If 2-channel and reliability are important I’d go with Anthem, but if that’s out of the budget Yamaha Aventage line would be my next choice. I got to compare Yammy directly with Arcam, Denon, and Marantz driving B&W 804 D3s in stereo and the Yamaha was the clear winner and also very reliable. It was the only one that displayed the characteristics of my much more expensive separate amp and preamp. Best of luck.
if you love the arcam but want reliability look at audio control
audio control builds in the usa but shares parts and design with arcam
audio control is sold primarily through custom Installers and so reliability is paramount
we have been selling their products for years very rarely ever any issues
Dave and Troy
Audio intellect nj
Audio control dealers
I don’t know it will be exactly the same, but I’d take Anthem over a lot of mass market designs.
If you are looking at 2 channel integrateds I’d strongly suggest hte Parasound as a close match, as well as Ayre on the higher price side.
I can't speak to every brand out there, but in the past I had a Theta casanova and thought I could substitute an Onkyo or Emotiva with the (then) new HDMI connectors. I was very wrong. They sucked at the time. Point is, you really should listen cause the Arcam is a very sweet sounding piece of kit and you are not going to be happy with a generic AVR.
I compared the Yamaha to the Arcam for two-channel listening and the Arcam was far superior. I was in a spot where my system needed to be downsized significantly due to having two young kids in the house. The Arcam is very nearly as good as the Pass X0.2 it replaced. Also replaced was a TOTL Pioneer Elite AVR, and for HT the Arcam beats that as well.
One day I will go back to a separate preamp, but for my needs, the AVR20 exceeds my expectations by a long shot.
I compared the Arcam to the Yamaha driving a pair of B&W 804 D3s extensively in the in the same system with audiophile-level recordings and it wasn’t even close. The Arcam sounded just like the Denon and Onkyo while the Marantz sounded like mush. The Yammy sounded a lot like like my $10k separates while the others sounded like, well, AVRs. What we’re you listening to with the Arcam? Hope it doesn’t fail on you out of warranty. Again, good luck with that.
@nooshinjohn how would you compare the sound of the AVR20 to the 30 in to two channels? Curious, because will need to replace my AVR400 someday.
@soix we will just have to disagree on Arcam versus Yamaha AVRs for two channel listening. I listened to both through multiple speakers and found the Arcam sounded like music to me while the Yamaha sounded like hifi. YMMV
I would not know really... I never used either one for powering my main speakers, as I have a set of tube amps I use for my mains. That said, there is no difference in the preamp sections of the AVR20 and AVR30. They sound exactly the same. If you intend on using the amplification, I would go with the class G that the AVR30 provides. If you want to use just the preamp portions and run your own amps, then I would go with an AV40 or AV41.