Arcam Diva Pre-Pro & Power Amp a possibility Mr Dawson?


Active Member
Having just committed myself to buying the Arcam DV88 plus, I was wondering whether John Dawson would tell me whether there is any possibility of a Diva pre-pro/power amp combo appearing in the next six months. I would really like to stick with Arcam, but the FMJ AV8/P7 is completely outside my budget - should I hang on to my Denon 3801 receiver a while longer, John?


Active Member
They Cyrus AV8 (£1100) + appropriate power amps is looking very attractive.

You could partner the Cyrus with an Arcam P85/3 and a P75 which would total around £2300. That way at least you're sticking with Arcam power amps. You could of course use 3 of Cyrus' own excellent SmartPower amps but that would be slightly more expensive. If you only had a SmartPower for the fronts and Q powers for the read and centre it would come to about the same.

However, if Arcam are planning a 'budget' AV processor in the £1000-1500 range I'd be extremely interested aswell. At the moment I'm tending towards a Tag AV30R or s/h AV32R. I'll take the Cyrus though if I like the sound of it with stereo music.



Active Member
Michael, I actually auditioned the DV88 Plus through a Cyrus AV8/Smartpower combo and Quad 21L speakers - listening to Eric Clapton Unplugged in good 'ol stereo was simply fantastic!! It will be my fallback option if John is unable to enlighten me, truth is I really like the "new" Arcam sound (a la A85), and would very much like to stick with a company that seems to know how to treat its customers after relieving them of their hard-earned.

Liam - if it is to be the Cyrus AV8, the Rotel RMB-1075 power amp would be its likely playmate, coming in as it does at less than half the cost of 3 Cyrus Smartpowers.



Active Member
I would also be more than interested if Arcam bought this out.
I'm seriously thinking of upgrading my amp after buying a DV88+, and would hang on if such product was going to be released in the reasonable future.



Active Member
GrannySmith - thanks for the feedback on the Cyrus AV8, I haven't got around to auditioning one myself so I was interested to hear what other people had to say. I'll audition it with a SmartPower + 2 Q Powers and also with an Arcam P85/3 and a P75 or P85

If you like the Arcam sound then using their P85 power amps should help you out...the 2ch. P85 is £529 and the 3ch. P85/3 is £749 so the total is still significantly less than 3 SmartPowers and is probably just as good (or better even).


John Dawson

Novice Member
Hi guys and thanks for your interest.

It is too early to comment on any future plans in, shall we say, affordable AV and, frankly, it is also commercially sensitive. So I am afraid I won't be able to enlighten you at this time.

Having said that, and since the A85 was honourably mentioned, I am in a position to say that we will be releasing a multichannel input module for this amplifier (and the FMJ A32) in the next few months.

If you were to fit the DVD-A board to the DV88 Plus, then you could feed its 6 channel output into the A85 input module and support not only DVD-As but also DVDs, decoding both DD and DTS sound tracks. You would need an A85 and P85/3 for a 5.1 system. If you weren't bothered about trying to listen to the TV in surround this would be a great system for stereo and multichannel music/movies and relatively affordable too.

If you did want to have additional decoding from other sources, then the upcoming input module actually has 2 independent inputs, so you could hook a low cost Yamaha processor (or your Denon 3801, via its preouts) into the second input and get MC sound from external sources that way.

Overall we expect the sound quality of this approach to be top class, so some may want to consider it for their next step. In any case we would welcome feedback on this.

John Dawson (Arcam)


Active Member
Many thanks for responding to my original query John. With the DVD-A board fitted then, the DV88 effectively becomes the DD/DTS signal processor, connected in analogue to the A85/P85 amps with 6 phono leads, and also directly to the subwoofer. I can see that this is a basic cost-effective way of obtaining great multichannel sound, and most of the bells and whistles it omits are superfluous for me anyway, but balancing the channels would be a real pain in the @&$£ without an inbuilt set-up mode, would it not?

Anyway, I shall certainly give this option serious consideration, as I won't be taking the plunge with a pre-pro/power combo this side of Christmas (I've been told ;) )


My personal (and largely uneducated) take on this is as follows:

Q. Is there a market for a Diva pre/power?
A. Almost certainly

Q. Could Arcam sell one for a profit?
A. If Arcam can't then one wonders who could (especially given the expertise gained by designing the AV8)

Q. When can I buy one then?
A. My guess would be that it would be at least a year off. These devices are not trivial to design and build and Arcam (I'm guessing) needs to recoup some R&D costs from the AV8 before launching a product which could (potentially) cannibalise AV8 sales.

Speaking for myself I've pretty much decided against splurging more than 2 grand on any processor. I don't care how good it it is. It is stuffed full of components which get cheaper every year. I am seriously considering the P7 though as the technology involved (power amplification) is much more mature than that in AV processors.

I currently have a Roksan Caspian DSP which while it is not that strong as an AV processor it is fantastic as an analogue stereo pre-amp. I suspect that in two years for what the Roksan cost me (1300 GBP) I'll be able to buy a killer processor which is as good a stereo pre-amp as the Roksan. So I think I'll hold fire on a processor until then and instead buy some new surrounds and possibly a shiny new P7.

Unless I can't resist. Must resist. Must resist. Must resist.

Apologies for going slightly OT here.




Active Member

Apart from the two separate inputs, what does the new board give us that an A85 (in processor mode)+P85/3 combination doesn't have at the moment?


Oops, I get it. Sorry, Ignore the question!


Active Member
One thing that makes the Cyrus AV8 so attractive to me is that it has no video switching and no 'gimmicky' custom DSP modes. I also am not interested in anything more than 5.1. This makes the Naim AV2 attractive aswell but it's out of my budget.

I can't help thinking that in the Tag AV32R or Arcam AV8 a serious amount of my cash would be going on a load of electronics I don't need or want (mainly video switching but also all the 7.1 stuff).

If Arcam were to bring out a Cyrus AV8 rival (the naming strategy could get complicated!) than I think it would be a big hit. I think that that level of product (5.1, no video) is in a sufficiently different part of the market that it probably wouldn't affect AV8 sales.

Still, I'm not seriously in the market until early next year so we'll see how things develop...



Yes, lets face it, most people with lower end recievers don't use video switching at all. I think there is a market for an audiophile processor that just does audio. Maybe with DPL2 etc. and loads of inputs.



Active Member
That's really good news. Only a few months ago, I got a A85 to drive my front channels for stereo and the difference was immense. My 3801 still drives the centre and rears in mlti-channel.
I have been thinking about getting P85/3, but could not afford the current crop of processors, so I've been hoping that something like this would become available.
I am very happy with my A85 and this only makes it more appealing.

Umu Zubairu


Hi all,
this might be usefull info for some of you.
Since AV technology is lightspeed changing, there are some great bargains nowdays. If you do not want to wait and can live without PL2 then there are some nice solutions for the sub 1k zone.
It is not likely that Arcam will design cheap pre-pro because all those licenses and certifications cost a lot of money. It is very easy to spot there is (almost) not a single processor in this middle price area.

If OEM type processors are OK for you MF processor is seen for quite less than 1k. I think there is something new on Eay for 1k at the moment.
If you insist on 5.1 bypass (7.1 in this case) Myryad is also seen just for 1k. And yes, it can be upgraded (just exchange for another OEM board)
Simmilar, maybe even better, is Primare. Designed from Primare but no 5.1 input. It also can be upgraded to the latest specs. On there are used P30 + A30.5 Amp (great amp) for 1100 EURO each - yes 650 quid each. And I saw it lately very often selling for peanuts.

So there are some great solutions if you can not afford TAG, Arcam or other latest Processors.
I myself have full TAG setup but sometimes I feel it was too much money for that much satisfaction. No regrets but . . .

Hope this might be of help

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