Anthem MRX vs. Arcam AVR400 Feature Comparison - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-04-2011, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I am looking to upgrade my Marantz SR8002 receiver. Nothing wrong with the Marantz, but I used to have an Arcam AVR300 before the Marantz, and Arcam sounded better over analog or digital inputs and I miss that sound quality.

I am trying to find the differences between these 2 lines.

Arcam AVR400



Anthem MRX



Common Features:
HDMI 1.4 (3D compatible)
7.1 Analog Pre outs
Room Correction (ARC and ??)
Internet Rado
USB Audio
Genesis Torino Scalar
Made in China

Differences:
Power: MRX500=100x2 or 75x5, MRX700=120x2 or 90x5 (Toroid), AVR400=130x2 or 90x5 (Toroid)
HDMI inputs: 4xMRX, 5xAVR400
Bi-Amp Fronts with 6+7 channels=arcam only
Multi-ch Analog inputs=Arcam only
HD Radio: Only MRX700
Universal Remote: Arcam only
Selectable Voltage: Arcam only
Rackmountable: MRX only
Color: MRX=Black only, AVR400=Black or Silver
Volume knob=Anthem only
Digital Audio inputs= 3 optical in Anthem, 2 Arcam|2 coax in Anthem, 4 in Arcam
Digital Rec out=Antham only
Availability: MRX=Today, AVR400=~1 month or so.
Stream music from PC over Ethernet=Arcam only


More Info
Anthem : MRX Info, Manual Arcam : Info, Manual

Anything I missed?
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-05-2011, 05:49 AM
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Just curious and not trying to sway.I also have an sr8002 and the anthems look real nice,but what is it that makes this an upgrade? Is is that u just like the sound of the arcam u had before better. I had a similar experience as i had marantz then rotel and now back to marantz which i enjoy and plan to stay with.I'm just trying to get some insight as i was also looking into the threads on the anthem. Are u using the same speakers u used with ur previous arcam with the sr8002? maybe this makes a difference.
To be honest maybe audition the anthem or arcam of ur choice first before u decide to change.Putting features aside there is no gaurantee that they'll sound like ur previous arcam.Or maybe marantz is just not for u as it is for others,like myself.Even though i have never auditioned anthem or arcam.
What ever u do i'm sure some of us would like to know what u end up doing.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-05-2011, 06:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I miss the Arcam sound. All equipment was the same, only the receiver was changed. My equipment was
B&W nautilus 804 mains
B&W XTC center
Velodyne DD12 sub
Arcam CD play/xbox 360 media center/ps3/apple tv

The highs sounded much more smoother and transparent with the Marantz. To be honest, the Marantz sounds good and if I never heard the Arcam in my setup, I probably would have been happy with it, but now I know how good the system can sound.

I do plan to audition both, but none of the dealers will have my speakers/sub so it will be a somewhat blind decision.
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-05-2011, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone know what scaler arcam uses?
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-05-2011, 05:20 PM
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Room correction in both but not the same, ARC in Anthem

DPLIIz Anthem only

Volume knob Anthem only

3 optical in Anthem, 2 Arcam

2 coax in Anthem, 4 in Arcam

2x RCA rec out, dig and coax out Anthem, none Arcam

rack mountable Anthem

Anthem listening modes

separate 115v/230v models Anthem, voltage selectable Arcam

universal learning remote Arcam

power consumption max. 500W Anthem, 1.5kW Arcam

net wt. 15.5kg Arcam, 15.6kg MRX500, 16.1kg MRX700

black only? Anthem; Bk and Silver Arcam

warranty 3y Anthem, 2y Arcam

made in China Anthem, Arcam?

MSRP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by akhter View Post

Anyone know what scaler arcam uses?

from Arcam website:
Quote:
Full upscaling and cross conversion is carried out by a high performance Torino video processor...


Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #6 of 17 Old 02-06-2011, 02:56 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks Kilian.ca i have added your info to the original post.
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-06-2011, 04:58 AM
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One has to actually experience the effect of ARC.

Having heard the D2 + Arcam in the same setup, I'd say:

2 channel analog in - Arcam - hard to beat the SQ
A/V setup - Anthem - ARC makes surround sound & movie tracks just more "alive". Certainly worth the trip to your Anthem dealer to hear.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-06-2011, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Which Arcam did you compare the D2 with? Did that Arcam have Arcam's room correction setup (Arcam's version of ARC) similar to what AVR400 will have?
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-18-2011, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filthy McNasty View Post

One has to actually experience the effect of ARC.

Having heard the D2 + Arcam in the same setup, I'd say:

2 channel analog in - Arcam - hard to beat the SQ
A/V setup - Anthem - ARC makes surround sound & movie tracks just more "alive". Certainly worth the trip to your Anthem dealer to hear.

Using the MRX with 2ch music digitized to be able to use ARC is a very good way to do it. I have experimented with my MRX 500 and Anthem Statement D2v. Analog in(ARCAM CD) without ARC vs. digital in with ARC, using the D2v, ARC with digital in won hands down. The effect of ARC outweighs the diff b/t analog and digital. This was Anthem's assessment and why they left out analog in. They use superior amps and ARC. For me this is the big difference b/t these models. Just my two cents.
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-13-2011, 05:11 PM
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As a cross-reference, you can follow Arcam AVR400 topic on the owner's thread here:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/arcam...rs-thread.html

A handy jumping point for various MRX 700 reviews is Anthem's official blog:

http://anthemelectronics.blogspot.com/
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post #11 of 17 Old 06-07-2011, 09:30 AM
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Comparing the D2v and the AVR400 is a mistake. IF you have a d2v go head to head with the AV888 and you will not like the results. Now I have done a a/b with the MRX-700 and the AVR-400. Both are great units however I would say the Arcam has more mid-range body and warmth, the arcams zone 2 is also assignable and the added power gave my Snell D7 towers a much larger stage. Don't get me wrong The anthem sounds GREAT and if you take Arcam out of the mix nothing touches Anthem for sound quality. I'm guessing the Marantz guy has never heard anything from Arcam or Anthem. He could work for D&M holdings, if so great job killing Denon.
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-07-2011, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underdog522 View Post

Comparing the D2v and the AVR400 is a mistake. IF you have a d2v go head to head with the AV888 and you will not like the results. Now I have done a a/b with the MRX-700 and the AVR-400. Both are great units however I would say the Arcam has more mid-range body and warmth, the arcams zone 2 is also assignable and the added power gave my Snell D7 towers a much larger stage. Don't get me wrong The anthem sounds GREAT and if you take Arcam out of the mix nothing touches Anthem for sound quality. I'm guessing the Marantz guy has never heard anything from Arcam or Anthem. He could work for D&M holdings, if so great job killing Denon.

I don't think the marantz guy said he ever heard anything from arcam or anthem.

I have owned a lot of brands. onkyo->yamaha->arcam->marantz->anthem and my take is that:
for analog sources, arcam was the best.
for digital, anthem is the best
marantz looks good on paper against the above and is punchy/dynamic but the mids and highs were never as smooth/musical as the anthem or arcam.
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post #13 of 17 Old 06-07-2011, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underdog522 View Post

Comparing the D2v and the AVR400 is a mistake. IF you have a d2v go head to head with the AV888 and you will not like the results. Now I have done a a/b with the MRX-700 and the AVR-400. Both are great units however I would say the Arcam has more mid-range body and warmth, the arcams zone 2 is also assignable and the added power gave my Snell D7 towers a much larger stage. Don't get me wrong The anthem sounds GREAT and if you take Arcam out of the mix nothing touches Anthem for sound quality. I'm guessing the Marantz guy has never heard anything from Arcam or Anthem. He could work for D&M holdings, if so great job killing Denon.

The AV888 is great with analog sources, but who has that as their main signal source in the HT world? The D2V is better with digital sources, and has great room correction and video processing. If you are using your AV gear to play back audio from your turntable, maybe the Arcam is what you want. But otherwise the D2V offers a lot more.

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post #14 of 17 Old 09-19-2012, 02:09 PM
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OK, I will admit I am a only using 2 digital sources ( arcam bdp-100 blu-ray player and direct tv) and I have a music hall 7.1 turntable. I am not knocking the D2V, its a great unit and ARC is fantastic. I just like the sound of the Arcam units a little more. The panel is a Pioneer KRP-600.
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post #15 of 17 Old 09-19-2012, 05:47 PM
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I've had them both. 700 and 400.

700's (yes, multiple) on and off for 6 months and waiting for another due to noise issues.
400 for three weeks.

ARCAM AVR400

+ better "basic", sound from the speaker, sound quality (not referring to RC, surround decoding, etc)
+ AMP handles bass better, more integrated into the sound. Doesn't do the Japanese slap you in the face "here's your bass , now" "Oh, it's time for bass" sound. That may explain why some think it's got less "Umphh". But it's just more natural.
+ AMP has more delicate sound, more detail, etc.
+- GUI. It's different, not better, not worse. In many ways, there are more options than the Anthem. If you could "mix" and "pick-n-choose" between them, that would really be something nice. If I had to choose, I'd pick the Arcam GUI for more overall control.
- RC EQ. Awful. Ran it about three times and it never sounded as good on as off.
- got strange "chirp" noise once in a while that would float around the right side, very odd.
++ Superior remote, VERY superior. This is a remote you can actually get to work with everything. I actually dumped my TV remote, I needed the TV remote for NOTHING. Even the TiVo programming worked pretty good, but I prefer my TiVo BT Slide-Remote, for day-to-day.
- CEC doesn't turn ON Receiver when I turn on TV(like Anthem), but...
+ When CEC is on, no noticeable change in OFF power usage --- Anthem 120-140 extra watts, the SAME as when it's full ON.
+++ handles my TiVo better. No codec POPS, no odd noises at end of program or boot-up, etc.
- Lot's of "codec mute". Can be rather long, you get used to it, however. But then, read above +++
- I felt there was more noise/static from the Arcam AMPS, oddly. But I don't know the overall effect, since I liked the sound better from the Arcam anyway.
+- I "think" video was better with the Anthem, BUT I feel the direct link from my TiVo, right now, looks better than either. So it's suggestive, but definitely NOT obviously a noticeable difference. And I am pretty picky.
++++ All that stuff about reliabilty, etc. No problems. I've had MUCH MUCH more trouble with the 700's.




Anthem MRX700

+ superior bass management options/SW. BUT, oddly, I prefer the integration of bass from the Arcam. (there's that "musical" thing.)
+++Better, more full, channel steering. That is, you get more left, right, back and less center channel. More SURROUND sound. biggrin.gif This is the BIGGEST REASON for me as far as why Anthem is better for Surround, etc.
+ "basic" SQ, relatively close to Arcam -- VASTLY superior to any Japanese brand I've heard.
+ ARC. We've all heard enough about it. I'll let you read more in the Anthem threads.
+ quieter AMPS. NO static at all. (except for me, read later, or endlessly in Anthem MRX thread)
- For two channel stereo music and such, I felt the Anthem lacked ANY depth and soundstage of ANY kind, just pushed out noise, so to speak.
+Quality of design. I just "feel" the Anthem was put together better, both HW and SW. But that's just a "feeling" and reality for me has been "quite" different, actually.
- remote. Awful. I can RARELY get key presses to register when the back light is on. Very odd. Not programmable, no learning features, etc. Separate On and OFF buttons, Argh!
+- With my TiVo, codec issues are better than any other non-Japanese brand I've tried. The Arcam has a long codec mute which avoids ALL pops. The Anthem was not quite as good. With 50.23 SW, the Anthem was VERY nearly codec pop free. 50.24 beta made a finicky unit MUCH worse, and 50.25 turned out better than even 50.23, but with an unreliable unit it's hard to say for sure.

Conclusion -- If you are a music person --- Arcam, no doubt, period.
If you don't listen/or care for music much and are VERY TV orientated (me) -- Anthem.

I just returned the Arcam and will have another Anthem MRX700 in a week. Piero (CS) from Anthem claims to have been running it to make sure it doesn't have noise in any channel. I'll take my headphones to the dealer when I pick it up. I could hear it through the HP's, even at the store with nothing connected.

My first 700 had a strange gurgling noise in the LS channel. Exchanged after a week.

My second 700 (on the floor, in the box, right now) has a "sizzling static" or RF??? noise in the LF channel. This noise goes up and down in volume, with no relation to anything I can figure. You can especially, hear it with headphones. NO NOISE in any other channel, none. I also cannot tell the difference anymore, between ARC ON or OFF. NOW, at times, especially after the receiver has been on a while, I get noise in ALL CHANNELS and codec POPs suddenly increase DRAMATICALLY. I also get a upper-end harshness like I'm pushing a cheap AMP too hard, if I turn the volume up a little past basic TV watching. I call this ACTING UP. I'm VERY certain I've had a serious SQ drop as well, since I noticed it after returning the first unit and before the second went bad.

When I get a properly running 700 (I hope), I will then be able to compare it to the Arcam 400 more properly and choose between them. I'll post my results.

My BIGGEST thing is that people should NOT shy away from Arcam. They ARE impressive and well worth the tryout. After getting another Anthem I may STILL go back to the Arcam, I'll have a little better direct comparison at that point. Also, if you are not big into all the FEATURES, Cambridge Audio is supposed to finally release the 651r and 751r in the next month or so. They should be VERY impressive in the sound department, but very disappointing in the FEATURE department. But on thing the Arcam revealed (or reinforced) to me is that you don't need to "fix" the sound, if it is right to begin with. In the end, it's about how it sounds.

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post #16 of 17 Old 10-08-2012, 12:48 AM
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Wow thanks for that Dean (and others). I've been poking around trying to decide what my next upgrade would be... for me "next" seem geologic compared to the rest of you guys... my current setup (McIntosh 7100 & Nakamichi AV2 & JBL Studio 4410) is about 20 years old! lol

I wandered into a local shop today and the fellow at the store was talking up these very two models. This will be primarily for music but I would like to have some fun with movies on the weekend. Given this... Dean would seem to recommend the Arcam. Here are some of the concerns I have

1) Our current room is pretty asymmetric with respect to TV placement vs the front channels (the TV is *way* off to one side; practically on top of where the left front is). If that's a show stopper for any real surround system... so be it. Perhaps some of the more sophisticated room correction systems (thinking ARC or MTX32 here) would be able to make up for that?? Or is that asking too much?
2) Some of the other receivers I've been looking at provide IP control and iOS and/or android apps to control many of the functions of the AVR. Looks like ARCAM provides an iOS just for accessing the attached media (i've got a PnP server with *many* FLACs). No support for internet radio or the other AVR functions. I don't believe it provides *any* open IP control set... just via RS-232 Are there other solutions out there? I'm particularly interested in Android.
2a) is it a similar story for the Anthem
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post #17 of 17 Old 10-08-2012, 01:50 PM
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It's XT32.

And yes, if you are primarily a music guy (or take it seriously at ALL) the Anthem is TERRIBLE. Terrible for 2 channel sound. No soundstage, no depth; just noise thrown at you. I think it's the COMPLETE digitalization that does it. ALL sound IN is converted to digital. There is NO audio bypass in the Anthem and it shows PAINFULLY, IMO. Plus, No multi-channel analog in's.

There's a fella who created a iOS app for Arcam remote control. And from what I've seen it looks REALLY good and works well. It's been posted in all the owners threads. There are also youTube videos showing it in action. Impressive.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

Well, I finally got my new Anthem MRX700. A little over a week now.

+ there is NO noise in the headphones AT ALL, during "MUTE"s and "No Signal"s. (read above post for details)

+ Although, I get a "little" amp hiss in all channels (very little, which is fine) I do not get the odd noise in any one channel. (read above post for details) SO FAR!!!!

+ I'm also NOT getting the "acting up" deal I used to get with the defective unit. (read above...)

- ARC still seems to do little for me. It DOES get better control of bass bloat. I generally have bad bass bloat in seating position 2 and 3, ARC does help a good deal there. It also helps in seating position #1, but to a lesser degree and probably because there is less to begin with. I still feel the Arcam "integrates" bass into the sound better, however. Better control of bass. I had hoped the new 700 would give me the clearer center channel that I remember from when I first got a unit. But no.

+ remote control, although still not as functional as the Arcam, now actually works properly when the backlight is on.

- I feel the Anthem "may" be a little hollow/thin? in the midrange for me. I "think" the Arcam may have been better at warming up my speakers, which I need.

+ Oddly, the Anthem runs processed video (all native video 480i, 720p, 1080i upgraded to 1080p) better than it does using the "through" or bypass function. I get better black depth.



The good news is that I have another Arcam AVR400 on the floor ready to go. So I will be switching it in and out this week to try to get a good solid comparison.

More updates by the end of the week.

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