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Today's (Veritable) Audio Steal: The Arcam FMJ SR250 AVR
By Bes Nievera

In the home-theater world, creating your own movie palace is the stuff of dreams – at least once you navigate the multitude of possible configurations. From soundbars and the classic Dolby 5.1 arrangement to state-of-the-art setups that recreate the multiplex experience (save for spilling that extra-large, faux-butter-in-the-middle-and-top-please popcorn over the short-tempered theatergoer seated next to you), the quality and quantity of products are forever evolving.

But what about that movie lover whose viewing habits are largely confined to a modest-sized TV and who longs for audio purity? Someone who wants the ease of switching video sources or cable/sat TV box when a soundbar can only do so much? Or, someone who doesn't want the hassles associated with a forest of speakers taking up space, but who just longs for a tuneful amp to guide a good pair of speakers? Enter the Arcam FMJ SR250, now on sale at a substantial savings.

I've had our SR250 in our listening space for really intensive sessions, and I can say that, for the value, it's a fantastic product. Some further thoughts on why it's worth your investment:

It gives you a two-channel high-end audiophile AVR with Class G amplification
As with all Arcam amplifiers, nothing was left to chance with SR250. Inside, a 90Wpc (into 8 ohms) Class G amplifier proves a solid choice. Indeed, SR250's power handling and ultra-low-distortion sonics with practically any speakers immediately come to the fore. Whether playing with Wharfedale's stand-mounted Linton speakers or JBL's venerable 4312G, SR250 avoids being just another amplifier. Even at low volumes, the detail and clarity remain evident, while at high power, the dynamics astound.

It gives you Dirac Live room correction
Dirac Live room correction is a wonderful tool. Once activated, the program creates a unique sonic environment within your listening space regardless of room dimensions. Improvements in soundstaging, clarity, and deep, tight bass reproduction are among its key benefits. Imagine your favorite television show, movie, or song sonically elevated so you're truly in the moment. You'll get goosebumps! In a recent interview, Arcam's Scott Campbell sat down with us to explain how products like SR250 jive with your speakers and Dirac:

It gives you 4k (UHD) HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2, plus exceptional digital audio reproduction
As high-resolution video advances, SR250 places premium value on video reproduction – even in a 2.1-channel universe. With a total of seven HDMI inputs and three HDMI outputs (with ARC compatibility), SR250 makes for a great match for your audio/video streamer and/or universal player. A Cirrus Logic DAC provides native playback of network- and USB-based files up to 24-bit/48kHz, while the S/PDIF and Toslink inputs bring out the 24-bit/192kHz files to full effect.

It gives you A-OK analog playback (when paired with a phono preamp)
My life has been steeped in analog, and spinning vinyl with SR250 (despite the lack of a phono input), didn't disappoint me in the slightest. Paired with a MoFi UltraDeck+M turntable with MasterTracker phono cartridge, all coupled to a MoFi UltraPhono phono preamp, SR250 delivered authoritative, detailed LP playback.

With all these plusses (and more when you read the specs), SR250 is a steal!

Connect with @BesNieveraJr via Twitter & Instagram

November 29, 2019

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