Originally Posted by shadow 8
Heck no! He is just a dealer that wants to keep a customer while having no product to sell that meets your needs. Digital coax on the Arcam is GROSSLY inferior to lossless codecs on ANY receiver. No doubt the Arcam will sound better when they are able to process HDMI audio, but that will a year or more down the road.
I couldn't disagree more with the above statement. To say that ANY HDMI receiver will beat digital coax is plainly wrong. Digital coax on my Arcam AVR300 is grossly superior to the lossless codec on my previous Onkyo SR805 (and the 805 is by no means the Onkyo entry level AVR).
I fell for all the HDMI audio hype and "upgraded" to the Onkyo (I previously had a 10 year old Yamaha DSP-A1). I tried everything with the Onkyo over 3 weeks and then gave up. The Onkyo (even the 805) is essentially a "cheap" amp loaded with bells and whistles. It sounded awful. It also sounded under-powered compared to both my previous Yamaha and current Arcam products. On music the Onkyo was even worse - I couldn't live with it.
Having realised my mistake, I then went "backwards" in terms of technology from an HDMI HD audio amp to the Arcam AVR300. The sound quality on the Arcam is off the scale compared to Onkyo. As stated, even on digital coax inputs it easily outguns the Onkyo. Full bitrate DTS on Blu-ray Die Hard 4.0 is a prime example - it sounded much better than the DTS-HD MA on the Onkyo. I just think HDMI audio is still a developing technology, and has been rushed to market. Also the superior DAC's in the Arcam probably had a part to play.
I purchased the Arcam as a stop gap (got a really good deal), but now absolutely love the Arcam sound. Glad I went for the AVR300 (rather than the 280), as I can add a power amp for future upgrade. My current set up sounds so good I am content to wait now until Arcam deliver an HDMI audio solution - when they do I believe it will be worth it!