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Arcam AVR390 / AVR550 / AVR850 including Dirac Live®

Steve356

Distinguished Member
I upgraded to a pair of ATC SCM40A’s recently and they are superb with the AV860. Fantastic bass and control, almost make my Velodyne sub redundant
That's good to hear. I'm trying to move away from tower speakers (I currently have Spendor D7s). If the SCM 19s don't work out in terms of bass quantity, I'll probably give the 40s a go. However, my MK sub can fill in those bass spaces in reality. One thing I've already noticed is that bass tonality and quality is very similar between the ATCs and the MK sub. The sub simply adds depth. Having said that, on the majority of stereo tracks I played today, I didn't really feel the need to add the sub into the mix.

I'll keep playing stuff over the next week or so and then make a decision. I'll also do a Dirac calibration to see if that helps or hinders (I'm not a Dirac fan thus far, especially for stereo music).
 

Steve356

Distinguished Member
I upgraded to a pair of ATC SCM40A’s recently and they are superb with the AV860. Fantastic bass and control, almost make my Velodyne sub redundant
I tried to reach out to you via PM, but your mailbox appears to be full. Sorry to all if I'm going off topic on this thread, but I guess it might be of interest to other Arcam users.

While I have the ATC SCM 19s on loan, could I ask the following questions of you, given your experience with ATC.

1. Do you have your ATCs in a lounge or a dedicated room?
2. How big is the room?
3. How close are they to the walls? Distance from back wall? Distance from side wall?
4. Are they toed in at all or firing straight down the room? If toed in, roughly how much?
5. For stereo, do you use Dirac or not?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can offer.

Cheers,
Steve
 

felty99

Active Member
I tried to reach out to you via PM, but your mailbox appears to be full. Sorry to all if I'm going off topic on this thread, but I guess it might be of interest to other Arcam users.

While I have the ATC SCM 19s on loan, could I ask the following questions of you, given your experience with ATC.

1. Do you have your ATCs in a lounge or a dedicated room?
2. How big is the room?
3. How close are they to the walls? Distance from back wall? Distance from side wall?
4. Are they toed in at all or firing straight down the room? If toed in, roughly how much?
5. For stereo, do you use Dirac or not?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can offer.

Cheers,
Steve
Hi Steve,

ATCs are in a lounge 5mx4m and about 0.75m from the back wall and 1.5m from side walls. These replaced some PMC 20.26s so absolutely no problem with too much bass. In fact, they really seem to pressurise the room much better than the PMCs with the latter sounding quite lean. Great timing as well and gel really nicely with the Arcam processor.

I tried the passive version with a Naim 250 amp vs the active version, and the actives were clearly superior so that freed up some rack space:smashin:.

They are toed in slightly so meeting about 1m behind me. I don't bother with Dirac for stereo as I have a separate Naim 252 pre-amp for 2 channel sources fed from an NDX streamer.

I've removed several old conversations from my inbox so fine to try PM again to carry on the discussion.

Richard.
 

Steve356

Distinguished Member
Hi Steve,

ATCs are in a lounge 5mx4m and about 0.75m from the back wall and 1.5m from side walls. These replaced some PMC 20.26s so absolutely no problem with too much bass. In fact, they really seem to pressurise the room much better than the PMCs with the latter sounding quite lean. Great timing as well and gel really nicely with the Arcam processor.

I tried the passive version with a Naim 250 amp vs the active version, and the actives were clearly superior so that freed up some rack space:smashin:.

They are toed in slightly so meeting about 1m behind me. I don't bother with Dirac for stereo as I have a separate Naim 252 pre-amp for 2 channel sources fed from an NDX streamer.

I've removed several old conversations from my inbox so fine to try PM again to carry on the discussion.

Richard.
Many thanks Richard. Very interesting as my room is not too dissimilar at 6.5m x 3.6m. I have them toed in similar to yours, but only 0.35m from back wall (to back of speaker) and 0.5m from side wall (to side of speaker). No Dirac and using the Stereo Direct setting on Arcam, so no Dirac. Sounding very good so far.

Appreciate the guidance. Any other questions, I'll reach out by PM so as no to sidetrack this thread any further.
 

felty99

Active Member
I tried Dirac with 2-ch music and much prefer it without.
The ATCs do seem pretty flexible with room position as they're a sealed design so can be used right up against walls. As you've found they are quite neutral and go well with MK speakers which I've got as surrounds and for Atmos.
 

helloall

Active Member
I feel that Dirac adds A LOT more punch, clarity and 3D dimension. It makes movie watching a lot more exciting and immersive. For music, while these qualities can be positive too, I find the sound less natural and prefer without it too. But I’m a newbie and only ran it two times with the stock mic.

I also find Dirac on sounds louder than when off and I thought the level should be more similar between on / off after earlier FW update.
 

General Skanky

Well-known Member
While you're talking about DIRAC, how the hell do you programme the remote for the 850????

I know I'm being a bit thick here.

I've pressed and held device button BD + the 1 button for example and nothing happens.

Grrrr. Help please. What step have I missed?
 

fatboy frank

Well-known Member
While you're talking about DIRAC, how the hell do you programme the remote for the 850????

I know I'm being a bit thick here.

I've pressed and held device button BD + the 1 button for example and nothing happens.

Grrrr. Help please. What step have I missed?
If i remember correctly the BD is locked to Arcam BDP, so you need to unlock it first.
 

fatboy frank

Well-known Member
@General Skanky Page E39 in the manual
1. AMP, BD, CD and TUN are the Device keys that may be Locked or Unlocked. Lock and Unlock are toggles (they change from Lock to Unlock to Lock, etc.). 2. Press and hold the Device and 6 keys together for three seconds.
Once you've unlocked it, you just programme using one of the 3 methods as described on page E38
 

tparm

Standard Member
Soooo, the digital coax input is limited to 96kHz? Seems odd. I will switch to a Toslink connection from my Node 2 to see if I get different results, but typically coax is the higher resolution of the two.
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
Soooo, the digital coax input is limited to 96kHz? Seems odd. I will switch to a Toslink connection from my Node 2 to see if I get different results, but typically coax is the higher resolution of the two.
Have you tried normal analogue? I don’t think the dac in the Arcam is that high end, whereas the dac in the Bluesound is pretty good (you’d probably need to spend more than the Bluesound cost to better it) if to your taste. Also the Bluesound dac can do MQA if you use Tidal where as the Arcam can’t.
 
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tparm

Standard Member
Have you tried normal analogue? I don’t think the dac in the Arcam is that high end, whereas the dac in the Bluesound is pretty good (you’d probably need to spend more than the Bluesound cost to better it) if to your taste. Also the Bluesound dac can do MQA if you use Tidal where as the Arcam can’t.
Thanks. Actually the Bluesound DAC is a pretty average Burr Brown and the Arcam is a Cirrus CS42528 which in theory is superior. I switched from Tidal to Amazon UHD so I don't need MQA decoding at this point. I've ordered an optical cable and have good analog RCA cables, next week I'll A/B/C the three options and see how it goes.

I was just surprised that when I went into set up the coax input the only options were 48 and 96kHz. For a moment I did see 192 on the display but on the Arcam app showed output of 96 on a few 24/192 Flac files. All this is to say, it sounded damn good and if that ends up being the result I am not too disappointed, just more curious as the CS DAC is 24/192.
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
Fair enough, although the hardware of a dac and the software it’s implemented using are two completely separate things.. You could have the best potential hardware dac in the world but if the software it uses is crud it may not sound that good, it’s not just down to dac chip abc is better that dac chip xyz and 2 dacs made from the same chips can sound completely different... best thing is as you say do a comparison with your own ears and see what suites your taste.. It’s said frequently that the Bluesound DAC is no slouch, it may not have the last touch of detail but the way it’s implemented just has something, it definitely punches way above its weight and dac badge, maybe it’s timing or toe tapping ability, but again these things can be down to personal taste..
 

DT79

Well-known Member
Thanks. Actually the Bluesound DAC is a pretty average Burr Brown and the Arcam is a Cirrus CS42528 which in theory is superior. I switched from Tidal to Amazon UHD so I don't need MQA decoding at this point. I've ordered an optical cable and have good analog RCA cables, next week I'll A/B/C the three options and see how it goes.

I was just surprised that when I went into set up the coax input the only options were 48 and 96kHz. For a moment I did see 192 on the display but on the Arcam app showed output of 96 on a few 24/192 Flac files. All this is to say, it sounded damn good and if that ends up being the result I am not too disappointed, just more curious as the CS DAC is 24/192.
It could also depend on whether you’re using stereo direct and Dirac or not. I believe the internal DSP gets done at 96khz so that is the limiting factor A) on digital inputs of higher resolution and b) on anything fed in as analogue getting converted to 24/96 PCM unless stereo direct is engaged.

If Dirac is off an stereo direct* is on then you may find that your 192 becomes available again.

* RTM - there are 2 different things with subtly different but similar names - the one I’m thinking of ensures stereo analogue signals are unmolested and I think that one is called stereo direct.
 
Spottify Connect yes, bluetooth no.
So I will be able to do Spotify thanks, I also have an Arcam r-Blink Bluetooth device so at least I can have Spotify directly through the amp. Will the subwoofer work with both the amp on Spotify and the Arcam r-blink device straight away? Cheers.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
So I will be able to do Spotify thanks, I also have an Arcam r-Blink Bluetooth device so at least I can have Spotify directly through the amp. Will the subwoofer work with both the amp on Spotify and the Arcam r-blink device straight away? Cheers.
It depends on how you configure the settings for bass management, how you select to listen to music and how you connect the sub.
 
It depends on how you configure the settings for bass management, how you select to listen to music and how you connect the sub.
Are these Arcam amps reliable for connecting to a Panasonic ub-400 4K Blu-ray player and doing Bluetooth via an Arcam r-blink. And playing 4K Blu-rays? Cheers
 

fatboy frank

Well-known Member
Hi, could someone tell me if the Arcam 850 has Bluetooth for Apple Music and Spotify already onboard? Many thanks.
Spotify requires a premium (paid for) account, it will not work with the free version as far as i know?
 

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