Upgrading from a AVR300 to AVR350. Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by AndoverRed, Aug 18, 2006.

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  1. AndoverRed

    AndoverRed
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    Hi All,

    I have been toying with some hi-fi upgrades of late; new front speakers, power amp, dvd recorder etc.

    However, I noticed that a few AVR300 owners have upgraded to the new AVR350, and been pleased with the results.

    If I can get a good trade-in, I may consider this option.

    What's the general consensus?

    Cheers

    Mark
     
  2. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Well worth it, a big improvement in clarity and detail levels. I only upgraded because I could for no cost, the fact that it sounded better was a bonus.
     
  3. webhammer

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    I have posted elsewhere about this. I am a former Linnie and feel the AVR300-AVR350 is more significant improvement than the $1300 difference between Linn Wakonda and Kairn (going back a few years when I used to be a US dealer) and more significant than the $4000 difference between the Genki and Karik/Numerik w/slimline Brilliants! The noise floor is reduced to nothing (ambient noise in my home is fairly high, but EVERYTHING in the background is now clear) and this also fills in the body of instruments and voice. I say the AVR350 is the best value in audio I have heard.
     
  4. miceri

    miceri
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    Bonus :rotfl: I was thinking more along the lines of jammy bar-stool ;)
     
  5. AndoverRed

    AndoverRed
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    Crusty, How come you got a free upgrade? You jammy bar-stool :)
     
  6. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Because I'm a dealer, I buy all my kit at staff prices.
     
  7. globe125

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    I'm curious about statement regarding less noise or no noise produced by AVR350.
    It is funny, but according to official Arcam spec, there is no difference between S/N ratio for AVR300 and AVR350; they both have 100db unweighted... And BTW, 100db of S/N is petty good figure and normally not noticeable human ear.
    Bear in mind that S/N ratio, unlike sound clarity, sound transparency and other similar stuff, is not a subjective thing and could be measured by tools.
     
  8. TopMeTom

    TopMeTom
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    !!! u r so lucky.....I have trouble finding anyone that will take my stuff on upgrades.....
     
  9. chantrys

    chantrys
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    I auditioned both the 300 and 350, and for me the 350 won hands down. Much more detailed and cleaner sounds to my ears with my set-up.
     
  10. RobertK

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    I spoke with Arcam in the UK last Thursday to enquire about the benefits of this upgrade.

    I was assured by two Arcam technicians that the only difference was improved video / upscaling capability.

    In terms of sound quality I was informed the two machines are identical ?
     
  11. chantrys

    chantrys
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    this seems strange especially as the following is taken directly from Arcam's own material on their website:

    The AVR350 delivers marked improvements in sound quality over its predecessors and over competing receivers. A huge new toroidal transformer improves bass timing and control, Arcam's proprietary 'Mask of Silence' technologies improve the top-end clarity and new op amps improve the midrange.

    It should be noted that none of this technology was used in the AVR300.
     
  12. globe125

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    Don't look at the marketing materials... Just put specs of both devices in front of you and compare. There is no difference in audio performance of both AVR300 and AVR350, and BTW Arcam already indicated several times that no changes were made in either audio circuits or PS of 300 and 350.
     
  13. KenX

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    Specs don't say much about sound quality. Signal integrity/quality on the 350 is substantially improved over the 300. I think lots of people on this forum can second me on this, and those who have upgraded are very happy indeed.
    In fact, I keep hearing there is a huge and quite unexpected difference in musicality. Only way to find out is to test and compare!
    I'm almost a bit worried that the 350 might be a better processor than the AVP700...

     
  14. Crustyloafer

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    I think you were informed completely wrongly then, for the following reasons.

    1. The AVR350 does NOT offer any upscaling abilities, merely a 2 into1 HDMI switching. Neither does it offer any analogue to digital video transcoding.

    2. The AVR350 uses the same OP Amps as the superior AVP700 processor, this offers a noticebaly clearer top end and greater clarity overall,

    3. The AVR350 uses a slightly larger transformer than the AVR300. This was used order to supply the extra power required by the HDMI switching section. Although the power output remains at 100 Watts per channel, the larger transformer has also resulted in a more stable current delivery than the AVR300, again giving better audio performance.

    5. The further implementation of Arcam's 'Mask Of Silence' and 'Stealth Mat' technologies has resulted in a better separation and grater clarity again.
     
  15. Crustyloafer

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    The basic specifications don't tell you the whole story. As expained above, although the AVR350 still has the same rated power output of 100 Watts per channels, the larger transformer used gives it greater current stability than the AVR300.

    Yes it's true that the audio circuits have not changed, but the components used on them have such as the superior OP Amps taken from the AVP700.

    I would more than happily demonstrate the differences to anyone who cares to. I am fully confident that the AVR350 is an audibly superior machine to the AVR300 by a substantial margin.
     
  16. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Here are a few quotes form the official press release on the AVR350 just in case anyone is still unsure as to the improvements.

    "the best ever sounding receiver from Arcam, delivering real audiophile sound quality for movies and music"

    "2-way HDMI switching plus HDTV compatible component / RGB switching"

    "The AVR350 delivers marked improvements in sound quality over its predecessors and over competing receivers. A huge new toroidal transformer improves bass timing and control, Arcam's proprietary 'Mask of Silence' technologies improve the top-end clarity and new op amps improve the midrange."

    "Audio performance is outstanding with digital or analogue inputs presenting an immersive listening experience from any source. The pre-amp stage features ultra high performance Burr Brown OP2134 op amps in circuits taken from the company’s range topping AVP700 pre-amp/ processor. In addition, much use has been made of Arcam’s 'Mask of Silence' technologies including the Stealth Mat previously only seen in its high end FMJ components."

    "Huge toroidal power transformer and 48,000 microfarads of reservoir capacitors ensure ample power for even the most demanding programme material"
     
  17. pyro2003

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    for owners of AVR300 to upgrade to AVR350 ?
     
  18. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    No, this will not be possible. You will have to do what I did and sell your AVR300 and buy an AVR350.
     
  19. KenX

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    With this in mind, I am still very curious what sort of hardware upgrades are offered from Arcam. When I talked to the distributor in May, that was the first thing he told me - that Arcam has a fantastic policy for upgrades!
    Even the manual and the registratrion form tells me that the sales representative should have informed me about Arcam's upgrades.

    I haven't seen much documentation of this in the past, and I certainly haven't heard anything about what future upgrades will be offered. I suspect there will be no hardware upgrades at all to my AVP700/P1000/DV137 kit.
    I think Arcam and their representatives should be a bit more careful when talking about hardware upgrades, unless they have a plan for it, in particular when selling £5000 kits..


     
  20. tvh3ad

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    This is off-topic, but here are the ones I know about that are reasonably current:

    - 3rd channel can be added to a stereo amp
    - DV27 can be upgraded to DV27A
    - CD72/3 can be upgraded to CD192
    - AV8 can be upgraded to AV9

    I agree that it would be nice to know the planned upgrade path before purchasing. For example, I have a 27A: although I'm more or less okay without HDMI, it would have been nice to know upfront that I wasn't going to have an option to upgrade the unit later. (Nothing's been said one way or the other but I'm kind of assuming that the AV9 isn't going to be upgradeable except for software updates; one look at the back panel tells me that we're out of room for additional hardware. Likewise, the CD36 feels like mature technology to me.)
     
  21. KenX

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    Thanks alot for the info (although off topic :).
    In fact, i don't really expect to see a roadmap right away for the products I'm buying, but it would be interesting to at least see some examples of this "fantastic upgrade policy" in the past, and what is currently offered for products that are a few years old.
    Well, I guess I will find out about upgrades for 700/1000/137. I can't say I miss anything specific (except a few more hdmi inputs and a splitter on the output)...

     
  22. webhammer

    webhammer
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    Cheers, Ken;
    I work for Audiophile Systems LTD., USA importer for Arcam. I was also a Linn dealer in the States from 1990-99 and have been in the business since 1976. I used to enjoy the Linn upgrades as they came along, the Brilliant power supply followed by the Slimline Brilliant, the modules that could be added, all the incremental improvements with Aktiv boards, etc. But, I think the pace of home theater change is so rapid that advances and upgrades are very difficult to plan for. Also, the current complexity and density of construction adds to the difficulty. Perhaps the P1000 could have an improved power supply at some time in the future, but most 7 channel amps are so packed already that the size and shape of any upgrade would be a major issue. I am not privy to future upgrade possibilities, but I think they would be limited to the lower density items with space on the back panel, and that would seem to rule out most things other than sources! Kind regards,
    Parker King
     

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