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Arcam AVR850 User Review

  • PTE993
    My AVR850 experience so far...
    Review of Arcam AVR850 av receiver by PTE993, Mar 19, 2016.
    I have had my AVR850 for about 2 months now. I wanted an amplifier that could deliver musically as well as for movie use in my newly completed cinema room. Having used Denon for my 5.1 AV needs to date and recently listening to an excellent Pioneer LX88 Atmos set up I was planning on heading this direction for my new Amp. I was very close to purchasing the Marantz SR7010.

    Then I went to my local Audio-T where Arcam were holding a listening day and I listened to the AVR850 and I was completely blown away. It is at a very different price point to the other amps I was considering so you would expect it to be better. But I wasn't prepared for the gulf in the sound quality between this and the others. And that was before Dirac comes into the picture. Whilst it is by no means a budget amp it is substantially less than the near pro level gear that usually has Dirac with it.

    I've got it in a 7.2.4 configuration re-using one of my old Denon AVR amps to power the 4 height channels.

    The guys from Audio-T set up Dirac for me. They used their mic rather than that supplied as standard. The process involves taking 9 readings from various listening points, these get captured, sent to Dirac in Sweden who process it and send a file back which you load to the amp which then tunes the signal sent to each speaker. You can tweak the standard curves when they come back from Dirac if you want but so far I am enjoying the system as it is. Dirac makes a substantially greater impact on the room than the Audyssey on my Denon and made me appreciate how important EQ can be in helping you get the most out of your listening environment.

    I tend to keep my AV kit for a long time and am not in the habit of regular upgrades. This was more than twice the price of the amps I was considering. However on reflection I am very happy with my choice. With the spec and performance of this amp it will have a long life in my AV set-up.
    This item was purchased for Not list - got a goo from Audio-T in 2016. The reviewer still owns this product.


    • Clarity,detail and power
    • Musicality as well cinematic ability
    • Dirac EQ


    • Separate amp needed for height channels
    • No Dirac currently available on height channels

    Sound Quality






    Build Quality


    Value For Money



    • Peter207
      Hello, did you know the latest firmware update from Arcam add Dirac for height channels. Makes a difference. Check the 850 page on the Arcam website
    No comments have been posted on this review yet.
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