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Class A flavors - Arcam AVR600/750 Devialet HK990 and more?

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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For the past year and half or so, I was living with a make shift system and now I might have an opportunity to start fresh again. In this thread, I would like to focus on getting more inputs from the amplification view point.

In the past 6 odd years of HiFi, the amps that I had and truly impressed me are Pathos Inpol2 and Harmony kardon HK990. Unfortunately I do not want to get either of them again (Inpol2, being pure Class A was a heavy heater & power guzzler but made most amazing sound and HK990, though very good, I went through three units and all of them were faulty - no more patience to swap such heavy amps).

From the list of the amps that I auditioned, I like the Devialet and Arcam AVR600 (Ok, I know that AVR600 is no stereo amp but it beats MF M6i so easily, and my initial requirement is for HT 3.1/5.1 set up)

If Arcam was not in the picture, then I was clear that I like amps with Class A bias. However very recently, I got to understand that the Arcam AVR600 has heavy Class A bias for the first 20W or so and it runs on Class A amplification. Then there is Class G amplification.

This made a lot more easier, as initially I want to set up HT. current options that I am considering are

1. Oppo BDP-105 with Arcam P777

2. Arcam AVR600 or AVR750

3. Oppo BDP-105 with any other 5 channel amp

Ideally I prefer one box set up but I love the sound of Oppo BDP-105 and so, if there is a cheaper but good SQ solution with a Power amp then I would consider that.

I understand that Arcam P7 does not have Class G amplification.

Do you think Arcam P777 as well as Arcam AVR750 also has Class G amplification?

Are there any other AVRs / multi channel Power Amp which have some kind of Class A bias or Class G amplification?

If the decision is for Arcam then I will be buying it through dealer only (given the arcam reputation for AVR600). With other options, I am fine going through used market as well!

Speakers that i will be pairing with this set up is either AG Strada or Vivid V1 (front & center) funds permitting. There is no need for a seperate Bluray player as I have Sony BDP-S790. I need HDMI input for sure (be it AVR or Oppo) as one of the other sources will be Mac Mini. Room size is approximatley 6m X 5m and I do not listen very loud.
 

Native_bon

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Nov 26, 2008
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Am seriously thinking of the 750 myself. I had a listen to the AVR450 and was very impressed..(both music & movie) Other half complaining of too many boxes.. Want to go back to all in one box.
 

CnoEvil

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- The AVR750 definitely is Class G and I'm almost certain that the P777 is also.

- The AVR750 is supposed to be a good step up from the AVR600.

- The Pre/Pro in the 750 is supposed to be better than that in the AV888 (which is due for a replacement ie.AV950)

- The P777 is supposed to be better than the power amps in the 750.

- IMO.There is nothing in a one-box solution that will match either the 600/750 for music, except maybe the Pathos Cinema X.

- I would listen to the 750 before making any purchase.

Here is a slightly OTT review, but it has a good description of Class G on page 165: http://www.iar-80.com/page161.html
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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CnoEvil said:
Here is a slightly OTT review, but it has a good description of Class G on page 165: http://www.iar-80.com/page161.html
Hi Cno, Actually I read the above link posted by you in some other thread and then I understood why I liked the AVR600 in the first place! I am surprised why Arcam does not let the Class G or Class A bias thing come out more prominently on their specification page.

I can understand why Arcam took so long to launch a succesor to AVR600 since there is no real need (atleast for my requirements) except ironing out all the bugs. What I understand about Pathos Cinema X (which I was seriously considering some years back) is that it uses similar amplification like Pathos Classic MKII and there is MKIII as well for quite a long time but Cinema X was never updated. If I choose either Pathos or Arcam, it will be brand new item purchase and if I remember well, Pathos has two years warranty where as Arcam has five years with registration. Hence I ruled out Cinema X from the list unless I find something at a bargain price and dealer promises to support me.

AVR600 has multi channel in (I am not too sure whether it digitizes the analog 7.1 inputs?) where as AVR750 does not which seems a bit odd as I might want to have the option of adding Oppo BDP-105 at a later stage. It looks like AVR750 is much more expensive than AVR600 but it might be the bug free one stop solution. So, I will definetly audtion the AVR750
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
107
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Native_bon said:
Am seriously thinking of the 750 myself. I had a listen to the AVR450 and was very impressed..(both music & movie) Other half complaining of too many boxes.. Want to go back to all in one box.
Yup! I have done these many boxes things before and I am almost sure that one box solution is all I need. I do not listen to that loud so the extra head room a dedicated power amp offers is really good on paper and the AVR600 is very very good even at more than normal listening levels in stereo mode. I do not need any more power than that, ever!

Do you know that AVR450 has Class G amplification as well? By chance have you compared the AVR450 to AVR600?
 

matt49

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I'm not sure what you mean by your reference to Devialet. Are you serious about buying one, or is it that you want an AV solution that gets you close to the Devialet sound?

:santa:

Matt
 

CnoEvil

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WishTree said:
Do you know that AVR450 has Class G amplification as well? By chance have you compared the AVR450 to AVR600?
I'm almost certain it doesn't.

There are slightly mixed reports on the 450, ranging from "not far off the 750", to "not fit to lick its boots".

Arcam have been quoted as saying that it's better than the 600, but I suspect that it's the pre/pro and not the power amp. I haven't heard the two, but suspect the 600 would suit my taste better.
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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matt49 said:
I'm not sure what you mean by your reference to Devialet. Are you serious about buying one, or is it that you want an AV solution that gets you close to the Devialet sound?

:santa:

Matt
All the amps that I have quoted have some kind of Class A in equation and I like the sound. I have not heard Devialet and Arcam in the same set up but there is certain fluidity and three dimension nature to the sound in both cases and I am attributing to the Class A mix they bring in the amplification. In this thread, I am focussing on a multi channel based solution (be it AVR or power amp with pre seperate) and once that is sorted then may be Devialet :) I wish they have a mutli channel power amp solution with Devialet amplification technology 8)
 

matt49

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WishTree said:
All the amps that I have quoted have some kind of Class A in equation and I like the sound. I have not heard Devialet and Arcam in the same set up but there is certain fluidity and three dimension nature to the sound in both cases and I am attributing to the Class A mix they bring in the amplification. In this thread, I am focussing on a multi channel based solution (be it AVR or power amp with pre seperate) and once that is sorted then may be Devialet :) I wish they have a mutli channel power amp solution with Devialet amplification technology 8)
Ah, yes, I understand entirely, and (obviously) I share your attraction to the Class A sound.

Now if it were me, I'd just get a Dev and run 2.1. But then I don't really get on with 5.1, so I can't really contribute anything of value here.

:santa:

Matt
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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matt49 said:
Ah, yes, I understand entirely, and (obviously) I share your attraction to the Class A sound.

Now if it were me, I'd just get a Dev and run 2.1. But then I don't really get on with 5.1, so I can't really contribute anything of value here.

:santa:

Matt
:) I was down that road with Pathos Inpol2 and it was the best sound for music. However the set up is used both for movies and music and no matter how great 2.1 set up, we created the center channel (dialogue level) was always an issue. So it would be a minimum 3.0 to start with! Possibly how much mileage a stereo set up would offer, might add a devialet at a later stage.
 

Native_bon

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Nov 26, 2008
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WishTree said:
Native_bon said:
Am seriously thinking of the 750 myself. I had a listen to the AVR450 and was very impressed..(both music & movie) Other half complaining of too many boxes.. Want to go back to all in one box.
Yup! I have done these many boxes things before and I am almost sure that one box solution is all I need. I do not listen to that loud so the extra head room a dedicated power amp offers is really good on paper and the AVR600 is very very good even at more than normal listening levels in stereo mode. I do not need any more power than that, ever!

Do you know that AVR450 has Class G amplification as well? By chance have you compared the AVR450 to AVR600?
I actually had the AVR600 on demo at home but found it a bit over powering for my room size.. But was very impressive.. Having moved house now the AVR 750 seems the way to go.. I must say I tried the AVR450 with my speakers & sounded so good..The AVR450 I dnt think is a Class G amp. But the way it sounded thinking do I really need the AVR750.. Will be doin demo side by side nxt week. of both the 750 & 450.
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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Native_bon said:
I actually had the AVR600 on demo at home but found it a bit over powering for my room size.. But was very impressive.. Having moved house now the AVR 750 seems the way to go.. I must say I tried the AVR450 with my speakers & sounded so good..The AVR450 I dnt think is a Class G amp. But the way it sounded thinking do I really need the AVR750.. Will be doin demo side by side nxt week. of both the 750 & 450.
Good to know that you have tried AVR600. I am just trying to understand how an amplifier can be overpowering in a room. Please pardon my ignorance and make me understand in simple english.

I just read a review about AVR450 in a German online site (Here is the link) and they kind of clearly mentioned that AVR450 has standard Class AB amplification where as AVR750 has Class G amplification.

To be sure, I have written to Arcam asking for the information on which all amplifiers have Class G amplification as well as what sonical improvements they designed into AVR450 (if any) as well as AVR750 when compared to AVR600. Once I get the response I will post it.

Coming back to the real world performance - It would be really nice to read back from you on you comparision notes between AVR600, AVR450 and AVR750 once you have done your demo!
 

Native_bon

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Nov 26, 2008
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WishTree said:
Native_bon said:
I actually had the AVR600 on demo at home but found it a bit over powering for my room size.. But was very impressive.. Having moved house now the AVR 750 seems the way to go.. I must say I tried the AVR450 with my speakers & sounded so good..The AVR450 I dnt think is a Class G amp. But the way it sounded thinking do I really need the AVR750.. Will be doin demo side by side nxt week. of both the 750 & 450.
Good to know that you have tried AVR600. I am just trying to understand how an amplifier can be overpowering in a room. Please pardon my ignorance and make me understand in simple english.

I just read a review about AVR450 in a German online site (Here is the link) and they kind of clearly mentioned that AVR450 has standard Class AB amplification where as AVR750 has Class G amplification.

To be sure, I have written to Arcam asking for the information on which all amplifiers have Class G amplification as well as what sonical improvements they designed into AVR450 (if any) as well as AVR750 when compared to AVR600. Once I get the response I will post it.

Coming back to the real world performance - It would be really nice to read back from you on you comparision notes between AVR600, AVR450 and AVR750 once you have done your demo!
I have done the demo of both units.. The 750 is a lot the better with movie & a bit more powerful with music.. The 450 is not far behind with music. If you want more power and more definition go for the AVR750. Anyway you look at it, these amps are real world two channel amps.

Am looking to pick up the AVR450 after the festive period.. Not sure the 2grand more justifies the performance over the AVR450.. But thats just me. cannot give comparism as per the 600 cause been long time ago, i still got that feel of rightness listening to music on both the 750 & 450.

The problem is the AVR450 sounds so good that you think how is the 750 goin to better this, but it does. May be am putting down the 750 due to price to performance ratio cause i dnt want to pay out 4 grand for an AV amp. But must say the AVR750 is excellent even in terms of music reproduction. I think the best way if you can, is give them a demo.

On the AVR600 can sound very powerful cause i had a small room 5 by 5meters. Now that would not be a problem.

Edit: I can savely say no single Av amp I have listen to even comes close to music production of the AVR450.. So you know your in for a surpirse with the ability of the AVR750!!
 

CnoEvil

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Native_bon said:
I have done the demo of both units.. The 750 is a lot the better with movie & a bit more powerful with music.. The 450 is not far behind with music. If you want more power and more definition go for the AVR750. Anyway you look at it, these amps are real world two channel amps.

Am looking to pick up the AVR450 after the festive period.. Not sure the 2grand more justifies the performance over the AVR450.. But thats just me. cannot give comparism as per the 600 cause been long time ago, i still got that feel of rightness listening to music on both the 750 & 450.

The problem is the AVR450 sounds so good that you think how is the 750 goin to better this, but it does. May be am putting down the 750 due to price to performance ratio cause i dnt want to pay out 4 grand for an AV amp. But must say the AVR750 is excellent even in terms of music reproduction. I think the best way if you can, is give them a demo.

On the AVR600 can sound very powerful cause i had a small room 5 by 5meters. Now that would not be a problem.

Edit: I can savely say no single Av amp I have listen to even comes close to music production of the AVR450.. So you know your in for a surpirse with the ability of the AVR750!!
It's very good to hear your thoughts, and I suspect you are right on the money. There is a strong likelihood that the 750 will come into its own, if matched with expensive current hungry speakers.
 

WishTree

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Native_bon said:
The problem is the AVR450 sounds so good that you think how is the 750 goin to better this, but it does. May be am putting down the 750 due to price to performance ratio cause i dnt want to pay out 4 grand for an AV amp. But must say the AVR750 is excellent even in terms of music reproduction. I think the best way if you can, is give them a demo.
Thank You for the update and your view on this. As it is getting clearer to me that AVR600 and AVR750 have Class G amplification where as AVR450 does have Class AB. But I also understand that AVR500 has Class G amplification but some how it did not wow the community though I have not heard it.

In the end. the amplfication does add a bit more but the overall implementation including the DAC & pre-amp section play a big role as well and it looks like the AVR450 has done completely well in that area. Also, I am of the opinion that some of the challenges people had with AVR600 / AVR500 might be due to the Class A nature of the initial watts which might be causing power, fan issues. Which also means that AVR450 could be much more stable product since it does not have to handle the extra heat dissipation.

Since I am looking to buy the AVR for the living room solution, there is even more emphasis on the costs and the additional pound to performance enhancements!

When I get to audition them, I will listen to both and see how they do well with my speaker choices.

My intention is not to change the theme of this thread, but out of curiosity did you also try the Yamaha 3020 or 3030 in your set up. If you did, do let me know your thoughts on the stereo perfornance. I have a feeling that Arcam beats it very easily but I would like to read your views, if you had done some comparision.
 

CnoEvil

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WishTree said:
As it is getting clearer to me that AVR600 and AVR750 have Class G amplification where as AVR450 does have Class AB. But I also understand that AVR500 has Class G amplification but some how it did not wow the community though I have not heard it.
I don't think AVR500 has Class G amps.
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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CnoEvil said:
I don't think AVR500 has Class G amps.
I still wish Arcam clearly writes it in its specs about the power amp modes in their products!

I read on sound and vision and it says (link here)

"the older model’s Class G rail-switching amplifier topology has given way to Class AB with one set of rails. However, as my contact said, the power amp module is essentially the same. It has the same transistors and four-layer boards, albeit with a simpler transformer and a little less power. It still operates in “a form of Class A up to 20 watts into 8 ohms without having to have the full levels of standing current you would normally associate with Class A.”

I automatically assumed after reading the last sentence that it is operating in Class G where as the review clearly mentions it to be Class AB. However I do not know what kind of amplification it is if the first 20Watts are in some form of Class A ?!
 

Native_bon

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I dnt really bother my self that much with the technology, let ears do that for me, but then again if you really into the tech side of things worth looking into. But am sure Arcam has only used class G on the AVR600 & 750 AV amps.

As for the Yahama range no I have not had a listen to any of the models you mentioned. I did however listen to a few models a year or two back but found them dull & not very good in terms of musical performance. This may not be the case with the newer models.
 

CnoEvil

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WishTree said:
CnoEvil said:
I don't think AVR500 has Class G amps.
I still wish Arcam clearly writes it in its specs about the power amp modes in their products!

I read on sound and vision and it says (link here)

"the older model’s Class G rail-switching amplifier topology has given way to Class AB with one set of rails. However, as my contact said, the power amp module is essentially the same. It has the same transistors and four-layer boards, albeit with a simpler transformer and a little less power. It still operates in “a form of Class A up to 20 watts into 8 ohms without having to have the full levels of standing current you would normally associate with Class A.”

I automatically assumed after reading the last sentence that it is operating in Class G where as the review clearly mentions it to be Class AB. However I do not know what kind of amplification it is if the first 20Watts are in some form of Class A ?!
I suppose it just depends on where they set the bias (or whatever its called).
 

clinton333

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http://www.arcam.co.uk/blog,ces-2014-arcam-announces-a49-200wpc-super-integrated-stereo-amplifier_197.htm?news_pg=0

:cheers:
 

CnoEvil

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clinton333 said:
http://www.arcam.co.uk/blog,ces-2014-arcam-announces-a49-200wpc-super-integrated-stereo-amplifier_197.htm?news_pg=0

:cheers:
I've been wondering for some time why Arcam hadn't used their Class G tech in a 2 channel amp......now answered.

I suspect it will be very good......but how much better than the AVR750 remains to be seen.
 

matt49

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CnoEvil said:
clinton333 said:
http://www.arcam.co.uk/blog,ces-2014-arcam-announces-a49-200wpc-super-integrated-stereo-amplifier_197.htm?news_pg=0

:cheers:
I've been wondering for some time why Arcam hadn't used their Class G tech in a 2 channel amp......now answered.

I suspect it will be very good......but how much better than the AVR750 remains to be seen.
50W of class A? Likey likey!

Any news of a price?

Anyway, great to see Arcam getting really serious about high-end 2-channel again.

:cheers:

Matt
 

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