Experience Going from Denon to Arcam FMJ


Novice Member

Just wanted to share my experience for anyone else interested. I had a Denon AVR1911 as a stop gap a few years ago after a failed Marantz but it did a good job and I ended up keeping it for a long time.

Recently upgraded to the AVR390 (given in a while as part of a cinema room I intend to add power amplifiers I didn't think the higher models were worthwhile plus the new HDA models sounded a little flaky currently, didn't offer loads more for my use, and were a lot ore expensive).

I was a little worried about whether I'd like the sound signature and if I'd encounter issues. In my experience so far:

  • No bugs encountered so far and left it on installed latest firmware (7.14)
  • Dirac fairly easy to set up if you have a laptop - to move around with the attached microphone
  • Sounds great - more detail and feeling of being 'in' the sound, and also has impact without feeling 'hard'
  • Noticeable better control of the subwoofer - it makes the subwoofer perform in a way it hasn't before for both impact and texture
  • Sound compression has worked well to limit it being too loud in my current environment (living room)
  • The menus are different but I find it more straight forward than the Denon and easy to use
  • Build is great and it looks really good in the flesh and the display is easy to read from a distance

I'd found other amplifiers a bit warm and lacking bass impact and / or detail or have detail but be too thin sounding. Yamaha sounded very natural but for me but lacked impact. Denon had been my best compromise with good detail and good bass though being critical of the 1911 lacked a little body in the mid range and the bass notes could feel hard and without 'texture'.

The Arcam just sounds right being both natural, having impact when needed, and plenty of detail. There's a feeling when there are multiple sounds like dialogue, music, and effects that they are all being played independently as in real life, rather than being mixed together. I haven't suffered any issues of not being able to hear dialogue at lower volumes as I occasionally could encounter before.

I know it's comparing apples to oranges in terms of the 1911 and the Arcam and you'd expect the Arcam to come out on top but it is a very nice receiver.

This is with projector and Tannoy Arena Highline 500 / Arena satellites combination.

Deleted member 39241

Excellent - I have had a similar experience also going from (in quick succession) a Denon 6300 and 4400, and a Marantz SR7011 to an Arcam AVR550. I love the sound of the Arcam, it does seem to add a layer of realism and detail that was definitely lacking in the D&M models. :smashin:


Distinguished Member
I know this is an old post but thought I'd say - imho this is purely down to Dirac. Apples for apples I don't think any of this kit sounds that different.


Active Member
Have to agree. Moved from Denon to Marantz 6013 and finally arcam avr550. Dirac is witchcraft. Breathes life into your speakers. Noticed a massive improvement to bass control. Saved a sub upgrade at the time..... Although I don't know if I'd ever stop upgrading 🤣

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