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RoA

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2021
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Modern Arcam's do NOT have a 'warm' sound. Modern Audiolab's do NOT sound clinical.

Audiophile bull ... cultivated over decades, engrained in Forum user's brains then passed on hundreds of times as 'common wisdom' mostly without any practical experience of said products.

Arcam's, modern ones, have slightly loose bass which, if not paired sympathetically, can result in bass excess which can affect lower mids depending on speakers used.

This may give the impression of 'warmth' but conversely, upper mids are very detailed and treble is highlighted. This makes Arcam's BRIGHT not warm. It's a very refined sort of brightness up to a point but this can verge into something less amicable if not paired correctly and if higher volume is needed.

In a similar fashion, some valve amplifiers have under damped bass but forward upper frequencies. This can make the sound BRIGHT and forward rather than 'warm'.

On to (modern) Audiolab. They have a more balanced sound, neutral but NOT clinical. Bass is better controlled, more impactful but not as 'warm' sounding. Mids are ... balanced and highs not as forward and detailed as Arcam's. If anything, treble is (slightly) rolled off making the the sound ... WARMER. It's all there but not highlighted.

A (modern) Audiolab has more fleshed out mids and treble than Arcam's, making it sound FULLER.

To give another example, Marantz has a brighter sound than Audiolab but it's a different 'bright' than Arcam's. Mids are pronounced with less impactful or controlled bass than (modern) Audiolab. Conversely highs are less detailed than (modern) Arcam, making it sound WARMER but BRIGHT at the same time.

All have a place, all sound different. What's right for you?

There you go. Don't take my word as gospel but actually listen to the stuff before jumping on the bandwagon of b* clichés.

I use both Audiolab and Arcam. They have their places in different systems. Neither is universally perfect but there is just too much c on forums on how their respective sounds are described.

If you like 'character' in an amplifier, don't go Audiolab. If you like warm, don't choose Arcam.

The former sounds more 'High End'. You have to spend a lot more to get better but I can equally see people verging towards an Arcam, Marantz or whatever sound.

(Profanity edited out by moderation - using asterisks doesn't conceal the word you are using.)
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
Some years ago, before this forum was resurrected, there was a thread that tried to cover this.

Older threads sometimes are sequenced strangely, but I think the content is still here…
 

Gray

Well-known member
Modern Arcam's do NOT have a 'warm' sound. Modern Audiolab's do NOT sound clinical.

Audiophile bull ... cultivated over decades, engrained in Forum user's brains then passed on hundreds of times as 'common wisdom' mostly without any practical experience of said products.

Arcam's, modern ones, have slightly loose bass which, if not paired sympathetically, can result in bass excess which can affect lower mids depending on speakers used.

This may give the impression of 'warmth' but conversely, upper mids are very detailed and treble is highlighted. This makes Arcam's BRIGHT not warm. It's a very refined sort of brightness up to a point but this can verge into something less amicable if not paired correctly and if higher volume is needed.

In a similar fashion, some valve amplifiers have under damped bass but forward upper frequencies. This can make the sound BRIGHT and forward rather than 'warm'.

On to (modern) Audiolab. They have a more balanced sound, neutral but NOT clinical. Bass is better controlled, more impactful but not as 'warm' sounding. Mids are ... balanced and highs not as forward and detailed as Arcam's. If anything, treble is (slightly) rolled off making the the sound ... WARMER. It's all there but not highlighted.

A (modern) Audiolab has more fleshed out mids and treble than Arcam's, making it sound FULLER.

To give another example, Marantz has a brighter sound than Audiolab but it's a different 'bright' than Arcam's. Mids are pronounced with less impactful or controlled bass than (modern) Audiolab. Conversely highs are less detailed than (modern) Arcam, making it sound WARMER but BRIGHT at the same time.

All have a place, all sound different. What's right for you?

There you go. Don't take my word as gospel but actually listen to the stuff before jumping on the bandwagon of b* clichés.

I use both Audiolab and Arcam. They have their places in different systems. Neither is universally perfect but there is just too much c on forums on how their respective sounds are described.

If you like 'character' in an amplifier, don't go Audiolab. If you like warm, don't choose Arcam.

The former sounds more 'High End'. You have to spend a lot more to get better but I can equally see people verging towards an Arcam, Marantz or whatever sound.

(Profanity edited out by moderation - using asterisks doesn't conceal the word you are using.)
Is that before or after burn-in 😆

Seriously, I agree - there's far too much generalisation based on 'house sound'.....
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Modern Arcam's do NOT have a 'warm' sound. Modern Audiolab's do NOT sound clinical.

Audiophile bull ... cultivated over decades, engrained in Forum user's brains then passed on hundreds of times as 'common wisdom' mostly without any practical experience of said products.

Arcam's, modern ones, have slightly loose bass which, if not paired sympathetically, can result in bass excess which can affect lower mids depending on speakers used.

This may give the impression of 'warmth' but conversely, upper mids are very detailed and treble is highlighted. This makes Arcam's BRIGHT not warm. It's a very refined sort of brightness up to a point but this can verge into something less amicable if not paired correctly and if higher volume is needed.

In a similar fashion, some valve amplifiers have under damped bass but forward upper frequencies. This can make the sound BRIGHT and forward rather than 'warm'.

On to (modern) Audiolab. They have a more balanced sound, neutral but NOT clinical. Bass is better controlled, more impactful but not as 'warm' sounding. Mids are ... balanced and highs not as forward and detailed as Arcam's. If anything, treble is (slightly) rolled off making the the sound ... WARMER. It's all there but not highlighted.

A (modern) Audiolab has more fleshed out mids and treble than Arcam's, making it sound FULLER.

To give another example, Marantz has a brighter sound than Audiolab but it's a different 'bright' than Arcam's. Mids are pronounced with less impactful or controlled bass than (modern) Audiolab. Conversely highs are less detailed than (modern) Arcam, making it sound WARMER but BRIGHT at the same time.

All have a place, all sound different. What's right for you?

There you go. Don't take my word as gospel but actually listen to the stuff before jumping on the bandwagon of b* clichés.

I use both Audiolab and Arcam. They have their places in different systems. Neither is universally perfect but there is just too much c on forums on how their respective sounds are described.

If you like 'character' in an amplifier, don't go Audiolab. If you like warm, don't choose Arcam.

The former sounds more 'High End'. You have to spend a lot more to get better but I can equally see people verging towards an Arcam, Marantz or whatever sound.

(Profanity edited out by moderation - using asterisks doesn't conceal the word you are using.)
For the record, Arcam Alpha ranges tended to be on the smooth side but the DIVA range was neutral.

Having heard the up to date SA-20 they seem to share the same tonal qualities. They aren't bright as they, IMO, are very easy to listen to over long sessions. Leema much of a muchness in that respect.

Older Audiolabs, with older MA Silvers is fingernails down a black board.

For "warmth" look no further than NAD.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
There are many reasons for people lumping certain amps in certain categories: Speakers can influence tonal qualities, as can room acoustics.... and there's also those who never heard the said brands and believe what they read. Then you have to factor in how certain people convey themselves on a forum.

Some brands change tonal qualities as you go up the range. Marantz is an example: I've found the midrange models were more ear compliant than the budget offerings. Both very pleasant but a little different.

Always annoyed me that Arcam have been perceived as warm.
 
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Deliriumbassist

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Apr 27, 2011
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Other, related issues:

1) People just repeat what they've read somewhere on the internet because it makes them feel 'in the know' and will recommend things ad nauseam without taking into account anything about the questioner's situation - for example look at the groupthink on SVS/REL, the 80Hz crossover myth for home theatre etc.

2a) People don't tend to come back and update when/if issues have been corrected, either on a micro or macro scale problem.

2b) People don't tend to check when something has been written/posted.
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
Some years ago, before this forum was resurrected, there was a thread that tried to cover this.

Older threads sometimes are sequenced strangely, but I think the content is still here…
Although Cno is a nice guy, nearly half those brands he mentioned he's probably not heard. Which goes back to my comments on the previous post. Many judge a component based on others opinions, which can be very misleading.
 
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Friesiansam

Well-known member
I don't bother too much about what other people say, I go by what my ears tell me when I try something new, reviews and opinions are no more than a rough guide. You never know what standards other people are judging things by. If I like something it is good, if I don't, it isn't good. House sound is meaningless, your ears may perceive the sound differently.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
I don't bother too much about what other people say, I go by what my ears tell me when I try something new, reviews and opinions are no more than a rough guide. You never know what standards other people are judging things by. If I like something it is good, if I don't, it isn't good. House sound is meaningless, your ears may perceive the sound differently.
That's pretty much my feelings. If it sounds good to me, it is -- ultimately we have to live with our decisions.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
1,505
448
20,070
For the record, Arcam Alpha ranges tended to be on the smooth side but the DIVA range was neutral.

Having heard the up to date SA-20 they seem to share the same tonal qualities. They aren't bright as they, IMO, are very easy to listen to over long sessions. Leema much of a muchness in that respect.

Older Audiolabs, with older MA Silvers is fingernails down a black board.

For "warmth" look no further than NAD.
Not the latest NAD amps, no.
 

twinkletoes

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2021
203
134
970
Yes, would agree on those older a/b amps.
I wouldn’t and far from it. I have one in action right now in a second system and it’s an edge of seat listen one that detailed and in your face, my c540 has the same sonic trait which I use into my sugden a21 to inject some spice to counter act the smooth sonic sig of the sugden. Now the sugden is a “warm” sound.
 

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