Anthem vs. Denon - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Anthem vs. Denon

Hey everyone...HT newbie and looking for advice on a new receiver. I just purchased a pair of the Goldenear Triton 2+'s and the Reference Center channel. I have an opportunity to buy an Anthem MRX 520 demo model at a really good price, however I was also looking at the Denon 3600h. I know that Denon has a lot more features than the Anthem, but the ARC system is supposed to be much better than Audyssey MultiEQ XT32). Keep in mind that I'm planning on upgrading this receiver when 2.1 HDMI AVR's become available and I am having a professional calibrate the system. I read that Denon's have trouble EQ'ing subs sometimes, along with HDMI switching issues. Is the Anthem still a better sounding product than the Denon, even without much of the features? Thanks everyone in advance!
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post #2 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 10:19 AM
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Keep in mind that I'm planning on upgrading this receiver when 2.1 HDMI AVR's become available
If it is just for interim use, just get whatever is cheaper.

Why are you switching to a 2.1 avr next year? Do you have an 8k TV?
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post #3 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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If it is just for interim use, just get whatever is cheaper.

Why are you switching to a 2.1 avr next year? Do you have an 8k TV?
Anthem will cost approx. $200 more than the Denon. I will mainly use the HT for movies and TV. I'm most likely getting the PS5 when it comes out late next year. I just purchased the LGC9, which has HDMI 2.1 capability.
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post #4 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 10:38 AM
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I'd go with the Anthem. They also have better customer service.
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post #5 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 11:51 AM
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I recommend saving the $200 and getting the Denon. It has the Audyssey XT32 - just get the $20 Audyssey app for specific tuning. I don't think you'd be able to differentiate between Audyssey vs. ARC unless doing critical music listening and, even then, people may prefer one over the other.

The Denon is feature rich which is nice. I've never had any HDMI issues with any of my Denons or Marantzs. Any HDMI issues with either is almost 100% due to lower quality HDMI cables (keep in mind that price isn't necessarily the best indicator of quality / functionality of HDMI cables) or other issues.

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post #6 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by zorax2 View Post
I recommend saving the $200 and getting the Denon. It has the Audyssey XT32 - just get the $20 Audyssey app for specific tuning. I don't think you'd be able to differentiate between Audyssey vs. ARC unless doing critical music listening and, even then, people may prefer one over the other.

The Denon is feature rich which is nice. I've never had any HDMI issues with any of my Denons or Marantzs. Any HDMI issues with either is almost 100% due to lower quality HDMI cables (keep in mind that price isn't necessarily the best indicator of quality / functionality of HDMI cables) or other issues.

I've owned multiple Denon and Anthem products. Anthem hands down for sound quality.
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post #7 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 01:27 PM
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My Anthem is the most accurate and intelligible processor/receiver I've ever owned hands down, regardless of the source or material I throw at it.

It just works. It does exactly what you want it to do with audio. No frills.

And ARC is a terrific at taming your room.

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post #8 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 03:13 PM
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The Anthem is a nice piece... will most likely fetch you more coin on the re-sale end as well.

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post #9 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 05:14 PM
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What features on the Denon AVR would you give up by going Anthem, and vice versa?

For sound quality it, Anthem.

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post #10 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 05:46 PM
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How would you compare sound quality of Anthem vs Arcam?

I know it isn’t the OP’s question, however the outgoing Arcam’s (AVR390 and 550) are now at very attractive prices,and the have Dirac which people claim to be better than both ARC and Audyssey.
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post #11 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 05:54 PM
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Opinions on sound quality have to be taken with a big honking grain of salt, imo. Here's some objective data on an Anthem AVR(facts):
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...-520-avr.8961/

Audyseys subeqHT does a fantastic job eq'ing dual subs. And agree, eq should be limited to lower frequencies, let your speakers produce the sound they are meant to.
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post #12 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
Opinions on sound quality have to be taken with a big honking grain of salt, imo. Here's some objective data on an Anthem AVR(facts):
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...-520-avr.8961/

Audyseys subeqHT does a fantastic job eq'ing dual subs. And agree, eq should be limited to lower frequencies, let your speakers produce the sound they are meant to.
Lord do I continue hating all of his AVR reviews to date. We get it. He has a high standard based on external DAC performance and this weird continuing narcissism that his reviews and measurements will convince the industry to change.
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post #13 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 06:20 PM
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Lord do I continue hating all of his AVR reviews to date. We get it. He has a high standard based on external DAC performance and this weird continuing narcissism that his reviews and measurements will convince the industry to change.
The DAC section performs well enough on the Anthem...its the amp section that is......well, I would hope potential buyers see the results for themselves before buying one of these for "better sound quality".

I mean, its not the worst amp he ever tested; there are three that are worse.

I would hope that reviews like this, which shows one of the worst measuring amp sections ever tested on ASR would contribute to manufacturers matching their performance to their marketing as well. .
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post #14 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCoolJesus View Post
Lord do I continue hating all of his AVR reviews to date. We get it. He has a high standard based on external DAC performance and this weird continuing narcissism that his reviews and measurements will convince the industry to change.
The DAC section performs well enough on the Anthem...its the amp section that is......well, I would hope potential buyers see the results for themselves before buying one of these for "better sound quality".

I mean, its not the worst amp he ever tested; there are three that are worse.

I would hope that reviews like this, which shows one of the worst measuring amp sections ever tested on ASR would contribute to manufacturers matching their performance to their marketing as well. [IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif[/IMG].
It won't. That's the point people have tried telling him over and over in discussions under his reviews at times. But he carries a "holier than thou" attitude that his data should be some market changing thing manufacturers should abide by.

And the best part is at the end of the day sound quality and love of an amp is still going to be almost entirely subjective despite what his measurements say
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post #15 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 06:32 PM
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It won't. That's the point people have tried telling him over and over in discussions under his reviews at times. But he carries a "holier than thou" attitude that his data should be some market changing thing manufacturers should abide by.

And the best part is at the end of the day sound quality and love of an amp is still going to be almost entirely subjective despite what his measurements say
Fair enough, I agree the vast majority of folks will buy and love expensive amps/avrs that don't *actually* perform well. But I for one will be glad not to pay a premium for poor performance while fooling myself I'm getting supreme sound quality based on marketing and our easily fooled ears. So I still say there is value in the truth.
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post #16 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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So back to my original question in this thread: Anthem 520 over Denon 3600 or 4500? Thanks.
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post #17 of 35 Old 12-12-2019, 07:05 PM
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So back to my original question in this thread: Anthem 520 over Denon 3600 or 4500? Thanks.
Having owned both Denon and Anthem, my vote is Anthem due to ARC and it's superiority over Audyssey.

And since you plan on reselling soon anyways Anthem carries a good resale value on their products.
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post #18 of 35 Old 12-13-2019, 04:54 AM
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I have just sold my Anthem 720 for the marantz SR8012. I prefer the sound of the marantz better, for films and music.
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post #19 of 35 Old 12-13-2019, 05:56 AM
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I have just sold my Anthem 720 for the marantz SR8012. I prefer the sound of the marantz better, for films and music.
I did the same and also prefer the 8012.
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post #20 of 35 Old 12-13-2019, 06:24 AM
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I have just sold my Anthem 720 for the marantz SR8012. I prefer the sound of the marantz better, for films and music.

I went the opposite direction and prefer the sound of Anthem to Marantz/Denon. Anthem seems more natural. Prefer ARC to Audyssey as well.


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post #21 of 35 Old 12-13-2019, 06:43 AM
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My probably unpopular opinion, is that neither will sound better than the other. Your room makes the most difference in sound, which is why things never sound the same in the demo room as they do in your own home, and speakers make a difference in sound as well. All well designed amps should sound pretty much the same. I wouldn't fall into the trap that states that brand X sounds better than brand Y. The room correction software however can have an effect on what you hear, and ARC is probably better than Audyssey overall, but I'm sure some prefer one over the other. I do have experience with ARC but none with Audyssey so I can't really comment on how they compare.

I have an Anthem receiver in one system and an Anthem amplifier in another system, and at one time had an Anthem AVM20v2 processor and have really liked all of them, so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. They are solid, well built units, that do hold value fairly well. Even Anthem's newest designs are a little spartan and perhaps getting a bit long in the tooth compared to companies like Denon who come out with new models every year. When I wanted to upgrade to Atmos, I didn't want to spend the money Anthem wanted on a Atmos capable receiver or processor, so I went with Onkyo and haven't been disappointed. I think you will be well served by either the Denon or Anthem to be honest. I'm not sure what pricing you're looking at, but I'm sure you can find the Denon (or a similar 4400 or 4500) much cheaper than the Anthem, but the Anthem will recoup you a larger portion of your investment when you go to re-sell.
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post #22 of 35 Old 12-13-2019, 08:30 AM
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How would you compare sound quality of Anthem vs Arcam?

I know it isn’t the OP’s question, however the outgoing Arcam’s (AVR390 and 550) are now at very attractive prices,and the have Dirac which people claim to be better than both ARC and Audyssey.

I had an Arcam FMJ600 receiver back in 2010. Sounded great, and this was before they had any real room correction than some generic thing that was built in. Nothing but issues with it. Constant issues. I verified all the issues online, and just about everyone was having them and were constantly getting new firmware to fix it, but it was never fixed. Returned it within the 30 day period and moved on to Anthem. I've never had a single issue with my Statement D1 or my MRX720. I was never able to compare them side by side, so can't tell you about which one sounds better. I can tell you I will never spend another penny on an Arcam, that is how bad it was.

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post #23 of 35 Old 12-13-2019, 12:03 PM
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I did have a Denon for a long time (~10 years), which was rock solid, then I switched to a Marantz (7011), which died after a year. This may have just beena fluke as things obviously can break, but the customer service experience certainly wasn't that great, so I moved on and have now an Anthem 720. While I can't fully comment on the reliability as I had it for less than a year, I'm certainly happy with it.
I do prefer ARC over Audissey. Part of that is due to way better configuration options. I still don't get it why there's only the app on the Audissey side. The app does have some good features, but the same thing on a PC would just be easier to use. And it still has less options than ARC.


However there's also a couple of pros for the Denon/Marantz side. Online content support is better for D/M, Anthem only works nicely with Spotify for me, everything else is via Playfi, which is not that great. Also Wifi connectivty is error prone for Anthem (wired works fine for me though).

I also ran into some quirks with the Anthem that weren't an issue for the Marantz. I do have some occasional hdmi issues, when switching from 2 channel music to multi channel videos as the videos would only play in stereo. Easiest is to power off/on the Anthem. I never had such issues with the Marantz.

D/M also is better if you want support for some "cornecase" formats. E.g. I do have some multi channel music tracks that I packaged into flac for the purpose of better/consistent tagging with my regular stereo flac tracks (this is a bit of a hack, and borderline supported). The Marantz played these files just fine. With the 720 though I only get white noise.


So bottom line, the D/Ms tend to have a wider feature set, and may support some "strange" formats better. Whereas I do think that Anthem is a bit better build and sound wise (though sound is certainly a matter of opinion)
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post #24 of 35 Old 12-13-2019, 07:03 PM
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So back to my original question in this thread: Anthem 520 over Denon 3600 or 4500? Thanks.

If SQ is your top priority at this point, Anthem. Nothing is absolute, as this thread will attest - but by my readings here at the forum, more folks switch to ARC from Audyssey and prefer that than the other way around. YMMV! As mentioned, Anthem has great support. The Denon will certainly have more bells and whistles, so you'll have to judge how important those are for you at this point in time.
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post #25 of 35 Old 12-14-2019, 02:56 AM
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I have a Denon X-4000 and an Anthem 720.
I found that without room correction they both sound the same. When using room correction the Denon sounds noticeably better.
ARC Genesis has been a POS on my 720. I have run ARC and got speaker levels in the range of -9dB and then rerun it again, without moving the mike or changing anything else, and got new levels of +18dB. WTF.
So my old x-4000 keeps powering my system while my 720, which I purchased to replace the Denon, sits on a closet shelf waiting for Anthem to fix their Genesis program.
I reserve the right to change this opinion when and if Anthem fixes Genesis and I think that it sounds better than the XT32 on my Denon.
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I have a Denon X-4000 and an Anthem 720.
I found that without room correction they both sound the same. When using room correction the Denon sounds noticeably better.
ARC Genesis has been a POS on my 720. I have run ARC and got speaker levels in the range of -9dB and then rerun it again, without moving the mike or changing anything else, and got new levels of +18dB. WTF.
So my old x-4000 keeps powering my system while my 720, which I purchased to replace the Denon, sits on a closet shelf waiting for Anthem to fix their Genesis program.
I reserve the right to change this opinion when and if Anthem fixes Genesis and I think that it sounds better than the XT32 on my Denon.
Have you contacted Anthem about it? They are very helpful and will even have you send in your Arc file for analysis.
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post #27 of 35 Old 12-14-2019, 04:29 AM
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You will not hear a sound quality difference between the Denon or Anthem with sound correction turned off. Many GTGs have done blind A/B testing and found this to be true. Additionally, there are die hard fans of both ARC and Audyssey. The new Audyssey app does make things easier than the AVR only setup though it would be nice to have the higher resolution or ease of use that a PC based app might give. As previously mentioned, your speakers and room will have a far greater effect on sound quality than any other variable. I would choose the unit that gives you the most features at the lowest price.
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post #28 of 35 Old 12-14-2019, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Lambert View Post
I have a Denon X-4000 and an Anthem 720.

I found that without room correction they both sound the same. When using room correction the Denon sounds noticeably better.

ARC Genesis has been a POS on my 720. I have run ARC and got speaker levels in the range of -9dB and then rerun it again, without moving the mike or changing anything else, and got new levels of +18dB. WTF.

So my old x-4000 keeps powering my system while my 720, which I purchased to replace the Denon, sits on a closet shelf waiting for Anthem to fix their Genesis program.

I reserve the right to change this opinion when and if Anthem fixes Genesis and I think that it sounds better than the XT32 on my Denon.

Contact Anthem customer support, they’re more than willing to look at your measurements and tell you how to make adjustments. I love my ARC Genesis.


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post #29 of 35 Old 12-14-2019, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCoolJesus View Post
It won't. That's the point people have tried telling him over and over in discussions under his reviews at times. But he carries a "holier than thou" attitude that his data should be some market changing thing manufacturers should abide by.

And the best part is at the end of the day sound quality and love of an amp is still going to be almost entirely subjective despite what his measurements say
I find measurements provided by Amir to be very informative and well done. Manufacturer’s used to provide very detailed and accurate specs... but now they don’t. There used to be numerous places that measured and verified performance.. now there are fewer and fewer places that measure performance. While you may not think his measurements will make a difference, I would disagree. Measurements from both audiosciencereview and audioholics I believe are very important to hold manufacturers accountable on their engineering and performance. In the dac, headphone amps, it clearly has made a difference. Whether it makes this kind of difference in receivers and prepros is too soon to know as this year is really the first year there has been very many receivers measured.
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post #30 of 35 Old 12-14-2019, 05:03 PM
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I would opt for the Anthem. Now if you said Marantz instead of Denon, it would be a closer call. And then I would go with Marantz.
With the assumption that you are waiting for Anthem's next release.
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