• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Arcam AV40 AV Processor Review

Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
41
Likes
44
#41
If we look at SINAD alone, then it beats Onkyo PrePro and even rca preout of denon 3600H (for all other channels except L&R when amps disconnect), but everything else is worse, right? So, I don't know how valid SINAD chart is anymore?
 

peng

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
503
Likes
421
#42
Because from a practical standpoint do you want to drop four and a half thousand dollars on this sort of overall performance? That's why it matters. If this was a four hundred dollar AV receiver it'd be a good argument because you don't expect much, and are willing to overlook a lot at that price point.
Actually that's what I thought too, its like SINAD of 90, even 75 vs 100, just thought I asked in case I misunderstood the technical meaning of the measurements, even though it always seems clear to me what -80 dBFS mean.
 

peng

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
503
Likes
421
#43
If we look at SINAD alone, then it beats Onkyo PrePro and even rca preout of denon 3600H (for all other channels except L&R when amps disconnect), but everything else is worse, right? So, I don't know how valid SINAD chart is anymore?
But you compare the left and right channels, that are the main channels, the Denon's SINADs are better. The chart is still useful, but Amir really should fix a couple of confusing parts due to different voltage levels used when RCA and XLRs were mixed in, or when analog vs digital inputs need to be stated (he did in the case of the Arcam AVR390).
 

peng

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
503
Likes
421
#44
Well, Arcam is part of Harman, which is part of Samsung. So there's resources somewhere in that supply chain. I think they just don't care.
That was very recent, so I expect things to come in the next few years, hopefully..
 

Dj7675

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
481
Likes
565
#45
If we look at SINAD alone, then it beats Onkyo PrePro and even rca preout of denon 3600H (for all other channels except L&R when amps disconnect), but everything else is worse, right? So, I don't know how valid SINAD chart is anymore?
If you keep the x3600 under 1.5v I believe it is around 97 SINDAD on all channels. This equates to 79.5 on the volume (or -.5). Amir measured the center channel which is not disconnected from the amp section. See the bottom of post 279. While this looks more like a footnote, I believe this is the most important part of the review. 97 SINAD on all channels (no need to have the amp disconnected. If using preouts, just get an external amp that requires 1.5V or less to be driven fully. Under 1.5V the X3600 absolutely is a better performer. Even HDMI performs well.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...n-avr-x3600h-av-receiver-review.12676/page-14
EDIT: Also, really appreciate @amirm for all of the follow up measurements. These follow up measurements show how good this unit is (not just the L/R in amp disconnect mode). While it doesn’t do 2V very well, it is excellent in under 1.5 and without these additional tests, we simply wouldn’t know.
 

ROOSKIE

Active Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
255
Likes
319
#47
I think it is great to find out you don't need to spend $4500.
Seems like the better models in the $1-2k get you decent measured performance with is about all you need. Id guess most of the flaws are not audible in anything that meets even a below average spec anyway so why not just be cool with saving money knowing that.
The real questions are even if the Arcam did offer superb measured performance, would it be worth spending $4.5k on it? Could we hear the difference? Have we reached the point were diminishing returns on our actual in room experience have created little reason for anything in the price range that period?
 

peng

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
503
Likes
421
#48
It may be that the Bryston SP3 processor is actually the cheapest unit with solid performance in the market today.
Agreed, I think you can count on Bryston's, that everything they actually designed and build would not measure poorly, though wouldn't be the best either. It is just a solid small company that is very serious in build quality.
 

peng

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
503
Likes
421
#49
I think it is great to find out you don't need to spend $4500.
Seems like the better models in the $1-2k get you decent measured performance with is about all you need. Id guess most of the flaws are not audible in anything that meets even a below average spec anyway so why not just be cool with saving money knowing that.
The real questions are even if the Arcam did offer superb measured performance, would it be worth spending $4.5k on it? Could we hear the difference? Have we reached the point were diminishing returns on our actual in room experience have created little reason for anything in the price range that period?
So far from what I can see, if one must have XLR and/or separate AVP/AVC, and only need 11 channels, Yamaha's AVC and Marantz AVP (the AV7705) are the best in terms of overall balance in cost/benefits. Depending on Amir's measurements, I suspect the 13 channel (or is it 15?) processing AVR-X8500 may be better, if XLRs are not needed.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
39
Likes
45
#50
I chatted with Arcams Field Engineer via email and posted the AVR390 review for him. He said: The measurements do on the face of it look concerning, and I have forwarded them to the relevant development team member. As of moment ago i have posted the link of this review for him to forward it to development team member aswell! Also mentioned that people would be intrested to hear that member commenting here. Don´t hold your breath with that one though... Main thing would be that the engineers would see the data and hopefully it will put some pressure for them to make better job in future.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
26,599
Likes
61,792
Location
Seattle Area
Thread Starter #51
@amirm Thank you for the review. I know there are still issues with hires inputs and Dirac due to SRC. Just in case SRC is involved is it even possible to test with a 24/48 input?
When the multitone acted up, I actually performed a frequency response test and there does not seem to be any SRC involved in the mode I was testing (Direct Stereo).
 

Xulonn

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
1,233
Likes
3,226
Location
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
#52
Though when I see how much Schiit improved from terrible products to some recent very good ones thanks to Amir's reviews, there may still be some hope.
The acknowledgement of the issues and the effort to fix them by Schiit was enough to literally change my attitude towards the company and its products. Rather that perceiving them as a bunch of clowns with a bad sophomoric sense of humor and weird-looking audio components, I now see them simply as a quirky company with some excellent audio electronics products.

Although I have not owned an Arcam component, I liked the styling, and was aware that Arcam amplifiers, tuners and receivers had a good reputation. But now my opinion of the company, at least for their AV products, has been reversed. The hypocrisy and marketing b.s. that they are displaying in their marketing, and in that cringe-worthy Audioholics interview video, has reversed my opinion of the company.

Will Arcam be the first AVP/AVR manufacturer to really do it right? Only time will tell, but I hope your "hope" is valid, @bidn .
 

QMuse

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
2,925
Likes
2,285
#54
As of moment ago i have posted the link of this review for him to forward it to development team member aswell! Also mentioned that people would be intrested to hear that member commenting here. Don´t hold your breath with that one though...
Sure thing. We're still holding breath for Devialet development guys to comment on their measurement. I don't know of any oxygen tank large enough to help us though..
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
26,599
Likes
61,792
Location
Seattle Area
Thread Starter #55
I can see from the graph linearity is poor, but in practical sense, why would it matter if it is bad at lower than -80 dBFS? Just curious,
If you listened at levels louder than that, then any fades into silence would sound wrong at the tail end. With another DAC with similar issue, I tested this and the sound would get bright at such low levels. With home theater, we tend to listen at reference levels so getting these details right matters more than not.

But sure, at some level you could say these things don't matter. But why is it doing that for no benefit to the consumer? If it is truncation, it is a software problem that should be fixed. The DAC above was improved this way by the way.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
26,599
Likes
61,792
Location
Seattle Area
Thread Starter #56

Dimifoot

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
262
Likes
329
Location
Greece
#57
So far from what I can see, if one must have XLR and/or separate AVP/AVC, and only need 11 channels, Yamaha's AVC and Marantz AVP (the AV7705) are the best in terms of overall balance in cost/benefits. Depending on Amir's measurements, I suspect the 13 channel (or is it 15?) processing AVR-X8500 may be better, if XLRs are not needed.
The Monoprice -after its firmware update- seems to be an appealing option -for US customers.
 

peng

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
503
Likes
421
#58
I chatted with Arcams Field Engineer via email and posted the AVR390 review for him. He said: The measurements do on the face of it look concerning, and I have forwarded them to the relevant development team member. As of moment ago i have posted the link of this review for him to forward it to development team member aswell! Also mentioned that people would be intrested to hear that member commenting here. Don´t hold your breath with that one though... Main thing would be that the engineers would see the data and hopefully it will put some pressure for them to make better job in future.
It may just work. I might have mentioned before that I believe Denon/Marantz improved their AVRs by using separate volume control chip and multiplexor switches instead of keep using the same all in one LSI chp used in a cheap entry level Yamaha RX-V AVRs (NAD, Anthem, and some Arcam models) had done the same, using that cheap LSI chip, because and after HTHF's Dr. Rich called them out on it. They also defended their older HDAMs and got called out by Dr. Rich too initially with a rebuttal on HTHF, but then went ahead and upgraded them anyway since the AV8802, AV7703, SR7011 etc., though according to Dr. Rich's follow up review on the AV8805, the upgraded HDAM and the MSI chips did not result in measurable better THD+N/SINAD, probably due to additional distortions introduced by the HDAM that has then become the bottleneck.

Sometimes they do take actions if we do our part, such as by doing what you have done with Arcam. I think the engineering/design teams need us the users to give them justification for their marketing/sales departments who are typically much more powerful and often have the final say.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
26,599
Likes
61,792
Location
Seattle Area
Thread Starter #59
If we look at SINAD alone, then it beats Onkyo PrePro and even rca preout of denon 3600H (for all other channels except L&R when amps disconnect), but everything else is worse, right? So, I don't know how valid SINAD chart is anymore?
I provide a suite of measurements because they all matter. SINAD is a measure of noise+harmonic distortion. It doesn't for example measure jitter. And if distortion is high, then it dominates SINAD so we have to look at dynamic range, etc.

I could have created a table for some of the other measurements but maintaining and defending one is enough effort. :)
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom