Originally Posted by nathan_h
Did a few searches through this thread, but since AVS' software doesn't like short search terms I may have missed any relevant posts (ie, I didn't fine any):
Has anyone used Genesis with one of th Paradigm PW Amp or PW Link systems? The Anthem web site implies it should work, but I'm guessing there are still real world limitations (ie, like the hard coded subwoofer crossover in the PW AMP).
I can confirm it works. Full access to Genesis, for $200. "Full access" with the caveat that this is just a two channel device.
I got the Link (instead of the Amp) since the Link has line level and digital inputs and line level and digital outputs. I covet the dedicated subwoofer output on the AMP, but it was otherwise far less appealing. I don't need the power (already have powered monitors). And I would greatly miss having digital input and digital output. On the Link you can apply Genesis to the analog input and to the digital input and to streaming apps.
It is not all rainbows and bargains: PlayFi is a crappy platform. Luckily one can largely bypass it other than for the initial setup (connection to network, updating firmware).
Also, while Airplay support was introduced in 2016 for this device*, it doesn't actually work on mine. I've got a ticket open with Paradigm.
Finally, while DLNA works, it is a little flakey. I had to reinstall the PlayFi app to get it working, and they are still missing features like gapless playback.
Other downsides: No remote control. Well, there is the playfi app, but that's pretty darn inconvenient. There is no IR or RS232 input on the unit, so no way to hack / program a universal remote. No traditional IP control, either. And the toslink output is fixed at 48khz output. This bothered me at first but then I realized the signal was getting processed by ARC anyway, so outputting CD sourced material (for example) at 16/44.1 wouldn't really be an advantage. (And yes the digital output is limited to 48khz. If you want higher resolution output because you are streaming 24/192 sources, you have to use the analog output.)
So while it can handle multiple inputs and there is a volume control on the thing it is not very user friendly in that respect. (See below: One can automate the input selection, and turn the volume output into a fixed output, which helps considerably if one has another way to control volume, which I do, in the form of an old Emotiva XDA-2 DAC.)
In sum: The primary value is in an inline, fully capable Genesis processor, where the signal can stay in the digital domain, for $200. Secondarily, it has a serviceable DLNA client capability and connects to many online streaming services.
TIPS: (some of these aren't mentioned in the Paradigm documentation -- but appear in the equivalent device's documentation from Martin Logan. And note that Martin Logan is also selling their Unison device, which is essentially the same thing, for $200 on their web site, as well.)
Default behavior is for the volume control to impact analog and digital outputs, but one can set it up for a fixed line level output (otherwise one is left guessing what volume setting in neutral gain) by pressing the MUTE + DOWN VOLUME buttons for five seconds. (This is a toggle.)
Also, one can turn ARC off and on by holding the MUTE button for five seconds. Nice way to a/b the impact of ARC.
Finally, to avoid playing whack-a-mole with input selection one can set it to default to external inputs when playfi is not active by holding the input button for five seconds. (This is useful if one is using the streaming features sometimes, and other times wants the external input to be active -- just stop the playfi streaming, and it will revert back to accepting the input from the external inputs.)
Yeah, but how did it work in my Frankenstein setup?
Here is my first run, just using the powered monitors (modest JBL studio monitors with tweeters based on their high end lines), specifically the JBL Professional LSR305 First-Generation 5" 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor (LSR305), fed in this way: PW LINK -> EMOTIVA XDA-2 -> JBL Monitors.
And here is what ARC did when I had the subs connected. Same gear as before, with the addition of some Triad subs. (These are old subs, from before their Bronze/Silver/Gold lines. It is a pair of sealed subs with 12" drivers.....but the amp is in just one of the subs, and the second sub is fed with a speaker level output from the first.)
I used a miniDSP as a simple crossover, 100hz as the crossover point, 24db/octave slope. No EQ was applied in the miniDSP.
In other words, to the ARC system, it looks like two full range speakers.
The result: I was surprised ARC added so much room gain. I was running the subs about 10 db hot (in terms of level matching before running ARC) just to make sure there was headroom to work with. So they may explain part of it.
Dialing room gain down to zero tightened things up considerably.
I'm still experimenting with the hi frequncy roll off but Anthem's advice on their web site suggests I let the roll off follow the natural, measured roll off, so I'm tempted to leave that as is.