Arcam P7 with Pioneer sc-lx83 as preamp

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Pete2, Aug 16, 2013.

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  1. Pete2

    Pete2
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    Hello fellow member, I really need your opinions and advice. I just bought a arcam p7 7 channel power amp (very powerful) and a pioneer sc-lx83 av receiver, my goal is to use the pioneer lx83 as the av pre amp for the arcam, this is because I have read that arcam are a lot more musical than pioneer and better for hifi plus the amp in the p7 will be a lot more powerful, but the pioneer is great for movies so I was hoping to get the best of both worlds, I have very good floor standing speakers that I want to get the best out of for music. If anyone think this will not work please let me know why not, I heard the arcam is very smooth which I like but also heard the pioneer isles forward, using the pioneer as the preamp and the arcam as the power amp which one of them would I get the characteristics in the music from? I am guessing the pre amp in the pioneer should be good as its a £2000 avr. One reason for this match up is that arcam seem to be way behind when it comes to features and I don't have the budget for the av888 which is still lacking in features.

    Please let me know what you think.
     
  2. Mark.Yudkin

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    The combination will be just fine, as I'm sure you've already discovered now that you own the pair.
     
  3. Pete2

    Pete2
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    I have just bought them but I have not tried them yet, still need to buy the RCA cables to hook them up, I have the pioneer set up though which sounds great even music sounds good on it playing through sonos via coaxial using the dac in the amp. But then I don't have anything to compare it to. I wish I had an audiophile friend who could tell me what's good and what's bad with the sound quality which is what I'm Trying to get from this thread
     
  4. Mark.Yudkin

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    Let me tell you a secret: there is no such thing as an "audiophile" in the sense you're using it (dons flame suit). Chances are that your wife is as good at discerning what's good and what isn't as anybody here and probably better than many. In other words trust your own ears - if it sounds good to you, then it is. And if you find something wrong, then address the specific issue.

    The Arcam P7 is a very nice power amp; the only reason I didn't buy one was that it was too deep for our bespoke equipment rack. It should serve you well and you should have no need to replace it in the near future, bar defect.

    BTW, an almost universal truth in audio is that the weak point by far in all but a pathologically assembled system are the speakers, not the solid state electronics.
     
  5. PSM1

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    As Mark says, if it sounds good to you then that is all that matters. Even if some 'audiophile' did come and say it sounded great it would not matter if you did not like the sound. What sounds great to you is all that matters since it is your system. Also as mark says there really is no such thing as an audiophile with 'golden ears'. We all know what we like the sound of and if demoing equipment we either can or can not hear a difference between them. No one is better or worse as such at this since if you perceive a difference or not is all that matters to you (no matter what anyone else tells you you should or should not be hearing).
     
  6. Pete2

    Pete2
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    One more very important question, do you think it would be a big difference using just the pioneer lx83 vs using the p7 with the lx83 acting as pre amp?
     
  7. hifix

    hifix
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    Which floorstanding speakers do you have?
     
  8. PSM1

    PSM1
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    I would expect the Arcam to have better amplifiers than the Pioneer hence you should hear an improvement with it over the receiver on its own.
     
  9. Pete2

    Pete2
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    I am using Kef R700 for fronts b&w xt2 for rears an b&w centre chord odyssey 4 speaker cables which I am biamping the fronts with at the moment on the pioneer as I only have a 5.1 setup
     
  10. Pete2

    Pete2
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    That's exactly what I think too but I just want to know I'd I'm using the pioneer as pre amp wher does the characteristic come from I.e can I still get the best out the p7? Bassically would I get pioneer sound with arcam power or would I get the arcam sound and power.
     
  11. PSM1

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    All the amps are doing is amplifying the signal given so any characteristic will come from the Pioneer preamp. All you will be doing with the Arcam is giving a cleaner amplification (so less distortion) and more control/power.
     
  12. hifix

    hifix
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    KEF does work well with Pioneer's ICE amplification, but they also work well with Arcam too, so you should see an improvement :)
     
  13. Pete2

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    Thank you, if cleaner presentation is the main benefit from adding the p7 with the pioneer lx83 I don't think it's worth doing as I play music and movies at nowhere near reference levels as the living room is only 4 meters x 4 meters I was hoping to get a more hifi sound for music hence the p7,

    Just fully set the lx83 up using the calibration software on it, it sounded very thin and lightweight as if I'm not using floor standing speakers so I then tweaked the equalizer setting now it sounds very smooth with vocals sounding fuller, now I can feel and hear that I'm using floor standing speakers. I have heard people saying pioneer amps are bright, I can tell you there is no hint of brightness now sure I'd that's down to the kef R700 though, the sound just blows me away and I am still playing around as we speak.

    Sonos is my source for music and its very close to cd quality, I have just tested out a few songs using the dac in the sonos this is done when I connect it to the lx83 using analog output, I compared that to using the dac in the lx83 and the difference is mind blowing the sonos sounds thinner and some guitar instruments sounds a bit strange. The pioneer dac make the guitar and other instruments sound closer to the what they should sound like, also the pioneer dac just produced a bigger sound, the coaxial cable I used from pioneer to sonos is call qed qunex signature 75,
    I think I may end up just using the pioneer lx83 maybe sell on the p7 or keep just in case I ever built a dedicated cinema room but for now I'm very happy with what I'm hearing.

    The songs I tested the sonos dac and pioneer lx83 dac with are below feel free to try for yourself if you connected both the coaxial and analog out from sonos to your amps then its easy to switch by just pressing a button that way there is no delay so you can easily remember what you heard.

    Tracy chapman. I'm ready
    Tracy chapman. Give me one reason
    Justin timberlake. Another song
    Ben harper. Please me like you want to
    Bob Marley Uprising album track 1 to 3 and track 11
     
  14. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    This is the next audio myth - there is no such thing as a "manufacturer sound" - that's something invented by hifi magazines to sell subscriptions and advertising space.

    Do you really think any self-respecting manufacturer would deliberately introduce inaccuracies and distortions, carefully ensuring their equipment does not reproduce the music as it was originally recorded, just so that they can have "a sound" that is different (wrong, but different)? Or do you think he'd more likely be scared of somebody's comparing input and output and slamming his distortion-introducing lo-fi by printing charts showing just why nobody should consider purchasing such junk?

    What the P7 will do is drive (control) the KEF 700s better than the (cheaper, lower quality) internal power amplification of the Pioneer SC-LX83. That said, I suspect you won't hear a difference if you test double-blind, even though the KEF 700s are a decent speaker (but that's yet another audio "argument").
     
  15. Pete2

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    I have set the lx83 and the arcam p7 up today only in two channel mode using the front speaker preouts on the lx83, I can't say I heard much of a difference to justify running them both, the p7 is better in terms of tighter bass but this comparison only made respect the lx83 even more because it was close and you can see that the arcam is well built and uses top quality components plus it weight almost twice what pioneer weighs but still the improvement was not huge. Saying that I'm sure the p7 would sound a lot better with a dedicated pre amp, so as I can't get the best out of it in this setup I won't bother. I only tested with 2 channel music because I think the lx83 on its own for movie can't get much better than it already is. It's excellent for movies and now I know it's also very good with music but I know music can sound a little better with my speakers as I tested out a Arcam a38 with my kef r700 before and that was the best stereo I have ever heard anywhere. But sadly I don't like switching from one amp to another for movies and music which is what I would have to do if I went for a stereo and with the lx83. I wonder what I would think of the arcam avr600? which was my first choice. As an all in one
     
  16. speed1268

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    Hi All,I had an lx 83 which when working!! Didn't sound bad at all,playing with the dac settings can make a difference.There is no doubt though that the Pioneer sound is what it is and can be exaggerated dependant on speaker choice.
    Due to these units various problems I changed this for an Audiolab 8200AP which I now run with a Tag 100x5r.
    Simplicity has reaped sound benefits aplenty.Find out from Dav1F if the Arcam/ Audiolab combo might work!
    If so,I would ditch the lx83 as returning to a lesser more simple setup has worked for me and might for you!
    Regards speed
     
  17. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    It is likely better that the Pioneer. Since it's recently been discontinued (replaced by AVR750) you may be able to pick up "leftover" stock at a good price. Just make sure you get the 3D model.

    If improving stereo music is your main concern, using a separate analogue integrated stereo amp with processor mode bypass is the cheapest solution, despite the minor inconvenience.
     
  18. Pete2

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    Thank you I will look into that, do I still need to deconnected the cables every time I switch from av to music listening? If so it won't work for me.

    I still think the way I hear people go on and on about how good the Arcam avr600 is for music, it must be much better than my pioneer for music which would be great since I think the pioneer is very good for music, I even called arcam and they told me that the avr600 is as good as thier fmj A38 for music as they build thier av amps with music reproduction as the most important factor, I have heard the fmj A38 stereo amp and its the best I have heard music sound on any system and that was with my current speakers kef r700.

    With that said I am on the lookout for an arcam avr600 as long as it works perfectly and has warranty. I hope it can match my pioneer lx83 for movies.
     

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