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Dark horse speakers at $4k?

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Hey Arcsabre,

An owner of the Arcam AVR850 just sharing some thoughts.

Separates are definitely the way to go.

The Arcam AVR850 won’t compare against the AV860 with separate amplification.
In saying that, a cheaper AV Processor like Marantz ... with separate amps would still have better amplification but that’s where it likely stops.

From my experience, products like the Arcam 850 are easily superior in sound quality to the cheaper flagship’s ( AVR or AV ), wether it’s the DAC implementation, quality components etc.

You seem more stereo orientated, so putting that extra money towards stereo is a far better idea.

As for my AVR850, I do run monoblock amps for my front 3 speakers, & I have the Arcam take care of the other channels which it seems to handle without a sweat.


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The challenges for a small room are, in my experience, controlling bass and off axis reflections. This being the case I’d be looking at sealed speakers that either have a wide baffle (e.g., Gale 401, Harbeth) or a wave guide with good off axis performance; e.g., JBL etc. I’d hold off on a Pre-Pro / AVR decision until speakers are locked down.

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I would definitely start with speakers + integrated amp with Ht bypass combo. 

Saying that at hifi show in smaller rooms I really liked bookshelf speakers from M8audio, Hulgich and Osborn .   

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