Have your say & ask the experts!

Arcam FMJ A19 - has anyone heard it yet?

26 replies [Last post]
royston67's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 24
RE: Arcam FMJ A19 - has anyone heard it yet?

I bought an a19 last week to replace my old faithful delta 290.

its now paired with my delta 290 p and I have to say they sound is a lot crisper and cleaner than the delta though im still trying to get the best set up with regards to bi amping.

although the a19 has 25 watts per channel less than the delta is seems to deliver the sound in a more efficient way, so it instantly sounds better than before.

I have only ran it for about two hours as one of my tweeter crossovers failed on my speakers, the will return from wilmslow audio tomorrow so will get the amp run in properly this week coming.

The major plus point to the a19 is the headphone amp which I have to say sounds fantastic and if you have a good set of headphones to utilise its worth having over the a18. We have a 3 year old in the house so this comes in handy for night listening.

option to use the r blink with a 19 is thinking out of the box for arcam and will come in useful for streaming from other sources if needed.

decent amp for the money and time will tell if being made in china is a problem.

ID.
ID.'s picture
Offline
Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 1321
RE: Arcam FMJ A19 - has anyone heard it yet?

Happy_Listner wrote:

 

Hello everyone, I am new here.

The biggest difference, at least for me and to which no one else has mentioned yet, between the Arcam A18 and A19 is that the new version is now made in China and no longer in the U.K..  doh! 

If you look on the back of an A18 it says Designed and Made in the U.K. and  then on the A19 it just says Designed in the U.K., only. Arcam might as well stick a giant Made in China label on the back of the A19 and be honest about it all. Not sure about you but this bothers me. Lost U.K. jobs and more money in the pockets of upper managent at Arcam because the A19 cost the same as the A18 did. They didn't pass the savings of low cost labor onto us the consumer. The savings went somewhere else. 

The other differences between the A18 and A19 are:

Accessory Power port in the back of the A19 to power smaller Arcam devices. Not sure if it's a big deal as a wall outlet works just fine.

Same 50 watt output into 8 ohms both channles driven BUT the A19 has more rated power into a 4 ohm load than the A18 does. 90 watts versus 70 watts with one channel driven.

The A19 weighs more than the A18 does. 8.5kg versus 7.2kg. 

The A19 comes with a cheaper looking and made remote control than the A18 does. Not sure if the A19 remote can control the Arcam CD17 player like the better looking A18 remote can.

Some differences in specifications listed with both the MM phono stage and headphone socket/amp. Not sure if this is good or bad? The A19's MM phono input sensitivity at 1kHz has rating of only 5mV with no other range given. The A18 has a sensitivity at 1kHz  rated with a range of 2.5 to 15mV. I am not 100% versed in phono knowledge but it would seem that the A18 has a better and more versatile MM phono stage than the A19 does and also it should be easier to match up with a wider range of MM phono cartridges. 

Headphone specifications for the A19 for a maximum ouput level into 600 ohms is at 4V and the for the A18 is 600 ohms at 7V. I'm guessing V stands for Volts? Aren't 7 volts better than 4 volts?

The A19 lacks some buttons on the left side that the A18 has. There is no processor mode button anywhere on the A19 and there are no longer any bass and treble contol buttons on the A19. The A18 has all of these. 

The layout in back is now different. The speaker binding posts has now moved to the right side on the A19 versus the left side of the A18. 6 line inputs on the A19 versus 5 on the A18. But the A18 has both in and out PVR and in and out AV inputs. Both the A18 and A19 have pre-outs. The A19 only has one record out inputs and no PVR or AV inputs.

Stupidly on the A19 the phono input is 3 inputs over from the grounding screw. On the A18 the phono input is right next to it.

Have not had a chance to see a picture of the inside of the A19 yet. So can not tell what differences there might be between the two on the inside.

Even though both the A19 and A18 look almost identical, somehow the A19 just looks cheaper made to me. Would have to see and feel the finish in person. At least the layout of the A19 does not seem as good as the A18's. The back of the A19 is laid out oddly and is missing some inputs. The front of the A19 is also lacking of few buttons that the A18 has. Throw in a cheaper remote, perhaps not as good a phono stage, and Made in China, and the clear winner for me is the A18. 

The only thing going for the A19 is an accessory port (not a big deal) and a slightly better 4 ohm power rating. Whether or not this translates into the A19 driving speakers better or sounding better remains to be heard. 

For me I was on the fence about getting an A18 for my second system to replace my old Creek 4030 that recently broke down. When I heard about the A19 I did some research and realized that I much prefer the A18 for the above reasons. In fact I just bought one yesterday. I could have bought either the A18 or the A19 as the store carried them both. No discount either on the A18, both were priced the same. Even though I chose the Made in the U.K. Arcam A18. I think I made the right choice.  Smile

 

 

 

Thorough analysis of the features, but isn't the real issue, "How does it sound?"

Weak correlation between your user name and post Happy_Listner Wink

TBH, faetures/spec. only tell you a very small part of the story, although I appreciate your desire to have the maximum economic benefit kept within your own country.

__________________

Desk-Fi: Mac Mini - NuForce Icon HDP - Fostex PM0.4n - Audio Technica ATH900x - Sennnheiser HD595 - Grado SR80i

Bedroom system: Esoteric RZ-1 - PMC DB1i / iPod Classic - Onkyo NDS1000 - Firestone Audio FUBAR IV

Happy_Listner's picture
Offline
Joined: 27 Jan 2013
Posts: 71
RE: Arcam FMJ A19 - has anyone heard it yet?

See my reply Comment to ID.

Happy_Listner's picture
Offline
Joined: 27 Jan 2013
Posts: 71
RE: Arcam FMJ A19 - has anyone heard it yet?

 

ID.

You say an analysis of the build and features of an amp is not the real issue? Of course it's part of the issue. It is for a lot of people when they buy an amp. So according to you the only criteria for an amp purchase is how does it sound? Well, I disagree. Both are important.

You further go on to say that because I do not like the A19 over the A18 that somehow my name Happy_Listener is a "weak corrlelation to my post"?? I find that statement ridiculous on so many levels. It's too bad if opinion bothers you. It is possible to be happy while enjoying music and still not like every audio componet out there isn't it? This is a hobby. 

I took the time to gather and give a very thoughtful analysis of the various differences between the two amps. It's up to you to go listen to the two and decide which one sounds better. I can not do that for you.

This was my first post and you jump on me for no reason. It's not cool. If you want to buy an amp that is based solely on sound quality alone and that sounds best to you then go ahead, but don't disrespect someone else because they don't follow your only criteria of "How does it sound" when purchasing an amp. 

 

ID.
ID.'s picture
Offline
Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 1321
RE: Arcam FMJ A19 - has anyone heard it yet?

Happy_Listner wrote:

 

ID.

You say an analysis of the build and features of an amp is not the real issue? Of course it's part of the issue. It is for a lot of people when they buy an amp. So according to you the only criteria for an amp purchase is how does it sound? Well, I disagree. Both are important.

You further go on to say that because I do not like the A19 over the A18 that somehow my name Happy_Listener is a "weak corrlelation to my post"?? I find that statement ridiculous on so many levels. It's too bad if opinion bothers you. It is possible to be happy while enjoying music and still not like every audio componet out there isn't it? This is a hobby. 

I took the time to gather and give a very thoughtful analysis of the various differences between the two amps. It's up to you to go listen to the two and decide which one sounds better. I can not do that for you.

This was my first post and you jump on me for no reason. It's not cool. If you want to buy an amp that is based solely on sound quality alone and that sounds best to you then go ahead, but don't disrespect someone else because they don't follow your only criteria of "How does it sound" when purchasing an amp. 

 

Apologies if you felt that I jumped on you. My point is that, although features are important, the sound is also important, but nothing on the sound was addressed in your post. Really, I can look up the features myself and I can find cheaper amps with more features and higher specs that won't sound as good. Apologies again for my bad joke regarding the correlation between listening (or is your surname Listner?) and the apparent lack of listening in your opinion - humour doesn't transmit very well on forums and it probably wasn't particularly funny to begin with ;) It was just highlighting that it didn't seem as if you'd listened to the amp and the OP did ask whether anyone had heard it yet.

Don't disrespect someone just because they might point out that there is more to a piece of kit than the specifications (just as there's more to buying a piece of kit than how it sounds). I meant no disrespect, my intention was only to bring some balance, and I'm sorry if I did it in a way that seemed like a personal attack beauty, eh

__________________

Desk-Fi: Mac Mini - NuForce Icon HDP - Fostex PM0.4n - Audio Technica ATH900x - Sennnheiser HD595 - Grado SR80i

Bedroom system: Esoteric RZ-1 - PMC DB1i / iPod Classic - Onkyo NDS1000 - Firestone Audio FUBAR IV

Happy_Listner's picture
Offline
Joined: 27 Jan 2013
Posts: 71
RE: Arcam FMJ A19 - has anyone heard it yet?

ID.,

Apology accepted. Thank you. 

I guess I should have clarified that I did not mention the sound quality of the A19 because I didn't get the chance to listen to it. The store only had the A18 and said it could order me a A19 if I prefered. After that I went back home to do some research and found out those differences between the two that a wrote about in my orginal post. 

Sound quality does matter a lot. For all I know the A19 sounds better than the A18. Wish I could tell you.

However, I came to my decision to buy the A18 over the A19 because A) I already liked the sound quality of the A18. It was smooth and detailed and seemed to have enough power to drive both the B&W CM8's and 684's to fairly high volume levels before distorting. Loud enough than I tend to listen to anyways. I didn't think I really needed the added power into 4 ohms that the A19 provides. B) I like the prossessor and the tone control buttons the A18 has but the A19 lacks. C) Was not sure that the A19's phono stage was of the same quality as the A18's is and my dealer couldn't tell me. D) I like the remote control better for the A18. E) Proven quality and reliability. Now that they moved the amp production for the A19 to China I am not sure how reliable it will be in the long run. The A18 has been out for a few years an has a proven track record of reliability.

Then finally, it just bothers me that Arcam moved it's production to China. It personally makes me feel better to own the A18 knowing it was made in England. It would have always nawed at me looking at the A19 knowing that it's from China. 

Those are my personal reasons for choosing the A18 over the A19. Sorry I can't tell about the sound quality of the A19.

I doubt that A19 is a vast improvment in sound quality over the A18. If it is indeed better at all then I assume it's small. There would have to be vast improvment in sound qaulity for me to even consider the A19. If the improvment is only slight then I would have still chosen the A18.

Cheers  beauty, eh

ID.
ID.'s picture
Offline
Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 1321
RE: Arcam FMJ A19 - has anyone heard it yet?

Happy_Listner wrote:

I doubt that A19 is a vast improvment in sound quality over the A18. If it is indeed better at all then I assume it's small. There would have to be vast improvment in sound qaulity for me to even consider the A19. If the improvment is only slight then I would have still chosen the A18.

Cheers  beauty, eh

This is often the case with new products, which means it can be a great opportunity to pick up the outgoing model at a good price, although it doesn't sound like big discounts are being offered on the A18.

__________________

Desk-Fi: Mac Mini - NuForce Icon HDP - Fostex PM0.4n - Audio Technica ATH900x - Sennnheiser HD595 - Grado SR80i

Bedroom system: Esoteric RZ-1 - PMC DB1i / iPod Classic - Onkyo NDS1000 - Firestone Audio FUBAR IV

markiedee's picture
Offline
Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 144
RE: Arcam FMJ A19 - has anyone heard it yet?

My thing is this as long as the product looks feels and sounds good then i'm easy, and so far i'm really impressed the arcam it has alot more heft to it than many av receivers i've owned and looks solid. Many companys these days have there products designed in the uk and made under license in china isn't b&w speakers now made in china now???

__________________

 loewe individual compose 46" 3D tv - Xbox 250GB - ps3 120GB - Apple iPad mini retina 32g

Happy_Listner's picture
Offline
Joined: 27 Jan 2013
Posts: 71
RE: Arcam FMJ A19 - has anyone heard it yet?

Markledee,

The Arcam A19 might be made perfectly well, I am sure the Chinese can make great products, but I am not as "easy" as you are about jobs being shipped overseas. Arcam is a U.K. company and thier products should be made by people that live there.

Henry Ford said it right a long time ago, he wanted everyone that worked in his factory making Model-T cars to be paid enough money so they too could afford the very same cars that they made. If the person who made Arcam A18 amplifiers no longer has their job then how can they afford to buy an A19?

To answer your question, yes, B&W does make their 6 series and CM series speakers in China. So too are most KEF speakers, but KEF is Chinese owned now so it makes a little more sense. 

I have great respect for companies like Sugden and Rega. All of their products are designed and made in the U.K.. If Rega can make the Brio-R in the U.K. and sell it for a profit for 498 pounds then whay can't Arcam make the A19 in the U.K. and sell it for thier listed price of 650 pounds??

The answer is Arcam can but they don't. Instead Arcam chooses to pass the savings of cheap labour onto themsleves and not on to the customer. In fact Arcam is giving you the privilage of buying thier Chinese made A19 for 150 pounds more than what they were selling the U.K. made A18 for. 

Sounds like a bad deal to me.

Mark, I really am not trying to peronally knock your purchase of the A19, and I am sure it is a fine amp, but for me personally I just couldn't buy one. Not when the A18 is still available. 

 

 

fatman's picture
Offline
Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 143
RE: Arcam FMJ A19 - has anyone heard it yet?

No discount on the A18?  Both the A18 and A19 priced the same?  Jeepers.  Richer Sounds were offering the A18 at £299..

ID.
ID.'s picture
Offline
Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 1321
RE: Arcam FMJ A19 - has anyone heard it yet?

fatman wrote:

 Jeepers.  Richer Sounds were offering the A18 at £299..

 

That's good to hear. Not being in the UK I was going on hearsay.

__________________

Desk-Fi: Mac Mini - NuForce Icon HDP - Fostex PM0.4n - Audio Technica ATH900x - Sennnheiser HD595 - Grado SR80i

Bedroom system: Esoteric RZ-1 - PMC DB1i / iPod Classic - Onkyo NDS1000 - Firestone Audio FUBAR IV