Anthem MRX Receivers - 310, 510, 710 Owners Thread & Tweaking Guide - Page 22 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #631 of 3802 Old 01-09-2014, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WickedGame View Post


I'm missing the "corrected response with bass management" in your graphs.

When you are doing ARc manually I should try to change these settings:

Max Eq. Fre: 5000Hz
Room Gain : 4000 (db).

To Max Eq. Fre: 1000Hz
Room Gain: 3.000(db)

And see what happends.

This because after 1K Hz on your graph the frequentie measured stays pretty much the same as what ARC would correct. under the 1000Hz you see some peaks (especially on the left speaker). The Right speaker has a dip at around 50Hz, something is standing in the way?

Corrected response with bass is not included you're right. It dependes on the value that you set on "Target". If you want I can send the .arc2 file.

The left speaker is situated on the corner (there are two walls). The right speaker is situated near an armchair. If you want I can also take pictures of the setting. 

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post #632 of 3802 Old 01-09-2014, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texmex55 View Post

I didn't realize that it did not work with a Mac. I listen to mostly movies and tv, but was underwhelmed with my yamaha rx-v1800 since the purchase of my new paradigm package (monitor 11s, monitor 7s, center 3 and ultra cube 12)

 

They're quite hefty speakers, and may need to power to get the best out of them. If you were happy with the sound before the speaker upgrade, it may not be the AVR's problem.

 

As much as I am a FAnthem, I do not know for certain if the 710 will definitely be able to bring your speakers to life. A demo with a power amp should also be considered.

 

 

Having said that, the Yam you have seems to have decent and believable power output. Still, check out the option of a power amp.

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post #633 of 3802 Old 01-09-2014, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texmex55 View Post

I didn't realize that it did not work with a Mac. I listen to mostly movies and tv, but was underwhelmed with my yamaha rx-v1800 since the purchase of my new paradigm package (monitor 11s, monitor 7s, center 3 and ultra cube 12)

Did you rerun the room correction calibration after you set up the new speakers?
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post #634 of 3802 Old 01-09-2014, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabriziorusso View Post

Corrected response with bass is not included you're right. It dependes on the value that you set on "Target". If you want I can send the .arc2 file.
The left speaker is situated on the corner (there are two walls). The right speaker is situated near an armchair. If you want I can also take pictures of the setting. 

Your now working with manual ARC. But why don't you first run ARC Automaticly?

After you done that post the report.

My suggestion if you stay on manual ARC is to set the Hz to 1000Hz instead of the 5000Hz. And roomgain to 3.000 and then listen.

At the moment im not able to analyse your arc2 file (working with apple at the moment, and don't have a windows machine nearby).

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post #635 of 3802 Old 01-10-2014, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by audit13 View Post

I'm currently looking at the 510. I know it's expensive but I really don't think its actual street price is much higher than the 500, or am I wrong?.

I'm also interested in the 510 since I can't image the $$ difference to the 710 is really getting me much. Less than 1 pound difference in weight, and the same maximum wattage used? What are the 510's actually going for on the streets?
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post #636 of 3802 Old 01-10-2014, 10:28 AM
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Tried Anthem via email several times and have yet to hear back anything. Figured with the holidays and such it may have been busy, but a reply or two by now would have been expected.

Just an FYI......
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post #637 of 3802 Old 01-10-2014, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob_Collins View Post

I'm also interested in the 510 since I can't image the $$ difference to the 710 is really getting me much. Less than 1 pound difference in weight, and the same maximum wattage used? What are the 510's actually going for on the streets?

I am not sure what the street price would be but I am hoping for 1500 with tax.
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post #638 of 3802 Old 01-10-2014, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randyman View Post

Tried Anthem via email several times and have yet to hear back anything. Figures with the holidays and such it may have been busy, but a reply or two by now would have been expectied.

Just an FYI......

frown.gif

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post #639 of 3802 Old 01-10-2014, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randyman View Post

Tried Anthem via email several times and have yet to hear back anything. Figures with the holidays and such it may have been busy, but a reply or two by now would have been expectied.

Just an FYI......

Same here. 5 emails over 3 - 4 weeks, concerning 2 different receivers, and I've yet to receive a response. I gave them slack over the holidays and with the weather, but I'm growing less and less impressed, and more and more irritated.

I'm considering a return even though I love the x510 so far...
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post #640 of 3802 Old 01-10-2014, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfSeven View Post

Same here. 5 emails over 3 - 4 weeks, concerning 2 different receivers, and I've yet to receive a response. I gave them slack over the holidays and with the weather, but I'm growing less and less impressed, and more and more irritated.

I'm considering a return even though I love the x510 so far...
Try to give them a call instead. I know they had problems with the email form on there website in the past.

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post #641 of 3802 Old 01-10-2014, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Devil 24 View Post

Try to give them a call instead. I know they had problems with the email form on there website in the past.

I've planned on it, but my work hours start before and end after their's and I never remember to call until I get home. They should have one or two days a week with extended hours or something, or get their email fixed. I'd be out of business if I had communication like this.

I set a reminder to call Monday morning, hopefully they are available without too long of a wait. Thanks for the input though, I'll post if they have info about their email system having issues.
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post #642 of 3802 Old 01-11-2014, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Nick @ Anthem View Post

AnthemLogic should be available when the surround channels are enabled. I don't have an MRX at hand so have asked engineering to check.

There's another issue with AL and it's with sub level. Next software should have it fixed.

Hi Nick,

I'm getting no low frequency when using Anthem logic on 2.0 sources (SKY cable TV here in Uk, Ireland)

If i change over to PLII or Neo: 6 the bass is resorted immediately.

I reported this to my UK based dealer who passed this on to his rep in them Canada.

I reported this issue on same day to Andrew in your tech team via email but he replied advising he'd not heard about it.

Can you please check?

regards,
Stuart
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post #643 of 3802 Old 01-12-2014, 12:09 AM
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^ As of recently, a fix is in process if you're using a subwoofer. If you're not, please advise.

The most important noise floor is in your head. Always remember to protect your hearing.
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post #644 of 3802 Old 01-12-2014, 09:04 AM
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 5) Does Anthem mute the first second or two of the incoming digital audio signal until it can lock onto the signal properly? For example, when you listen to CDs over HDMI or coaxial digital input, are tracks played in their entirety or do you get the first second or two chopped off?

This is a problem that I have just discovered with my MRX510, an otherwise excellent receiver.  I have experienced this problem with both computer input and CD player (both HDMI).  It is annoying, and I'd like to turn it off.  Any suggestions?

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post #645 of 3802 Old 01-12-2014, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 11thStGuy View Post

This is a problem that I have just discovered with my MRX510, an otherwise excellent receiver.  I have experienced this problem with both computer input and CD player (both HDMI).  It is annoying, and I'd like to turn it off.  Any suggestions?

same here with XBMC media player under windows 8
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post #646 of 3802 Old 01-12-2014, 02:08 PM
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Question for the Anthem owners. When I decided to upgrade my receiver I decided on going with Anthem 510 or 710. But as of lately I've been seeing so many people talk about Denon X4000. I'm hoping you guys can tell me why I should purchase anthem over the Denon. Not really interested in bells and whistles just strictly sound quality and performance for my 7.2 setup.

Sent from my LG-LS970 using Tapatalk 2
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post #647 of 3802 Old 01-12-2014, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bigjoexxl View Post

Question for the Anthem owners. When I decided to upgrade my receiver I decided on going with Anthem 510 or 710. But as of lately I've been seeing so many people talk about Denon X4000. I'm hoping you guys can tell me why I should purchase anthem over the Denon. Not really interested in bells and whistles just strictly sound quality and performance for my 7.2 setup.

Sent from my LG-LS970 using Tapatalk 2

 

SQ is contentious and subjective. I think a good rule of thumb is to know what your listening background is. If you've grown up with 2-channel stereo, and into unattenuated sound, and always felt you needed to run 2 systems (AV and stereo), then the Anthem is for you.

 

If you've grown up with Jap brand AVRs, and love the crash boom bangs, then the Jap receivers will be better suited.

 

Not that Anthems can't do crash boom bangs well. They do. But they also are very capable hifi amps in their own right. What they do not have is gazillion connectivity options, DSP modes to wow your mates and a gorgeous user interface you can play games with.

 

The display looks like an 80s alarm clock (the old range even looks like an 80s tape deck!), the UI looks like its running in DOS Shell in EGA. But so what? I buy an AVR to output AV material. Its easy to setup and virtually plug and play (you can customise of course). I don't care about the UI or how it looks, because I'm too busy looking at the screen and bombarded by the sound.

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post #648 of 3802 Old 01-12-2014, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11thStGuy View Post

This is a problem that I have just discovered with my MRX510, an otherwise excellent receiver.  I have experienced this problem with both computer input and CD player (both HDMI).  It is annoying, and I'd like to turn it off.  Any suggestions?

I believe it is part of the HDMI handshake process so you can't really turn it off other than to connect with coax or analog.

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post #649 of 3802 Old 01-12-2014, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by lokyc View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjoexxl View Post

Question for the Anthem owners. When I decided to upgrade my receiver I decided on going with Anthem 510 or 710. But as of lately I've been seeing so many people talk about Denon X4000. I'm hoping you guys can tell me why I should purchase anthem over the Denon. Not really interested in bells and whistles just strictly sound quality and performance for my 7.2 setup.

Sent from my LG-LS970 using Tapatalk 2

 

SQ is contentious and subjective. I think a good rule of thumb is to know what your listening background is. If you've grown up with 2-channel stereo, and into unattenuated sound, and always felt you needed to run 2 systems (AV and stereo), then the Anthem is for you.

 

If you've grown up with Jap brand AVRs, and love the crash boom bangs, then the Jap receivers will be better suited.

 

Not that Anthems can't do crash boom bangs well. They do. But they also are very capable hifi amps in their own right. What they do not have is gazillion connectivity options, DSP modes to wow your mates and a gorgeous user interface you can play games with.

 

The display looks like an 80s alarm clock (the old range even looks like an 80s tape deck!), the UI looks like its running in DOS Shell in EGA. But so what? I buy an AVR to output AV material. Its easy to setup and virtually plug and play (you can customise of course). I don't care about the UI or how it looks, because I'm too busy looking at the screen and bombarded by the sound.


I'm definitely a "crash boom bangs" type of guy. Lol. I'm really surprise that you would recommend the Denon for that. Now you really have me second guessing myself

Sent from my LG-LS970 using Tapatalk 2
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post #650 of 3802 Old 01-13-2014, 12:23 AM
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When does Anthem release the remote App for IOS and Android? Is there any news about that?

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post #651 of 3802 Old 01-13-2014, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick @ Anthem View Post

^ As of recently, a fix is in process if you're using a subwoofer. If you're not, please advise.


Hi Nick,

Yes I'm using a subwoofer in 5.1 configuration.

Thanks for confirming it's a known issue and being worked on

regards,
stuart
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post #652 of 3802 Old 01-13-2014, 03:03 PM
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I'm definitely a "crash boom bangs" type of guy. Lol. I'm really surprise that you would recommend the Denon for that. Now you really have me second guessing myself

Sent from my LG-LS970 using Tapatalk 2

 

When you're hitting the top range, there really aren't many mugs when it comes to Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha, Pioneer or Sony. The difference is what features they have and what sound you prefer.

 

I have not heard all of them but what I can say about Anthem is this: fidelity.

 

ARC room equalisation is good, but Jap brands have it too. Us FAnthems will necessarily say its the best out there, so you may justifiably question the validity of that.

 

But on SQ alone, Anthem and Arcam tries to produce sound as they would be in real life. They don't add any additional sharpness or boom where there isn't. Poor sources will be found out.

 

Some people like the room to shake whether the source material calls for it. Just as some turn their whole car into subwoofers to shake the windows of the whole street and call that good bass. To each his/her own. Its your money after all.

 

If you're mainly watching movies, in a noisy environment with many people, kids etc. A bit of "enhancement" may be helpful to drown out the background noise. Everyone wants to have a go at your system to play their iTunes or whatever.

 

But if you do quiet viewing, the Anthem will bring out a lot of detail, particularly in DTS-HDMA and other lossless sources. (Of course, you will have the speakers to back them up!)

 

So SQ means different things as I said. Fidelity though is a different story.

 

Anthem, ARC and all, is about fidelity.

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post #653 of 3802 Old 01-13-2014, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lokyc View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjoexxl View Post


I'm definitely a "crash boom bangs" type of guy. Lol. I'm really surprise that you would recommend the Denon for that. Now you really have me second guessing myself

Sent from my LG-LS970 using Tapatalk 2

 

When you're hitting the top range, there really aren't many mugs when it comes to Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha, Pioneer or Sony. The difference is what features they have and what sound you prefer.

 

I have not heard all of them but what I can say about Anthem is this: fidelity.

 

ARC room equalisation is good, but Jap brands have it too. Us FAnthems will necessarily say its the best out there, so you may justifiably question the validity of that.

 

But on SQ alone, Anthem and Arcam tries to produce sound as they would be in real life. They don't add any additional sharpness or boom where there isn't. Poor sources will be found out.

 

Some people like the room to shake whether the source material calls for it. Just as some turn their whole car into subwoofers to shake the windows of the whole street and call that good bass. To each his/her own. Its your money after all.

 

If you're mainly watching movies, in a noisy environment with many people, kids etc. A bit of "enhancement" may be helpful to drown out the background noise. Everyone wants to have a go at your system to play their iTunes or whatever.

 

But if you do quiet viewing, the Anthem will bring out a lot of detail, particularly in DTS-HDMA and other lossless sources. (Of course, you will have the speakers to back them up!)

 

So SQ means different things as I said. Fidelity though is a different story.

 

Anthem, ARC and all, is about fidelity.


Thank you for taking the time to write out this detailed description between the two brands. This is the kinda information I was looking for. I'm going to try to find a local store and listen to Anthem 's


Sent from my LG-LS970 using Tapatalk 2
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post #654 of 3802 Old 01-13-2014, 07:29 PM
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Loving the the 510. I am in the market for a new receiver to be used used as a pre-pro. My configuration is 7.2

I was hoping for 2 sub outs to be adjustable like Audysee Sub Eq. I currently have 2 Velodyne DD subs daisy chained as a master and a slave via RS232. EQ is primitive in these.

Also, my Krell amp has XLR balanced inputs id like to take advantage of

Where do i gain the most advantage? I watch mostly Direct Tv and BluRay with Control4 for automation

What to do:
Anthem 510 for SQ and ARC
or
Marantz AV7701 for XLR outputs including 2 subs
or
Marantz 7008 for latest version of Audysee and 2 sub outs and all the latest gadgets

Thanks in advance.............

7.2 with Thiel Power Points, twin Seaton Submersive F2's in Espresso. Krell Showcase Amp, Marantz Pre-Pro, Richard Grey Power, Control 4 Home Automation, lots of Blue Jean Cables, Oppo 103D, Sony DVD 777 400 Disc Changer and Samsung Plasma 64" 8500 all in a Salamander Synergy 247 in Walnut.
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post #655 of 3802 Old 01-13-2014, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchPope View Post

I believe it is part of the HDMI handshake process so you can't really turn it off other than to connect with coax or analog.

Anthem receivers will chop off the first second or so of the incoming digital audio signal irrespective of the input type (HDMI, digital coax, digital optical). It happens on all digital inputs, and there is no workaround or solution other than using the remote control to skip back to the beginning of the track (that is if you want to hear the entire song). This issue is endemic among boutique brands, including Anthem, Cambridge Audio, Sherbourn, Harman Kardon, Nuforce, and many more. Moreover, once the issue is identified, it applies to every model produced by these brands, and it persists for decades. Nothing can be done about this problem other than to purchase a Japanese receiver, which BTW are completely immune to this problem. Enquiring with the manufacturer will typically elicit a BS response as demonstrated recently in the Cambridge Audio official thread.

The audio drop-out problem is also evident when watching TV and changing channels on the set-top cable or satellite TV box. It also occurs even if you are not switching channels but watching the same channel long enough to have audio streams of different resolution (e.g., between commercials). Whenever the affected receiver needs to lock and re-lock onto the incoming digital audio signal, it will simply chop off the first second or so. With TV and other video content, the issue is less annoying. However, with music that is played from CDs or streamed via AppleTV, Squeezebox, and other streamers, it can become jarring especially if you happen to know that there is more to that music than the receiver will let you hear.

Fans of boutique brands can get on the defensive when this issue is brought up. For example, I enquired recently on the official Harman Kardon thread if the new 3700 model still suffers from the same digital audio drop-out issues that plagued HK receivers from a decade ago. What I got was a response along the lines of "Who cares about that non issue when the sound is so great?" or something to that extent. Or another solution offered on the Cambridge Audio thread is to connect your source using analog inputs, which then forces your signal through extra A/D and D/A conversion if you intend to use DSP available in your receiver. Also, many people are now using computers to store digital music and they need to transmit digital audio signal via HDMI or optical toslink to their AVR.

I asked this question earlier in the thread and got the answer fairly quickly from a fellow Squeezebox user. And that eliminated Anthem from my shopping list. Sorry, 11thStGuy, that you just discovered the issue.
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post #656 of 3802 Old 01-13-2014, 08:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjoexxl View Post

Question for the Anthem owners. When I decided to upgrade my receiver I decided on going with Anthem 510 or 710. But as of lately I've been seeing so many people talk about Denon X4000. I'm hoping you guys can tell me why I should purchase anthem over the Denon. Not really interested in bells and whistles just strictly sound quality and performance for my 7.2 setup.

Sent from my LG-LS970 using Tapatalk 2


For all those readers who are still on the fence regarding this receiver, as promised in a previous post, I managed to borrow a MRX 710 for a weekend demo from my local dealer.  I'm very grateful to dealers who are willing to do this as it makes purchase decisions much less stressful. Here is my current set-up:

 

7.2 home theater system with 120" screen + Epson projector
Dedicated room 22' x 14' x 8' with acoustic panel treatments, wall to wall carpeting, heavy curtains on all windows + theater seating
Aerial Acoustics 7T main speakers
Aerial Acoustics CC3C center
Totem Acoustic TAW 8 - 8" driver in-wall surrounds x 4
Rythmik Audio E15 subwoofers x 2
Denon AVR-4311ci receiver
"CAPS v3 Zuma" fanless, silent PC
Windows 7, JRiver 19, Foobar 2000, XBMC

Bluejeans cables

 

The weakest link in my system would probably be the Denon receiver and the possible lack of a high quality external DAC.  At least that's what I thought when we started.  I'm currently thrilled with the quality of sound with movies and multichannel audio such as SACD, DVD-A and multichannel FLAC.  My goal is better 2-channel sound so naturally I have been looking for an "audiophile" receiver to replace the Denon.  For this evaluation session I borrowed the following.  As you can see there are no weak links here:

 

Anthem MRX 710

Ayre QB9 DAC

Crystal Cable CrystalConnect Standard Diamond RCA for DAC > 710

Audioquest Carbon USB cable

 

We compared the Anthem to the Denon, with and without the QB9 DAC.  When setting up both receivers the speaker distances were entered manually.  The Denon had Audyssey turned off (which is my preference) since it muddies the sound.

 

There were three of us at the listening session and we all managed to agree on most things.  One of us was a recording and mastering engineer as well as a professional musician so I was impressed that his opinions were usually similar to mine.  We limited our evaluation to 2-channel listening since multichannel and movie listening is relatively easy.  Almost any high quality receiver can do a good job with movies.  We only connected the Aerial 7Ts.  No subs, center or surround speakers were connected.  When using the QB9 DAC the 710 was placed in analog pass-through mode (Analog Processing = No) which essentially turns the receiver into an integrated amp.  We also tried the HTPC going direct to the 710 via HDMI.  In addition, we were going to test with and without ARC but the dealer forgot to include the cd with the mic calibration file so no ARC was possible.  Turns out we probably wouldn't have gotten around to using ARC after what happened in the 2-channel testing.

 

First the good news:

 

- The Anthem menu system is perfectly adequate.    Easy to navigate, intuitive and uncluttered.  It's actually better than my Denon (in spite of the Denon's colorful GUI) which has odd menu labels and many unintuitive sub-menus.

- Large, easy to read display.  Easy to see across the room.

- Excellent sounding pre-amp and amplifier sections when used with the external DAC and analog pass-through.  However, for those cross-shopping the Anthems with top models from Japan, my Denon 4311 sounded equally as nice with the QB9 DAC > analog inputs.  We all agreed on this after extensive listening to all types of jazz and prog rock.  We switched back and forth a number of times and any differences we thought we could detect were extremely minor.  None of us could reliably hear any obvious differences but we thought the Anthem was perhaps a little more dynamic with tighter bass.  The fact that the two receivers were so similar was surprising  when you consider that the Denon re-digitizes it's analog inputs (even in Pure Direct mode) so there is another A-D-A conversion going on in the Denon.

 

Now the bad news (sorry but this list is longer):

 

- When the Ayre QB9 was removed from the equation, and when listening with HDMI, there was a surprise.  The Denon was better.  While the Denon's HDMI and analog inputs sounded very similar (a little better with the QB9 > analog inputs), the Anthem's HDMI input was a bit of a mess.  The sound was slightly harsh and digital.  There was a noticeable sibilance with cymbals and especially female voices.  It was easy to hear the difference in quality between the DAC in the Anthem and the Ayre QB9, especially when you compare them back to back.  What was more surprising was how good the DAC was in the Denon.  Very smooth and pleasant to listen to.  Maybe not as nice as the Ayre but not far behind.  Certainly better than the Anthem.  Not what we expected at all.

- Another problem with Anthem's HDMI was the buffer lag issue which was very apparent and annoying.  In fact, the engineer in our group immediately stated that Anthem's HDMI implementation was poorly designed and essentially broken.  He felt it should have never been released for sale.  Almost every song had the first spit-second cut off.  This always occurred when switching to a file with a different sample rate and occasionally when switching among songs on the same album.  This issue made our blind testing more difficult as it was always easy to tell the Anthem by the cut off songs.  Truly unacceptable from a modern high-end audio device.

- Although the display on the Anthem was easy to read there wasn't enough important information provided, especially for audiophiles who want to use HDMI to stream hi-rez music from a PC.  There is no indication of bit depth or sample rate.  Even my three year old Denon does this.  How can I know if my HTPC is outputting hi-rez files properly without a display on the receiver?

- Finally, I had no idea this receiver had a fan.  A crazy, loud fan.  My Denon has no fan and sits inside an open backed cabinet with the front door closed.  It never overheats.  The Anthem was sitting on top of my cabinet completely open to the room.  After 10-15 minutes of reference level playback (85-90 dB) I heard a loud fan noise between tracks.  Kind of scarred me at first.  Turns out there is a fan in this receiver that blows air out the right side of the box.  It would turn on for a few minutes every 10 minutes or so.  Very annoying.  It seemed to have only two settings:  Off and LOUD.  Thermally controlled fan speed would have been a much better solution.  It's possible that the Anthem was having some trouble with my 4 ohm speakers (89dB sensitivity) but it's interesting that the Denon has absolutely no problem with the same 4 ohm speakers.

 

Needless to say, the Anthem is going back to the store.  I might reconsider if Anthem can fix some of these issues because it does at least one thing better than the Denon: it has a true analog pass-through which made the QB9 DAC sound it's best.  In all other respects it was no better or, in many cases, worse than the Denon, especially with HDMI.

 

At this point I think I'm going to abandon the notion of a better receiver and use a separate DAC/Pre/Amp combo with a home theater bypass for 2-channel listening.  It seems with most of these so-called audiophile receivers you gain some things but lose others.  It doesn't seem possible to get one box that does everything extremely well.

 

I hope this little review was helpful to some of the undecided readers out there.  I know that the three of us doing this evaluation were very surprised by what we discovered.

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post #657 of 3802 Old 01-14-2014, 01:27 AM
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For all those readers who are still on the fence regarding this receiver, as promised in a previous post, I managed to borrow a MRX 710 for a weekend demo from my local dealer.  I'm very grateful to dealers who are willing to do this as it makes purchase decisions much less stressful. Here is my current set-up:

7.2 home theater system with 120" screen + Epson projector

Dedicated room 22' x 14' x 8' with acoustic panel treatments, wall to wall carpeting, heavy curtains on all windows + theater seating

Aerial Acoustics 7T main speakers

Aerial Acoustics CC3C center

Totem Acoustic TAW 8 - 8" driver in-wall surrounds x 4

Rythmik Audio E15 subwoofers x 2

Denon AVR-4311ci receiver

"CAPS v3 Zuma" fanless, silent PC

Windows 7, JRiver 19, Foobar 2000, XBMC
Bluejeans cables

The weakest link in my system would probably be the Denon receiver and the possible lack of a high quality external DAC.  At least that's what I thought when we started.  I'm currently thrilled with the quality of sound with movies and multichannel audio such as SACD, DVD-A and multichannel FLAC.  My goal is better 2-channel sound so naturally I have been looking for an "audiophile" receiver to replace the Denon.  For this evaluation session I borrowed the following.  As you can see there are no weak links here:

Anthem MRX 710
Ayre QB9 DAC
Crystal Cable CrystalConnect Standard Diamond RCA for DAC > 710
Audioquest Carbon USB cable

We compared the Anthem to the Denon, with and without the QB9 DAC.  When setting up both receivers the speaker distances were entered manually.  The Denon had Audyssey turned off (which is my preference) since it muddies the sound.

There were three of us at the listening session and we all managed to agree on most things.  One of us was a recording and mastering engineer as well as a professional musician so I was impressed that his opinions were usually similar to mine.  We limited our evaluation to 2-channel listening since multichannel and movie listening is relatively easy.  Almost any high quality receiver can do a good job with movies.  We only connected the Aerial 7Ts.  No subs, center or surround speakers were connected.  When using the QB9 DAC the 710 was placed in analog pass-through mode (Analog Processing = No) which essentially turns the receiver into an integrated amp.  We also tried the HTPC going direct to the 710 via HDMI.  In addition, we were going to test with and without ARC but the dealer forgot to include the cd with the mic calibration file so no ARC was possible.  Turns out we probably wouldn't have gotten around to using ARC after what happened in the 2-channel testing.

First the good news:

- The Anthem menu system is perfectly adequate.    Easy to navigate, intuitive and uncluttered.  It's actually better than my Denon (in spite of the Denon's colorful GUI) which has odd menu labels and many unintuitive sub-menus.
- Large, easy to read display.  Easy to see across the room.
- Excellent sounding pre-amp and amplifier sections when used with the external DAC and analog pass-through.  However, for those cross-shopping the Anthems with top models from Japan, my Denon 4311 sounded equally as nice with the QB9 DAC > analog inputs.  We all agreed on this after extensive listening to all types of jazz and prog rock.  We switched back and forth a number of times and any differences we thought we could detect were extremely minor.  None of us could reliably hear any obvious differences but we thought the Anthem was perhaps a little more dynamic with tighter bass.  The fact that the two receivers were so similar was surprising  when you consider that the Denon re-digitizes it's analog inputs (even in Pure Direct mode) so there is another A-D-A conversion going on in the Denon.

Now the bad news (sorry but this list is longer):

- When the Ayre QB9 was removed from the equation, and when listening with HDMI, there was a surprise.  The Denon was better.  While the Denon's HDMI and analog inputs sounded very similar (a little better with the QB9 > analog inputs), the Anthem's HDMI input was a bit of a mess.  The sound was slightly harsh and digital.  There was a noticeable sibilance with cymbals and especially female voices.  It was easy to hear the difference in quality between the DAC in the Anthem and the Ayre QB9, especially when you compare them back to back.  What was more surprising was how good the DAC was in the Denon.  Very smooth and pleasant to listen to.  Maybe not as nice as the Ayre but not far behind.  Certainly better than the Anthem.  Not what we expected at all.
- Another problem with Anthem's HDMI was the buffer lag issue which was very apparent and annoying.  In fact, the engineer in our group immediately stated that Anthem's HDMI implementation was poorly designed and essentially broken.  He felt it should have never been released for sale.  Almost every song had the first spit-second cut off.  This always occurred when switching to a file with a different sample rate and occasionally when switching among songs on the same album.  This issue made our blind testing more difficult as it was always easy to tell the Anthem by the cut off songs.  Truly unacceptable from a modern high-end audio device.
- Although the display on the Anthem was easy to read there wasn't enough important information provided, especially for audiophiles who want to use HDMI to stream hi-rez music from a PC.  There is no indication of bit depth or sample rate.  Even my three year old Denon does this.  How can I know if my HTPC is outputting hi-rez files properly without a display on the receiver?
- Finally, I had no idea this receiver had a fan.  A crazy, loud fan.  My Denon has no fan and sits inside an open backed cabinet with the front door closed.  It never overheats.  The Anthem was sitting on top of my cabinet completely open to the room.  After 10-15 minutes of reference level playback (85-90 dB) I heard a loud fan noise between tracks.  Kind of scarred me at first.  Turns out there is a fan in this receiver that blows air out the right side of the box.  It would turn on for a few minutes every 10 minutes or so.  Very annoying.  It seemed to have only two settings:  Off and LOUD.  Thermally controlled fan speed would have been a much better solution.  It's possible that the Anthem was having some trouble with my 4 ohm speakers (89dB sensitivity) but it's interesting that the Denon has absolutely no problem with the same 4 ohm speakers.

Needless to say, the Anthem is going back to the store.  I might reconsider if Anthem can fix some of these issues because it does at least one thing better than the Denon: it has a true analog pass-through which made the QB9 DAC sound it's best.  In all other respects it was no better or, in many cases, worse than the Denon, especially with HDMI.

At this point I think I'm going to abandon the notion of a better receiver and use a separate DAC/Pre/Amp combo with a home theater bypass for 2-channel listening.  It seems with most of these so-called audiophile receivers you gain some things but lose others.  It doesn't seem possible to get one box that does everything extremely well.

I hope this little review was helpful to some of the undecided readers out there.  I know that the three of us doing this evaluation were very surprised by what we discovered.

I am a little suprised about a few things. I have tested the MRX710, AVR4520 and Marantz SR7008 on a B&W 804Di front, 805Di rear and HTM4 center speaker in a dealer room. And as for sound quality the Anthem was much better than the Denon and Marantz. The sound was more upfront than the Denon and Marantz. Also the Denon and Marantz didn't have the bass that was produced by the Anthem.

So as for soundquality I am suprised about your review. It is possible that Anthem is not the match for the speakers you use.

After the dealer test I requested an MRX710 in a home situation in comparison with an Marant SR9300 on B&W802D (powered by Classé CP700 in SSP mode and CA-M400 mono's) and B&W 804S and HTM2D. Ans also in this situation the Anthem was on Sound Quality a very good match. With ARC used the sound improves much more. That is also a thing that I have missed in your review/test the comparison on both AVR's with room correction on. Because most of the people use the room correction instead of switching it off.

In all the testing I didn't heared the fan, the MRX710 was doing very well even on high volumes. And it didn't become warm. So I don't recognise your fan problem.

The only thing that I must admit is the HDMI/Digital lag. It's annoying when you listen to music.

As for the display, some people think it's important to see everything others don't. So I don't see it as a flaw.

I think when I read your test that the main thing is the matching of AVR with the speakers. For your sound feeling it isn't the best match I guess, as for other it might be. The only thing that I can advise is to listen to it.

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post #658 of 3802 Old 01-14-2014, 06:29 AM
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I am a little suprised about a few things. I have tested the MRX710, AVR4520 and Marantz SR7008 on a B&W 804Di front, 805Di rear and HTM4 center speaker in a dealer room. And as for sound quality the Anthem was much better than the Denon and Marantz. The sound was more upfront than the Denon and Marantz. Also the Denon and Marantz didn't have the bass that was produced by the Anthem.

So as for soundquality I am suprised about your review. It is possible that Anthem is not the match for the speakers you use.

After the dealer test I requested an MRX710 in a home situation in comparison with an Marant SR9300 on B&W802D (powered by Classé CP700 in SSP mode and CA-M400 mono's) and B&W 804S and HTM2D. Ans also in this situation the Anthem was on Sound Quality a very good match. With ARC used the sound improves much more. That is also a thing that I have missed in your review/test the comparison on both AVR's with room correction on. Because most of the people use the room correction instead of switching it off.

In all the testing I didn't heared the fan, the MRX710 was doing very well even on high volumes. And it didn't become warm. So I don't recognise your fan problem.

The only thing that I must admit is the HDMI/Digital lag. It's annoying when you listen to music.

As for the display, some people think it's important to see everything others don't. So I don't see it as a flaw.

I think when I read your test that the main thing is the matching of AVR with the speakers. For your sound feeling it isn't the best match I guess, as for other it might be. The only thing that I can advise is to listen to it.

The biggest "flaw" that jumped out at me with "island md" testing was the fact that they did not
Run the ARC. To me this is the Anthem's strongest feature....by far.

Anthem MRX-300-Outlaw Audio M2200
Rythmik F12 subs
Paradigm Signature S6,C1,S1
Harman Kardon DMC1000 (music)
Assassin HTPC (movies)
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post #659 of 3802 Old 01-14-2014, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WickedGame View Post

I am a little suprised about a few things. I have tested the MRX710, AVR4520 and Marantz SR7008 on a B&W 804Di front, 805Di rear and HTM4 center speaker in a dealer room. And as for sound quality the Anthem was much better than the Denon and Marantz. The sound was more upfront than the Denon and Marantz. Also the Denon and Marantz didn't have the bass that was produced by the Anthem.

So as for soundquality I am suprised about your review. It is possible that Anthem is not the match for the speakers you use.

After the dealer test I requested an MRX710 in a home situation in comparison with an Marant SR9300 on B&W802D (powered by Classé CP700 in SSP mode and CA-M400 mono's) and B&W 804S and HTM2D. Ans also in this situation the Anthem was on Sound Quality a very good match. With ARC used the sound improves much more. That is also a thing that I have missed in your review/test the comparison on both AVR's with room correction on. Because most of the people use the room correction instead of switching it off.

In all the testing I didn't heared the fan, the MRX710 was doing very well even on high volumes. And it didn't become warm. So I don't recognise your fan problem.

The only thing that I must admit is the HDMI/Digital lag. It's annoying when you listen to music.

As for the display, some people think it's important to see everything others don't. So I don't see it as a flaw.

I think when I read your test that the main thing is the matching of AVR with the speakers. For your sound feeling it isn't the best match I guess, as for other it might be. The only thing that I can advise is to listen to it.

The biggest "flaw" that jumped out at me with "island md" testing was the fact that they did not
Run the ARC. To me this is the Anthem's strongest feature....by far.

How would my EMP's Impression Series speakers fit with Anthem you guys think?


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post #660 of 3802 Old 01-14-2014, 06:59 AM
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The biggest "flaw" that jumped out at me with "island md" testing was the fact that they did not
Run the ARC. To me this is the Anthem's strongest feature....by far.

He didn't run Audyssey either, so it should be a more fair comparison of the amp/components, shouldn't it?
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