Arcam AVR300 AV-receiver
Arcam AVR300 is a multichannel receiver with relatively modest switching capabilities (is designed for work with six sources and doesn't have HDMI inputs), but takes the highest place in the company's model range. Arcam always comply with the principle that more intelligent and powerful multichannel equipment should be produced only in separate variant "processor + power amplifier".
By the example of AVR300 we see an extraordinary receiver, well prepared for work in Custom Install systems. The design reminds an ocean-going cruise liner...A bit rounded faceplate with numerous built-in small buttons drawn up in line looks like a ship with portholes, doesn't it? A narrow strip, into which the display is inserted, intensifies the similarity. The display is small, but copes well with its duties - it helps both in setting and control.
We should note in the list of options the possibility to adjust the sensitivity of inputs, independent "bass management" and also switching of power amps, not using for additional surround-channels, for work with the front or additional zone (with independent control). Arcam's engineers do not put a special emphasis on advantages of digital processor - this model has everything what is necessary for decoding multichannel sound in different systems. And analog section is built as the saying goes in the best traditions: very powerful supply system, adjusted circuit technique and minimal signal path.
At the connecting through multichannel input AVR300 pleased by musical balance, the lack of even a hint on veil and by realistic playing of any sound details. But we can't say that it bends by rich and accurate transfer of tonal nuances. The character of playing has other pluses: neutrality, scaled stage, calm but powerful dynamics. The whole system of musical sounds is adjusted and only in the upper band there are signs of not quite academic liveliness - discants are transferred with a slight emphasis. Through digital input AVR300 sounds in similar way, without adding colors or distorting timbres in the middle band, but in the lower case you can catch changes - bass seems to be not as rich, but more fast and fundamental.
Connection of power amps by bi-amping scheme creates much greater changes. Arcam AVR300 cheers up, sounds livelier and more dynamical in the middle and low bands. Saving neutrality, it becomes to play more freely. In musical recordings rhythm, temperament and improvisation are felt, in multichannel - the sense of reality is enhanced. While playing of stereo programs, AVR300 draws the remote plans a bit closer in sound stage, but there are on claims to localization and special width of imaginary sources.