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Arcam FMJ A19 as preamp worth it

Wharfedale EVO4.1 Bookshelf Speakers

santosh4

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Dear FM,

I have given a try on the combination of below and here is my input
1. Set up
Marantz NA6005(Network Player) -> Arcam FMJ19(CD In) -> Preout of FMJA19 -> Exposure 2010 (Power amp) -> B&w 684

Conclusion : Outstanding vocals and very pleasent no harshness at all.. Just loved it and finalized.

2. Marantz NA6005(Network Player) -> Arcam FMJ19(CD In) -> B&w 684

Conclusion: Here I am not using exposure and hence I see harshness and vocals are not so detailed



My Question and confusion:

1. Does FMJ A19 act as DAC if I use it as Preamp and is that overiding the dac of Marantz player? ( I know the marants is sending the analog output)
2. I am feeding the analog out of the marantz and what is that actually FMJa19 doing here?
3.Why does it sound so bad when driven through its own power amplifier sections but it so pleasent when connected to exposure as external power amplifier..


I might sound dumb.. but I am lost in finding the answer..


Regards,
San
 

santosh4

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Just want to know whats the role of PREAMP here, am I wasting money for the FMJA19 just to convert line level to preout???
 

Naturelover

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The DAC is still of the Marantz. You are using only the preamp section of the Arcam. Separate pre and power amps would be expected to sound better than an integrated. But, then, you are paying for an integrated to use as a pre.
Maybe an Exposure pre might be a better idea or even an Exposure integrated only since you seem to have liked the Exposure sound. Check them out. It is also possible that the Exposure/B&W synergy is better than the Arcam/B&W.
 

regeHA

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It just means your Exposure plays at a much higher level than the Arcam. I had a similar experience using Roksan over Marantz, NAD, etc. Since them I'm a big believer in spending as much on the amp as you do on the speakers... or at least 90%. It will bring out the best in your speakers... or else you'll never fully realise the potential of your speakers or even play them to potential.

Separate pre and power amps would be expected to sound better than an integrated.

I held a similar view till I heard a Cyrus integrated amp... simply blew all the separates I'd heard. Of course the caveat being the Cyrus cost just as much.

Just want to know whats the role of PREAMP here, am I wasting money for the FMJA19 just to convert line level to preout???

Nothing is really wasted if it improves the performance. End of the day that's what we are paying for.

+1 to below... an Exposure preamp should move things along nicely.

But, then, you are paying for an integrated to use as a pre. Maybe an Exposure pre might be a better idea or even an Exposure integrated only since you seem to have liked the Exposure sound. Check them out. It is also possible that the Exposure/B&W synergy is better than the Arcam/B&W.

Also, my observation is the Arcams don't have enough power, I never got the kick with an Arcam even for my R300s. Not enough bass and the highs also never really came into their own.
 

santosh4

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is this the reason Arcam has good preamp : its quoted in theire manual

Volume Control
The Volume Control uses the same circuit found in Arcams top-of-the-range FMJ AV888 processor, namely the TI
PGA2311 professional VCA. Using this part means the A19 pre-amp features the same topology as the resistors
around a multi pole switch configuration found normally only in highly esoteric (and very expensive) dedicated
pre-amps. In essence, the PGA2311 replicates this in a single silicon device using laser-etched high precision
resistive ladders. The actual attenuation required is simply set by the resistor in circuit. The resulting device yields
a bench mark 120dB S/N ratio and an incredibly low THD of just 0.0004%.


The Input stage (pre-amp)
The input stage of the A19 is based around a logic switching array that involves absolutely no moving parts. Not
only does this give a simple, clean signal path but importantly it will not degrade over time. It induces a level of
distortion so low that its on the threshold of measurability. After the input switch the audio signal is then correctly
buffered and impedance matched by a line-driver stage using the best operational amplifiers that could be found
for the job.

Regards,
San
 

Naturelover

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Well, I had assumed they would be at a similar level. But on a random price check on Google, Exposure is far more expensive. Thus comparing them would not be quite right.
 

srinisundar

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I bet you can use one tube based preamp with solid stage power amplifier and it sounds beautiful and soulful.. Try..
 

soundbuff

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If its working why not just stick with the Arcam pre-outs until you get yourself a dedicated pre-amp. However, be prepared to spend as much on the pre as on the power. At least that's my take.
 

santosh4

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Thanks Guys,

I will wait for some more time, will audition the current setup, anyways I am impressed with the detailing and clarity and I never heard the vocals so real in my life time... 684 is just amazing.. I tried the same on 683 but its not so rich as 684.

If at all I would switch I would go just for the exposure integrated to replace both arcam and exposure power..


Regards,
San
 

regeHA

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B&Ws need more power to make them sing. Make sure whatever replacement you plan has more grunt than the Exposure 2010.
 
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