AV-receiver Arcam AVR400
Serious audiophile brands have always been conservative with respect to new-fangled digital stuff. Even when under the pressure of customer feedback they cautiously enter the territory of a home theater, you are in no hurry to implement in their AV-components of the latest formats and functions, it is prudent given the right to fill the first buds to larger players in the mass market segment. But it is precisely in the field of home cinema, actually at the intersection of analog equipment and computer technology, this policy becomes a hindrance. And increasingly, as part of the class theatrical High End can be found relatively inexpensive for this level of AV-receiver, playing the role of theatrical processor. However, the existing order is sometimes violated. That's how you can qualify appearance in the top series FMJ English company Arcam AV-receiver AVR400, has an HDMI port the latest version 1.4 with support for three-dimensional video. Now, selecting the components for a fashionable 3D-cinema is not necessarily limited to the mass production of large Japanese corporations - you can try something more rare and exquisite. Especially that the device has great potential - he's younger brother flagship Arcam FMJ AVR600, has won the sympathy of our experts, and inherited all used in its design achievements. By the way, there is good news for the owners of the top model - the summer Arcam will release an upgrade fee, which after installation FMJ AVR600 receive switching HDMI version 1.4 and support technology 3D.
Strict facade Arcam FMJ AVR400 almost exactly the same as the exterior of the 600-th receiver. Front panel animates only monochrome display with green lettering legible and a row of buttons below it. Like his older brother, volume control and input selector implemented as a pair of keys. Not too convenient solution in comparison with conventional arms, especially if you have to operate the device in a darkened room. However, in most cases for these purposes will be used the remote control, so it is hardly fair to attribute a specific point to the number of serious shortcomings.
The only thing in the Arcam FMJ AVR400 is no ventilation gap at the bottom of the front panel, as are cooling organized somewhat differently, as we'll explain later. USB ports and HDMI on the front side of the body is still there - operational switching is limited to two mini-jacks: one is for headphones, and the other plays the role of both the analog input AUX, optical digital interface and inputs for measuring microphone system for automatic calibration.
Internal layout of the receiver is quite different from the AVR600. The main dissimilarity is that in this case the engineers refused modularity design with a single motherboard and expansion modules, which makes it possible to implement in the future a certain upgrade the machine up to the replenishment of the switching arsenal. As a result, under the cover AVR400 we see the usual whatnot electronic boards at the rear wall. Changed and the ventilation system of the output stages. The elder brother forced cooling large fans were mounted in the bottom of the hull, and air circulation to provide a wide gap in the lower part of the facade. Here are two smaller fan mounted between the radiator and the front panel, devoid of any holes. In this case, the power supply is stored powerful toroidal transformer, which largely determines the quality of the sound of the receiver and installation, wiring and layout differ thoroughness and accuracy.
Inferior low-end model and in terms of switching. HDMI inputs there is also five, while only one output, which limits the use of the device in systems with two display devices (however, this problem is easily solved with a HDMI-splitter, the benefit of such devices offered today a lot). In addition, the number of component inputs reduced to the standard three, and still have Arcam FMJ AVR400 no phono stage for a turntable. However, given the more than two-fold difference in price all these simplifications can hardly be considered critical.
At the same time, the receiver has retained the full multimedia potential of the brand's flagship line. It can be integrated into a home network, for which the patch panel has a port Ethernet; he is able to read the content from external drives with interface USB - corresponding connector is located nearby. Strange, is not that the designers did not put a specific port on the front of the body, although it significantly easier to connect hard drives and flash drives. Built-in media player is familiar with many popular audio formats, including FLAC and AAC. In addition to playing media receiver can broadcast Internet radio programs.
System Menu Arcam FMJ AVR400 if different from the top model, it is only in nuances. Ergonomics and beautiful interface make it easy to get comfortable in his branching hierarchy. Functionality is fully retained. For example, here, too, are allowed to ask any sound settings individually for each input. The work of the video is adjustable in all major indicators, and also independently for each input, plus it can be switched off by broadcasting video on the HDMI output as it is. Among the shortcomings note that when you change, for example, volume, or image characteristics of the selected input relevant information can not be displayed on your TV or projector screen.
The receiver is equipped with a proprietary system of automatic calibration Arcam Auto Speaker Setup with measurement microphone, already familiar to us from the 600 model. In addition to the basic settings of the surround sound decoder, the system spends per channel EQ Room EQ to compensate for resonances listening room. You just do not forget to activate this function for each input used - the default Room EQ in the menu system for all inputs disabled. Not forgotten by developers and trendy gadgets Apple, just enough extra to buy one brand of docking stations - Arcam irDock or Arcam rLead.
When playing high-resolution soundtracks Arcam FMJ AVR400 demonstrated a very dynamic and at the same time light and open sound. Surgically precise processing to accurately track the trajectory audio images and sound fabric literally enveloped us, throwing the very maelstrom. Receiver amplifiers easily cope with our acoustics laboratory, even in the most intense scenes of movies, do not graze and at extremely high volume levels. Worthy helped strengthen the unit to feel confident and as part of a stereo - sound different scale and due attention to the smallest nuances of musical compositions.