the '10 series.

I do hope it's got enough DSP to apply Dirac on all 11 channels. I presume the requirements are not as taxing as the algo's are run on a computer.

PS. Any ideas how beefy these class G amps are?

I can't work out why the AVM60 is priced so high when it is really a stripped down 720 with slightly improved DACs, greed I suppose of anthem and the UK distributor. I will look at the US prices with interest to see how much we are getting ripped off by anthem this time. The MRX510 in the US half the UK price after tax is added.

Dirac has made arcam new amps interesting. I wish there was more specs available.
 

xsnv

Member
Some of the specifics are still being ironed out at the moment regarding Dirac, amp channels etc, but there is slightly more information available on the attached pdf.
Thanks Ricky,

No mention of DTS:X in that flier...

Also a little disappointing to see 1Khz (and not full band 20Hz - 20kHz) used for the 7 channel continuous rating. My KK's are rumoured to be a touch inefficient so my only concern is how capable the amps are. Having said that I run a 100Hz crossover so the speakers shouldn't require as much power.

It's great to see even the more traditional amplifier manufacturers appreciating (and embracing) modern EQ.
 

themovierooms

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
DTS-X will be an update. We’ve known about these for a while and I suspect they will be very good. There is also Audio Control which will also have DIRAC, but Arcam have had one of the fundamentally best sounding receivers over the last couple of years, they were just let down by the EQ. Can’t wait to get my hands on one.
 

markymiles

Distinguished Member
They certainly look nice as an all in one solution. No 4 ohm ratings on the 550 does that indicate the power amp section isn't that strong?

Great to have an alternative to minidsp at last. Unfortunately probably out of my price range.
 

Russ 66

Well-known Member
It looks like they have some beefy amps on board, maximum power consumption 1.5kW!
With the Dirac they look like a very interesting proposition, I have always liked the Arcam sound but I have been put off by their poor EQ and dodgy reliability.
If they have both of these covered they might have a winner on their hands.
 

sergiup

Distinguished Member
Thanks Ricky!

Continuous output for the baby model into 8 ohms:
"7 channels driven, 1kHz, 0.2% THD - 90W"

There's no indication about Dirac being limited to only some channels, so, good stuff!
 

the_dude2

Well-known Member
Some of the specifics are still being ironed out at the moment regarding Dirac, amp channels etc, but there is slightly more information available on the attached pdf.
Thats kinda funny actually. A month before release and they still don't know what they're doing exactly with Dirac and amp assign?

Cant wait to find out though!
 

indus

Well-known Member
Thats kinda funny actually. A month before release and they still don't know what they're doing exactly with Dirac and amp assign?

Cant wait to find out though!


I find that worrying to be honest
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
If they have Dirac for all the channels then I think that is quite a coup. The only other way to get Dirac on all speakers in an Atmos set up is either a very expensive Datasat processor or by joining two miniDSP DDRC88A units together (not a straight forward job either). Of course until it's confirmed exactly what it does do then we will have to wait it out.

Also I noticed the line about Dirac and 'your dealer being able to set it up' (paraphrasing there), but I would hope that with the aid of an UMIK1 owners would be able to DIY.
 

Rickyj at Kalibrate

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Thats kinda funny actually. A month before release and they still don't know what they're doing exactly with Dirac and amp assign?

Cant wait to find out though!
I find that worrying to be honest
Ironed out in-house, rather than electronics necessarily. Some of the team are in the USA at cedia at the moment. There could be differences between the models beside amplifiers etc. Time will tell.
 

Phil1975

Distinguished Member
Ricky unless I'm reading it wrong there's no mention of it potentially supporting DTS X..?
 

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