Originally Posted by gdfein
I’m in the market for a new AVR for living/great room. 30’ ceilings, wide open to kitchen, dining, foyer and back hallway to bedrooms.
This is the primary TV room in the center of the home and where we entertain although not for critical movie watching as we do have a dedicated media room and projector.
The living room system is currently a 75” Sony and a Marantz 6012 on its last legs due to some failed HDMI ports, a handful of sources (PS4, ATV4K, Oppo UHD BRD, Directv) and the audio is only a B&W 3.1 on-wall setup.
I’m feeling burned by Marantz as this is third Marantz piece that has failed me in past 6 years, 8801, 6011, and now a 6012, plus I’ve never been dazzled by Audssey and interested in ARC and Dirac
I also want as good of sound as possible even though it’s only 3.1 and my three speakers are low-end limited with largest driver being a 5” mid.
So I’m considering the Anthem 720 and or NAD 777v3.
Like so much in this hobby, value and cost are subjective and wondering if I’m crazy considering such expensive AVRs for a simple 3.1 4K system just to get to try ARC or Dirac.
Does anyone else use the 720 with so few channels, and does ARC help with your room?
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For a simple 3.1, why not just use the MRX-520. It's 5.1 only and a much cheaper solution than the 720. Don't be fooled by 100 wpc/2 channel only, that's fairy conservative power number. One note is that there is no wi-fi, which I view as a good thing. No cooling fan, also a good thing. It's just a basic, very good sounding AVR.
Full Disclosure: I've had trouble and another guy did back in this forum too, with down mixing dolby sources to 2.0 in my case and 3.1 in his. Volume seemed muted, still sounded good, but where I'd normally listen to the volume at around -35-30 db, I had to go to -20 or a bit lower. I found (and told the other guy) that switching from the Anthem decoding to the Oppo 203 decoding and sending PCM solved the problem. I don't know if this was an oppo thing or not. DTS-MA, did not exhibit this behavior and volume levels where the same regardless of player or anthem decoding. So Oppo decoding is my default setting now. Dynamic Range to off.
All in all anthem is a great sounding AVR, I'm just a bit disappointed that it apparently didn't decode and down mix some dolby sources properly. It also has some problems with decoding the cable box dolby feed too, but I've work arounds for that too. Anthem wouldn't admit anything except to say their certification was obviously superior to that of Oppo Digital. For music, the AVR sounds fantastic, which tends to be my primary use.