Brought my audition forward and went over to Wilkingson's Hi Fi today in Nelson.
I took with me my own PS3 along with a Tacima C5939 6 mains conditioning block, Meridian 207 CD/Pre amp and Kimber mains cables. Oh, and music from Bach, David Gray, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits.
Watching / listening to the Panasonic 42" / Onkyo on Casino Royal (blue ray) I was disappointed with both the visual performance and the sound track. My own Samsung LE46M86 plugged into the mains conditioner is better in all respects giving higher detail, definition and vibrancy. I didn't think the PS3 was on the optimum settings, nor was the room balance set up properly. The Onkyo sound lacked openness and sparkle from the mid range upwards. Bass was tight and controlled but the system wasn't singing along and sounded closed in. I was surprised by this as I have recently heard the 605 with Kefs IQ7's/ Alumni which was very good on cinema.
Switching over to music transformed everything. Even the PlayStation sounded passable on Cd's! The tone, dynamics and balance created a listenable sound. Linking my Meridian up lifted everything up onto a level where one just drifts off into pure listening pleasure with the sound staging, openness, sweetness, detail and placement being excellent. I had brought the 207 across with the thought of buying the Roksan Kandy thinking it would be better....... it wasn't any more musical, its slightly more aggressive (without being harsh) a little more clinical. Prefered my 207, so that was a result! It brought home to me that there is little gain to be made (over the years) on high quality bits of kit, its just that nowadays top notch sound is much cheaper to buy.
So I kept my Meridian, bought the Onkyo 875/ Monitor Audio RS8, RSLCR, RSW12, RSFX and didn't bother listening to the Arcam. Was not fussed about the poor Blue Ray performance as I am sure it is just a "setting up properly" issue and the musicality is spot on if you feed it with a good power supply / CD source and speakers. The Silver series are the best match I have heard on music for larger rooms producing an effortless detailed sound at this price level.
They are coming over on Monday to set it up for me, got a great deal on price, paid £2180 in total including 30mtrs of Silver XT with airlock plugs and quality sub lead. (RRP around £3385). Hope my review helps, I have been listening to quality Hi Fi for over 30 years and have done my fair share of modifications with high end components on Quad, Cyrus, Audiolab, Marantz MA6 Monoblocks, Rogers.