Arcam warmth

Does it really exist? Or am I experiencing a one-off occurance?

Please forgive me if I seem flippant, but most say, on here at least, that Arcams are warm. Not to me. Certainly their amps are as neutral as one could expect, especially the DIVA range. True the Alphas are slightly richer in tonal quality, but overall they sound as open as any make.*

*Findings are based on my current system.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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I don't think 'warm' is the right word. I think some of their 'affordable' amp models can sound a little soft - I'm thinking A70 and A18 here - but I wouldn't say they were especially warm sounding.
 

Gusboll

Well-known member
Aug 22, 2008
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The way (Arcam fan) JoelSim used to go on about Arcam being so lovely and warm led me to believe that I could heat my house and make a sleeping bag with their equipment. :)

Currently listening to: Fugazi - Instrument
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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It depends on where you draw the baseline, and what you pair it with speakerwise.

Personally I like their more powerful FMJ amps, which I find musical, but also a little bit on the "safe" side.
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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My only experience goes back over 20 years to a neighbour's system. It was an Alpha of some sort but I couldn't tell you what. I liked it because it seemed to be able to rein-in his impetuous CD player, which IIRC was an early Philips unit, so it (the amp) certainly wasn't brash-sounding.
 
CnoEvil said:
It depends on where you draw the baseline, and what you pair it with speakerwise. Personally I like their more powerful FMJ amps, which I find musical, but also a little bit on the "safe" side.

Even the A65 is immensely detailed, especially at low to medium levels. The bass lacks a little punch, although the overall presentation is far from malnourished. Great for long listening sessions, though.
 

Sliced Bread

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Jul 28, 2010
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From experience with my dads old arcam alpha, is to me a warm, smooth and lovely sound.

Ive not had much time with the newer ones,. What I don't understand is the enormous amount if people in.the hifi forums that criticise the Arcam sound, yet in the home cinema forums Arcam is praised no.end for being so musical. Fair enough there is a lower bar for music in av amps, but despite that a lot of people love the sound. I'm one of.them...does Arcam work well with B&W?
 
Sliced Bread said:
From experience with my dads old arcam alpha, is to me a warm, smooth and lovely sound. Ive not had much time with the newer ones,. What I don't understand is the enormous amount if people in.the hifi forums that criticise the Arcam sound, yet in the home cinema forums Arcam is praised no.end for being so musical. Fair enough there is a lower bar for music in av amps, but despite that a lot of people love the sound. I'm one of.them...does Arcam work well with B&W?

Yes, Arcam works really well with B&W, but have to confess my personal experience of this particular combo is limited. Audio-T used to sell A65+ with B&W 602 and 603s.

My favourite sub-£1,000 was my A65 with PMC DB1is. Astonishing sound for the money, as long as you play music low-medium levels.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Like you say about DiVA, I would not call my AVR250/Kef combination warm. If anything it's a bit on the analytical side, yet still musical. When driven by my CD192 the sound is full and rich rather than warm.

I think much of the classification "warm" comes from the Alpha range. From my limited experience, the Alpha's had a slightly receded treble and extremely clean midrange. But warm usually implies a lazy sound -- which doesn't really match my experience with the Alpha range.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I didn't really like the Alpha amps (although I had an Alpha FM tuner, which I loved). The sound seemed uneven, somehow.

Can't comment on the DiVA stuff, but FMJ I wouldn't describe as "warm", just not over-bright or over-excited. Not dull, either, but allowing the music to speak without the hi-fi getting in the way. (Disclaimer: I'm a fan!!!)
 

Ben K.

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Nov 6, 2010
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I would describe my Arcam A75 diva as neutral but smooth. The bass is a tad light but long listening sessions are a joy.
 
Ben K. said:
I would describe my Arcam A75 diva as neutral but smooth. The bass is a tad light but long listening sessions are a joy.

Exactly my own findings with A65+. The other thing that goes against the lower output Arcams is they can become slightly boomy when cranked up. Have to confess in isolation it's hardly noticeable. That said, at medium levels they are a complete joy - very musical.
 

garyw77

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Dec 24, 2010
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I have been considering the A38 to partner my PMC DB1i's for a while now. Any thoughts whether they will match well? I like a smooth long listening sound but without loosing the detail.
 
garyw77 said:
I have been considering the A38 to partner my PMC DB1i's for a while now. Any thoughts whether they will match well? I like a smooth long listening sound but without loosing the detail.

Simple answer is 'YES':dance: Although not heard the A38 they do sound wonderful with A18 and A65+.
 

6th.replicant

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Oct 26, 2007
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garyw77 said:
I have been considering the A38 to partner my PMC DB1i's for a while now. Any thoughts whether they will match well? I like a smooth long listening sound but without loosing the detail.

As do I, which is why I have an A38; it can also serve up plenty of punch/wallop, when appropiate.

Certainly worth giving an A38 a demo with your PMC DB1is - and make sure the dealer's A38 has been run-in ;)
 

robg1976

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Sep 17, 2007
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from my experience and i know we are all different, i replaced my ARCAM DIVA a65 AMP because i found it very boring, it had no timing and pace, yes it was very detailed and had a good stereo image but just sounded very dull, i still use my arcam cd73 player but with a ROTEL RA05 SE. so i guess its down to preference, i like the sound of NAD AMPS my previous being a c352, so this just goes to show we all prefere different sound, i like the nad and rotel amp in house sound big bass fast pace and timing, the ARCAM being more layed back, iv yet to hear the FMJ range
 

robg1976

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Sep 17, 2007
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from my experience and i know we are all different, i replaced my ARCAM DIVA a65 AMP because i found it very boring, it had no timing and pace, yes it was very detailed and had a good stereo image but just sounded very dull, i still use my arcam cd73 player but with a ROTEL RA05 SE. so i guess its down to preference, i like the sound of NAD AMPS my previous being a c352, so this just goes to show we all prefere different sound, i like the nad and rotel amp in house sound big bass fast pace and timing, the ARCAM being more layed back, iv yet to hear the FMJ range
 

stephennic

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Jul 27, 2008
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Hi,

I used a Arcam cd73t and found it nice for classical but for rock it was a bit boring it lacked drive and sparkle - it was too laid back for me. The cambride 640c v2 was to far the other way - sparkle and drive but to in yer face for some music and it didnt sound as natural as the arcam. I suppose part of it comes down to system matching. The cd players was tested on rotel amps and B&W speakers not with a arcam amp.

Cheers

Steve.
 

Ben K.

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Nov 6, 2010
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plastic penguin said:
Ben K. said:
I would describe my Arcam A75 diva as neutral but smooth. The bass is a tad light but long listening sessions are a joy.

Exactly my own findings with A65+. The other thing that goes against the lower output Arcams is they can become slightly boomy when cranked up. Have to confess in isolation it's hardly noticeable. That said, at medium levels they are a complete joy - very musical.

PP, how would you describe the sound of your leema pulse compared to your old A65? I am toying with the idea of the new leema pulse iii because I like the idea of a built in dac. Is the character similar to the A65 or very different? Thanks
 

Ben K.

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Nov 6, 2010
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I have a rotel amp and an arcam amp and I prefer the laid back sound of the arcam. I do like the rotel but for me its only good for short listening periods. This hifi game is so subjective, one mans junk is another mans treasure and all that!!
 

busb

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2011
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I heard Arcam equipment for well over 30yrs - in friend's homes, shops & shows. Their stuff always struck me as having a "house" sound: unfatigued & pretty listenable. My hearing in my fifties ain't quite what it used to be - I now prefer a brighter sound & more thwack than maybe Arcam generally delivers.

If you are going to spend fairly modest amounts on Hi Fi & don't want a rasping top end, Arcam are a brand worth auditioning. When you start spending over lets say £3k & choose wisely, you can expect a much faster sound with better defined high frequencies but without the fatigue that some cheapish systems exhibit. I'm not trying to damn with faint praise but Arcam stay within a well defined envelope which some take as being a little safe, especially the older you are.
 
Ben K. said:
plastic penguin said:
Ben K. said:
I would describe my Arcam A75 diva as neutral but smooth. The bass is a tad light but long listening sessions are a joy.

Exactly my own findings with A65+. The other thing that goes against the lower output Arcams is they can become slightly boomy when cranked up. Have to confess in isolation it's hardly noticeable. That said, at medium levels they are a complete joy - very musical.

PP, how would you describe the sound of your leema pulse compared to your old A65? I am toying with the idea of the new leema pulse iii because I like the idea of a built in dac. Is the character similar to the A65 or very different? Thanks

It is very different from the A65 in terms of tight bass (much better defined), dynamics and detail. The lower-end Arcams are fabulous at very low to medium level, crank it up the Arcams are found wanting: The bass is harsh... right across the frequency range is ill disciplined compared to the Leema.

The only trait they share is a fairly organic presentation, so the Leema, Contrary to some reviews, isn't bright or overwhelming. It does exactly as you'd expect a £1300 amp to do: Very musical and immensely satisfying.

The Pulse's dynamics is as good as any amp I've heard - literally at any price. I've heard £2,000 Bryston integrated and the Pulse is as impressive as a Bryston IMHO.
 

6th.replicant

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Oct 26, 2007
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Seems that the Arcam A65 is being used as a yardstick :?

IMHO, the A38 has more overall detail and low-end punch compared to the A65 - try an A38 demo with Massive Attack's Angel...

Yet, acoustic/classical instruments still sound natural.

Cor! Sevenoaks has reduced the A38 to £1200 :grin:
 

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