Arcam FMJ A32 Amplifier

Six legs instead four, a large matrix display which would rather fit AV receiver, a long row of the sources selector and unusual controls called Mode and Enter - you can recognize stereo amplifier in Arcam FMJ A32 perhaps only after hint. The device, being developed by the A&R Cambridge specialists, looks unconventional and modern. The faceplate has a slight bevel and differs with matte black finish. Buttons in jacks slightly come loose. The chassis is a two-layer sandwich made of steel sheets of different strength (Acousteel technology). The case's cover is on the contrary simple but has an impressive rigidity. This integral amplifier has the selector of speaker systems, two switching outputs for record, headphones output and also seven linear outputs, one of which can be supplemented by RIAA-corrector. The control is implemented with a help of microprocessor-based system and therefore it has advanced capabilities for personalization (it's enough to log-in to the system menu in order to get the access to various additional settings). In the description of A32 there is no word how the adjustment of volume and timbres is made, but I suppose that pre-section is built with the use of DSP. In addition, the power system with toroidal transformer looks very convincing for the declared output power of 2x100 W (at 8 Ohms). At least 40% of the amplifier's weight falls on this detail.

The sound of A32 does not fit with its modern appearance and this, believe my experience, should be considered as the advantage. Modern amplification equipment often sins by sterile and emotionless sound. And Arcam amplifier sounds not like all contemporaries, a little bit old-fashioned, I would rather say unstrained. There is a feeling that the speaker systems with first-class paper drivers were connected to audio system. The average range is transferred slightly bright, with tart notes but very detailed. You can find a minor transistor coloring in the upper band and slight boominess in basses. However, the whole sound picture differs by integrity, live rich timbres, quite an energetic bass. Sound stage is scaled; the volume is expressively shown here. Localization and separation are fine if not take one little nuance into account - the images on the front plans are formed less corporeal than they should be. The most important thing is that any mechanical automatism is absent in the sound of A32. The device oppresses by spontaneity, good drive, freedom of playing. It is universal enough if speak about preferred music genres. It immediately allows you to feel the class and nature of the source and this indicates sufficient sound resolution and tonal neutrality. I got very pleasant impressions from Arcam as at the listening from CD as from vinyl. Albeit A32 doesn't look like a classical stereo amplifier, its filling turned out to be correct. It deserves the faith.

Arcam FMJ A32 Amplifier photo