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Anthem AVR's

17138 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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ordered the MRX500 today. local dealer, custom installer, - well priced. yay !

am thrilled and should rec'v the machine 3-4 May ...
Thank you. Been chatting with this guy (dealer) off and on for awhile now. He's as excited about the new Anthems himself.

I happened to call him recently asking when he will be placing orders, he was at his desk doing so at that

I comfortable this is the way to go. I will keep the external amp for now. I will decide upon later. I will experiment with and without amp.

I have been looking for a good processor for sometime. I don't want to pay the the price for higher end anthem, I don't trust the reliability of NAD processing, Marantz is of no interest @ the moment, for no other reason than product availability.

A used AVM 30 on CAM, but I want HDMI. I think the MRX500 is a very good choice to fill the role as processor when the time comes, if I do @ all. We had a very good discussion here some months ago re: using good AVR's as processors.

Professionals here discussed attaching a 2 channel amp to AVRs, good idea. I may go for a used athem 2 channel later on.

I'm comfortable with the decision, and buying Canadian again.
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Ok .. here we go.

Got the MRX500 going this weekend. Beautiful looking AVR, IMHO. I wish to inject comments here along the way, with usage. However am excited to provide this initial update with my limited (albeit thrilling) exposure to the AVR this weekend.

I love the sound of the Anthem, out of the box (have yet to deploy ARC). More lively than the my NAD, which in comparison quite frankly sounds, well .. alittle boring. I don't mean this in a negative manner, meaning it's not a slight toward NAD but rather a compative opinion. The Anthem sound stage (to me) larger, more involving, inviting.

I am impressed with the power of the Anthem. It's hard to describe really. The Anthem performs in a manner that the user (ie: me) can feel, or sense that the AVR is efficient, very capable. More specifically, the sound is clear, detailed .. but not bright or over whelming. You get a sensation it's higher end. Perhaps it's psychological ... or in fact as a direct comparison to the Yamaha HTR6190. The detail in the audio is much better to me ... even in comparison to the NAD ? further reviewing is needed .. but to be honest, since I have removed the NAD from the rack, I have no real pressing desire to put it back ..

I like the simplicity of the AVR, no fancy DSP'ing .. just the essentials, and quite frankly the only features I am interested in, ie; use regularly (Dolby and DTS processing), internet radio. I particulary enjoy AnthemLogic audio (cinema and music) ... beautiful sounding.

I really like the GUI, it isn't cryptic at all (meaning .. text based). I appreciate the simple fact that the cover hiding the front panel audio, headphone, and USB ports slides along the facia. It doesn't "pop-off" like most AVR's ..great idea. (how many of these front panel covers get lost ?) ...I love the blue lighting on the front panel ... really nice.

Will update as thoughts come to me .. with usage. Bottom line ... I am very very happy with this purchase. No quirks, no hassles, no hiccups with HDMI .. just a smooth operating machine. I appreciate Anthems professionalism .. designing, constructing a wonderfully sounding, and performing AVR. Hopefully, all remains well. Will proceed with media playback (USB) and internet radio .. anticipating device to function as described.

Good job Anthem !!
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Its all good stuff .. :)

I suppose there are no bad AVR's .. however some are better than others. I took to the MRX500 like a duck to water .. :) I'm very happy with its sound. whewww .. really happy. The soundstage, the depth ..strength. It's quite a passionate sound really .. nicely done... eh ! ;)

My Focal 706V's sound really sweet with the Anthem. Which I anticipated .. as the Focal sound is very similar to the Paradigm sound, minus the bloated bottom end ..and my headaches from those nasty little tweeters with my previous Paradigm. With the Focal, higher frequencies are nice and airy, want for nothing ..and are much gentler on my ears. (I quite enjoy the Focal tweeter).

The Athem really compliment my Focal. The sound is fuller, greater extension .. with nice punch, without being exaggerated. My Sub hasn't sounded better. The MRX500 really takes control of my Velodyne and blends in nicely with my music listening.

I have tried the USB multimedia feature using my WD, USB powered portable drive. no recognition. doesn't matter me, I don't listen to MP3's when I'm getting serious about the music, and there are obvious work arounds for me in my setup. Of course, I utilize the Ipod (MP3's) for walks, the gym ..and the truck (driving music) .. otherwise, it's a non-issue for me. And ..I'm 100% that the people @ Anthem will not let this linger too long. The AVR is providing alot of joy re: the features of most interest to (in use by) me.

have you utilized (reviewed) the USB (external HDD) feature ? my firmware version shown on the USB media display shows V1.1.0
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i have the machine playing .wma with a 4 GB portable (thumb) drive. Copied my Alice in Chains, Black Gives Way to Blue. I have a few MP3 purchased from iTunes. I may give that a whirl to confirm. Such a large pool of media, from (literally) a web of source and intent.

vtuner (internet radio0) works well. just plug and play - nice. interesting variety. and soooo much to chose. many channels sound, awful, i'm not doing that again. others however are decent enough, background, party music from another country ..! ha ! it's alright. functions as described.

it's alot to expect any AV reciever to play such a varying range of format and source. One will need a good multiplayer or PC.
... no reference to country of assembly or manufacture has been made. Athem is the maker, concieved, designed by - and all that entails, component source, makeup, outcome (from Anthem's point of audio-ology)

Origin of manufacture, assembly, under the careful guidance and inspection of Anthem.

I'm pretty sure, for now. the 900 is shelved ? it's positioning .. to be determined, evaluated perhaps. (i can't back that up, general discussion, from additional. there's alot of excitment, discussion on the MRX going on)

always loved the look and sound of Anthem gear
you will be very happy with the Anthem. It's very good value, outstanding performing AVR. Sounds really nice. Very high quality make ..etc.

Thanks for the Great reviews from you and David!
Cool ! The MRX is a fun AVR
rec'd the recommended USB-Serial cable from Anthem (simply call parts and service) ...

I updated the machine with released firmware, main software updates. This corrected little quirks such as muting at the start of playing CD's. Additional fixes such as pass through of 1080P /24 video. Everything works great.

I ARC'ed the MRX last night. It's a straight forward process, albeit more of a task than was required with my previous AVR for example. I must say .. the results were noticible. The audio sounds more in control, in comparison. I have a very reflective room (which am planning on treating). Previously, the sound was echoing, and as great as it did sound initially ... ARC certainly has tamed my room. Interesting really .. I am surprised how much contrast there is.

Attached are the results of ARC. Sorry, if the image is a little small, perhaps I will find a way to enlarge. David ...(and others welcome of course) .. could you have a look please and interpret for me ? In particular, please note the drop in my fronts L/R/C ..10k - 20k ...from target (dashed) curve, and resulting calculated (green curve). Target and calculated pretty much follow along with each other .. until this 10K - 20K portion.

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thank you david for your input. yes, hoping to get to treating the room soon. am looking forward to it.

*i was in your area couple of weeks ago .. passed pioneer's home office on ferrier. had ideas of stopping by .. but, perhaps not a good idea unannounced.
I am considering the purchase of a DAC by CIAudio.

The idean being to rip my cd collection to flac and combine with my HD downloads. The pathway, generally speaking, will be

WD external hard drive > OPPO BDP 93 > CIAudio VDA2 DAC (optical or coax input, analogue out) > Anthem MRX500 analogue input

Prior to purchase I am wondering how will the MRX "treat" the analogue input from the DAC ? Will the feed be digitized ?

Will the benefit of the DAC be reduced by, say the MRX using its own DAC ? I want to up the AQ coming from the OPPO DAC.

Am I thinking this through correctly ?, believing the VDA2 will provide significant increases in AQ (its a very good DAC, from my understanding and research).
Thank you

Am going to play around with a borrowed DAC soon (shipped out a previously owned DAC to my brother last year)

For good reason, many will avoid multiple conversions, maintaining the most direct path for best audio. Have to try it out, compare on the MRX.
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