AVR-250/300 Pros-Cons

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by rover2002, Mar 25, 2006.

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  1. rover2002

    rover2002
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    Hello,
    Going through most of the threads here sure is helpfull if you have a unit with a minor issue or some problem to solve, however i don't have an Arcam 'Yet', and would like to ask the AVR250 & 300 owners there Pros & Cons.
    I have so far had one audition with the 300 in a treated room, and it was fantatic to say the least.There were 2 things that stopped me from buying this unit on that day, the first was i had never heard of this brand and 2nd the sales guy said there was a lower priced version (avr250), and with that i began to search for reviews ect, ect. . .
    My current speakers are Infinity beta 40's and my amp a yammy 757, so yes at some point i need to upgrade speakers but right now i have got to get this yammy outta me home !!

    And so here we are:)
    Could AVR250/300 owners do me a huge favour (and i'm sure many lurkers)and post your pros and cons.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Many Thanks
    Will.
     
  2. johndon

    johndon
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    Two differences straight away which may be cons depending on your point of view:

    1. The AVR300 is more powerful
    2. The AVR300 has pre-outs so you can connect a power amp, the 250 does not.

    John
     
  3. daffy

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    I pondered both the 300 and 250, and chose the 250 in the end based on:

    the size of my room
    no foreseeable need for power amps (see above)
    the money saved helped me to finance a dv79 instead of a 78

    Demo'd both, and for my set up, and operating condiitons (the actual volume I can play the thing at, etc) the 250 was more than adequate.

    I have not yet been tempted to upgrade it, so it must be OK...:D
     
  4. brokenhat

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    I have the AVR300 and it was a great purchase decision. I did not demo the 250 but if the money you save will help you upgrade your speakers sooner, your room is not too big that you will miss the extra power and you don't mind limiting yourself in upgrading by not having the pre outs I'm sure the 250 will make you very happy!
     
  5. hedrick@rutgers

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    Unfortunately I have no way of comparing directly. But I got a 250 after listening to a 300, assuming that the 250 would be equivalent. As far as I can tell, it is. The reviews seem pretty similar. As mentioned, it doesn't have pre-outs and is slightly less powerful (though the difference seems almost insignificant). Also, there's some part of the microcode that can't be upgraded. In my situation those differences didn't seem to matter. I'm quite pleased with the system.
     
  6. flexiondotorg

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    I auditioned both the AVR300 and AVR250 and my reasons for choosing the AVR250 are pretty similar to Daffy's above.

    - The size of my room and the size of my speakers.
    - No need for a power amp.
    - The money saved helped my pay for a Lumagen VisionDVI scaler.
    - I couldn't here any difference between the AVR300 and AVR250 while on home demo with my other kit.

    The DSP code in the AVR250 is not upgradable but the firmware is. Not being able to upgrade the DSP has not caused me any concerns/issues. The AVR250 is the only component I have not considered upgrading yet :)
     
  7. Dom996

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    The extra power of the AVR300 contribute more than plain volume levels. Even at moderate levels dynamics and the feeling of freedom from the speakers are clearly pronounced.
     
  8. rover2002

    rover2002
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    You make it sound like a night and day comparison between the 250/300, is this really the case? Or as a retailer you feel people should skip the 250 for lack of pre-outs?

    I'm going to have to pull the trigger on one of these at the weekend i think, its just so dam hard debating on the minor diffrence of the 2! !
    I guess it comes down to pre-outs and the extra 25W + room size and of course $$ .Here in Hong Kong there is a HKD$5000 (roughly GBP 385) diffrence between the two, so i'm kinda leanning towards the 250. My listenning area is around 300SF so thats another + for the 250 although if i move back to the UK next year i may regret haveing no pre-outs !!
    This will drive me insane i can see it now !
    Thanks
    Will.
     
  9. Dickster

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    I, as many have, been caught between these two wonderful stools and after room size was taken in account I made the choice. AVR250 and used the saving towards a pair of PMC GB1's - as far as I'm concerend the combination is something to behold.

    I hope this helps, but at the end of the day which ever you choose will be fantastic.

    Good luck and post how you get on,
    Cheers,
    Dickster
     
  10. RustyZip

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    Have you considered buying a second hand AVR200 ??

    They have Pre-outs...

    Rated at 70W for 5 channels, 90W for 2 channels...

    Perhaps not quite as sonically as good as the AVR300, but adequate for me....
     
  11. rover2002

    rover2002
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    I did think about it but decided there were better units in the same price range (2nd hand market), marantz for example.

    I think its comeing down to the AVR250, although hopefully the AVR300 dealer can drop the price some.If i were living here or eny city or apartment building on a perminant basis it would be a no brainer ! i'm hung up on the pre-outs and price diff. . maybe i should have a look at the marantz 7500 as they have been described sounding on par with the arcams (warm & good imaging).?
    Thanks
    will.
     
  12. Mark F

    Mark F
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    300 square feet sounds like a large room to me (by UK standards). Average UK living room is probably about 200 square feet.
     
  13. rover2002

    rover2002
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    I'd say the average UK LR is 400SF + If your LR backs onto your DR you get a bit more space if you back up your sofa.I guess it really does depend on where you live though.
    Will.
     
  14. Mark F

    Mark F
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    As you say, depends on whether you have a lounge dinner, in which case 300 sqft + may be more typical. I'd still class this as a large room - the dinner part will suck up (for want of a better phrase) a large part of the sound meaning that you may need more power.

    I'd still say 400 sq ft is very large :) . Average semi-detached house is 25 ft front to back with, say, a 13 ft wide lounge which is only 325 sq ft in total.

    As for what constitutes a large room, it does annoy me that magazines in particular do not quantify this - instead they say "speaker X is best suited to a large room". Very helpful! I've heard a few people say that anything around 15ft x 13ft (ie 195 sq ft) is medium sized and anything bigger is "large".
     
  15. rover2002

    rover2002
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    Actully my room is less than 250SF, i was a bit off there ! I would say it is medium though, it sure don't feel large.
    Will.
     
  16. lpm

    lpm
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    rover2002,

    I have been a long time Marantz owner and fan before getting my current AVR300. They (the SR7500/8500) are very fine and high SQ receivers indeed for both music and HC. However in my opinion from multiple side by side listening tests and owning both brands, they actually sound quite different to each other. I hesitate to describe this in too much detail as my words and experiences may differ from others but the Marantz has a very warm, smooth and dynamic house sound wheras the Acam to me is more neutral with greater detail giving the Arcam better imaging and a wider and deeper soundstage in comparison.

    So on par meaning sounds the same, no. On par meaning sounds as good, no but reasonably close IMHO. Marantz is certainly worth a listen but I am now totally biased and I would go with the AVR250 if budget dictates. Its power is real all channels driven as shown in this review test lab http://ultimateavmag.com/avreceivers/605arcam/
     
  17. rover2002

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    I take mag reviews with a pinch of salt Lyn, everything you said before that was far better info:D
    It will come down to $$$ and my wifes stamp of, well you know ! She will join me saturday and we will do a final audition on the 250/300.
    Will
     
  18. lpm

    lpm
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    Agreed, a healthy scepticism of magazine articles is incredibly wise. I am constantly astonished that people on forums seem to take opinions literally be it from reviewers, other forum members or the man in the moon without checking or listening for themselves. More fool them.

    However, published lab tests are a little different to flowery articles alone. Point is there are many mass market receivers that give figures that imply all channels driven power is greater than it really is as they are quoting any 2 channels driven figures. My old Marantz was quoted at 85wpc and actually produced 90wpc for stereo in the lab, but dropped to 35wpc all channels driven on test. The only way a member of the public can get unbiased figures is through such independant tests. Wisdom in research is about selecting sources whose veracity you can rely on and putting less weight on, or discounting, others. There are many other sites that show actual test figures and you can readily see the manufacurers whos figures can be trusted.

    The ony reason I headed off at this tangent was you seemed to be concerned about room size and hence power. I believe Marantz now delivers about 70% of its 2 channel figures all channels driven so the SR7500 is fairly solid and roughly equivalent to the AVR250 power wise. I'm less sure about some of the other brands. Best of luck Saturday in balancing your ears with your budget.
     
  19. rover2002

    rover2002
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    Agreed , i read one review that was outragous ! the reviewer kept repeating Arcam is "The answer", can you imagine someone saying that about a yamaha.

    Until i started looking into recieavers i was unaware of the sneaky tests that most brands do.
    Could i ask you to post some Pros/Cons Lyn? I know your firmly rooted in the 'i love my arcam' realm so maybe just the cons.
    Thanks
    Will.
     
  20. lpm

    lpm
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    Yes I love Arcam but nothing is perfect as my wife continues to remind me. There are pros and cons for everything but often they are relative to ones needs or expectation. The AVR300 does not have room equalisation for example. To some, that might be a showstopper. To me however, system optimisation and room treatment come first and room equalisation is only icing on the cake and then only if it’s a good EQ system.

    Other cons, not really. The remote is simply OK. Occasionally, it seems to forget how to remotely change modes or similar and I have to use the buttons on the receiver or recycle things. I find the front buttons and labels too hard to see (have the unit under the TV), would be OK if they were more at eye level. Finally, it really showed up the limitations of my speakers. The Marantz had disguised this somewhat. Not one eyed, but it is pretty good.
     

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