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Bi-amp AVR300 with channel 6+7 or ??

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by Hifi addict, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. Hifi addict

    Hifi addict
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    I own a Arcam AVR300 and B&W 803's and I must say, the combination is awesome ! :thumbsup: :smashin: :zonked:

    I use channel 6+7 to bi-amp my B&W's as I did hear a big difference in single-amping them and bi-amping.

    Would adding a separate power-amp make any (big) difference ? I am thinking about adding a Arcam P35 or Rotel RB1080 or any other good power-amp. What differences should I be able to hear? I know that the default answer will be: go out there and listen, but I want to have some input from you guys before I do.

    Thanks
     
  2. Barend

    Barend
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    For fronts biamping get an amp that has good bass, I tried many but found my Rotel RB981 best. I bought it second hand on Ebay, together with an old Arcam 202 (at least as good but big). The small Marantz 500 monoblocks were less a success.

    What you should notice is the bass reaching much lower and sounding better controlled (you can discern all basstones easily).

    Unfortunately many finals have no level control (neither has the AVR300) so you have to try if your amp gives you a healthy bass level, as fixed attenuators often introduce hum because they're really made for much higher impedances.
    Most finals including the AVR300's have 30dB or so gain, but this may differ a few dB's, so having level control is a good thing.

    Don't buy multichannel finals unless they're very well made and have per-channel power supplies, or else you might as well stick to the AVR300 finals.
    Monoblocks or stereo finals are OK.

    IMO output power should be 120W at least or better 150-200W, my KEF Reference 203 bass section prefers at least 150W believe it or not...

    Barend
     
  3. Hifi addict

    Hifi addict
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    thanks for the good advice, but have you tried to bi-amp using the AVR300 channel 6+7 instead of using your RB981. If you did, was there any big difference?

    it could well be that using 6+7 gives you a much more controlled/smooth sound as you won't have issue's with the level control that you mentioned.

    cheers
     
  4. Barend

    Barend
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    Yes I did try that, but quite unexpectedly the RB981 sounded much better- drier und extending further down.
    Remember, bass likes a lot of power, and my KEF Reference speakers are quite power hungry, most so in the bass region of course, or else the sound tends to get flabby.
    As I wrote, the AVR300 has no biamping level setting so you're stuck with the gain as is- contrary to for instance the Denon AVR-3805 where you can use the Zone 2 volume setting to alter the gain- a free extra bass control.
    Since I tried many finals I noticed every manufacturer brews his own soup here, some are really thin (Marantz MA-500) some are "too much" (Harman Kardon) and some are "just right" (Rotel).
    Well, suppose it's all a matter of taste, I like a firm but not overblown bass foundation...
    Because I listen to a lot of SACD/DVD-A discs I'm going to try another Rotel I have (RB-980BX, almost the same as the 981) to biamp the rears.
    IMO the H speaker sections are well served by the Rotel itself, thus feeding them with its characteristic rich sound, while the bass (not contributing much to the sound character) is best handled by a hefty separate amp.
    Barend
     
  5. Hifi addict

    Hifi addict
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    I assume that with Rotel you mean the Arcam and then handle the bass with the separate amp (fi. rotel). Have you ever tried the Arcam P35 ?

    I sure looks nicer to have the same brand in 1 rack, but then again: sound is the most important thing. Rotel is good in bass handling :D
     
  6. Barend

    Barend
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    Sure, I looked for an Arcam final, but I wanted a P90, but these are rather recent so horribly expensive.
    The Rotels cost approx. 200 Pounds.
    Bear in mind only the bass quality matters...
    Sorry, don't know the P35, but look for high power / current designs.
    Don't forget NAD, the old 202 for instance is mighty good and cheap too, plus extremely high current- I'm not so impressed by the new 370.
    Barend
     
  7. Hifi addict

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    ok, thanks
     

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