I own the B&K and have other Arcam equipment. I listened to the Arcam recievers and they are a bit more refined sound-wise with a little less power which probably won't make much difference with most speakers. Both companies have good customer service and tech support. The bass management in the B&K is significantly better and more useful (test tones, frequency notch, etc). My local dealer called me to encourage me to trade in my B&K for the 300, but after going over the differences together, we agreed that it's a lateral move at best. I'm holdinf onto my B&K. However, if I was starting from scratch, I may have bought the Arcam instead for $1000 less. Used 507's list on the 'gon for as little as $2300 and new 300's are about $2000 aren't they? For $500 or less difference, I'd probably still buy the B&K. Let us know which you choose.
I'm curious as to what you came up with. currently looking at the Arcam avr300 myself. Thanks!
I am also looking at both the B&K 507 and the Arcam 300. I am leaning towards the Arcam because of what I heard 2 weeks ago. I heard the Arcam with the Gallo III's...WOW! I also listened with my JM lab Electra's, it seemed to let them loose, an effortless sound. The primary reason I started looking at a new receiver was more power. (currently have NAD T762). The Arcam is equal in power but with the ability to bi-amp the 6th & 7th channels I should have pleanty of power to open up the "Lab's".
I own an older B&K 2 channel amp running through an old NAD Pre, sounds great but I'm not wed to it.
I have to buy something new though...After listening to the Arcam, I am nolonger satisfied with my NAD.
Unless someone can tell me why I shouldent buy the Arcam...
Merry Christmas to me:)
I own the AVR507 and I consider it as close to separates as you can get in one box. I've owned several pre/pros and multi-channel amps and I don't feel like I'm missing much with this solution. I have no doubt that Arcams 300 is top notch as well however I'd be surprised if can put out as much clean power and current as the BK - translation, your speakers choices may be a bit narrower with the Arcam IMHO.
Not to muddy the waters, but I don't see how any manufacturer can compete with Denon. The AVR3805 is an absolute steal for the money (list $1200, street price less). Denon has a reputation for good two-channel sound (important to most on this site) and the 3805s have every feature known to man including the ability to bi-amp the front channels (see audioholics.com). If the 3805 was manufactured by Arcam or B&K it would sell for double the price Denon sells it for.
The 3805 is such a good value that Id bet it will outsell ALL other mid to high-level receivers combined; it's that good. In either case, you should be quite happy with the B&K or the Arcam. Im currently considering the Denon AVR5803A.
Need to determine if the 5803A will process a DSD data stream (SACD from the Denon Link) as DSD, and not first convert to PCM. I will be looking at the 3805 (with the same question) if the 5803s do convert DSD to PCM before processing.
I don't think that the Denon Link is enabled for SACD yet. Seems to be an ongoing problem...
John- I'm assuming that Sony will give Denon permission to enable the link some time soon. Seems like a nice two-box (DVD9000/DVD3910 into AVR5603A) one-wire solution.
You're probably right but...
...at last year's CES the Denon rep told me they would have SACD capability within 90 days. Now it's one year later...
This is way late but maybe useful to those now looking. I have seen oscilliscope readings of the Denon as well as other Japanese made recievers running with ALL CHANNELS DRIVEN at .07% distortion and the power output was 30 sum watts across all channels. All of these Japanese recievers were in the same price range-ie 1200-1500.(And same power type ratings-ie peak power, OR with one or two channels driven) Look at the Arcam and its around 100 watts all channels driven, and the b&k aprox 130 across the board. The b&k has the best build quality,IT is by far the heavyest, the best warranty(5 years), the most power and current, and by far the most useful and flexible bass management(notch filtering), better than most any pre pro I have seen, Not to mention the supplied $400 MX750/800 Theater master remote that is pc programable. The Japanese recievers even in the same price range simply do not match the English and American recievers. Arcam, NAD, and B&K are by far the best sounding....I have been and still am a dealer for all but the Arcam. I own the b&k and would not trade it for any-except perhaps the Arcam or NAD 773 if money were an object...OR maybe seperates, but the need for more power is simply not there with the B&K with my Monitor Gold reference speakers...
At the price, the Arcam will be the best sounding, I have no doubt. I sold the old Arcam 100, and it was the best sounding $1200 piece at the time, hands down! It was still a receiver, and lacking ultimate power and control, but bass managment helped that. Dynamics were better on good separates as well. Yet the Arcam was pretty, musical, and rather resolved for a receiver. Only the Denon 5803 was as well balanced like that from what I remember, the B&K being close behind, maybe more powerful driving full range however.
If you have $2k for a receiver, the Arcam is good for running speakers as "small" with a sub. Most will like the sound just fine.
Denon's are great bang for the buck mostly, especially at lower price points. I can think of not much else that's better lower down. The HK's maybe for current product.
NAD...you take your chances with Quality control, sadly. Infact, my experience from selling at 6 stores say's that the China made stuff is more reliable than the NAD gear!
Still, the NAD stuff always sounded good from what I remember.
NAD used to be joked about as standing for "Not Another Deffective!" I'm not sure if it's changed any.
I purchased an Arcam AVR200 a couple of years back. Being rather dense I decided almost immediately I wanted 7.1 channel capability should I ever decide to use it (which I almost certainly will not). I returned the Arcam and replaced it with an Onkyo Integra 7.3. Both receivers are very good.
But, the Arcam is definitely superior is sonics in both home theatre and stereo only mode. Both receivers have a real phono section; the Arcam is superior.
Both of these receivers are superior in stereo to the Denon 3801 that was replaced; sold it to my neighbour who is not really an audiophile and he loves it.
I'd go with the AVR300 in a heartbeat. The runner up to this choice, which is more expensive, would be the Audio Refinement Pre2DSP and a quality 5 channel amp (Audio Refinement, Krell, Pass, or a Parasound HCA 1206 which has to be the used bargain at around 750 and six channels at 135wpc at 8 ohms.....300 bridged).
I have had the AVR-300 for about 3 months. I am currently using it as a preamp only in my stereo system to drive Art Audio PX-25 amp not for HT and it is very good as the reviewers have said. It is not good with 4 ohm loads like my Sonys in the HT system. It seems to run very hot. I will probably have to buy a separate amp for the Sonys. The sound quality of four rear channels much, much better than my Fosgate FAP T-1. It is excellent in fact.
The remote control is the weakest link. You need two or three steps for most changes and you have to keep scrolling through everything. It is hard to get out of the menu but if you don't you won't be able to use the volume control or anything else.
I think they are both great choices. Having owned the Denon 3804, B&K 307 and 507, (Classe SSP30,Classe SSP60)- both driven with Legacy/Coda amps, I would have to go with the Arcam AVR 300. For music 2 channel and music concert DVDs it is the best sounding receiver I have ever heard. Very open sound stadge and good definition and localization of all instruments and voices. In fact,the sound stadge it really is not too far of a drop in quality from the SSP-60
The AVR-300 is the closets thing that I have heard to separates. Actually it smokes the Outlaw Pre/Pro with the Codas. To me the B&K was a nice step up from the Denon, but it did not sound as musical as the Arcam AVR300.
The 300 is great reciever if you are into music and music videos. It's great for movies as well, but I'm not sure you would hear as much diffence between the AVR300 and the B&K watching movies? Its been a while since I did an A/B comparison. But, needless to say I now use the AVR-300 in my system.
If a receiver is what you want, I think the Arcam is in another league from the B&K.
If music is at all important to you, I'd definitely go for the Arcam. It has the best sound quality - open, dynamic, airy - of any HT receiver I've ever heard. The pre-pro section is excellent, so even if you eventually acquire insanely power hungry speakers down the road, the AVR300 will be still be an excellent processor and you can get a separate amp.
You'd have to spend mucho dinero for separates to equal or better the the Arcam's performance.
The B&K is nice enough for the $$ but you'll end up replacing it much sooner.
I Have to chime in again. I now have BOTH the AVR507 and the AVR300 in house. I am an unbiased dealer for B&K. I Own a Arcam dv78 player and have the 79 in route-thus I really enjoy the Arcam stuff and found a dealer friend selling his demo avr300 very cheap and bought it to see for myself.
Here is the REAL DEAL...With both in house on the same system, not just a bunch of retorical opinions by people that have not heard both side by side....The rest of my system consists of Monitor Gold ref20's mains, GRC center, GRfx inceiling rears, Martin Logan Depth sub, Arcam dv78 dvd player, Monster hts5000, all M-ser monster, Signal cable, or Shunyata power,ic's, and speakers wire. System has dedicated lines as well-just trying to set the stage, as I work in the industry and have played with all...I also have recently had the BAT VK60 tube amp running off the MAIN out of the b&k reciever and STUNNED 3 different hi fi nuts with this system recently-including myself....But on with the thread.
1. The B&K is built better-MUCH nicer binding post-one can actually biwire with something larger than 14quage without wanting to throw the (ARCAM) arcoss the room..It also weighs in at 52 lbs. The Arcam weighs 35lbs. BOTH are rated conservativly at 150wattsx7(B$K) and 100wattsx7(ACM)(BOTH AT 1KHZ) The b&K has 28 AMPS peak to peak current available, no such ratings ANYWHERE for the Arcam, as they dont want to go there...This rating is really reseved for comparing standalone amplifiers....OH, one thing that I always thought was catchy by the b&k sales reps, is that they call them AMP-lifiers NOT WATTifiers.....For a reason...:) GO FIGURE....try and get some "amp" ratings...from anyone...OR even dampining factor for that matter...150+ for the avr507...
2.The wife HATES the ARCAM remote-especially after having the B&K's mx700 TWEEKED by a pro-ME.....:) The Arcam learns, NOT WELL, and is NOT intuitive at all-It took me two days to finally get it, and I still mess up trying to switch inputs-this should not be hard, but is with ARCAM and NAD-the ENGLISH have some warped thinking....AND there remotes STINK!!!
3.The B&K sounds like it has 50% more power-as it does.
Even when biamping the front channels, the arcam couldn't quite catch up, it still was slightly more "thin, dry, bright, and overall just lacked puch and rythmic drive as compared to the avr507.
5.The bass managment is better on the b&k(HANDS DOWN) though I do like the +10db setting on the arcam for DVDA-as it is the first prepro that adresses this VERY messed up reality of no bass on high res dvda....IS this not one reason we buy "high res"? to get dynamics?
6.The 507 non s2 does not video transcode...a bitch if you dont have or cant program a macroed remote, but no problem with the b&k's supplied mx700 from universal($350)
7. The "steller" video transcoding on the Arcam had red shift and gerneral color blooming on all transcoded inputs.
8. To be fair, My dads AVR507S@ that transcodes softens the picture ever so much, but it is less, and BEST to run DIRECT anyway...IF you have macro capability.
7.The Arcam gets the closest (in terms of being able to tweek a good system )as the B&K-they both are as good or BETTER than MOST any seperates I have heard.
The b&K, Like some have said, makes for an awsome prepro, as does the Arcam, as I drove a BAT VK60 for about a week off of it and fell in LOVE!!!
The B&K lets you customise WAY further than the Arcam-though the arcam is not bad in this respect.
If you like dry, foward,overly neutral,bass shy/flat and anylitical,super detailed and fast, the Arcam is for you....I love tubes! The b&k is mosfet w/class a predriver and leans more toward warmth and punch. I would say that the Arcam has maybe a touch more speed but is more fatiging to listen to and certainly has less bass weight and warmth. It took me three days to tune the Arcam to my Monitors to make them "sing" and make the "majic" start, I was finally able to grasp the virtues of the Arcam, but still will move it to my fathers 3rd system. (He has a b&k AVR307s2 in system #2) So, yes the ARCAM stays in the family, but gets demoted to less use in our ears...but all ears are differant, and the b&k has no equals in the reciever market all in all...as its price reflects...More to come if need be...Scott
Agree with most of what Scott said. If you have even remotely demanding speakers I feel the 507 is the better choice. All of the bells and whistles on these top end receivers seem neat until you realize you'll rarely use any of them. Put your money toward the amp stage, and B&K leads the pack on that.