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Arcam FMJ AV8 Firmware Version 4 Now Available

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by Crustyloafer, Aug 15, 2005.

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  1. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    As above, Arcam have now offically released version 4 of the firmware for the FMJ AV8 processor.

    I have had this firmware version on my shop demo unit for about a week now and can say there are quite a number of great improvements to features and functionality.

    Please find attached a full ammendments list for this release.
     
  2. Audionyx

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    Way to go Arcam - thank you for keeping up development of the AV8!
     
  3. Greggles

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    Yes, can't wait to upgrade. I for one will be glad to lose the bar-graph volume display. More importantly we have PLIIx at last. Now come on Arcam, what about a hardware (HDMI) upgrade for Chrismas? Are we consumers never satisfied?
     
  4. BLACK_MAGIC

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    Hurray at long last:). Does anyone know where i can download the update from so i can get busy with upgrading. My not so local dealer still hasn't got a laptop so i have to upgrade again myself.
     
  5. BladeRnR

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    This is excellent news. Thanks Crusty for posting this as I and I'm sure many other AV8 owners have been hanging for this. Cannot wait to try it out
     
  6. kaspj

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    Hooray Arcam! Many thanks. Now just the issue of getting hold of a copy!

    Thanks Crusty too.
     
  7. BladeRnR

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    Sorry but this wil be the first time I have had to updrade the software on the AV8 so can someone please explain to me how it is done. I owned the Rotel 1098 pre-amp before and the software was loaded using Hyperterminal on the pc. I hope it's as easy as that was to do. Thanks in advance.
     
  8. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Please find update instrcutions in attached file.
     
  9. BladeRnR

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    Thanks for that. Excellent service.
     
  10. BladeRnR

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    Well I have done the update and I have one word.....AMAZING. DD with PL2X enabled opens the soundstage to new levels. All my channels have become more clear and the back channels have a much larger soundstage. Has anyone else applied the update? I'm eager to hear what others think. So far I'm very satisfied. Thanks Crusty for sending me the update. Awesome :thumbsup:

    Update: Is it worth recalibrating the levels (with an SPL Meter) for all channels after updating the software? The reason I ask is I'm finding the system louder at the same level I'm use to listening with movies I have tried. I'm not complaining as the update has definalty changed the way it sounds in a good way.
     
  11. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Will this new software drive the HDMI upgrade as well?
     
  12. mightyoakbob

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    Well I was intending to update my AV8 this weekend. A couple of things you say there worry me a little.

    You say the sound has changed. This bothers me, I got an AV8 as much for its hi-fi stereo side as its AV side. I found the AV8 very neutral and open so if its changed its hard to imagine how it could be much different without being wrong. Unless you just mean the surround decoding is better.

    Your comments about the volume levels are interesting in that my reading of the notes suggests that the volume control has gone the other way ie. volume 30 on the vers3 would be volume 40 on version 4. The intention would seem to be to allow the AV8 to play quieter than it could before down to -63db not -53 as it used to be.

    Why therefore you find it louder is a puzzle to me.

    Having said all that I've not yet done the upgrade and you have so I'm probably just testiculating.
     
  13. Audionyx

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    I doubt that Nic, for it is rumoured that the HDMI upgrade is more substantial than merely a replacement of the connection panel and associated module.

    I have a sneaky suspicion that Version 4 of the software will be the last for the Cirrus CS493xx DSP's and that maybe a new processor module will be in Arcams plans.

    Purely speculation but if I was involved in the technical design team, then I would be suggesting upgrades to last another 3 years ;)
     
  14. Audionyx

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    Once I perform the upgrade, I will definitely recalibrate levels as it is suggested in the ammendment documentation that there is a change to the range and degree of levels.

    Sound QUALITY shoud remain identical
     
  15. BladeRnR

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    Yes I found the surround decoding better with version 4 with PL2x engaged to DD THX Movie mode. Now in regards to the volume I will have to wait until I finish work to test the tones to see if anything has changed ( I checked them in the menu and they hadn't been). I didn't read anything in the doc saying that the channel levels changed just the volume range as mentioned. So if I watch a movie at say 10 on the pre-amp on ver3 then watch it again with ver4 will it be louder or quieter or remain the same? To me the the system sounded louder.... no idea until I test more and check the individual levels with the SPL Metre. Will report my findings later tonight.
     
  16. Nic Rhodes

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    This is why I asked the Qs Darren, didn't knowwhether they had bundled this altogether, if so HDMI is imminent or something more 'meaty' then we will have to wait until christmas :)
     
  17. Audionyx

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    Nic,

    Trouble with this HDMI thing is that the specification is constantly evolving. It must be a nightmare for a manufacturer to decide upon which revision to implement. IIRC HDMI 1.0 passed video and Dolby Digital/DTS bit-streams. HDMI 1.1 passed PCM DVD-Audio. HDMI 1.2 supposed to pass SACD. 1.3,1.4,1.5???

    For all those who gloat that their receivers have HDMI, I am sure the smirk is short lived once a new standard is ratified and implemented. I recognise the desire for an all encompassing solution but AV technology is a bugger for new standards. I can only imagine that a company like Arcam is waiting such a time whereby it's implementation is deserving of inclusion in FMJ class components.

    I don't know about you, but I would rather Arcam took the time to implement the best solutions rather than rush an already outdated standard to market. Take for example HDMI transcoding. Is it really necessary? Games consoles, DVD players and even PC's will all pass digital signals now if not very soon (XBOX 360 - PS3). My philosophy has and always will be to provide the shortest and cleanest path from source to sensory stimulation therefore I am mindful of potential compromises in the chain! Yes, I know people hate messy cables and that all digital solutions promise the reduction in clutter but at what cost?

    HDMI IMHO is not there yet. Give it another 18 months for standards to settle down, display devices to be truly ready and then welcome the inclusion of full HDMI capability from source through processing to display!

    Regarding Arcam, I would imagine that sound quality will still come first for the AV8. The provision of perhaps 3 HDMI inputs (1 OUT) with full support of DD/DTS/DVD-A/SACD negating the need for the short lived IEEE1394 kludge!

    Just my tuppence!
     
  18. warrj

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    Hi,

    So on a 5.1 system the firmware upgrade would not change the AV8's performance (either positively or negatively)?

    Regards,

    Jules.
     
  19. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    The ability to adjust the levels in 0.5dB increments should offer the ability to set the whole system up more accurately, definitely worth doing even for 5.1 systems.
     
  20. BladeRnR

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    Thanks Crusty I forgot about that change more than enough reason to go back and fine tune the channel levels.
     
  21. Nic Rhodes

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    Daren

    can't disagree with anything you've said . Damn ;) HDMI is a mind field, one that it constantly changing, you should see the number of please help enquiries I get on it. I thought I was reasonably okay with it but I got flung a curved ball again last night. As you say constantly changing. I for one would like to see a timing signal but I am also very interested in the control codes and what they could do to make things easy for everyone but we are probably talking 1.5 by the time they have added all the other bits!!
     
  22. Audionyx

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    Updated my AV8 with version 4 - blimey, these HDMI ports magically appeared on the back and an extra menu called "Acoustic Geometrics (c)" became available ;)

    All is tickedy boo - thank you Arcam

    Nic,

    Unfortunately buzzwords in any industry generate almost frenzied anticipation amongst the many who are perhaps less conversant with the technology and implementation. It then becomes a petty display of "conker size in the playground" bragging about features supported by newly purchased kit. Look at the major Japanese manufacturers - every year a 3806 supersedes the 3805, 3804 ..... or whatever. Perhaps best to wait 3 or 4 years to really get a return for the money?

    I for one would rather wait for the best implementation of a new technology and make do with the best of tried and trusted paradigms until that time. I can draw on my own mistakes and impatience to advise others that a little restraint reaps many dividends!

    Now when are Marantz releasing the 9600 to replace my 9500!!!!?
     
  23. Sab

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    Excellent work Crusytyloafer. I initially thought of upgrading to Version 3 but now I will upgrade to Version 4 - which will be even better. However, will this be the last software upgrade for the Arcam FMJ AV8 - considering that it is nearly 3 years old?
     
  24. Nic Rhodes

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    If it ain't broke......the AV8 ain't broke. I don't think it will be the last we hear of the AV8 though;)
     
  25. BladeRnR

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    Ok a quick report. The thing I'm noticing is when I apply PL2X to DD the volume increases enough to notice making the soundstage bigger without adjusting the channel levels or volume. It's strange that this should happen. The display reads DDPL11X. The sound is amazing and is a big improvement on normal DD. Is this normal? The movie that I'm using to test is Star Wars ANH. I keep switching between the 2 modes ( DD THX EX and DD+PL2X) and theres a huge difference in the soundstage. I'm keen to hear what others are experiencing with this new software. Not many of you have posted your thoughts on Version 4, it's been so long in the making and many were really excited about it's release. Oh well I guess I will just have to be patient.
     
  26. skydiver1970

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    Hi,

    Any chance of getting the soft without dealer involved ???
    Could take up to 8 days to get the update done by my dealer grrrrrrr...rather give it a try on my own.... :)

    Greetz,
    Stef
     
  27. warrj

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    Hi,

    I spoke to my dealer yesterday about them upgrading the firmware. They suggested that I might like to do it myself as they hadn't done one before. Real value-added service I don't think. I won't be buying anything else from them on principle.

    I think I'll ask Arcam what they recommend I do in order to get the upgrade.

    Regards,

    Jules.
     
  28. Sab

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    I spoke to Arcam recently regarding upgarding the software version on the Arcam FMJ AV8 and they advised to get the dealer to do it. However, my dealer could not do it as it was their first time. The dealer said come back on a weekday when Arcam Technical Support could help them - talk about dealer support!

    Arcam also said that if you do the software upgrade on your own and mess it up this would cost you about 140 pounds and INVALIDATE YOUR WARRANTY.

    Make sure you know what you are doing first. Your dealer - skydiver 1970 - does not have a clue! The upgrade should not take more than half an hour at the most.

    Warrj - I advise you to have Arcam Technical Support on the end of the phone when you do it on your own.
     
  29. Audionyx

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    I work with and sell IT solutions backed by a degree education and an MCSE so my dealer kind of trusts me to be capable of the upgrade. It took about 5 minutes to do following the instructions to the letter. Where I can see an issue is with cable/com port incompatibilities or worse the PC going into power save during update.

    Ultimately, if the dealer fluffs the update it is his responsibility to rectify - you cock it up and I'm afraid the onus is on you! I have had countless customers attempting and failing BIOS/firmware updates to understand Arcam's position. You take your choice....
     
  30. BladeRnR

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    I agree with what Mad darren says about the issues you might have during the procedure. The only experience I have had with something like this was with my old pre-amp Rotel 1098 and that required 3 rom updates much more complicated and it failed when I tried it so basically I had to get the board replaced at no cost to me, I have a nice dealer. Anyway the Arcam is alot more simple and much more user friendly. Took me about 5min as well to do it just make sure you have the right cable and dont have anything else running (other programs) when you do it and please FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LETTER. So Mad darren what do you think of the new firmware?
     

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