The eagerly awaited Arcam UDP411 Universal Disc Player arrived with us last week, and we have now had a chance to unbox it and give it a spin!
The first thing that hit us when we opened up the box was how big it was!
From Arcam's promotional material it is clear that they have made every effort to give this player the best reproduction in all areas. The power supplies in particular seem to be where Arcam have made some significant improvements even using discreet sub-regulated power supplies on the drive, audio and DAC boards not to mention using industry leading DACs on board.
So, what does all this mean? I have to say that I was already expecting a lot from this player as I was already a huge fan of the outgoing model BDP300. As many of you are already aware I am a stickler for sound quality and not so fussy about picture quality. Well... the first thing that surprised me was the obvious improvement in picture quality over the BDP300, I wasn't really paying that much attention to the screen at the time but it stood out straight away that it was a big step up..... and then it came to cranking up the volume... WOW!!!!!
Let me stress... it was not a slight improvement in sound quality - it was a massive improvement! One of my least favourite tracks on the disc (Joe with Beth Hart singing Nutbush City Limits) now sounds incredible!. The punch and timing of the track is fabulous, it really has to be heard to be believed. The punch of the drum kit was rediculous and then when the brass section come in ... well...... amazing! Can you tell I liked it????
As you would expect from a universal player it has plenty of connectivity.
I also quicky set up the wireless network connection which was very fast indeed, and within a minute or so was playing FLAC files via our network which again amazed me. I have never heard music reproduction this good in our AV demo room before!
To be fair it is not the cheapest player around at £1200 but in my opinion worth every penny!
Here's a link to the product page on Arcam website: http://www.arcam.co.uk/products,FMJ,BD-Players,udp411.htm
You have to hear this player to believe it, so please feel free to call in the shop and bring along a favourite disc of yours and prepare to want one!