ARCAM A38

audioaddict

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Nov 1, 2011
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As my system is quite harsh to listen too i am thinking of trying an arcam a38 to give me a deeper zmoother sounstage can any a38 owners give me some insight as to how good it is thanks guys
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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I have a strong feeling of deja vu.

You can either get a smoother amp like the A38, Audio Analogue, Lavardin or Sugden, or smoother speakers like Proac, Sonus Faber or Spendor.

Any of the above combinations should mitigate the "hardness" you are currently getting.

Peoples' descriptions are subjective and open to bias, but rest assured, the Arcam is the opposite end of the spectrum, so the change could be too drastic.....only you will know.

Musical Fidelity or Electrocompaniet might be a happy medium.
 
A

Anonymous

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I do agree that a change in speakers may help BUT the OP is asking for advice re the amp so why dont you offer advice down that line. Then if the OP still struggles he may then realise that chaning the speakers may be the only option.

I've heard the M/A RS1's with the Roksan Kandy LIII, my old Arcam Alpha 9 and 10 amps and the Arcams really helped to calm the top end brightness down. The Roksan was a little too bright still.

I've heard the latest Audiolab gear with M/A speakers and for me it's a no-no; too bright and too clinical/dry at the top end.

Foe me the Arcam FMJ A38 would work well with the RS1's BUT I'd say save your £££ and try a 2nd hand Arcam Alpha 10 or FMJ A32 first; both can be found via eBay and the likes

Both were, IMO, 2 of the best amps Arcam ever made. Superb soundstage with a warm but very detailed midrange and bass and smooth treble. Better than the A38 I'd say; with ease!

At least that way if it doesnt work you can re-sell with no issues and probably no loss of £££. They are still sought after amps so selling them on again wont be an issue
 

6th.replicant

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Oct 26, 2007
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audioaddict said:
As my system is quite harsh to listen too i am thinking of trying an arcam a38 to give me a deeper zmoother sounstage can any a38 owners give me some insight as to how good it is thanks guys
The A38's had several 5-star/rave reviews in the UK and US (but not from WHF?).

And ignore the cliché/uninformed twaddle that all Arcams sound "syrupy" and/or "slow".

IME, the A38 is very good at making acoustic/classical/jazz instruments sound realistic, has impressive low-end bass when appropriate (eg Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy intro), lots of detail and separation (but isn't bright or 'tinkly'), great soundstage and is very good at controlling - if that's the correct term?? - complex/multi-layered recordings.

As an example of the last mentioned, IMHO Cee Lo Green's Bright Lights Bigger City can make a system sound as if it's very flabby and 'punch drunk' during the opening bars and chrorus, but the A38 makes it sound tight, attacking, very sweeet and very powerful :dance:

And in effect the A38 can be upgraded because it can also be bi-amped, which takes it to another level all-round... :grin:

Well worth a demo ;)
 

poldo

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Dec 23, 2009
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I have tried the Arcam a38 amp together with Exposure 3010s2 , Moon i1 and Naim XS at home and the Arcam was the worst by far. So for me it is not a cliche, it is slow and syrupy, compared to the Exposure, Moon and Naim.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
hifilover1979 said:
I do agree that a change in speakers may help BUT the OP is asking for advice re the amp so why dont you offer advice down that line. Then if the OP still struggles he may then realise that chaning the speakers may be the only option.

I've heard the M/A RS1's with the Roksan Kandy LIII, my old Arcam Alpha 9 and 10 amps and the Arcams really helped to calm the top end brightness down. The Roksan was a little too bright still.

I've heard the latest Audiolab gear with M/A speakers and for me it's a no-no; too bright and too clinical/dry at the top end.

Foe me the Arcam FMJ A38 would work well with the RS1's BUT I'd say save your £££ and try a 2nd hand Arcam Alpha 10 or FMJ A32 first; both can be found via eBay and the likes

Both were, IMO, 2 of the best amps Arcam ever made. Superb soundstage with a warm but very detailed midrange and bass and smooth treble. Better than the A38 I'd say; with ease!

At least that way if it doesnt work you can re-sell with no issues and probably no loss of £££. They are still sought after amps so selling them on again wont be an issue
OP has opened so many threads over the months about the same thing. He's been advised so many times by me and others, to the tune of "go and listen to different combos" and suchlike, but never listens.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I know PP I've seen them all

Just thought might as well answer the OP's question without going back to reviewing the other threads

If one of the mods could do a clear up that may help
 
audioaddict said:
As my system is quite harsh to listen too i am thinking of trying an arcam a38 to give me a deeper zmoother sounstage can any a38 owners give me some insight as to how good it is thanks guys
Hi audioaddict

I'll highly recommend that you also hold on to your 8000M's as i feel that overall the 8000M's will still be a better option then the A38. I take it that you are happy with your Silver RS1's and if this is so then i'll suggest that you also consider the following -

Replace the pre amp with used/discontinued models such as a NAD C160, Musical Fidelity A3.2 or a valve based design from Audio research etc. An existing production model such as the NAD C165BEE is also worth a look. Pre amplifiers such as these will alter the balance of the system in the manner that you want. This route will also help ensure that the quality of power and grip which the Silver RS1's currently benefiting from is at least not compromised.

Replace the speaker cables with standard 500 strand OFC type.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

audioaddict

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JUST FOR PLASTIC PENGIUNS INFO I HAVE JUST RECENTLY HEARD A FEW COMBOS WITH AUDIOLAB STUFF AND STILL NOT HAPPY WHICH IS WHY IM STILL ASKIN AS MUCH ADVICE AS POSS AS AT THE END OF THE DAY ITS MY MONEY IM SPENDING UNLESS PLASTIC WANTS TO GIVE ME HIS MONEY AND IL WASTE IT HAPPILY. I THI K I ALSO TOLD PLASTIC BEFORE IF HE DOES NOT LIKE WHAT IM ASKIN MAYBE HE SHLD NOT ANSWER SEEMS LIKE HE CANT KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT! !!!
 

poldo

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Dec 23, 2009
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You have a bright / bright set - up.

So you can:

1. change the amps

2. change the speakers

I think 2 will give you a better result, Audiolab is a fine set-up and you just need to find a good match. Ask some Audiolab dealers for advice. Maybe send 2,3 shops an e-mail what they think would be a nice speaker for the Audiolabs and make an appointment.

If you still don't like it, then sell your audiolab and take your rs 1 under the arm to a local shop and give yourself some nice demo's with other amps.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
If you can compare the Arcam with the Audiolabs at home, then that'd be a worthwhile step. Alternatively, check out some other brands and try those - plenty to choose from. If the Audiolabs aren't cutting it for you, then you'll probably do alright shifting them on and use the funds to get another amp.

You might, as a check, try out another pair of speakers which exhibit a different characteristic from your existing Monitor Audio speakers - they'll make the greatest difference to what you hear over the amp change. Castle Knight 2 (for instance) would give you a completely different presentation, likewise a single driver John Blue or AVI's Neutron V. They'll all offer a different take - worth considering perhaps.

EDIT: Other brands are available of course, something that's not often obvious in some hifi forums... ;)
 

audioaddict

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Nov 1, 2011
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Thanks guys i will have to take my stuff to a shop but the nearest cple are thirty five miles away and hard to get a free day off i guesd thats why ive used the forum to get as much advice as poss before i lug my stuff there and for it to be a waste of time. I feel ive already spent a fortune and not happy just dont want the same to happen again
 
T

the record spot

Guest
I think "2" as well Poldo. Agree fully that checking out both would be the way to go. Personally, I'd hang on to the Audiolabs and get speakers to suit.
 

poldo

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Dec 23, 2009
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audioaddict said:
Thanks guys i will have to take my stuff to a shop but the nearest cple are thirty five miles away and hard to get a free day off i guesd thats why ive used the forum to get as much advice as poss before i lug my stuff there and for it to be a waste of time. I feel ive already spent a fortune and not happy just dont want the same to happen again
Very wise decision, don't gamble again just make sure you make the right choice when your spending again. Make advice is to borrow some speakers or amp from friends or family? You can listen in your own environment and if its sounds less bright you have your answer.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
audioaddict said:
JUST FOR PLASTIC PENGIUNS INFO I HAVE JUST RECENTLY HEARD A FEW COMBOS WITH AUDIOLAB STUFF AND STILL NOT HAPPY WHICH IS WHY IM STILL ASKIN AS MUCH ADVICE AS POSS AS AT THE END OF THE DAY ITS MY MONEY IM SPENDING UNLESS PLASTIC WANTS TO GIVE ME HIS MONEY AND IL WASTE IT HAPPILY. I THI K I ALSO TOLD PLASTIC BEFORE IF HE DOES NOT LIKE WHAT IM ASKIN MAYBE HE SHLD NOT ANSWER SEEMS LIKE HE CANT KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT! !!!
Fine - you've heard a few combos with the Audiolabs. What were they? and what didn't you like about them?

Try and be a little less vague and maybe me and others can be more of an assistance.

On one of your other threads I mentioned PMC speakers (DB1is I think), which should gel well with Audiolab, great with Naim (going back to your first thread about the Uniti) and very good with Arcam.

Whatever route you decide to go down then the RS1s, regardless of their quality, they are or were MAs entry-level speakers in the Silver range, thus they are the weakest link. If you want to stick with the RS1s and you want less boxes the Arcam Solo Mini would be best suited with your current speakers.
 

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