Oppo BDP-95 with Arcam AVR350
Four years ago, I purchased a high-end Arcam AVR350 A/V receiver without a good understanding of the future. Now I want to take advantage of the new lossless audio formats offered on Blu-ray from my new Oppo BDP-95 player. I can connect the multichannel analog output of the Oppo to the Arcam's multichannel input, but I am concerned about bass management, equalization, and lip sync. Can an amateur do the adjustments recommended or is a professional needed? Also, I am questioning my recent decision to repair my AVR350, which had a power-supply issue (it cost $400 to repair). Should I have bitten the bullet and scrapped this $2700 clunker for a newer receiver? It's a hypothetical question because now I don't have the funds to buy both a high-end receiver and high-end Blu-ray player. Any thoughts?
Fortunately, the Oppo BDP-95 offers bass management, so you can do that in the player; simply designate your main speakers as "small" in the player's Speaker Conguration submenu, and the low frequencies will be redirected to the subwoofer output. It also provides speaker distance/delay and trim-level settings.
However, the Oppo offers no equalization, and the AVR350's multichannel input bypasses all internal processing (except volume), so the only way to equalize the system you have is with an outboard equalizer and enough training to configure it correctly. Buying such an equalizer and hiring a pro do set it up would cost a fair amount, so if you are thinking of doing this, you might consider getting a new AVR instead. As for lip sync, I don't think that will be a problem from the Oppo.
Should you have bought a newer AVR instead of fixing the Arcam? That's a tough one. The AVR350 undoubtedly sounds great, but it has only two video-only HDMI inputs and no lossless decoding. I probably would have opted to put the $400 toward a new AVR, though any model comparable to the Arcam would be much more than that.
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