Need advice: Arcam AVR300 or NAD T748 for 2 channel music

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by BenJeffries, Aug 2, 2012.

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  1. BenJeffries

    BenJeffries
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    Situation:
    I am currently in the process of upgrading my music system. I decided to go with a 5.1 speaker system. Since I currently lack the funds of buying both a 5.1 receiver and a 2 channel amplifier I will have to compromise and only buy a receiver. I am debating whether to buy an Arcam AVR300 or a NAD T748.

    Manuals:
    AVR300 Manual
    T748 Manual

    Facts:
    *Either will cost me the same, though I know the Arcam has cost more than double when it was a new model.
    *The AVR300 is from display but I know it had very little use.
    *I can't listen to them side by side because they are at different stores.
    *I am planning to buy the EPOS M22i as my front speakers.
    *I am using a Perpetual Technologies P-1A D/D & P-3A D/A with upgraded PS as my main stereo source.
    *I know the AVR300 doesn't support HDMI, DTS HD etc. and it's not an issue.

    My questions are:
    1) Which of those would sound better as a STEREO amplifier of a 2 channel ANALOG music signal(that is, without using the DAC of the receiver)?
    2) The AVR300 can have its 6th and 7th channels used for bi-amping. If I'll use this feature, will this affect the answer to question number 1?
     
  2. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Curious, why are you buying a AV Surround Amp, if you are only going to use it for analog Stereo?

    My philosophy is - Better a good Stereo than a so-so Surround Sound system.

    Though the amps you are looking at certainly DO NOT fall into the so-so catagory.

    If you want the best of both worlds, consider the Harman Kardon HK990. This is virtually a 2.1 AV amp. Tons of power (150w/ch), multiple digital inputs, dual Subwoofer outputs, Room EQ/correction, Subwoofer bass management, Phono inputs, Massive current reserves, all for a modest (roughly) £1000.

    Harman Kardon HK990 - Google Search

    Slightly more expensive compared to the NAD T748 -

    NAD T748 - Google Search

    But it packs all its money into the amp and power supply rather than spreading it across 7 amp channels.

    You may well have your reasons for making the choice you have made. But do consider alternatives.

    In a more modest amp, at a more modest price, consider the XTZ A100 D3 which is a basic integrated amp with built-in DAC and digital inputs. This is a beast of an amp, big, heavy, powerful -

    XTZ Class A-100 D3 Integrated Stereo Amplifier Silver and Black | Integrated Amplifiers | Amplifiers | Audio Sanctum

    Class A100 D3 Svart/Silver

    Again, you are free to make your choices as you see fit, but it would help us help you if we had some sense of why this particular choice was being made?

    Just a few thoughts.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  3. BenJeffries

    BenJeffries
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    Well, I tried to keep it simple by leaving some info I deemed irrelevant out, but apparently it only made it more complicated. :facepalm:
    Anyway, I am going to use the system for 5.1 movie watching as well as 2 channel music listening. probably at about 50% 50% ratio. However, I am not concerned about the sound quality for movies, as it doesn't take much to make me happy in that department. Namely, the fact that I'll have decent 5.1 is enough. So I can forgo true HD etc.
    So the context of my question was, given that I won't be buying separate stereo amplification at this point, what will sound best for stereo music while still supporting 5.1. (In the future I will probably upgrade by adding hi end stereo amplification, probably by NAIM or sudgen. But that's at least 2 years off.)
    The reason I asked about these 2 models is because from the small research I did, the Nad seamed to be considered the most musical at low prices. The Arcam was suggested by the dealer who said that something with same sound quality and HDMI will probably cost me about double. Currently I am leaning towards the Arcam as from my miniscule understanding it seams to have better specs and reviews(though these are difficult to compare because of the 7 or so years gap).
    If you don't know these models, maybe you can take a look at the specs and tell me what they mean.
    BTW, just bought EPOSs : M22i, M8i and ELS SUB. will use my current old fronts for surround.
     
  4. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I would suggest that both the Arcam and the NAD would do a very good job.

    But it would help if you would come right out an tell us what your working Budget is, rather than leave us to guess. Given the NAD T748 implies a budget of about £750, but again, better to say, than to leave us to guess.

    You probably don't need 3D or 4K resolution, or similar high end features, but HD is pretty much standard even on slightly older models. If you have a BluRay, then you certainly want HD.

    As to the Arcam amp, I'm not sure how old that is, but if more than a year or two, you might want to make sure it has had a firmware upgrade. There were some problems with the HDMI sensitivity, but not so on new models or models that have had the upgrade. Not wanting to scare you off, the Acram is a stellar sounding amp, I'm just saying make sure you know and understand what you are getting.

    Hope that helps.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  5. BenJeffries

    BenJeffries
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    Ya, £750 is indeed about my budget. I didn't state it because my question was about whether the 7 year old Arcam will beat what I can get for 750 today. I am willing to sacrifice HDMI support for better sound. As my sources are connected directly to the TV. The point of my question was making sure that I will indeed get better sound and thus that the sacrifice is not in vain. I picked the NAD as a comparison because it seamed to have the best musical reviews at that price range.
     
  6. chienmetallique

    chienmetallique
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    I have an AVR300 £750 won't be enough to impress you.
     

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