AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K

Posted by: michael_d

AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/03/19 06:31 PM

It's been a while....

I've resisted the urge to make the 4K move in my little 12x18 HT room. I've been very happy with the existing system and had better things to blow money on. I screwed that up and pre ordered a new projector. It's a JVC RS2000, and was just shipped. Now I need to get another receiver, or pre amp, and a 4k BR player. I use a horizontal expansion anamorphic lense for a CIH 2.40 set up. I also use a Lumagen video processor.

I am hopeful that I can ditch the video processor in the chain. The new 4k VPs are horribly expensive, plus they come with their own headaches. The RS2000 will supposedly scale for various 2.40 ratios. Hopefully it does that well and I will not need to use the zoom function.

I am not feeling ambitious enough to install ceiling speakers for Atmos. Can't accommodate them in this room anyway. I use two EP500 subs, a VP 160 center, M80 mains, and QS8's for front height, side surrounds and rear surrounds. All are 4V. I also have ten channels of external amplification, 200 wpc. I've been using a Denon 4311 as a pre amp.

I figured I'd just get another denon AVR, as my last two (4311, 3808) are still working flawlessly, but I've been out of the AV game for several years. I don't know what I don't know...... I want simplicity nowadays. No headaches or constant tweaking. I don't have time for either. I should add that the pre or AVR will serve as the switching hub. Only three inputs, all HDMI.

Any suggestions for consideration?
Posted by: cb919

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/04/19 12:28 PM

Welcome back - also been awhile for me, although I pop in and read up the latest once in a while without logging in.

Anyway thought I'd share as I've found myself in a similar position as you. Had a 4K TV for awhile but couldn't be bothered to upgrade my AVR to 4K because I was happy with the sound from my old one and don't have much actual 4K signal anyway. Long story short I bought a new Onkyo TX-RZ820 during a huge boxing week sale. Results? Meh. I like that it has updated connectivity and control and 4k from my previous Pioneer Elite, BUT it is not an improvement in sound quality, not worse either, just different. So in the end my life lesson on this is to consider a step up in all areas and not 'just' a lateral move to support the new format.

Hindsight says I should have gone with Anthem, but I didn't have the $$ for that. Everyone I've spoken with raves about the Anthem AVR's, including a few people on this forum I've also exchanged messages with. Unless something else comes along, that'll eventually be my next move. The dream being the Anthem AVM with separate Axiom ADA amplification.

My 2 cents, hope it helps.

Cheers,
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/04/19 01:26 PM

cb, what front, center and sub are you using? How far away are you?

When you say the Onk was meh and just different, was that for movies, music or both? If for music, 2.1 or surround?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/04/19 01:31 PM

If my current Denon would pass the video stream, unmolested, I would not swap it out. It may seem trivial, but I like to see the menu screen of the audio processor on my display.

Which Anthem AVR would you suggest? I have no experience with Anthem.

FWIW, The AV sales rep I am working with suggested the Denon X4500.
Posted by: cb919

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/04/19 02:01 PM

Originally Posted By Mojo
cb, what front, center and sub are you using? How far away are you?

When you say the Onk was meh and just different, was that for movies, music or both? If for music, 2.1 or surround?


I have a small HT room and overkilled it with 7.1 many years ago when I started with my Axioms - go big and stay home was my philosophy even though it is a small room ;-) As per my signature, I use M5 on walls for LCR with 4xQS8 and an EP500 (the older gen ported version). I'm a believer in vertical center channels if your space allows for it.
Biggest use is movies and gaming. But when I listen to 2 channel music it's usually surround - this is where I think I enjoyed my Pioneer more than the Onk in the ability to play with the center focus more easily.
Room is ~12'x14'x7' (WxLxH) but oddly shaped and not symmetrical. Seating is ~8 feet from front wall.
The Onkyo is equally as powerful as my old SC-05 Pioneer, but is a bit 'softer' in sound if I have to describe it.

Originally Posted By michael_d
If my current Denon would pass the video stream, unmolested, I would not swap it out. It may seem trivial, but I like to see the menu screen of the audio processor on my display.

Which Anthem AVR would you suggest? I have no experience with Anthem.

FWIW, The AV sales rep I am working with suggested the Denon X4500.


I also like having the menu on the TV, one of the details I like on the newer receivers.
No experience with Denon, but for Anthem I'd just pick the MRX series with integrated amps that works for your setup, or go to the AVM 60 processor only and add the amplification of your choice.

Please keep in mind I am basing this on conversations with several people and my own research, but I've not done any critical listening of the Anthem products so I cannot offer my first hand experience.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/04/19 03:27 PM

Thanks CB. I have heard good things about ARC. Some prefer it over Audyssey. I'll do some research and price queries.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/04/19 03:36 PM

Originally Posted By michael_d
If my current Denon would pass the video stream, unmolested, I would not swap it out. It may seem trivial, but I like to see the menu screen of the audio processor on my display.

Which Anthem AVR would you suggest? I have no experience with Anthem.

FWIW, The AV sales rep I am working with suggested the Denon X4500.


I'm currently running a Denon 4500H, if you have any questions. I opted for a 'poor man's separates' setup, with an ADA1000-3 driving LCR, and the Denon handling amplification for the other 8 channels.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/04/19 05:41 PM

You've done a great job optimizing your purchases, bman.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/04/19 06:01 PM

CB, I really can't see why you would need a separate amp for your setup. The Anthem may be an improvement over the Onk...maybe because of ARC. I can't say because I've never tried.

My 2012 Onk was a huge improvement over my now 18 year old Denon. I have to say though, v4 was an even bigger improvement over v2. When I put the Denon and the Onk side-by-side to drive M3, M5, M100, 160, QS10, 800 all v4, against M80, 600, 150, QS8, all v2, I'd take the Denon with v4 over the Onk with v2 any day! The v4, any v4, is simply excellent.

Your M5s are solid for your room size. Before spending on a new receiver, try QS10s and a sealed sub. Compared to the QS8, the 10s are a big difference.
Posted by: cb919

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/05/19 09:51 AM

Originally Posted By Mojo
CB, I really can't see why you would need a separate amp for your setup. The Anthem may be an improvement over the Onk...



Hey Mojo, yeah I know I'm probably overkill in my space, (5.1 was all that was recommended for my small room) but I have no issues with that!
I would love to add another sub actually. I love my current EP500 and would add an EP800 if I could.
I am surprised how much difference you say the QS10 makes over the QS8. I was initially interested when they 1st came out but then figured surrounds wouldn't make that much difference - especially with my satisfaction in the way the QS8's perform. You are making me reconsider. I wonder if just upgrading the side surrounds would make sense and leave the backs at QS8?
The M5's v4 were a nice upgrade for me for sure though.

Regarding the Anthem, I thought as long as you had ample overhead and clean power there wouldn't be a sound diff - or not much. The Onkyo is showing me otherwise vs my Pioneer. That's why I am thinking Anthem, even though I already have 'enough' power for my room. Just want to see if I can up the overall quality.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/05/19 11:00 AM

The QS10s were a big difference for me because my sides are 11' away from my MLP. I was missing a lot with the QS8. I think even in your space, you will notice the difference. As for the rears, I can't hear anything in the rear 2 channels no matter what speaker I use. I traded in four QS8s for two QS10s. With the 10s, I get a more expansive sound field, more detail, lower distortion and more SPL.

Your Onk is a newer version than mine. Mine is no ADA 1500 or 1000 but for my 4200 cu. ft. space and 13' MLP, it is more than adequate for movies with M3, M5 or M100. 2.1 music is a bit different and I'll have more to say about that soon. For your room size and MLP, I'd say your Onk is more than adequate but maybe ARC can make your system sound better.
Posted by: brendo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/05/19 03:58 PM

On another note with the newest Pioneer and Onkyo you probably have no difference. {they are now partnered} The models even look identical. Plus they are notorious for inflating power ratings.

The Anthem has more power off the bat 140watts.

For me my main reason for going Anthem was having an all Canadian system minus the C.D. blueray {Sony}. Axiom speakers ADA 1250, Anthem MRX720, and a fluance RT81 T.T.

We Canadians aren't known for patriotism so much so I figured what the hell go team Canada!!! We created Basketball, We're the Hockey champs. Now Canada owns Audio too!!! Support your country all the way HOORAY Canada.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/07/19 02:53 PM

Originally Posted By bman84
Originally Posted By michael_d
If my current Denon would pass the video stream, unmolested, I would not swap it out. It may seem trivial, but I like to see the menu screen of the audio processor on my display.

Which Anthem AVR would you suggest? I have no experience with Anthem.

FWIW, The AV sales rep I am working with suggested the Denon X4500.


I'm currently running a Denon 4500H, if you have any questions. I opted for a 'poor man's separates' setup, with an ADA1000-3 driving LCR, and the Denon handling amplification for the other 8 channels.


Any regrets not going with the 6500?
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/08/19 10:02 PM

Originally Posted By michael_d
Originally Posted By bman84
Originally Posted By michael_d
If my current Denon would pass the video stream, unmolested, I would not swap it out. It may seem trivial, but I like to see the menu screen of the audio processor on my display.

Which Anthem AVR would you suggest? I have no experience with Anthem.

FWIW, The AV sales rep I am working with suggested the Denon X4500.


I'm currently running a Denon 4500H, if you have any questions. I opted for a 'poor man's separates' setup, with an ADA1000-3 driving LCR, and the Denon handling amplification for the other 8 channels.


Any regrets not going with the 6500?


Nope. Pretty sure a 4500+ADA-1000 is cheaper, and destroys a 6500.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/08/19 11:48 PM

Just jumping in here after being away a few days. I have had a number of receivers over the years in the $800 - $1200 price range, but when I jumped to the Anthem MRX-1120 I was blown away! I was a big fan of Audyssey XT32 to help fix minor things AFTER doing acoustical room treatments of course (no amount of digital trickery can fix all of a room's problems). I had really dialed in my system, and then when I made the jump to Atmos with the Anthem MRX-1120, it sounded 100x better (ok, maybe 10x better, but a LOT better) right out of the box. The power and sound was so clean thanks to what I call "real" power output from a quality power amplifier inside the receiver. Then I ran ARC and WOWZA. As other say, it is right up there neck-in-neck with the likes of DIRAC and is always listed as the top 1 or 2 room correction system in the upper class of systems.

As mentioned, other receivers really fake their wattage numbers a lot. Anthem is known for being very accurate with it. That is why when people read that the MRX-1120 "only" has 60 watts for the overhead channels, the uneducated say that it is "too weak." Little do they know that their receivers are 'cooking the books' so to speak on how much clean power they supply, and when taking into account that most of the inflated receiver numbers put them fairly weak as well, and also keep in mind that to start hearing a difference in output capacity means at least doubling the wattage. So to get a +3dB increase is max output, you need to jump to 120 (real) watts.

Trust me, the 60 watt output going to each of my overhead M3s is a LOT of power. My room is about 14 feet wide x 24 feet long x almost 8 feet tall.

Side note. The price of the MRX-1120 is pretty steep. I got mine from an installer for a REALLY good price, but he has since gotten into a little bit of hot water for under-cutting other dealers and selling almost at his cost (in Canadian dollars) to people in the U.S. So not only did I get "almost" dealer pricing, but I bought back when they first came out and the US dollar was really strong vs the Canadian dollar, so it ended up being almost 40% off regular price, brand new, shipped to my door with full warranty. Made it a lot easier to swallow the cost, especially when it was one of the only "all in one box" receivers that could do 7.1.4 without extra amplifiers at the time.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/09/19 10:02 AM

Thanks for the input Nick.

I will not be using the receiver's amps. I have external amps. I'm more interested in how the pre-amp sections work and process sound than amplification.

I've been reviewing specs and owner's manuals of Anthem, NAD and Denon. (I will not buy Marantz or Onkyo, or Yamaha or Pioneer).

I almost ordered the NAD AVR, but it does not overlay the audio menu onto the video stream. That's a deal breaker for me.

I also want independent sub volume/delay functions for my two subs. The Denon's do this, but I'm not sure if the Anthem does.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/09/19 11:20 AM

Unless Anthem has upgraded that receiver, it's still 7.1.4 so no dual sub capability.

I don't get the sense that Anthem is innovating any longer. It appears to me they've built some great products that are now in sustainment. I hope I am wrong.

Regarding power levels, I am elated with Axiom's transparent publishing of peak power for speakers and amps. Speaker peak power is 4 times continuous and peak amplifier power at 3 times continuous. The peak ratings are what really count. Axiom has its own methods for characterizing these levels but I really see it as a big failing of this industry to not come together and decide on a standard or at least, as a first step, a recommended practice, for peak power.

With regard to external amplification, for 5.1 and maybe 7.1, I fail to see why it's needed with Axiom speakers for both movies and music in a space as big as mine (4200 cu ft, 13' MLP). My 2012 $800 Onk has no problem. I'd expect the newer ones to be as capable if not more. That's not to say the Onk is as capable as the 1000 or 1500 but there is a practical limit and my ears-brain are at that limit.

With more channels, the equation may favor external amplification. Or, as Ian says, if you want to throw dance parties. And if you are like Slimpikins, who enjoys his Ts from 25 feet away while grazing, a 1250 or 1500 would do you well.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/09/19 03:38 PM

Michael, just to give you another possible option, you could use a Minidsp or Dayton's DSP-408(similar) with the AVR to give you much greater flexibility with your (multiple) subs.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/09/19 07:19 PM

I'll also add if you are playing your receiver at around zero, you need an external amp. Both ADAs sound cleaner at 0 than my Onk. But -5 on my Onk, with music, is about as much as I can take and up to that point, no matter whether I use M3, M5 or M100, it's all good. As for movies, I don't have any practical limit with the Onk.

BTW, I have all the data to prove the above. Right around zero, the channel output voltage on my Onk starts to collapse (30VRMS) no matter what speaker I use. This of course is expected. The ADA-1500 just keeps on going right up to 75VRMS. The ADA-1500 peak volts should go even higher but that's the limit I've found with my Onk's pre-amp. The Onk's pre-amp saturates when I turn the gain up to about +8.5 even though it can go up to +12.5.

M100s sound the best, followed my M5s, followed by M3s.

In terms of SPL, the 100 is about 3dB more sensitive than the M3 (which means it needs half the power of the M3 to sound as loud as the M3). The M5, even though it has the HP driver, has no balls because it's about 4dB less sensitive than the M3. BUT...and this is a big BUT...the M5 sounds better than the M3 because that HP driver is more linear, it has that sweet mid-woofer that disperses the mids so nicely and sounds OhSoCrisp(TM) and the tweeter cross-over is tweaked to sound better than the M3 to boot!

I'd like to try the M22s some day and see how they differ.
Posted by: CV

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/09/19 07:48 PM

Originally Posted By Mojo
I don't get the sense that Anthem is innovating any longer. It appears to me they've built some great products that are now in sustainment. I hope I am wrong.


Something I remember hearing is that they take longer between generations of products, so not a new model every year. I imagine they will have to start gearing up for a new generation soon, though.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/09/19 08:13 PM

I really can't see how anyone can introduce a new model of receiver with substantial enhancements every year. I don't care how many engineers etc you have working on it, it's just not possible to comprehend the needs, design, implement, test, certify, etc. This shit is complex. You change one seemingly innocuous part and it can doom profits if it fails. But it's been a long time for Anthem. That tells me they are having real problems. Maybe what they're trying to get into production is substantially innovative enough to bruise their brains or...their brains have moved on. Of course I am just speculating as I really have no idea.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/09/19 10:27 PM

So I was pumping about 1,730 peak watts into the right M100 that I was doing the measurements on. No idea how it sounded because I had muffs on. Just insane!
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/09/19 11:49 PM

Originally Posted By Mojo
I really can't see how anyone can introduce a new model of receiver with substantial enhancements every year. I don't care how many engineers etc you have working on it, it's just not possible to comprehend the needs, design, implement, test, certify, etc. This shit is complex. You change one seemingly innocuous part and it can doom profits if it fails. But it's been a long time for Anthem. That tells me they are having real problems. Maybe what they're trying to get into production is substantially innovative enough to bruise their brains or...their brains have moved on. Of course I am just speculating as I really have no idea.


I've have my MRX-1120 for 3 years now, and it is still their flagship receiver, so I completely get the points from you and CV about it being a while. I wouldn't say that they are by any means struggling. There are discussions elsewhere about the product model, and the biggest gripe is Play-Fi not connecting via wifi very well (something that really should have been fixed 3 years ago, but the demand is pretty low). I hear about sales still being pretty strong for the 1120, 720, and AVM60 pre/pro, so again, they aren't struggling there.

When people have brought up on other sites about the age of the current product line, people ask "well, what is missing?" and most people just come up with things about the latest upcoming HDMI spec for the most part, or other connectivity bells or whistles to specific web based apps that don't exist. The Anthem products have never been about bells and whistles, they have been about quality builds and amazing sound. Since their current products can still deliver that even to brand new customers with brand new display and input technologies, I just don't think that they feel the need to do much from a hardware perspective yet.

On aside note, they are releasing their next major release of ARC (Anthem Room Correction) this month. V2 was damn impressive, but this Genesis version is supposed to not only just process things better, but allow you to do what took another $100 mic, REW, and a mini-DSP to accomplish, so I am pretty excited about that. Slated to come out sometime yet this month. So while there are not hardware changes, there are new software innovations from a company whose current room correction software is absolutely amazing already.

With ALL of that said, I still don't know what I will do the next time I need to upgrade. My plan 3 years ago was originally to get into separate amps and a nice pre/pro. I would have done it too if I didn't get the steal of a price on the MRX-1120. It is nice having it all in one box, but I've always wanted to get to the point of dedicated amplification like that. Then again, I am *still* running an old JVC RS45 1080p projector because it looks "damn good" and while I've seen the improvements with even their impressive faux-K lines, Daddy's got other things that he needs to spend money on. LOL
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/10/19 12:23 AM

Good info. Thanks. Don't go separates but try Axiom actives.
Posted by: CV

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/10/19 12:42 AM

Originally Posted By nickbuol
I've have my MRX-1120 for 3 years now, and it is still their flagship receiver, so I completely get the points from you and CV about it being a while.


Anthem is still at the top of my list for when I get around to upgrading that portion of my system. I'm putting it off until the end in case they do come out with a new model. I did hear about the new version of ARC coming out, so I wasn't concerned about them resting on their laurels.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/10/19 09:13 AM

Originally Posted By nickbuol
Originally Posted By Mojo
I really can't see how anyone can introduce a new model of receiver with substantial enhancements every year. I don't care how many engineers etc you have working on it, it's just not possible to comprehend the needs, design, implement, test, certify, etc. This shit is complex. You change one seemingly innocuous part and it can doom profits if it fails. But it's been a long time for Anthem. That tells me they are having real problems. Maybe what they're trying to get into production is substantially innovative enough to bruise their brains or...their brains have moved on. Of course I am just speculating as I really have no idea.


I've have my MRX-1120 for 3 years now, and it is still their flagship receiver, so I completely get the points from you and CV about it being a while. I wouldn't say that they are by any means struggling. There are discussions elsewhere about the product model, and the biggest gripe is Play-Fi not connecting via wifi very well (something that really should have been fixed 3 years ago, but the demand is pretty low). I hear about sales still being pretty strong for the 1120, 720, and AVM60 pre/pro, so again, they aren't struggling there.

When people have brought up on other sites about the age of the current product line, people ask "well, what is missing?" and most people just come up with things about the latest upcoming HDMI spec for the most part, or other connectivity bells or whistles to specific web based apps that don't exist. The Anthem products have never been about bells and whistles, they have been about quality builds and amazing sound. Since their current products can still deliver that even to brand new customers with brand new display and input technologies, I just don't think that they feel the need to do much from a hardware perspective yet.

On aside note, they are releasing their next major release of ARC (Anthem Room Correction) this month. V2 was damn impressive, but this Genesis version is supposed to not only just process things better, but allow you to do what took another $100 mic, REW, and a mini-DSP to accomplish, so I am pretty excited about that. Slated to come out sometime yet this month. So while there are not hardware changes, there are new software innovations from a company whose current room correction software is absolutely amazing already.

With ALL of that said, I still don't know what I will do the next time I need to upgrade. My plan 3 years ago was originally to get into separate amps and a nice pre/pro. I would have done it too if I didn't get the steal of a price on the MRX-1120. It is nice having it all in one box, but I've always wanted to get to the point of dedicated amplification like that. Then again, I am *still* running an old JVC RS45 1080p projector because it looks "damn good" and while I've seen the improvements with even their impressive faux-K lines, Daddy's got other things that he needs to spend money on. LOL


I wonder how the new ARC will compare to Dirac Live. If it comes even close to matching Dirac, then the AVM60 will be a hell of a bargain.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/10/19 09:37 AM

The biggest change that consumers like me know about is just a feature change where you can set new target curves for it to use when trying to adjust the output. So instead of their very flat response curve (which on paper looks good, but as they say "a flat curve sounds, well, flat") you can do what I want to do and use a house curve for the target. That is the same thing that I was going to do with a Mini-DSP 2x4, Umik-1 mic, and REW 3 months ago, but I never got around to it (I have the mini-dsp and Umik-1 now just sitting idle).

There are other improvements on the processing end, but again, as a consumer, who knows how that will translate into real world experience.

I guess I will find out within a couple of weeks.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/10/19 11:45 AM

Nick, when you buy one of these receivers, does Anthem include everything required to tweak curves or do you have to research and buy stuff separately? What UI and app is used to tweak the curves?
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/10/19 09:39 PM

I am not bothering to read the rest of the thread so sorry if I offend.

I tried Yamaha, Pioneer, Onkyo, Marantz and found all of them gave me more of a meh sound that could not wave a stick towards the sound I got from a really old Nakamichi AV1. I tried plugging in different levels of external amps, and that also didn't make any difference.

I eventually gave up and went with the advice of someone here (name alludes me) who is in BC I think. He bought an Anthem and loved it. So I sad F!-it, and just shelled out the cash. I wish I would have done it long ago and saved myself the agro of all the other experiments and time, driving, buying and selling to get no gain.

Anthem just made it sound WOW.
Posted by: brendo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/10/19 10:10 PM

The Anthem/Paradigm units that use A.R.C. all come with Mic. Anthem units include a stand. Software is a download off their site with mic.#. They even have a phone app. that can be set to your phones mic. response.

If you have REW knowledge or just curiosity, in the app you can change most stuff to your liking. Just need to go through and find what you'd like to do.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/11/19 09:58 AM

Where is a good place to buy Anthem?

Denon too.

NewEgg has great deals, but will not ship to me (Alaska).
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/11/19 10:54 AM

Michael, you can buy Denons on Amazon. Sorry, but no idea about Anthem.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/11/19 12:16 PM

I don't know about Alaska, Michael, but in Southern Ontario it would be either East Hamilton Radio(Hamilton) or Gibby's Electronic Supermarket(St Catherines). I don't know how it would work shipping wise/duty ect, but with the exchange rate you might get a better deal here as Anthem/Paradigm is local.
Posted by: brendo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/11/19 01:11 PM

From Alaska your best bet would be a shop in Smithers B.C. Sorry can't remember the name of it. Though it has been there for years. I stayed there back in early mid 90s and the shop was already there. {only Hifi shop in that little city}.

Another option would be check the Anthem site fore your nearest dealer.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/11/19 01:31 PM

Originally Posted By Mojo
Nick, when you buy one of these receivers, does Anthem include everything required to tweak curves or do you have to research and buy stuff separately? What UI and app is used to tweak the curves?

brendo gave you the breakdown on what is included. As for adjusting the curves, that is coming in the ARC Genesis product coming out this month, so it will be part of their ARC UI. I just haven't seen it yet. If it is like the ARC 2 UI, it is pretty easy.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/11/19 01:37 PM

Thanks guys. Brick and mortor stores seem to have died a death by Amazon..... So now I'm forced to buy from an on-line dealer, Amazon, or in some cases, Best Buy.

I've almost convinced myself to buy the Anthem Pre-pro. Either that or the 720.

I have a speaker config question first, tho. I can't quite make out in the manual if I can still use a 9.2 (non-atmos) speaker configuration, using two channels for front R/L height speakers. That is the processing format I currently employ. I think it's Dolby PLZ?? It looks like the surround back channels can be used for height, but not front R/L height.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/11/19 01:47 PM

Originally Posted By michael_d
Where is a good place to buy Anthem?

Denon too.

NewEgg has great deals, but will not ship to me (Alaska).


I think that you have to buy them direct or via an "installer" type of dealer. They have a dealer locator page:
Anthem Dealer Locator But I don't see anything in Alaska.

They do list 2 other authorized online resellers (Audio Advice and Crutchfield), but they are locked in on price by Anthem, so it isn't a deal. You could hit up some Facebook groups and just post that you are looking for Anthem products in Alaska, and I bet that the person that sold me mine is still out there watching post... The group called "Home Theater Enthusiast" is a good place to start, but I think that he is in a number of those groups. (Home Theater on Your Budget, and HTFE Home Theater For Everyone). just PLEASE do not tell them that you know me. It won't do you any favors as he got in trouble with Anthem shipping across country lines at the prices he was selling them for, and so everyone tries to keep it quiet as to not draw too much attention to it. Still full warranties and supported (I know because I got one of the early product run models of the 1120, and it had an issue right away that needed warranty work - they just swapped it out). Good luck.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/12/19 09:10 AM

East Hamilton Radio has a few of the Anthems prices crossed out with "call us for price". That's the case with the MRX 720 and the 1120. Even if you don't use them, EHR might give you an idea what kind of deal someone else might offer. Gibby's is also good for Denon products inc "B" stock.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/12/19 06:30 PM

EHR will not ship to the US.... Thanks for the rec though. I don't do Facebook, but thanks for the idea Nick.

I've been reading the manual some more on these Anthems. The MRX 720 and AVM 60 are very similar with respect to logic and processing. Other than the obvious differences between the two (amps or balanced pre-outs), is there anything, in particular, that would make the AVM60 stand out as the superior audio processor, that makes it worth the extra $500?
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/12/19 07:15 PM

The AVM60 has double the voltage on the analog outputs. This may or may not be important depending on the amplifier and sub you want to use. For Axiom amps and subs, it doesn't matter.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/12/19 08:36 PM

Originally Posted By Mojo
The AVM60 has double the voltage on the analog outputs. This may or may not be important depending on the amplifier and sub you want to use. For Axiom amps and subs, it doesn't matter.


I would hope that the AVM60 would also have a cleaner signal, and nicer DACs.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/12/19 08:48 PM

Apparently not. They are both "Premium 32-bit / 768 kHz Differential-Output D/A Converters".
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/12/19 10:44 PM

So any audible improvements would have to come from the increased output voltage, lack of interference from an integrated amplifier section, and balanced output connections.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/12/19 10:53 PM

Or even from better EMC practices and PCB layout which the engineers may have done and told no one about. smile
Posted by: brendo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/12/19 11:02 PM

I think the only difference is the amps. They all have the same chips\Dac. The 1120 has Toroidal Power, while the 720 doesn't. All 3 from 520 to 1120 are rated 140 Watts for fronts 60 for surrounds.

I use a ADA 1250 3 channel for my front stage. Limiting myself too 5.2.2 at the moment with my MRX720.

Out of the box the 720 is 7.2 or 5.2.2, The 1120 has 7.2.4 and the AVM 60 has true balanced XLR output. To which is the reason for the AVM 60s higher price, it doesn't have the amp's though it does have more circuitry inside.

On that note if you can all of us Axiom\Anthem heads highly recommend. The ADA's and all speakers play really nicely together.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/12/19 11:12 PM

Brendo, the 1500 is better. smile
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/12/19 11:19 PM

AVM60 with an ADA1500-3 plus ADA1500-8 is my dream setup. Completely overkill for my space, but you can never have too much headroom, right?
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/12/19 11:28 PM

I think you need a 1500-2, in bridged mono mode, for each speaker.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/13/19 08:27 AM

Originally Posted By Mojo
I think you need a 1500-2, in bridged mono mode, for each speaker.

I dunno... seems to me that the 1500 amps unbridged occupy a nice spot just this side of "overkill" laugh

While there's obviously no such thing as overkill, it's nice to be able to keep the complexity (and cost) under control. I'm trying to avoid a situation where I have to wear hearing protection in order to take full advantage of my system.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/13/19 08:46 AM

I agree completely. I find that while my Onk can't dish it out like the ADA, the Onk is about as much as I can take.

The 1500 is perfectly matched for the M100's dynamic range BTW. The M100 compresses within 5V of the 1500 hitting its rails. Of course by that time, ear drums will have given out. That's right around 116dBC @ 3 feet. Of course the SPL could be higher than that because my meter may be missing the true peak. I sit 13 feet away, which in my room places me in the diffuse sound field, and leads to 112dBC at that power level. That's about 9dBC more than my ears are comfortable with.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/13/19 12:16 PM

Originally Posted By brendo
I think the only difference is the amps. They all have the same chips\Dac. The 1120 has Toroidal Power, while the 720 doesn't. All 3 from 520 to 1120 are rated 140 Watts for fronts 60 for surrounds.

I use a ADA 1250 3 channel for my front stage. Limiting myself too 5.2.2 at the moment with my MRX720.

Out of the box the 720 is 7.2 or 5.2.2, The 1120 has 7.2.4 and the AVM 60 has true balanced XLR output. To which is the reason for the AVM 60s higher price, it doesn't have the amp's though it does have more circuitry inside.

On that note if you can all of us Axiom\Anthem heads highly recommend. The ADA's and all speakers play really nicely together.


I intend to stick with my 9 channels, and possibly play around with adding two more, so I think I should stick with the AVM60, move to the 1120, or get one of the Denons......

My room is just too small to add side surrounds at the ear level. No way to walk around them...... That's why I have QS8's mounted close to the ceiling (using Axiom ceiling mounts). My surround backs are Q's mounted close to the ceiling as well, but I do have room to use a set of M22's I have directly behind the seating - about 3' behind anyway.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/13/19 12:49 PM

There are a few 1120's, new in the box on Ebay. How flexible is Anthem with the warranty if I buy one from a private seller?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/14/19 02:13 PM

Took a chance and bought an MRX 1120. New in the box, unused by the seller. He claims to have changed plans and decided to go with a difference electronics package, after the return window for the 1120. Even with shipping fees included, the price was too attractive to not take the risk.

Need to get a new 4K Blu-ray player coming now.....
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/14/19 02:34 PM

Congrats. It would be helpful for many on here I'm sure if you can keep us informed of your thoughts on it.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/14/19 06:45 PM

Congrats! If you haven't decided on a 4K player yet, the Panasonic DP-UB820K is an amazing unit, and is especially well suited for projector setups due to its tone mapping capabilities.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/14/19 07:51 PM

Nice! that should be an amazing receiver, Michael!
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/15/19 09:42 AM

I'll keep you all informed as I progress through this. I suspect I'll be playing around with speaker configurations quite a bit.

bman - that is the BR player I was thinking about getting. Seems to be the go-to now that Oppo is dead. I was hoping to pick up the 9000 series, if I can find one in the states for a decent price. If not, I'll just get the 820.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/15/19 09:53 AM

Originally Posted By michael_d
bman - that is the BR player I was thinking about getting. Seems to be the go-to now that Oppo is dead. I was hoping to pick up the 9000 series, if I can find one in the states for a decent price. If not, I'll just get the 820.


The 9000 looks amazing, but I don't think you lose much by stepping down to the 820.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/15/19 11:10 AM

Originally Posted By michael_d
There are a few 1120's, new in the box on Ebay. How flexible is Anthem with the warranty if I buy one from a private seller?


Right on Anthem's site they state that buying from eBay means no warranty.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/15/19 03:02 PM

Originally Posted By nickbuol
Originally Posted By michael_d
There are a few 1120's, new in the box on Ebay. How flexible is Anthem with the warranty if I buy one from a private seller?


Right on Anthem's site they state that buying from eBay means no warranty.


Well technically I bought a used AVR, so it has no warranty. Doesn't really matter to me, as the shipping fees to/from Anthem would be outrageous. If it dies, I'll take it to an electronics repair shop.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/20/19 05:21 PM

The MRX 1120 showed up today. No damage from shipping. Still in the factory wrapping, even the batteries. Powered it up and all the lights came on. The weight of this AVR reminds me of the older 7000 series HK receivers I have owned.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/20/19 06:42 PM

Awesome! I'm looking forward to hearing about SQ and ARC.
Posted by: brendo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/20/19 09:45 PM

Sweet hope it's a great unit.
When I got my 720 they said to wait a couple weeks before you run A.R.C. If you do you should notice a big difference.

Most of us notice a difference just playing out of the box.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/25/19 10:36 AM

Originally Posted By michael_d
The MRX 1120 showed up today. No damage from shipping. Still in the factory wrapping, even the batteries. Powered it up and all the lights came on. The weight of this AVR reminds me of the older 7000 series HK receivers I have owned.


How are you liking the 1120 so far? Anthem is on the verge of releasing their new version of ARC (which you'll be able to take full advantage of):

https://www.anthemav.com/support/arc-genesis.php
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 04/25/19 09:07 PM

I have not hooked it up yet. Maybe this weekend.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 05/27/19 04:08 PM

Well as luck would have it, the 1120 is defective. I finally hooked up yesterday afternoon, ran ARC and watched a couple of movies. Was pretty happy overall. Then this morning, I updated the firmware. After the update, it shut down under over-temp. Temp Sensor #2. I was wondering why the fan was running so much yesterday..... It has plenty of space all around it, and I am not using the internal amps either. I called Anthem and of cource, no warranty, but they told me it doesn't sound good. I can either ship it to them to fix, or try to fix it myself. At this point it doesn't matter if I screw it up. It'll be a good $1500 to ship it, fix it, ship it back to me...

Any suggestions for what I should look for inside the unit? Other than something obviously smoked that it.

And no, there will be no financial recourse with the seller or Ebay.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 05/27/19 04:34 PM

Michael, I really feel bad for you. It sounds to me as if the firmware upgrade has caused an issue or exacerbated a problem. Can you revert to your previous firmware?
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 05/27/19 05:08 PM

I have the Anthem AVM60 and have found I don't need independent sub adjustment. You can run a "quick" one time measurement with Arc on any speaker, move it around, until you get the best pre results before running Arc. For my 3 subs, I turn them off and test each one alone, adjusting position, phase, and levels to be around 72dB each. Once each one is done, you turn them all on and Arc measures and adjusts the combined settings. Works wonderful and I can't ask for better results.

Now that Arc Genesis is out it is even better. You can go back after you've already uploaded your results to the AVM60 and just run an individual sweep of that speaker. This is handy if you experiment with moving your mains around or whatever.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 05/27/19 06:35 PM

Originally Posted By Mojo
Michael, I really feel bad for you. It sounds to me as if the firmware upgrade has caused an issue or exacerbated a problem. Can you revert to your previous firmware?


Maybe my luck has changed..... I unplugged the unit for a couple minutes, plugged it back in, and then started it. Now n0 error code, and it's still running (two hours). Maybe it was the firmware upgrade? I'll watch it for a few days.

Randy - thanks for the ARC tips. I will be messing around in the "advanced" menu after I get to know the machine a little better. I just ran the Genisis auto function yesterday.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 05/27/19 07:15 PM

The firmware update installation over-taxed the CPU.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 05/27/19 07:18 PM

Randy, well...look at you! You've come a long way since 2007 when you didn't know a speaker from a receiver...LOL! And you brew your own beer too. RESPECT!
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 05/27/19 11:15 PM

04 smile
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/09/19 01:46 PM

I'm still getting used to this thing, but I'm pretty impressed with the overall sound quality. Dialogue has never sounded so good.

The fan runs quite frequently though. It can be noisy, irritating. They must not use heat sinks. I ordered an Aircom T8 to see if that might help keep this unit cooler. I surfed the Anthem thread at AVS and found numerous complaints related to the fan noise, so this might just be a trait of these AVR's.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/09/19 03:42 PM

Not acceptable. No way!
Posted by: brendo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/09/19 05:53 PM

Really I've had my 720 for the last year and a half it's been silent.
I have had an ADA1250 running the three fronts the whole time though. Along with a really cheap USB dual fan upside down to extract some heat. Blowing across the unit helps keep dust bunnies at bay.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/09/19 07:45 PM

Marantz 7705 processor should be good. I have a 7703 which I like.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/09/19 09:28 PM

Originally Posted By 2x6spds
Marantz 7705 processor should be good. I have a 7703 which I like.


I also have a 7703 .... been kicking around going Active 1100's, and also wondering if the 8805 would be worth the $$$$ upgrade.

For Marantz, they use www.accessories4less.com as an authorized refurb outlet with some great deals.
Posted by: rrlev

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/09/19 10:56 PM

Without any real life experience with these processors the only reason Iíd pay the extra money (2x) for the 8805 over 7705 is that the 8805 has 13.2 channels and the 7705 has 11.2.

All else being equal ... I doubt I could tell the difference in a double bind test ...
(Iím sure there are others who will claim they can and Iím happy to let them do so ...)

Although I make fun of it ... all the great marketing, I mean engineering, does give me that warm and fuzzy .... just knowing all that great stufff is in the box. Maybe someday someone will convince me it makes a sense-able difference.

One more note: the 8805 is the only processor in 15+ channel, sub $5000 market (USD) that I trust to work out of the box at least at this moment in time. And with all Iíve said above is on my short list of preprossesor Iím thinking about
Posted by: craigsub

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/09/19 11:14 PM

rriev - I tend to agree with you that it is doubtful that one would hear a difference in a blind test, double blind or just plain old fashioned blind.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/10/19 12:58 AM

How is a blind test different from a plain, old-fashioned blind test?
Posted by: rrlev

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/10/19 08:50 AM

One requires a seeing eye dog who might actually be able to tell difference
Posted by: rrlev

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/10/19 08:59 AM

Yeah tend to just use the wording with out thinking about the meaning ... a straight blind test would for sure be enough ...
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/10/19 09:41 AM

What is the difference between a straight blind test, a blind test and a plain, old-fashioned blind test?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/10/19 09:52 AM

I had a Marantz once. Probably 10 years ago. The most horrific customer experience I've had with any electronic device. Refuse to ever buy Marantz again because of that experience. Didn't even bother to look and see what they have.
Posted by: rrlev

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/10/19 11:56 AM

Originally Posted By Mojo
What is the difference between a straight blind test, a blind test and a plain, old-fashioned blind test?
-a straight blind test is for the average person because it requires a jacket to get them to sit through it.
-an old fashion one requires a drink
- blind test (with no adjective) is for the audiophile who is eager to prove that they can hear the difference regardless if itís there or not.
- a double blind test is for the researcher to show he or she didnít influence the test ... ďand now Iím going to play the good speakerĒ ...
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/10/19 12:04 PM

Aye! I like the old-fashioned one. smile
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/10/19 12:06 PM

Originally Posted By michael_d
I had a Marantz once. Probably 10 years ago. The most horrific customer experience I've had with any electronic device. Refuse to ever buy Marantz again because of that experience. Didn't even bother to look and see what they have.


My Onk's HDMI board was pooched from the get-go. I stuck it in my oven for 20 minutes to reflow the cold solder joints and 6 years later it is still working flawlessly.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/10/19 08:29 PM

Originally Posted By michael_d
I had a Marantz once. Probably 10 years ago. The most horrific customer experience I've had with any electronic device. Refuse to ever buy Marantz again because of that experience. Didn't even bother to look and see what they have.


Go with Denon, then.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/10/19 09:51 PM

Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, Sony, Pioneer and Onkyo...they are all designed in Japan. It's like a revolving door over there with engineers making the rounds from one company to the other. I don't know where they are made though. Marantz was made in the US a long time ago and then in Japan. I think some Denons are made in Vietnam. Cheaper Onks are made in Malaysia and more up-scale ones in Japan. "Made in" though could mean "assembled in" so printed circuit boards may be coming from China.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/11/19 09:46 AM

Originally Posted By craigsub
Originally Posted By michael_d
I had a Marantz once. Probably 10 years ago. The most horrific customer experience I've had with any electronic device. Refuse to ever buy Marantz again because of that experience. Didn't even bother to look and see what they have.


Go with Denon, then.


Why? I already have the Anthem. Noisy fan and all..... But hopefully, the cooling fan I have ordered will resolve that issue.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/11/19 09:47 AM

Originally Posted By Mojo
Aye! I like the old-fashioned one. smile


I like Old-Fashions!
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/17/19 09:23 AM

Can anyone speak to the difference (or lack thereof) between sound quality when using a dedicated pre-pro vs a receiver with pre-outs? Does a pre-pro sound noticeably cleaner for HT, all else being the same?
Posted by: rrlev

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/17/19 09:54 AM

Can't speak for real life as I have not ever done an A/B test ... but having been an audio designer (back in the 80's and not for Hifi stuff), and only speaking for my self, I doubt I could hear the difference between the two given reasonably designed units (and assuming your by passing all the surround and room correction, etc.)
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/17/19 10:25 AM

I can't tell you from experience because I've never done an A/B. If one has lower THD+N and higher S/N, I would expect that one to sound better. Both of those figures result in improved reproduction of microdynamics. Microdynamics are responsible for imaging and holography.
Posted by: rrlev

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/17/19 11:16 AM

Mojo ... give the guy some numbers ...
What do you think should be the cut off for those ... where it become just a spec and not audible ... (also many times there are trade offs being made to get a spec ... usually dictated by marketing ... who IMHO are mostly made up of brain dead zombies out to sell product to the unknowing public. My apologies to the marketeers out there.)

So is 0.01 THD much better then say 0.1 THD or even .3THD?? Do you think you can hear it? how about a S/N below 100db ...
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/17/19 01:27 PM

Things get a bit murky when talking about THD, as there is no universal standard for measuring it. As you say, specs have become the domain of marketing.
Posted by: rrlev

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/17/19 04:10 PM

bman84,

Been a long time since I did one of these measurements but there are only two variables to play with: the fundamental frequency and the level. The standard frequency I always used was 1kHz. As for level ... if I remember correctly, I think I put the amp into clip and then backed it off till the THD stopped falling. This also is probably the best point for THD+N.

That said I'm sure some played around with both and then only give you the best THD number.

One more thing ... peoples sensitivity to THD varies with frequency ...
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/17/19 04:32 PM

Originally Posted By rrlev
...but there are only two variables to play with: the fundamental frequency and the level.


For THD, there are three. The third is the number of harmonic products measured.
Posted by: rrlev

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/17/19 04:51 PM

yup .. your right Mojo.

Also nobody gives you the full spec. A fully specified spec should read
Less then 0.01 THD+N, at max gain, 20Hz to 20kHz, 20kHz window, input 1V peak to peak ...

This BTW would be an excellent spec ... even IMO if it said 0.1 THD+N
Posted by: brendo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/17/19 05:56 PM

On this topic have any of you guys joined Gene of Audioholics cause. Truth in power ratings.
He's planning to send a petition to Sound United. To stop the inflated power ratings.
Posted by: rrlev

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/17/19 06:18 PM

That will only happen over some zombies dead bodies ... oh ... wait a second ... smile
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/17/19 11:04 PM

Originally Posted By rrlev
Mojo ... give the guy some numbers ...
What do you think should be the cut off for those ... where it become just a spec and not audible...


Hmmm...yeah...numbers. smile

For S/N, you have to know two things: ambient noise of your space and the level where your ears compress. Ears compress at 120dB. Ambient noise is probably no better than 30dB. This means a S/N greater than 90dB is practically of no importance.

For THD+N, it's generally accepted that anything less than 1% over the entire audible band and volume levels is inaudible.

The figures above are for the entire *system* and not individual components.
Posted by: rrlev

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/18/19 07:07 AM

Originally Posted By Mojo

For S/N, you have to know two things: ambient noise of your space and the level where your ears compress. Ears compress at 120dB. Ambient noise is probably no better than 30dB. This means a S/N greater than 90dB is practically of no importance.

For THD+N, it's generally accepted that anything less than 1% over the entire audible band and volume levels is inaudible.

The figures above are for the entire *system* and not individual components.
ear compression ... interesting way to come up with a number ...

1% THD was the number I was using back in the day (because that, as you point out, was considered inaudible). I*d like to see something below 0.5 for my set up just because. Any thing below 0.1 I would call just a number. Using the same 10x cushion for your S/N number puts Noise at 100dB down ... I would not pick one system over another to do better.

BTW I doubt distortion is a real concern in any reasonable pre amp stage today.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/18/19 07:52 AM

I think I'm going to swap out my Denon for a used Anthem MRX 720. From what I've read, it'd be worth it just for the improvement that ARC brings over Audyssey.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/18/19 09:12 AM

Be careful used. We've heard one horror story already. I'm waiting for Axiom's pre/pro.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/18/19 09:26 AM

Horror story? The 1120 that had issues after a firmware update?

Is Axiom actually working on a pre/pro?? shocked Would be awesome, although I know Ian despises room correction.
Posted by: rrlev

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/18/19 12:17 PM

Iím sure if they came out with a preprocessor it would be done well ... that said

It is also a lot of work if you are going beyond the standard surround decoding chips. Just look at all these companies sliding their dates (or worse coming out with half working products) trying to produce 16 channel surround. Not sure how Axiom would differentiate them selves otherwise. I think it would be high risk tech wise, resources draining and a hard sell to anyone who was not familiar with Axiom. It would have to have some sort of auto room correction for it to be a marketable product.

BTW I use room correction for my everyday room setups but will probably use REW to hand tune (treatment and parameters) for the theater once itís finished.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/18/19 12:26 PM

Ian doesn't like the existing room correction because it's primitive. Imagine however an array of microphones that sense how The Family of Curves is affected by the room and compensated for in the DSP.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/18/19 08:06 PM

Would be awesome to see Axiom build their own room correction software, although I'd imagine that'd be quite an undertaking. Could license it to others if it turned out well though.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/19/19 08:57 AM

Originally Posted By bman84
I think I'm going to swap out my Denon for a used Anthem MRX 720. From what I've read, it'd be worth it just for the improvement that ARC brings over Audyssey.


I'm very impressed with ARC over my last two Denon's with Audyssey. And I have not taken the time to really dig into the program and make room tweaks. I just ran it the one time with five locations and called it good.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/19/19 09:43 AM

Has your Anthem ignited yet, Michael? All the ADAs I have run cool even with 2400W peaks.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/19/19 10:29 AM

Class D for the win! Not sure why so many amps are still being made with old spaceheater amp technology.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/19/19 10:48 AM

It's difficult to design class D amps. Anthem has the M1 and it's a marvel of engineering but it's ridiculously expensive. I think this is because Anthem is trying to recover the multi-million dollar dev costs for that product.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/19/19 11:04 AM

And yet Axiom was able to design awesome class D amps and sell them at reasonable prices. Pretty amazing, especially considering the tiny size of their operation.
Posted by: rrlev

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/19/19 11:41 AM

Back around 1980 I took a independent elective to design a power amp. I was pushing to do this cool new class D design which I found a write up on. My professor at the time convinced me to start off with something more conventional ... good thing he did ... as that was hard enough.

Today itís a lot easier as one can choose from an assortment of chips to help with the heavy lifting ...
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/19/19 12:18 PM

Originally Posted By bman84
And yet Axiom was able to design awesome class D amps and sell them at reasonable prices. Pretty amazing, especially considering the tiny size of their operation.


Indeed. It was a difficult journey though. It's one of the reasons Ian is one of my heroes.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/19/19 12:20 PM

Originally Posted By rrlev
Back around 1980 I took a independent elective to design a power amp. I was pushing to do this cool new class D design which I found a write up on. My professor at the time convinced me to start off with something more conventional ... good thing he did ... as that was hard enough.

Today itís a lot easier as one can choose from an assortment of chips to help with the heavy lifting ...


True it's a lot easier for people who don't know what they're doing to hang themselves. laugh
Posted by: rrlev

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/19/19 12:50 PM

Itís also easier for people who donít know how things work to build things that actually work. You can build a a PC without understanding how a computer works. I can buy an Ethernet controller and installl a driver and make it work ... with out knowing anything about the hardware, software, or communication protocol. So today for $20 and almost no design time with little knowledge I did what would have cost millions and years of design time 40 years ago.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/19/19 01:01 PM

When you're building stuff for the public, you can't be a hacker. You need to engineer the stuff. If you do what you suggest, shit breaks, it can't be maintained, it can't be extended, and on and on. Chips definitely help cut down design time but engineering is a lot more than "just" design and that's why hacked products fail to bring a good return (all other things being equal) .
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/19/19 01:26 PM

Originally Posted By Mojo
Has your Anthem ignited yet, Michael? All the ADAs I have run cool even with 2400W peaks.


Not yet, but I'm not using ANY of the amps. I have an external ICE base amplifiers. - and they run cool.

I did get my T8 cooling fan. Pretty slick device. I can set it up to start pulling air at any temp or fan speed. I have not had time to watch a movie though, so I don't know if the Anthem's fan will run yet.

I might also add that some of the guys at AVS reported the MRX fan would run, even when using external amps, so this is not a "hot amp" thing, but a processor thing. My MRX fan only came on during movies with multi-channel sound processing.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/19/19 03:20 PM

Originally Posted By michael_d
Originally Posted By Mojo
Has your Anthem ignited yet, Michael? All the ADAs I have run cool even with 2400W peaks.


Not yet, but I'm not using ANY of the amps. I have an external ICE base amplifiers. - and they run cool.

I did get my T8 cooling fan. Pretty slick device. I can set it up to start pulling air at any temp or fan speed. I have not had time to watch a movie though, so I don't know if the Anthem's fan will run yet.

I might also add that some of the guys at AVS reported the MRX fan would run, even when using external amps, so this is not a "hot amp" thing, but a processor thing. My MRX fan only came on during movies with multi-channel sound processing.


I'm planning on getting an MRX and doing exactly the same thing. I wonder if there's a way to just 'turn off' internal amplification altogether. Or does it effectively do that by itself when nothing is connected to the binding posts?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/20/19 09:41 AM

I do not see an option for turning all amp sections off. But, if there is nothing connected to the load side? ...I do not see how they can possibly be "on". I dunno, never really dug into the theoretical operation of amplifiers before.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/20/19 10:01 AM

Makes sense. And there wouldn't be a dedicated power supply for the amps that could be switched off independantly.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/20/19 10:23 AM

They are most certainly on. If you put a voltmeter on the high level output terminals, you'll read a voltage. Of course there's no current because a speaker is not connected.

There are at least two windings (off the main transformer) that supply the power amp section. It would be really cool if those windings could be switched off when using an external amp. The whole unit would be quieter. However, this likely isn't practical because many want an amp for only the front three channels.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/20/19 12:30 PM

Is the noise a function of the circuit being 'on'? Or the amount of current flowing through it? Or both?

Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/20/19 12:48 PM

Well..first...current doesn't flow because "current" means charge is flowing. smile

The noise is a function of differences in potential (electric fields) and currents (magnetic fields). If you can turn off voltages and currents, the electromagnetic fields are reduced, and so is the noise.

There's also likely some electromechanical noise from the transformer windings humming and if you can turn off a couple of the windings, that noise will get reduced too.

Incidentally, on my Onk, the engineers spent what appears to be a ton of effort on reducing this transformer, and in general, chassis noise. It's a design consideration that often gets ignored. When things are vibrating, and those things enclose charge, stray electromagnetic fields will be created.

Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/20/19 02:19 PM

In Pure Audio mode, my Onk shuts down the display and all analog circuitry associated with video processing.
Posted by: Ian

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/21/19 12:45 PM

Some interesting discussion here around the right THD+N spec. We conducted an empirical test a number of years ago where we had the test subject sit in the anechoic chamber and listen to test tones (yikes). The operator in the lab would slowly introduce a second tone. We had the subject raise their hand whenever they could detect any change to the test tone. A camera in the anechoic chamber allowed the operator to observe at what distortion level the hand was raised. We did this with quite a few people and the results were very consistent. We introduced tones that were both harmonically related to the fundamental and ones that were not. For the harmonically related tones the distortion level for detection was incredibly high for the 2nd harmonic and dropped off rapidly so by the time you were at the 5th harmonic there was no difference between a harmonically related tone and a non-harmonically related tone. There was also a fairly linear downward detection level with frequency. We are much more sensitive at higher frequencies. The absolute lowest detection level we got was 0.1% for a non-harmonically related tone at 10kHz, and this is with test tones in an anechoic chamber so music masking in a real room would be a much higher level. So here is the problem; the spec does not give you any information about which harmonic. If it is the 2nd or 3rd then a THD+N well above 1% would actually be ok but outside of this caveat the most extreme argument you can make is that it needs to be below 0.1% (how much below is irrelevant). All this said there is another real-world problem that can make even considering the THD+N spec completely irrelevant, and that is if you hit the dynamic limits of your amplifier. Amp clipping is measured in double digits of distortion that will go through the roof with the addition of only a few watts above the clipping threshold. So, the moral of the story is to be sure you have lots of power to spare before worrying about the THD+N spec.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/21/19 04:54 PM

Isn't science wonderful? When someone at work gives me their opinion, no matter how sensible and intuitive it may seem, I ask for data. The data always brings new learnings.

Regarding Ian's test, I and others who have listened to my systems, have found that we fatigue easily and object when the highs are distorted. I don't know what level of distortion this represents because I can't measure it but it's always the highs that are real nasty. I also don't know if this is THD or inter-modulation distortion.

Having said all this about the highs, distortion in the lows is nasty in a different way. Although it doesn't fatigue, it negatively affects imaging and soundstage and muddies the sound.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/21/19 06:13 PM

I maintain Bose did a lot of things right. No highs and no lows means no objections per the previous two posts. LOL!
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/25/19 07:51 AM

I scored a great deal on a used MRX 720 from a reputable guy on Canuck Audio Mart. Should be a nice step up from the Denon 4500.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/25/19 08:15 AM

She's gonna kick you out. Lol.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/25/19 09:21 AM

Nah, I should be able to recoup most of the cost by selling my barely used Denon. And my wife got her swimming pool a couple of summers ago. I've got at least a few more years of being able to use that to justify my expensive gadget buys.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/25/19 03:16 PM

You might want to keep the Denon to power Algonquins in the pool area.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/25/19 03:43 PM

The Anthem has a Zone 2 if I ever want to do that.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/25/19 04:01 PM

What if she wants to kick back and chill to some lame tunes with her friends poolside while you and your buds bang your heads to sick notes in the basement?
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/25/19 07:44 PM

She's happy listening on tiny Bluetooth speakers. Yuck.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/25/19 07:49 PM

More in the speaker budget for you then. laugh
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/30/19 10:56 AM

Got the MRX 720 up and running. Out of the box, it sounded far better than the Denon (and that's with external amplification in both cases). Cleaner, and more detailed, with better imaging. The gap widened even further after running ARC Genesis.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MBvU6BQx7VaTKL5vzfPUwBLZJ6beIFZ2/view?usp=drivesdk
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/30/19 11:24 AM

Those curves you posted are very impressive. I see the target curves for the front M5s are downward tilting. ARC therefore must be determining the designed response of the speaker and attempting to correct to it for your room. All indications are it did a marvelous job. Does it allow you to adjust the target curve slope?
Posted by: brendo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/30/19 01:57 PM

Looks similar to what I got with Genesis.

You can tailor it to any thing you prefer Mo. It has become very similar to REW.

A good guide is to follow REW guidelines. With A.R.C. for ultimate setup.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/30/19 02:50 PM

Originally Posted By Mojo
Those curves you posted are very impressive. I see the target curves for the front M5s are downward tilting. ARC therefore must be determining the designed response of the speaker and attempting to correct to it for your room. All indications are it did a marvelous job. Does it allow you to adjust the target curve slope?


Not sure if it detects the downward slope, or if the smart guys at Anthem just recognize that response should naturally slope off. I haven't played with it a ton, but I'm pretty sure you can create your own house curve for ARC to correct to.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/30/19 03:28 PM

Hmmm...I don't think ARC forces a downward-tilting target curve. I think the software is deducing the designed response and attempting to maintain it. This is very smart!
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/30/19 04:02 PM

Looking at it again, the target response curve doesn't match the profile of the M5 sound power. Why does ARC roll off the highs so much after 5KHz? Maybe it would sound even better if the roll off was more gradual. If you look at the M5 sound power curve, it starts rolling off at 200Hz by about 5dB per decade.

Then again, your room is not an anechoic chamber so getting the target curve to match the M5 sound power curve isn't right either. Ian has said the in-room curve shouldn't be flat. So what should the target curve look like?
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/30/19 04:48 PM

Just remembered, 5KHz is the default filter cutoff for ARC. So everything you see beyond that is just natural in room response.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/30/19 05:20 PM

I see. It might be interesting to try and boost the response above 5KHz and see if your soundstage gets broader. Or not...just enjoy what you have. smile
Posted by: brendo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/30/19 06:21 PM

According to what I have found in their studies {Anthem + N.R.C.} they came to the conclusion there isn't much use in EQing past that point 5KHz. {Can you tell I google too much info}

Lot's of people like to adjust to their preferences. Though It's about equal due to Mic. and human hearing.

One article I read from Anthem briefly discusses this topic, where I think they said you can go higher if you like, but their studies found the 5KHz to be most appropriate cutoff point.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/30/19 07:07 PM

Interesting about the 5KHz. I'm thinking if 5KHz is the supported max, then the mic is inaccurate above that point. So the rolloff you are seeing above 5KHz may not be accurate.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/30/19 08:28 PM

It'll go to 20khz if you override the default.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/30/19 08:36 PM

But is the mic accurate beyond 5? It may end up being very directional and hence the reason for the limp response.
Posted by: brendo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 06/30/19 10:10 PM

I think it's probably still accurate but in their own and N.R.C. findings they deemed it pointless.

I think it's the AVS forum. They have a longstanding ARC thread many suggestions and experiences. Occasionally Anthem's guru's will log in and help folks out.
Posted by: bman84

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 07/02/19 07:42 AM

One thing that puzzles me is ARC's choice to set the crossover on my VP180 to 80hz. Maybe it likes to set the whole front stage to the same crossover? Or, like THX, it doesn't believe in going lower.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: AVR or pre amp recommendations? Going 4K - 07/06/19 10:09 AM

If ARC measures distortion, it could be your subs are more linear than the 180 below 80Hz so ARC hands those duties to them.