2 channel sound with an Arcam AVR600 or upgrade ..

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I have an Arcam CD 17, a Rega P3 & a Logitech transporter being driven by an Arcam AVR 600 - my speakers are PSB Synchrony Ones. I was wondering if I would see major improvements by introducing a 2 channel amp into my system (an ATC SIA 2 for instance) by using the pre-outs from the AVR. Would it make a significant difference to my system ? Could I use a pre/pro combo or am I limited to an Integrated amp if I want to continue using the AVR given that it has a host of HDMI inputs. Very grateful for your inputs - I've been very tempted to buy a 2 channel amp but I'm wondering if I would see any benefits. Thanks in advance Mohit
 

John Duncan

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When spending that amount of money, a dealer is going to let you try it at home, so the best person to answer this question is yourself.

I've been extremely impressed with Arcam's AVRs for music, but there is always an extra 10% to be eked; whether that extra 10% is worth two grand-odd to you is another matter...:-D
 

CnoEvil

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I have been exactly where you are at the moment with your AVR600, so I will pass on my (personal) findings.

I have found the AVR600 to have remarkable 2 channel performance. The first (and possibly controversial) thing to do is maximize the performance with a decent Mains Lead like the Clearer Audio Copperline (allow trial) and some decent I/Cs and S/C from Telurium Q or Atlas (Hyper or Ascent). Do this on a sale or return basis, in case you don't hear the noticeable improvements that I did. Nb. You may already be doing some of this.

Next, I got the best results from using Stereo Direct and bi-amping the front speakers.

It was doing all of the above, that I compared the AV600 against the following amps:
MF M6i; Moon I7; Coda CSi and Linn Akurate Kontrol/Power

I preferred the 600 to all the above well regarded amps. It was only when I heard the MF AMS35i that I got what I considered a substantial improvement.

If you want an improvement, you might want to demo a better source, like a Linn Majik DS....I can vouch for how well this sounds.

Don't accept what I'm saying as gospel, but go and try this for yourself. If there's anything else I can help with just ask....Oh and welcome to the forum.

Cno
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks so much, John and Cno. I've already upgraded the power cable and the SC - the IC's should be next I guess. Its been two years now with the Arcam - I just feel the urge to do something :) I also used a Hegel amp for a few months (till I moved it to my bedroom system) and I thought the base was a tad tighter with that,,

Maybe a source upgrade then - I love the transporter but maybe a Rega Saturn or an Arcam CD 37 should be in order. Any suggestions here ?

BTW Cno - did you buy the MF amp ?
 

CnoEvil

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mohit25 said:
Thanks so much, John and Cno. I've already upgraded the power cable and the SC - the IC's should be next I guess. Its been two years now with the Arcam - I just feel the urge to do something :) I also used a Hegel amp for a few months (till I moved it to my bedroom system) and I thought the base was a tad tighter with that,,

Maybe a source upgrade then - I love the transporter but maybe a Rega Saturn or an Arcam CD 37 should be in order. Any suggestions here ?

BTW Cno - did you buy the MF amp ?
I tried very hard not to buy the MF, but I missed it's sound so much that I gave in after about 8 months, when I got one at a great price.

The secret of the AVR600 is the Class G amplification and the amount it generates in Class A. I felt the bass was better when bi-amped with good speaker cable.

I use the Majik DS which imo sounds like a very highend CDP. The Linn Sneaky is also well worth a listen if you want to spend less, as it sounds like a £2k CDP...especially on 24 bit.

You have the makings of a great system, with the weakness at the source end...and I agree with JD that you may need to set your sights higher (but do demo for yourself). I happen to rate Linn for their streamers, and Pathos, Musical Fidelity, Sugden and Electrocompaniet for CDPs.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks. Did you try the Luxman or the ATC amps (have been impressed by what I've read of them) ? Let me get on the CDP demoing job ! Any specific model recommendations - indeed, which one do you use ?
 

CnoEvil

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mohit25 said:
Thanks. Did you try the Luxman or the ATC amps (have been impressed by what I've read of them) ? Let me get on the CDP demoing job ! Any specific model recommendations - indeed, which one do you use ?
I use the MF AMS 35i which is the best amp I've heard under £10k...its full Class A which I much prefer.

To get a similar feel for less money (though less good), I would look at the Sugden Masterclass IA-4. The Class A Luxman should be great, but I haven't heard it. Pathos (Logos and Inpol) are also great.

All the above amps suit my taste better than the ATC, which is good for an AB amp....though only use my suggestions for guidance, as you may hear things differently.

BTW In case it's of interest, in the past I used an Arcam DV79 as a CDP. It was a very pleasant musical sound, if a little "safe"; but installing the DS was a big upgrade.

I can't help thinking you should listen to a better source, and you might be happy with what you've got. IMO With a very expensive amp installed, a great source becomes even more important.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks, C no - which speakers do you use, by the way.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
the transporter is a superb source that stands equal if not above the linn mentioned above,you will struggle to better it, have you considered splitting the system up ? or heres a leftfield suggestion - use the transporter straight into a pair of active speakers you should be able to get a home demo on your budget, that is a simple but very worthwhile upgrade.
 

CnoEvil

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Crocodile said:
I'm intrigued to know why anyone would consider the Transporter a weak source?
If that "anyone" is me, I am happy to explain.

The Transporter isn't weak per se, but "weak" in the context of the quality of the OP's system and what he's trying to achieve.

IMO The source is often underrated as to its importance in effecting the overall sound of the system. The OP has an amp that (imo) sounds like a £3k two channel amp, and very competent speakers, also at the £3k level - to get the sound he's looking for, he needs a source in the £2k to £2.5k bracket.

If you disagree, that is fine. I just happened to have experimented with exactly what the OP is trying to do, and felt my findings might be helpful.
 

CnoEvil

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baldywig said:
the transporter is a superb source that stands equal if not above the linn mentioned above,you will struggle to better it, have you considered splitting the system up ? or heres a leftfield suggestion - use the transporter straight into a pair of active speakers you should be able to get a home demo on your budget, that is a simple but very worthwhile upgrade.
As in all things to do with hifi, it's subjective. I happen to think the Sneaky is better than the Transporter, and the Majik DS is better again.

This is not about what we think, but throwing out suggestions for the OP to try.....it's what he thinks that counts.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks - I do have a separate system in the bedroom (a Squeezebox Touch, a Hegel H70 and a pair of Aperion Audio speakers). I do however end up doing most of my listening in the main living room - with an 18 month old daughter, my wife would murder me if I sneaked off to a dedicated music room:shhh:

A pair of new active speakers may clutter it up - worth considering though, thanks. Any suggestions here (ATC ?)
 

CnoEvil

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mohit25 said:
Will do - a cd player upgrade is certain.
Nice. What is your budget?

There is good stuff out there from Pathos, Electrocompaniet, Sugden, Audio Research, Unison Research Unico, and Cairn.....some of the less known makes are outstanding.
 

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