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AVR300 - Disappointed!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by bluesfan, Sep 3, 2005.

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  1. bluesfan

    bluesfan
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    Well, I’ll create some enemies here but we’re all entitled to our opinions and I’m talking here more to those people who listen to more music than watch movies and are thinking about an AVR to replace their amp. I think my ears are pretty good, having study music I have quite good pitch, so I’m quite fussy about by hi-fi. Therefore, I’m sorry to report I was a bit disappointed in the AVR300 running through my BW603s. I tried all sorts of sound settings and most modes only seem to add an echo effect to stereo. I also tried bumping up the treble (not much change there).

    I couldn’t understand why it was so muffled at low volumes. It only started to sound at all dynamic at about 70db, which was too loud for the wife (a lot of amps start to sound good at high volumes). Whereas my lowly old 40w Pioneer amp sounds “louder” or more dynamic at lower volumes. Yes, I know this doesn’t make sense but that’s the best I can describe it. Perhaps someone understands the phenomenon I’m trying to express here.

    To me, the sound just wasn’t crisp enough, I wanted more “tis” on the drums and almost some sibilance but the sound was just too smooth and at low volumes sounded as if it was playing through a sock! At 60dbs it really sounded average and to me not worth £1200. I don’t see why I have to have loud to have dynamic, my existing 40w add doesn’t need that, it sounds quite good even at low volumes.

    Ok, I could try biamping it and that might improve the umph but I don't think it will change the basic sound.

    I also found stereo direct just highlighted the weakness of the system as an amp. I certainly think it must be based on a65 circuitry than anything else Arcam make.

    The volume control was also most annoying. Why does it take so much effort just to go up a few dbs. Why can’t the thing move in 2dbs or something or be smoother to turn so it’s faster (some of us don’t like remotes).

    Some of these people who make these machines should really go along to some live concerts and get the feel of the sound there, where you can hear the lightest of touch to a guitar string and snare drum. That’s the sound I want from my hifi.

    I think it will have to go back and I’ll have to have a rethink. I guess at the end of the day better stereo is more important to me than surround sound. I may even have to look at some other makes as some people here have criticised the A90 as not being bright or dynamic enough.

    Just my view.
     
  2. RayB

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    Perhaps better moved to Arcam forum, bound to muster a response there :devil:
     
  3. Jack the lad

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    How long have you had it?

    I got my AVR300 on Tuesday. I have had loads of amps, usually replace them after 3 or 4 weeks :eek: the last being a Denon 3805. Anyway at first I was also not blown away by the AVR300's performance, it was way too bass heavy, slightly muffled and like you say you need to crank up the db's.

    Now 4 days later I am blown away by its performance :thumbsup: Why?

    Firstly I turned down the gain on my SVS to the 3rd way mark (was on 1/2). This obviously cured the bassy-ness (?).

    Secondly and most importantly I then read the instructions :lesson: Like a muppet I hadnt made the switch to 4 ohms on the speaker select at the back. This made a difference as well :rolleyes:

    As for the volume setting. It does need to be turned up high. I use 70 for Sky and 80 for DVD's.

    Now I dont know if any of this is applicable to how you have yours set up but it might be worth playing around with a few things :)

    PS I did read a post somewhere where this guy wasnt truely happy with is AVR300 for 8 months :eek: But now swears by it :D
     
  4. bluesfan

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    Thanks,

    I'll try the 4ohms setting but I still think I won't be able to get away from the muffled sound and lack of crispness or brightness - it's just too smoooooooooth!

    Personally I think everyone "gets used to the sound of theirs" after a while. My mates amp is terrible but he just can't hear it as he got used to it.

    I know a little about electronics and resistors, capacitors, etc. do not change significantly after a while or "warm up". This is just a myth. What is happening is people psychologically getting used to the sound.

    I posted it also at the Arcam stall because not everyone reads all the forums and I wanted to get some feedback from people who don't touch Arcam for whatever reason.

    I will persevere with it as I have it for week. I really hoped the an avr would give me what most people want - convenience. However, I suspect the stereo sacrifice is too much for me to take.
     
  5. Cable Monkey

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    It is quite feasible you don't like the sound of the Arcam and would have been better off listening to Pioneers and Sonys which tend to be brighter sounding (in my experience). Remember a large part audio is subjective and listening is vital in making purchase decisions. When splashing that kind of cash, it is not unreasonable to unplug your speakers and take them in for a demo or arrange a loan of an amp. My preferred supplier has done this on occasion for other customers.
     
  6. Falp

    Falp
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    If you think a system with B&W 600 series is lacking of brightness then get a japanese Av receiver... I agree...
     
  7. mutley

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    REading your first post i was thinking "you should have a Rotel system"
    (your tastes and your speakers ask for it)

    Yet i agree that a Pioneer receiver (AX5 for instance) should give you pleasure too...

    Each of us likes some kind of sound, and we have to search OUR sound. It really doesn't look like you like Arcam sound...
     
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