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Overview

The AVR500 is based on Arcam’s all new high definition AV platform that was crafted in Cambridge, UK over three years of intensive research and development. The outstanding reception already given to the first two products using the platform, the AVR600 Receiver and AV888 Pre-Amp Processor, suggests that the AVR500 will also set new world standards for audio quality in its price range.





In Detail


Arcam has achieved a global reputation for producing state of the art home cinema electronics that excel in both movie and music reproduction. Arcam have developed numerous world-class products for the AV market having been involved in home cinema since the mid nineties.

The AVR500 is based on Arcam’s all new high definition AV platform that was crafted in Cambridge, UK over three years of intensive research and development. The outstanding reception already given to the first two products using the platform, the AVR600 Receiver and AV888 Pre-Amp Processor, suggests that the AVR500 will also set new world standards for audio quality in its price range.

The massive feature set provided by the bigger AVR600 is not required for every home cinema installation and so the AVR500 is able to preserve the core performance of the AVR600 by deleting some of the less used connectivity. Removing the network card for Internet Radio, streaming and IP control capability has reduced construction complexity and cost. In addition the number of legacy video and audio outputs and multi-room connections have also been reduced recognising the move in many systems to predominantly digital connectivity.

The AVR500’s seven-channel amplifier is rated at 100 watts (all channels driven) but its massive power supply ensures that it can drive even highly demanding loudspeakers without strain. Being fully equipped for the high definition world the AVR500 decodes all the latest Dolby and DTS high definition audio standard with phenomenal precision.

The AVR500 offers customers the highest level of Arcam performance and sound quality at a lower price by reducing the feature set and absolute power output. However, no compromise has been made in the essential ability of all Arcam AV electronics to produce a level of sound quality that will bring movies and music to life like no other manufacturer.


Technical Specifications


Analogue Audio
  • Audiophile quality components for best sound quality
  • Multi-channel 7.1 analogue input for DVD-A or SACD sources
  • Stereo direct mode bypasses and disables all digital processing for 2 channel analogue sources
  • 8 stereo analogue inputs (including front 3.5mm AUX input)
  • Zone 2 stereo audio, from analogue inputs (Source and volume control independent from main zone)
  • Support for iPod via Arcam rLead / rDock (independent of RS232 connection)

Digital Audio
  • State of the art Analog Devices ADSP-21366 & ADSP-21367 DSPs for surround decoding
  • Crystal Semiconductor DACs, stereo ADC and precision electronic volume controls
  • Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital+, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS HD Master Audio*
  • DTS High Resolution Audio, DTS-ES Discrete, DTS-ES Matrix, DTS96/24, DTS Neo:6**
  • Dolby Volume gain management and Tonal correction processing*
  • Dolby Volume processing for balancing of program material gain and tonal balance
  • Adjustable crossover switching 40Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, 120Hz, 150Hz
  • 8 digital inputs 4 rear optical, 3 co-axial, 1 front 3.5mm optical AUX input
  • Global audio delay, adjustable from 0-1000 milliseconds, to compensate for video processing delays in digital displays and sources with auto lip-sync for compatible displays

Video
  • 5 HDMI inputs (up to 1080p, Deep Colour)
  • 2 HDMI outputs (up to 1080p, Deep Colour)
  • 3 Component inputs, one monitor output (up to 1080i)
  • 2 S-video inputs, one monitor output
  • 2 Composite video inputs, one monitor output
  • Full video up/down conversion & frame rate conversion of all inputs where technically allowed
  • Video enhancements (per input): Edge enhancement, Mosquito noise reduction, Random noise reduction, Block noise reduction

Custom Install Features

  • Independent Zone 2 (audio & video), with fixed/variable volume
  • RC-5 remote input jacks for both zones
  • IP control over Ethernet (with optional Ethernet module)
  • IR pass through for source components
  • Full suite of discrete IR RC-5 codes, including separate on / off etc
  • 12Volt triggers, on / off for zones 1 and 2
  • Full duplex RS232 control input for more complex control systems
  • Audio streaming and Internet radio via Ethernet port (with optional Ethernet module)

General

  • Supplied with back-lit CR102 learning remote
  • Control with support for up to 7 other components and a huge on-board code library
  • Large, high contrast dimmable VFD front panel display
  • User switchable between 120 & 230 volt
  • Mains supplies
  • Size – 435mm (17.1in) wide, 415mm (16.3in)
  • Deep, 185mm (7.3in) high
  • Weight 22kg (48.5lbs) nett, 27kg (59.5lbs) packed

Arcam FMJ AVR500

Arcam FMJ AVR500 Owners Manual
 

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Re: Arcam FMJ AVR500

Hello,
It is excellent to see that Arcam has released a less costly version of the amazing FMJ-AVR600.
If the AVR500 is 75% as good as the 600 is, this is going to be a special Receiver.

Given the AVR500 shares much of the in house developed programming code from the AVR600/AV888, I would imagine this is going to be a pretty sweet AVR. I greatly appreciate the fact that Arcam pays great attention to keeping jitter as low as possible.

Though it seems primarily the European Press that pays attention to HDMI jitter levels, I do believe it to be an important consideration for achieving the best possible sound. Pioneer has also done an excellent job in respect to keeping jitter levels quite low and offering a solution when using PQLS with a partnering Blu Ray Player.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Re: Arcam FMJ AVR500

The Arcam AVR600 is truly an excellent A/V Receiver (expensive though at $4,995 list).

* I just read an excellent review on it. The 'Sound', it's all about the Sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Arcam FMJ AVR500

Hi JJ,

Yes Arcam have paid a lot of attention to the levels of jitter that there new receivers and processor have over HDMI, I can certainly say that both the AVR600 and AV888 sound amazing and it seems that the new AVR500 is just a scaled sown version of the 600 which is good news for those that cannot stretch to the $5000 that its bigger brother is asking.

It only loses a little on the power side but it does omit pre outs which for some maybe a big deal, but I am sure it will sell well all the same...


Hello,
It is excellent to see that Arcam has released a less costly version of the amazing FMJ-AVR600.
If the AVR500 is 75% as good as the 600 is, this is going to be a special Receiver.

Given the AVR500 shares much of the in house developed programming code from the AVR600/AV888, I would imagine this is going to be a pretty sweet AVR. I greatly appreciate the fact that Arcam pays great attention to keeping jitter as low as possible.

Though it seems primarily the European Press that pays attention to HDMI jitter levels, I do believe it to be an important consideration for achieving the best possible sound. Pioneer has also done an excellent job in respect to keeping jitter levels quite low and offering a solution when using PQLS with a partnering Blu Ray Player.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Arcam FMJ AVR500

The Arcam AVR600 is truly an excellent A/V Receiver (expensive though at $4,995 list).

* I just read an excellent review on it. The 'Sound', it's all about the Sound.
Yes the SQ is amazing on the AVR600, I had one on loan for approx 1 month before I took delivery of the AV888, so if the AVR500 has more of the same it will be very good indeed..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Arcam FMJ AVR500 7.1 Receiver

This is now the Official Thread for all Owners and questions relating to the new Arcam FMJ AVR500 as it has now been released :T
 

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Lol, I just realised that this is the AVR500's thread, and not the AVR600. Oups! Better late than never I guess.

* And Good morning to you John. :)
 

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I appreciate this dedicated thread for the AVR500. I am new to Arcam and only know of them by reputation. I had been considering the Rotel RSP-1570/RMB-1575 combo vs the Marantz AV8003/MM8003 combo for both home theater and 2-channel use as I have auditioned these units but was compelled to look into the Arcam AVR600 after reading several glowing reviews. While the extra 20w per channel is welcome, the feature set of the AVR500 fits my needs more closely and I am happy to save money where I can. I would appreciate any knowledgeable input regarding the following questions:

1) Can I expect the AVR500 to embody all the sonic attributes of the AVR600?

2) Can this receiver really equal the sonic abilities of a separate pre/pro and amplifier, especially the ones I've listed above? One review I read (referenced on Arcam's website) goes so far to suggest that the AVR500's big brother (the AVR600) "gives me the finest sound I have heard in my life, from any system. Ever. Anywhere. Regardless of price. Period." Quite frankly, I find this hard to believe and even suggests that this receiver is at least as good as Arcam's own separates (AV888/P777).

3) As I listen to a lot of digital music off of my computer (typically lossless formats), I am interested to know whether the AVR500 (with the optional network interface) functions as an outboard DAC in this situation or relies on my computer's DAC and merely streams music. Obviously, the latter scenario would be much less desirable.

4) I know one of the benefits of class D amps is that they run cooler and more efficiently than class A/B amps. What about the class G amp in the AVR500?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hello romazicon and welcome to the Shack :T

With reference to your questions.

1/ The AVR500 shares all the same attributes as it's bigger brother albeit some features and slightly less power, I have heard from the feedback of dealerships that it sounds the same, which is of very high quality, I did have the AVR600 before I upgraded to the AV888 and can say that it is the best receiver I have heard.
With ref to the slightly less power which is 20watts, that really does depends on what and how efficient your speakers are but it I would expect it to power most quite easily.

2/I have not heard the pre/pro's you have mentioned although I do own the Rotel 1575 and that powers my M&K's and has huge output capabilities and matches my set up perfectly, I do think that the AVR's from Arcam would most certainly give them a good run for there money though and for music surpass them, there receivers certainly cannot match the sonic attributes of the AV888 which really is a step above in performance terms.

3/By feeding the AVR500 with an SPDIF/Optical interface it will be using the DAC's on board of the 500 so therefore the quality will be excellent.

4/I use the class D Rotel and it really is rather good but with the Arcams it is a funny one as the amplifier is similar in design to class D but also includes the toroidal transformer so therfore runs also like a class A/B amplifier but more efficiently, unfortunately I do not know the specifics of class G in particular, but HERE explains in more detail.

I appreciate this dedicated thread for the AVR500. I am new to Arcam and only know of them by reputation. I had been considering the Rotel RSP-1570/RMB-1575 combo vs the Marantz AV8003/MM8003 combo for both home theater and 2-channel use as I have auditioned these units but was compelled to look into the Arcam AVR600 after reading several glowing reviews. While the extra 20w per channel is welcome, the feature set of the AVR500 fits my needs more closely and I am happy to save money where I can. I would appreciate any knowledgeable input regarding the following questions:

1) Can I expect the AVR500 to embody all the sonic attributes of the AVR600?

2) Can this receiver really equal the sonic abilities of a separate pre/pro and amplifier, especially the ones I've listed above? One review I read (referenced on Arcam's website) goes so far to suggest that the AVR500's big brother (the AVR600) "gives me the finest sound I have heard in my life, from any system. Ever. Anywhere. Regardless of price. Period." Quite frankly, I find this hard to believe and even suggests that this receiver is at least as good as Arcam's own separates (AV888/P777).

3) As I listen to a lot of digital music off of my computer (typically lossless formats), I am interested to know whether the AVR500 (with the optional network interface) functions as an outboard DAC in this situation or relies on my computer's DAC and merely streams music. Obviously, the latter scenario would be much less desirable.

4) I know one of the benefits of class D amps is that they run cooler and more efficiently than class A/B amps. What about the class G amp in the AVR500?

Thanks!
 

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Hello,
I too am very interested in one of Arcam's AVR/SSP's. Since I have outboard amplification for all channels, the AV888 makes the most sense, but after reading the reviews about the amplifier stage in the AVR600, that too tempts me. Now, Arcam releases another excellent product that might make perfect sense for me. As soon as I can get to a Dealer which has one on display, I am going to do so.

I am a huge fan of Arcam. Ever since they incorporated the Ring DAC into a few of their CD Players, I have been following all of their work. Really am intrigued by the AVR500
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Yes I agree, Arcam is a very good sound company with products that consistently sound excellent, always the very best in their league and above.

Why do you think I choose my user name? LOTRINGS, as in the RING DAC.

And I've also been following them for many many years, they always have the best CD sounding players with HDCD and that Ring Dac, and also the best DVD sounding players with DVD-Audio integrated.

* And that review from Widescreen Review about the AVR600 receiver is simply out of this world.

But I also like Linn, Meridian, Lexicon, Esoteric, Anthem, Krell, McIntosh, Denon for their great sounding CD, DVD, Universal DVD, BD players, receivers, amplifiers and Pre/Pros.
Then, Rotel, Nad, Integra, Yamaha, Perreaux, Magnum Dynalab, Cambridge, and a bunch of other great products.

And about Oppo, Emotiva, SVS, Onkyo and others for the exceptional value.

Yes, Arcam is only one of some of the very best of them.
 

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Hello,
Bob, you are correct there are a plethora of amazing Companies out there. I never realized that the reason your name was LOTR was an homage to DCS's Ring DAC. Well played sir. And indeed the WSR review of the AVR600 was beyond complimentary.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Hello,
Bob, you are correct there are a plethora of amazing Companies out there. I never realized that the reason your name was LOTR was an homage to DCS's Ring DAC. Well played sir. And indeed the WSR review of the AVR600 was beyond complimentary.
Cheers,
JJ
Hi Jack,

That's right, most people don't realise that fact. I'm very much into Dacs, if you read some of my posts at various audio forums. And the Ring Dac was and still is one of the very best.

Cheers,
Bob
 

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Thanks for your detailed answers to my questions, John, and for the valuable primer on class G amps. Your perspective is especially valuable as you've owned an AVR600 and have since moved up to the AV888 and so you're able to provide a better assessment, it would seem, on just how good the AVR600 (and hopefully the AVR500) is. While the WSR review of the AVR600 was very detailed and well written, it would seem that some of the superlatives used were perhaps over the top. Nonetheless, the gist of what the reviewer was trying to convey is clear, that this is a special receiver and, therefore, I will withhold any purchase decision until I have had a chance to audition the AVR500 personally.

On another topic, with regards to Bob and Jack's comments on DACs, the Crystal Semiconductor DAC used on the AVR500 is one that I'm not familiar with and while I presume it's a high quality DAC, it is probably not the caliber of the Ring DAC you gentlemen are praising. I just purchased an Oppo BDP-83 SE Blu-Ray player that utilizes the new 32-bit ESS Sabre DACs (similar to the one used by McIntosh) with the intention of using its analog outputs for 2-channel listening, 5.1 channel SACD listening as well as 5.1 channel home theater viewing. In other words, my intention is to utilize HDMI solely to pass a video signal. If this is indeed what I end up doing, then my main use for the AVR500 will be for its amplifier and its switching abilities. In your opinions, would this be good use of the AVR500?
 

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Hello,
The AVR500 would excel in your stated application. Arcam has paid a great deal of time and attention to keeping jitter as low as possible. Many AVR's have shockingly high levels of Jitter. The Arcam along with Pioneer's ICE Powered SC Series AVR's have very impressively low levels of jitter. In addition, Arcam pays great attention to the analogue section as well so I think it would be a great AVR for you.

The Ring DAC is a legend that was built by DCS. DCS is a manufacturer of ultra high end digital products that are popular with both Audiophilles and Professional Audio folks. It is rare when these groups are on the same page.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Thanks, JJ. Please educate me further. Besides low jitter, what else would separate a good DAC from a mediocre one as this is already what I was hoping to achieve with my upgraded Oppo? Furthermore, I acknowledge that I give up the AVR500's speaker calibration benefits if I use its 5.1 analog inputs. This might be a difficult question to answer but do you feel that the DACs the AVR500/600 use are of sufficient quality that would you have me forego the specialized DACs in my Oppo BDP-83SE for 5.1 home theater use?
 

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Hello,
I would personally use HDMI for HT and gain Bass Management and Room EQ and use the BDP-83SE for 2 Channel sources.

This is one of those things where a certain amount of subjectivity comes into play. The good news is you have the option to try both configurations and decide which sounds best to you.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The pre amp stage on the Arcam's is also of extremely high quality and the standard Oppo BDP83 was excellent with 2 channel material so will be interested to hear your thoughts of the SE version romaz?
 

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Here's what I personally think in your situation Romaz.

* I already mentioned in another thread, to highly consider the Arcam FMJ AVR600 A/V Receiver.
The internal Dacs are mighthy fine, and you have a HUGE room.

I don't fully understand; why use the analog connections from the Oppo, when the Dacs in the Arcam Receivers are just fine?

You know Romaz, the ESS Sabre Dac in the Oppo is not that great of a Dac, and also the bass management is incomplete, it is not well implemented. And I doubt Oppo can fix this issue, as it is inherent to the ESS Sabre Dac; unless they change the Dac.
That's why I highly recommend using the digital HDMI interface from both player and receiver.

* Read this: http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/...tion-dvd-players-hd-dvd-blu-ray/oppo-bdp-83se

---> Final conclusion: just forget about the Oppo BDP-83SE, use the digital HDMI connection,
from the original regular model for both Audio & Video.

Cheers,
Bob
 
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