Arcam AVR30

Anyone here using this A/V receiver successfully?

I have the Arcam AVR850, and am interesting in anything additional that the AVR may bring, however my dealer has had so many firmware issues with the AVR30 (seems Arcam still haven’t got it right and are using customers to beta test the product), including bass management and DIRAC Live issues that he’s reluctant to demo or sell me one.

In addition, I’m still configured as 5.1 and can’t easily go to Atmos, so no benefit there (AVR850 will also support Atmos, should I want it).

Anyone else on here have issues with this product?

George.

I’m still regularly using an Arcam AVR350 and having recently started looking at a refresh but with no need to support speaker setup beyond 5.1 I looked at the Anthem MRX520. My Naim dealer stocks them and I’ve been impressed with what I heard of that.
I can’t say I’d go for a new/current Arcam AV amp personally, I think the generation I have is about the last before they went off the rails quality/stability wise.

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Many thanks @Mr.M - I agree that Arcam is a pale shadow of what it was - probably because it’s now part of Harmon Kardon - itself a part of the mega Samsung Empire. Certainly their customer service is nothing to write home about, and the fact that they’ve introduced a new product that isn’t yet fully developed (not the only company to do this btw!) is galling. I’m actually quite pleased with my 850, but it’s my second as the first one had to go back with a serious fault - also mine is running an early firmware version, as later versions ‘break’ functionality and SQ. I was only wandering about the AVR30 in the sense of whether (once it works faultlessly) it offers any improvements over the 850.

Terry Ellis (of Persuit of Perfect Syystems) on YouTube has videoed the many trials and tribulations of the ACVR30 - he’s a DIRAC Live calibrator and has also had no end of issues.

Tempted to stay as I am, but was wondering if anyone has any experiences with the AVR30…

George.

If I were you and it was an either or decision I’d almost certainly stick with your current 850.
My main motivation having an older generation AVR is that all my audio has to be routed using optical digital or through an external DAC so it’s a chance to simplify the cabling setup mostly, other than that its fine for what I need it to do.
I did have it serviced a few years back as the digital
inputs started failing but apart from that despite it being basic by todays standards it works well and is capable for 2 channel vinyl duties.
I think it’s partly why I’ve taken so long to replace it as almost anything current is significantly more complex overall.

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Thanks @Mr.M! Agree with not needing the extra complexity, however the SQ uplift from moving from my previous Pioneer A/V (plus 4K HDMI switching that the Pioneer didn’t have) was enough justification. I’m not worried about 2 channel (even though I have an NDX2 connected for ‘light” music duties) as I have a separate music room with a Naim 500 rig.

I think @Tonym has an AVR30 - I saw it in his system video - so may hear back from him on his experiences with the AVR30.

Thanks again.

George.

Hi Folks,

Yes, I recently got an AVR30 to replace my Denon 7200. In the past, I’ve used a MiniDSP Dirac processor, which I was always impressed with, so I was keen to go back to that system. I’m running an Atmos 7.1.4 system, so having a good room correction system is very worthwhile. The Denon uses Audyssey, which is not at all bad. However, the latest Dirac is in a different class entirely - it’s staggeringly good, and the AVR30’s internal amplification is a significant improvement also. Dirac recently added bass management as an option. Not sure I want to go for this (It’s about £250 or thereabouts) & reading posts on AV Forums show folk have been having “Issues”.

As for myself, I did have one glitch. Using Dirac you measure the room (tedious with twelve speakers…), generate the filter, then download it to the AVR30, which has three slots for different filters. I transferred one, but when I tried the other one, the Dirac app. crashed, and refused to reconnect with the Arcam. In the end, I had to reset the unit, but as it happened Arcam had just issued a new firmware update, so I carried this out, reset everything. The update went fine, and everything’s now working perfectly. Incidentally, I contacted Arcam & they were very helpful, as were Dirac.

Dislikes? Well, the instructions are complete pants, and the on-screen setup display’s a nightmare to navigate. The manual doesn’t explain you can access the setup menu through the unit’s IP address (I found this out from the folks on AV Forums), which works a treat. The unit takes some ten seconds to boot up from standby, which is a bit of a nuisance when programming macros to run on my Harmony Ultimate remote.

Still, minor issues really. The sound quality is superb, with Dirac really doing the business.

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Good insight and certainly the AV amp market has moved on leaps and bounds since I got my AVR350.
I’ve no plans to increase speaker count and for me a 5.1 arrangement is suitable for my usecases.
I’ve no experience with configuring room correction either but expect that to be an important aspect when making a selection on an AV amp today.
I use mine more for 2 channel stereo with analogue inputs mostly and have video sources as well.
I do recall some years back looking to refresh my Arcam with a newer version and my dealer (Naim one) pretty much refusing to recommend anything from Arcam at that time.
I did then and still do find my AVR350 capable for stereo playback but had a mind to use a NAIT or Uniti for front channel purposes and have a simple 5.1 capable amp to compliment it mainly for Broadcast TV and Netflix purposes.

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Many thanks Tony - appreciate the comprehensive feedback on your experiences with the AVR30.

Great to hear that you’ve had success in setup, and as it was my dealer who does the Dirac calibrations, I’ll wait until he gives the green light that his demo model is issue free, and then give it a listen vs. my AVR850. Terry Ellis (Persuit of Perfect Systems YouTube channel) is reporting that there is a definite uplift.

Also good to hear that you’ve had good customer service experience from Arcam, especially as my dealer hasn’t and doesn’t. One example is that when my AVR850 was first installed (fresh out of the box), the subwoofer (my B&W) would trigger a fault activated shutdown, even though it worked flawlessly with the Pioneer A/V. In addition, Dirac wasn’t working properly and refused to take a calibration. Arcam were very dismissive and were not keen to help, however after some ‘leverage’ from the dealer, they sent a replacement (on an earlier F/W software version that worked flawlessly). They admitted later that there were issues with the later F/W versions, however not until after significant argument. In addition, none of the AVR30, AVR20 and AVR10 units in the shop are working properly (in spite of multiple FW fixes being sent out), and the dealership is strongly considering their future relationship with Arcam.

Thanks again @Tonym and @Mr.M.

George.

I gave up on Arcam years ago. Great sound but worst reliability ever, of any brand. Just about every Arcam I have ever owned sounded really awesome but failed long before it should. I just threw an AVR300 in the dumpster. The digital board failed after about 5-6 years, after trashing several Dynaudio sub boards, so I tried using it as a 2-channel integrated. The volume control stopped working after that. The only Arcam product I ever owned that didn’t need repair or a trash can is the rDAC. Samsung owns them now. Good luck with that.

My dealer long ago dropped Arcam like a hot potato. Great company decades ago. Shadow of their former self.

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Interesting @JosquinDesPrez - very similar experience to how my dealer and I are finding them now, however @Tonym’s clearly had some good customer service after-sales experience. Your experience though, coupled with the experience we’ve had getting my AVR850 sorted, together with Arcam releasing their latest AVRs before they’re market ready (prematurely released, broken firmware) do not bode well

My AVR850 has a 5 year warranty (better than the 1 year that my Pioneer SC-LX 85 had), and I still have over 4 years left, so hopefully I’m one of the lucky ones! It does make me reluctant to change to the AVR30 though!

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

George.

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