My personal review and experience with Arcam AVR 550 with Dirac Live


Wanted to share my thoughts and experience of the Arcam AVR 550. 

Coming soon! 
danimaz
I am interested in this AVR.  Any feedback on your experience to date?   What did you replace?

thanks

nick
Hi Nicks25, 
Sorry for the really really late post and response to your question. 
I had a rotel RSP 1572 paired with Rotel RMB 1075 5ch amp. I sold my Rotel 1572 but kept the amp. Currently I am running the AVR 550 as a preamp since it's amp is not as beefy as its big brother avr850. 

Difference in movies: Due to its room correction and support for latest formats the movies (blu ray) do sound more open and better with the Arcam. With the room correction turned on the dialogue is more clear. Rotel was pretty good but Arcam has the edge. 

Music: Very close! Its a matter of preference. Both Arcam and Rotel have open dynamic sound however Arcam is a bit warmer. 

Loving my Arcam!
Thanks for the response.
I ended up purchasing an Arcam AV 860 to replace a Rotel RSP-1580 so we have followed similar paths.  I also had a miniDSP DDRC88A with the Rotel.  I sold both and am very happy with the Arcam.  I  also wanted to add Atmos speakers and the Arcam supports that as well.  I also have a slight preference for the Aram sound,

The only thing missing from the Arcam is the ability to store more than 1 Dirac project and switch between them.
 
Good luck with your system.
Glad you’re enjoying your AVR550! Out of all the brands that we carry, Arcam is one of our best sellers - their current lineup with Dirac Live is tough to beat. Let me know if you need any support with your unit or if you would like to add more Arcam components to your system - we carry their full line and are very competitive on price.

Best regards,

David Campbell
President - Southern A/V Direct, LLC
@nicks25 how are you liking the amp section of the AV860? 
@danimaz - the AV860 is a pre-pro so there is no amp section.

I am using a 7channel Sunfire (L/R/C/Surrounds/Rear Surrounds) and a 5 channel Emotiva (4 Atmos speakers) in my set up.


I also own an AVR550 & wrote a review posted at the Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity website.  At the time I wrote the review, the implementation of the Dirac Live correction had but a minimal effect on the sound.  But recent rearrangements in the room will require that I try it again.  Will post again after calibration to see what differences it makes on "round two."
@danimaz 
 
If you don’t want it warm sounding, you know you can adjust that with Dirac right?
Update:
After owning the avr550 the receiver has stopped working! Arcam's support has been good so far but not until I had to escalate this issue with Best Buy Magnolia's corporate office and as a well as with Arcam North America. 
Do not buying anything from Magnolia AV, especially the one in Schaumburg, IL

Stand by for more details! 

As a Chicagoan, I’ll heed your suggestion.  What kind of a warranty did the Arcam have?  Lasting less than 2 years is really poor performance; I have a 20 year old Pioneer ES in my basement system that’s going strong.  I recently replaced a 9 year old Onkyo
AVR in my living room system that worked flawlessly with a Anthem AVR that sounds great and I really think the service from Simply Stereo in Hoffman Estates is excellent (I’ve been dealing with them for years).  I hope that things work out for you.
btw, Midwest Audio in Arlington Heights is an excellent repair shop.
Funny, I was just gonna post about Arcam having tons of problems in the past but not sure if it’s gotten any better in recent years. The OP’s recent experience is not a very good sign. Too bad because they do seem to be a step above in sound versus most others.

As as a former Chicago resident, I’ll give a shoutout to Audio Consultants in Evanston. Many years ago I bought a Rotel prepro from them that developed a problem. I brought it back and, at least back then, they had an in-house repair guy who fixed the problem in a day or two. No questions, no hassles -- they just fixed it. I didn’t think about it too much back then, but with the multitude of problems seemingly plaguing almost all AVRs these days along with an utter lack of customer support these days, I think that level of service would be a really nice feature -- if it still exists. Haven’t been there in 20 years so take this FWIW.
Audio Consultants has closed all of their Chicago stores except Evanston.  I used to deal with the Hinsdale Store but when that closed changed to downtown, and now that is closed.  Neither of the latter two did any in house repairs