Originally Posted by Giraffe
My primary reason for considering the anthem in the first place is ARC. It's probably one of the mrx's best, if not the best selling feature. It would be silly to purchase the mrx and not take advantage of ARC.
It would be like buying a meridian 2 channel dsp processor and bypassing it.
I would like to bring this topic back for a reason that has been nagging at me. The spirit of the discussion around the lack of analog bypass in MRX receivers was 'if you don't want ARC, there is no reason to buy MRX over other comparable receivers on the market'. I am a bit concerned about this. Here are my reasons why I would consider MRX 700:
1) Beefy, clean, dynamic amplifiers not normally found in receivers
2) High quality DACs that can be used for CD and high res PCMs
4) Nice FM radio so I don't need a separate tuner (yes, I still listen to FM here in Toronto - mostly CBC Stereo for classical).
I hope the implication of the discussion I mentioned is not that if I don't buy MRX 700 for ARC (point 3), the rest of it is nothing to write home about and is neither better nor worse than a similarly priced Denon, Pioneer or Yamaha.
Don't get me wrong, from everything I read ARC seems to be bringing the MRX performance to the next level, but before I go through it, I would like to have a high enough baseline (amps, DACs etc.). After all, not long ago Statement D2 was sold with ARC being an optional add-on, which means that Anthem felt that D2 was worthy its price tag on its sound quality alone (sans ARC). Somehow I need reassurance that the same can be said for MRX 700 (to a degree appropriate for its more modest price point, of course).
Another point regarding people with expensive digital disk spinners: I don't see a point in running anything analog into MRX. If you have a high quality CD player (I have Arcam FMJ 23T), if you run it analog, it means that you first go through player's DAC, then through MRX ADC. If you run a digital SPDIF cable to MRX, you will skip DAC+ADC stage. I subscribe to 'less is more' camp and I have a hard time buying that DAC+ADC processing can sound better from running bits directly into MRX. Note however that this puts a lot of pressure on MRX DACs - everything runs through them so I am a bit surprised that I heard little discussion on their quality (other than the suggestion that we should be looking at the sum of the parts - ADC + ARC + DAC + pre + power - rather than any individual part).