Originally Posted by Fjodor2000
Some of the functionality added in the new HDA generation:
3 Dirac calibration slots (previous generation had 1), support for Dirac Bass management module, Auro-3D (on selected models), new DAC, Google cast & Android UPnP, IMAX Enhanced, HDMI 2.0b & HDCP 2.2 (previous generation has HDMI 2.0a), eARC, more channels, Wifi & Bluetooth.
In addition, the new generation also has the potential of sounding better. But that we'll have to see when actual reviews are published (and users start providing opinions on that).
Might be more known later as additional details start to emerge and are published.
I'm not in the "all amps/preamp sound the same camp". But I'm in the "room correction can make many more times of a difference that the preamp section camp".
With that said, I've done many comparisons between the preamp section of the AV860/MC10 and other prepros (side-by-side). See one of several comparisons pictured below. WITHOUT room correction (stereo large; level matched), I thought the Lexicon MC-10 sounded "thinner" than the NAD or 8805. The Lyngdorf MP-50 (another comparison grouping that isn't pictured) was to the next level. Again, ignoring auto EQ (which is on the docket in January). So putting it another way, the Lexicon barely beat the Marantz AV7705. We had multiple sets of ears present. I carry all of these and I strongly prefer to sell more expensive stuff, but I'm just calling it like it is. Again, no room EQ was engaged. Where that stack below was pictured, it was in a customers home who had his room treatments dialed in. Looks was 2nd; measurement performance was 1st.
That said, the boys at the Arcam booth explained that the AV40 "is a whole new platform" and "it sounds better". I solicited each key engineer present (and those who heard it) and they were very confident with that statement. I was told they paid extreme close attention to the jitter (normally related to noise that flips and flops bits) on this new design. That's usually the culprit. So with any luck, the new platform will be to the next level. I will be comparing them all in multiple settings again.