file Anthem AVM 60

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T Cobe Posted 4 years 9 months ago
#13214
Wanted to start a separate thread on my impressions of the AVM 60. This was pulled from my previous post:

Well, not to break up the healthy discussion (and maybe a wee bit of tension) but I just returned from my local GET dealer from my demo. To cut to the chase and get it out up front, I've ordered the Anthem AVM 60. I can't think of a much bigger compliment than that.

I did some more research on ARC and really like what I've read. It has a lot of features and by most all accounts it is better than Audessey. I'm not sure if it's better than DIRAC, but that software doesn't seem to be an option on a processor with the other features I want at a price that is within reason. In my audition of the Marantz 7702 and the Anthem AVM 60, I simply set them to THX standard crossover setting, did a quick level adjust, and just listened. I did not mess around with any room correction.

The rest of the setup was T2s, a SCXXL, and some other brand's surrounds. Similar to my current setup at home. The amp was the Anthem MCA525. Oh, I almost forgot, they also had the SuperSubXXL in the room!!! I was there for three hours listening and still didn't have the time to tweak and adjust things the way I would have liked to, but I felt confident that I had heard enough to end my search and invest in the AVM 60.

The Anthem's build quality is good. The connections are solid, the volume dial has a substantial feel, the brushed aluminum front looks good, and the housing seemed to be thick and had a nice texture. During playback, the unit stayed much cooler than my Integra. There was not a significant amount of heat coming out of the chassis's substantial ventilation. I will say that the Anthem is not as pretty as the Marantz and the outward build quality seemed higher end on the 7702. But, as they say, never judge a book by it's cover. Even if it is a little ugly.

I started with music playback in 2-channel. Right away, I was struck by how good the DAC on the Anthem was. Sound was being fed via a McIntosh through an HDMI cable. The sound of Jesse Cook's Blue Guitar Sessions was deep and rich. Imaging was rock solid and everything sounded quite nice albeit lacking a little of the transparency and shimmer of my home system. I moved on to Chesky Record's Ultimate Demonstration Disk 2 for a few more familiar songs. Again the sound was rich and the ambiance and vocals stood out on this album. The Anthem seemed to be delivering sound with surgical precision.

Next, I queued up Skyfall to test the vocals. I skipped ahead to the 8th scene to see how bloated and unnatural the dialogue would sound. 80Hz still sounded a bit hefty but it was much more controlled and natural. The background sounds seemed to stand out more than my Integra, but audio memory can play tricks on us. A quick switch to the crossover on the SCXXL to 60 Hz cleaned up the bloated voice of all cast members, to include Judy Dench. A few more quick jumps around continued to yield highly detailed and accurate sound.

Next, I switched to Star Trek Into Darkness. The opening scene had all of the bass, dynamics, and musicality I could want. The small details and ambiance were all there to include the various tones of dialogue as they were influenced by the various environments. The SuperSubXXL was probably turned down a bit more than I am used to having my subs set to, but the diffusion of the volcanic eruption at the end of the scene took on new dimensions and presented levels of detail and tones I could not remember hearing.

Last up was Mission Impossible Rogue Nation. Right from the start, it was great. Panning in on the field of grass during the surveillance of the Russian aircraft, I was bombarded by the sounds of blowing grass. This was a level of micro detail that was present on the Anthem throughout that I've not heard before. The rest of the scenes just sounded right. Again, there was dynamics, musicality, detail, and surgical precision.

I don't want to bash the Marantz, but if the Anthem's sound was that of a scalpel, the 7702 was more akin to a Louisville Slugger. It was still dynamic and packed a punch, but the tonality, precision, micro details, and rightness of the sound just wasn't on par with the AVM 60. The differences were not subtle and I knew very quickly that the choice was clear. The 7702 is pretty and it packs a punch! No doubt it would sound better than my Integra. I'm also sure I could coax a little better sound out of it with some careful tuning and experimentation, but I could easily do the same with the Anthem and it was already well ahead.

So, there you have my .02. The Anthem is a great processor. I can't wait for it to arrive so I can get it home and fine tune it even more. Is the Marantz AV8802 better? Maybe so, but it is also $1,000 more expensive. This unit gets me all of the audio goodness I can ask for at a price that I am comfortable spending. I highly recommend an audition if you're in the market. I suspect the professional reviews will speak highly of this new offering, but I have been wrong before... At the end of the day, the most important opinion for my money and my gear is my own. As Wayne says, YMMV!

Cheers,

T Cobe
Speakers: Triton One L/R, SCXL, Aon 3 Surr/Back, HTR-7000 Height
Pre/Pro/AVR: Anthem AVM 60, Emotiva XSP-1
Amps: Emotiva XPA-5(2), Emotiva XPA-1L (2)
Sources: Oppo BDP-103D, Emotiva ERC-3, PS4, Pioneer PLX-1000 w/Ortofon 2M Bronze
Display: Epson 6030 UB, Elite Screens 110" Sable
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T Cobe Posted 4 years 9 months ago
#13216
Okay, It's been a few days and I wanted to follow up on my previous posts and initial impressions. The SQ at home is certainly better. I have not performed a full setup but have matched the channels, set the distances, and completed the basic setup procedures. I truly think we all get accustomed to our own environment and develop preferences to our "house" sound and this is why I think the SQ is better. Additionally, my dealer did a quick setup of the GET speakers used in my demo and the room was not optimized.

Going back and watching Mission Impossible Rogue Nation was utterly impressive! It is a great piece of ear candy that is more and more impressive as you improve the quality of your gear. It was great with my Integra but this is on another level.

The two biggest differences I've noticed in adding the AVM 60 is the improvement to my SuperCenterXL. Dialogue is so much more clear and sound effects are more detailed. The difference is noticeable on both good and poor quality programming. I used to run my center channel about 2dB higher than the rest to get better performance. 2 dB was not needed with the Anthem! The second primary difference wa spectrum quality. This one was completely unexpected. The PQ on network television was a dramatic improvement. After I setup the AVM 60 and had my wife join me in the theater, she noticed the improved image immediately. The pictures are sharper, clearer, brighter, and has richer colors. I probably do need to break out a calibration disk to test and tune the picture for the reference standard, but it sure does pop, even in THX mode with default settings on my Epson 6030.

I played a little bit of music so far. First, I played with DTS Play-Fi by streaming music to the Anthem wirelessly from Amazon Prime. The few tracks I played sounded good but probably not CD quality. I'll need to try some high resolution samples to test. I also played one of my favorite stand by disks: Chesky Records Ultimate Demonstration Disk Volume 2. This is a SACD that previously sounded better through my pre-amp in 2-channel. Well, not anymore. The sound quality through the AVM 60 in multichannel was fantastic. There was so much depth and richness to the sound. Everything was very clear and you could hear the spatial cues of the recorded environment. If this is how good multi-channel music sounds, I could get used to it.

I still have not run Anthem Room Correction. I did not like the effect that Audessey XT32 had on my sound with my Integra 70.2 But I'm cautiously optimistic about ARC. I'll report back in a week or two on these tests. I am most looking forward to the quick measurement feature to show frequency response curves relatively quickly. These tests can be used to show the results of adjustments to the listening space such as moving speakers and applying acoustic treatments. The objective measurements, speaker by speaker should be extremely helpful.

Anthem released a firmware update already and the process was extremely smooth. I have not observed any major glitches yet. I'm having a little trouble with my Harmony hub but it is a very new product. Hook up was quick and easy. The lack of a lot of input options leaves the rear of the unit fairly neat and provides sufficient spacing.

That's probably more than enough for now. I'm extremely pleased with the synergistic effect of the Anthem AVM 60 and Emotiva amps feeding my GET speakers. The highly detailed and accurate sound is rich and immersive. So far so good. I highly recommend an audition if you're in the market.

Cheers,

T Cobe
Speakers: Triton One L/R, SCXL, Aon 3 Surr/Back, HTR-7000 Height
Pre/Pro/AVR: Anthem AVM 60, Emotiva XSP-1
Amps: Emotiva XPA-5(2), Emotiva XPA-1L (2)
Sources: Oppo BDP-103D, Emotiva ERC-3, PS4, Pioneer PLX-1000 w/Ortofon 2M Bronze
Display: Epson 6030 UB, Elite Screens 110" Sable
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T Cobe Posted 4 years 9 months ago
#13232
I had a bit of time today to dip into the ARC2 function of the AVM 60. It took a bit of playing around with my computer and network settings to get everything working and I hadn't used the laptop I used for running in a long time so it is slow and running a lot of updates. The process started out pretty rocky and a bit frustrating.

After getting all my networks settings locked in and giving my PC time to stop throwing fits, I started running ARC. It is certainly not as easy to use as Audessey; however, there are is a lot more user control and you have visual graphs of how each speaker behaves before and after calibration. The amount of control is a revelation!

I have a lot more playing around to do but so far, I'm enjoying the results. It's going to take some time to get used to the sound. My bass was a bit high and there were various dips in my room response. Most troubling are the dips I have at 100 and 200 Hz for my T1s. They are nearly 10 dB so I'll need to try and find the source and address it. ARC has made the dialogue for home theater even better. The bass bloat that I normally hear has been all but eliminated! I played Skyfall scenes 7-9 and everything sounded better than I've previously heard.

The warmth and body to the sound is still present with ARC on when Audessey previously stripped it while employed. This software is leaps and bounds better than Audessey for me in my setup. The ability to see what is going on and adjust the frequencies is a huge advantage. You can apply the room correction while still fine tuning it. I've also briefly used Yamaha's room correction and prefer ARC over theirs as well.

Cheers,

T Cobe
Speakers: Triton One L/R, SCXL, Aon 3 Surr/Back, HTR-7000 Height
Pre/Pro/AVR: Anthem AVM 60, Emotiva XSP-1
Amps: Emotiva XPA-5(2), Emotiva XPA-1L (2)
Sources: Oppo BDP-103D, Emotiva ERC-3, PS4, Pioneer PLX-1000 w/Ortofon 2M Bronze
Display: Epson 6030 UB, Elite Screens 110" Sable
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anthem Posted 4 years 9 months ago
Last edit: 4 years 9 months ago by anthem. info_outline
#13237
T Cobe

Hey guy, it's really great to hear you're having a blast with your new Anthem AVM 60. It would really be interesting to hear how closely the AVM 60 sounds compared to my d2v. Who knows, it may exceed the d2v.

I've been using Anthem processors and amps for in excess of 5 years now. Started off with an AVM 30 processor and MCA 50 5-channel amp. I heard the AVM 30 in a B&W HT setup and was instantly sold. As time went by I purchased an d2v processor and a Statement P2 2-channel amp. My system now consists of 3 Emotiva xpa -1 monoblocks for the LF, C, RF, Anthem P2 (L&R Surround) and Adcom 555 ll for rears.

I wish you would come over this weekend and run ARC for me...I do not have the necessary equipment to do so. The d2v was originally setup for my Paradigm speakers, and sounds slightly off with the GE's. Today I listened with the ARC equilizer on, and watched the motorcycle chase scene from Mission Impossible. If actually sounded pretty good. Took the volume up to within 1 db of reference and achieved an 104 db bone crushing sound...mercy. As stated in another post, as the winter progresses I'll have the store where I originally purchased the d2v stop by and rerun ARC for the GEt speakers.

Keep feeding us with updates when time permits. I know Rick and I are always eager to hear what you have to say.
D-Sonic m3a-600m Mono > Decware Zen Torii mk4 > McIntosh MC152 > Emotiva xpa1 Mono's > Anthem Statement P2 > Primaluna ProLogue Premium Preamp > Morrow Audio > Oppo 205 > Decware ZLC > Triton Reference

Every great performance deserves an Audience!
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T Cobe Posted 4 years 9 months ago
#13240
Anthem,

If you were closer, I'd absolutely give you a hand. ARC wasn't too bad to run once I established connectivity. There are still a lot of settings that may lend itself to a professional touch to squeeze out the best results. I look forward to hearing your results after calibration. I hope it will improve your SCXXL performance at reference levels. You've got some great equipment in your setup!

I doubt the AVM 60 would sound better than the d2v, but it does sound great. I'll be curious to hear what the pros think. In its price range, I think it will be a serious contender. It really is a heavyweight with audio processing.

I listened to some more 2-channel music today using the AVM and it sounded great! After running the ARC and seeing my dips between 100 and 200 Hz, I was curious how the Anthem would sound using ARC for stereo reproduction. The DAC on the AVM is great as well. Using HDMI to transmit music sounds nearly as good as analog through my pre-amp. I'm going to have to perform some more comparisons. The Anthem is certainly just as detailed but may have lacked some of the richness in tone. The different playback modes were fun to play with as well.

Cheers,

T Cobe
Speakers: Triton One L/R, SCXL, Aon 3 Surr/Back, HTR-7000 Height
Pre/Pro/AVR: Anthem AVM 60, Emotiva XSP-1
Amps: Emotiva XPA-5(2), Emotiva XPA-1L (2)
Sources: Oppo BDP-103D, Emotiva ERC-3, PS4, Pioneer PLX-1000 w/Ortofon 2M Bronze
Display: Epson 6030 UB, Elite Screens 110" Sable
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T Cobe Posted 4 years 9 months ago
#13242
I performed a brief session this morning to compare stereo reproduction of the AVM to the XSP-1. All the detail is still present on the Anthem but it is a bit softer: less defined. The XSP-1 definitely has a richer tonal quality and sounds a bit more powerful/punchier. Of course, this comparison does not use the same CD player. I will try the analog inputs on the AVM 60 this weekend with my ERC-3 to see how that sounds.

The AVM 60 still sounds great on music but a dedicated 2-channel setup with home theater bypass seems to come out ahead. It's not quite a photo finish to see which one comes out ahead in stereo music but it's not a full horse length either. I'd bet most listeners would be completely happy with stereo music transmitted through the Anthem via digital inputs. The DAC is good and the detail is superb! The slight softness might actually be a benefit for flawed recordings.

Cheers,

T Cobe
Speakers: Triton One L/R, SCXL, Aon 3 Surr/Back, HTR-7000 Height
Pre/Pro/AVR: Anthem AVM 60, Emotiva XSP-1
Amps: Emotiva XPA-5(2), Emotiva XPA-1L (2)
Sources: Oppo BDP-103D, Emotiva ERC-3, PS4, Pioneer PLX-1000 w/Ortofon 2M Bronze
Display: Epson 6030 UB, Elite Screens 110" Sable
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