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Old "audiophile" vs modern standard receivers

Like most people, my home audio setup is dictated by available funds, my other half etc etc

My current receiver is very much entry level, but fairly modern (Yamaha RX-V377). It is running Q Accoustics 3020 speakers on Atacama stands and a BK Gemini2 sub using good quality cabling and it sounds pretty damn good.

Anyway, whether I'm in the market for an upgrade or not, I often browse Gumtree/eBay etc for potential purchases and it got me wondering - would a previous generation(s) high end receiver like one from Arcam (AVR300 for example) be a significant step up in quality compared to my modern bit of kit. I realise that things like HDMI, Dolby/DTS HD etc are all missing from the feature list but purely from a sound quality point of view, would there be a tangible difference?

You can pick up the likes of Arcam's AVR100/200/300 for less than £100 these days, so they look a bit of a bargain.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
The sound quality from the Arcam will be significantly better than from your current AVR.
 

paulst10

Distinguished Member
The sound quality from the Arcam will be significantly better than from your current AVR.
In terms of overall sound quality, I agree, but I wonder if the Arcam will still sound better playing Dolby Digital @ 640kbs and DTS @ 1.5mbs than his modern AVR playing the lossless Dolby TrueHD & DTSHDMA tracks from the same Blu-ray disk? Unless you're using the BD player analogue outs you'd be limited to optical/coaxial for the Arcam so quite a relevant question.

I had a similar experience myself when I briefly went from Onkyo 805 receiver to an Arcam AV8 processor. I was using the analogue outs from my Oppo BDP-83 at the time and I really struggled to get used to the bass management (or lack of). IIRC there was a problem with the bass levels and after a couple of months I gave up and bought a Marantz SR7005 which I kept for nearly 5 years.

I suppose it's a case of sacrificing convenience, auto EQ and up to date features, and whether or not you're prepared to put in the effort to manually setup the Arcam to get the best out of it.. an SPL meter will be essential for setting speaker levels and you may or may not need some form of external sub EQ which is all additional expense..
 

pressure

Well-known Member
An older Arcam will probably sound pretty nice for stereo analogue music.

They'll be beaten for surround by any decent current amp (say a 2200).

If you current model amp is driving a decent sub / sat package and has audyssey xt32 it will probably do better at stereo for most material too when compared any old Arcam up to about a 300.
 

Artizen

Active Member
My experience… Miller Kreisel speakers across the board.. From Arcam AVR280 to Denon X2200. I prefer the Denon with or without Audyssey engaged for Surround. The Dolby surround up mixer works a treat. For music its a closer run thing, probably a matter of taste when it comes down to it. The Arcam has a sweeter top end reproduction I guess but not as warm. The Arcam was trickier to set up. The Denon a breeze. The newer Atmos codec (and DTS X to come soon) available on the newer receivers blow the older DTS and Dolby Digital codecs away imho. I've introduced MK speakers as front height (Much better than up firing Onkyos which I sold within a month) and the difference really is chalk and cheese. So happy with current set up for really not a lot of money. I even enjoy the radio using the DSU.. A year ago I would have said old quality receiver over new "budget" receiver anyday. Experience has enlightened me. My next upgrade would be higher end Denon or maybe Marantz.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Hd audio is only a small improvement over the sd tracks. So I would still peg the Arcam as sounding better than the budget avr mentioned.
 

Artizen

Active Member
I still have both receivers. The Arcam AVR280 does not sound better than the Denon X2200 in my opinion. Try an old Arcam receiver against a newer receiver in the 400-500 pound mark and make your own mind up.. Dolby Atmos blows away DTS HD let alone older "SD" codecs….. but don't take my word for it You won't get agreement on a forum because everybody respects there own opinion. Go listen and make your own mind up.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I would recommend caution moving to a receiver as old as the AVR300, even when coming from with an entry level Yamaha. I would also not expect much of an improvement in music replay quality in practice, since that is dominated by the Q Accoustics 3020.
 
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