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AVR300 - tuning the tuner - AAAAAAARGH

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by davehk, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. davehk

    davehk
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    Have jsut set up my new AVR300. Tuning in the FM stations is a real PITA. Has to be the worst user interface I've ever seen! It took over 20 minutes to program 8 presets--- in the London area there are nearly 100 FM stations, and having no manual tuning mode, you have to go through every one, pressing the scan button for 2 seconds each time to move to the next.

    PLEASE can we have a manual tuning mode -- eg press both up and down buttons together to disable scan, then the up and down buttons simply move the frequency up and down until you release them. Return to scanning mode by pressing both together again.

    Even better - direct frequency entry via the remote - I know the exact frequencies of the stations I want and I expect many others do too.

    Also - some indication of signal strength, and a better RDS implementation - there is more information available that the AVR can display (the Sony ST-SE520 is a good example of a decent RDS/EON implementation).

    Cheers,
     
  2. Barend

    Barend
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    Once you get the hang of the push order on the remote it's not too baffling I'd say...
    These days, tuners aren't meant for manual tuning, do yourself a favor and buy some old analog Arcam tuner, they cost very little on Ebay and will sound better too.
    Mine came s/h from the UK and was only 35 quid if I remember right.
    That's what I use when I have one of my scan-the-band fits...
    And they have a Big Tuning Knob !
    A s/s meter will never be a big help because it cannot be very accurate, since it merely displays the "s-curve" DC voltage of the discriminator (on home equipment that is).
    This indication is inaccurate on small sigs.
     
  3. davehk

    davehk
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    It's not a question of baffling - I'd bet there isn't a user i/f on the planet I can't handle. It's just too clunky and time consuming. And as for not being designed for manual tuning - - it's not "designed" for automatic tuning either -- it doesn't even have autostore - ie automatically store the 30 strongest stations.

    Seems like a case of the programmers not talking to the users to me (I see lots of that in my day job in IT & Networks). Come on ARCAM - it's just SMOP so I'm sure you can fix it.

    I have a Sony ST-SE520 which is very good - but it's another box and another shelf on the rack.
     
  4. Barend

    Barend
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    Radio reception seems to be very low on the receiver manufacturer's list these days.
    At best it sounds halfway decent, not brilliant as in the ole days.
    Also, radio stations (and cable providers?) add compression etc.
    So I find myself listening to less and less music over the cable.
    Most stations however are on Sat now, and many sound very good, some BBC stations are really excellent and some Germans too.
    I lmyself listen mostly to classical music.
    Pop music over the cable sounds worse than mp3 here in Holland...
    So do yourself a favor (alt for the 1st one), go buy a 60cm dish and some cheap sat box and you will grin from ear to ear - even enjoy 5.1 if transmitted because most sets sport at least an optical socket
     
  5. glimball

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    I live in the Middle East and, like Barend, listen to radio via a satelite dish with an optical link to my AVR300. There's a huge number of stations available of all possible kinds - and some of the classical ones sound really good through the 5.1 - give it a try!
     
  6. bluesfan

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    Everything seems to be low on manufacturers list for av receivers eg. stereo sound, fm reception, no DAB, etc,. I agree with the thread. Come on for £1,000 people expect more for the money!
     
  7. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    I think you're forgetting that first and foremost it is a multichannel AV receiver and that DD and DTS decoding and multi channel amplification are the main priorities. If you want good 2 channel performance or great radio reception then buy dedicated boxes that are designed for that purpose. For £1000 I'd expect to get a well performing AV receiver and that's exactly what you get, and at the end of the day £1000 isn't really a lot of money, is it really?
     
  8. davee

    davee
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    Just to be more accurate its £1300.......and yes £1300 represents quite a lot of money
     
  9. glimball

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    Have to agree with Crustyloafer - i bought the AVR300 as an amplifier that was excellent for DVD and also very god indeed for stereo. I didn't even bother to check about the quality of the tuner which for me is a free giveaway that I won't use since I have better sources of radio and music.

    I'm not saying that Arcam are right - that was just my priorities; on the other hand those who DO want a top notch tuner deserve a well-engineered and ergonomically sound device - but, there again, aren't receivers always a compromise and accepted as such by those who buy?
     
  10. General Skanky

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    Not at £1300 imho.

    I for one would expect a well implemented tuner section. These days, if there's a compromise on a unit, it goes against it. So much competition. And if other firms implement a tuner well, why can't Arcam?

    The tuner is not 'an extra', but one of the main features.
     
  11. glimball

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    Actually I'm coming round ro Gen. Skanky's POV. Here in the Middle East there's no radio really worth listening to unless one speaks Arabic or Farsi - and I don't. This is why I listen to radio via my SAT box (and excellent it is too).

    Now I think about it, if i returned to England to live - or indeed Europe, I would use the tuner and expect it to be good. So you've converted me to your view! The marketing issue is important as well - people more and more expect high quality that is easy and intuitive to use. Arcam could be losing some customers for their otherwise excellent AVR300 to other brands.
     
  12. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Overall, the 300 is a good unit.

    I just think it's shame if there are basics done wrong. In this case, operational ergonomics could be better.
     
  13. davehk

    davehk
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    I have another observatoin/suggestion/criticism of the AVR300 tuner user interface (Sw v2.06):

    When in preset tuning mode (and you can't tell if you are in that mode without pressing the up/down buttons - and then it's too late if you are not (OK 2 criticisms),
    the display only shows the FREQUENCY of the station you have stepped to. The RDS name does not appear unless you release the button for about 1/2 second. This makes tuning quickly between presets impossible unless you know the frequency of the station you want.

    Questions to Andy Dutton: How do you design your user interfaces and do you do any UAT (User Acceptance Testing) on the control software?
     
  14. pinkmouse

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    If I were Arcam, I'd just dump the tuner completely. Those that want to spend £1300 on an amp, and listen to the radio, most likely have a decent tuner already.

    al/still waiting for a reasonable priced Arcam pre/decoder
     
  15. davehk

    davehk
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    Indeed I do - but it's a matter of space! A separate tuner means another shelf and/or another 6 inches of rack height. I don't often listen to radio critically - just as background, so I really don't want to clutter the lounge up with another box.

    Anyway - it just a SMOP - hardly rocket science!
     

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