Answered Moving on from AVR600 ... where to?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by scampbird, Nov 9, 2017.

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  1. scampbird

    scampbird
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    I've been pondering what to do with my AVR600. I don't use it a lot, and I think that's partly down to its idiosyncrasies (e.g. wondering which speakers are going to be working when I switch sources...). I learned to live with it and use it for watching films but not much else.

    I'm sure an amp that I could depend on a little more would get more use, and we're getting our living room re-jigged so the amp/speaker (B&W CM series) placement is more sensible.

    With all that in mind ... where to go. I'm happy to stay Arcam. "Character building" quirks aside, the sound is still epic. My specific questions would be -
    * Would I notice the sound difference if I went to an AVR550?
    * If I went AVR750 or 850 they're likely to be used purchases. Is there much difference between 750/850 that its worth spending the extra?
    * Do these later models have similar quirks/annoyances to the 600 or are they ironed out now?

    Thanks
     
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #10 by scampbird, Nov 28, 2017 (1 points)
  3. Nuri58

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    I have asked myself the same question. AVR 850 or moving on to NAD Master series almost doubling the cost (although separates). Presently I canot calibrate the 600 as that's yet a feature not any longer working. Yes I have been sort of happy with the sound/performance but after some changes (structural) to the house I need to recalibrate and that is yet something not working any longer. So please let me also ask: Where to move to.
     
  4. camelot1971

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    I went 600 to 850 and it was worth every penny. You get Class G, Dirac, HDCP2.2 and HDMI 2.0a, Atmos and DTS:X. I really can't see this being upgraded anytime soon.
     
  5. DOBLY

    DOBLY
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    The 750 & 850 are far better resolved products - the 600 had issues.
    The 750 had HDMI 1.4 and Dolby True HD.
    The 850 has the latest sound formats as mentioned above, and height speaker outputs .
    Both have the same quoted power outputs, but get there via different routes.
    The 850 is just more up to date.
     
  6. Nuri58

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    I think some of the features mentioned also was in the 600 but that aside the issues makes me wonder if I want to go the Arcam way again (also issues with the AVR 300 I had before) - Have the issues with the 600 been fully resolved in the 750 and 850? Now that Arcam is bought by the Harman group (I think it was) will Arcam be discontinued or is there a new model around the corner one should wait for?

    The NAD master series is modular so one can upgrade bits and pieces (which properly is questionable one will do but one time like was the case with the 3D upgrade for the Arcam 600 also modular to a certain extend).
     
  7. ash23t

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    How often do Arcam refresh their line up? as present range is 2 years old now or something?

    I wonder if the next Arcams will have HDMI 2.1 for example.

    If Arcam due to release the next range in 2018 then maybe wait if you are not moving to Atmos when re-doing your room, otherwise go for it.
     
  8. scampbird

    scampbird
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    Thanks for the comments - AVR850 was my first thought. But the new price is just too high for me. I'm keeping my eye on the used market.

    The only difference I can see between 850 and 550 is the amplifier. How much difference am I likely to hear between the two? Is it just a question of power, or is there a noticeable sound quality difference between the two?
     
  9. kcsun

    kcsun
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    I am in the same boat as you, I will be upgrading my avr600 which I bought new in 2011, in January February. It has been working great for the last two or three years since it went for a medical remap back at Arcam lol but it is now time to bite the bullet.
    I am unsure whether to go 550 or 850 (big price jump) or Anthem 1120. I have spoken to Nintronics who are willing to set up all 3 amps in a blind test, all set to default, all playing the same stereo track through similar left and right speakers as mine B&W803Dii.
    They will not tell me which amp is playing the same song and I will cut out the worst avr and then play the top two a couple of times.
    Then it will be wallet time.

    Has anybody any idea when a new model may be imminent? I think someone has mentioned 4 years?
    Arcam do not have the resources of Denon, Pioneer etc who can bring out a new model every year

    kc
     
  10. Nuri58

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    If you look at the higher end few brands launch new models every year including Denon, NAD and other having the big budget.
     
  11. scampbird

    scampbird
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    I chatted with a dealer last night about my quandry, and have ended up putting a deposit on an AVR550. They made a reasonable argument that the loss of G class amp is made up for by Dirac Live correction, and that its still a good amp.

    Will let you know how I get on.
     
  12. camelot1971

    camelot1971
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    The general view is the 850 is significantly better than the 550 but there is obviously a big premium for that. Only when you listen to both can you properly decide if its worth the extra money.

    I would think it unlikely Arcam will make any significant changes for 2018. HDMI 2.1 is still a ways off and there is no need for it at the moment anyway. I could see some updates at the end of 2019 though.
     
  13. scampbird

    scampbird
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    Well I got the 550 installed at the weekend and, so far, I'm enjoying it a lot. I'm struggling to hear any perceptible loss in quality versus the 600 - a very subjective thing, and I'm sure if I'd spent the extra on an 850 I'd be busy justifying that! I haven't had DIRAC setup yet, and I'm intrigued to hear what difference that will make. So far, so happy though.

    Build quality is good, though I'd say the speaker terminals look a little less robust than the 600s.

    The menus are very similar in look to the 600 but are noticeably snappier to use. My only minor criticism would be that the internet music client is still slow to use and it still insists on showing tracks alphabetically so they're out of order. Perhaps there's an option buried somewhere?

    Best of all, it seems to be rock solid so far. No glitches, pops, bangs, random speakers not working etc. Fingers crossed I haven't jinxed it :)
     
  14. kcsun

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    Hi Scampbird
    Keep me up to date with your continuing set up procedure. I gave up with internet radio on my 600, just not user friendly.

    what are you using yours as 5.1, 7.1 or atmos?

    kc
     
  15. scampbird

    scampbird
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    Of course, I will try to.

    Mine is currently 5.0 I guess. I have an active subwoofer that isn't plugged in (B&W ASW10CM) and I'm considering selling it. The bass from the front speakers (B&W CM series) is more than adequate for me, and the sub always took up more room than it was worth. It's about finding the balance between this setup sitting in the living room of a modest suburban house and still sounding great on the days I get to use it.
     
  16. barrywi

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    I went from a 600 to 750 and then to the 850 and am very happy.
    I think the Dirac setup makes a big difference but can be a bit fiddly getting the mic in the correct location without buying a cheap mic stand . Dirac seems to bring the soundfield forward to my ears and is well worth doing. You can do a before and after comparison when finished.Just double check the speaker levels after it is done as there were a couple of anomalies. It took me three goes at the calibration to get comfortable with the method. Just make sure the missus , dog, baby and phone are silenced during the hour long process as you dont want spurious noises in the middle of the frequency sweeps.
    Good luck.
     
  17. scampbird

    scampbird
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    Have now played with Dirac and agree it makes a big difference. Hard to describe it, but the sound feels brighter and closer. It took me a few goes to get a basic job done - I may get the dealer to come out in the New Year and do it properly.

    For film sources, I'd say the 550 with Dirac beats my old 600 with Arcam EQ - so a good result for me!
     
  18. twig

    twig
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    Must say I love my AVR600 which I bought new but must be a masochist as pain (and delight) has always been present.
    I've been looking at upgrading from 5.1 to Atmos for some time and can't bring myself to go that one step further yet. Having originally upgraded from a 10 and 10p setup I did get it right going for the 600 but may get it wrong this time round. I have an extensive library of 4K Bluray just waiting for the perfect storm.
    Any news from earlier contributors as to where you now are?
     
  19. camelot1971

    camelot1971
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    I still highly recommend the 850. It's a worthy upgrade from my 600 for both music and movies.
     
  20. scampbird

    scampbird
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    I'm enjoying my AVR550. I couldn't justify the cost of the 850, so I can't comment on how much better it might sound. The 600 was *possibly* slightly richer sounding for stereo sources, but I feel the 550 does an overall better job with multichannel thanks to Dirac. Slight perceived losses or gains in sound quality are, to be honest, small fry compared to the huge gain in dependability. I turn the 550 on and it just works.

    Pleased I stuck with Arcam and they got it right, but I do feel us 600 owners got a poor deal back in the day.
     
  21. DOBLY

    DOBLY
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    ^ i'm still enjoying my Alpha 10 DAVE & 10P set-up using old-school sound formats DTS & DD 5.1 - can't justify the upgrade whilst this is still working.
     
  22. twig

    twig
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    Yes happy years they were great products for me as well. Think I was fortunate with my 600 as looking back since I bought it new can honestly say the positives have always outweighed the negatives and never give me problems now. Probably learned not to try listening to internet radio and NAS! DAB is OK. I have KEF 205 speakers bi amped and the sound is gorgeous.
    Recon the next year or so will see a completely new look Arcam range after the buy out by Harman. Thinking ...... the new design SA10 amp at Bristol tomorrow and then follow ons with the new design into FMJ AVR territory 2019?
     
  23. gharbawi

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    So just an idea and I don't know if it's gonna be any good... How about going for the 390 and using the 600 as a power amp?
    That way you still get the class G amplification with all the processing power of the newer range, plus of course the benefits of Dirac, whilst saving a lot of money.
    If you wish to go for an atmos setup you could use the 390's internal amps for the surround and back channels and the 600 for the front three and four overhead.
    Do you guys think this would be a good setup?
     
  24. dogma6

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    Hi, I bought a 550 with a view to selling my 600. The 550 disappointed sound wise when comparing to the 600, i think this might be because I have monitor audio platinum speakers at 4ohm so maybe the 550 struggled....who knows. Anyway I decided to use the 600 as a power amp and it sounds amazing with the 550 and Dirac :clap: so it is a good solution.
     
  25. gharbawi

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    Are you using the 600 to power all your system or do you have an atmos setup, so using the 550 to run the surrounds?
    If so could you please tell me how you adjusted the volume on both receivers?
    Also, would you say this setup with Dirac OFF sounds identical to the 600 alone or is there a difference in SQ?
     
  26. dogma6

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    Not using Atmos so just 5.1 setup

    I’m using the 600 to power all my speakers. I did try having the surrounds (non Atmos so normal surrounds) through the 550 but they wouldn’t go loud enough when running Dirac or I couldn’t get th volumes levels right.

    I would say it sounds slightly better with Dirac off as the 600 is being used purely for its amps and the 550 is doing the processing.

    Dirac on sounds fantastic but again I’m not sure if my disappointment with the 550 on it’s own was to do with my 4ohm speakers.

    It has made keeping the 600 as a power amp a no brainier for me. Just configured my harmony remote to control both with start up macros as the 600 doesn’t have a power amp mode.

    I set the 600 at 85 volume wise and it doesn’t change.

    I changed the remote frequency on the avr550 so that it’s different from the 600.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  27. dogma6

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    My Harmony Touch switches on both the 550 & 600 and then switches off the display of the 600 so looks a bit more like a power amp Lol:clap:

    8064EB2D-1676-472B-A7BF-06508B44EFCF.jpeg
     
  28. ridewhistler

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    It was asked earlier in this thread but has anyone found any info regarding new AVR models on the horizon?

    I would love to get the replacement for the AVR850 if/when released.
     
  29. Nuri58

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    Mine is beginning to say amp fault. So avr850 or nad master series separates. Quite a price diff so reluctant getting nad. But with the arcam issues over time also not so keen getting that which also have been around for a while.
     
  30. DOBLY

    DOBLY
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    The only dates that I can see on the product info for the AVR850 is 2016 (from the product flier .pdf), so you may have a year or two to wait for replacement if 4 year cycles are used.
     
  31. Nuri58

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    Is this the normal Arcam CycleCycle? And will there be an updated 4k bluray coming out?
     

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