Debating on new receiver - Arcam? Denon?

gibbsy

Moderator
How do the arcam range compare with NAD 758 and 777-they both have Dirac but NAD is much cheaper...
You may have answered your own question. The Arcam 850 is almost four times more expensive here in the UK than the 758 and twice as expensive as the 777. I think, even though Dirac is involved that the NADs are more of a competitor for Denon and Marantz but for top of the range models it would be between the D&M offerings as they offer for more value for money.

Dirac, for me, is starting to itch and an Arcam for be the stick I'd use to scratch it with.
 

chiro81

Active Member
You may have answered your own question. The Arcam 850 is almost four times more expensive here in the UK than the 758 and twice as expensive as the 777. I think, even though Dirac is involved that the NADs are more of a competitor for Denon and Marantz but for top of the range models it would be between the D&M offerings as they offer for more value for money.

Dirac, for me, is starting to itch and an Arcam for be the stick I'd use to scratch it with.

I don’t get why you wuldbt consider NAD if it ms so much cheaper if you want Dirac? Are the units that different as much as price suggests??
 
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D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
I don’t get why you wuldbt consider NAD if it ms so much cheaper if you want Dirac? Are the units that different as much as price suggests??
The 758v3 is considerably cheaper, the 777 is about the same price as the Arcams. They all have their own quirks and strengths and weaknesses.

I recently bought an Arcam 550, I decided against the Nad as it only came with a 2 year warranty rather than the Arcam's 5 years. It didn't have enough inputs and outputs for my system, that can be overcome with splitters and adapters, but it's just easier without those. Plus the 550 has more powerful internal amps, 7 x 90 watts vs 7 x 60 watts. Also, I got a very good deal including part exchange of my previous system, so it was a nice and easy upgrade. SSAV are the sole distributors of NAD in the UK, and they don't offer part exchange, as far as I know.
 
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Mister_Tad

Well-known Member
You may have answered your own question. The Arcam 850 is almost four times more expensive here in the UK than the 758 and twice as expensive as the 777

Isn't that kind of a slippery slope there... more expensive must be better?

I can't directly compare the AVR850 to the T777 since I never did bring the former home. After my T777 didn't work out it was a toss-up between Denon and Arcam, picked Denon (since I had the highest confidence everything would work together with it to prove the NAD at fault for my problems) and the X8500 impressed me well beyond expectations and that ended the story there. I have however had a brief listen to the 850 in store on a comparable-ish system. Clearly not enough to make an authoritative comparison between the two, but I don't have a sense that AVR850 is playing in a different league to the T777. I'm not saying it's not better, but I feel like a fair chunk of my money would be going into the name on front and the reputation that comes with it.

From my month living with the T777, I'd also echo comments in many reviews, that the T777's modest on-paper power rating belies it's performance.

That said, whilst it may sound like I'm singing the NAD praises, my experience with it did put me off considering NAD AVRs in future. They seem to have more than their fair share of quirks, beyond my handshaking issues.

I am singing the X8500 praises though. I was biased towards NAD and Arcam from the start... they're "hifi", whereas Denon is "consumer electronics" (having used midrange Denons for 10 years prior), and took the X8500 home to demo almost begrudgingly (even at no cost, I might add). After an initial misstep with Audyssey (hit and miss setup compared to Dirac, but in end I feel like it's doing just as good a job, though the £20 app is mandatory), was blown away. After spending a weekend with it, my first call on Monday morning was to SSAV to let them know that they're not having it back.
 
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Deleted member 39241

Guest
@Mister_Tad Very interesting read, thanks :smashin:

Did you use the Nad for listening to 2 channel music whilst you had it, and did you get to compare that to the Denon 8500, if so, what did you think?
 

Mister_Tad

Well-known Member
Did you use the Nad for listening to 2 channel music whilst you had it, and did you get to compare that to the Denon 8500, if so, what did you think?

I did, both to investigate it's musical prowess and to check out Bluesound as compared to the Sonos I had been using in the room.

I do have a separate 2-channel setup and I play music fairly infrequently in the cinema room, and listen to music in there even less... so whilst I made a point of listening more than I would normally, I wouldn't call it exhaustive.

It's different from the Denon - tough to say which is better, even tougher to say without using wishy washy audiophile terms what I fear would lose me credibility, but I'll have a go :D

When I first tried out the NAD I was coming from a Denon 3313 and the NAD is leaps and bounds better, as so it should be. The first thing that struck me was that the NAD was more approaching the sort of sound I get from my 2ch setup (Pathos hybrid, Proac standmounts) - sorta warm, very smooth... very nice sounding. Very enjoyable to listen to, and I'd say quite flattering to tracks that I knew not to be particularly well recorded, in a way that stands out much more clearly on the 2ch setup.

When I went to the X8500, music was the first thing I tried. I wasn't actually expecting much, and initially didn't rate it - it's a very different sound to my 2ch setup (and the NAD) which left me thinking that it's not as good. Listening on though, this isn't the case, it's just different. The chap at SSAV described the x8500 as a very "exciting" sounding amp, and when he said that I wasn't sure what he really meant and was suspicious he was talking nonsense, but that's actually a perfect description. It's cleaner than the NAD, and sounds... "faster" somehow? It doesn't flatter ropey recordings like the NAD though.

Since we're talking music - Bluesound on the NAD is an easy win over HEOS on the Denon in terms of usability. I'm a big fan of Sonos, have been using it for over 10 years, and currently have 12 of them throughout the house. Bluesound was enough for me to flog the ZP90 that I had previously been using in the room. It's not to say HEOS is bad, but Bluesound is comparable in usability to Sonos whereas HEOS is a matter of being good enough for me to use it and not bring Sonos back.

If I didn't have an entirely separate 2ch setup I think the NAD would be my preference between the two for music. As it is though I rate the Denon, and even prefer it over my 2ch setup for rock/metal.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
@Mister_Tad Good description. I would certainly think that the NAD was a step up from a 3313 which was a mid range Denon receiver and a long way from the 8500. I have a 6200, which at it's time of release was a tier below the excellent 7200. I find the 6200 very fast and agile with film always keeping up with the action and never losing clarity or depth so your remarks ring true.

For music, especially 5.1 tracks from either blu ray or DVD concerts and certainly depending on the quality of the mix the 6200 was quite good. For stereo playback from CD it was more of a one box convenience than a satisfying listen. For that reason I began to fall out of love with the CD. Couple of years ago, because of my wife's ill-health we did start to buy and play more CDs, but the doubts of the Denon's ability were still there.

Looking to improve I looked at the more 'musical' receivers, top of the list, for me was Arcam namely the 550 which had enough power for the filmatic side of things. Looking at the specs of the NADs I didn't think they had enough of a difference as an allround package to beat the Denon current credentials. I was then persuaded to look at adding an integrated stereo amp into the system simply to bring back the interest in music. Adding the Rega did that and certainly more. Now my speakers really sing and the overall audio package of the 5.1.2 has also seen the benefit.

I'd love to try Dirac, it really is an itch but whether that would give me better than the Rega can for a considerable outlay I'm not too sure. I'm more than happy with the sound I have at the moment and my love of music has rekindled, especially with SACDs and my priority is now more with headphones, again because of my wife's ill-health. Only a sudden breakdown would make me consider a change of receiver and with the current crop of units common sense would say to purchase another Denon in the shape of the 6400 but with me common sense often goes straight out of the window.
 

chiro81

Active Member
@Mister_Tad Good description. I would certainly think that the NAD was a step up from a 3313 which was a mid range Denon receiver and a long way from the 8500. I have a 6200, which at it's time of release was a tier below the excellent 7200. I find the 6200 very fast and agile with film always keeping up with the action and never losing clarity or depth so your remarks ring true.

For music, especially 5.1 tracks from either blu ray or DVD concerts and certainly depending on the quality of the mix the 6200 was quite good. For stereo playback from CD it was more of a one box convenience than a satisfying listen. For that reason I began to fall out of love with the CD. Couple of years ago, because of my wife's ill-health we did start to buy and play more CDs, but the doubts of the Denon's ability were still there.

Looking to improve I looked at the more 'musical' receivers, top of the list, for me was Arcam namely the 550 which had enough power for the filmatic side of things. Looking at the specs of the NADs I didn't think they had enough of a difference as an allround package to beat the Denon current credentials. I was then persuaded to look at adding an integrated stereo amp into the system simply to bring back the interest in music. Adding the Rega did that and certainly more. Now my speakers really sing and the overall audio package of the 5.1.2 has also seen the benefit.

I'd love to try Dirac, it really is an itch but whether that would give me better than the Rega can for a considerable outlay I'm not too sure. I'm more than happy with the sound I have at the moment and my love of music has rekindled, especially with SACDs and my priority is now more with headphones, again because of my wife's ill-health. Only a sudden breakdown would make me consider a change of receiver and with the current crop of units common sense would say to purchase another Denon in the shape of the 6400 but with me common sense often goes straight out of the window.

Another option since power and music seem to be important is the Anthem MRX 1120...I’m thinking of that since it is comparable specs and price to the higher end ones and has all 11 channels of internal power. Also the ARC (Anthem Room correction) is supposed to be right up there with Dirac as most powerful room correction software. Does anyone have experience comparing the top of the line Anthem with those NADs or Arcams? Should be close or better option...
 

chiro81

Active Member
I did, both to investigate it's musical prowess and to check out Bluesound as compared to the Sonos I had been using in the room.

I do have a separate 2-channel setup and I play music fairly infrequently in the cinema room, and listen to music in there even less... so whilst I made a point of listening more than I would normally, I wouldn't call it exhaustive.

It's different from the Denon - tough to say which is better, even tougher to say without using wishy washy audiophile terms what I fear would lose me credibility, but I'll have a go :D

When I first tried out the NAD I was coming from a Denon 3313 and the NAD is leaps and bounds better, as so it should be. The first thing that struck me was that the NAD was more approaching the sort of sound I get from my 2ch setup (Pathos hybrid, Proac standmounts) - sorta warm, very smooth... very nice sounding. Very enjoyable to listen to, and I'd say quite flattering to tracks that I knew not to be particularly well recorded, in a way that stands out much more clearly on the 2ch setup.

When I went to the X8500, music was the first thing I tried. I wasn't actually expecting much, and initially didn't rate it - it's a very different sound to my 2ch setup (and the NAD) which left me thinking that it's not as good. Listening on though, this isn't the case, it's just different. The chap at SSAV described the x8500 as a very "exciting" sounding amp, and when he said that I wasn't sure what he really meant and was suspicious he was talking nonsense, but that's actually a perfect description. It's cleaner than the NAD, and sounds... "faster" somehow? It doesn't flatter ropey recordings like the NAD though.

Since we're talking music - Bluesound on the NAD is an easy win over HEOS on the Denon in terms of usability. I'm a big fan of Sonos, have been using it for over 10 years, and currently have 12 of them throughout the house. Bluesound was enough for me to flog the ZP90 that I had previously been using in the room. It's not to say HEOS is bad, but Bluesound is comparable in usability to Sonos whereas HEOS is a matter of being good enough for me to use it and not bring Sonos back.

If I didn't have an entirely separate 2ch setup I think the NAD would be my preference between the two for music. As it is though I rate the Denon, and even prefer it over my 2ch setup for rock/metal.

Speaking on Sonos-I was thinking of getting a Sonos connect to use if I got my NAD-do you happen to know if the Connect allows a clean transfer of the nitrate or stream from the receiver or would it downsample the nitrate or sound on something like Tidal for lossless music?
 

Mister_Tad

Well-known Member
Speaking on Sonos-I was thinking of getting a Sonos connect to use if I got my NAD-do you happen to know if the Connect allows a clean transfer of the nitrate or stream from the receiver or would it downsample the nitrate or sound on something like Tidal for lossless music?

If you get a NAD, I'd definitely suggest you use the onboard BluOS and save yourself £300+, unless you already use Sonos en-masse and want the benefits that adding to that bring.

Sonos should playback tidal hi-fi sans-molestation, however there are a few objective reports out there (i.e. recording the S/PDIF output) that suggest that there is some DSP happening and the output isn't bit-perfect. My own observations are that sending Tidal out of a laptop to the DAC vs a connect is far better in terms of SQ... whether this is solely due to using USB for the laptop vs optical for the Sonos, or in part due to some shortcoming of the Sonos, I don't know, I only use the laptop on my 2ch setup now though.

In terms of usability, BluOS is pretty much up there with Sonos (and saying that, the latest update has made my Sonos app flaky as hell), it also supports 24/96+ and Tidal MQA as well if that's important.

Another option since power and music seem to be important is the Anthem MRX 1120

I personally couldn't get my head around the UK pricing for the MRX1120, or any of the other Anthems.

Yes, stuff is more expensive here than the US, but the pricing disparity is far greater than the norm - £4400 plays $3500 (£2700)

Conversely, with the OP being in the US, could seem like a bargain.
 
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smallangryboy

Active Member
Interesting. Why were you put off from it?
Mainly reliability like you. Arcam used the general public as beta testers for their newly minted AVR range, having been a die hard fan and loving the classic Alpha range this killed it for me at least with their AVRs. I went on to own an FMJ A22 and P25 and regret selling them though.

Really for a given volume and within an amps capability they all sound the same. Receivers are a bit of a balancing act when using their own audio tuning software, but Denon are decent enough without spending epic money. Marantz, Arcam and Yamaha have all been unreliable but I’m only one consumer so hardly statistically valid
 

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