I'm a VERY proud new owner of a MRX-1120. I was originally running a Yamaha CX-A5100 with a 7 channel Sunfire TGA-7401. You can see all of my speakers and other gear in my signature.
I live in Alaska but my audio guy is a Paradigm/Anthem dealer in Vancouver, BC. I visited his shop back in September and purchased all of my speakers, minus my subwoofer, from him. With the exchange rate, it was a killer deal!
Fast forward to this past month with the trade up program. Part of my lust for the Paradigm setup was the fact that when I auditioned my Prestiges, they were driven by Anthem AVR's on both auditions. So, given my acute case of upgraditis, I decided to give my dealer a call again to get a quote and he delivered in spades!!
I just received my MRX-1120 this past Monday. I didn't have time to run an ARC calibration due to time constraints. I did, however, manage to swap all of my components and power up the system as was. I did not enter speaker distances or take any kind of measurements and was immediately impressed with the sheer clarity of what I was hearing. For Yamaha aficionados, please don't get me wrong... the CX-A5100 is certainly no slouch, but given that I was in store for an ARC calibration in my near future, I was most excited to see what a reputable room correction software could offer above what I was already liking.
The next day, I was able to run a full calibration and was blown away with what I was hearing. For the record, I run a 2009 MacBook and had absolutely zero issues downloading the firmware upgrade and ARC Genesis software. Likewise, I had zero issues running said software and tweaking advanced settings to my liking. ARC is a little different from other software that I have experienced from Yamaha and Integra (YPAO & Audyssey specifically). For anyone that has any sort of knowhow about electronics, particularly home theater setup, the program is extremely intuitive.
My speakers and room have never sounded better. Initially, my goal was to keep my Sunfire and connect it to the pre outs from the MRX-1120. I'm currently about 99.9% committed to selling both my Yamaha AND Sunfire because the amps of the MRX-1120 are THAT good! Couple that with the very high efficiency of my Paradigms and it's a win-win situation. Due to the exchange rate with Canada, and what I saved off of MSRP for this brand new unit, I'll actually make a handsome profit by selling my current separates. I know there are several folks that will vote separates over a single AVR any day, and twice on Sunday, but I'm a firm believer in the MRX-1120 and all it has to offer. If, for some reason, I ever get a hair up my butt to want to add Anthem external amplification, that option is viable. I am a firm believer in Anthem now that I have brought their tech into my home.
Just a few more comments about the sound quality of the MRX-1120 because it certainly deserves the merits. If I could use a single word to describe the sound, it would be cinematic. Seriously, this unit creates a wall of sound that is so immersive, cohesive, powerful and TIGHT! The integration of my subwoofer and speakers have never been better. I was constantly tweaking my Yamaha to find that sweet spot between movies and music. Being a "tweaker" though, I continue to mess with the bass and subwoofer level, but that's more out of curiosity and not necessity. There's also the overall cohesion with the surround and height speakers that just makes watching movies a blast. It also makes music listening sessions longer. So smooth, detailed and engaging. 2 channel listening is so wonderful! I, honestly, can't praise this unit enough.
If you can't already tell, I'm very excited about the addition of the MRX-1120 to my stable of electronic toys. I was back and forth about pursuing an Anthem to go with my Paradigms since I acquired my speakers about 6 months ago. I'm so glad I did. considering the law of diminishing returns, I think I have finally found my sweet spot of audio nirvana. I can't say I've had that feeling EVER in my system. The fact that I'm also Canadian and representing my home theater with goods from the motherland is just a bonus!
In closing, I have spent may hours combing through this thread, this forum, assorted reviews, and the like, before committing to this purchase. I would like to thank all of you that have provided your impressions, experiences, trouble shooting issues, etc. These forums are such amazing resources for potential buyers and I feel it my responsibility to pay it forward to future hopefuls looking for another insight/experience.
Happy listening and cheers!