Arcam AVR400 speaker recommendations?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by nicnic, Aug 20, 2012.

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  1. nicnic

    nicnic
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    I've pretty much made up my mind that I want to audition the AVR 400 based on reviews and aesthetics. But I've googled and googled and can't find any recommendations for suitable speakers, either specific models, or the price I should be spending.

    I do like the idea of the new B&W MT60-D, purely for space saving, but perhaps the B&W 683 theatre would blow them out of the water?

    I will of course demo before I buy, but first I need a list to demo!

    Ideas or experience please?
     
  2. Razorclam

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    MA Apex 5.1.
    Tidy!
     
  3. nicnic

    nicnic
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    Yea? Is that what you have?
     
  4. drekka

    drekka
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    Hi, speakers are very much a personal taste and your budget will dictate a lot about what you select.

    My experience was that I listen to 4 different sets, firstly in direct two channel mode to find the sound I liked and then in full surround with a Bluray movie.

    I listened to Sonus Fabre (can't remember which model, but butt ugly looking), B&W CM9s, Monitor Audio RX8s and finally Monitor Audio GX200s. My review would be that the Sonus Fabre and RX8s sounded nice, the CM9s sounded better and the GX200s where simply magical.

    With this sort of equipment you will be looking at spending somewhere between AUD$8,000 and AUD$15,000 in total. Thats amp, front floor standers, center channel, sub, rears surrounds and cabling. But given the current climate, shops will give discounts, especially if they like you and want your business. One good reason to build a relationship with them and get them to see you as a serious buyer rather than a time waster.

    If you are space conscious (which I suspect from your comment about space saving) then you may not need a 400. My understanding (and I've listened to one as well) is that the 360 is basically the same as the 400, but with smaller amps. So you can save some dollars there if you don't need the power.

    In addition I looked at Velodyne and REL sub basses.

    Don't be afraid to go spend some time in stores talking with dealers. Do at least more than one store for comparison. Work out who you think is giving you an honest opinion and preferably not just trying to make a quick sale. I've been lucky in that I know a good store where the people are willing to allow you time (read hours) to listen and try stuff, and are willing to set any combination up and give their thoughts on what sounds good and what to look for.

    Oh and one last thing, personal opinion - a good system is not just about how well it shakes the floor or how it handles high volume. It's about how well it reproduces sound when it's turned down as well.

    Update: - just had a look at the speakers you listed. I suspect that pairing a AVR400 with the MT60Ds would be like hooking up go kart wheels to a V8. The AVR400 is really a whole different level. I think you will find that there is simply no comparison between a bookshelf system and the 683s. I've never listened to them, but the prices I see online suggest that the 683s are a similar level to the Monitor Audio RXs I did listen to. So by the time you package up the amp, speakers, sub and cables you will be some where around the lower price point I mentioned above. Given that, I'd give the AVR360 another look too.

    As one dealer I talked to said, consider this - you are more likely to replace your amp as technologies evolve, than your speakers. People generally keep speakers for longer because they do not evolve as quick. So factor that into your thinking when deciding where to place your money.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  5. Razorclam

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    Yup, AVR400 and a pair of Apex A40's.
    They sound the bees knees. Even without a centre or sub or surrounds.

    Worth a listen for sure!
     
  6. jagr

    jagr
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    With my 400 I am using:

    Quad 22L
    Quad Centre
    MK 25T
    BK Monolith

    For movies it sounds amazing

    The 400 also suits Monitor Audio speakers.
    My other speakers were the GR10 and GRC and GRFX.
     
  7. neo_2009

    neo_2009
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    I have an Arcam AVR350, and initially i had it with MA RS series (RS1 + RSLCR).
    Some months ago i switched to the XTZ 99.26 MKI, and it was a very noticeable improvement from the (very good) RS.
     
  8. thisafternoon

    thisafternoon
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    I know this is an old post, but I would like to share some of my experiences with different speakers while testing the AVR400 - mostly in stereo mode.

    ___

    A new AVR400 that had been warmed up for a whole night - with an Arcam BD player, using the AVR400's DAC:

    B&W CM8's in stereo and with CM5 and a center in Surround:
    Very pleasant, I really liked them. I did not want to stop listening and ask for different speakers. Warm, detailed, like a hot bath you don't want to get out of. And yes, some may call this dull or lazy. Suitable for Pink Floyd but not so much for watching movies? ☆☆☆☆

    GoldenEar Triton Three:
    I had good expectations based on reviews, but these are not for me. I'm not a big ribbon fan I guess. Dull and not as musical as the CM8's. ☆☆

    Audio Physic classic 20 Glass:
    Bass seemed somewhat loose, it lacked wholeness, but... fairly ok. ☆☆☆

    ___

    An well played demo AVR400 with a Musical Fidelity m6CD using it's own DAC in Direct stereo mode:

    Monitor Audio GX200:
    Again, I didn't like the ribbon tweeter. It sounded harsh and made me want to lower the volume on passages where I would normally like to increase it... maybe the 400 wasn't properly warmed up yet. ☆☆

    Dynaudio Focus 260:
    One word: decent.
    But I did not get a kick out of them. I think these are character wise the most similar to my current - relatively old BNS Ellessy two speakers. I woudn't mind owning these Dynaudio's, but at €3400 for a pair quite expensive. ☆☆☆☆

    Monitor Audio RX8:
    These are nice and much much cheaper! More pleasant then the GX200, maybe because it doesn't use a ribbon. But then again we had been listening for an hour, the 400 was properly warmed up. Maybe I should have tried the GX200's again. ☆☆☆☆

    ___

    A week later a brand new 400 right out of the box: it was so cold and unfortunately we had just half an hour to listen and the room was very bad, so for what it's worth:

    B&W CM8 (different room / AVR400):
    Not as good as my first experience. Lacked bass, sounded dull...

    RX8
    I was interested in the difference between the CM8's and the RX8. The RX8 sounded clearer, less lazy and had an almost boomy bass - because of the room I guess. The CM8's were indeed a bit lazy and dull compared to these and to the ASW's. Now I am less convinced of both the B&W's and the Monitor Audio's.

    ASW Cantius 412
    Lively and spacious. I had never heard these speakers or read anything about it. They were the best sounding speakers in this room, on this morning :)

    ___

    I thought that when I would buy the AVR400, my current BNS Ellessy two's wouldn't sound as good as some of the speakers I had been listening to, but far from it. They fit my room perfectly. Bass is very very nice. They have never sounded this good! So while we live in this house, I will definitely stick with them!
     

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