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Arcam FMJ Amp choice

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paulsue38's picture
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The New A19 has had excellent reviews and is clearly a very good value amp. However, the A28 and A 38 are starting to discount. Would like to guage what people feel about the realive merits of each amp. Do the improvements that they have made in the design of the A19 outweigh the sonic improvements of say the more expensive A38?

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p_m_brown's picture
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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

Hi there,

I have and love the sound of my Arcam A28. I actually heard an A19 recently with a Kandy CD player to test out some Kef LS50 and I don't think it quite had the guts to get the best out of the them. I've not heard an A38 in comparison so can't give you any insight there other than the say the Arcam house sound sgould be consistent across the amps with the higher range units having more control over dynamics.

It is really is advisable to hear these amps with your speakers though as the relationship between amp and speakers is key!

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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

I wouldn't get too carried away with the 'upgrades' made from the A18 to the A19.  The difference certainly won't be as huge as the difference between the A18 and A38.  If you can stretch to the A38, get one.  It is a superb amplifier.

 

Do audition first though - p_m_brown's advice is spot on.

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plastic penguin's picture
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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

paulsue38 wrote:
The New A19 has had excellent reviews and is clearly a very good value amp. However, the A28 and A 38 are starting to discount. Would like to guage what people feel about the realive merits of each amp. Do the improvements that they have made in the design of the A19 outweigh the sonic improvements of say the more expensive A38?

Looking at your sig I'd say the A38 would better the Kandy and be good enough to make the most of the Spendors. The Kandy LIII is darn good amp and would take at least Caspian, Leema or Arcam A38 to better it.

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paulsue38's picture
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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

Many thanks, from the responses so far sounds like the A38 is a good choice. I would also like to change the CD player as well eventally. How have you got on with the Naim so far? Would be a good combination with the Spendors I think.

Paul

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plastic penguin's picture
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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

paulsue38 wrote:

Many thanks, from the responses so far sounds like the A38 is a good choice. I would also like to change the CD player as well eventally. How have you got on with the Naim so far? Would be a good combination with the Spendors I think.

Paul

Surprisingly the Naim is very good with my amp (still can't stand the look, though), however, I would suggest the Arcam and Naim may not quite hit the mark. If you go for the A38 I strongly recommend CD37 or, if you want to use a different brand, Exposure CD 2010S2. The synergy is very good between Arcam and Exposure.

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matthewpiano's picture
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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

CD37 + A38 is a wonderful combination.  If I had the money I wouldn't hesitate.

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Ben K.'s picture
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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

matthewpiano wrote:

CD37 + A38 is a wonderful combination.  If I had the money I wouldn't hesitate.

+1

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paulsue38's picture
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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

Ben K. wrote:

matthewpiano wrote:

CD37 + A38 is a wonderful combination.  If I had the money I wouldn't hesitate.

+1

Thanks to everyone for replying. Ben, how would you decribe the A38?

Paul

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Ben K.'s picture
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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

I would say that it is tonally neutral, has a wide soundstage, good separation, well controlled bass, good detail presented in a subtle way, handles all genres very well. Obviously I love it and that's why I bought it but try and get a demo as you may not agree. Also your partnering equipment is very different to mine which could mean a total change in sound.

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crusaderlord's picture
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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

Ben K. wrote:

I would say that it is tonally neutral, has a wide soundstage, good separation, well controlled bass, good detail presented in a subtle way, handles all genres very well.

a good summary - the A38 has a more upfront midband that its predecessor the A32 which was more laid back and the A38 is a beaufiful amplifier with wide and airy soundstage, great detail but a sweet treble and weighty but controlled bass are its strengths. What A38 does give you is more depth and weight to the bass than the cheaper models and if you can stretch will likely prevent you thinking again about an upgrade. as mentioned the A38 and CD37 are a stunning combination to listen to and really dont see the point it trying to match with other brand CD players if you afford the CD37. a demo is still a good idea though as people have different tastes.

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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

crusaderlord wrote:

Ben K. wrote:

I would say that it is tonally neutral, has a wide soundstage, good separation, well controlled bass, good detail presented in a subtle way, handles all genres very well.

a good summary - the A38 has a more upfront midband that its predecessor the A32 which was more laid back and the A38 is a beaufiful amplifier with wide and airy soundstage, great detail but a sweet treble and weighty but controlled bass are its strengths. What A38 does give you is more depth and weight to the bass than the cheaper models and if you can stretch will likely prevent you thinking again about an upgrade. as mentioned the A38 and CD37 are a stunning combination to listen to and really dont see the point it trying to match with other brand CD players if you afford the CD37. a demo is still a good idea though as people have different tastes.

I would agree with that review

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paulsue38's picture
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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

As an update I have just bought an A38 in Silver on special offer delivered for £720 so not a bad deal. Early impressions are good but I assume it will need some running in time? Just need a new CD player now to go with the A38 and my Spendor A3's? Any suggestions gratefully received. The CD 37 is too expensive for me at the moment.

 Paul

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Ben K.'s picture
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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

That is a very good price. I would imagine that it will not need running in tbh. What is your budget for a cdp? I tried out a roksan k2 cdp and thought it worked very well with the arcam. Not heard your speakers so not sure what to suggest although I would imagine the arcam cd17 would work well. If you can demo try marantz pearl lite, audiolab 8200, rega apollo r also. I'm sure most cdps in the same price bracket will work well and all offer subtle differences but those differences can be very important long term.

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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

paulsue38 wrote:
the A28 and A 38 are starting to discount.

Which would seem to indicate an A29 and A39 are on the way. Personally I'd wait to audition the new amps when they first come out, and then try to pick up a discounted A28 or A38 if I didn't think there were worthwhile improvements. As you can see, the A18 is availablea at a discount even though the A19 has been released.

I'd definitely want to audition to see what worked best/what I liked best, but I'd be leaning towards the A28 or A38 over A19.

 

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paulsue38's picture
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RE: Arcam FMJ Amp choice

Ben K. wrote:

That is a very good price. I would imagine that it will not need running in tbh. What is your budget for a cdp? I tried out a roksan k2 cdp and thought it worked very well with the arcam. Not heard your speakers so not sure what to suggest although I would imagine the arcam cd17 would work well. If you can demo try marantz pearl lite, audiolab 8200, rega apollo r also. I'm sure most cdps in the same price bracket will work well and all offer subtle differences but those differences can be very important long term.

Thanks Ben,  a useful list for me to consider.

Paul

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