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vong

Arcam AVR390 or AVR850???

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Hi all,

 

Just thinking of upgrading my current Denon X3400H to either the Arcam AVR390 or the AVR850. Currently have an Emotica XPA-5 Gen2 and am considering letting that go with the Denon for the 850 otherwise I'm keeping it with the 390. Apparently the integrated amp of the 850 is head and shoulders above it's little brothers that's why I'm considering it.

 

Speakers in my system are:

Kef R2C

Kef R7's

Kef Q100's

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Significant price difference between the two.

 

if it were me and I had to buy Arcam I’d look to get the 390 and get an elektra HD2 power amp to run with it.

 

$8-9k for a one box AVR is a lot of coin and AVRs drop value like luxury German cars! Elektra Amps hold there value better and are always in demand on here.

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30 minutes ago, Hi-Fi Whipped said:

Significant price difference between the two.

 

if it were me and I had to buy Arcam I’d look to get the 390 and get an elektra HD2 power amp to run with it.

 

$8-9k for a one box AVR is a lot of coin and AVRs drop value like luxury German cars! Elektra Amps hold there value better and are always in demand on here.

Yep, quite significant. I saw that Arcam have a trade in deal on the AVR line with $1000 off the 390 and $2000 off the 850 so thought the amp of the 850 is worth the extra and I don't think I'm willing to ever upgrade again if I get the 850. The AVR line seem to run the same DAC/processor so only the amp is the changing factor

 

The Elektra looks quite nice for the money.

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4 minutes ago, vong said:

Yep, quite significant. I saw that Arcam have a trade in deal on the AVR line with $1000 off the 390 and $2000 off the 850 so thought the amp of the 850 is worth the extra and I don't think I'm willing to ever upgrade again if I get the 850. The AVR line seem to run the same DAC/processor so only the amp is the changing factor

 

The Elektra looks quite nice for the money.

Yep, AVRs date with new tech annually but good amps don’t.

 

You may think you will never upgrade but who knows, a new must have feature may be just around the corner!

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2 minutes ago, Hi-Fi Whipped said:

Yep, AVRs date with new tech annually but good amps don’t.

 

You may think you will never upgrade but who knows, a new must have feature may be just around the corner!

Ah the woes of being a tech head. Thanks for your suggestion, think I will grab the 390 and get the 7 channel for the future.

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Just to add to the confusion, given you have no plans to use the internal amps of 390, would there be a HT processor that would fit the budget?

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13 minutes ago, Hi-Fi Whipped said:

Just to add to the confusion, given you have no plans to use the internal amps of 390, would there be a HT processor that would fit the budget?

I was initially looking at the Marantz 7705

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5 hours ago, vong said:

Just thinking of upgrading my current Denon X3400H to either the Arcam AVR390 or the AVR850. Currently have an Emotica XPA-5 Gen2 and am considering letting that go with the Denon for the 850 otherwise I'm keeping it with the 390. Apparently the integrated amp of the 850 is head and shoulders above it's little brothers that's why I'm considering it.

The circuitry is the same '  your paying for the class G amp and a toroidal rather than a switch mode power supply ; well designed switch modes aren't bad though .. the Marantz 7705 doesn't have the 8805's toroidal ..

If you ever decide to use an Arcam to its full potential another power amp like an Elektra would be perfect for the bed channels and the Emo can drive the ceilings  :)

 

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8 hours ago, Hi-Fi Whipped said:

$8-9k for a one box AVR is a lot of coin and AVRs drop value like luxury German cars! 

I agree!  Even with the promotion, it is way, way too much to pay for an AVR.

 

With that budget, much better to buy a prepro plus multi channel amp.

7 hours ago, vong said:

... I don't think I'm willing to ever upgrade again if I get the 850. 

As Hi-fi Whipped mentioned, AVRs drop value quickly because of technology change and in few years time, you will change

 

Getting the 390 and not using the amps is also a waste. You are paying a premium for Arcam because they provide good multi channel power. 

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@vong, As the extremely happy and satisfied owner of the Arcam A49, the integrated amp upon which the amplification circuit in the 850 is based, I can tell you that you would have to spend way, way more to get anything that comes close to the SQ of the top Arcam components. For me it would be a no-brainer to get the 850 if the decision is based around the sound delivered.

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So I went with an 8805 lol. Saw an open boxed one for $5k with 11 months warranty. Still keen on the Elektra amp though, wish I knew about those when I was looking for an amp. Question though, should I really bother splashing out for a 2 channel for my Kef R7's? Just want to know for a maybe future purchase, will be grabbing the 7 channel first.

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4 hours ago, vong said:

So I went with an 8805 lol. Saw an open boxed one for $5k with 11 months warranty. Still keen on the Elektra amp though, wish I knew about those when I was looking for an amp. Question though, should I really bother splashing out for a 2 channel for my Kef R7's? Just want to know for a maybe future purchase, will be grabbing the 7 channel first.

You don't mess about!

 

RE the 2ch, if you are keen on 2ch music you could slip a 2ch pre with HT bypass into the mix for a cleaner signal and still use the Elektra amps. In theory it will give you better 2ch performance.

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4 hours ago, vong said:

So I went with an 8805 lol. Saw an open boxed one for $5k with 11 months warranty. Still keen on the Elektra amp though, wish I knew about those when I was looking for an amp. Question though, should I really bother splashing out for a 2 channel for my Kef R7's? Just want to know for a maybe future purchase, will be grabbing the 7 channel first.

👍  Good move!  

 

If music is important, suggest the following

image.png.420f8d9e876316eef7c495b7e12e8eb0.png

Suggest keeping the Emotiva multi channel amp and getting an Integrated Amp which will do the 2 channel as well s providing power for the fronts for movies.

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1 minute ago, Hi-Fi Whipped said:

RE the 2ch, if you are keen on 2ch music you could slip a 2ch pre with HT bypass into the mix for a cleaner signal and still use the Elektra amps. In theory it will give you better 2ch performance.

Or a Hi-Fi Whipped suggested, a preamp and use 2 of the multi channel amps for stereo

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Thanks for all the help guys!

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@vong, As the extremely happy and satisfied owner of the Arcam A49, the integrated amp upon which the amplification circuit in the 850 is based, I can tell you that you would have to spend way, way more to get anything that comes close to the SQ of the top Arcam components. For me it would be a no-brainer to get the 850 if the decision is based around the sound delivered.
You can't compare Stereo with AV gear, as they are simply to different in design and compromise.

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1 hour ago, Primare Knob said:
On 07/08/2019 at 10:43 PM, JukKluk2 said:
@vong, As the extremely happy and satisfied owner of the Arcam A49, the integrated amp upon which the amplification circuit in the 850 is based, I can tell you that you would have to spend way, way more to get anything that comes close to the SQ of the top Arcam components. For me it would be a no-brainer to get the 850 if the decision is based around the sound delivered.

You can't compare Stereo with AV gear, as they are simply to different in design and compromise.

Having experienced both I've never quite understood this proposed magical night and day difference stereo components have over AVRs.

 

Accept that 2ch gear does 2ch better but if you are smart IME an AVR can get you close enough, well get me close enough anyway.

 

My ears are still bleeding from hearing a $20k + matched 2ch system at a Hi-Fi specialist in an acoustically treated listening room so going pure stereo is no guarantee of musical prowess.

 

But each to thier own.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Hi-Fi Whipped said:

Having experienced both I've never quite understood this proposed magical night and day difference stereo components have over AVRs.

 

Accept that 2ch gear does 2ch better but if you are smart IME an AVR can get you close enough, well get me close enough anyway.

 

My ears are still bleeding from hearing a $20k + matched 2ch system at a Hi-Fi specialist in an acoustically treated listening room so going pure stereo is no guarantee of musical prowess.

 

But each to thier own.

 

 

 

I agree in principle with this.  A high end AVR, pre pro even more so can produce excellent quality stereo reproduction.  I think where the crux of the feeling comes from is that if you compare similar value.  IE - a $2000 integrated amplifier will sound superior to a $2000 AVR.  You will however need to spend a lot more than $2000 in my experience to dramatically improve 2 channel performance over top of the range AVRs from likes of NAD, Anthem, Arcam.  There is a lot of confirmation bias that goes on with this discussion in my view.

 

One thing I think worth adding to the discussion is that folks compare analogue inputs on AVR vs Integrated amp, however AVRs are fundamentally digital devices and find in general you get better sound quality outcomes utilising digital in on them (though there are exceptions).

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So I watched some reviews about the 8805 and saw someone say that it's balanced outputs aren't fully balanced, so is there no real advantage using XLR over RCA?

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27 minutes ago, vong said:

So I watched some reviews about the 8805 and saw someone say that it's balanced outputs aren't fully balanced, so is there no real advantage using XLR over RCA?

Theres balanced and theres other meanings used vong . You can have balanced and you can have differentially balanced input to output . The 8805 has single ended circuitry which is then converted to balanced I imagine [Marantz aren't very forthcoming with their specifications ; the 8802a previous model was balanced however]

 

You can see from this analysis there are the required + and - leads for common mode noise rejection to the xlr outputs ; which means they have the summed noise reduction balanced gives ; which can be advantageous for long cable runs..Not to mention the noise and emi/rf rejection from the other digital circuitry if things aren't well shielded or isolated.. not a factor with Marantz no doubt.

Quote

 

The AV8802 is similar in design to the AV8801 in the analog path but a significant improvement has been made to the output circuitry. The output circuitry is now a pair of fully discrete, fully complementary, current mode opamps per channel. The first discrete opamp is wired as a unity gain buffer (10 transistors) and interfaces between the Renesas R2A15220FP LSI and the RCA output jack. The output also goes to the positive output pin of the XLR (pin 2).

The other discrete opamp is wired as a unity gain inverter (14 transistors) and is connected from the output of the non-inverting buffer to the negative output pin of the XLR (pin 3). Current draw for the 26 discrete buffers is +/- 320mA.

 

Now if you want balanced input to output [with an extra odd 3-6db better s/n ratio- if one can hear this;) ] this requires differential dacs and double the circuitry for the analogue stages . This isn't cheap ; the Denon AVC A1HD once had this and like Drew said its all relative to the other functions an avr or pre pro has to do.At present an example is the Emotiva RMC1 which has the latest AKM DACS [1 per channel] run in a special dual mono mode 

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So I watched some reviews about the 8805 and saw someone say that it's balanced outputs aren't fully balanced, so is there no real advantage using XLR over RCA?
There is very little equipment that is a true balanced design from front to end.

Balanced leads are less prone in error over longer lengths. But the max length of a RCA cable compared to XLR is still long enough for almost all home uses.

Sometimes the XLR runs an higher output voltage which could increase dynamic range of the signal, but again, the short lengths at home hardly make it worth it.

In some occasions if the design path from single ended to balanced isn't done properly, XLR can even be worse.

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Having experienced both I've never quite understood this proposed magical night and day difference stereo components have over AVRs.
 
Accept that 2ch gear does 2ch better but if you are smart IME an AVR can get you close enough, well get me close enough anyway.
 
My ears are still bleeding from hearing a $20k + matched 2ch system at a Hi-Fi specialist in an acoustically treated listening room so going pure stereo is no guarantee of musical prowess.
 
But each to thier own.
 
 
 
I agree in principle with this.  A high end AVR, pre pro even more so can produce excellent quality stereo reproduction.  I think where the crux of the feeling comes from is that if you compare similar value.  IE - a $2000 integrated amplifier will sound superior to a $2000 AVR.  You will however need to spend a lot more than $2000 in my experience to dramatically improve 2 channel performance over top of the range AVRs from likes of NAD, Anthem, Arcam.  There is a lot of confirmation bias that goes on with this discussion in my view.
 
One thing I think worth adding to the discussion is that folks compare analogue inputs on AVR vs Integrated amp, however AVRs are fundamentally digital devices and find in general you get better sound quality outcomes utilising digital in on them (though there are exceptions).
It always comes done to money indeed, as AVR and integrated are different designs because they have different functionality.

I should have mentioned that money for money you can't compare them, even within the same brand.

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