Arcam AVR750 AV-receiver

It's probably reasonable to say that Arcam doesn't hurry its AV receivers to marketplace. It's been four years since the start of the brand's last flagship, the AVR600, which in the world is something of an age. At least the brand doesn't undersell them when they arrive. The AVR750, it says, is not merely the finest home cinema receiver it's ever made - it is also the best-sounding stereo amplifier. Quite a claim, and also the guys from Cambridge may well be right.

Whether playing with Michael Bay's Transformers or Lou Reed's Transformer, there's an authority for this amplifier that's deeply reassuring. But there's also a conservatism to the attribute specification that may well disappoint badge-hunters.

Arcam's a really different company now to what it was when it first released the AVR600. The brand discovered a brand new lease of life via its string of new media accessories, and has shifted making from Great Britain.

Back in the day, Arcam receivers were merely just a little bit cranky, which set them apart from their mainstream contest just as certainly as their sonic attributes. That eccentricity has been ironed out of the AVR750; it feels entirely more polished and refined and is a much smoother part to operate a vehicle. The Arcam behaves much as you'd expect it to, while the clear cut specification causes it to be tune and a supremely easy AVR to install.

When it comes to design, this beginner is just amazing. Arcam's clean lines and dark-grey bodywork reflect the recognizable FMJ aesthetic. There are no concealed flaps or manual control knobs. A 3.5mm aux input signal for both analogue and optical digital sources and a 3.5mm headphone jack offer the only front-panel hookup.

At 16.7kg, the model also exhibits serious heft. The neatly laid-out rear panel is not as stingy as it's clean. There are seven HDMI inputs and two outputs, both of which are ARC (Audio Return Channel) compatible. Curiously, one of many input signals is labelled VCR, which is certainly a bit ridiculous. This vestigial nomenclature also can be located on the remote control.

There's also a trio of four legacy phono AV inputs, component inputs along with a Zone 2 analogue output signal. Digital audio options comprise two optical and four coaxial. Should you feel the necessity to haul in a external electricity pusher, there's also a 7.1 bank of pre amp output signals. Though, there are no multichannel analogue inputs, as is the trend these days. This may just be a problem if you own a legacy Superb Audio CD/DVD Audio deck.

The receiver is a seven-channel layout, using multi-voltage Class G amplification. It could be configured as a complete 7.1 system, or as 5.1 with two channels serving a second zone.

Network entertainment is delivered via an Ethernet input; there is also a back-mounted USB, which when the HDMI input signals are populated becomes virtually unusable. Outside management support comprises RS232, plus 12V and IR triggers, which could automatically switch on joined kit.

There have been large changes while some components of the AVR750 remember its antecedents. Video processing stage and the entire HDMI is fresh. That is quite a change from its forerunner, which featured software specially written in-house by Arcam. Unfortunately, that bravery led to a number of dependability problems.

In comparison, this system appears bulletproof. The receiver's video switching time has enhanced, also, as well as the AVR essentially handshakes with every hot plug when it's powered up, which drastically improves usability and overall slickness.

The CR450 remote that is supplied is a backlit, learning zapper. In addition, it comes pre-programmed for other Arcam apparatus, and, in time honoured convention, button functionality changes based on which source apparatus is selected. A thorough guide for this multi-functionality is provided in the tutorial booklet.

Despite its high-end designation, the AVR750 is not a difficult receiver optimize and to create. Normally in a home cinema system, you will declare all loudspeakers to be modest regardless of the physical size, thus allowing the subwoofer to manage lower-frequency information. Yet, given the AVR750's audiophile leanings, this approach might not always be appropriate; helpfully, you can elect to configure the AVR750 for stereo listening differently.

The Arcam ships with an Auto Loudspeaker setup calibration mic, which performs the usual enclosure measurements and room EQ sleight of hand. It is possible to elect to choose which inputs benefit from this equalisation - ideal in the event you prefer certain sources uncoloured. While I favored the AVR750 sans EQ in two channel style, multichannel material was certainly helped by this calibration. Positional accuracy is excellent although the routine takes a little longer to complete than rival systems. Inevitably, though, some additional tweaking was done to get the most agreeable audio balance.

In regards to some user interface, the AVR750 offers a functional face to the entire world. Cinephiles concerned with the performance chops of the system are unlikely to be put off by such frugality.

The AVR750 is networked for audio, offering playback -enabled devices, as well as internet radio via vTuner. Media compatibility is conventional, with M4A/AAC, WMA, WAV, FLAC and MP3 files all playing from both USB and across a network. There's no album art support, though. There is no screensaver mode - so plasma owners beware.

In audiophile guise, Stereo Direct is the way to go. This bypasses all processing and circumnavigates surround effects. Nothing is directed to the subwoofer channel, as there is no bass direction. The resulting two channel performance is positively alluring.

Seraphim (Angel Mix) by Digitonal, a FLAC download has a soundstage that grows deeper and broader as the track progresses, as well as the AVR750 sings along sweetly. Arcam makes no bones about the fact that this receiver has been engineered first and foremost to carry music that is believable, assured that once that is reached all other facets will fall into place.

The AVR750 sounds similarly glorious with multichannel music (EQ employed). Kosuke Yamashita's The Earth Overture in 192kHz/24-bit 7.1 Linear PCM is suitably grandiose.

Obviously, AV Holics might be forgiven for believing that any AVR whose DNA was hammered in a musical furnace will sound fey and gutless with ballsy action fare.

The AVR750 is more brawny than a pumped-up Sylvester Stallone - an analogy given credence from the extended pre credit sequence in The Expendables 2 (Blu-ray). As Sly's Bad Attitude convoy blasts through the compound that is Nepalese, the receiver disgorges ordnance and falling masonry with dynamics that is huge.

It is all exciting. There is a temptation with the AVR750 to see just how much you'll be able to push its reserves, but in anything besides a theater-sized space you'll hit the pain threshold prior to the receiver squirms.

The AVR750 doesn't feature an over abundance of multichannel processing modes. Codec support covers the basics - Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus and Pro-Logic IIx, as well as DTS-HD MA and DTS-ES 6.1. Arcam's top-flight receiver holds no truck with width or height processing (barely surprising considering it merely offers seven channels) nor some of the virtual science proffered by the likes of Sony's STR-DA5800ES. This is very much an ancient AV program.

That's to not say fun can't be had with some of the Arcam's modes that are oldschool. With actual 7.1 combinations still in short supply, Dolby Digital EX functions nicely in fleshing out the environment with 5.1 sources. The launching sequence (Sky Movies) instantaneously becomes more immersive when EX is used.

The receiver is rated to deliver 130W (into eight Ohms) with two channels when all seven channels are in flight, falling to around 100W. But this doesn't actually give a sense of the ephemeral answer offered by the onboard power plant. This can run 20 W -distortion Class An across all channels (more than the AVR600 and cooler, also), but switches in another supply using bigger capacitors when things actually kick off. Which is likely why it seems so refined with music but is unfazed by mayhem.

As an aside, it is worth saying that I also listened utilising rBlink was divine by Arcam's. A diminutive Bluetooth DAC, this enables users to stream from their mobile device to the AVR that is big. The results were astonishingly musical.

There is no escaping the fact that Arcam's AVR750 is a magnificent-sounding AV receiver. Readily the most accomplished AVR it's is a luxury two-channel listen too and effortlessly confident. While it is maybe regrettable that little operational niceties for example HDMI passthrough and GUI flourishes are ignored, especially given the eminent price point, the specification that is business-like likely will not stress those seeking second-to-none sound. This gives a titanic listening experience, regardless of eyesight predilection and your audio. Book a demo now now.

Arcam AVR750 AV-receiver photo