Arcam AVR280 AV-receiver

Based on the Geoff Meads, very few really of Arcam - which goes a way to spell out what resembles AVR350 'lite' arriving on our test bench.

That is the DiVA AVR280 of Arcam - shaved of attributes (including preamp output signals) but a large GBP300 swearing all the sonic magic of its own acclaimed larger brother and lighter. The AVR280 seems alarmingly priced as Mr Meads needed to enlist team to part me from your AVR350 review sample. Dangerous for my bank card.

Ok, thus there are not any preamp outputs save for the subwoofer but as I hunted for usable and practical differences, that actually is about it.

The AVR350 is a layout that is minimalist, eschewing RoomEQ, auto- and video scaling. Hey-ho.

If you would like to make use of a DiVA receiver in the center install, yet, it's bristling install attributes, including Scart management in RGB mode and RS232, 12V triggers, IR pass through, RC5 codes.

This translates into fewer watts in the company close of the loudspeaker terminals. It is still possible to make use of both rear-back channels if wanted, to biamp the front principal pair.

The AVR280 comes with Arcam's latest RC100 remote control, that will be smaller and simpler to browse than the one initially provided using the AVR350, and contains a much greater library of IR codes.

It is not so bad, actually, that the CR100 boats with the AVR 350 at the same time. Interesting really....

The setup of the AVR280 is leads to a sound that makes your tummy upside down as well as your jaw on the ground and speedy, reasonable. Hang on, I recall saying that before....

The sound is clean and immediate than your typical spy airplane to more Stealth Mat with almost no hiss or background noise thanks. Bass is deep as well as the total equilibrium comes with scale and an enormous existence.

In our laboratory, the model delivered 130W in stereo mode, and 105W across five stations (into 8 ohms) . Multichannel combinations are just laid bare in the area as well as the sound all but jumps from the loudspeakers, creating the amazing illusion of a far bigger listening environment.

And the AVR280 isn't only an all-action hero. Dialogue is glossy and smooth with chesty character some receivers can enhance the mixture or natural tone and not one. Low frequency effects elevate nicely above straightforward bass-boom and actually create the ambience the director thought.

The tyrannosaurus foot steps is going to have heart beating and you pants flapping in equivalent measure as well as the subterranean pulse thump through Leon's opening just sets the tension level meter to the red.

The AVR280 goes with dignity and grace, keeping its composure and equilibrium that is sleek while others acerbic and would get shouty.

But it's here that the AVR350 that is more high-priced pulls its first ace from the carton, creating a coherent acoustic image when the going gets the fruity side and going deeper, louder. The sound congested and gets more heavy rather.

Overall, the hifi tradition of Arcam shines through. The analogue amplification is fulsome and rich with only enough top end sparkle to provide the sound a genuine three-dimension hifi soundstage. The sole other version prone to rain on the parade in this regard of the AVR280 is, you guessed it, the AVR350.

The AVR280 of Arcam is an excellent AV receiver. Provided that you do not mind living like RoomEQ without playthings and HDMI scaling, it's amongst the top-notch integrated designs for both music and films.

Arcam AVR280 AV-receiver photo