I believe that good sound quality is vital to the real enjoyment of music and should not just be solely the concern of hi-fi enthusiasts. You don't have to be a gourmet to appreciate fine cooking, but many music-lovers settle for the convenience of a packaged system, hi-fi's equivalent to tasteless food, and miss out badly when it comes to realistic music reproduction.
Arcam has used its design expertise gained over more than twenty-seven years to provide high performance solutions for people who demand the best from music. The DiVA (Digitally integrated Video and Audio) series, will transform the way you listen to your favourite sounds. The price and quality or the Arcam systems are class as being in the middle of the price and quality range. As far as I am concerned this is good enough for me, as I can hear a good quality sound, which I can appreciate. I also have listened to top of the range systems and I cant justify the extra cost to hear the same music, yes there is a noticeable difference in the sound quality of the more expensive systems, but it is not for my pocket.
I have been interested in listening to music on good quality Hi-Fi separates for a number of years. I try to buy as good as I can afford, which is some way short of the top of the range stuff. The quality I like to buy in the separates are similar, if a higher spec amp is bought to drive a lower spec CD player, you are loosing out on the performance of the amp. As a result of this I buy equipment which complements one another in terms of quality and performance.
It is from this perspective that I bought the Arcam A75+. The machine cost me £499.00, in February 2003 and was bought in Lyric Hi-Fi Belfast.
This is a machine which Arcam have brought out after the A85 (top of the range) A65 and A75, these two did not have the same success as the first one. Arcam realised this and soon brought out the A75+. There are significant changes in the + version which include -
Improved input and feedback coupling linearity
Increased output power supply,
Spec on the machine.
The machine is available in Black or Silver.
Much of the rear panel is taken up by convection cooling fins, with a relatively modest surface area, though the amp doesnt run hot even with extended high volume operation. There are 5 line level inputs including a tape and a MN phono which can be switched to operate as a line input, giving a potential of 6 line inputs. A preamplifier output is available for bi-amp systems, and two sets of loudspeakers can be connected via BFA connections, one switchable on the front panel. The system is fully remote controlled.
The original A75 on a hearing test to me sounded like a blond with a 34DD bust, it isnt quite neutral, but is certainly demands attention But the A75+ certainly does not sound like that as there is a better integrated quality, with a sharper, more powerful and more tuneful bass that knows how to breath fire when necessary. The character of the sound majors on clarity and precision, but without overstepping the mark; this is always an eminently listenable design. I listen to this amp on a pair of Kef Q 5 speakers (will review these some time in the future) in a room which is quite hard in terms of acoustics.
This is a neatly packaged, well equipped amp, with some interesting features, and does justice to the DiVA range.
Continuous Power Output Per Channel
Both channels driven 8 Ohms, 20Hz-20kHz 50W
Single channel 4 Ohms, 1kHz 90W
Distortion 8 Ohms, 80% power, 1kHz 0.008%
Input sensitivity 540mV
Input impedance 100k Ohms
Signal to noise ratio* (CCIR) 110dB
Power consumption (maximum) 400VA
Size W/D/H mm. inc. feet 430x330x85
This is a machine I have been happy with over the past year and a half and is one that I would recommend to anyone who is interesting in listening to a good quality at affordable prices.
All the best Mark
© Mark Montgomery 24th November 2004