Arcam A19 impressions?

Hi everyone,

Just wondering if anyone owns or has demoed the Arcam FMJ A19 integrated. It seems to be getting some very good press, but I always prefer the impressions of someone who has listened to it longer term. I have heard an Arcam A38, but I wasn't too impressed (at least for the price). For $999 with a phono stage, this amp looks to offer a lot if the sound quality is up to snuff.

What Hi-fi review nailed it... It requires CAREFUL system matching

Quote from its review:

" .... Our Verdict

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


Big, room-filling sound
Open, dynamic and cohesive
Subtle and revealing detail
Deep and authoritative sound
Remarkable composure and control
Good build and connections


Requires careful system matching
Its strengths might not be immediately apparent

Read more at ....."

(1) I had the A32 in a prior all FMJ system. It was great in MY system that EXACTLY mirrored the comment that it required careful system matching.
(2) with reference to (1), the A19 is fine at its price point BUT it is not going to slay its any of its ARCAM upperclassmen nor the crowded arena of competitors in higher brackets.
(3) at its price point more or less, I suggest a LIVE AUDITION of REGA, CYRUS, SIMAUDIO, NAIM or CREEK as worthy starting contenders in a crowded arena of choices, that punch way above their weight class.
Thanks for the response. I like the descriptions of the sound that I've read in the reviews. I'm considering setting up a near field system with a turntable, a pair of Harbeth P3s, and an integrated - simple with a rich midrange and good with vocals. In the 1k price range, the Rega Brio and the Arcam jump to the front due to the phono stage. I'm also intrigued by the Croft Phono Integrated (a bit more expensive) but volume control for each channel and no remote might just be a bit too much inconvenience.

I don't have any audio stores near me, so I have to order and return through online vendors. I hope to minimize the number of returns.

IMO, Arcam is good mid-fi stuff. Sounds decent and non-offensive. It's the kind of stuff you might set your non-audiophile, but music loving friends up with. Personally, I'd buy an Onkyo integrated for $350 and save up for something nice.
Well, where to start? I've had my A19 for about 10 months now. In a word it's outstanding! The music has good tone with very good detail and resolution. So good is the detail and resolution that at times at reminds me of my 845 SET amp that I once had.

It is a room filling dynamic sound with a great wide soundstage. Depth of soundstage is decent. The build quality is beyond it price point. It has a heft and feel of a $3K amp. And the volume control is the best I have ever used with perfect tracking through its range.

As you've noticed all the reviews are very positive. I think Alan Sircom at HiFi+ amd Wojciech Pacula at High Fidelity do a great job with their reviews.

I'm looking forward to adding new speakers for it soon (Bowers and Wilkins 683S2) and I hope to enjoy my A19 for a long time.

I hope you get a chance to try one. Good luck with your amp search.



Thanks for your response - you're not the first one to say that it is quite a performer for the price. I'm going to demo it - looking forward to hearing it in my room.

I have had the A19 driving KEF LS50s for the last 5 months. Before that I had B&W 804D with $8k separates. Unfortunately I had to downsize my room. The LS50's were a no-brainer, and then for amplification I was looking for something good but also with a headphone amp (which the A19 has. If this is important to you, as it was to me, according to what I have read Arcam put more than lip service to the headphone amp. As I have none to compare, I can't comment on how good it is, but for me and my HiFiMan headphones it sounds good, certainly better than my computer headphone jack). Anyway, for $999 I think the Arcam is a fantastic bargain. And so when the 'reviews' say the same thing, the first thing you think is "there's something wrong with it and they're just being nice." Not true. It is a fantastic bargain. This amp does nothing wrong, and that's saying a lot. It's not the most transparent, nor the best bass, nor the sweetest midrange, nor the clearest highs. But it scores a solid B+ on all of these. For much better in any one category, let alone all of them, you'd have to spend a lot more money. Overall I really like my A19. In the past I have owned integrateds from McIntosh and Rowland, at much higher cost. The Arcam is musical at its heart, and I like it with the KEF's.
Great post, Jimmy2615. Thanks for the sharing your experience with the A19, especially in light of the other outstanding amps you have owned. I think you sum of the A19 very well.
Hi. I have my A19 driving a pair of AT-2's, a Pro-Ject Expression turntable and an Arcam CD38, using Kimber interconnects for both sources. To me, the sound is way better than the NAD 326BEE and the four channel amplifier NAD 245BEE that I have in another room. Sound resolution and built quality is above it's price, so happy with it.
You can add an Arcam Rblink bluetooth DAC and this is everything you need for a very good system at a reasonable price.