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Arcam SR250 Stereo AV Receiver Preview

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Summary

  • Product Name: SR250
  • Manufacturer: Arcam
  • Review Date: January 30, 2016 16:00
  • MSRP: $3600
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

Continuous power output, per channel, 8Ω

  • 2 channels driven, 20Hz - 20kHz, <0.02% THD - 90W
  • 2 channels driven, 1kHz, 0.2% THD - 120W

Video Inputs

  • HDMI - x7, 1 MHL compatible

Video Outputs

  • HDMI - Z1 x2 (ARC Compatible), Z2 x1
Audio Inputs
  • HDMI - x7, Coax SPDIF - x4, Toslink - x2, RCA Phono - x6, 3.5mm aux, USB input, Ethernet Client, Internet Radio, ARC (from display)
  • Audio Outputs
  • 2.1 Pre-amp output - 4x RCA Phono
  • Zone 2 output - RCA Phono
Radio Tuner
  • FM / DAB / DAB+ (in appropriate markets)
General
  • 6V rSeries PSU x1 Power consumption (max) - 600W (approx. 2040 BTU/hour)
  • Power consumption (standby) - <0.5W

Dimensions & Weight

  • W x D (inc. speaker terminals) x H (inc. feet) - 433 x 425 x 171mm
  • Weight - 15.1kg

Executive Overview

Arcam has always designed and produced top notch amplifiers, but at CES in Las Vegas this year they introduced a top notch AV receiver for two-channel enthusiasts- The Arcam SR250. The SR250 is designed to fill the gap for audio enthusiasts who have their room setup for two-channel stereo listening, but still want the connectivity and flexibility that a networked modern AVR delivers as well as a sophisticated room correction system to optimize the speaker to room integration.

 ArcamSR250 Stereo AV Receiver at CES 2016

sm250pro.jpg

The SR250 does have the inputs to satisfy most home theater enthusiasts who need or want a 2.1 channel system with both video and audio stages designed to embrace both current and upcoming technologies. HDMI2.0a with HDCP2.2 4K “Ultra HD” and 3D video capability are built in. All in all There are seven HDMI 2.0 inputs with HDCP 2.2 compatibility with six of them able to handle a 4K video signal, three HDMI outputs with ARC (Audio Return Channel), and ethernet connectivity and a stereo subwoofer out.

sr250backpro.jpg

For the two-channel audio lover, the SR250 us designed for those who want an amplifier that sounds as good as the best separates in stereo. Besides the power of their class G amplifier technology, the system also relies on the power of Dirac Live, an auto room correction program that gives the owner the ability to tune the acoustic performance of the system to the room situation.  The acoustic room information is sent via the internet to Dirac Research in Sweden where a supercomputer analyzes the sound of the room acoustics and then sends back the corrections to the receiver for correction.

With class G amplifier technology and other features, the SR250 should be able to take the big hits in a musical symphony and deliver the realistic stomp of a dinosaur crushing a car. The receiver should run on the lower rail in class A mode for low listening sessions then switch to the higher rails in Class A/B when needed. With a subwoofer attached, action movie buffs should be able to get all the heart pounding thump, whump and bump they need.

sr250 back.jpg

An internal tuner provides a fully integrated FM / DAB / DAB+ (in appropriate markets) radio solution.   Worldwide access to internet radio stations is provided through the network connection, which also interfaces to UPnP audio servers.  Tsr250 top.jpghe USB port supports memory devices.

Control is possible via Ethernet, enabling it to be fully integrated with whole house control systems, or via the iOS MusicLife UPnP/control app. RS232, 12V triggers and standard IR control are also included.

Arcam seems to trying to satisfy both two-channel audio enthusiast AND home theater buffs with this product and we hope they don’t fall short. What we heard at CES was a great all in one 2.1 channel system, but with 100,000 people standing around you it really made it difficult to tell.  We would love to get one into a more controlled environment for a full review.




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About the author:

Marshall is an Educator by trade, and currently lives in Oregon. He was lucky enough to grow up in a musical household, and though the AV equipment wasn't the greatest, it was always on. His dad introduced him to Queen, Paul Simon, and Sgt. Pepper's, and his mom played Lionel Richie and Disney Soundtracks. When Marshall was 14, his uncle passed down a pair of JBL towers and Marshall finally had his own system. Having enjoyed podcasting and video production over the past 10 years, Marshall is happy to be contributing at Audioholics.

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Recent Forum Posts:

Bukun posts on July 27, 2016 22:39
camelot1971, post: 1116904, member: 77988
The reason it's expensive is it uses class G amplification and also has Dirac Live built into it. It's unfortunate that Arcam products are always so expensive in the US with the exchange rate being what it is.

The 90WPC doesn't reflect the capability of this - it's capable of driving any speaker to reference levels If you have a dealer near you I highly recommend a listen before writing it off.

The AVR600 and AVR750 were very respected amps and the new AVR850 is getting glowing reviews too.


I recently listened to the avr850 with B&w 804d3 speakers in a magnolia store and it sounded pretty good. Do you guys have any detailed review on these receivers. At the $6k price range for the river what are other options available?
AcuDefTechGuy posts on February 07, 2016 20:17
camelot1971, post: 1117086, member: 77988
It's a shame that anything primarily sold in UK £ then exported to the US will generally be more expensive that it's US competitors.

Arcam have always been expensive and it's very much a personal choice if you think they are value for money or not. My AVR600 was $6000 new - how many people would pay that for an AV receiver? I lived in Pittsburgh for 8 years back in the late 90's and remember my local dealer there getting an AVR100! Can't recall how much it was but I did buy it

Of course, a lot of Arcam's US competitors aren't sold in the UK so the choice for “high end” home cinema gear is limited compared to the US market.

I still think people should listen to the SR250 before judging whether it's worth the cost or not. I appreciate *I* haven't heard it either, but I have heard it's brother and the class G amps in my 600

The 1971 is just my year of birth - yes, I am old!
Not that old. That's also my year.
camelot1971 posts on February 07, 2016 05:26
It's a shame that anything primarily sold in UK £ then exported to the US will generally be more expensive that it's US competitors.

Arcam have always been expensive and it's very much a personal choice if you think they are value for money or not. My AVR600 was $6000 new - how many people would pay that for an AV receiver? I lived in Pittsburgh for 8 years back in the late 90's and remember my local dealer there getting an AVR100! Can't recall how much it was but I did buy it

Of course, a lot of Arcam's US competitors aren't sold in the UK so the choice for “high end” home cinema gear is limited compared to the US market.

I still think people should listen to the SR250 before judging whether it's worth the cost or not. I appreciate *I* haven't heard it either, but I have heard it's brother and the class G amps in my 600

The 1971 is just my year of birth - yes, I am old!
AcuDefTechGuy posts on February 06, 2016 13:36
camelot1971, post: 1116911, member: 77988
Although Arcam don't specify the 4ohm rating for the 250, looking at the 850 (which it is based on), it's reasonable to assume around 160w.

My AVR600 is class G and can drive my 7 SVS Ultra speakers (which are 87db) to reference level with ease.

If you think the SR250 is junk/pointless etc that's fair enough. I just think you need to listen to it (or it's sister amps) before writing it off. The quality of an amp is so much more than how much power it produces.

Or are you saying that the only thing that matters in an amp is WPC?

I know I am coming over as an Arcam fan boy (which I am as I loved them for over 20 years!) but it's annoying when people go .. “90WPC? It's rubbish!”
I don't think anyone is saying it is junk. Just overpriced for the spec. IOW, some of us think they are being a little stingy.

I do agree that quality is more important than quantity. But for $3600, I think 150WPC would be great.

BTW, what's the “1971” in your screen name?
Steve81 posts on February 05, 2016 14:43
camelot1971, post: 1116911, member: 77988
If you think the SR250 is junk/pointless etc that's fair enough.

I wouldn't call it junk, but the price tag of $3,600 isn't going to earn it a value badge. For that kind of dough, one could buy a nice pre/pro like the Marantz AV7702 Mk II ($2,200), a reasonably high end two channel amp like the ATI AT1202 ($895), and still save a few bucks while ending up with a more capable system that could be expanded later.
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