New Arcam AVR's

ti33er

Well-known Member
TBH I don’t think my ARCAM sounds any better for movies than my old TAG McLaren AV32RDP did...and that was almost 20 years old - not a lot has progressed

...musically these ARCAM are just average - an MDAC sounds a smidge better in my opinion and my ex OPPO BDP-105D was musically more expressive...so how does the premium price tag get justified these days? Hmmm...a shiny new case...(wondering) ;-)
 
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Ultra2man

Well-known Member
TBH I don’t think my ARCAM sounds any better for movies than my old TAG McLaren AV32RDP did...and that was almost 20 years old - not a lot has progressed

...musically these ARCAM are just average - an MDAC sounds a smidge better in my opinion and my ex OPPO BDP-105D was musically more expressive...so how does the premium price tag get justified these days? Hmmm...a shiny new case...(wondering) ;-)
Well the licensing for Dirac costs money and that will make a significant improvement over the sound you get out of your 450.
 

ti33er

Well-known Member
...so you have to pay extra for DIRAC 2 on top of these silly prices? 😳
 

dave1956a

Well-known Member
...so you have to pay extra for DIRAC 2 on top of these silly prices? 😳
The Arcam FMJ AVR,s include a licence for the full version of Dirac 2 as it stands today. No idea about the new bass addons for Dirac or even if they will work on FMJ's It is the NAD stuff that only comes with Dirac lite with the option of buying a full licence $99 The new top of the line NAD pre does come with full Dirac 2 licence included in the price.

Best option is to get a demo at a dealer or even better a good dealer might be able to lend you a unit to try at home. nobody can tell you if a new avr is right for you. You need to try one. If it is better and the improvement is worth spending the money then go for it, but if you hear no change or the improvement to you is not worth the money then keep your money in your pocket.

Hope this helps
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
TBH I don’t think my ARCAM sounds any better for movies than my old TAG McLaren AV32RDP did...and that was almost 20 years old - not a lot has progressed

...musically these ARCAM are just average - an MDAC sounds a smidge better in my opinion and my ex OPPO BDP-105D was musically more expressive...so how does the premium price tag get justified these days? Hmmm...a shiny new case...(wondering) ;-)
You are not really comparing like for like there.

Your Tag McLaren was a 7.1 processor, with no onboard amps.

The Arcam AVR450 is a 7.1 AVR, so adds in 7 channels of onboard amplification.

The newer Arcams add in a whole other range of features, many of which will involve additional licensing costs, , as well as Dirac, which is not cheap to buy on it's own, there is Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, 4K / HDR video passthrough, ARC / eARC, Imax Enhanced. Plus you have processing for up to 9.2.6 channels.
 

ti33er

Well-known Member
...all I’m saying is there haven’t been any major sonic breakthroughs in a long time and we are all paying a lot of money to fatten the wallets of the CEOs riding the coat tails of once pioneering brands - pop the bonnet of your AVRs and see what is under there (not a lot)!

I recently installed a cheap £475 RicherSounds Yamaha RXV (with 6 year warranty) at a friends place and to be honest, there was not a lot of sonic difference to these exotic brands ...except it had swathes more options and just about every conceivable HD format, 4K HDR with dual HDMI outs and streaming service too - the interface was also much nicer to look at

We need to put it back to these ‘big name’ brands they need to pull finger if they want to charge us thousands of pounds...and at least employ people that will offer the associated support

TAG McLaren back in the day were expensive but also pioneered much new tech (they had the first proper EQ and invented a Height channel option way back in 2003 aka forefather of ATMOS) and Customer service was top notch

Something to think about
 

dave1956a

Well-known Member
"every conceivable HD format, 4K HDR with dual HDMI outs and streaming service" and that is what many users want but not all, if your avr does all you want then that is great. Much better support is needed though from all brands

I would imagine the Tag height option was obtained by using a matrix decoder not really the same as Atmos just an extension of how Dolby surround worked to give surround from a 2 ch source.

How is CS today from Tag still top notch or has it slipped like other brands
 

ti33er

Well-known Member
"every conceivable HD format, 4K HDR with dual HDMI outs and streaming service" meaning value for money - you can enable them as you please too, from what I can see :)

Most people know that McLaren wanted out of the AV industry in 2005 so sold to IAG (Chinese, who plundered everything and recreated their cheapest AV30R AUDIOLAB clone, which was a very unfortunate turn).

...for the record, the Height channel was discrete actually; but only a handful of DVDs supported it, like Pearl Harbour - there was also the upmix option like you mentioned.

...what I’m getting at, is we are not getting value for money these days with the big name brands anymore - I’m still stuck in a High-End headspace and emotionally don’t want to be feeding my expensive (bought them all new) Monitor Audio Platinum speakers ‘substandard’ Electronics! ...but is ARCAM/LEXICON etc all its cracked up to be nowadays?!!!

ps. Most TAG kit is still running strong nearly 20 years later with few known bugs
 

dave1956a

Well-known Member
"but is ARCAM/LEXICON etc all its cracked up to be nowadays?!!!"
that is something only the buyer can decide

I wonder why Tag gave things up in 2005 maybe 'cos there was no real money to be made
 

ti33er

Well-known Member
Possibly...this was also at a time when everything was built in the U.K. and hardware was expensive, they also designed and engineered their stuff with few, of any generic parts.

The good thing was they, the head Software engineer Stevesky and the CEO were active on this Forum and took onboard our ideas and released software fixes promptly

...we don’t see this kind of support nowadays unfortunately
 

Abacus

Well-known Member
Possibly...this was also at a time when everything was built in the U.K. and hardware was expensive, they also designed and engineered their stuff with few, of any generic parts.

The good thing was they, the head Software engineer Stevesky and the CEO were active on this Forum and took onboard our ideas and released software fixes promptly

...we don’t see this kind of support nowadays unfortunately
Tag Mclaren were nothing more than Audiolab with a posh name and didn't develop anything of their own.

Bill
 

Abacus

Well-known Member
...all I’m saying is there haven’t been any major sonic breakthroughs in a long time and we are all paying a lot of money to fatten the wallets of the CEOs riding the coat tails of once pioneering brands - pop the bonnet of your AVRs and see what is under there (not a lot)!

I recently installed a cheap £475 RicherSounds Yamaha RXV (with 6 year warranty) at a friends place and to be honest, there was not a lot of sonic difference to these exotic brands ...except it had swathes more options and just about every conceivable HD format, 4K HDR with dual HDMI outs and streaming service too - the interface was also much nicer to look at

We need to put it back to these ‘big name’ brands they need to pull finger if they want to charge us thousands of pounds...and at least employ people that will offer the associated support

TAG McLaren back in the day were expensive but also pioneered much new tech (they had the first proper EQ and invented a Height channel option way back in 2003 aka forefather of ATMOS) and Customer service was top notch

Something to think about
If an amp has no space inside then avoid like the plague, as it has no way to dissipate any heat and probably has a cheap and nasty power supply.
Most manufactures also use a common platform to keep cost down, so depending on what type of equipment it is, will determine how much space is left inside.

Bill
 

ti33er

Well-known Member
If an amp has no space inside then avoid like the plague, as it has no way to dissipate any heat and probably has a cheap and nasty power supply.
Most manufactures also use a common platform to keep cost down, so depending on what type of equipment it is, will determine how much space is left inside.

Bill
I believe you will find plenty of high end multichannel power amplifiers crammed with dedicated toroidal PSUs and Monoblock modules, so I cannot agree with this statement...not to mention that high end Class D barely gets warm and are far superior technologically...these ARCAM amplifier sections are just reiterations of their old designs; nothing new and more recently enhanced, incurring dev costs.
 

ti33er

Well-known Member
Tag Mclaren were nothing more than Audiolab with a posh name and didn't develop anything of their own.

Bill
That was only true of the Stereo SL lines, when they took over, which they really cleaned up and made good the old designs.

The AVRs, DVD32R (still arguably the worlds best CD source) and multichannel Amplifiers were their ‘F1’ technology ...plus their F1 Loudspeakers which I still think are some of the finest I’ve heard to date
 

ti33er

Well-known Member
...anyway, enough bashing...just frustrated as per others here with ARCAMs Customer Service and lack of their attention and innovation. I’d fancy upgrading to ATMOS with another ARCAM, but I’m a bit hesitant due to the above ...apologies to those I may have offended
 
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Nuri58

Active Member
One thing not considered in this discussion is the development of our ears and it abilities, which is falling somewhat behind the pace of the electronics. I think fewer and fewer really can hear the added details in the highend, although demonstrated in graphs. Therefore the cheaper stuff begins to sound relatively better and approaches the highend in sonic quality for most listerners i'd think. And still the most expensive brands are still cheap compare to the expensive interconnects that many can appreciate and claim the easiest improvement in sound. Funnily enough the meters of cables inside the gear is far from at such price point (wonder why:)). So I think another part of the cost one is willing to pay is the story and history of a brand (if build quality and design is there). So where lies the true improvement in the sound? Possible things like Dirac, which can compensate the room and next maybe compensate for the individual ear - suppose most people hear different with left and right ear?.
 

ti33er

Well-known Member
I’d agree with the hearing degradation ...I can barely hear 15Khz now, which is frustrating!

I listened to the new Cambridge Audio EDGE NQ and W system on the latest Monitor Audio Gold a week ago (at a local RicherSounds) Edge NQ ...it definitely sounded up a few notches musically compare to my Platinums with the ARCAM ...imaging, bass punch and richer mids

I’m still waiting patiently for my John Westlake ‘LakeWest MDAC2’ that should feature an AVBYPASS which in theory should exceed this (but I may be deaf before I receive it...6 years in the making thus far, if anyone has been following this charade on PFM The John Westlake/Lakewest MDAC/FDAC, VFET and Detox ) !
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
I listened to the new Cambridge Audio EDGE NQ and W system on the latest Monitor Audio Gold a week ago (at a local RicherSounds) Edge NQ ...it definitely sounded up a few notches musically compare to my Platinums with the ARCAM ...imaging, bass punch and richer mids
Be careful of those demo's. You are listening to completely different equipment and content in a completely different room, which, if it is an RS demo room, it is almost certainly acoustically treated. That is not a meaningful comparison to your set-up at home.
 

ti33er

Well-known Member
This is also true ...but I know the MA Speakers signature - those new Cambridge Audio are quite pleasing to listen to (I always walk right up and listen near-field as there is less room influence the closer you get into the triangle)

...the real difference there was in the electronics; had more of a BRYSTON-bass/Tube like sound - rich mids mainly ...I’d fancy something like that for the Music if I were not on the LakeWest project as it appears to have an AVBYPASS on the XLR
 
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Rambles

Distinguished Member
@ti33er remind me again what your point is about the new Arcam AVR's? ;)
 

ti33er

Well-known Member
...why the cost is so high; they are not superlative pinnacles of technology anymore...and lacking superior customer support as one would expect

I’m looking for my ATMOS upgrade and was hoping it might be here...I’ll keep watching to see if anything interesting develops though
 

ti33er

Well-known Member
I’d been looking at YAMAHA RX-A3080 or A2080 or even an RX-V685 ...but they are missing HDMI 2.1 so I’ve not wanted to disband with the interim ARCAM AVR450 that I have (I’ve had it with nCore nc500 power amp until recently)

...was hoping ARCAM next gen would have this at least and a new GUI that doesn’t look like Windows 3.1
 

ti33er

Well-known Member
NAD is another contender as they are partnering with Bruno who just started PuriFi 1ET400A - Purifi

...it will be interesting to see what comes of this because this latest Class D may be sonically like the prize £10K nCore nc1200 (he has hinted it sounds different/better to the nCore)!

I fancy a one stop box that can do everything with the Amps built in; as I’d like to have less in my rack too
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
@ti33er I think you are referring to the law of diminishing returns.

You could spend £1000 and get a sound that is perfectly adequate, or spend £2000 and get a sound that is 10% better (for example) and so on, so on. It all depends on what is important to you and where you want to draw the line and compromise / settle.

My line was drawn at an Arcam AVR550, an external DAC for music, a 2 channel power amp for my atmos speakers, and a mono amp on my centre. This combination brings me a lot of pleasure, and hits the spot where a lot of other (as it happens, lower cost) AVR's and amplifiers failed to really impress me.

I am probably not going to explore the new range of Arcam's because I have a set-up that I am really enjoying, and I don't have the budget to keep reaching for another small percentage improvement.
 

UMAR 3:16

Well-known Member
@ti33er I think you are referring to the law of diminishing returns.

You could spend £1000 and get a sound that is perfectly adequate, or spend £2000 and get a sound that is 10% better (for example) and so on, so on. It all depends on what is important to you and where you want to draw the line and compromise / settle.

My line was drawn at an Arcam AVR550, an external DAC for music, a 2 channel power amp for my atmos speakers, and a mono amp on my centre. This combination brings me a lot of pleasure, and hits the spot where a lot of other (as it happens, lower cost) AVR's and amplifiers failed to really impress me.

I am probably not going to explore the new range of Arcam's because I have a set-up that I am really enjoying, and I don't have the budget to keep reaching for another small percentage improvement.
Really like this post ands sums up why I didn’t move to anthem. I’m really really happy with my kit. So much so I demoed a acram 850 with MA and by far to my ears the combo of Denon/iota KK/MK/SVS moved much better
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Really like this post ands sums up why I didn’t move to anthem. I’m really really happy with my kit. So much so I demoed a acram 850 with MA and by far to my ears the combo of Denon/iota KK/MK/SVS moved much better
Did you try the Arcam in your room with your speakers etc, or in a demo room with different speakers?
 

UMAR 3:16

Well-known Member
Did you try the Arcam in your room with your speakers etc, or in a demo room with different speakers?
It was at Sevenoaks with MA not mine. I know the comparison isn’t the same but they showed off their best against what I have at home is my point. Pound vs quality....
 

josephvman

Standard Member
Today I looked at the Arcam AVR20 and 30 at the Magnolia store (Best Buy) who just got them in a few days ago. I didn't get a chance to hear them, but I played around with the controls and menus. They both seem as well made as the last generation, but a few things were really disappointing. The screen is very detailed and it appears that you can perform most any function from the front panel. The problem is that the buttons are all exactly the same and their labels are virtually impossible to read. I'm not sure who decided that grey text on a grey background was a good idea, but even at eye level I just couldn't read them without great difficulty. In low light down low in a cabinet, forget it. You navigate using up/down buttons that look the same as all the others, and the enter button is kind of in the middle of the row of all the identical buttons. This is a seriously sh*t design! The screen is sharp with a lot of data, but small with small text. The remote is like toy, incredibly cheap-feeling for a $6,000 piece of gear. The backlight doesn't come on automatically, like an NAD, so you have to push a button in the dark to turn it on, and all the buttons feel pretty much the same.

I hope it sounds good, because so many of the fundamental basics just aren't well-designed. I'll probably still buy one if it sounds good. Not much point in listening to it at a store, so I can't comment on the sound.
 

saster

Active Member
Did they remove the OSD in favor of the small front screen and remote app?
I've heard rumors, and wonder if they are true.
 

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