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Saw the new Arcam AVP 700 Processor today... - Page 6

post #151 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by vikes88 View Post

I don't know if I'm ready to get into bi-amping because it seems like a great way to spend loads of money.

you don't have to go into bi-amping. The point i was trying to make was that a good pre is entitled to a good power-amp. Using your words, a "hifi poweramp".
post #152 of 1636
I have been auditioning a new avr 300 on loan from a local audio shop this weekend. I have been having difficulty setting volume levels to 75db reference even after adjusting trim up to +10. I have been using it as a prepro to an Outlaw 770 amp feeding a set of 4ohm Totem speakers, mains vertically biamped to the Outlaw and the rears horizontally biamped to the Outlaw and Arcam. Getting quite frustrating as I like the imaging and depth of soundstage which the Arcam throws but this volume problem would make the avr300 a non-starter for me. I have tried setting the speaker switch to both 4 and 8 ohms but it doesn't make any difference. Has anyone else experienced this problem? I also notice the volume reading on the display is 10-15 db off the reading on my SPL meter.
post #153 of 1636
Have you tried the power amps in the Arcam...?

They're reputedly quite good, and may play loud enough for you...Not sure the Outlaw is of equal quality sonically.
post #154 of 1636
The 300 does not have enough power to drive all my 4 ohm speakers. My mains alone need 250W each with posts for bi-wire/bi-amping. The Outlaw drives 300w rms per channel at 4ohms and was not an issue before I installed the Arcam this weekend. Outlaw sonic qualities are excellent. I am currently only using the surround channels of the Arcam for amplification but it should not be an issue as my last HK unit had no problem in this regard. It plays loudly enough but it is near impossible to calibrate at 75 dec. despite the display reading 75dec. In fact I had to put the volume to max aand trims near max in order to set speaker levels. Something is not right with this Arcam unit. Great sonic qualities nonetheless especially with DolbyPLIIX but its going back to the store next week for another 300 or the 700.
post #155 of 1636
Yeah, sounds like you're right, something ain't quite right.

Keep us posted.
post #156 of 1636
I suggest you use a calibration DVD as I did.
Almost all internal testtones in receivers are not the best to calibrate your speakers with. Also remember, the receiver could provide a testtone, but it really depends on your source, speakers and size of your room !!!! what the dB reading will be on the listening position.

So it will be impossible to read 75dB in each and every house using the testtone. Use a calibration DVD or callibrate your speakers to 65 or 70 dB. Once you sit down and listen to music or films you will use the master volume to set the volume to reference levels.....
post #157 of 1636
Any word when Arcam might update the AVR300. I realize it has not been out too long.

Thanks
post #158 of 1636
Do you check the switch on the back of the Arcam unit. It toggles between 4ohm loads and 8ohm loads.
post #159 of 1636
I am relying on the internal test tones rather than DVE because I am trying to give the 300 a thorough testing but it is clearly not putting out the SPLs my 20 by 22 ft room. I have toggled between 4 and 8 ohms without effect.

I had a friend check my connections yesterday to make sure the problem wasn't related to too many refreshments on a hot afternoon and he confirmed the cabling was fine. My bi-amping setup is conventional with splitters from the left and right main preouts connected to 4 Outlaw channels and 10 awg speaker wire running from the Outlaw amp to the speakers to keep resistance to an minimum.

Seeing how I could not calibrate at 75db, I set levels based at 70db but with trim levels set to 9 and 10 and volume on the Arcam at the max ,90 db, which is not optimal. I have not seen this problem with other AVRs in a similar setup. I will try one more configuration (all horizontal bi-amping) tonight which is to connect LF to all speakers throught the more powerful Outlaw amp and HF through the Arcam. I have not concluded my testing but I suspect the Arcam is not well designed for 4 ohm speakers.
post #160 of 1636
when using the internal testtone, it overrules the volume setting so even if you would set the mainvolume at 100dB, it still would not play 1 dB louder.

All that the internal testtone is designed for is to allign all your speakers to the same volume. Nothing more, nothing less.

So once, you start playing music, sound will be reproduced from all speakers at the same level. I believe you will not play at 100dB when listening to music

my room is 36 ft by 24ft and the AVR300 has MORE then enough power to get soundlevels to earpopping volumes
post #161 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifi addict View Post

when using the internal testtone, it overrules the volume setting so even if you would set the mainvolume at 100dB, it still would not play 1 dB louder.

All that the internal testtone is designed for is to allign all your speakers to the same volume. Nothing more, nothing less.

So once, you start playing music, sound will be reproduced from all speakers at the same level. I believe you will not play at 100dB when listening to music

my room is 36 ft by 24ft and the AVR300 has MORE then enough power to get soundlevels to earpopping volumes

The volume of the internal testtone should rise to at least 75 db as one increases the master volume. And while the object is to balance the speakers doing it at reference 75db where the manual recommends ( and where I like to listen ) should result in a better SQ. Anyway I am going to try DVE calibration and changing the bi-amp configuration but I should not have to.
post #162 of 1636
Jakeman, I bet that splitter on the preamp out is effecting the input voltage that the amp is receiving. Put the straps back on your speakers and run one channel of amplification to each speaker. I bet it sounds just as good and it should clear up your calibration troubles. Passive biamping is a waste of time. That amp should be able to drive those speakers just fine, and if not, buy a better amp.

$0.02
post #163 of 1636
thanks Tom for the comment. Yes I thought the same thing until I got new 4ohm speakers. I was very surprised to find there is a difference in sound quality through the passive bi-amping...perhaps its because the speakers are so power hungry but whatever it is their was an improvement. I think a reason there are so many inconsistent reports is because bi-amping benefits are so speaker dependent. For example on my 100w 8 ohm speakers they make no difference yet the difference is there on the 250w 4ohms set. Just goes to show one needs to tweak and experiment.

Last night I tested your suggestion and removed the splitters and connected the HF connections to the Arcam. SPLs rose slightly by 1.0-1.50 db from the testone signal and the maximum master volume setting on the display went from 90db to 94 db with the toggle switch set to 8ohms not 4ohms. I still had to raise trims to near max levels to get the testones to 75db. I also tried DVE tones with no observable difference.

I must say though that even with this glitch the sound quality was excellent and the SPLs with all speakers driven at master volumes set to 81 was satisfactory. The sonic qualities of this AVR are as good as have been reported but it does fall short in the critical area of amplification. In fact I measure higher SPLs in older HK AVRs with lower power ratings so I have ruled out the Outlaw as a problem. I would not recommend this AVR as a standalone unit for someone driving 4ohms all around.

One final point on the toggle switch is that it doesn't do much and switching to 4ohms may actually hinder performance. Here is a comment from audioholics on this point:

"This so called feature, used by some manufacturers, is designed to prevent overheating of the receiver or damage to its output transistors because of excessive current flow. The manufacturer accomplishes this in one of 2 ways: 1) Stepping down rail voltage supplied to the power amp or 2) feeding half the signal strength to a voltage divider of power resistors. Both of these methods severely limit dynamics and current capability of the power amp. This results in an audible decrease in bass capability and dynamics transient sound because the 4 ohm setting effectively increases the receiver's output impedance. Unfortunately many manufacturers put these features on their products to ease customer concerns with driving low impedance loads and for safety reasons when getting UL approvals. Note: In order to meet UL requirements, a receiver cannot be rated down to 4 ohms without having this switch onboard. Receivers without this switch are usually rated down to 6 ohms. In most cases, well designed receivers can easily handle 4 ohm loads safely and efficiently. It is highly recommend to keep the impedance switch set to 8 ohms regardless of your speakers impedance and make sure your receiver has plenty of ventilation."
post #164 of 1636
I have seen this exact statement being posted on the Arcam forums and on this GENERIC statement a SPECIFIC answer of Arcam was posted as well:

Quote:


Hi, The statement you have found does not actually relate to the AVR300. I will explain why the AVR300 has a impedance switch.

The AVR300 has two seperate power rails and when the 4 Ohm switch is selected the lower rails are selected. This actually has exactly the opposite effect to what is describe for 4 Ohm speakers. The reason for this is because the maximum load on the output transistors has to be kept withinn a Safe Operating Area (SOA) and this is a function of both the voltage and the current. So the higher the voltage on the output devices the less current we can allow to flow though them. The reverse of this is also true if we reduce the voltage (i.e set the system to 4 Ohms) then we can allow more current to flow through the output devices.

The statement would have been true if the AVR300 had such a small power supply that the current limiting could be acieved by the power supply collapsing. The AVR300 has a large torroidal power supply so this does not happen. For this reason the current has to be controlled by the SOA circuit in the amplifer.

The first part of the statement is true the 4R switch will also to reduce the heat developed when the unit is used with 4R speakers. We felt this was worth while since people hate it when the fans come on and this reduces the chance of this happening for 4R loads when under heavy loading. (This is also true for 8R speakers so if you want the unit to run even cooler you can switch it to 4R even if you are using 8R speakers - You will lose only 3dB off the maximum unclipped volume)

The unit will undoubtably sound different in the two different setting as the supply characteristics will change. One review (I think it was AVtec) were convinced it sounded better in 4R mode even for 8R speakers however all I can say for sure is that is will sound different.

You can safely try your speakers on the 8R setting as the amplifer will still protect itself using the the SOA circuit however it will have to cut in earlier to limmit the voltage / current product. You may find that it will not play bass as loud into 4R speakers if the impedance dips (Which it normally does) as the SOA circuit will cut in. It will also get much hotter and the fans may come on.

I would advise you to leave the system on 4R as it will run cooler and keeping things cool always increases the life of the product.

Regards,
Andrew
post #165 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeman View Post

thanks Tom for the comment. Yes I thought the same thing until I got new 4ohm speakers. I was very surprised to find there is a difference in sound quality through the passive bi-amping...perhaps its because the speakers are so power hungry but whatever it is their was an improvement. I think a reason there are so many inconsistent reports is because bi-amping benefits are so speaker dependent. For example on my 100w 8 ohm speakers they make no difference yet the difference is there on the 250w 4ohms set. Just goes to show one needs to tweak and experiment.

Last night I tested your suggestion and removed the splitters and connected the HF connections to the Arcam. SPLs rose slightly by 1.0-1.50 db from the testone signal and the maximum master volume setting on the display went from 90db to 94 db with the toggle switch set to 8ohms not 4ohms. I still had to raise trims to near max levels to get the testones to 75db. I also tried DVE tones with no observable difference.

I must say though that even with this glitch the sound quality was excellent and the SPLs with all speakers driven at master volumes set to 81 was satisfactory. The sonic qualities of this AVR are as good as have been reported but it does fall short in the critical area of amplification. In fact I measure higher SPLs in older HK AVRs with lower power ratings so I have ruled out the Outlaw as a problem. I would not recommend this AVR as a standalone unit for someone driving 4ohms all around.

One final point on the toggle switch is that it doesn't do much and switching to 4ohms may actually hinder performance. Here is a comment from audioholics on this point:

"This so called feature, used by some manufacturers, is designed to prevent overheating of the receiver or damage to its output transistors because of excessive current flow. The manufacturer accomplishes this in one of 2 ways: 1) Stepping down rail voltage supplied to the power amp or 2) feeding half the signal strength to a voltage divider of power resistors. Both of these methods severely limit dynamics and current capability of the power amp. This results in an audible decrease in bass capability and dynamics transient sound because the 4 ohm setting effectively increases the receiver's output impedance. Unfortunately many manufacturers put these features on their products to ease customer concerns with driving low impedance loads and for safety reasons when getting UL approvals. Note: In order to meet UL requirements, a receiver cannot be rated down to 4 ohms without having this switch onboard. Receivers without this switch are usually rated down to 6 ohms. In most cases, well designed receivers can easily handle 4 ohm loads safely and efficiently. It is highly recommend to keep the impedance switch set to 8 ohms regardless of your speakers impedance and make sure your receiver has plenty of ventilation."

Does not apply to the Arcam. You clearly have a deefective unit or your setup is at fault.
post #166 of 1636
In the setup menu, make sure Max Volume is set to its highest level.
post #167 of 1636
I've decided to return the 300. Great processing but I do believe after hours of testing that something has been compromised in the design of the amp which makes it less than ideal for my setup. Going to check out the 700 though.
post #168 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifi addict View Post

I sure will ! Just give me some days to get a real good impression

We have all been hoping that you have given up your day job so that you can give us an interim report on your ongoing AVR300 v AP700 comparison.

The pressure's on!
Not really-just wondering.
post #169 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by gostan View Post

We have all been hoping that you have given up your day job so that you can give us an interim report on your ongoing AVR300 v AP700 comparison.

The pressure's on!
Not really-just wondering.

I almost did I was hoping to have the day off today but I had to work all day... But I'll do my listening sessions and post back here
post #170 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeman View Post

I've decided to return the 300. Great processing but I do believe after hours of testing that something has been compromised in the design of the amp which makes it less than ideal for my setup. Going to check out the 700 though.

be sure you get the AVP700 with the 3.28 software version on it. The output on the callibration noise has been increased in that version
post #171 of 1636
I have posted my review of the AVP700 on the arcam forum, but will post the listening test part here as well.

I have been reviewing the AVP700 for some days now, using a P35 as amplification. Initially I am reviewing it on stereo performance. HT will follow soon.

I used a whole lot of different type of music. Varying from Chris Jones, Norah Jones, The Corrs, Tiesto, to Mahler, Ilse de Lange, ann lennox, Eric Clapton etc etc

to give away THE biggest difference compared to the AVR300 at the beginning: it is a lot of SPEED

Music is so much quicker 'created'. Music no longer needs time to increase in volume, it is just there. Because of that, details become more obvious. With the Corrs, the last letter of every last word were very good to understand. It's a difference between hearing "gates" or "gate". Mind you, I did hear "gates" on my AVR300 as well, but it really has drawn my attention when played on the AVP700.

Gitar plan is even more fun to listen to. The snares are more 'aggressive' in a possitive kind of way, there is more statement. Bass seems to have gained another level of detail, are more 'tight' although this improvement is not as big as in the mid/higher frequencies.

Because of the increase in speed, smaller details like low volume room echo's are now better noticable, again bringing more "live" feeling to the sound.

During the next few days that I listened to the AVP700, I noticed that the sound was more "quiet", less "noise". It's not that obvious but it will grow on you during the days you listen to the AVP700. Again with the Corrs "No Frontiers" I noticed more space between the 2 sisters. Let me specify that... I noticed that the voices are more clearly focussed, better to hear where the voice ends. That way more space between the voices is created.

The width, height and depth of the soundstage is about equal to the AVR300, what shows that both are good pieces of hifi devices.

I will have a look into the HT/5.1 area as well, but I assume that this will show the same improvements as in the stereo area.

Temporary conclusion
extra speed is THE improvement that you will get with the AVP700. All others like add of detail, clarity, focus, extra layers in bas, tightness etc etc is an outcome of that. Added with more silence, this is a real value to the Arcam family. It also became clear to me what a great device the AVR300 already is. Improvements are possible, but to a certain price. If you want to add more "live" experience to your room, this is one processor you really should consider it's another step up the ladder
post #172 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifi addict View Post

I have posted my review of the AVP700 on the arcam forum, but will post the listening test part here as well.

I have been reviewing the AVP700 for some days now, using a P35 as amplification. Initially I am reviewing it on stereo performance. HT will follow soon.

I used a whole lot of different type of music. Varying from Chris Jones, Norah Jones, The Corrs, Tiesto, to Mahler, Ilse de Lange, ann lennox, Eric Clapton etc etc

to give away THE biggest difference compared to the AVR300 at the beginning: it is a lot of SPEED

Music is so much quicker 'created'. Music no longer needs time to increase in volume, it is just there. Because of that, details become more obvious. With the Corrs, the last letter of every last word were very good to understand. It's a difference between hearing "gates" or "gate". Mind you, I did hear "gates" on my AVR300 as well, but it really has drawn my attention when played on the AVP700.

Gitar plan is even more fun to listen to. The snares are more 'aggressive' in a possitive kind of way, there is more statement. Bass seems to have gained another level of detail, are more 'tight' although this improvement is not as big as in the mid/higher frequencies.

Because of the increase in speed, smaller details like low volume room echo's are now better noticable, again bringing more "live" feeling to the sound.

During the next few days that I listened to the AVP700, I noticed that the sound was more "quiet", less "noise". It's not that obvious but it will grow on you during the days you listen to the AVP700. Again with the Corrs "No Frontiers" I noticed more space between the 2 sisters. Let me specify that... I noticed that the voices are more clearly focussed, better to hear where the voice ends. That way more space between the voices is created.

The width, height and depth of the soundstage is about equal to the AVR300, what shows that both are good pieces of hifi devices.

I will have a look into the HT/5.1 area as well, but I assume that this will show the same improvements as in the stereo area.

Temporary conclusion
extra speed is THE improvement that you will get with the AVP700. All others like add of detail, clarity, focus, extra layers in bas, tightness etc etc is an outcome of that. Added with more silence, this is a real value to the Arcam family. It also became clear to me what a great device the AVR300 already is. Improvements are possible, but to a certain price. If you want to add more "live" experience to your room, this is one processor you really should consider it's another step up the ladder

Speed? I respectfully disagree.
post #173 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnepan View Post

Speed? I respectfully disagree.

we'll imo, that is the key difference between the 700 and 300.

what would be the difference in your eyes?
post #174 of 1636
I think your using "speed" rather than macro and microdynamics. If so I would still disagree.
post #175 of 1636
Hifi addict, nice review. You need to realize that adding all those amps improves sound quality
post #176 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnepan View Post

I think your using "speed" rather than macro and microdynamics. If so I would still disagree.

Magnepan:

Have you compared the 700 pre-pro v. the 300 receiver to offer your own review? If so, please post the comparison. The difference in opinions may simply be descriptive in nature only.

I know that the Rotel 1068 pre-pro when compared to the 1056 receiver is quieter and more dynamic and they are based upon a similar pre-pro like the Arcam's.

HiFi addict's review is base upon limited initial listening and I am sure that the 700 will sound different to him or anyone after a few hundred hours of playing time. All of your opinions are helpful and desireable.

Stan
post #177 of 1636
thanks guys. Indeed, the AVP700 stil needs to break in. And what I call speed could be described by someone else by microdetail. It's simply cause and effect, but bottomline the endresult is the same
post #178 of 1636
Any word from Arcam about adding lip-synch delay? This is a must-have for me.
post #179 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

Any word from Arcam about adding lip-synch delay? This is a must-have for me.

it's already in there !!

and you can set a different lipsync PER SOURCE
post #180 of 1636
Yep, microdynamics are probably THE major priority for me. It goes by other names too, but the bottom line is that you can really hear the details even at lower volumes. Drums sound punchier, high frequencies tickle your ears, and you can really hear the individual plucking of accoustic strings. The flip side to microdynamics is that, by definition, they are more revealing... therefore, some may not consider it as "warm". Playing a metal song with a lot of high, screachy guitar wailing may be more fatiguing, whereas a system that rolls off the highs and smooths out the edges may be easier to take. I've enjoyed both over the years, but have determined that a wide soundstage and microdynamics are at the top. I should clarify: I haven't heard either Arcam unit... I'm just speaking from general experience with sound characteristics.

I find it intriguing that we have two very opposed opinions from two people who are evaluating both units. I can't help but wonder if there is some psychoacoustic stuff going on here. I'd love to get both of them in the same room to do double blind testing.

Chris
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