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Arcam clone...

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by smallangryboy, Jun 8, 2004.

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  1. smallangryboy

    smallangryboy
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    Can anyone suggest an alternative to the Arcam AV recievers. I love the sound and styling of the Arcam products, and was a big fan of their stuff up until I bought the AVR 100, and DV88. Experience of which has put me off buying Arcam.

    I'm in the market for a middleweight [£300 - £500] AV amp that has a similar sound to the Arcam, and that doesn't look like a volvo with a bad facelift !
     
  2. bluesfan

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    HK, whate else?
     
  3. Dfour

    Dfour
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    So you want an amp that plays like a Arcam but doesnt look like an Arcam
    :eek: :D

    What about Marantz or Nad??
     
  4. smallangryboy

    smallangryboy
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    I want an amp that plays first of all ! that looks and sounds like an Arcam, but doesn't cost as much as an Arcam and is more reliable :) moon on a stick - I know
     
  5. wildone

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    300-500 pounds lands you slap-bang in the middle of mass-market far-Eastern electronics, most of which look like ammunition boxes (OK, silver or "champagne gold" ammuntion boxes LOL)....which isn't to discredit their AV credentials....I'm happy with my Marantz SR7400 (and so are a few others, Kazman being one worthy of mention) - what does the rest of your system comprise?? I assume that you're at least interested in the musical aspect of the operation.
     
  6. buns

    buns
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    so basically you want something that looks like and arcam, sounds like an arcam but isnt an arcam..... :D

    ad
     
  7. smallangryboy

    smallangryboy
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    Actually music is important but I'm less affluent than when I bought my Arcam AVR 100 and DV 88 [partly because of the cost]

    I'm looking into building a HCPC with a large wedge of cash [£1500] making sure the CD drive and sound cards are audio quality, so I have a lot less [about £400] to spend on amplification.

    I guess I have probably been spoiled by the AVR100/ DV88 combination, but that was a couple of years ago now, technology marches on so I'm sure I can get something to outclass or at least match this combo ?
     
  8. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    NAD
    Gonzo. :D
     
  9. Kazman

    Kazman
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    If you want the most musical av amp for less than £700, the SR7400 is probably your best bet. It doesn't have the looks of the Arcam, but it is a great stereo performer for an AV AMP.

    It has a warm sound, and it isn't muddy like some Denons (allegedly :)), it is well built and is also upgradable through its RS232 port.

    Downsides? It doesn't have THX certification, and it is not quite as exciting with movies as other amps in the class, it is VERY good, but the warm nature of it drags it back ever so slightly when put against other movie focused amps. But there isn't really an AV amp out there that can do both genres equally well imho.

    One great thing about the SR7400 is its superlative handling of dialogue, which more than makes up for its very slight lack of slam in movies.

    Have a listen to it, but make sure u listen to one that is well run in, my initial impressions when it was cold were slightly dissappointing, but now it has run in, it is fanatastic!!

    The Nads and HK's are also worth a look, but I feel the SR7400 is a better buy, especially considering it can be had for about £480 if you have a look around on the net (rrp £700).
     
  10. HiFiFan

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    Good morning All

    Wildone said:

    Somewhat off topic..:offtopic:

    Heh, every now and then I read somewhere on a UK based HiFi/AV forum this seemingly quaint term, which would appear to be some sort of anachronistic cultural comment, that of " mass-market far-Eastern electronics"

    Now, this is not a flame, or criticism at all, merely an observation. However, as I have only ever seen/heard the term coming from the UK when reading on the internet, I can only assume it is something of an ingrained and unquestioned attitude leftover from the days of the British Colonial Empire. :oops:

    Or something like that. :D Heheh, as I said, this is not a flame or a criticism, merely an observation of one who is of Scottish/English descent, living in Australia. :)

    The thing is, more and more products are made in factories in China, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan etc, as even manufacturers regarded as 'specialists' seek to contain manufacturing costs.

    A while back, there was an internet article I came across pointing out that the original Arcam AVR100 (and I believe the 200) were made in China, and indeed it says so on the back of the unit should you care to take a look. Further, the AVR100 shared the same boards, chips etc as an NAD AVR receiver, also made in the same factory, the differences being in the fascia, transformer, and minor component parts. Otherwise identical. Certainly from photos, apart from the transformer and front facia, there was no visible difference between them.

    At the time, here in Australia, being marketed as a 'specialist' UK product, the Arcam was $3000 AUS, and the NAD $1500 AUS, because it was, well, mass market made in the 'far-east'

    The point is not that Arcam is 'bad' far from it - I have one of their tuners and am very happy with it, but rather that one needs to be aware of the marketing imperatives re perceived brand 'image' and the realities as regards costs of manufacture, and the choices thus made as to where things are actually produced.

    Some goods are perceived as 'mass-market' and others as specialist - sometimes they may be made in the same factory, but almost certainly they will use component parts and chipsets etc from the same suppliers - a bit like making a different cake from the same ingredients, just a slightly different recipe.

    To my mind, mass-market is your typical ghetto blaster etc, and upwards into mass produced AV receivers etc, which really means products produced at prices most of us can afford, whether it be marketed as specialist or not.

    The true AV/HT specialist IMV is a company that develops proprietary software/technology, such as TAG, Meridian, and especially Lexicon etc, Even then that tech can filter down to 'lesser' models, such as HK with it's version of Logic 7, and even the likes of Yamaha and Sony with their proprietary DSP Cinema Sound technology - that alone makes them a specialist in the HT arena IMHO, even though they may be perceived as 'mass market' manufacturers, mainly IMV because they don't have the brand 'cache' and associated high prices that image commands.

    Certainly looking at their top-of-the-line ES range as an example, one could hardly call the Sony ES series 'mass market' even though they have not the brand image of a 'specialist', nor the prices, and some are made in Japan, and Malaysia, but their technology, parts, and sound as regards HT is cutting edge stuff.

    As for build, well stick a Krell badge on it, and charge four times, and it'd sell, no doubt about that.

    Anyway, little hobby/horse 'rant' :lesson: :D over, and back on topic - no offence intended BTW to Wildone...or indeed anyone.

    Kazman said:

    I'd very much agree with you re there being few if any AVR that can do justice to BOTH movies and music. The Arcams and NAD's do a good job overall, of treading a line between both duties, and a good choice I guess if ones priorities are fairly evenly matched between the two needs.

    However, if one's taste's are more in one direction than the other, then competing brands have more to offer IMHO. I like the sound of the SR7400, as dialogue is more important to long term satisfaction, than any slight lack of slam IMHO.

    Good luck in your decision

    Best Regards

    John.. :)
     
  11. smallangryboy

    smallangryboy
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    Thank you all who have contributed. I'm definately going to give the Marantz AV amps a fair crack of the whip.
     
  12. bluesfan

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    I think Marantz have gone off the boil lately quality wise (maybe something to do with China - Denon is still Japan.) The fiasco with the 7400 and overheating was the last straw for a lot of people. Having said that the sound is warm rather than bright and more musical than most. My 5400ose buzzed and went straight back.
     
  13. Kazman

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    [rant mode] Bluesfan, mate, your constant slagging off of Marantz is getting a little tiresome mate. Many manufacturers are currently producing products built in China, not only Marantz. Granted, there have been one or two quality issues with the initial batch of the SR7400, kudos to Marantz for doing something about it though I say.

    They shifted quality control away from China to Japan, and fixed the fault almost immediately. All manufacturers go through a bad patch, Denon have current issues with the remotes on the 3805, Mordaunt Short had an issue with fuses in the MS309, even the big boys like Panasonic and Toshiba have had issues with their recent televisions. To tar Marantz with a bad brush with 90% of your posts in this forum is a little short sighted imho. Fair enough, you got burnt, everybody knows it.

    I'm not saying this because I have the SR7400 (and the SR4300 beforehand), I'm a fan of anything that sounds good, no matter who the manufacturer is.

    Sorry for the rant, and I don't want this to be a flame, but it just feels like almost every post of yours recently is just an excuse to have a go at Marantz for your bad experience.

    There are many manufacturers who wouldn't acknowledge an issue at all if it existed, at least Marantz is one of the few that care enough about their customers to do something about it when something does come up. [/rant mode]
     
  14. Daneel

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    Having had a high pitched noise problem on my 7300 (reported by a lot of users) I can't say I'm a huge fan of Marantz either. NAD looks like a good option.

    There was also the slow lock on for digital signals on prior versions. When each new revision seems to have it's own problems I'm not sure that Bluesfan is too wide of the mark.
     
  15. Kazman

    Kazman
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    ooer, I just re-read my post from last night, it does sound a bit harsh doesn't it.

    Apologies.

    My point is that all manufacturers have issues, not just Marantz. Each has had their own fair share of problems, but the asian companies tend to be slagged off a lot more than European brands, especially british brands. I'm all for putting my hand up and acknowleding that Marantz have had issues, but I will put my other hand up and also say that they are not the only ones.

    I for one have never had an issue with Marantz products, and the three or four people that I know who also have Marantz gear have also had no issues. Unless it is a global issue with a product (eg, the initial batch of SR7400's), things like niggles on equipment are just par for the course for every manufacturer.

    For every one or two people who have an issue, there are probably 50-100 people who have had none. I'm just saying we should keep things in perspective.

    And again, at least Marantz are doing something about it now :), by bringing the quality control process into Japan. Honesty is the best policy, and I would rather purchase from a company who will fix something, rather than one who would deny a fault ever existed.

    No offence to anyone intended in this post, these are just my thoughts.

    And no, I'm not a Marantz junkie, I have recommended other brands many times to friends and family, and on these forums. But also, adding to this, everybody has their right to their own opinion, and thats what these forums are for, friendly discussion :) :D You know I love you all really :):):)
     
  16. russraff

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    I really don't understand this "if it is made in China then it must sound crap" ethos. Wharfedale's Diamond and Evo range of speakers are superbly built units and sound very good, too. The Quad range are one of the most impressively built speakers that I have seen at any price. Also, as a point of fact, not all Denon products are made in Japan. Certainly the 3800 DVD player I demoed a week or so ago was made in China, as are the very well built harman/kardon amps.

    Back on topic,
    I still think that harman/kardon are the best compromise between movies and music. NAD are very good, too, but err too much to the musical side of things leaving movie listening a bit too recessed. Marantz are the same except, to me, they err too much toward movies.

    Russell
     
  17. bluesfan

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    I'm glad I didn't tell Kazman about my new Marantz cd7300. It's starting to emite a faint clicking sound while playing some cd tracks. I've had it six months! Perhaps, I'm just unlucky, my mum's got the Marantz 4300 and it works fine. Mine you, she only uses it for stereo.

    On the topic I still think HK are the best souding amps I have heard. I listen to a lot of music and a bomb blast sounds loud enough to me on any amp. The clever bit is to get clarity in the music side. Sound critics found the treble too harsh on previous models, but hey, with tone controls you can turn it down! I haven't heard the new ones.
     
  18. bluesfan

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    I should say I voted for Denon in my Quality/Reliability Poll. So I'm not all HK.
     
  19. Dfour

    Dfour
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    Why did you get the 7300 Bluesfan? Why not the the improved 7400??
     
  20. bluesfan

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    Because it's a cd player not an amp!
     
  21. Dfour

    Dfour
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    :oops:
    Maybe one day I will learn to read properly :clown:
     
  22. Jimmysil

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    How about getting an 2nd hand Denon flagship amp. (AVC A1D, AVC 10SE etc) they are very musical.
    Mines great for music and I paid £500 for it.
     
  23. Jimmysil

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    Just realised that you don't want a volvo look, which the Denons have.
     

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