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.
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