Running an A85 with an AVR200


Active Member
I have an AVR200, an A85 + P85 and an fmj P35.

I use the A85 and P85 in my music room just for stereo – CD (and soon vinyl)

I have the P35 biamping the front speakers (Celestion A3’s - big mothers) with the AVR200.

I am thinking of buying an fmj A32, then putting this in my music room with the fmj P35 (connected to celestion 7000's). I will then put the A85 and the P85 with the AVR200, so I will have CD etc connected to the A85.

My questions are as follows:-

Does the A32 come with a phono stage as standard?
Does the A32 have an input for SACD?
What do I need to change the gain to on the A85 to match the AVR200?
Will I need to change the gain on the P85?
Is what I am thinking a good idea?

Any help gratefully received.

arjan kremer

Standard Member

Yes, A32 has standard phone stage.
No, not separate SACD input. I use CD input also for 2 channel SACD, because it is the same player.

Use A85 and P85 to biamp your front speakers. A85 for HF and P85 for LF.
Preouts of frontspeaker of AVR200 on tape input of A85. This will allow you to make a fixed gain on the A85.
The P85 should be connected to the preout of the A85.

Yes, a good idea. Bether sound in your music room. On the AVR 200 I am not sure but it could also be bether. Less stress on the AVR 200 amplifier and balanced amplifier on the fronts. Although the P35 is bether than the P85!


Active Member
Hi Arjan

Thanks for the tips. The A85 has a menu that lets me set the gain – I am not sure what I need to set it to so it match’s the AVR200 – anyone know? :lease:

arjan kremer

Standard Member

I use my A32 and P35 in combination with a Denon 3803.

I set the gain on -15db (Fixed proc on Tape input) and used a db-meter to setup all the speakers using the speaker setup on the 3803. In the end the frontspeakers needed a bit +db (around 5), so -10db was a better startingpoint.

I would think that this is more or less the same with a A85 and AVR200 combination.

Someone with this combination could suggest what the best matched gain is, but I think it is somewhere between the -20 to -10 db.


Active Member
Hi again Arjan

I set it up last night and got it sorted - I adjusted it to -8 and it sounds great.

I emailed Arcam with the questions I posted here and they say that the phono board is an optional extra at £110, and that

‘All our amps & Pre.amps have standard output gain’.

I wish in the manual it just told you how to do it! When they told me the above I just plugged it in and expected it to work, when I got your pointers I then saw that it was obvious how to set it but if ONLY IT WAS IN THE MANUAL – hi fi manuals are worse than software manuals for assuming everybody must know that! Thanks for your help Arjan :smashin:

I was wondering if there is another way of doing this – that is to switch the A85 to act as a power amp, take the pre outs from the AVR200 into the A85 and the pre outs from the A85 to the P85 and use them both as power amps biamping the front speakers for cinema – then switching it back when I want to play CD’s. (If this is a better idea then why don’t Arcam put the toggle switch on the front, or make it settable via the remote.)

Does anyone know if this is a better option? Is using the processor option better than using the kit as two power amps?:confused:

arjan kremer

Standard Member
Hi again,

I realy thought that the phono board is standard on the A32??

I am not sure how you setup the connection between A85 and AVR200.

But I use the Tape input (Proc Fixed) on my A32 for the Surround and my CD player is connected to the CD input on the A32. When I listen to surround I must switch to Tape (the A32 shows "-15 db Proc Fixed" in the display) and when I want to listen to CD or Radio I must switch to that source back again.

Tape or CD or Radio is settable via the remote (of the A85) or not?

I am currently using a Logitech Harmony 525 remote, it switches everything at ones. I am still learning how to work with it but it is not bad! I bought it to be helpfull for my wife and children, but it is still a technical solution, even with this remote!

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