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Hayche's picture
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arcam a19 :( alternatives?

Hi folks

OK so i went out on a limb and bought a arcam a19 based on WHFs reviews and i must say i am very disapointed,i am new to hifi and now i realise what they mean when they say laid back!.The drums have no energy and the bass has no drive,200 hz sounds like 400 hz,its ike there is a HP filter rolled off at 200 hzon it,i believe this amp is more for classical music,not for me as i love drums and driving bass!

I did think it could be my audiolab mdac source with foobar asio4all but its the same bypassed with my sony walkman straight into the amp,the mdac sounds fine with my sony earbuds!

I do know my wharfdale 122s (go down to 45 hz)are capable of what i want because they had lots of 50-200 hz clout with my denon m39 but just not the seperation and soundstage,the soustage is fantastic with the arcam but for me it is just losing that energy.

Could anybody recommend a amp for me in the same £600 - £700 budget,From what i have been reading the naim nait 5i sounds more to my taste,also thinking about listening to the marantz pearl lite and the roksan k2,altho nobody seems to stock the marantz and naim to listen!

Oh i have also learnt you should listen before you buy haha  :cry:

 

H

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Oh dear...Go and find

Oh dear...
How long have you had the Arcam?

WHFIS&V do state on the REVIEW (read carefully) that the A19: "Its strengths might not be immediately apparent."

If you're not prepared to give it a couple of weeks then go and find yourself a Naim and Roksan dealer and have a listen.

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I have heard most of the

I have heard most of the recent Arcam amps and must say, that the A19 is particularly strong. Maybe you are experiencing better grip over your speakers rather than bass boom.

Arcam is known for being smooth but given you source is an MDAC, should be a great partnership. Are you able to take the am in to the store to test it.

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RE: I have heard most of the

Oh, and do check the speakers are wired correctly - out of phase can dramatically reduce perceived bass response

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RE: Oh dear...Go and find

Bear in mind that the sound you are getting is a combination of amp + speakers, and how their characteristics mix. The Arcam is a great choice for the money, but that doesn't mean you will like the match with every set of speakers. 

Before changing the amp, would you consider trying it with different speakers. For a cleaner livelier sound, you might consider brands like Usher, Tannoy, Focal, Neat, Kef R Series and Triangle.

I take it you have the Wharfedales on decent stands (prefereably filled) of the correct height (tweeters at ear level when seated) and positioned correctly (close enough for bass reinforcement) with the right toe-in. If you have a suspended wooden floor, you may need some Granite under the stands.......Paying attention to all these things can transform the sound.

 

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Oh dear...Go and find

All good points but considering he was asking about a Rega Brio-R a week ago, the amp is no more than a few days old, hence why I posted the response I did...

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RE: Oh dear...Go and find

plastic penguin wrote:

All good points but considering he was asking about a Rega Brio-R a week ago, the amp is no more than a few days old, hence why I posted the response I did...

It was very sensible advice, but if the basics aren't correct (and I don't  know that they aren't), the system will never live up to its potential.

I wish I had a pound for every time this sort of problem could be traced back to suboptimal setup / room acoustics. 

The Arcam and Creek are the amps to beat at this price imo.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Oh dear...Go and find

I think you need to listen to a few different combinations of speaker and amps to try and find the sort of presentation you like. All the reviews in the world won't tell you what you will like best unfortunately. If you can't demo the makes you have read might be good for you just try and demo whatever makes you can and pick from them. At least that way you will know what you are getting before parting with the cash.

I enjoy reading what hifi reviews and agree with some and not with others but that will be the same for everyone as we're all different including the review team. My hifi comprises of two 4 star and one 3 star component and I would give it 5 stars as a system.

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RE: Oh dear...Go and find

CnoEvil wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:

All good points but considering he was asking about a Rega Brio-R a week ago, the amp is no more than a few days old, hence why I posted the response I did...

It was very sensible advice, but if the basics aren't correct (and I don't  know that they aren't), the system will never live up to its potential.

I wish I had a pound for every time this sort of problem could be traced back to suboptimal setup / room acoustics. 

The Arcam and Creek are the amps to beat at this price imo.

Despairing! can't believe anyone could actually purchase without listening/comparing, and that'll eradicate/tweak the basics before money is handed over.

Agree totally about Arcam and Creek being the benchmarks at that price.

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RE: arcam a19 :( alternatives?

Assuming the speakers haven't moved, the radical change you describe sounds like something else may be amiss. As previously suggested, check & double-check your speaker cables. If the phasing is definitely correct then try a session of just listening to the music rather than the sound. By which I mean not trying to analyze or compare with the Denon but just try to enjoy the music. It could be a case of the amp needing to run in, although I have my own doubts about that, or that your ears just need to adjust to a more HiFi sound than the Denon could provide.

 

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RE: arcam a19 :( alternatives?

I have had the arcam for 4 days, I would hope the sound would change with a run in but I find that hard to believe. The speakers are setup on a solid oak sideboard at either side of the tv,not great i know! I will get stands in the future when my little girl is old enough not to poke them. 

I cannot change the speakers for a while as they are a birthday present, I did love the sound of them with the denon it just produced louder  bass,even at lower volumes, everything is subtle with the arcam. 

From what I have read thus far the nad,rotel and roksan amps could be more for me. I think I need something more aggressive and aloof. Not as clinical

I will take a listen later and just try and enjoy the music, I'm also go an hook the denon back up later to listen again. 

I am sorry for not taking advice off my other threads as I never knew I got a reply,email notifications are not on!

 

H

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RE: arcam a19 :( alternatives?

Hayche wrote:

I have had the arcam for 4 days, I would hope the sound would change with a run in but I find that hard to believe. The speakers are setup on a solid oak sideboard at either side of the tv,not great i know! I will get stands in the future when my little girl is old enough not to poke them. . 

From what I have read thus far the nad,rotel and roksan amps could be more for me. I think I need something more aggressive and aloof. Not as clinical

I will take a listen later and just try and enjoy the music, I'm also go an hook the denon back up later to listen again. 

I am sorry for not taking advice off my other threads as I never knew I got a reply,email notifications are not on!

 

H

In your original post you said Naim looked to be ideal. You'll certainly get more sonic aggression from the Naim - but Arcam clinical? :doh:

First (a week ago) you mention Rega and Roksan, now you're saying Naim, Nad and Rotel...

All the amps you've mentioned are terrific but all have their own quirks. It's about which "quirk" takes your fancy... you won't this until you audition!

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RE: arcam a19 :( alternatives?

Best amp. I heard at that price was the Creek 50A, for rock the Roksan Kandy 2 is worth trying. Pearl lite are scarce now. 

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Thanks for the help guys I

Thanks for the help guys

I have now realised it is down to my room acoustics, if I stand up and slightly to the right the bass and all the clout is there, the bass was that prominent with the denon that it was there in my seating position but overbearing when stood up. I am gonna keep the arcam as the soundstage and separation is superb! Need to sort my room out!

H

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RE: Thanks for the help guys I

Hayche wrote:
Thanks for the help guys I have now realised it is down to my room acoustics, if I stand up and slightly to the right the bass and all the clout is there, the bass was that prominent with the denon that it was there in my seating position but overbearing when stood up. I am gonna keep the arcam as the soundstage and separation is superb! Need to sort my room out! H

To get good results, you need to treat the disease and not the symptoms.......good job.......what you have discovered will save you a fortune.

For a start, try isolating the speakers from the cabinet with £8 Granite Worktop Savers from Argos and some Blu-Tak.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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I will Deffo try that thanks

I will Deffo try that thanks

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