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Anthem AVR's

17178 Views 55 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  David Susilo
I was looking at the Pioneer Elite SC line as a possible future replacement for my aging Onkyo (someone in a forum told me I have a "legacy" and it are getting old!

Anyway, I talked over the phone to my fave dealer who usually is a minor propagandist for all things "Elite" and he kinda surprised me by raving about the Anthem line of AVR's. He knows that I play a lot of 2 channel music and he thinks they have the best sound going.

Does anyone have any opinion on them? I noticed an earlier thread but that seemed to be in the early days of their development. Would really like to hear what people think on this one.
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You may be better off going with a half decent AVR as a Pre-pro and then get a really good separate 2-3 channel amp - Bryston (new/used) Emotiva, etc.
Thanks for the link, 57! Much good stuff there. I think you are probably right but I have never ventured into the area of pre-pro and admit to being a little intimidated. Emotiva pricing levels are very appealing especially when compared to the Brystons. Used would have to be considered when it comes to that'm reasonably middle class but ..

In any case, I would have to spring for a new AVR in any case. Or could I possiblly get away with my present Onkyo.? The good part about this whole thing is it seems that you can now afford great 2 channel sound without spending an incredible amount of money. That's encouraging.
I have the Anthem integrated (for two channel music). Definitely it has the best bang for the buck and great sound. It is a Canadian company although not all their stuff is made in Canada. Your best bet is to audition it and judge for yourself.

Bryston is good but commands top dollar. As for Emotiva, it's a mail order company. Shipping to Canada is expensive. For any warranty issues, you pay shipping both ways.
I'm currently doing a review on Anthem MRX-500 and so far I'm liking it more and more than my beloved Elite SC-25.

Anthem Room Correction is supersweet and just amazing.
I read in Home Theatre Mag their review on the 700 and it seems to be a sweet sounding piece of equipment. But, under multi-channel loads, the avr loses a lot of juice according to their benchmark test, especially with 7 channels running. It dipped to about 50 watts per channel under 7 channel 8 ohm loads. I was quite surprised at this considering the quality of Anthems amps. Just as a reference, the Marantz 6003 I have under benchmark testing showed as not going below 96 watts under 7 channel loads.

Here is the review on the 700.
What are the best prices of these AVRs that you've seen?

I may consider using say the MRX 300/500 to replace my Emo UMC-1, UPA-1 for center, and UPA-5 powering my rears. I can consolidate to MRX 300, 2 UPA-1s for LR.

Are there functional and reliability issues?

Also, I can't seem to find in the Anthem site or Google search results description of the components of these AVRs. Does any one have a good link?
I'm using the MRX-500 in my room ( see for dimensions and type of speakers used) and have played several movies at full reference level with no sign of "weakness" from the amplifier section.
lex, you may have to go through the voluminous pages over at AVS forums.
Yes that might be fine for five smaller speakers and a powered sub as you have but run some towers and two more surrounds with no sub and it might start to struggle.
I finished reading a thread over at the canadianhifi, i think.

Btw, are the MRXs capable of handling 4 ohm speakers? Manual only mentions 8 ohms that I saw. Of course, I can change my Emo 6.3 center for say a CC-690 if I get the MRX 500.
Don't know about 4 ohm speakers but my speakers are large-ish bookshelf with 6 ohms nominal impedance. No problem at all.

The only "drawbacks" for my HT purpose is the lack of dual HDMI output and front HDMI input. Also I find 4 HDMI input to be restrictive (I need a minimum of 6 inputs: BD, PVR, WDTV, AppleTV, BD-DVR and HD Camcorder)
I have demoed the MRX line. Certainly a great accomplishment at these price points. Anyone planning on spending at these levels should definitely audition them. You will be pleasantly surprised at the performance vs Asian brands.

The 500 can run electrostatics and low efficiency 4 ohm speakers in STEREO. However these amps have nowhere near the current capacity of amps found in NAD AVRs. The lower MRX numbers for 5 and 7 channel operation are due to the limit circuitry being activated. I would suggest anyone running 4 ohm or electrostatics for both 2 channel and multichannel consider an outboard 2 channel amp to handle the 2 front speakers.

The cost of a MRX + 2 channel amp is about the same as a NAD AVR. So it gets down to ARC vs Audussey.

Hats off to a Canuck company.
I don't think I'll ever go back to an AVR-only set up. I have monos on LCR but I was hoping to reduce the electronics - removing the mono on center and a five channel amp running surrounds.

If I can find a decently priced CC-590 or 690 either through the dealer or used then I'll replace the 4 ohm center speaker. I'll check out the local dealers in the next few weeks. Time is on my side right now. Real driver for change right now is the use of ARC.
I don't keep up to date much on new equipment since i'm not in the market, I've got the Anthem AVM50 V2 and it is beyond impressive. If anthem is building there own Receivers I have no doubt they would sound amazing based on there sound quality legacy ARC blows Audessy out of the water as well for room correction.

I am curious though if Anthem brand labled there Receiver line, they came out with a projector & blu ray player and the receivers all really quickly and I got the feeling it was just so they could do complete home installs on the strength of the anthem brand.

I'd bet big money the Projector and blu ray are brand labled products and I was curious about the receivers if they were someone elses with ARC thrown in.
I believe the Anthem projector and Blu Ray player are based on JVC products. The Anthem receivers are all Anthem that are made in China.

I have an Anthem AVM 50v as well and love it.
I've opened up quite a number of receivers in the past couple of years. Anthem MRX-700 internals doesn't look anywhere near anything I've seen.
Anthem's got the engineering capability to design their products. They have pre-pros, they have amps, so mixing the two in an integrated or AVR can't be that much difficult.

Displays though are a little different. As we know there aren't many display makers or assemblers in the world.
The bottom line is how it sounds and performs. And after a week+ in my hands, I'm still mighty impressed with its sound.

I have been following the MRX thread over on AVS, seems to be a few issues with them, lockups, audio drop outs, HDCP handshake issues. However, an engineer from Anthem is very active on the thread and is providing info and updates which is great to see. Apparently the FW updates are fast and furious which is good.

I am extremely interested in buying either the MRX 300 or 500 just to use as a pre/pro with my Emo MPS-1 amp. If the ARC system works as well as I have read, this would make my system really rock.

Any other owner reviews would be most welcome.
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