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Gutted!

Been playing with my new (S/H) A85 for a few days and love it to bits. Just bought a Yamaha E800 to make up the surroundy digital bits but I found out last night that the firmware on my A85 (1.3) is too old and doesn't have the processor mode option. Ugg.

My own fault I suppose for not researching properly. Question is, how do I get this resolved? How much will it cost? I was thinking of going for the 7.1 upgrade at some point which I know is a return job. Should I consider this now? Or, should I try to find a newer (S/H) A85 and flog this one off to somebody who will appreciate it's limited abilities?

Help.
 
C

CyrilD

Guest
Stereo Steve said:
Been playing with my new (S/H) A85 for a few days and love it to bits. Just bought a Yamaha E800 to make up the surroundy digital bits but I found out last night that the firmware on my A85 (1.3) is too old and doesn't have the processor mode option. Ugg.

My own fault I suppose for not researching properly. Question is, how do I get this resolved? How much will it cost? I was thinking of going for the 7.1 upgrade at some point which I know is a return job. Should I consider this now? Or, should I try to find a newer (S/H) A85 and flog this one off to somebody who will appreciate it's limited abilities?

Help.

Steve

Firstly I agree that the A85 is a great amplifier and I've only just recently traded mine in for the P1s.

On the processor mode question I had the same problem so my A85 had to go back to Arcam to have the latest firmware which is something like 3.4 (from memory). For the processor mode option you need 2.1 or higher but might as well go to the latest. While it was with Arcam they also added all the latest mods as well but not entirely sure what they were! The whole thing cost just over £100 but I guess you could just have the f/w upgraded rather than the mods as well.

Have a word with an Arcam dealer and get a quote.

Good luck
 
I do love it. I've just bought an Audiolab 8000a for a back to back and was going to sell the loser and the Arcam is far better imho. Much easier on the ear, although it may well just integrate well with my other gear. The 8000a is a great amp though and has to be the used hifi bargain of the decade at the mo.

Anyway, I suppose I'm now facing the descision to go 7.1 conversion sooner than I had anticipated if the machine has to go to Arcam anyway so I'm mulling that one over. It's 4 years old as well so chucking another £350 at it makes me wonder if I should find a newer one, or an A90 to convert instead. Would cost more, granted, but may last me longer.

Will think on it awhile. At least I have the 8000a to tide me over so no panic about sending it away for a week or 10!
 

Ambo

Established Member
Steve

Probably too late for you now but I'm selling my A85 in the Items for Sale section and it certainly has the Processor mode which is exactly how I've been using it (with a Marantz Receiver driving the other channels). Not sure of firmware version but I bought it April 2002.

Have a look if your interested :smashin:

Regards
 
C

CyrilD

Guest
Stereo Steve said:
........, or an A90 to convert instead. Would cost more, granted, but may last me longer.....................

Steve

I have heard and read several reviews/comments that the A90 is not as good as the A85 (let's avoid the question of exactly what "good" means!). I have no personal experience so can add no value other than suggest you maybe investigate further.

Cheers
 

John Dawson

Established Member
Which reviews would they be? In any case I can promise you the A90 is every bit as good as the A85 and a little more powerful too.

The most recent review of the A90 can be found in November's Hi-Fi Choice as part of a comparative review of 6 integrated amps in the £600 - £1000 region. FWIW the listening panel (who didn't know what models they were listening to) rated it highest overall for sound quality. It was awarded a "Best Buy".

John Dawson (Arcam)
 
C

CyrilD

Guest
John Dawson said:
Which reviews would they be? .............John Dawson (Arcam)

John, quite right that I should be called to account and justify my comment!

My intention was to suggest that Steve listens to both if he is able. I really loved my A85 so I have a soft spot for it. My most recent evidence for the defence m'lud is that when I bought my C31/P1s earlier this month my dealer was very pleased to accept the A85 part-ex (of course he was having just paid him £5000!) and expounded freely and without solicitation that in his opinion this was a much better amplifier than the A90. OK that's just one man's views but it isn't the only one I've heard. As I state above I have no direct personal experience but that was from someone who is a professional in the business and whose opinion I respect. I will try to find the other sources for my comments if I still have the material at home but, again, I was trying to recommend that if a comparison were possible that it be taken up. It is often said that it is best to ignore reviews anyway and trust one's own ears and that was the intent of my response.

I tried to frame my words so that it was clear that I was reporting the views of others and that I had had no personal experience of the A90. If that came across as having a disparaging tone then that was not intended and I should have perhaps said nothing. Mea culpa.

If forced to I would cite the beloved WHF who report the A90 as "anonymous" whereas they were fullsome in their praise for the A85. I don't personally care what anyone writes in a review but the fact that different people have different views of the same product merely supports the approach of let your ears be the judge.

Regards
 

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