New av amp dilema


Standard Member
Thisis similar to some other threads but slightly different so don't dismiss it. I am upgrading my system. At the mo I have a denon 1905 with 5 morduant shorts - the 914i as the main fronts. very happy with the speakers. just want to get new receiver. Now I do fancy the Arcam avr350 and as I am keen on music as well as films it seems the right choice. However I do have the usual dilema of the HDMI audio. I have a PS3 so HD audio is a problem. But surely I would be getting the best of both worlds as opposed to getting a stereo amp and an av reciever. By the way, how much does anyone reckon I would have to spend on a stereo amp to match the Arcam? And surely movie wise its still going to be better than the average £500 av receiver HDMI audio capable not withstanding. Plus if at some point I get a second hand blu-ray player for about £250 with built in decoder, I would reckon it would have better DACs in that a new £500 receiver.

Any insights would be appreciated.

(Also does anyone else think that Arcams taking the high ground over HDMI not being a good audio connection is silly. I mean there are problems with every audio cable down to your basic RCA lead but you don't see them refusing to take audio over them as they are standardised. HDMI is an accepted standard so surely they should make the best of it.)


Distinguished Member
I don't think that was Arcam's stance at all, I think they just wanted to get it right, first time unlike some of the other manufacturers. Unfortunately the time taken to develop the new AVR600 seems to have upped the price somewhat, so Arcam fans are going to have to dig deep for the privilige. Maybe they will release a lower spec'd model, who knows? I demo'd the older AVR300 and it really did sound amazing and if I had had the money I would have gone for it but opted for the Denon at £500 or so less. Why don't you demo the AVR350 against a newer budget model and hear the difference for yourself? If music is important to you, the Arcam would definitely be worth auditioning. I run a 2box setup with AVR driving the centre, rears and sub and my old trusty Arcam Alpha 8 driving the fronts and am more than happy with such a setup.


Active Member
Hi, having recently bought an AVR350, I can tell you it sounds great in stereo..I've come from a TagMclaren processor and Rotel power amp and this sounds better in every way, better surround processing, clarity and definitely very musical sounding. I've owned an Arcam Alpha 8 and this has a very similar sound with music, it's streets ahead of these brassy mainstream receivers. I bought blind
and I definitly don't regret it. I intend to get a Blu-ray player with analogue outputs in due course.


Well-known Member
Tricky. As mentioned earlier there is an Arcam all singing all dancing solution which is the AVR600 but its going to have very limited availability for a while as its due out in a month or two and it'll cost £2300 sovs (with the ethernet card and streaming functionality that'll be another £300 on top as well). For anybody that wants the typical Arcam sound in an AV amp and the latest bits and bobs its a bit of a poser. Personally I'm just going to soldier on with my 280 and use my HTPC for Hi-def duties and do the decoding in the HTPC and use the DACs in my D2X which are more than half decent.

I'd say though that at the £500 for the 280 and £600 for the 350 that they will murder most mid brand AV amps for music at the same price and will sound very very good for movies/games. If I did'nt want to be able to listen to the HD tracks on my HD-DVDs I'd just wait for one of the higherish end manufacturers to bring out a blueray player that I know will have decent DACs on board (Arcam will probably have one out early next year, if the scuttle butt is to be believed)

The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom