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Anthem AVR's

17142 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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Anthem engineers and support are really like no others. Instead of being walled off behind three layers of so-called support, they actually interact with customers. The "fast and furious" updates you mention are SOP for anthem. Nothing ships without bugs. Nothing. The only question is, do you want to wait many frustrating months for the company to admit the errors and issue an update or have it addressed quickly and without spin. David will confirm that they actually give a damn.

I've got an exotic power amp that I'm going to replace with an MRX700. I'll take the hit in absolute power happily because the ARC room correction will, I'm convinced, offer a big improvement in sound.
In terms of support: I've dealt with various manufacturers and thus far, Anthem's support speed, courtenousness and accuracy is impeccable.

As for product quality: I've been a HUGE Pioneer fan for at least two decades and ALWAYS on my quest to find a better fitting product for me. I'm on the verge from moving completely away from Pioneer.

My conclusion thus far:
Pioneer pros: front HDMI input, 2 HDMI outputs, Marvell QDeo upscaling chip
Anthem pros: ARC. But this room correction is far better than ANYTHING else out there.

Playing with my friend's MRX500 and now MRX700 review unit, all I can say is that I've fallen in love for the first time again. 'nuff said.
Try the Anthem Pre Pro's and it gets even better.
Yeah, but I can't justify spending a D2 for my entry-level home theatre :D
I was able to stop by one local dealer to ask about the 4 ohm capability of the MRX 500. Sales guy will email Anthem this week. So if Anthem says it's okay, I will probably get one soon.

Anyone willing to PM me the price that they paid for their MRX 500? List is C$1,649.

It will run 4 ohms speakers with no problem.
USB to Serial

Anyone use the USB to Serial adaptor (with ID 3726 over at monoprice) which is a cheaper option over the recommended KeySpan USA 19HS?

(Just wondering as I could save a few dollars..Buying the MRX 700 in a few days after demo-ing one at a friend's house. It's an amazing AVR for the price if your primary passion of for good sound.)
I have tried using cheaper types of USB to serial adapter (even before using it with my review sample of the MRX-700), and the only brand that consistently working properly without any hitch ever is the TrippLite Keyspan USA-19HS.
Thank you David. I will spring for it..

And thanks for many of your comments on this AVR. You really helped me make the decision to buy one, along with hearing it with my own ears.
ordered the MRX500 today. local dealer, custom installer, - well priced. yay !

am thrilled and should rec'v the machine 3-4 May ...
Congrats! I have had my 500 for a couple weeks now and I am VERY impressed with the SQ coming from the Anthem.
COngrats on the purchase! I'm sure you'll love it. Unfortunately for me, it's time for me to return my review sample :(
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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Does anyone know if Anthem is a sister company of Paradigm speakers?
yes they are. Their PBK bass calibration system is derived from Anthem's ARC. And they're both manufactured within the same manufacturing plant in Canada.
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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definitely not psychological. Compared to Yamaha, even my Pioneer SC-25 is far better than it. Quite honestly, without calibration, I don't have a preference between my SC-25 and MRX-700 that I use for review. After calibration, however, due to the accuracy of ARC, the MRX-700 wins hands down.

I don't know about NAD, other than the CD players and cassette players, I've had no experience with that brand.
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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During my review I only used .wav on an 8GB USB stick. I didn't use portable eHDD be it powered or otherwise.

Just like you, I really like the sliding front cover too. I prefer it over the snap-on system utilized by many manufacturers (I actually make a point of that "feature" in my review)

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.
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