In London today was the an Arcam ‘Event’ where their new Arcam AVR850 was on display for the first time in the UK. And if you like that kind of thing, as I do, it was a very attractive indeed! Yes, I know! The event was primarily a launch of the Arcam Solo Range, however the sight of the Arcam AVR850 was very exciting, as was the Arcam Boost.
Otherwise, this was an extremely entertaining and pinpoint demonstration of music, in particular, ‘performance, performance, performance’, in the words of Andy Moore. Arcam come from the starting point of music first. Charlie Brennan, MD of Arcam and creator of many ideas here, bemoaned with me the inaccessibility of HD music, HD Tracks has much ‘geo-blocking’, Qobuz is Niche, so the basic premise of music first comes from the top. There was plenty of music on offer, the first track I heard was ‘Midnight Rambler’ from ‘Let It Bleed’, not a bad start. This track was presented on the new Arcam Boost, described as a massive audio upgrade for the iPhone. And so it was that music predominated the day, London Grammars reworking of Wicked Game on the Arcam Solo Movie was sparkling.
On display at the Event at the Hospital Club, Covent Garden were the Arcam AVR850 and the Arcam Solo Music system. On actual demonstration was the show stopping (literally) Arcam Solo Movie, an all in one AV solution that demands a look, the Solo plus, a high grade audio driven ‘soundbar’ with wireless ‘sub’, and the excellent Arcam Boost, as described above. So the ‘solo range’ is the Solo plus, the Solo movie and the Solo music.
Arcam Solo Movie
It is like having an audiophile home theatre in one box
‘Available in December at £2000’ the Arcam Solo Movie seems to me to be a game changing all-in-one audio/AV solution for the modern TV/cinema/living room. It is like having an audiophile home theatre in one box; it features a Blu-ray/CD/SASD/CD drive that must be a first somewhere, I’m not huge on AV but it was seriously impressive. Other inputs included an array of options, including gaming and other TV devices in the four HDMI inputs. Networked, with HD audio resolution, SPDIF, USB and optical inputs AND apt X csr Bluetooth this is the complete package, and there is tons of Class G amplifier power in the 5.1 channels. Is there anything out there that does all this?
The Solo Movie demonstration was excellent on a massive ‘4K’, presumably, TV. A look at the myriad of input choices first on the bespoke menu proved the point. Using the Arcam subwoofer and five dinky Arcam Muso speakers around the room the sound was big, wide and loud. In all, excluding the TV, cables(!) and stands, the package was 5x £170 for the Musos, £500 for the sub and £2000 for the Arcam Solo Movie, £3350 in total. We heard London Grammar on 2 channels to start with, fabulous, then John Legend’s incredible piano work, on the 5.1 Blu-ray player included, covering Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’. After that, the obligatory guns and explosions demo was given using a Matrix sequence. Unfortunately Andy Moore reminded us it was 17 years ago and I had one of those Nokia ‘banana’ phones too. But what a sound. Unbelievably, if there was not enough AV power on display, then the Arcam AVR850 is where you start your next steps. If you are a 2 channel devotee looking for audiophile solutions, the Solo Music, at a modest £1500, is the place to look.
Arcam Solo plus and Arcam Boost
Also on display in the wings, with more detail to come from me on Friday were the Solo plus and the Boost. I’ll put my pictures up and talk more then.
But a very interesting day indeed.