Arcam FMJ A19

Tested at £650
100100
5

Product of the Year, Awards 2013. The A19 needs some pretty specific partnering kit, but once you hit the sonic sweet spot it’s a wonderfully talented amplifier

Comments

I posted the following on Amazon recently but thought the subject of Amplifiers and hearing loss important enough to post on What HiFI Forum. I have an Arcam FMJ A18 but these comments are for the newer Arcam FMJ A19. They could equally apply to other fixed tone Amplifiers like Cyrus 6A etc.

Quote : If the Arcam FMJ A19 had been around some 30/40 years ago, then I would probably have said this amplifier was an absolute winner with superb clarity and depth of sound for the price. Jump forward to today and to my ears the A19 sounds flat, with dull top and bottom end which lacks excitement. That's because like me, most people will suffer from varying degrees of age related hearing loss, particularly in the upper register. Yet amplifiers like the A19 have excluded a means of compensating for hearing loss by removing separate bass and treble controls altogether. It is clear that this type of amplifier is only aimed at the customer who has perfect hearing because the many listeners unfortunate enough to have slightly impaired hearing are bound to be experiencing degraded sound through this unit, albeit not the fault of the amplifier. Regrettably, I'm being slightly misleading here because I am actually using the earlier model Arcam FMJ A18 which HAS got separate bass and treble controls and by making adjustments does recover most of the lost fidelity I once heard. Alternatively, turn on the A18's `Tone Defeat' button and you get a rough idea of what the newer A19 sounds like - and I don't like. And yes, I know I am getting away from a true high fidelity sound by using tone controls but that's all a person like me can do to get towards a better sound for themselves. I really don't see the advantage of having an amplifier without separate bass and treble controls, when one with these attributes would sound identical in the tone defeat mode - who could tell the difference? The HiFi manufacturers and magazines keep plugging these minimalist control units because their designs look and are expensive. For the reasons stated above, I can't really give any meaningful pros and cons for the Arcam FMJ A19 because it does, in my opinion, depend on whether you have A1 hearing or not. For reviewers who absolutely love the sound of the A19, I wish I could still hear what they hear. Unquote

PS Arcam should resurrect the amazing FMJ A18 Amplifier because it does a far better job for some of us.

Hi all.  

 

I have a ProAc D18 speakers paired with an emotiva amp.  I use my PC as source through the aUSB of the Oppo 105 DAC.  I also have a Onkyo PR-SC5509 in the middle as a 'pre-amp' and to connect everything.

 

Would the Arcam A19 be an improvement over my emotiva amp?  I have enjoyed the sound for the past 2 years however there are certain pieces of music I found to be too bright or harsh sounding.  Does the arcam have a warmer presentation that would balance out my system setup?

 

Where I live is almost impossible to audition any matching equipment.  I have heard the caspian m2 with their own roksan speakers but its totally different to my Proac.  The price seems to be too much of a gamble to just buy and see.

 

I absolutely love my ProAc d18 and if I can get the sound less bright or harsh then it would be perfert.

 

Thanks for your advise.

The D18s never struck me as sounding overly bright, so I suspect it's caused by some other part of your system. The Arcam is certainly a smooth amplifier, but it isn't really good enough to show you what the ProAcs can do. In my experince the combination of Roksan Caspian and the D18s works well. 

Does anyone know if the Arcam A19 would make a good partner with the marantz CD6005? Or would the A19 and CD17 sound a lot better? And this is with the focal chorus 714v speakers if that helps 

The Arcam should work well enough with the Marantz CD player. I'd listen to both players before making a decision.

Hi,  iam totally new to use of amplifier. 

I wish to buy fmj A19 and wish to match either q acoustic concept 20 or dali zensor3 or b&w685s2 speakers with sony 790 blyray player. Will it be good. Pls advise. In addition for 50 watts per channel output amplifier what maximum watts speaker shall be used. Pls revert back.

Thank you.

There's no problem with partnering the A19 with any of those speakers. Just pick the one that sounds best to you. I think you'll need a better music source than the Sony 790. It's a great blu-ray player but not good enough musically to show what the Arcam and speakers are capable of.

Hi there. At the moment I've got a Linn Classik paired up with a set of Roksan TR-5 speakers. For most of the time, this sounds pretty smart...but for example, Bitter Sweet Symphony by the Verve, the base just screws the whole song up. 

What I'm looking for is some expert opinions on an amplifier upgrade to get the best out of my speakers. This Arcam review sounds decent, but will it be a big step up from my present set up. Ideally I would have preferred a usb connection, as most of the music that I play comes directly from a laptop...oh and I really don't want to drop below 50 watts, as this is already a bit on the low side. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

I think the Arcam will sound better. It's worth an audition to see if it gives you what you want.

Hi there. I know that this amp has been awarded best in its class, but matching up to the TR-5 speakers is there an amplifier that will give a better sound stage, with depth and timing. Like I've mentioned, ideally it will produce above 50 watts per channel and have a usb connection...or do you think at this level I should really be thinking about upgrading the rdac which I use to connect my laptop? Thanks.

Eerrrr...Yes thanks for all your help. I guess I better ask for help on a proper audio forum aye?

I've had my current set up for a good few years and my amp is just starting to fail.  Would the Arcam be a good partner for my Meridian CD 200 and DAC 203? I'm assuming I'd have to upgrade my KEF Coda 8's to get the most out of the CD and amp.

You don't mention what amplifier you have so it's hard to know whether the Arcam will be an improvement. That aside, the A19 should work well with your CD player. I wouldn't change the KEFs just yet. Have a listen with the Arcam in your system before you decide to make any more changes.

How will Arcam A19 do with Oppo 103 as CD player and Focal Aria 926? too crazy combo?

Hi,

My hearing is a bit impaired towards the upper end of the spectrum so I was wondering if it would be possible to pair this amp with a graphic equaliser? I don't see any send/return sockets on the back but may be missing something.

Thanks

Hello,

I don't think you can add a equaliser to this amplifier.  Rotel's RA-10 has tone controls, and that could do the job. 

No takers, then? Sad

Hi folks, 

would the Arcam A19 be overkill for the Q Acoustics 2010i?

thank you for your awnser.

 

Yes, it is. I'd stick to the likes of Rotel's RA10 or possibly NAD's D 3020, if its features set appeals.

Thank you very much Ketan, very helpful! It saves me a lot of money

 

Arcam FMJ A19 or Rotel 1520 for my Tannoy SRM 15x. I can't decide by myself.

I'll appreciate your suggestion!

Hello everybody.

I am wondering if the  Arcam FMJ A19 amp.   would be better than the Marantz pm6004 amp.

 

If anyone have heard them both and know their sound so he can write down what he is thinking about it.

 

The arcam A19 am cost *3.25 than the marants pm6004's price...

there any justic for paying *3.25 pounds on the Arcam ?

Cant make my mind up if I should go for the A19 or A28 to partner my Monitor Audio RX6 speakers and Audiolab 8200CD player, can anyone help

The only way to decide is to have a listen. Both are good amps.

But which one is best in terms of sound quality

Hi! Any possibility for WHF to test how the A19 behaves with the B&W CM9?

I own a pair of CM9 and I'm trying to test them with the A19 but it looks like none of the shops I know have one available to test!

I would highly appreciate your support and maybe this could be interesting for other readers as well!

Thanks!

Good as the A19 is, I think you'll need something more ambitious to make the CM9s sing.  Something like Roksan's Caspian M2 would be a good starting point if you want to hear what the CM9s can really do.

Yes, but the M2 is more than double the price of the Arcam A19, a totally different planet.

The question is: does the better performance justify the +1.000£ ?

If it's a matter of power/ sound pressure consider that the room is not huge, and I sit 3m away from the speakers.

It's  about quality not loudness. The A19 is a  talented amp for the price, but  not good enough in terms of transparency, resolution and dynamics to show you what the CM9s can really do.

Ok, so last thing to do before buying is now to test the two and make sure I can feel the difference...

thanks Ketan

No problem. Happy to help.

Sorry double post!

Any chance on WHF getting a pair of JBL Studio 570 to review with the Arcam FMJ a19?

Any thoughts on the FMJ A19 driving a pair of Tannoy SRM 10B's (the Red Monitors)?

Hi,

Does the A19 & Audiolab 8200cd work well with Bronze BX5 Monitor Audio floor standing speakers??

mike

Yes, that should work well.

I note that the FMJ A19 is an excellent partner with the Audiolab 8200CD player. What about the addition of Monitor Audio RX6 speakers to that pairing would they make an ideal system

Yes, they should work a treat with that combo.

Thats great as I already have the Audiolab 8200 cd player and Monitor Audio RX6s just need to get my hands on the FMJ A19 now.

I have recently bought a a19 and cd17 and I'm very pleased with the sound, I have left it playing for a few days while at work and each day it seems to sound a bit better, there is ample bass and the level of detail is very good. I'm hearing CDs in a completely different way , auditioned this at hi-fi corner in edinburgh and could not have had a better level of help and understanding of what I was looking to achieve.

i bought the A19 along with a Gyrodec se and i'am waiting on a pair of Tannoy precision 6.4 speakers. I had demo of it before buying and 100% agree with whathifi review.

I also had demo of Arcam cd17 hooked to it ,and could'nt believe how it filled the room with sound at the amp setting.

Given the predecessor A18 was in the range that included the A28 and A38, do we know if Arcam are going to upgrade the others to A29 and A39? My reason for asking is that I had been thinking of getting the A38 following an audition, but am unsure if I should hold out a few more months for the new models. My dealer is not much help I'm afraid - or maybe just keeping his cards close to his chest.

I have it on good authority that arcam will not be replacing the A28 or A38, i have also been informed that the A19 outperforms the A28. 

 I wouldn't be surprised to see such models coming out, but we've heard no word yet from the company.

I auditioned it out of the box new (so not run in at all) with Dynaudio DM7's. It did not sound good to me with this combination...maybe because not run in. Sound was very light and unengaging. Detail was there tho, but not enjoyable listen. I will auditon again with a couple of days run in, and report back if sound is different. This was with Dyns tho, which WHF say isnt a great match.

A better match would be either Kef or Monitor audio, i would'nt partner dynaudio's with this perticular arcam amp.

Is there a matching Arcam CD player? I am a huge fan of same-brand set ups (sadly, because apparently no brand has a full line up of best-in-class products)

I have an Arcam FMJ CD17 which would be a great match up for the A19, currently £500 from Richer Sounds. The next model up is the FMJ CD37 which would probably be overkill for this level of amp.

 

 

 

Full Metal Jacket?

Smile

 

So "Faithful Musical Joy" is out of the window at Arcam?

 

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