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FMJ AV8 - is there a newer model soon?

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by ihan, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. ihan

    ihan
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    Hi,

    I have the option of buying one of these in mint condition second hand for approx £2k. I was wondering if the AV8 represents good value for money, and whether there are likely to be any future upgrades for it?

    Is there a new FMJ processor in the pipeline for release this year?

    Does the AV8 convert composite video to component?

    At the moment, I use a P35 for the front speakers, and an AVR300 for the other channels. I would be looking to sell the AVR300 and buy the AV8 and add a P35/3 to get the other channels. Worth it or not? Chime in with your opinion.

    Rest of system: CD23, DV29, P35, AVR300, Panasonic TH50PHD7.

    Thanks,
    Ian
     
  2. Greggles

    Greggles
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    Hi Ian,

    £2k sounds like good value to me. The AV8 is a rare beast on the second hand market.

    As far as upgrades are concerned, Arcam have been working on PL11x for over a year and are now saying that they are reasonably sure that it will happen, with a timescale of months rather than weeks. An HDMI mod seems unlikely at this stage (reading between the lines).

    The much touted "AV9" seems to be more a case of wishful thinking as Arcam are keeping very tight lipped on the subject. Although ultimately following the launch of the new HDMI equiped Diva processor, a similarly equiped FMJ one must only be a matter of time. Following the launch of the DV79 the DV29 was inevitable!

    Unlike the AVR300, the AV8 does not carry out any form of video up/down conversion.

    I'm sure the P35 + P35/3 combo would sound good (what speakers are you using) but if you could stretch to the P7 it would sound a lot better - especially if you biamped the left/right channels (assuming you want to stick to a 5.1 setup).

    Greg
     
  3. robfitzp

    robfitzp
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    Hi Ian,

    Irrespective of whether there is a new model or not the AV8 is an excellent unit and would be a worthwhile upgrade from your receiver.

    As far as pricing goes though, £2k is at the upper end of what they normally go for used. One sold on ebay earlier this year for £1600 or so and I paid rather less than that for mine. Value is a question only you can answer though :)

    Cheers
    Rob
     
  4. Crespotav

    Crespotav
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    If you do as you intend, you are going backwards. All that you gain are better looks and "status" , not functionality, nor performance..

    The AVR300 DSP is more advanced than the one in AV8. You loose the Tuner in the AVR300.

    If you had vinyl you'd better replace the P35 by an FMJ A32 and install a phono board. But look like you do not.

    Read Peter Moncrieff's review at http://www.iar-80.com/
     
  5. acave

    acave
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    Second hand value tends to work a strange way. esp. if you know who buys what on this site ;) I've seen quite a few selling items at higher than they paid for. Also I don't feel eBay is the set guide for market value.

    Example:

    Person A will pay £3,000 retail for AV8 (i.e me lol). Say I sold this two years on to . .

    Person B who buys for £1800

    My loss on sale is £1200

    Person B could sell that in a year or so and will lose very little.

    Sadly the loser is the person who buys new :suicide:
     
  6. ihan

    ihan
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    Hi Crespotav,

    Surely you are not suggesting the amps in the AVR300 are better than the P35?
    I bi-amp my Quad 22L speakers - the AVR300 is just used for driving the tweeters. I prefer to use the P35 to drive the mid & bass units. The AVR300 also decodes the digital output from my DV29. In addition, it is used as a pre-amp for all other sources. This is where I think it could be improved upon - surely for CD playback, an FMJ pre-amp/processor is likely to sound better than the AVR300's pre-amp?

    I think the iar review is somewhat over enthusiastic. The AVR300 is an exemplary product, but not 'the answer' to all problems.

    The AV8 unit I was looking at went on e-bay for £1875 - I was outbid. The search for a silver AV8 continues.

    Regards,
    Ian
     
  7. robfitzp

    robfitzp
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    Ian

    If you are looking to improve CD my inclination would be to buy a good 2 channel pre amp, preferably (but not essentially) with an AV bypass to plug your AVR300 into.

    AV8 is decent enough with 2 channel sources but by no means exceptional.

    Cheers
    Rob
     
  8. Crespotav

    Crespotav
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    Hello Ian

    Of course not. What I wrote was that the DSP (Digital Signal Processor) is more advanced than the one in the AV8. By that I mean it is more recent. In fact I believe it is from the same family of Crystal Semiconducts.

    The Amps are made by ARCAM and surely a product in the FMJ line is better than one in the Diva range.

    Since you are using the DV29 as a transport the signal path goes first to the DSP, then the DAC's and finally the Power Amps and pre-outs.

    I suggest that you Connect the DV29 also via analogue and select Direct mode in the AVR. Since the DACS seem to be the same model in the DV29 and AVR300 you take the DSP out of the signal path and the sound sould be purer.

    I've never tried by-amping on my system which has some similarities to yours, because the A22 uses MOSFETS and the AVR uses bipolar transistors. I use just bi-wiring from the A22, which allows me to play vinyl and CD with the AVR300 shut down.

    Best regards
     

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