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Arcam AVR-350 True High End 7.1 Home Theater Receiver (1 Viewer)

PhilCo

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Jul 28, 2005
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True high end sound. Finished in black and in excellent condition with remote box and manual. Priced to sell. $1490.

The Arcam AVR350 is easily the best sounding surround receiver or processor we have ever tested regardless of price. The AVR350 marks a stunning sonic advance over the already excellent AVR300 and over all other brands of competing units even those costing far more money. The margin of the AVR350's sonic superiority over other units is dramatic. And the breadth of its sonic superiority is breathtaking encompassing virtually every important sonic aspect (transparency clean purity intertransient silence spatial imaging etc.). The AVR350's trump card is its implementation of Dolby Pro Logic IIx which substantially cures the sonic weaknesses found in all other surround processors and opens a whole new sonic world for this surround mode that is so widely applicable to both music and soundtracks and is so impressive in creating a believable surround spatial image. And the icing on the cake is the AVR350's modest price only a slight premium over the AVR300 for a souped-up hotrod that dusts everyone else in sonic performance.

Description
A tour of the back-end real estate with most AV receivers can be intimidating. But Arcam has managed to keep the AVR350 relatively simple without sacrificing important features. There's a generous number of analog and digital audio inputs analog and digital audio outputs for recording analog preamp outputs on all channels for driving external amplifiers if desired and audio and video analog outputs for a second zone (composite video and two-channel stereo only).


There is also a set of 7.1-channel analog inputs for multichannel analog sources such as DVD-Audio and SACD players or the multichannel analog outputs of a DVD HD DVD or Blu-ray player. (None of these sources at present is more than 5.1-channels but the Arcam is ready when the program material is.) The multichannel input provides a full-range direct route to the receiver's outputs. Apart from volume control they provide no processing (such as individual channel delays) and no bass management.


There are seven sets of speaker terminals. These may be used in the conventional way to drive the three front channels and side and rear surrounds. You can also of course use a conventional 5.1-channel (or 6.1-channel) setup ignore one or both of the back surrounds and leave those channels unused. But Arcam has also provided two other options for the two spare amplifier channels in a 5.1-channel system. They can be used to drive a pair of speakers in zone 2. More intriguingly they can be set up to bi-amp the left and right front speakers.


The Arcam also has one of those 4 ohm/8 ohm switches designed to prevent the output stages from overheating with lower impedance loads. I was able to use the 8-ohm setting with no problems but the results will vary depending on your speaker the program material and how loud you play your system. Keep in mind that these switches which appear on many receivers but few separate power amplifiers (power amps generally have more extensive heat sinks) are designed to meet stringent regulatory heat limits to prevent any chance of injury from touching a hot chassis.

You can also select Stereo Direct which routes the input directly to the front left and right channels and drives them full range with no bass management or other processing. This mode actually shuts down all digital circuits in the receiver which means that it can be used only with analog sources. If you want to drive the front channels full range without subwoofer for all two-channel source material analog or digital the subwoofer setup menu may be configured to switch to that configuration whenever the receiver receives a two-channel source. Alternately this same feature may be set to operate in two-channel with either a satellite-subwoofer configuration or with the sub on and the front speakers driven full range.
 

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