Anthem MRX 700 vs Arcam FMJ AVR400 - AVS Forum

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Receivers, Amps, and Processors

InTheHolodeck's Avatar InTheHolodeck
10:43 AM Liked: 10
post #1 of 11
01-18-2012 | Posts: 31
Joined: Jan 2012
I am building a 5.1 system with B&W CM9 series speakers (and related surrounds; undecided sub as yet), and Oppo BDP-93 or BDP-95 (depending perhaps on which AVR I get...) and am trying to decide between these two AVRs. I plan to both listen to music and watch movies roughly equally.

Can anyone make a recommendation between these two, esp if you've used both? My understanding is that the main important difference is that the Arcam will take analog in, allowing me to use the Oppo DAC, and the Anthem will take only digital, but then the Anthem's ARC room corrections appears to be better than Arcam's equivalent, and beyond that, I don't know if I should be valuing the Oppo DAC so highly over the AVR DACs anyway.

Further relevant threads are: Anthem MRX vs Arcam AVR400 feature comparison and Anthem MRX receivers. Since the feature comparison thread was dropped, has any community consensus on these two systems developed?
JHAz's Avatar JHAz
01:04 PM Liked: 166
post #2 of 11
01-18-2012 | Posts: 4,042
Joined: Mar 2009
IT has been a while since I paid attention to the Arcam offerings, but if you were going to use the Arcam to do room correction (assuming it can do room correction on analog inputs), it would have to take your analog inputs and convert them to digital, perform the correction in the digital domain and then re-convert to analog using the Arcam's DACs. So on balance going digital in is cleaner, in that it saves an AD-DA step and you'd be using the Arcam DACs either way.

I have not heard ARC in a setting where I could say how it performs, but it's well reviewed and well liked around here.
InTheHolodeck's Avatar InTheHolodeck
10:12 AM Liked: 10
post #3 of 11
01-20-2012 | Posts: 31
Joined: Jan 2012
No other suggestions anyone?
DS-21's Avatar DS-21
10:52 AM Liked: 247
post #4 of 11
01-20-2012 | Posts: 3,573
Joined: Jun 2005
I suspect under the skin they're both riffs on the same Chinese OEM platform, but with tweaks to incorporate their respective firm's own preferences, and in Anthem's case intellectual property.

The main relevant difference between the two seems to be whether one values legacy inputs (analog multichannel in, S-video) or superior room correction software more highly.

Also, cost. The MRX-700 is cheaper, right? Also, Anthem's lower line AVR's don't seem to give up much (just a smidgen of power, along with internet and HD radio features) but reduce costs quite a bit.

My choice would be the Anthem (depending on whether HD radio is important to you, probably the MRX500 or MRX300) with the cheaper Oppo player. Don't think you'd lose anything, but you'd gain ARC.
Osamede's Avatar Osamede
11:41 AM Liked: 14
post #5 of 11
01-20-2012 | Posts: 569
Joined: Apr 2007
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Also, cost. The MRX-700 is cheaper, right? Also, Anthem's lower line AVR's don't seem to give up much (just a smidgen of power, along with internet and HD radio features) but reduce costs quite a bit..

I vaguely remember from the reviews that the characteristics distortion curves on the amplification were rather different when one reviewed the measured performance (MRX 300 vs MRX 700. Was a little more to it than just sheer power.
Nick @ Anthem's Avatar Nick @ Anthem
07:30 AM Liked: 66
post #6 of 11
01-21-2012 | Posts: 916
Joined: Aug 2005
^^They're clearly wrong. The first MRX 700 review's all-channel measurements are very much out of line with any test anywhere else including in the same magazine. There's no way the MRX 300 puts out more power than the MRX 700 - it's the same amp circuit with a smaller power supply. Distortion has nothing to do with it because all measurements were made at the same clipping level.,3

eta: distortion characteristic between the graphs in the two top reviews looks identical to me other than the 300's running out of power sooner. Much has been made on the internet over the MRX 700's all-channel power but it's all based on one erroneous measurement in what just happened to be the first MRX review. There is nothing to support it, not even the possibility of a bad sample since its overall performance would have also suffered. But wait there's more - at the very end the S&V review reports significant rolloff above 5 kHz when using the USB input. We re-checked performance after that but have never seen or heard of anything like what's reported from anywhere else. I can only guess that ARC was left on when USB-in frequency response was measured.'s Avatar
06:48 PM Liked: 36
post #7 of 11
01-21-2012 | Posts: 1,901
Joined: Mar 2007
Unfortunately many don't realise that these magazines aren't scientific journals and therefore not subject to the vigorous standards of scrutiny and peer-review process before acceptance for publication. And when the rare mistake or even fraud is found journals would retract the paper. Some take what's said in these lay mags too seriously. When I said something similar before here (on another section) it didn't go down well at all for one such magazine's editor.
InTheHolodeck's Avatar InTheHolodeck
01:41 AM Liked: 10
post #8 of 11
01-22-2012 | Posts: 31
Joined: Jan 2012
I think I have settled on:

-Bowers and Wilkins CM9s

-Bowers and Wilkins CM center 2

-Paradigm Studio ADP-590

-undecided (Epik? JTR Cap? the corresponding B&W? totally open here...)

integrated amp/receiver:
-Anthem MRX700

Can anyone comment if they see something here as a mistake/poor choice/poor mix, or can recommend something better? Suggestions? Advice?

The room is a high-aspect-ratio approximate rectangle, with a slanted, partially vaulted ceiling on the front half, and openings to a den, small kitchen, and hallway at the back which immediately turns to the side; the room is ~4k ft^3, discounting adjoining open rooms. I live in an apt and have neighbors to the left, right, and below, and while I want to be able to fill the space, I do not want to annoy them if possible.

I don't think I need the analog in from the Arcam, and I think my room will benefit highly from the Anthem's ARC room correction. The only thing I really have going for it is the carpeted floor and preponderance of couches (three.)
rklpoon's Avatar rklpoon
02:17 AM Liked: 10
post #9 of 11
01-22-2012 | Posts: 87
Joined: Aug 2004
I think the B&W speakers are of power-huguary type and wonder if the MRX-700 can provide enough juice. Just hear for yourself to decide if you need separate power amp.
vailvon's Avatar vailvon
02:57 PM Liked: 11
post #10 of 11
03-01-2012 | Posts: 129
Joined: May 2007
I've got CM9/CMC2/CM5 combo powered by Anthem MRX700. Check out my speaker comparison between B&W 804, CM9 and Paradigm Studio 100.

B&W CM9 -

Paradigm Studio 100 -

B&W N804 -
InTheHolodeck's Avatar InTheHolodeck
07:33 PM Liked: 10
post #11 of 11
03-01-2012 | Posts: 31
Joined: Jan 2012
That's very similar to what I ended up with, except that I really wanted B/D surrounds, so I ended up w/ Paradigms for the surrounds only.
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