help replace my Anthem AVM20 - AVS Forum
Receivers, Amps, and Processors > help replace my Anthem AVM20
skohlmey's Avatar skohlmey 05:45 AM 03-20-2012
I apologize for posting before doing any real homework, but I was hoping this group could help jump-start my search for a replacement for my Anthem AVM20. All my knowledge in this area is outdated.

My old rear-projection TV broke and I was about to replace it when I remembered that my AVM20 does not have any HDMI ports. (my wife is going to freak-out when I tell her that I have to replace the processor in addition to the new TV!)

My current setup has the Anthem feeding Sunfire and Marantz amps and Paradigm Studio 100s. What are some processor brands/models that are in the low- to mid-price range (new $1K-$3K) that I should be considering? I will sort through the detailed features and pros/cons myself. Right now I just need a place to start

Thanks for your help!!

Steve Dodds's Avatar Steve Dodds 06:35 AM 03-20-2012
If $3k is your limit I'd go used and get an AVM 50 or D2 with ARC.

If you need more than 4 HDMI ports I'd get a receiver like the Denon 4311 or Yamaha 2010 for around $1K and use it as a prepro, or the Marants Av7005 if you need balanced.

I don't think there are any processors worth buying inbetween.
saeyedoc's Avatar saeyedoc 08:22 AM 03-20-2012
If you don't need more than 4 HDMI inputs/one output and don't care about bells and whistles, look at the Anthem MRX300 to use just as a pre/pro.
walbert's Avatar walbert 08:30 AM 03-20-2012
Either AVR-as-a-processor, I like Yamaha personally (I'm a sucker for CinemaDSP), or Denon/Marantz. If you go this route, I'd get either the top-dog Yamaha (RX-A3010; around $1700) or the Denon 4311 (around $2000) or Marantz SR7005 (I believe around $1500). Or there are a few SSPs that would be equally competent, like the Marantz AV7005 (around $1600 as I recall), or the Onkyo 5509 (something like $2400) (there's bound to be an Integra rebrand of this - I don't follow their model naming scheme though); the Onkyo gets you a better (more precise) version of Audyssey and more inputs/outputs. Both of those have XLR outputs. I think they both do 3D as well (I know the Onkyo does; the Marantz is getting a bit dated).
skohlmey's Avatar skohlmey 03:37 PM 03-20-2012
Thanks for the suggestions. I will check out some of these units. This helps to narrow my research a bit.
Talos4's Avatar Talos4 04:20 PM 03-20-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by skohlmey View Post

I apologize for posting before doing any real homework, but I was hoping this group could help jump-start my search for a replacement for my Anthem AVM20. All my knowledge in this area is outdated.

My old rear-projection TV broke and I was about to replace it when I remembered that my AVM20 does not have any HDMI ports. (my wife is going to freak-out when I tell her that I have to replace the processor in addition to the new TV!)

My current setup has the Anthem feeding Sunfire and Marantz amps and Paradigm Studio 100s. What are some processor brands/models that are in the low- to mid-price range (new $1K-$3K) that I should be considering? I will sort through the detailed features and pros/cons myself. Right now I just need a place to start

Thanks for your help!!


Consider keeping the AVM-20 and let your new TV switch the video. Then get an excellent blu-ray source such as the Oppo BDP-95 to handle hi-res decoding and feed your anthem with interconnects. Total cost is $1k plus whatever you spend for interconnects. Your AVM-20 is still fine for Dolby Digital from cable/satellite boxes.

I was in the same pickle and bought an Anthem D2V, but if I could've done it over again I would've extracted more life from my AVM-20.
skohlmey's Avatar skohlmey 02:41 AM 03-21-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talos4 View Post

Consider keeping the AVM-20 and let your new TV switch the video. Then get an excellent blu-ray source such as the Oppo BDP-95 to handle hi-res decoding and feed your anthem with interconnects. Total cost is $1k plus whatever you spend for interconnects. Your AVM-20 is still fine for Dolby Digital from cable/satellite boxes.....

This is an interesting idea that I need to consider. Logistically, it is ideal to have my processor do the switching and keep the connections to the TV at a minimum. Mostly because the HT gear is located right behind my couch about 20ft (as the wire goes) to the TV. However, a couple of long HDMI cables are cheaper than a new processor.

In this setup, do I feed the sound back to the AVM-20 directly from the Oppo or back from the TV? Will I have any issue with syncing the sound with the video in these scenarios?
Dennis Oblow's Avatar Dennis Oblow 05:07 AM 03-21-2012
I have this setup with an Oppo 83 SE using multi chanel inputs to the AVM 20, and HDMI to the TV, and HDMI from the cable box to the TV, using either coax or Toslink from the box to the AVM 20. The AVM 20 has the ability to insert up to 85 ms of delay into any of the inputs individually (page 55 of owners manual) I have set up macros in my universal remote to handle switching the inputs for watching TV or Blue ray or playing CDs
Steve Dodds's Avatar Steve Dodds 06:13 AM 03-21-2012
The above is workable, but I can't help feeling that (my advice about buying used aside) the suggestion of one of the Anthem receivers makes more sense given the whole point is to make the system simple enough that your wife can use it.

You should be able to sell your AVM 30 for about what you'd pay for a MRX-300 and if most of your sources are digital I doubt you will suffer from any sonic degradation.
ccotenj's Avatar ccotenj 06:23 AM 03-21-2012
warning: d&m fanboy opinion ahead...

imo, if the op doesn't "need" balanced connections, it's rather tough to beat the denon 4311 for this usage... commonly available for close to the lower end of his budget range...

i had an av7005... while it is a wonderful unit, and virtualiy flawless in operation, the a100 (anniversary edition of the 4311) i have now is a better unit, due to the superior dsp...

it also has a few other goodies as well...
saeyedoc's Avatar saeyedoc 08:02 AM 03-21-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talos4 View Post

Consider keeping the AVM-20 and let your new TV switch the video. Then get an excellent blu-ray source such as the Oppo BDP-95 to handle hi-res decoding and feed your anthem with interconnects. Total cost is $1k plus whatever you spend for interconnects. Your AVM-20 is still fine for Dolby Digital from cable/satellite boxes.

I was in the same pickle and bought an Anthem D2V, but if I could've done it over again I would've extracted more life from my AVM-20.

I thought my recent upgrade was worth it to be able to decode high-resolution, lossless audio from Blu-ray. I like the suggestion of selling the AVM-20 for what you could buy the MRX300 for.
Martycool007's Avatar Martycool007 09:32 AM 03-21-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by saeyedoc View Post

I thought my recent upgrade was worth it to be able to decode high-resolution, lossless audio from Blu-ray. I like the suggestion of selling the AVM-20 for what you could buy the MRX300 for.


He could still take advantage of the high resolution and lossless Bluray audio keeping his AVM-20. Just connect the Oppo BDP-83's analog outputs to the AVM-20's analog multichannel inputs, lets the Oppo do the decoding, which, I believe would sound as good, if not better, then buying a MRX-300, or, even buying a new Anthem D2. It wouldn't be as convenient, but, its a whole hell of a lot cheaper and could be set up to be very simple to use. Simple enough that any wife could or would have no trouble using it.
saeyedoc's Avatar saeyedoc 09:51 AM 03-21-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

He could still take advantage of the high resolution and lossless Bluray audio keeping his AVM-20. Just connect the Oppo BDP-83's analog outputs to the AVM-20's analog multichannel inputs, lets the Oppo do the decoding, which, I believe would sound as good, if not better, then buying a MRX-300, or, even buying a new Anthem D2. It wouldn't be as convenient, but, its a whole hell of a lot cheaper and could be set up to be very simple to use. Simple enough that any wife could or would have no trouble using it.

That's a good point.
It does simplify things to just use HDMI.
Another advantage to keeping everything digital is the ability to use room correction software, like Anthem's ARC.
ccotenj's Avatar ccotenj 09:53 AM 03-21-2012
@marty...

he could, but it's highly doubtful it would sound "better"... putting aside for a moment that the difference between the lossless and the high bit rate lossy codecs are very subtle on the very best of systems, a "new" avr would allow him to use room correction and bass management, which definitely is a more than subtle difference....

your mileage will not vary..,
skohlmey's Avatar skohlmey 12:27 PM 03-21-2012
All your responses are helpful. Thanks for taking the time to respond. While my heart would love to upgrade my processor, my head says try a good player first before resorting to replacing the AVM20. I wanted to get into SACD anyways and this approach will get me there. If technical or usability issue arise, I can always shop for a processor.
ccotenj's Avatar ccotenj 12:36 PM 03-21-2012
^^^

fwiw... your heart is right, and your head is wrong... the player will make far less of an impact on your listening experience than a "modern" avr will...

if you are going to stay with what you have, just connect your existing player (or whatever player you get, and as much as i'm an oppo fanboy, don't throw your money away on a 95, get a 93 if you go that direction) via spdif for movies/redbook cd* and call it a day...

*and analog for sacd, should you so desire...
walbert's Avatar walbert 01:13 PM 03-21-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^

fwiw... your heart is right, and your head is wrong... the player will make far less of an impact on your listening experience than a "modern" avr will...

if you are going to stay with what you have, just connect your existing player (or whatever player you get, and as much as i'm an oppo fanboy, don't throw your money away on a 95, get a 93 if you go that direction) via spdif for movies/redbook cd* and call it a day...

*and analog for sacd, should you so desire...

Agreed. You aren't gonna notice much (if anything) going Analog MCH (if you lose bass management or time alignment you'll notice something - not in a good way), over S/PDIF and legacy extraction.

I think a new AVR makes sense; sure, what you have was super expensive when it was new, and it's "exclusive," so I get the stigma around replacing it with a "lesser" unit - that said, it's old and newer stuff can do the same task better.
ccotenj's Avatar ccotenj 01:15 PM 03-21-2012
^^^

yup... it is very safe to say that i would not trade my current avr for my old avm30... VERY safe...
Steve Dodds's Avatar Steve Dodds 04:57 PM 03-21-2012
Well, I actually did trade a modern AVR (MRX-500) for an older prepro (Anthem AVM-40) and the only thing I miss is the Onscreen Display.


pratul's Avatar pratul 05:31 AM 03-22-2012
I have a similar setup (oppo, anthem avm20) and use the analog multi channel output from the oppo to feed the prepro. I let the projector switch hdmi for video. One extra button to push when you switch sources but works well. At least for me and my wife.
ccotenj's Avatar ccotenj 06:30 AM 03-22-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Dodds View Post

Well, I actually did trade a modern AVR (MRX-500) for an older prepro (Anthem AVM-40) and the only thing I miss is the Onscreen Display.


fair enough... i'd never try to tell anyone what they prefer...
Kabillyhop's Avatar Kabillyhop 11:11 AM 03-22-2012
The AVM-20 was likely the finest piece of audio gear that I ever owned. When the technology moved to HDMI and the new audio codes I was faced with the same dilemma. For a year or so I went with the OPPO analog out solution with great results, but it always bugged me that I couldn't get true seven channels (not that there is much available) and that I had to use all of these cables.

Eventually I "upgraded" to the Marantz AV7005. I am very happy with this product. I don't think it is quite as good from a pure SQ perspective as the AVM-20 but it more than makes up for it with configuration simplicity and room correction. I did consider using a receiver as a pre-pro but I hate the idea of leaving the amps unused (even if I didn't have to pay extra for them). And I certainly wasn't about to pull out my Bryston and Anthem amps and go back to receiver amps at 1/3 the power.
skohlmey's Avatar skohlmey 05:16 PM 03-23-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^

fwiw... your heart is right, and your head is wrong... the player will make far less of an impact on your listening experience than a "modern" avr will....

Ok... I give in. I found a decent price on a AV7005. After it arrives, I am going to do an unscientific sound comparison. I plan to get an Oppo 93. If anyone knows where to get one at good price, message me. I plan to do this test during the first week of April. I will post my conclusions after that. Thanks for the advice.
skohlmey's Avatar skohlmey 10:11 AM 04-10-2012
I finally got the AV7005 and Oppo 93 installed last night. I am still learning about all of the features and trying to get everything configured. But my initial sound test was great. I am really pleased so far. I have more configuring, experimenting, and listening yet to do. But so far I am thrilled!
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