Arcam FMJ SR250 stereo A/V receiver Specifications

Thu, 06/01/2017

COMMENTS
hnickm's picture

"Stereophile seldom reviews A/V receivers."
Is that because they aren't esoteric enough or not expensive enough for the audiophile cache?

JoeinNC's picture

I imagine that's much of it, yeah. Also, maybe they're too convenient, there are more than a handful of boutique dealers/sources for them, and they mean less opportunity for outboard DACs, uber-expensive interconnects. Oh, and you don't get to explain them to your friends and guests.

low2midhifi's picture

We should see how A/V receivers stack up. Why aren't more A/V receivers being reviewed from time to time? Does one have to cost more than one (two or three in cheaper communities) times of total monthly expenses of many people for it to be tested here?

I know there are time and budget constraints. I know you can't test everything. But then, what's the impediment? Many readers of this publication own A/V receivers; perhaps that's all they will ever own. Might it not be "revelatory" (an audiophile reserved word for components costing tens of thousands) to see how an A/V receiver stacks up, especially against integrateds.

I have a Marantz SR4023. It has an EI transformer, folded fins of stainless steel for heatsinks, a sheet metal exterior, non-Hemi V8 capacitors. But you know what? There's nothing wrong with the way it sounds; there's much less wrong with how it effortlessly drives my speakers from two brands. Indeed, per manufacturer's specifications, it's 4ohm rated at 100watts (continuous) per channel. I've seen lighter weight integrateds getting testing in this publication. I doubt that a venerable manufacturer like Marantz would trump-up these numbers.

I'm not an expert on measurements, but I've gotten a grounding in the basics from those in this publication (thank you, JA). If you scrounge around on the internet, there are measurements for A/V receivers out there; they are less comprehensive than those here, but they are out there nonetheless.

Yes, I'd agree with what the last writer posited. What's there to hide with putting an A/V receiver, even an older one, on the test bench? After all, we had an article this month about rehabbing a speaker that was around before many of us were born.

Are the "better" component makers worried that people might find out that, with proper speaker placement, good digital sources, good recordings, a receiver (with comparably budget-minded speakers) might make people question the thousands of dollars (that we don't have) to buy something "better" for multiples of what an A/V or stereo receiver might cost?

I accuse none of subterfuge, but we should ask the question.

Patrick Butler's picture

A hint as to why "Stereophile seldom reviews A/V receivers"- it's in the name of the publication.

John Atkinson's picture
Patrick Butler wrote:
A hint as to why "Stereophile seldom reviews A/V receivers"- it's in the name of the publication.

We have a sister publication that reviews A/V receivers - and all kinds of home theater products - Sound & Vision magazine.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Johan Bottema's picture

I use a NAD receiver and 4 KEF speakers XQ20 ans XQ10 and a subwoofer. The UniQ drivers are the best in terms of imaging and using the NAD settings for 4 point stereo with careful tuning of distance/delay, attenuation and adjustment of subwoofer XO frequency results in true High End sound. I find it ridiculous to have only 2 speakers because it is missing a trick. Sounds is coming from all sides people!

HammerSandwich's picture
Quote:

The downward slope of the trace in fig.4 indicates that actual distortion lies below the noise floor; the broken curve in fig.5 suggests that it reveals the effect of the class-G voltage-rail switching. I don't know why this wasn't apparent in the 8 ohm graph.

There's less distortion at 8 ohms, so it's obscured by noise, right?

Also, figures 6 & 7 are flipped.

John Atkinson's picture
HammerSandwich wrote:
figures 6 & 7 are flipped.

Fixed.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Shangri-La's picture

In a new product review, can you include where it's ranked on Stereophile recommended component list (Class A/B/etc) if it makes it to the list? The reason the recommended list is so great is that consumers can compare different products in widely different price ranges. An individual product review is great and all but without knowing how it compares to its peers the review is less helpful than it otherwise could have been.

The recommended component list is updated every 6 months. If you can include where the reviewed product is on the list, it would help consumers a lot making informed audition/purchase, without waiting for 6 months.

Kal Rubinson's picture

It generally is not possible to include the rating in a review because the voting only takes place twice a year in preparation for. Recommended Components issues.

findcount's picture

USD3600 for this receiver ??!!.......just look at the internals......LOL

Arcam should rename itself as......ArCON.....or......ArSCAM....LOL

johnnythunder's picture

The comments sections on the major audio magazine sites are just loaded with the worst kind of cynics, snarks and opinionated types. Your comment could have been constructive and may have deserved a response from the reviewer. But in this case, a surface judgement with insults based on a photograph is a little beneath the response level.

findcount's picture

yes.....on hindsight, you're right........i should just ask people to stay as far away from this product as possible.........

Glotz's picture

YOU should stay away as far as possible, as I presume you have no one to 'ask' to stay away from a product such as this.

Write your own publication if you don't like the prices or coverage or blah blah blah..

You haven't even heard, seen or touched the product... I am sure every one will ignore you anyways, as what substantive opinion about this product do you have??

NONE.

Pages

Arcam FMJ SR250 stereo A/V receiver A Fly in the Ointment?

Thu, 06/01/2017

COMMENTS
hnickm's picture

"Stereophile seldom reviews A/V receivers."
Is that because they aren't esoteric enough or not expensive enough for the audiophile cache?

JoeinNC's picture

I imagine that's much of it, yeah. Also, maybe they're too convenient, there are more than a handful of boutique dealers/sources for them, and they mean less opportunity for outboard DACs, uber-expensive interconnects. Oh, and you don't get to explain them to your friends and guests.

low2midhifi's picture

We should see how A/V receivers stack up. Why aren't more A/V receivers being reviewed from time to time? Does one have to cost more than one (two or three in cheaper communities) times of total monthly expenses of many people for it to be tested here?

I know there are time and budget constraints. I know you can't test everything. But then, what's the impediment? Many readers of this publication own A/V receivers; perhaps that's all they will ever own. Might it not be "revelatory" (an audiophile reserved word for components costing tens of thousands) to see how an A/V receiver stacks up, especially against integrateds.

I have a Marantz SR4023. It has an EI transformer, folded fins of stainless steel for heatsinks, a sheet metal exterior, non-Hemi V8 capacitors. But you know what? There's nothing wrong with the way it sounds; there's much less wrong with how it effortlessly drives my speakers from two brands. Indeed, per manufacturer's specifications, it's 4ohm rated at 100watts (continuous) per channel. I've seen lighter weight integrateds getting testing in this publication. I doubt that a venerable manufacturer like Marantz would trump-up these numbers.

I'm not an expert on measurements, but I've gotten a grounding in the basics from those in this publication (thank you, JA). If you scrounge around on the internet, there are measurements for A/V receivers out there; they are less comprehensive than those here, but they are out there nonetheless.

Yes, I'd agree with what the last writer posited. What's there to hide with putting an A/V receiver, even an older one, on the test bench? After all, we had an article this month about rehabbing a speaker that was around before many of us were born.

Are the "better" component makers worried that people might find out that, with proper speaker placement, good digital sources, good recordings, a receiver (with comparably budget-minded speakers) might make people question the thousands of dollars (that we don't have) to buy something "better" for multiples of what an A/V or stereo receiver might cost?

I accuse none of subterfuge, but we should ask the question.

Patrick Butler's picture

A hint as to why "Stereophile seldom reviews A/V receivers"- it's in the name of the publication.

John Atkinson's picture
Patrick Butler wrote:
A hint as to why "Stereophile seldom reviews A/V receivers"- it's in the name of the publication.

We have a sister publication that reviews A/V receivers - and all kinds of home theater products - Sound & Vision magazine.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Johan Bottema's picture

I use a NAD receiver and 4 KEF speakers XQ20 ans XQ10 and a subwoofer. The UniQ drivers are the best in terms of imaging and using the NAD settings for 4 point stereo with careful tuning of distance/delay, attenuation and adjustment of subwoofer XO frequency results in true High End sound. I find it ridiculous to have only 2 speakers because it is missing a trick. Sounds is coming from all sides people!

HammerSandwich's picture
Quote:

The downward slope of the trace in fig.4 indicates that actual distortion lies below the noise floor; the broken curve in fig.5 suggests that it reveals the effect of the class-G voltage-rail switching. I don't know why this wasn't apparent in the 8 ohm graph.

There's less distortion at 8 ohms, so it's obscured by noise, right?

Also, figures 6 & 7 are flipped.

John Atkinson's picture
HammerSandwich wrote:
figures 6 & 7 are flipped.

Fixed.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Shangri-La's picture

In a new product review, can you include where it's ranked on Stereophile recommended component list (Class A/B/etc) if it makes it to the list? The reason the recommended list is so great is that consumers can compare different products in widely different price ranges. An individual product review is great and all but without knowing how it compares to its peers the review is less helpful than it otherwise could have been.

The recommended component list is updated every 6 months. If you can include where the reviewed product is on the list, it would help consumers a lot making informed audition/purchase, without waiting for 6 months.

Kal Rubinson's picture

It generally is not possible to include the rating in a review because the voting only takes place twice a year in preparation for. Recommended Components issues.

findcount's picture

USD3600 for this receiver ??!!.......just look at the internals......LOL

Arcam should rename itself as......ArCON.....or......ArSCAM....LOL

johnnythunder's picture

The comments sections on the major audio magazine sites are just loaded with the worst kind of cynics, snarks and opinionated types. Your comment could have been constructive and may have deserved a response from the reviewer. But in this case, a surface judgement with insults based on a photograph is a little beneath the response level.

findcount's picture

yes.....on hindsight, you're right........i should just ask people to stay as far away from this product as possible.........

Glotz's picture

YOU should stay away as far as possible, as I presume you have no one to 'ask' to stay away from a product such as this.

Write your own publication if you don't like the prices or coverage or blah blah blah..

You haven't even heard, seen or touched the product... I am sure every one will ignore you anyways, as what substantive opinion about this product do you have??

NONE.

Pages

Arcam FMJ SR250 stereo A/V receiver Page 2

Thu, 06/01/2017

COMMENTS
hnickm's picture

"Stereophile seldom reviews A/V receivers."
Is that because they aren't esoteric enough or not expensive enough for the audiophile cache?

JoeinNC's picture

I imagine that's much of it, yeah. Also, maybe they're too convenient, there are more than a handful of boutique dealers/sources for them, and they mean less opportunity for outboard DACs, uber-expensive interconnects. Oh, and you don't get to explain them to your friends and guests.

low2midhifi's picture

We should see how A/V receivers stack up. Why aren't more A/V receivers being reviewed from time to time? Does one have to cost more than one (two or three in cheaper communities) times of total monthly expenses of many people for it to be tested here?

I know there are time and budget constraints. I know you can't test everything. But then, what's the impediment? Many readers of this publication own A/V receivers; perhaps that's all they will ever own. Might it not be "revelatory" (an audiophile reserved word for components costing tens of thousands) to see how an A/V receiver stacks up, especially against integrateds.

I have a Marantz SR4023. It has an EI transformer, folded fins of stainless steel for heatsinks, a sheet metal exterior, non-Hemi V8 capacitors. But you know what? There's nothing wrong with the way it sounds; there's much less wrong with how it effortlessly drives my speakers from two brands. Indeed, per manufacturer's specifications, it's 4ohm rated at 100watts (continuous) per channel. I've seen lighter weight integrateds getting testing in this publication. I doubt that a venerable manufacturer like Marantz would trump-up these numbers.

I'm not an expert on measurements, but I've gotten a grounding in the basics from those in this publication (thank you, JA). If you scrounge around on the internet, there are measurements for A/V receivers out there; they are less comprehensive than those here, but they are out there nonetheless.

Yes, I'd agree with what the last writer posited. What's there to hide with putting an A/V receiver, even an older one, on the test bench? After all, we had an article this month about rehabbing a speaker that was around before many of us were born.

Are the "better" component makers worried that people might find out that, with proper speaker placement, good digital sources, good recordings, a receiver (with comparably budget-minded speakers) might make people question the thousands of dollars (that we don't have) to buy something "better" for multiples of what an A/V or stereo receiver might cost?

I accuse none of subterfuge, but we should ask the question.

Patrick Butler's picture

A hint as to why "Stereophile seldom reviews A/V receivers"- it's in the name of the publication.

John Atkinson's picture
Patrick Butler wrote:
A hint as to why "Stereophile seldom reviews A/V receivers"- it's in the name of the publication.

We have a sister publication that reviews A/V receivers - and all kinds of home theater products - Sound & Vision magazine.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Johan Bottema's picture

I use a NAD receiver and 4 KEF speakers XQ20 ans XQ10 and a subwoofer. The UniQ drivers are the best in terms of imaging and using the NAD settings for 4 point stereo with careful tuning of distance/delay, attenuation and adjustment of subwoofer XO frequency results in true High End sound. I find it ridiculous to have only 2 speakers because it is missing a trick. Sounds is coming from all sides people!

HammerSandwich's picture
Quote:

The downward slope of the trace in fig.4 indicates that actual distortion lies below the noise floor; the broken curve in fig.5 suggests that it reveals the effect of the class-G voltage-rail switching. I don't know why this wasn't apparent in the 8 ohm graph.

There's less distortion at 8 ohms, so it's obscured by noise, right?

Also, figures 6 & 7 are flipped.

John Atkinson's picture
HammerSandwich wrote:
figures 6 & 7 are flipped.

Fixed.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Shangri-La's picture

In a new product review, can you include where it's ranked on Stereophile recommended component list (Class A/B/etc) if it makes it to the list? The reason the recommended list is so great is that consumers can compare different products in widely different price ranges. An individual product review is great and all but without knowing how it compares to its peers the review is less helpful than it otherwise could have been.

The recommended component list is updated every 6 months. If you can include where the reviewed product is on the list, it would help consumers a lot making informed audition/purchase, without waiting for 6 months.

Kal Rubinson's picture

It generally is not possible to include the rating in a review because the voting only takes place twice a year in preparation for. Recommended Components issues.

findcount's picture

USD3600 for this receiver ??!!.......just look at the internals......LOL

Arcam should rename itself as......ArCON.....or......ArSCAM....LOL

johnnythunder's picture

The comments sections on the major audio magazine sites are just loaded with the worst kind of cynics, snarks and opinionated types. Your comment could have been constructive and may have deserved a response from the reviewer. But in this case, a surface judgement with insults based on a photograph is a little beneath the response level.

findcount's picture

yes.....on hindsight, you're right........i should just ask people to stay as far away from this product as possible.........

Glotz's picture

YOU should stay away as far as possible, as I presume you have no one to 'ask' to stay away from a product such as this.

Write your own publication if you don't like the prices or coverage or blah blah blah..

You haven't even heard, seen or touched the product... I am sure every one will ignore you anyways, as what substantive opinion about this product do you have??

NONE.

Pages

Arcam FMJ SR250 stereo A/V receiver

Stereophile seldom reviews A/V receivers. We made an exception for Arcam's FMJ SR250 ($3600) because it's that unusual two-channel device: one that includes room-correction software, in this case Dirac Live. Many of us who listen in multichannel are comfortable with room correction, but a week doesn't pass without my hearing or reading someone say that they bypass room correction when listening to music in stereo. Spock-like, I find that illogical and, from experience, pointless.
Thu, 06/01/2017

Ortofon M15 Super phono cartridge Specifications

Thu, 06/01/2017

COMMENTS
Metalhead's picture

I do not want to watch gladiator contests or good better best except in a casual way.

It was refreshing though to see it being called on quality control and compared to a competing product and having a very clear and succinct favorite in the comparison. I say this being a happy Ort owner since 1972 through various models.

Can see why J. Gordon had to sell the mag as this type of review must have made the ad companies reluctant to play.

dalethorn's picture

As a subscriber from 1971 on, Holt had no trouble attracting advertisers. His reasons for selling were no different from 1962 to 1972 to the date of sale - he was way overextended as the special kind of audiophile he represented, trying to juggle reviews, the logistics of handling the gear, managing the magazine and the subscriptions etc. His wife helped, but it wasn't nearly enough, and there wasn't a way in those pre-Internet days to communicate across the country and around the world cheaply and efficiently. He had long delays in getting issues out, and the ads didn't make a significant difference in that.

tonykaz's picture

I sold many of these M15s, along with the entire rest of their product range. They were simply replacements for worn or broken "needles".

All of the Ortofon range were Modest performers, they worked was the best that could be said for them, people had trust in the Ortofon name and willingly purchased, we willingly sold.

They offered a well reviewed Top of the Line MC with super low output and a matching step-up ( about $2,000 for the pair ) that my Electrocompaniet could play, it too was marginal for it's asking price, very typical of Ortofon sound quality.

Koetsu Rosewood ruled the Day.

Analog Planet just had Ortofon's lead designer presenting their "New" $4,000 MC pick-up, with a Boron cantilever. A "New & Improved" buggy whip from my Industrial perspective.

Tony in Michigan

egsp's picture

Interesting to see how much quality control expectations have improved.

Pages

Ortofon M15 Super phono cartridge Manufacturer's Comment

Thu, 06/01/2017

COMMENTS
Metalhead's picture

I do not want to watch gladiator contests or good better best except in a casual way.

It was refreshing though to see it being called on quality control and compared to a competing product and having a very clear and succinct favorite in the comparison. I say this being a happy Ort owner since 1972 through various models.

Can see why J. Gordon had to sell the mag as this type of review must have made the ad companies reluctant to play.

dalethorn's picture

As a subscriber from 1971 on, Holt had no trouble attracting advertisers. His reasons for selling were no different from 1962 to 1972 to the date of sale - he was way overextended as the special kind of audiophile he represented, trying to juggle reviews, the logistics of handling the gear, managing the magazine and the subscriptions etc. His wife helped, but it wasn't nearly enough, and there wasn't a way in those pre-Internet days to communicate across the country and around the world cheaply and efficiently. He had long delays in getting issues out, and the ads didn't make a significant difference in that.

tonykaz's picture

I sold many of these M15s, along with the entire rest of their product range. They were simply replacements for worn or broken "needles".

All of the Ortofon range were Modest performers, they worked was the best that could be said for them, people had trust in the Ortofon name and willingly purchased, we willingly sold.

They offered a well reviewed Top of the Line MC with super low output and a matching step-up ( about $2,000 for the pair ) that my Electrocompaniet could play, it too was marginal for it's asking price, very typical of Ortofon sound quality.

Koetsu Rosewood ruled the Day.

Analog Planet just had Ortofon's lead designer presenting their "New" $4,000 MC pick-up, with a Boron cantilever. A "New & Improved" buggy whip from my Industrial perspective.

Tony in Michigan

egsp's picture

Interesting to see how much quality control expectations have improved.

Pages

Ortofon M15 Super phono cartridge

The M15 Super is the first high-output pickup to come from Ortofon. Previous ones required either step-up transformers or a booster preamp, and it is only fairly recently that either kind of step-up device was available with high-enough quality to avoid a noticeable degradation of the sound. Early step-up transformers muddied the bass, and previously-available booster preamps added noise or hardness or both to the sound. Now that there are excellent transformers available from Ortofon and other sources, and at least one extraordinarily good booster preamp (the Mark Levinson, at an extraordinarily high price—$170), Ortofon's latest and best pickup doesn't require the use of either.
Wed, 05/01/1974

Steve Guttenberg: I am an Audiophile

The Audiophiliac, Steve Guttenberg, is a long time industry heavyweight, a prolific audio journalist, and a wild "As We See It" contributor to Stereophile. In this video, Steve shares his personal background and offers his perspective on a variety of audio related topics.
Wed, 05/31/2017

Listening #174: Restoring an Altec 604E Page 2

Tue, 05/30/2017

COMMENTS
music guy's picture

Not sure why Stereophile has this Mr. Fixit/Mr. Greenjeans home show thing going on.

Art at the shop; Next Episode, vanishing the cabinets!

Always imagine the resident noise floor of the gear you're listening through is audible well before you start playing anything. Euphonic, sweet but noisy.

grantray's picture

You know, Art, just for kicks, you can stuff those 604s in your Flamenco cabinets as long as you seal the massive port left by the removal of the 811B with a board that reduces the port volume to 2x10x0.75.

If you look at Altec's dimensional specs for the 846A, on the far left, kinda small, you'll notice a "B" version of the front baffle with a high-mounted 15" LF speaker and a 2x10 port underneath, called the 859A. Now, the 859A speaker cabinet Altec offered in the fall of 1965 (only in Valencia finish, not Flamenco but same diff) just so happened to house the 415 BIflex, as well as the 602/604/605 Duplexes. Well fancy that, right?

So if you're really dying to give a proper listen to those freshly restored 604Es before you've had the new cabinets built up, you've got a nearly factory-spec option already sitting in the room... ;)

Bkhuna's picture

Toss companion out the door. Keep equipment and records safe with new locks. End of story.

Ricardo Fromage's picture

I like the DIY/vintage articles, but please don't use the old stuff to evaluate modern equipment.

GLADYS ZYBYSKO's picture

Why not?

chuckles304's picture

Obviously Mr. Music Guy above has never had the pleasure of rescuing something old and restoring it. The construction company I work for specializes in period restorations. Antique glass, antique pine, antique beams, antique doorknobs, etc. I love seeing old stuff have new life breathed into it. Nevermind the naysayers, Art. keep up the good work.

Metalhead's picture

Whew, what an undertaking. Better on you Mr. Dudley. What an endeavor.

I would ask for a raise, that way, you could have let Great Northern bring them back to life and you could have jetted out to brewing Ommegang for a concert and belgian ale.

Good thing you like doing it as this project certainly involved competence and patience. Wish I had more of it.

Happy listening!!!!

donroth's picture

Hello Art -

I am an Altec and vintage audio fan in general. Your column here is excellent and I would love to see Stereophile do more of this regarding commisioning restorations, repairs, modification descriptions. The audio hobbyist magazines like Sound Practices, Vacuum Tube Valley, etc. are all gone. There are web-based communities with posts detailing restorations, repairs, and building if you are willing to look for them.

The big sound and presence created by Altec speakers with a small tube amp (I have a modified Scott 222-d) is pure magic. I know you know this having followed your columns and publishing in the past. I am having a pair of Altec Capistranos restored now and will be creating a mirror-image set of these by reversing the baffle board on one (the only set like this in the world most likely). These were originally made in the 1950s and thus were sold as monophonic singles. My hope is that the restoration goes as well as promised. You'd be welcome to come and listen anytime because you are helping keep this portion of the audio world alive.

Pages

Listening #174: Restoring an Altec 604E

There was a fight. And when the fight took a turn for the worse and things began being broken and thrown, it was time to leave. Not later. Not soon. Now.

Which meant he had to get as much stuff downstairs and out to the curb in as few trips as possible. Clothes and a few treasured paintings and photos were musts. LPs were left behind and written off. (Too many to haul, too difficult to choose just a few.) Likewise, the amps and turntables were written off—someday there would be others. And the loudspeakers, in their custom-made one-off cabinets, were over 5' tall: might as well try moving the refrigerator out of the apartment. Twice.

Tue, 05/30/2017

Pages