Question wrt AV8 for John Dawson




I'm currently entertaining the idea of purchasing an Arcam AV8. I know that it has a multi-channel input for DVD-A/SACD which, if you use it, effectively turns the AV8 into an analogue pre-amp. I currently have an Arcam FMJ CD23 cd player with which I'm very happy. I'd also like to put a toe in the water with a cheap universal player (i.e. DVD-V/DVD-A/SACD). My question is if I were to use the multi-channel analogue inputs for the universal player and the CD input for the CD23 would I be compromising the sound quality of the CD23? Or is it the case that CD input also bypasses all that additional digital nastiness?




Active Member
Dear Jules,

I can answer this question for you, John may add somthing latter. The AV8 has a full analogue bypass option for all of the analogue stereo inputs as well as the multichannel input.
Not only does it bypass the digital electronics in this mode but as far as possible it shuts it down as well. So both the DSP (Digital signal processors) chips, all four DAC (Digital to Analogue converter) chips, the ADC (Analogue to digital converter) and the audio clocks are shut down. This reduces the electrical noise inside the box to a minimum and hence improves the analogue direct path sound quality.

Andrew Dutton.
(Team Leader AV8 project.)


Standard Member

Can you let me know if the AV8 supports multi zone out as I would like to the processor to drive another amp for normal stereo.


John Dawson

Active Member
My turn :)

The AV8 supports a second zone from analogue inputs, so you can generally do this.

Note that if you are playing a DVD in multichannel and want also to send this signal to the second zone then you must take a downmixed 2 channel output from the analogue outputs of the DVD player. This is because it is (correctly) not permitted under the Dolby licence to send just L and R from the 5.1 mix to the second zone as most of the dialogue will be in the centre.


John Dawson (Arcam)


Active Member
To expand a little on what John has already said.

The ARCAM AV8 has full independant second zone support for stereo analogue audio and composite video. The video support for zone 2 includes its own independant on screen display. So you get feed back of what you are doing in terms of source selection volume etc. Both of the inputs must be available in the right format from the source at the input to the AV8.

Second zone support also includes most of the convinience features of the main zone such as;
Max volume (usefull if its in a kids bedroom),
Max on volume (which describes itself);
Fixed volume (if you are using an intergrated in Zone2 with its won volume control) the option to put just zone 2 or the entire AV8 into standby from zone 2;
the choice to be able to control zone 1 from zone 2 or not (depends on location of zone 2, again if its in the kids room you probably don't want them to be able to control zone 1);
On Screen display on/off
and a source access control so you can lock out sources if you don't want the kids to be able to watch some thing you are watching down stairs.

The choice of Zone 2 is also available on the headphones in zone 1 should you want to listen to something whilst the main zone is being used, or to cue tracks for a party or recording.

I hope that covers it all :)



Sounds Impressive second zone Andy!
Is there any difference (here I do not mean audible but technical difference) in bypass when used thru standard input compared to 5.1 bypass?


Active Member

If you mean is the electrical path shorter comming in from the 8 channel input, then yes it is. The main stereo inputs come through the main input switcher then through a selectable gain stage to match them to the input level of the ADC, after this they come to the switcher that selects between the 8 channel input, the internal DACs and the stereo inputs. After this the output path is the same.

However if you mean do they measure differently at the output then the answer is no. We also found that there didn't seem to be any noticable inprovement in using the shorter path in terms of sound quality, although we were expecting there to be one.

Andy (AV8 Team Leader)

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