Arcam AVR850 A/V Receiver Review

Arcam’s new flagship A/V receiver, the AVR850, is about the most expensive receiver you can buy today: $6,000 here in the Land of the Free(-ish) (not counting a slightly more expensive, similarly spec’d model sourced by Arcam for AudioControl). That’s a lot of simoleons for a box that, on the surface anyway, doesn’t do quite as much stuff as the big-brand models, doesn’t have as much claimed-on-paper power or as many colored lights or flashing displays, and which exudes a substantially simpler design aesthetic. So what do you get for your extra couple of kilo-clams?

Arcam of Cambridge: PREVIEW: SR250 unique stereo AV receiver. The power and performance of a Class G Hi-Fi amplifier. The connectivity of a word-class AV amp. Literally the best of both worlds.

Sound quality, that’s what. At least, that’s what the British firm claims—and the aggregate opinion of the audiophile world seems to concur. Whether you regard audio’s higher end as a tight-knit community or a mere rag-tag of warring tribes, it is most certainly a village, especially in today’s net-connected age, and the collective judgment of a village is rarely wrong. But rather than take it on faith, we solicited a sample of Arcam’s latest design.

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