7 x 100w/channel, 2 x 120w/channel, Dolby Digital EX, DTS ES, DTS 24/96, Dolby Pro logic IIx 2-7 channel, video up-conversion to component or RGB, HDTV compatible component/RGB switching, second zone output with audio and video, 2-way RS232 control port, RDS tuner, backlit remote control.
I listen most to 2 channel music, but I also want surround sound for movies. I had a lot of recivers, and some integrated amps. I can say at once, nothing I ever had, can compare to this reciver.
It may not seem that 7*100W is mutch, but I can tell you that real 100W is so lound! It realy comes to the power-supply, and how they messure that power.
This reciver deliver 100W per channel when every channel is driven. Most recivers messure this rating when one or two channel is driver. Just try it, and you will hear how powerfull it is!!
It's just music comming out of this thing. It's powerfull, and It's so natural, everything that comes out of it. Just as it should be. You must pay a lot to get something bether that this.
What is also nice, is that you can build everything around it. If you later want more power, you can connect seperate amps. for every channel. The analog stage is also great. Put on the greatest CD-player, and you will hear the sound of it. There is realy no greater place to start building your dream settup, because from the start you get almost everything :)
My settup is:
Arcam Avr300 Reciver
Pioneer 868i DVD-player
Focal Electra 1007 Beryllium Front speakers
Focal Jm-lab Cobalt 806 Surround speakers
Rel stampade Sub.
Panasonic PT-AE700 Projector
Tara-labs and Harmonic tech. Cables.
Very good review on top... just to add a few things:
I used the same products rotel 1067, denon 3805 and nad t773 (kept this one) along wiht the arcam.
Few extra qualities of the arcam are that it video upconverts as the review says. Not only that it would display the menu via component.. the nad cannot display menu via component only via svhs/rca.
Also the bass management is very pleasing with this unit. The nad has a flaw in my opinion with bass management that is it will not send out subwoofer signal in dolby pro logic unless your speakers some are set to small.
This is a hands down winner from the nad because its refined (clearer and natural and warm sounding).
I found the nad to be a wee bit on the harsh side.
Rotel was a bit harsher than the nad and much compared to the arcam.
IF i were to rate the recivers in a descending order starting from my first choice i would do.
- Arcam AVR300
- NAD T773
- Rotel 1067
- Denon 3805 and or other similar fare.
In my quest for the 'right' sound, I've been down many roads over many years. And in most cases, feel I've been burned more times than 'blown away'.
I've owned many AV receivers over the years ranging from Sony, Technics, Marantz, Onkyo and Pioneer (in that order). In each situation, I always felt I was not actually hearing what I should be hearing, but was instead listening to a filtered presentation with each manufacturer putting his or her own 'brand name' on the sound. I don't know about you, but when I'm spending my hard earned coin on AV, I like the component to get out of the way and the music to come though. However, this almost never seems to happen in a receiver... flagships too.
So what did I do? I sold and I sold and I sold, and I upgraded and upgraded and so on... until i finally junked the last receiver and went with Anthem separates. AVM20 to be exact. Every time was extracted from my wallet to purchase this technological jem. So much so, it left me broke for things like 5 channel amps and whatnot. But, I was able to squeeze just enough more out to pick up the MCA 20... a companion 2 channel amp.
So, I should at this point be very happy, right? I mean, I've sold every Ford and Chev I'd ever owned to go up to Lexus/BMW level, right? Wrong! I don't know if it was the Pre, or the Amp (I think the amp) but the performance never reached out and grabbed me. It had some of the upper dynamics that an Onkyo has, and some of the mid/bass that a Pioneer has, but it never had an actual sonic magic that would make music come alive!
After spending a year trying to force myself into the belief that I was happy with the combo, I broke down and decided there has to be an easier way, a simpler way. Is there no AV Receiver that can give me the supposed dynamics of separates, but at the price of an actual AV Receiver? The answer... finally... in 2004... is a YES!
Enter the AVR300. FINALLY!!!!!! FINALLY I'm happy! Smooth, articulate, great musical presence, perfect detailed sound decays, not too sharp, not too boomy, just right! If I'm Goldylocks, please don't wake me from this dream!
Ok, time to get serious now. What makes this AV piece great is not just the music (which should be 80% reason to by, as is) but there's so much more.
The 300 series offers up a huge toridal amp delivering 100 high current watts for up to 7 channels. You'd never tell from the outside as to the amps size inside, it looks so understated on the outside - but still classy. And also being Brit made, this would be James Bonds kind of techno gear.
Every button is easily laid out, setup is a snap, the remote is nearly identical to Anthem's gear and is also very easy to use and program.
All video is upconverted to S-video and Component, so hook everything up as you need, and just run one connection to your TV. Video bandwidth is HD quality, so no worries there.
Build feel is solid, all connectors on the back are gold plated, it has hookups for 3 component vid. jacks... the list just goes on and on.
So, with my mad ranting out the way, I'd also like to mention that I feel this piece would also make an excellent PreAmp! It's processing and sound bested my Anthem gear! So if you're looking at getting an Anthem AVM30, or a used AVM20, I would suggest testing this piece with a separate amp first. You just could save some serious coin!
And, if you've been looking at AV receivers of late, you know there's only a select view that really give you some great bang for the buck in either processing, ampification, or both. The short list is...
All of these pieces have similar feature sets to the Arcam, but lost out for the following reasons:
Nad... very good sound, but not as good as Arcams, plus some QC issues with prev. models. And the thing is very tall. Arcam fits a huge amp in a mid-size but robust chassis. Also, I always felt the Nad look was a bit ill-fitting with other companies gear you might own. The matte gray look is crap.
Denon... where's the torodial amp? Nice sound, yes, a quality contender! But the Arcam sound did seem a better. If I was using either as JUST a PreAmp, I might consider the Denon... just for some of it's exhaustive prosessing feature sets (also does HDCD) and includes a phono connector. But for the complete package, with the better amp BUILT IN, I feel Arcam wins. It just sounds right when doing CD, SACD, DVD, etc, etc. No one but Arcam can seem to do this as perfectly across the board. Also, the Denon look seems a bit dated and the remote is a step back in usability.
Rotel... very nice piece. Sounds about the same as the Arcam, with more beef in the Amp section. But considering the price is about 800 more Canadian, I'd hope for a bigger amp section. Layout and looks are also on par with Arcam's, that's for sure. My recommendation with the extra 800 would be to get the Arcam, purchase an additional EXTERNAL amp for the fronts.. which would then beat Rotel.