Owner's thread for the Anthem MRX 520 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 89 Old 02-24-2016, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Owner's thread for the Anthem MRX 520

I am planning to upgrade my AVR after my Onkyo tx-nr3009 has pre out problem.

Currently, my system is PMC FB1i speakers, Bryston 4BSST amp (front L/R), 2 B&W rears and an PB13-Ultra all connected to HTPC via HDMI.

I have been looking at the MRX 520, I don’t plan on going beyond 5.1. I have looked at the spec of the 520,720,1120 - the only major difference I am concern about is the 520 Tri-core processor vs the other quad core processor.

Is the sound signature/quality the same for all the new MRX series, the only other differences are more power (which I don’t need because of the amp), more speakers configuration (don't care), Dolby Atmos (never going to use), DTX: Ready features, WIFI (don't care, I have Ethernet) and DTS-Play-Fi (don't care).

In the end all I care for is the sound quality.

Thanks
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post #2 of 89 Old 02-24-2016, 11:34 AM
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If you don't plan on doing uhd anytime soon, you could even go for a 310/510/710

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post #3 of 89 Old 02-24-2016, 12:26 PM
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You'll probably get more answers here:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-rec...mos-dts-x.html
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post #4 of 89 Old 02-24-2016, 01:05 PM
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Jadeboy, I am very much in the same boat. I'm looking at MRX 520 and MRX 710. Most interested in SQ. One other difference this year is that I believe the 520 and 720 DO NOT have toroidal power supplies. Only Anthem's top of the line MRX 1120 has one. In comparison, I believe last year's 710 DOES HAVE a toroidal power supply. I have always heard that everything else being equal, toroidal is better but more expensive. I would be very interested in anyone's view if they have compared the 520 and 710 for SQ.
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post #5 of 89 Old 03-18-2016, 06:20 AM
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Just wanted to see if either of you decided on the 520? I'm in the same situation and just wanted to see if you ended up with the Anthem.

My emphasis is on SQ (although I would have liked to be able to stream music from my NAS directly to the AVR-I'm honestly not sure if the 520 can do this even though it has an ethernet connection). I'll probably go 4K some time this year so the new X20 models are on my radar.
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post #6 of 89 Old 03-24-2016, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by junglist1319 View Post
Just wanted to see if either of you decided on the 520? I'm in the same situation and just wanted to see if you ended up with the Anthem.

My emphasis is on SQ (although I would have liked to be able to stream music from my NAS directly to the AVR-I'm honestly not sure if the 520 can do this even though it has an ethernet connection). I'll probably go 4K some time this year so the new X20 models are on my radar.
Yeah.. I got the MRX 520, the 0035 firmware has lots of bug on Anthem's website.. but Anthem support was awesome and provided me with beta firmware which fixes a lot of issues.

My impression: the MRX 520 is awesome for home theatre, I currently have 4.1 systems.. It is so good.. it makes me want to buy more speakers for ATMOS, but I can't with the 520. You won't get better for this price range for watching movie.

As to the SQ, I am definitely hearing detail in music that I never heard in my Onkyo 3009. The Onkyo 3009 seems to have a warmer sound than the MRX 520. In the beginning I prefer the sound signature of the Onkyo probably because I like warm sound .. If you prefer more details.. the MRX is definitely better.. you might get better SQ in this price range from other manufacture for music.

Overall I am happy with the purchase.
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post #7 of 89 Old 03-24-2016, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadeboy View Post
Yeah.. I got the MRX 520, the 0035 firmware has lots of bug on Anthem's website.. but Anthem support was awesome and provided me with beta firmware which fixes a lot of issues.

My impression: the MRX 520 is awesome for home theatre, I currently have 4.1 systems.. It is so good.. it makes me want to buy more speakers for ATMOS, but I can't with the 520. You won't get better for this price range for watching movie.

As to the SQ, I am definitely hearing detail in music that I never heard in my Onkyo 3009. The Onkyo 3009 seems to have a warmer sound than the MRX 520. In the beginning I prefer the sound signature of the Onkyo probably because I like warm sound .. If you prefer more details.. the MRX is definitely better.. you might get better SQ in this price range from other manufacture for music.

Overall I am happy with the purchase.
What bugs did you encounter with the 0035 firmware?
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post #8 of 89 Old 03-24-2016, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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These are the main one.

1. MRX does not turn on after power off - you have to unplug from wall and then plug back in - Most annoying - seems fixed in latest internal firmware.
2. Can't change input - seems fixed in latest internal firmware.
3. When powering off, it turns back on within a few second.
4. Rare audio stuttering - could be caused by Kodi and not MRX.
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post #9 of 89 Old 07-24-2016, 04:16 AM
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Hello,

I would appreciate some help.

I'll buy a Anthem MRX 520, and I would like if possible to clarify some doubts:
- Anthem remote app works with the MRX 520 when network is connetc?;
- Will I misse DTS:X?

Tanks,
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post #10 of 89 Old 02-02-2017, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by PTsurfer View Post
Hello,

I would appreciate some help.

I'll buy a Anthem MRX 520, and I would like if possible to clarify some doubts:
- Anthem remote app works with the MRX 520 when network is connetc?;
- Will I misse DTS:X?

Tanks,


And no Dolby Atmos. You're basically stuck without any immersive option which I think is like getting stuck without 4k today: You might not want it now, but if you buy something without it you'll probably regret soon.

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post #11 of 89 Old 04-11-2017, 10:04 AM
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I have owned a 300 and a 310 and ran external amps. I made the mistake of selling my 310 after being wooed by a more mainstream brand that had more bells and whistles. I quickly found out why I picked up an Anthem to begin with. It's vastly superior sound quality. My question is, is there any noticable difference in Sound quality between the 10 series and 20 series MRX lines?

I'm thinking about picking up another Anthem and that observation might help me decide.

Thanks
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post #12 of 89 Old 04-18-2017, 02:55 PM
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Hello Anthem owners,

I'm on the fence between buying separates and an Anthem MRX 520. The last two AVRs I've tried just didn't have good sound quality and am hoping the bump to an Anthem or some undetermined yet separates may get me where I'm trying to go. Even at $1400 the Anthem is cheaper than most separates. How do you guys feel about how it ranks in the world of sound quality vs separates and other slightly cheaper brands of AVRs like Marantz, Denon, or Yamaha?
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post #13 of 89 Old 04-20-2017, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankhenrylee View Post
Hello Anthem owners,

I'm on the fence between buying separates and an Anthem MRX 520. The last two AVRs I've tried just didn't have good sound quality and am hoping the bump to an Anthem or some undetermined yet separates may get me where I'm trying to go. Even at $1400 the Anthem is cheaper than most separates. How do you guys feel about how it ranks in the world of sound quality vs separates and other slightly cheaper brands of AVRs like Marantz, Denon, or Yamaha?
One thought...

I asked my local Anthem dealer for a loaner for evaluation purposes. He counter-offered a 30 day return window instead if it just wasn't working out. You might ask your vendor for something similar. In my experience, there's tremendous value in trying out components in your own home, in your own room, and with all of the other stuff in your rack.
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post #14 of 89 Old 05-14-2017, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankhenrylee View Post
Hello Anthem owners,

I'm on the fence between buying separates and an Anthem MRX 520. The last two AVRs I've tried just didn't have good sound quality and am hoping the bump to an Anthem or some undetermined yet separates may get me where I'm trying to go. Even at $1400 the Anthem is cheaper than most separates. How do you guys feel about how it ranks in the world of sound quality vs separates and other slightly cheaper brands of AVRs like Marantz, Denon, or Yamaha?
I recently purchased the MRX 520 to replace the excellent (though dated) Primare SPA-21. That unit had an MSRP of $4,000 in its day, and was considered peerless in terms of sound quality when compared to other integrated units. (The AB amp had parallel construction for a 5.1 system with 100 wpc at 8 ohms.) I had read that the excellent sound of the MRX series was consistent from the entry-level 520 on up. The increased cost of the 720 and 1120 was reportedly for such features as additional power and channels. My speakers are fairly easy to drive as the bass sections have onboard amps, so the power of the 520 wasn't a big concern. Also, I'm not planning to expand my 5.2 system as I live in an urban condo. My big concern was: will the 520 match the quality audio of my Primare? Will it even approach the quality of the much pricier separates I use daily in the sound system in my workshop?

I put the unit in place last weekend, and immediately all doubts evaporated. Far from falling short of the sound of my Primare unit, the 520 was actually an improvement. I've been very impressed with the clarity and articulation of movie soundtracks, and my music collection has never sounded better on these loudspeakers. And I haven't even run ARC yet! So - if you don't anticipate adding height channels and have fairly efficient speakers, you needn't pay the increased price for separates - or even for the MRX 720 - to get excellent sound! I can't wait to run ARC next weekend to hear the benefits of that powerful system.
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post #15 of 89 Old 06-06-2017, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Video Auteur View Post
I recently purchased the MRX 520 to replace the excellent (though dated) Primare SPA-21. That unit had an MSRP of $4,000 in its day, and was considered peerless in terms of sound quality when compared to other integrated units. (The AB amp had parallel construction for a 5.1 system with 100 wpc at 8 ohms.) I had read that the excellent sound of the MRX series was consistent from the entry-level 520 on up. The increased cost of the 720 and 1120 was reportedly for such features as additional power and channels. My speakers are fairly easy to drive as the bass sections have onboard amps, so the power of the 520 wasn't a big concern. Also, I'm not planning to expand my 5.2 system as I live in an urban condo. My big concern was: will the 520 match the quality audio of my Primare? Will it even approach the quality of the much pricier separates I use daily in the sound system in my workshop?

I put the unit in place last weekend, and immediately all doubts evaporated. Far from falling short of the sound of my Primare unit, the 520 was actually an improvement. I've been very impressed with the clarity and articulation of movie soundtracks, and my music collection has never sounded better on these loudspeakers. And I haven't even run ARC yet! So - if you don't anticipate adding height channels and have fairly efficient speakers, you needn't pay the increased price for separates - or even for the MRX 720 - to get excellent sound! I can't wait to run ARC next weekend to hear the benefits of that powerful system.
Does anyone know if the Anthem MRX 520 has a powered Zone 2 output? The 720 definitely does but I just don't' see any option for Zone 2 speaker connections on the 520.

Thx !
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post #16 of 89 Old 06-06-2017, 05:36 PM
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Does anyone know if the Anthem MRX 520 has a powered Zone 2 output? The 720 definitely does but I just don't' see any option for Zone 2 speaker connections on the 520.

Thx !
The 520 is only a 5 channel receiver. Unfortunately there is no
Zone 2.

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post #17 of 89 Old 08-30-2017, 10:57 AM
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ARC and Line Array Speakers

Question. I have an Anthem MRX 520 receiver. I was considering ordering a pair of Dayton Audio's Epique CBT24 speakers. They use constant beamwidth transducers which basically means the sound is unaffected by a room's acoustics. The sound they produce is ruler flat in any room from 100hz-8KHz. My room has hardwood floors. Problem is according to the manufacturer the CBT24's require a treble boost of about 3-6db above 8KHz to get that lifelike 3D sound. Would Anthem's Room Correction software fall short with these speakers? All other consumer room correction software including Audyssey, Yamaha YPAO, Pioneer's MCACC and Dirac can apply the needed treble boost above 8KHz. Even Onkyo's proprietary room EQ can apply this kind of treble boost. Is Anthem's ARC strictly for traditional loudspeakers?

Here's the link to the speakers:

https://www.parts-express.com/epique...-pair--301-982
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post #18 of 89 Old 08-30-2017, 11:36 AM
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I'm a dealer for Anthem so take all this as you will, but I also run ARC w/line arrays so am well versed about that.

ARC can't set a boost at 8khz and up, that's correct, but you can probably get what you want via the tone controls. Secondly, w/line arrays, you may find better results putting the ARC correction ( or Dirac or whatever) below 200hz anyway.

As for the OP, the SQ is consistent across the line of receivers in the 20 series and IMO clearly better than the Onkyos, etc.

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post #19 of 89 Old 08-30-2017, 12:08 PM
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I'm a dealer for Anthem so take all this as you will, but I also run ARC w/line arrays so am well versed about that.

ARC can't set a boost at 8khz and up, that's correct, but you can probably get what you want via the tone controls. Secondly, w/line arrays, you may find better results putting the ARC correction ( or Dirac or whatever) below 200hz anyway.

As for the OP, the SQ is consistent across the line of receivers in the 20 series and IMO clearly better than the Onkyos, etc.
One other question. Are the Bass and Treble controls per input or are they global settings for all inputs? Does the receiver maintain the Bass and Treble tone control settings after being powered off? I haven't used tone controls since I had an old Zenith analog Dolby Pro Logic integrated amp many years ago.
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post #20 of 89 Old 08-31-2017, 11:50 AM
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Poor ARC Results with Line Arrays

Just got a set of Dayton Audio Epique CBT24 speakers and ran ARC on my Anthem MRX 520 receiver. ARC set the speaker/sub crossover at 140Hz and did almost nothing whether I left the max EQ setting at the default 5,000Hz setting or reduced it to 200Hz. The speakers sound bass limited, almost like someone plugging their nose while they are talking. The effect is slight but noticeable. There is a similar effect on the highs, but it's more pronounced on the bass. Adjusting the bass and treble tone controls did nothing. They simply override the crossover. The MRX 520 receiver just turns the crossover off when adjusting bass and treble. I'm wishing I would have kept my old Denon receiver with Audyssey XT32. Whoever said Anthem Room Correction puts Audyssey to shame does not know what they were talking about.
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post #21 of 89 Old 08-31-2017, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by techguy378 View Post
One other question. Are the Bass and Treble controls per input or are they global settings for all inputs? Does the receiver maintain the Bass and Treble tone control settings after being powered off? I haven't used tone controls since I had an old Zenith analog Dolby Pro Logic integrated amp many years ago.
Global, yes.

Retained on power off, yes.

There is a toggle in the menus that will reset all non-menu user adjustments back to zero, such as Bass, Treble, on the fly channel trims.

#JB17
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post #22 of 89 Old 09-03-2017, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rblnr View Post
I'm a dealer for Anthem so take all this as you will, but I also run ARC w/line arrays so am well versed about that.

ARC can't set a boost at 8khz and up, that's correct, but you can probably get what you want via the tone controls. Secondly, w/line arrays, you may find better results putting the ARC correction ( or Dirac or whatever) below 200hz anyway.

As for the OP, the SQ is consistent across the line of receivers in the 20 series and IMO clearly better than the Onkyos, etc.
CBT arrays are a different animal than the straight arrays that you're more familiar with. Anthem makes some nice equipment but in the case of this particular speaker the Anthem unit won't provide the equalization needed via the room correction or tone controls.

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post #23 of 89 Old 09-03-2017, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by techguy378 View Post
Just got a set of Dayton Audio Epique CBT24 speakers and ran ARC on my Anthem MRX 520 receiver. ARC set the speaker/sub crossover at 140Hz and did almost nothing whether I left the max EQ setting at the default 5,000Hz setting or reduced it to 200Hz. The speakers sound bass limited, almost like someone plugging their nose while they are talking. The effect is slight but noticeable. There is a similar effect on the highs, but it's more pronounced on the bass. Adjusting the bass and treble tone controls did nothing. They simply override the crossover. The MRX 520 receiver just turns the crossover off when adjusting bass and treble. I'm wishing I would have kept my old Denon receiver with Audyssey XT32. Whoever said Anthem Room Correction puts Audyssey to shame does not know what they were talking about.
Due to the small 2.5" drivers the bass extension will be limited. For proper integration you'll need more bass EQ to lower the crossover point for compatibility to most typical subwoofers. Without the bass extension it will not sound very good. The same is true for the upper frequency EQ. The measurement shows loss of resolution of both frequency extremes, particularly in the upper octaves. That in combination with the limited EQ available makes this a bad combination (not really the fault of Anthem as they were not designing for a speaker like this).

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post #24 of 89 Old 03-16-2018, 04:59 AM
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I have a MRX 500 that I have had for about 6 years. The center channel just went bad and it needs to be sent back to the factory for repair. Rather than repair the unit I am thinking I will replace it with a new receiver. Until the recent center channel issue the unit has performed flawlessly. Since I like the sound, my first thought is to replace the 500 with the 520. But, as I look at what is available in the AVR market these days I wonder if the MRX520 is really that much better than some of the other more mainstream brands. Clearly it is more expensive and less feature rich than other brands but is it still a better sounding receiver than most of the other products in the market?
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post #25 of 89 Old 03-16-2018, 10:01 AM
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A couple of thoughts...

Is there a possibility that your MRX 500 can be repaired for a price you consider reasonable? You mentioned that you like the sound, making a repair potentially your least expensive solution. Of course, putting money into a 6 year old AVR in some ways is like putting money into an old car: it buys you time but it's gonna break again some day. And if it lacks features you've been wanting, a repair may be even less interesting.

Assuming you go down the replacement route, there are quite a few AVRs at or below the $1399 MSRP of the Anthem MRX 520, each with different feature sets and different sounds. You may need to go listen to units of interest to decide what you like. At point of purchase, be sure you understand the return policy in case it isn't quite what you expect. Getting a loaner from an AV dealer would be even better.

Do you use the room correction software? If so, I'm not aware of anything better than ARC at this price point. YPAO, Audyssey, Dirac and others all have their fans, and I have not listened to all of them as implemented in various AVRs. I can only say that in my room, with my gear, in my house, etc. I have found ARC to be an excellent solution.

Last thought, since it looks like you hold onto your gear for a while (me too ), it might be worth your time to think about capabilities you might want over the next few years... just in case. If the 520 still fits your needs, that could be a decision. If not, there may be some research ahead.

Just one more upgrade and things will be perfect.
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post #26 of 89 Old 03-19-2018, 02:29 PM
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I have a MRX 500 that I have had for about 6 years. The center channel just went bad and it needs to be sent back to the factory for repair. Rather than repair the unit I am thinking I will replace it with a new receiver. Until the recent center channel issue the unit has performed flawlessly. Since I like the sound, my first thought is to replace the 500 with the 520. But, as I look at what is available in the AVR market these days I wonder if the MRX520 is really that much better than some of the other more mainstream brands. Clearly it is more expensive and less feature rich than other brands but is it still a better sounding receiver than most of the other products in the market?
Is it possible to feed a line-level signal to an external amp to power the centre? This may be a cheap solution if you have a spare power amp.
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post #27 of 89 Old 03-20-2018, 11:04 AM
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Is it possible to feed a line-level signal to an external amp to power the centre? This may be a cheap solution if you have a spare power amp.
That is not an option for me. Until I get a new AVR I have been able to manually increase the volume of the center channel and turn down the volume of the right and left channels so they are fairly closely matched. I suspect it is a fairly easy fix. The Anthem Tech I talked to on the phone guessed the problem was on the preamp board and not the center channel amp itself. Still it's probably not an inexpensive fix. Were it not for the lack of 4k capability I would likely go ahead and get it fixed but I think it's time to move on and upgrade my receiver to the current level of technology. I really like the sound of the Anthem and will go ahead an upgrade to the MRX 520. After researching and listening to Marantz, Denon, and Yamaha receivers I still think the Anthem is the best choice for me. It has everything I need and nothing I don't.
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post #28 of 89 Old 03-20-2018, 11:08 AM
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I have a mrx310 in one system with a 4k tv and htpc. To get around the lack of 4k support in the 310, I feed the audio to the 310 via dvi and video directly to the tv. Not sure if this would be a suitable solution if you get the anthem repaired.
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post #29 of 89 Old 04-13-2018, 10:23 AM
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Can you adjust channel levels on the fly with the remote without having t go deep into the setup menu, etc? Denon and Mcintosh do

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post #30 of 89 Old 04-13-2018, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spongebob View Post
Can you adjust channel levels on the fly with the remote without having t go deep into the setup menu, etc? Denon and Mcintosh do

bob
Yup. Having well thought out direct access keys on the Anthem remote is one of the things I like most about my 720.

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