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take a hard sharp look at Yamaha. I have the Z-11 (cost about $5,500)

Would you ever consider an Arcam, for example the AVR600?


The Arcam is at the high end of lower-priced amps and at the low end of high-priced amps. Arbitrarily that separation is in the $5-6,000 range: below that and it’s a competition of features; above and it’s a specialty market served by specialty designers creating the one-percent difference justifying the stratospheric price.

The Arcam is a good amp yet it competes with the high end Yamahas, Denons, Pioneers, and Onkyos. All of which are A/V self-contained as compared with high-end separates and mono blocks.

So comparatively while the Arcam is a substantial receiver and has the necessary licensing of Dolby/DTS I would (and did) choose the Yamaha Z-11. The Arcam has a nice design (Class G amplification and has a cool-running chassis) but I see it as not accomplishing what a similar priced comparable amp can such as DSP programs or speaker leveling such as YPAO or Audyssey.

The Arcam AV600 is, my view, a unit for the fiddler – the person who buys for the pleasure of altering because it can be altered. To these owners something is to be tweaked because it can be tweaked – and pay more for the opportunity. Sometimes a system is never perfect.

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