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Arcam AV40 AV Processor Review

Krobar

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OK. Would it do better if amirm retested it?

They made some revision to the power supply and also the XLR output board which would likely help.

The other thing to keep in mind is the RCA outputs seem to perform better so would be interesting to see them tested as well if @amirm was to retest.

The AV41 firmware is slightly different to the AV40 HDMI 2.1 firmware which suggests there are some other hardware differences with the AV41.
 

Andyg400

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Is the av40 any better now or is it still rubbish?
I wish to replace my Lexicon MC4, but can't bring myself to buying one, even at a knocked down price from an authorised dealer ..

See here:-

 

minus3dB

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They made some revision to the power supply and also the XLR output board which would likely help.

The other thing to keep in mind is the RCA outputs seem to perform better so would be interesting to see them tested as well if @amirm was to retest.

The AV41 firmware is slightly different to the AV40 HDMI 2.1 firmware which suggests there are some other hardware differences with the AV41.

I'm in the market for a 16 ch AVP and the Arcam-based ones are on my shopping list. I've read this thread, especially ARCAM's response with great interest. I'm intrigued to see that there have been (presumably) hardware revisions in addition to FW revs. Would you mind to say how you came across this info, and if you have any more insight to it?

I don't see anything better in the < $10k market in terms of the feature set than the AV41 and SDP-58. Maybe the new D+M offerings but they lack Chromecast and you have to get up to the AV-10 or the flagship Denon AVR before you have an equivalent DAC chip. I'd get the AVM-90 in a heartbeat if it had DIRAC and I'm not sure it does UnPNP.
 

Krobar

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I'm in the market for a 16 ch AVP and the Arcam-based ones are on my shopping list. I've read this thread, especially ARCAM's response with great interest. I'm intrigued to see that there have been (presumably) hardware revisions in addition to FW revs. Would you mind to say how you came across this info, and if you have any more insight to it?

I don't see anything better in the < $10k market in terms of the feature set than the AV41 and SDP-58. Maybe the new D+M offerings but they lack Chromecast and you have to get up to the AV-10 or the flagship Denon AVR before you have an equivalent DAC chip. I'd get the AVM-90 in a heartbeat if it had DIRAC and I'm not sure it does UnPNP.

The XLR board change came in early 2020 and was confirmed by Arcam support to many people, my own AV40 had this change applied. If you get a quiet pop from the XLR output when you unmute then you have the old XLR board. I don't think it changed XLR performance much.

The PSU change was applied via service centre for multiple users in the SDP-55 thread on AVS; I don't have much detail on that other than it improves voltage regulation. There was also a hardware revision to Dante which fixes a tick/timing issue with some other Dante devices (Obviously JBL only) and some extra bracing added to the DSP card to reduce the possibility of the DSP card dislodging if dropped hard in shipping. If you get an SDP-58 or AV41 it should have all of the revisions already applied.

The HDMI 2.1 card seems to have better overall compatibility with EARC sources, it also supports PCM 4.0 (FL + FR + SBL + SBR) sources which is an odd output format used by Windows and some other computers which is not supported with the older HDMI 2.0 card.

I'm happy with my HDMI 2.1 upgraded AV40 and would not change it for Anthem. The AV10 looks like a really nice unit with plenty of new features in its future but it all depends on price differences between these where you live.
 

Everett T

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I'm in the market for a 16 ch AVP and the Arcam-based ones are on my shopping list. I've read this thread, especially ARCAM's response with great interest. I'm intrigued to see that there have been (presumably) hardware revisions in addition to FW revs. Would you mind to say how you came across this info, and if you have any more insight to it?

I don't see anything better in the < $10k market in terms of the feature set than the AV41 and SDP-58. Maybe the new D+M offerings but they lack Chromecast and you have to get up to the AV-10 or the flagship Denon AVR before you have an equivalent DAC chip. I'd get the AVM-90 in a heartbeat if it had DIRAC and I'm not sure it does UnPNP.
You can occasional find a Storm or DataSat that comes onto the market and as for Chromecast and other streaming options most of these high end product assume you have a separate box for that. These higher ups primarily focus on source processing, room correction, and post processing.
 

RenPa

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The XLR board change came in early 2020 and was confirmed by Arcam support to many people, my own AV40 had this change applied. If you get a quiet pop from the XLR output when you unmute then you have the old XLR board. I don't think it changed XLR performance much.

The PSU change was applied via service centre for multiple users in the SDP-55 thread on AVS; I don't have much detail on that other than it improves voltage regulation. There was also a hardware revision to Dante which fixes a tick/timing issue with some other Dante devices (Obviously JBL only) and some extra bracing added to the DSP card to reduce the possibility of the DSP card dislodging if dropped hard in shipping. If you get an SDP-58 or AV41 it should have all of the revisions already applied.

The HDMI 2.1 card seems to have better overall compatibility with EARC sources, it also supports PCM 4.0 (FL + FR + SBL + SBR) sources which is an odd output format used by Windows and some other computers which is not supported with the older HDMI 2.0 card.

I'm happy with my HDMI 2.1 upgraded AV40 and would not change it for Anthem. The AV10 looks like a really nice unit with plenty of new features in its future but it all depends on price differences between these where you live.
I only found this review after I bought my AVR21. I was afraid that I had made a mistake because of the poor results of the AVR10 and AVR40 but, is it a mistake to associate these 2 models with the one I bought. In other words, would there be enough difference between AVR21 and those tested to expect a better performance?
 

Krobar

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I only found this review after I bought my AVR21. I was afraid that I had made a mistake because of the poor results of the AVR10 and AVR40 but, is it a mistake to associate these 2 models with the one I bought. In other words, would there be enough difference between AVR21 and those tested to expect a better performance?

The bar has been lowered somewhat for AVRs since this review (See recent Denon reviews); the AVR21 uses the same prepro section as the AV40 with a few improvements to the PSU, 12V tirggers and grounding all included (Some of these changes were present in later AVRX0 builds); the pre and amp section are different to the AVR10. As long as your noise floor is good I would not worry about it.
 

RenPa

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The bar has been lowered somewhat for AVRs since this review (See recent Denon reviews); the AVR21 uses the same prepro section as the AV40 with a few improvements to the PSU, 12V tirggers and grounding all included (Some of these changes were present in later AVRX0 builds); the pre and amp section are different to the AVR10. As long as your noise floor is good I would not worry about it.
to be sure I understand , the noise floor you spoke about is my SPL measurement of the quiet room before running sweep with rew isn't it? I usually got around 45dB 49 dB before measurements.
 

Krobar

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to be sure I understand , the noise floor you spoke about is my SPL measurement of the quiet room before running sweep with rew isn't it? I usually got around 45dB 49 dB before measurements.

In this case I'm referring to the noise of the electronics with your speaker combination. Start a film and turn the volume right down to -72 on the Arcam. Now check each speaker at ear level to see if you can hear any hiss/noise beyond about 6 inches. If you cant then the noise floor is fine and nothing to worry about.
 

RenPa

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In AVR 21 lowest Vol value is 0 : each satellites Dead silent even at 1 inch with film playing or not, FEW thanks!
 

samysound

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Any AV40 / AV41 users here? I am contemplating getting one to implement a 2.2 system with DIRAC Bass Management. had a few questions:
1. Any remaining bugs, software issues or hardware issues?
2. Any issues or bugs with setting up DIRAC specifically the bass control feature?

thanks!
 

Gwreck

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Any AV40 / AV41 users here? I am contemplating getting one to implement a 2.2 system with DIRAC Bass Management. had a few questions:
1. Any remaining bugs, software issues or hardware issues?
2. Any issues or bugs with setting up DIRAC specifically the bass control feature?

thanks!
Hello,
I have an AVR20 which is the same as the 40 but without the xlr(and has internal amps)It has been bug free since a few months after I bought mine in mid 2020. It was by far the best deal on 16 channel avr with Dirac bass management. Dirac would crash every time I used it initially but now it is fine. Im not sure if that was a Dirac or Arcam issue. I did have ground loop issues when running it into a dbx venue 360 as the active crossover for my Sander’s ESL’s but no grounding issues with all of my other amps. The NAD 777 the Arcam replaced was a total buggy mess compared to the Arcam.
 

truwarrior22

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I replaced an Marantz SR8015 with an Arcam AV40 which has the HDMI 2.1 upgrade. Per the manual, Arcam’s standard gain is 31db… I’m I best finding and amp with higher gain with this processor? Looking at a Rotel but its gain is only 26.6db. Are the Acram AV40 preouts strong enough?
 

GXAlan

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I replaced an Marantz SR8015 with an Arcam AV40 which has the HDMI 2.1 upgrade. Per the manual, Arcam’s standard gain is 31db… I’m I best finding and amp with higher gain with this processor? Looking at a Rotel but its gain is only 26.6db. Are the Acram AV40 preouts strong enough?

It depends how efficient or how loud your system is. Personally, my bias is that processors end up becoming obsolete faster than amplifiers. There’s also a chance that you switch to active speakers.

In that regard, go for the amplifier you want and don’t worry TOO much about the gain. It does translate into measured performance but may not translate into audible difference.

1701059640467.png
 

truwarrior22

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It depends how efficient or how loud your system is. Personally, my bias is that processors end up becoming obsolete faster than amplifiers. There’s also a chance that you switch to active speakers.

In that regard, go for the amplifier you want and don’t worry TOO much about the gain. It does translate into measured performance but may not translate into audible difference.

View attachment 329702
Thank you, the efficiency is 87 dB (4 Sonus Faber Toy Towers), so they are less than my previous Def Tech BP7000SC. I don't think I'll go active and just use DIRAC. 95% of the time I probably just need a 3-channel amp, but I can move things to make a temp 7.1+ setup. I'll probably end up getting whatever is on a really good sale with a decent warranty. That's how I got the AV40 lol
 
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