Arcam AVR360 A/V Receiver HT Labs Measures

HT Labs Measures

Two channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 91.5 watts
1% distortion at 105.9 watts

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 82.6 watts
1% distortion at 90.2 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 61.3 watts
1% distortion at 71.0 watts

Analog frequency response in Stereo Direct mode:
–0.06 dB at 10 Hz
–0.01 dB at 20 Hz
+0.01 dB at 20 kHz
–2.73 dB at 50 kHz.

Analog frequency response with stereo signal processing:
–1.28 dB at 10 Hz
–0.38 dB at 20 Hz
–0.18 dB at 20 kHz
–13.45 dB at 50 kHz.

This graph shows that the AVR360’s left channel, from CD input to speaker output with two channels driving 8-ohm loads, reaches 0.1 percent distortion at 91.5 watts and 1 percent distortion at 105.9 watts. Into 4 ohms, the amplifier reaches 0.1 percent distortion at 136.5 watts and 1 percent distortion at 152.9 watts.

Response from the multichannel input to the speaker output measures –0.06 dB at 10 Hz, –0.01 dB at 20 Hz, –0.07 dB at 20 kHz, and –2.91 dB at 50 kHz. THD+N from the CD input to the speaker output was less than 0.003 percent at 1 kHz when driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load. Crosstalk at 1 kHz driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load was –80.14 dB left to right and –84.32 dB right to left. The signal-to-noise ratio with an 8-ohm load from 10 Hz to 24 kHz with “A” weighting was –110.66 dBrA.

From the Dolby Digital input to the loudspeaker output, the left channel measures –0.01 dB at 20 Hz and –0.12 dB at 20 kHz. The center channel measures –0.01 dB at 20 Hz and –0.19 dB at 20 kHz, and the left surround channel measures –0.01 dB at 20 Hz and –0.14 dB at 20 kHz. From the Dolby Digital input to the line-level output, the LFE channel is +0.01 dB at 20 Hz when referenced to the level at 40 Hz and reaches the upper 3-dB down point at 109 Hz and the upper 6-dB down point at 116 Hz.—MJP

Video Test Bench
The Arcam AVR360’s video processing was disappointing. The 2:2 HD failures are relatively common among the A/V receivers we have tested, but the 3:2 failures are not. The Arcam also failed the video clipping test when processing was engaged by not passing information below a video level of 20 (video black is a level of 16). It also went only 2 percent above video white (to a level of 240—video white is 235), and while this would be passing, it’s borderline acceptable. The levels for our 8-bit video system comprise steps from 0 to 255. For video, only levels from 16 to 235 are used, with the remainder providing foot room and headroom. While response below black is useful mainly to set black level properly (once set, you will not see anything below black), response above white is needed to avoid clipping from sources that contain information above 235. While technically they should not, many do. Setting the AVR to bypass the upscaling eliminates the clipping, and would allow a source component or display to perform this function. —TJN

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mastermaybe's picture

sigh. Sorry, but this reeks of yet another canned "boutique" avr review.

You know the ones: generally AVR's priced at $2k+ (although this one's a bargain at $1800) that "feature" neutered connectivity, a scant number of (useful) features, handicapped useability/versatility and many times, poor to abysmal video processing ...all in the name of "better sound" and "real power".


First, a "real" 75-100 watts and and an "overstated" 120 are really non-starters when you understand that you need the twice the power for 3 decibels of output. Sorry, that's just irrefutable, empirical science.

So then, it's beyond silly to start touting one avr over another for a handful of "honest watts".

Now, this "better/improved sound". Describe it for me. Can it be discerned through an ABX?

At this point, good luck proving/finding differences between D/A chips and properly operating solid state amplifiers running below clipping. They simply do not exist and the vast majority of serious hobbyists know it.

All we're really left with are room correction/EQ systems and all of them (that I've heard, anyway) are excellent with only slight variances that most would be hard-pressed to note, never mind dish out gobs of extra coin for- especially in lieu of the aforementioned benefits that so many (99+%) purchase one for in the first place. Perhaps that's one of the reasons so many of these outfits are suffering so deeply or have disappeared altogether.

Go figure.

I truly wish these Arcams, NADs, Anthems, etc would be fairly judged against the Onkyo, Denons, and Yamahas of the AV world, but I realize it will never happen.

Like those praising the virtues of $10,000 speaker cable, there will always exist a faction within this hobby (although thankfully, most times, to much less foolish lengths) that will perpetually- albeit clandestinely- correlate a product's quality to not only its price tag, but worse, the "uniqueness" of its logo. And that's a real shame for the serious enthusiast, but worse still for the casual A/V joe six-pack who can easily be terribly misled by such nonsense.

double sigh.

smackbomb's picture

You must not come from an audiophile background. I can tell you this. I plugged in the Arcam in the bedroom, with terrible old speakers and a lame bluray player, and closed the cabinet. That night, I put on a show, and my wife looked up from her book and said "What did you do?" After a KEF living room upgrade, she has been very touchy about me spending money. In 30 seconds, my 'as far from audio quality conscious as you can get' wife realized that there was something different. Once she found out I got it used and at a deal too, she was less mad and readily admitted that it sounded loads better than a high end harman Kardon it replaced. The quality is there, you just have to experience it.