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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My local Arcam dealer allowed me to in-home demo the AVR300

this week. It will not be leaving. I'm flat out amazed in every way at the sound coming from this machine. The 4 major ways I'm most impressed are as follows:


2/Multichannel PREAMP- I havent had a HT componant sound this good in analog since my Chiro C-800. The soundstage is spacious, resolving and musical. Each instrument in its own space with firm focused images. The same qualities are present in multichannel direct playing SACD. Transparent and extended.


Stereo (Reciever Dacs)- This is where I started to be really impressed. The AVR300 sounds much better than my Phillips 963sa. In fact, it sounds alot like my old Cary 308 cd player, but EVEN BETTER! It has a very 3 dimensional realistic sound. I was just noticing some snare drums on Wilco AGIB- sounds like they are in my living room. Piano sounds right for the first time in my system in 5 years. The PLII Music performance is awesome, and having 5 identical full range speakers helps to really appreciate how smooth the channel steering is :)


HT Performance- Once again, expectations far surpassed. I've been complaining alot lately about how poorly mixed recent DVD's are. Um no, it was my old reciever. I keep putting DVD's on just to hear what they sound like with the Arcam. Enveloping and powerful, with detail I didn't know existed on the soundtracks. My subwoofer is also getting a far tighter and detailed bass signal than I've ever gotten before.


Amplifier section- Im using the onboard 100w amps. They seem far more powerful than the rating would indicate. I think they are the secret weapon of the AVR300, as its apparant that the Arcam team has been able to match the sonics perfectly with the pre/pro side of things; removing one more potential system matching error. These amps are dynamic, resolving and smooth with lots of headroom. Even if I still had my Cinenova, I would still use the onboard amps instead.


Anyway, thats my short review. I am extremely impressed with this reciever. Btw, I thought it looked very plain in pictures, but with its lovely green lights and display (in slightly different shades of green), it looks very classy :)


My equipment:

5 x Morel 403.5 (with Dennis Murphy crossover mods)

Morel Phantom Subwoofer

Phillips 963sa


Heres my pre/pro progression:

Denon 2802->Chiro C800/5.1->Golden Theater GTX->HK avr7000->

Pioneer 45tx->BK Ref 30(disappointing)->Pioneer 2012 (temporary patch during the search)


Guest Starring:

Sin City, Kung Fu Hustle, LOTR, Bourne Identity, Incredibles, Nemo...

Bonnie Prince Billy, Diana Krall, Phish, Wilco, Van Cliburn, Jack Johnson,

Outcast, Jorma Korkoran, Gillian Welsh, Miles Davis, RCA Living Stereo and more..
 

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Yeah... I just bought the Arcam AVR300 a couple of months ago, and I have been amazed at how well it performs. I almost bought the HK 7300, but am glad I didn't. Even with my Energy Take 5s, I thought that the sound quality improved markedly when I changed to the Arcam. To be honest with you, I was surprised to hear such a marked difference. I recently bought the Energy Veritas 2.3i, and its a marriage made in heaven.


I'm glad to see another Arcam owner.


-J
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Sr.
It's an amazing unit alright. However as a pre/pro the Audio Refinement absolutely blows it away.
I haven't heard the Audio Refinement for myself, so I can't comment on which is better. Looking at their website, however, Audio Refinement Pre 5 doesn't do 7.1 and you still have to get an amplifier which could potentially put you over the $2000 price range the Arcam AVR300 is priced at. When I get a separate system for 2 channel music, I will give the AR Complete a consideration, since it seems to be highly regarded.


Anyway, just let this new Arcam owner (and myself) moment enjoy our new receiver. This is a process of discovery, and I'm sure in the next couple of years, we'll move on to another preamp that will once again, blow us away.


-J
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nurk Twins/Nate,


Why don't you go post an in depth review of the AR unit in a new thread; with a focus on examples and comparisons.


Also, you kinda come off like a dealer in your posts, so you might want to work on that or come clean on your background.
 

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If you don't already have an amp, the AVR300 is awfully hard to beat for value when you consider that it probably beats a lot of separates systems for music. The Audio Refinement unit is probably more comparable to the AVP700. If you already have an external amp, the AVP700 is probably the way to go. As for the Audio Refinement, I've been listing it in my recomendations for musical processors, but I am a bit hesitant to do so without more input. There are one or two people here that are touting it as the best ever. However, the only professional review I found said that the sound quality is slightly better than a Rotel 1066, and "essentially matching" the sound quality of an Anthem AVM20. Having compared the Arcam AVP700 to an Anthem AVM30 (which I own), I found the Arcam to be much better for music. Surprisingly so.


Chris
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Sr.
The PRE-2DSP. I still have the Arcam but it's now in the kid's system. Nice piece though.
What amp do you have it hooked up to, and how much did it cost you altogether?


I wish I had a father like you...


-J
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisDixon
If you don't already have an amp, the AVR300 is awfully hard to beat for value when you consider that it probably beats a lot of separates systems for music. The Audio Refinement unit is probably more comparable to the AVP700. If you already have an external amp, the AVP700 is probably the way to go. As for the Audio Refinement, I've been listing it in my recomendations for musical processors, but I am a bit hesitant to do so without more input. There are one or two people here that are touting it as the best ever. However, the only professional review I found said that the sound quality is slightly better than a Rotel 1066, and "essentially matching" the sound quality of an Anthem AVM20. Having compared the Arcam AVP700 to an Anthem AVM30 (which I own), I found the Arcam to be much better for music. Surprisingly so.


Chris
I had the 700 and the 300 at the same time as well as a D1. The PRE-2DSP is as of this time the best pre/pro I have EVER owned including Krell and Cary. It is just untouchable for 2 channel. I do have the latest with DPL2 but this is a strictly no frills unit with minimal circuitry and designed with only SQ in mind. YBA can do magic. For the price it is a proverbial steal. We're currently running a Krell TAS and a Cinenova on occasion. The AR made a mockery of the D1 on music and the D1 itself was an improvement over the 30 which suffers from top end grain and glare and a very electronic and processed sound. The AR UAV reviewed was the older one and I suspect they couldn't be overly truthful of it's sound because of the price point. He does however hint a few times as to just how good it is.

The AVR300 made me enjoy music again but the AR has made me go through my entire collection again especially my master tapes.
 

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Interesting that you were dissappointed in the BK Ref30 Bird and like the Arcam so much. I demod an Arcam 300 and B&K 507 a few months ago and clearly preferred the B&K. It was hard to put my finger on anything that the Arcam did wrong really, it was just that music with the B&K was so much more engaging and natural.


I have since picked up a Ref 50 (using with a Chiro C-500 btw, great stuff!) and am enjoying my system more than ever.


Anyway, glad you found the Arcam a great deal. Arcam really seems to be the brand to beat for the price lately.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Sr.
I had the 700 and the 300 at the same time as well as a D1. The PRE-2DSP is as of this time the best pre/pro I have EVER owned including Krell and Cary. It is just untouchable for 2 channel. I do have the latest with DPL2 but this is a strictly no frills unit with minimal circuitry and designed with only SQ in mind. YBA can do magic. For the price it is a proverbial steal. We're currently running a Krell TAS and a Cinenova on occasion. The AR made a mockery of the D1 on music and the D1 itself was an improvement over the 30 which suffers from top end grain and glare and a very electronic and processed sound. The AR UAV reviewed was the older one and I suspect they couldn't be overly truthful of it's sound because of the price point. He does however hint a few times as to just how good it is.

The AVR300 made me enjoy music again but the AR has made me go through my entire collection again especially my master tapes.
That kinda funny :D . I know this guy in the T.O area that has/had a Pre-2DSP forsale, said he was running a Krell with it. Yet he was moving back too 2ch, but you say its untouchable for 2 channel :confused: This guy also tends to say what he has it the best he's ever used, probably because he's always flipping his gear. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by texaspledge
Interesting that you were dissappointed in the BK Ref30 Bird and like the Arcam so much. I demod an Arcam 300 and B&K 507 a few months ago and clearly preferred the B&K. It was hard to put my finger on anything that the Arcam did wrong really, it was just that music with the B&K was so much more engaging and natural.
I actually liked the B&K at first. I enjoyed the crisp and highly detailed sound.

A couple of things started to bug me though. I thought the channels were too seperated in HT, and the sound was not enveloping in my system (ironically, I also had the Chiro 500 at the time). Also, the preamp had a sterile hard edge on music with the Cary 308 I had. It sounded softer when I got a MF A3 Cd player, but still not musical. I then tried a Heart 6000 with Siemens NOS tubes- no dice, it was the Ref 30 :(


At first, I thought the Arcam sounded soft. Fortunately,it didn't take too long for the detail to become apparant in all modes :)
 

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YA i actually was trying to purchase the audio refinement off the gentleman and he wanted more for it than he posted it for in the wanted adds of canuck audiomart. After trying to deal with him on it for an hour he decides to keep it??

I actaully just tried one out from a local dealer and the audio refinement is very nice! Better than the Arcam 300??? Would love someone to really give it an honest comparison.


ENJOY YOUR RECIEVER! It sounds like many other do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Review addendum :


A little more time with this unit has provided some insight.


The Stereo DACs on the unit do sound much better than my Phillips 963sa on mediocre and poorly recorded material.


On really well recorded material, however, the 963sa is sounding better

than the Arcam. This is a further testimony to the transparency of the preamp.


Also, in retrospect, I didn't have a good enough system at the time to properly evaluate the Cary 308 CD player. So, obviously, my comparison is not fair and I retract it :)


Also, the remote is far inferior to the Pioneer one.


(edited, there are 7.1 preouts)
 

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I'd buy the AVR300 today if it had DVI or HDMI input/output. Any idea when we'll see this from Arcam?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdwizard
btw, the idea of no amp preouts is really bugging me.
Are you saying the Arcam doesn't have preouts? Or were you talking about the other one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The 700 pre/pro has HDMI switching.


My dealer says there will be a new Arcam reciever shown in February at some convention, with a probable spring release date. But who knows...


Truthfully, the idea of sending video through a reciever has never seemed like a good idea to me. It just seems like it would compromise the integrity of the audio or the video signals. But thats just my messed up logic and certainly not double blind testing in a gravity free vaccum chamber with humidity controlled, power filtered conditions on height and weight calibrated sound reflectivity tested theater grade furniture :)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdwizard
The 700 pre/pro has HDMI switching.


My dealer says there will be a new Arcam reciever shown in February at some convention, with a probable spring release date. But who knows...


Truthfully, the idea of sending video through a reciever has never seemed like a good idea to me. It just seems like it would compromise the integrity of the audio or the video signals. But thats just my messed up logic and certainly not double blind testing in a gravity free vaccum chamber with humidity controlled, power filtered conditions on height and weight calibrated sound reflectivity tested theater grade furniture :)
WOW that's a mouth full.......
 
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