Saw the new Arcam AVP 700 Processor today... - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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post #451 of 1636 Old 11-11-2005, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by jakeman View Post

Do you guys really read those reviews anymore? Except for technical information I find them pretty useless. all the mags look pretty well the same. Glossy and fluffy with lots of ads from the manufacturers they write nice reviews for.

John, I hear ya. I was reading an interesting thread about this online news letter: http://www.audioperfectionist.com/ this morning and downloaded a few of his free newsletters for bedtime reading.

I know there's a lot of wackos out there, but from a casual read this guy seems to know what he's talking about. In particular he slams the big magazines for never giving a bad review. He also eviscerates Wilson Speakers which I found entertaining.
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post #452 of 1636 Old 11-11-2005, 11:33 AM
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thanks Mike. I'm going to check it out.

John
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post #453 of 1636 Old 11-11-2005, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisDixon View Post

I'd be very surprised if the AVP700 was replaced or updated (beyond the usual software updates) any time soon. They believe in putting out a unit that has staying power because they are too small to be producing new hardware that often. To further emphasize this and jakeman's point about HDMI, here is a post from Andy Dutton of Arcam over in their forum. For what it's worth, it makes me like this company even more because I have the same philosophy. In fact, I would like the AVP700 just as much if it didn't have HDMI or balanced outputs at all since I don't use them. That's not to say that I don't find some advancements to be very very good. Dolby PLII was a major step forward, and something I consider to be essential. I felt the same way about component video for the proper display. There hasn't been anything since PLII that I'd consider to be a "must have". Anyway, here's Andy's quote:

"The AVP700 HDMI switch is a video switch only, there is no audio decoding. Hence it does not matter what version of HDMI the player is transmitting the AVP will switch the video to the display (and this is the same for all versions) it will also switch the audio as it is only the decoding part that requires the latter versions. It cannot be upgraded to include audio decoding which would require completely different hardware.

We decided not to get into decoding of audio yet for a number of reasons. There are significant problems with recovering the audio clock. The way audio is encoded onto the HDMI stream introduces large amounts of jitter and this will require a complex hardware post process to correct to audiophile standards. Also as I am sure you are all aware the standards have not settled down yet 1.2 has just be ratified but they are now working on 1.3, so introducing a decoder that will be out of date very soon didn't make sense.

I hope you can understand that ARCAM as a small company has to make very carefull decisions about new products. We cant afford to make products that will go out of date very quickly and we have to make products that are better in terms of there performance to compete with the competition. So much as we might like to, we cannot always have every last new feature.

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Andrew
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That's a great quote and a great summary of such a misunderstood and volatile standard (HDMI). Good for Arcam for making the right decision, in my lowly opinion of course.

Interestingly enough, this is the same battle Outlaw has been fighting on the 990 only they decided on DVI vs. HDMI (same except for an adapter as far and video switching is concerned) switching. But, on this board, Outlaw doesn't have the creds to pull it off it would seem as many still consider it a shortsighted failing of that particular unit that it has DVI and not full HDMI decoding.
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post #454 of 1636 Old 11-11-2005, 04:54 PM
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I have been reading this thread for about 2 months now. You guys convinced me that the AVP700 is probably the processor I have been waiting for. I went to my dealer today and pick up the AVP700.

I just finished setting it up to the best I can. I calibrated all channels using the internal test tone and an SPL meter. I must admit, you guys were right. The 2 channels of this processor is the best I've heard so far. However, I have a few questions:

From my initial setup I can see only one crossover setting, just the sub cross over, no independent cross-over settings for the other speakers, I guess the speaker EQ can be used for this purpose?

I like the fact that I can set the front to large +sub for stereo playback. I need help with the "speaker EQ" screen. How can I properly set the EQ for the perfect response?
The firmware version on the processor is 3.28, is this the latest?

Thanks,
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post #455 of 1636 Old 11-11-2005, 05:27 PM
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Congratulations. You just bought one of the finest processors out there. I checked the avp 700 against more expensive processors with more features but in the most important sound quality department it was no contest. Like all audio equipment you will soon discover this one does have some quirks but they are insignificant next to the excellent sound.

Yes only one crossover is the limit and I have written Arcam suggesting better bass management but I am not holding my breath. What are your speakers frequency response? Speaker EQ is not useful for bass management so don't go there.

Try not to use the internal test tones because they will not balance the signal across the chain the way running tones through your dvd player will. I suggest investing another $60 and buying Avia or Digital VideoEssentials if youdon't have one yet. Both disks have many tools for audio visual calibration. Personally I would leave the Speaker EQ alone because they colour the signal but that is a matter of personal taste. 3.29 is the latest version but there isn't much difference to 3.28 so I would wait.

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post #456 of 1636 Old 11-11-2005, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeman View Post

Congratulations. You just bought one of the finest processors out there. I checked the avp 700 against more expensive processors with more features but in the most important sound quality department it was no contest. Like all audio equipment you will soon discover this one does have some quirks but they are insignificant next to the excellent sound.

Yes only one crossover is the limit and I have written Arcam suggesting better bass management but I am not holding my breath. What are your speakers frequency response? Speaker EQ is not useful for bass management so don't go there.

Try not to use the internal test tones because they will not balance the signal across the chain the way running tones through your dvd player will. I suggest investing another $60 and buying Avia or Digital VideoEssentials if youdon't have one yet. Both disks have many tools for audio visual calibration. Personally I would leave the Speaker EQ alone because they colour the signal but that is a matter of personal taste. 3.29 is the latest version but there isn't much difference to 3.28 so I would wait.

Jakeman, Yes I agree that's an excellent unit.

I haven't made any measurements yet. But, so far I'm really happy with the sound.

For The calibration disc, I have the sound & Vision disc but I found the test tone on it to be very low compared to the Arcam. I'll spend more time tommorow morning tweaking the system to peak performance.

Thanks,
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post #457 of 1636 Old 11-11-2005, 09:42 PM
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Just plunked down my finest plastic on the AVP700/P1000 combo....wow. It should be here in about a week.

I'm not even going to open the Denon 4806 I have in my truck, just return it as is...too many "issues."

The Demo was great, the rep from Audiophile systems was very professional, I got 10% off, and the owner is going to bring it up here and help me set it up.

Can't complain.

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post #458 of 1636 Old 11-12-2005, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonhawk View Post

Just plunked down my finest plastic on the AVP700/P1000 combo....wow. It should be here in about a week.

I'm not even going to open the Denon 4806 I have in my truck, just return it as is...too many "issues."

The Demo was great, the rep from Audiophile systems was very professional, I got 10% off, and the owner is going to bring it up here and help me set it up.

Can't complain.


Moonhawk,

I've been in the same boat as you--trying to decide between the Denon AVR-4806 and the Arcam AVP700/P1000. Lately I've been leaning toward the Arcam, and I plan to visit my local dealer today, who I believe also has Denon and who also has my speakers (Joseph Audio's).

Can you detail more fully why you went with the Arcam combo and why you decided against the Denon?

Thanks a lot.

- GerryWaz

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post #459 of 1636 Old 11-12-2005, 05:51 AM
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For those with the AVP700, how does the stereo tuner perform, both for AM and FM sources?

Thanks!

- GerryWaz

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post #460 of 1636 Old 11-12-2005, 07:06 AM
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Sure...It was late last night and I was tired.

I was leaning towards separates anyway...

The only advantages of the 4806 to me were Denon link--I have a DVD 5910-- for SACD, and the Audessey room EQ.

But I need to send my 5910 back to Denon to get the DL3 activated because it was built before SACD was approved, and Auddessey seems to have a lot of issues.

With Arcam, or any separates for that matter, the advantage is buying a good amp and not having to upgrade it down the road for new formats, just the pre-pro.

Also the Arcam rep last night went to some lengths in describing Arcam's philosophy of staying on top of customer service by, partly, doing everything in their power to keep their products upgradeable, or making the upgrade path as painless as possible...in other words, they actually CARE about their customers investment.

And finally, and most importamtly, the sound of the Arcams was just absolutely mind boggling.

While I listened to both units at the respective stores that sell them, I have not A/B'd them...but at least from memory there was simply no comparison.

And, I'm just not feeling inclined to open the box and go through all the hassles of figuring out the Denon setup, only to tear it down when the Arcams arrive...my Denon dealer is a great guy, and made me a fairly sweet deal, including giving me a $400 trade-in on my 3803.

So, since I was already strongly inclined toward the Arcams, and was utterly amazed by the sound, I would rather return the Denon in an unopened box...Though I may give it a listen I know he wouldn't mind...I just feel very strongly that it would be an exercise in futility.

Hope this helps.

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post #461 of 1636 Old 11-12-2005, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GerryWaz View Post

For those with the AVP700, how does the stereo tuner perform, both for AM and FM sources?

Thanks!

- GerryWaz

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It's fm capabilties are adequate and equal to most any receiver out there, but not up to the level of a separate tuner. I do not live in a great reception area and I use my HD OTA roof antenna for fm reception and I do find that I have to tinker with the roof antenna's location to pull in certain stations. I have never attempted am reception. I did not have to do so with a separate tuner that I used to own.

Stan
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post #462 of 1636 Old 11-12-2005, 10:35 AM
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I have found digital tuners in general are not up to the reception of analog tuners. The Arcam tuner is Ok for a digital tuner but if you are a serious FM enthusiast I would second buying a separate tuner.

John
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post #463 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 06:30 AM
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Well, I went to my local Arcam dealer yesterday fully expecting to possibly purchase an AVP700/P1000 for the HT in the family room. Even though I watch more movies and cable TV than listen to CDs or FM radio there, I wanted something more musical as my present receiver for when I do listen to music.

My current HT set-up:

Denon AVR-5700 AV HT Receiver
Denon 3910 DVD Player (modded with SDI out)
Denon DCD-1650AR CD Player
Denon DR-M30HX Cassette Player
2 - Joseph Audio RM7si Signature Mk2 Speakers (fronts)
2 - Joseph Audio RM7si Signature Speakers (rears)
Joseph Audio RM7si Signature Magnetic Shielded Center Speaker
Velodyne F-1200 Subwoofer
APC Model H15 H-Type Power Conditioner
Sony KF-50WE610 50" Grand Wega LCD Projection TV
DVDO iScan HD+ Video Scaler with SDI in (with new VP30 on trade-in order)
Comcast Digital HD Cable Receiver DCT6200
Logitech Harmony 880 Remote


The dealer, who I've dealt with before and has always been very professional and honest to work with, had just gotten a replacement AVP700/P1000 set but had not hooked them up yet. They did offer to have me try them at home.

They did have an Arcam AVR300 set up there which I asked to demo. It was hooked to speakers (can't remember which) which were fairly like mine but not as efficient or as flat.

WOW--what a nice sound! I was in love with my music again, hearing things I that had never heard before with such a spacious coverage and depth. I brought my own demo CD of various artists and songs I like and it was like rediscovering my favorite music again.

In further discussing my needs with the dealer--I have a video scaler for video conversion and switching and I don't need that much power (I don't play my music and DVDs extremely loud)--the dealer felt the AVR300 might meet my needs. He had heard both, and he felt, based on my needs, that the differences sonically, for him, were not that great and that I might be just as happy with the AVR300, but that the choice was obviously mine. Again, I could set up home trials.

Instead, I decided to go with with the AVR300 and placed an order. Now I just want to make sure I made the right move. I still have time to switch to the AVP700/P1000.

In making my decision, I realized that I listen to most of my music in my den (about 12' x 14') and not in the family room. In my den, I have a Denon DRA-685 receiver, an old Denon DCD-1650 CD player, two NHT 1.1 bookshelf speakers, and an NHT SW2si sub.

My thinking is that replace the current Denon AVR-5700 now in the HT in the family room (room size about 16' x 23') with the Arcam AVR300 on order and then think of upgrading the receiver in the den early next year to another AVR300 or to an AVR250 or Solo (like the smaller footprint) and later upgrade the speakers and CD player.

Just wondering, based on my needs, what do I really lose, if anything, by not going with the AVP700/P1000?

Any opinions? Just dealing with the usual second thoughts after making a purchase . . .

TIA!

- Gerry
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post #464 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 07:24 AM
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Gerry:

The AVR-300 is great bang for the buck. Very similar in sound to the AVP-700, just not quite as detailed and quiet as the latter. I did not go for the receiver because there is no way that its' internal amps would drive my B&W's effectively. I am not familiar with your Joseph Audio speakers, but if they are fairly efficient, the internal AVR-300 amps may be all you will need. And, if they are not enough when you get it home, you can always move the 300 to the den down the road.

Stan

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post #465 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gostan View Post

Gerry:

The AVR-300 is great bang for the buck. Very similar in sound to the AVP-700, just not quite as detailed and quiet as the latter. I did not go for the receiver because there is no way that its' internal amps would drive my B&W's effectively. I am not familiar with your Joseph Audio speakers, but if they are fairly efficient, the internal AVR-300 amps may be all you will need. And, if they are not enough when you get it home, you can always move the 300 to the den down the road.

Stan


"Just, not quite as detailed". This may be true according to your speakers, and even to your room", but with my set up, I find the avr300 to have a warmer sound, while keeping beautiful detail at the same time.

I think that when 2 pieces of gear sound as spectacular as the AVP-700, and the AVR300 do, one must be very carefull to declare what sounds best without knowing the room characteristics, cables, speakers, etc. Even minor tweaks on both units can make a difference in sound quality, they are that good.

"The AVR-300 is great bang for the buck"

The Arcam avr300 is not a great bang for the buck receiver, the Arcam avr-300 is a great piece of gear no matter what the price. As you clearly suggest, the AVP 700, and the AVR-300 sound similar, just don't tell me from thousand of miles away which one sounds better, unless you are kind enough, and willing to send me your entire set up so I can decide for myself, in my room.

So, I would suggest not to propose sending the avr-300 to the den that easily, and further more to ask yourself this question; Why Did I buy the avr-300 without 7 channels of amplification?


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post #466 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 08:52 AM
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Steve. I went through the same decision process as you. I started with the avr300 and was amazed by the detail and soundstage. I had it for about 10 days then I started noticing nuances from the 100w amp, in my case I found it was not driving my mains as well in the demanding music such as crescendos, fast jazz and such. I thought it was fine for HT but even there I felt it running hot in demanding sequences. So I returned mine and coughed up a few more dollars for the avp700 and went with a Bryston amp. There is a difference all right. More transparency with effortless power to spare.

But please don't make your decision based on these posts. Just listen and decide. If you have a good dealer he won't mind letting you demo the 700 as well. Hope this helps.

John
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post #467 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luismanrara View Post

"Just, not quite as detailed". This may be true according to your speakers, and even to your room", but with my set up, I find the avr300 to have a warmer sound, while keeping beautiful detail at the same time.

I think that when 2 pieces of gear sound as spectacular as the AVP-700, and the AVR300 do, one must be very carefull to declare what sounds best without knowing the room characteristics, cables, speakers, etc. Even minor tweaks on both units can make a difference in sound quality, they are that good.

"The AVR-300 is great bang for the buck"

The Arcam avr300 is not a great bang for the buck receiver, the Arcam avr-300 is a great piece of gear no matter what the price. As you clearly suggest, the AVP 700, and the AVR-300 sound similar, just don't tell me from thousand of miles away which one sounds better, unless you are kind enough, and willing to send me your entire set up so I can decide for myself, in my room.

So, I would suggest not to propose sending the avr-300 to the den that easily, and further more to ask yourself this question; Why Did I buy the avr-300 without 7 channels of amplification?


Are you saying that since you might have a good dvd player that you do not require a separate cd player for superior 2 channel stereo sound. Since I have three NuForce Ref 9 amps and an Aragon 8008, I had/have no need for the internal amplification of the AVR 300, which I found inferior for my tastes.

The AVR-300 is a great receiver and Steve should not go for the separates and I did not suggest that he do so. And, when you take the amplification included within the AVR-300 and compare its 2 channel sound to some of the comparable similar priced over-feature ladden receivers out there, the AVR-300 is a great sounding piece of equipment for its' price point.

Chill.

Stan
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post #468 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 09:39 AM
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Here's my take: the performance of the AVR300 and AVP700 are probably very similar from the processing perspective. As someone noted earlier, the 300 is a great piece of gear, period. If money is not an issue, the separates combo will likely sound better due to the inherent advantages of separates (cleaner signal path, separate power supplies, etc), and a few small sonic enhancements. From a value perspective, however, the AVR300 can deliver still-excellent performance for much less money. The only no-brainer choice is if you already have a 5 or 7 channel amp as I did. In that case, there is no reason to get the 300 with redundant amps that you likely won't use.

Chris
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post #469 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 09:40 AM
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I attended an Arcam Demo with a rep from them and he A/B'd the 300 with the 700/1000 combo...no switch, just a "man behind the curtain" physically switching out the cables--2 channel for simplicity sake.

There were about 25 people in the room.

Every one loved the 300, but everyone also noticed an immediate and quite noticeable improvement when the 700/1000 was online.

I'm not great with the audiophile lingo, but I would describe the difference as cleaner, tighter, less boomy, but with a similar overall sonic signature.

Also, the 1000 has 135 watts /channel as opposed to the 100 in the 300. IMHO, you would have to have some pretty darn inefficient speakers for the 1000 not to have enough power to drive them.

I found the difference well worth the extra cost, and ordered the combo.

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post #470 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gostan View Post

Gerry:
I am not familiar with your Joseph Audio speakers, but if they are fairly efficient, the internal AVR-300 amps may be all you will need. And, if they are not enough when you get it home, you can always move the 300 to the den down the road.

Stan

Here are the spec's for my Joseph Audio fronts:

Sensitivity: 86 dB SPL, with 2.83 volts RMS @ 1 meter, 4 pi (anechoic).
Impedance: 8 ohms nominal, 7 ohms minimum.
Crossover: 2100 Hz. 120 db/octave
Frequency Response: Listening window response: +/- 2dB from 42 Hz to 20 kHz.
Recommended Amp Power: Up to 150 watts

Being an "audio idiot," I need help. Are the speakers efficient enough for the AVR300 or do the AVP700/P1000 appear to suit them better on paper?

Thanks to all who responded. Great discussion. All the best.

- Gerry
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post #471 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 10:06 AM
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The number of watts is not all that relevant. If you sit 8 feet from your speakers and listen to 2 channel music in a typical room, 100 watts would push your Josephs to 104 db. A 200 watt amp would get you to 107 db. Many people would be surprised to hear that a lot of their typical use doesn't use much more than 1 watt. The issue with receivers is usually the power supply. How much of a drain is it when all channels are driven, and how much does it affect processing? One after-affect can be a "compressed" sound with complex or demanding passages. I did see a review in Home Cinema Choice that measured the AVR300 at 65 watts with 5 channels driven. Even though 65 watts is still enough for many setups, it could be an idicator that the power supply could be a drag on performance when it drives the amps and processor.

Chris
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post #472 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GerryWaz View Post

Are the speakers efficient enough for the AVR300 or do the AVP700/P1000 appear to suit them better on paper?

Thanks to all who responded. Great discussion. All the best.

- Gerry

Chris hit the nail on the head. For loud, dense, detailed passages of music or movies, there is no substitute for power. For 90% of your listening to music or watching movies, the 300 would be fine. If we weren't interested (and obsessed!) about the other 10%, we wouldn't be on this forum

John

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post #473 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 11:23 AM
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Yes. We are all giving you consistent advice. Those speakers at 86db sensitivity will sing much better with more amplification.

Quote:


I'm not great with the audiophile lingo, but I would describe the difference as cleaner, tighter, less boomy, but with a similar overall sonic signature.

You fooled me.

John
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post #474 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 11:36 AM
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Well gosh, never meant to do that....?

........

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post #475 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 11:51 AM
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OK guys, stupid question, How do I get the 12V trigger to work on the AVP 700? Is there some sort of jack that I need to buy to insert into the hole at the back? and if yes where can I buy it in the Toronto area? My aim is to have the amp turn on automatically when I power up the pre/pro.

Moonhawk: I've wondered if I should replace my Rotel RMB 1075 for the P1000 myself. We sure would be interested in hearing your impressions of this amp when you get it and have a chance to post your impressions.
thanks
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post #476 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyc View Post

OK guys, stupid question, How do I get the 12V trigger to work on the AVP 700? Is there some sort of jack that I need to buy to insert into the hole at the back? and if yes where can I buy it in the Toronto area? My aim is to have the amp turn on automatically when I power up the pre/pro.

Moonhawk: I've wondered if I should replace my Rotel RMB 1075 for the P1000 myself. We sure would be interested in hearing your impressions of this amp when you get it and have a chance to post your impressions.
thanks

I don't know where you buy the cable (radio shack) but there is a 12V trigger input on the pre-amp and a corresponding jack on the amp, very simple and works like a charm.

As far as the Rotel, I had the 1075 and although I don't believe that amps sound all that different, I thing the P1000 is inherently more classy, better built and you get seven channels in a more compact enclosure.

To the gentleman trying to decide between the AVR300 and separates, the AVR300 is probably plenty for you, if you are compulsive like me and always want a little better but sometimes you pull the trigger based on dollars and cents, there will always be regrets. The Arcam separates will be more dynamic but both arrangements are wonderful, it just comes down to what you want to spend and how discriminating of a listener you are. Good luck.
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post #477 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyc View Post

OK guys, stupid question, How do I get the 12V trigger to work on the AVP 700? Is there some sort of jack that I need to buy to insert into the hole at the back? and if yes where can I buy it in the Toronto area? My aim is to have the amp turn on automatically when I power up the pre/pro.

12v trigger works like a charm into my Outlaw 770 which came with one. I am looking for another one myself. Don't waste your time at Rat shack (the Source). Let me know.

John
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post #478 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 12:44 PM
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The AVR-300 is a great receiver and Steve should not go for the separates and I did not suggest that he do so. And, when you take the amplification included within the AVR-300 and compare its 2 channel sound to some of the comparable similar priced over-feature ladden receivers out there, the AVR-300 is a great sounding piece of equipment for its' price point.

Chill.[/quote]

I had a Krell KAV-250, (not one of thier best) which I sold two weeks ago simply because the Arcam amps sounded better, The Krell surely gave me a whole lot of clean power, but the sound wasn't as rich and warm, and musical as the amp built into the Arcam. The differences were not subtle, they went from a good clean undistorted sound from the Krell to the I'll stay here all night listening to this envolving, musical, and detailed sound from Arcam. My point is that the Krell had a retail price of $ 3,200 a couple of years ago, and when used in conjuction with the Arcam as a pre-amp it just didn't cut it. This also speaks volumes of the quality of the amp used in the receiver. Would using the Krell with different equipment yield better results? It could be, maybe better cables?,or Is it that the arcam's pre-amp and amp conbination working together make all the difference?

Finally, the point that I am trying to get across is that the word RECEIVER can be to many a justifiable worry, as it has always been to me when trying to get good stereo sound, but the Arcam 300 is no "receiver", as it is simply a great piece for music, no matter what else you think of it.

I just discovered THE ARCAM SOUND a couple of months ago, and combined with the Paradigm 100v3s, and the 570 center channel, I feel very pleased. This is one receiver I will not have to sell to get another, but when it is time to upgrade, this piece will not go on ebay for sale, it will stay around the house for music litsening.

Anyways, whichever Arcam you own, the AVR-300 or the AVP-700, they both leave their respective competition feeling like a fish out of water. Enjoy.

Do not steal, The powers that be do not like the competition.
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post #479 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 05:51 PM
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John: I tried the Rat (Source) Shack but they didn't have any 12v triggers, any idea where I can get one (or do I need 2)?
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post #480 of 1636 Old 11-13-2005, 05:55 PM
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I get alot of my cables from electronic surplus on Queen. I might drop in there tomorrow and see if they have any. Will let you know.

John
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