Arcam AVR100 A/V Receivers

4.15/5 (93 Reviews) MSRP : $1199.00


Product Description

Dolby Digital/DTS receiver


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Reviews 1 - 5 (93 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Jamesheaven a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 12, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I came to this forum because I am trying to improve the sound of my AV100. I have a great little system a marantz cd player with an arcam alpha amp and mission baby speakers. It sounded amazing. When home cinema was becoming the rage I thought Id upgrade. I went for an Arcam Cd72 cd....and Pro Ac 125 studio speakers mainly on reviews.....I decided to marry the Arcam AV100 with the arcam Cd for balance. the AV100 getting great reviews and being what I thought was the best home cinema amp I could buy....now Ive been very disappointed. the sound has never been any good. I've still got the old system and when I chop and change it's the AV100 that is the weak spot for me. It also frustrates me that my cheap Sony Dvd player actually sounds BETTER than the Arcam Cd....but my old arcam alpha amp....that cost a hundred quid....with the mission speakers that cost the same....sounds better than the AV100 with the the legendary ProAcs....that's go to be wrong. Very disappointed.....I'm going to try Bi amping my old arcam amp with the Av100 and see if we can get an improvement...but be warned, I think receivers...with all the gubbins they cram into those little boxes is a serious sound compromise....sorry Arcam.....

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tommy Chiu a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 25, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Wow most people either love or hate the Arcam AVR200. I'll give my honest opinion. I was looking for a home stereo for many many years and listened to almost everything under the sun. I stopped by the local high end home stereo store where I was introduced to Arcam. At first I wanted to get a dedicated 2 channel stereo of my music and then get a cheap HT system from Best Buy or something. I finally decided I wanted something that'll do both 2 channel and HT very well. The salesman at the store told me the Arcam AVR200 would be my best bet. Obviously the AVR200 sounds better than the Sonys, Pioneer, Onkyos, Denons that I have listened to. I don't care much for the HT capabilities so I just listened to music when I took a demo at the store. It sounded really good for a receiver. I can't say that the AVR200 sounded better than the Adcom 2 channel component system I heard at Ultimate Electronics playing through Def Tech tower speakers (BP2004). My Dynaudio A72 with a 12" sub sounds quite a bit better than the Def Techs. The mid-range was very detailed don't know if that is because of the awesome speakers or the receiver. It was not even close to the Krell and Tag Maclaren they had but look at the price diffence. Power wise it has plenty of power for my taste and size room even though I'm running power hungry Dynaudio A72 speakers. My Dynaudios are 4 ohm speakers. Coming from the car audio background I love bass. With my 12" Acoustic Energy powered sub turned off I popped in my Techmaster PEB bass disc from my car audio days. I can honestly say the AVR200 had enough juice to produce really tight accurate clean computer generated bass with the volume knob up to 62. The AVR200 had no problem controlling the massive amount of cone excursion. And yes it would sound even more tight with more power but it's already plenty of volume for me. As for the HT part I haven't purchased the center channel and the surround speakers yet. I'm waiting to save more money so I can stick with Dynaudio speakers for the whole system.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Music for Pleasure



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by samurray a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 16, 2003

Bottom Line:   
This review is for an Arcam AVR200 and I must confess that I just about didn't keep it. That said, everytime I listen to it I’m happy I did (grin). The AVR200 is such a departure from the typical feature laden products out there. When other brands are offering network connections, component HDTV video switching and flashable bios (Rotel RSX-1055) Arcam offers a product which is comparatively simple in both looks and feature set. So why’d I buy it? One word, its ‘sound’. This receiver produces smooth… accurate sound and is an excellent match to my speakers. At the end of the day I was willing to forego many A/V or HT features because of the musical sound of this receiver. This tradeoff won’t be right for everyone.

So here’s some constructive criticisms of the AVR200:
1. Digital inputs are inflexible. All the digital inputs are fixed to respective inputs. For example, the DVD input assumes your DVD player has a COAX output. Mine only has a TOSLINK output so I use the AUX input (which only has a TOSLINK input) for my DVD. So although the choices they made are reasonable they aren’t flexible.
2. Speaker settings are global. In other words it would be terribly convenient if you could set your speaker sizes and whether the sub was on/off specific to each input. So for HT you could have your sub turned on but for music it was turned off, etc.
3. Only auto-detects audio input digital vs audio. Manually selecting between Auto/Analog/Digital audio inputs would be handy as there are times when you want this kind of control. For example, my Motorola Digital Set-top-box leaves the digital output ‘active’ even when you’re watching analog channels. In this situation it would be nice to be able to manually force it to use the analog input.
4. Minor hiss is audible from 6 inches away. I personally don’t listen to the speakers this close ;-) so it’s not really a big problem.
5. If you plug in both S-video and composite video into an input only the S-video signal is passed.
6. Slow detection of analog vs digital audio sources (minor)
7. One additional video input would be nice.
8. Oh ya, why exactly do you have to have a DVD in your player to enable the receiver to generate test tones for setting up home theatre speaker levels? (Minor considering usual one-time setup)

Here’s a quick summary of what I think the AVR200 does well:
1. Music is just fantastic and engaging. Both multichannel and stereo reproduction is so smooth, dynamic with excellent imaging. IMHO stereo music is just stellar.
2. In two channel stereo listening the analog signal can be passed completely unprocessed.
3. I personally like the non-splashy sound for movie and big blockbusters with orchestral arrangements sound fabulous.
4. The remote is pretty decent and allows me to retire all my other remotes.
5. Easy to operate. There just aren’t that many ‘buttons’ you can push. This may be negative for those button pushers out there. ;-)
6. Simple exterior has very sharp styling.

For context my system consists of:
PSB Image 4T (mains)
PSB Image 8C (centre)
PSB Image 1B (surrounds)
PSB Subsonic 5 (sub)
Adcom GCD-700 CD Changer
Panasonic DVD RP-31K

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $1600.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bbolival a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 18, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I am a happy and proud owner of an Arcam AVR100. It delivers clear and neutral sound thats nice for both DVD viewing and music listening. I use this receiver mainly for music listening and I havent been disappointed. Make sure that you match it with the right components in order to derive the expected musicality. Anything less than that would result to bad sonic experience (the blame is on your substandard components and not the receiver). In other words, dont expect the Arcam to do wonders if your speakers are just average.

My system consists of the following :

Speakers :
Mission 773es (fronts)
Mission 70c2 (center)
Mission 701s (rears)
Mission 70AS (subwoofer)

CD Player:
Marantz 6000 OSE LE

DVD Player:
Onkyo DV-S555

Interconnects:
DH Labs Air Matrix (for Cd player)
DH Labs Silver Sonic BL-1 (stereo for subwoofer)
DH Labs Silver sonic D-75 (for DVD player)

Speaker Cable :
DH Labs Q10 (biwired to 773es)
DH Lab T14 (for center and rear)

With the right set-up, the Arcam AVR100 will make your ears happy. Enough said.

I got my Arcam second-hand over at eBay for $600 and at this price, it's a real bargain for the quality of sound it delivers.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   eBay



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by boc-huns a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 14, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I bought the product for £320 from Richer Sounds in Edinburgh (Richer Sounds is probably the best audio shop in the world, and the Edinburgh staff are just perfect).
I listen primarily to music, mostly classical, hence I wanted an AV applifier that has an audiophile character. This was my first AV amplifier. I saw good reviews for the Arcam AVR-100 in both "Hi-Fi Choice" and in "Sound & Hi-Fi (Ixos & Hi-Fi)", a Hellenic magazine that I highly trust. My initial thought had been to go for the Nakamichi AV-10, which I eventually got, but I went for the Arcam thinking that it may have slightly better sound. Given that Arcam's products are considered by the specialist press to be very competitive in the mid-price hi-fi range, the decision was reasonable.

My system was basic: Marantz PM4000 amplifier, Sony CDPXE570 CD, Denon TU-260 tuner, Nakamichi DR8 deck (the only hi-end piece) and Mission 701 speakers. I was expecting a substantial improvement in the sound by replacing the £150 Marantz with the £800 (typical price) Arcam.
When I connected the AVR-100 into the system, replacing the worthy Marantz, the first fact that stroke me was that the sound could not be turned above 80db! I have a small room (about 3x4 meters), but still to be able to listen to decently I had to use 70% of the available power... The situation was much worse in surround mode, where even at 100% power the sound was too low! Simply this amplifier does not have enough power to be used as a surround sound amplifier! I seriously cannot imagine how anyone with a larger room (or a louder taste) can use this amplifier not only for movies, but even for listening to music...
Regarding the quality of the sound, there was some improvement over the Marantz, mainly in the detail front, but not a great one, and certainly nothing to justify the five times higher price. You have also to take into account that when I connected the Arcam into the system I replaced the standard manufacturers' interconnects and the cheap speaker cables with the award winning QED Qunex 1 and Ixos 603, respectively. Therefore, part of the, small, improvement can be attributed to the new interconnects/cables...
One hour after connecting the amplified I had made the decision to return it. What is difficult to understand is how a, reputable as its seems, audio manufacturer like Arcam made the decision to launch this product! Who gave the "ok" for AVR-100 to reach the market? It is not just an average product it is a really bad product. The impression of this product has affected my general impression of Arcam products (i.e., I can never consider buying an Arcam product again).
Another problem, maybe minor, was that the remote control was not working properly, many times it would not respond, which was upsetting.
Fortunately, I was able to find the Nakamichi AV-10 (£300, great Richer Sounds again), which is amazing. And it is also very difficult to believe that those two products were priced equally (i.e., £800)!
I read the reviews of the AVR-100 in this site and a friend, who defended the product, wrote that if someone gives to it one or two stars there is a hidden agenda. My view is the oposite: if anyone gives anything above two stars (which is too generous anyway)to the AVR-100 this certainly means a hidden agenda!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $320.00




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