Anthem MCA 535 vs D-Sonic 2800-7 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 6Likes
  • 2 Post By madhuski
  • 1 Post By Jonas2
  • 1 Post By Knuck
  • 1 Post By Knuck
  • 1 Post By nonametofame
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 17 Old 12-30-2019, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Knuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Posts: 441
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked: 37
Anthem MCA 535 vs D-Sonic 2800-7

Has anyone had an opportunity to compare these two amps. I am considering pairing them with the Anthem AVM 60.

I appreciate they have a different number of channels. I am interested in any comments with respect to their sonic differences. I will primarily be using this setup for movies.
Knuck is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 Old 12-30-2019, 07:01 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
madhuski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,821
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1463 Post(s)
Liked: 907
i’d wager you couldn’t tell the difference between the two with your eyes closed.

I’d pick the D-sonic myself.
Jonas2 and ipca204 like this.

Selling in AVS Classifieds
FS: ATI NC543 Amplifier
madhuski is online now  
post #3 of 17 Old 12-30-2019, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Knuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Posts: 441
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by madhuski View Post
i’d wager you couldn’t tell the difference between the two with your eyes closed.

I’d pick the D-sonic myself.
I'm leaning towards the D-Sonic for its additional power and cooler operating temperature but the Anthem is on sale, at least until tomorrow, at 20% off and I've never owned class D amps before which makes the Anthem a bit more familiar.
Knuck is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 17 Old 01-01-2020, 10:13 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jonas2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: South Bay Area
Posts: 5,990
Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2951 Post(s)
Liked: 1915
Quote:
Originally Posted by madhuski View Post
i’d wager you couldn’t tell the difference between the two with your eyes closed.

I’d pick the d-sonic myself.

this.
ipca204 likes this.

7.2.4 System: Display: Sony XBR-65X930D; Processing: Anthem AVM60
Mains:
Paradigm Prestige 85F and 55C; Side / Rear Surrounds: Totem Acoustic Tribe III / Tribe I; Amplification: D-Sonic M3a-2800-7 (7ch. x 400w)
ATMOS:
Definitive Technology DI8R; Amplification: Class D Audio SDS-470C (4ch. x 300w)
Subwoofers:
2 x SVS-SB13Ultras; Media: Oppo UDP-203, Pioneer CLD-59
Jonas2 is offline  
post #5 of 17 Old 01-01-2020, 12:49 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
bigguyca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: East Turkestan
Posts: 1,957
Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1250 Post(s)
Liked: 1068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuck View Post
Has anyone had an opportunity to compare these two amps. I am considering pairing them with the Anthem AVM 60.

I appreciate they have a different number of channels. I am interested in any comments with respect to their sonic differences. I will primarily be using this setup for movies.
Somewhat relevant to your use case:

Several years ago a friend of mine was driving M&K speakers in his home theater / general use system with a lower level AVR. The poor AVR would shutdown after about 10 minutes on many action movies in what is a very large room. Don't ask, I had nothing to do with specifying this system.

I "loaned" my friend a mid-level Denon AVR with preouts, and an Anthem MCA 50 that I have purchased used for some reason or other, and frankly hadn't used. The MCA 50 put an end to the problems. It has been in use for at least five years. It's an impressive amplifier. The Anthem products are advertised as being able to drive hard, low impedance loads and I believe that based on this installation, although I have little direct experience myself. Don't know how the MCA 525 compares since the units have been somewhat redesigned.

A used MCA 50 might be a good option since they appear well built and have a long track record. Nothing against the 525, just have no experience with it.
bigguyca is online now  
post #6 of 17 Old 01-01-2020, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Knuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Posts: 441
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigguyca View Post
Somewhat relevant to your use case:

Several years ago a friend of mine was driving M&K speakers in his home theater / general use system with a lower level AVR. The poor AVR would shutdown after about 10 minutes on many action movies in what is a very large room. Don't ask, I had nothing to do with specifying this system.

I "loaned" my friend a mid-level Denon AVR with preouts, and an Anthem MCA 50 that I have purchased used for some reason or other, and frankly hadn't used. The MCA 50 put an end to the problems. It has been in use for at least five years. It's an impressive amplifier. The Anthem products are advertised as being able to drive hard, low impedance loads and I believe that based on this installation, although I have little direct experience myself. Don't know how the MCA 525 compares since the units have been somewhat redesigned.

A used MCA 50 might be a good option since they appear well built and have a long track record. Nothing against the 525, just have no experience with it.
The M&Ks definitely like power. Anthem are great products but I think I am going to try something different and go with the D-Sonic. More power, more channels, less heat and user reviews are mostly positive. Worst case, I can take advantage of the 30 day return policy and eat the shipping and 10% restocking fee. Hopefully my experience will be like most D-Sonic owners who love these things.
Jonas2 likes this.
Knuck is offline  
post #7 of 17 Old 01-01-2020, 05:19 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jonas2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: South Bay Area
Posts: 5,990
Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2951 Post(s)
Liked: 1915
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuck View Post
The M&Ks definitely like power. Anthem are great products but I think I am going to try something different and go with the D-Sonic. More power, more channels, less heat and user reviews are mostly positive. Worst case, I can take advantage of the 30 day return policy and eat the shipping and 10% restocking fee. Hopefully my experience will be like most D-Sonic owners who love these things.

Nice! Definitely look forward to hearing your report back on the D-Sonic!

7.2.4 System: Display: Sony XBR-65X930D; Processing: Anthem AVM60
Mains:
Paradigm Prestige 85F and 55C; Side / Rear Surrounds: Totem Acoustic Tribe III / Tribe I; Amplification: D-Sonic M3a-2800-7 (7ch. x 400w)
ATMOS:
Definitive Technology DI8R; Amplification: Class D Audio SDS-470C (4ch. x 300w)
Subwoofers:
2 x SVS-SB13Ultras; Media: Oppo UDP-203, Pioneer CLD-59
Jonas2 is offline  
post #8 of 17 Old 01-01-2020, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Knuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Posts: 441
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonas2 View Post
Nice! Definitely look forward to hearing your report back on the D-Sonic!
Should have everything setup in a couple of weeks. I'll report back after spending a bit of time with it.
Knuck is offline  
post #9 of 17 Old 01-14-2020, 08:18 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 246
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 166 Post(s)
Liked: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuck View Post
Should have everything setup in a couple of weeks. I'll report back after spending a bit of time with it.
So did you ever get it all set up yet or still waiting?

Do it all or don't do it at all.


Dynaudio Contour 20, REL T/5i's, Bluesound Node 2i, Anthem MCA 225, Musical Fidelity M2si, Wireworld and Analysis Plus cables
yodog is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 01-14-2020, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Knuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Posts: 441
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by yodog View Post
So did you ever get it all set up yet or still waiting?
Still waiting on the Amp. Should be here on Friday.
Knuck is offline  
post #11 of 17 Old 01-14-2020, 07:13 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 246
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 166 Post(s)
Liked: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuck View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by yodog View Post
So did you ever get it all set up yet or still waiting?
Still waiting on the Amp. Should be here on Friday.
Cool. Please post your observations and opinion. I would greatly value and appreciate it.

Do it all or don't do it at all.


Dynaudio Contour 20, REL T/5i's, Bluesound Node 2i, Anthem MCA 225, Musical Fidelity M2si, Wireworld and Analysis Plus cables
yodog is offline  
post #12 of 17 Old 01-14-2020, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Knuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Posts: 441
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by yodog View Post
Cool. Please post your observations and opinion. I would greatly value and appreciate it.
Will do. Probably won’t setup until Sunday and would like to spend at least a week with it before drawing initial impressions..
Knuck is offline  
post #13 of 17 Old 01-23-2020, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Knuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Posts: 441
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked: 37
Here are my initial impressions of my new Anthem AVM 60 and D-Sonic M3a-4000-7 amplifier combination I emphasize initial impressions because I’m only about 8 hours in. The rest of my system consists of gen 1 M&K S150 LCR, SS150 surrounds and rears (all 4 Ohm speakers) and one Def. Technology sub (my Genelec subs are impractical for this room but will be implemented in my theatre room). My source material is streamed through Apple 4K TV connected directly to the Anthem, primarily Netflix and Amazon Prime. I am in the process of building the new theatre room and this current 7.1 setup is in my living room which is 15’ wide by 40’ long, a challenge for any system to say the least. The right side speakers are within 1 foot of the wall, the left side speakers are at least 15 feet from the other wall. One wall is all window. My only comparison in this room is a NAD M15 with paramount power, Marantz 6004 receiver and briefly a Denon 3600H receiver hooked up to these speakers.

So far I am extremely impressed with the Anthem/D-Sonic combo. The D-Sonic is a no-nonsense amp which appears to be extremely well built with balanced inputs, well made binding posts and a 12 volt trigger. It is a large piece weighing about 50 pounds. It appears to have limitless power and has so far handled everything I’ve thrown at it from 2 channel music to dynamic 7.1 movie tracks. As expected with this kind of power, it has no issues driving the M&Ks through any peaks. What I am surprised by is its musicality. Although its early on, I think I am sold on Class D amplification. If it improves with break-in, all the better.

The Anthem is a relatively simple piece as well. It does not have all the bells and whistles of some of its competitors, such as multiple DSP modes, which is fine by me as I am more interested in sound reproduction based on the creators intent. It has 11 balanced outputs, 7 HDMI inputs and 2 HDMI outputs, one with ARC (auto return channel) not to be confused with ARC (Anthem Room Correction). The Anthem’s processing is neutral and detailed. I hear things I did not hear with the other systems. I can’ t wait to hear what this combination sounds like in an acoustically treated room with 4 heights installed.

Setup was simple once I discovered that the ARC Genesis software did not like Ethernet on the Anthem and wifi on the laptop, as the AVM 60 couldn’t be found. Once I disconnected the Ethernet from the Anthem and enabled wifi, the 60 was detected immediately.

I’ve only run ARC in Auto mode. Professional mode looks very interesting and I am looking forward to playing around with it. Auto has done an admirable job in this challenging room. My initial impression of ARC isfavourable, probably because of the acoustically challenged room. Once my, hopefully acoustically correct theatre is built, I suspect ARC will have less impact. It is easy to do an AB comparison with ARC on an off as you can setup two virtual inputs with identical profiles, one with ARC on and one with it off. ARC created a well balanced soundstage allowing the center channel to blend more seamlessly with the fronts compared to when it was off. Dialogue was more focused and the sound was less bright and less fatiguing. I was impressed with how well it was able to create an envelope around the prime seating position and the effect was subtle in rain and nature scenes and more pronounced in car chase and war scenes. This amp can get very loud without any hint of clipping.

Please let me know if anyone interested in this setup has any specific questions and I will do my best to answer them.
Jonas2 likes this.

Last edited by Knuck; 01-23-2020 at 07:36 PM.
Knuck is offline  
post #14 of 17 Old 01-23-2020, 08:26 PM
Senior Member
 
nonametofame's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked: 24
Class D is the inevitable future. It'll just take time for people to get over the past and trust their ears, since they are all on par with all other comparable amps in their range.Congrats on the D-sonic purchase. I also really appreciate the detailed review.
It somewhat mirrors my experiences going from a Denon 4300/Martanz 7705 to a pre-pro with built in Dirac. It does wonders for an acoustically challenged room. I think smaller, oddly shaped rooms benefit the most. ARC will probably be less useful for you later in a dedicated setup, but still extremely impactful especially if you're going full Atmos.


How did you feel going from the Denon (assuming you were using Audyssey) to ARC? You mentioned it was less bright and fatiguing? I auditioned the M&L S150s for about a month and found them to be neutral, but clinical, and only for 2ch music, not too bright, but I didn't play them close to reference levels.

I think you found a great synergy for your setup, with a trio of excellent brands (M&K, Anthem, D-Sonic). I'm glad to see that the issues most critics would likely bring up is that the class D nature would not pair well with very accurate, non colored studio type speakers like the M&Ks. Nothing in your audio chain seems to introduce the harsh, fatiguing characteristics that I personally do not care for.
Jonas2 likes this.

Audio: Audiocontrol Maestro M5 | Parasound A21 | Parasound A51 | Emotiva XPA 5 Gen 2
Video: LG 65E6P | Panasonic UB9000 | Oppo 203 |
Speakers: Martin Logan 60XT & 50XT| Motion 4
Definitive Technology SR9080 Surround | | Dual SVS PB16 |
nonametofame is online now  
post #15 of 17 Old 01-23-2020, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Knuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Posts: 441
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonametofame View Post
How did you feel going from the Denon (assuming you were using Audyssey) to ARC? You mentioned it was less bright and fatiguing? I auditioned the M&L S150s for about a month and found them to be neutral, but clinical, and only for 2ch music, not too bright, but I didn't play them close to reference levels.
I didn’t spend a ton of time with the Denon but returned it because it wasn’t powerful enough for the M&Ks and I found it a bit too bright for my taste. For the money, I think it is an excellent value, especially when it was 40% off. Audyssey worked well and created a 3 dimensional sound stage but wasn’t as subtle as ARC and transitions weren’t as smooth. Based on my reading of ARC’S professional mode, I don’t think Audyssey is in the same ballpark as far as assisting in speaker placement and curve customization. I can’t yet speak from personal experience as to how well pro mode works but bsed on comments by others it looks pretty amazing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonametofame View Post
I think you found a great synergy for your setup, with a trio of excellent brands (M&K, Anthem, D-Sonic). I'm glad to see that the issues most critics would likely bring up is that the class D nature would not pair well with very accurate, non colored studio type speakers like the M&Ks. Nothing in your audio chain seems to introduce the harsh, fatiguing characteristics that I personally do not care for.
I can definitely attest to the fact that this system is not harsh or fatiguing, traits I really dislike. I am finding that I am playing this system at much higher levels than I initially realized. I think many of the class D critics are living in the past and are reluctant to acknowledge change. I do agree that the M&Ks are not as musical as some other speakers and I wouldn’t personally choose them for 2 channel audio, but for multi-channel movie audio geared towards reproduction of the film creator’s intent, they are hard to beat. I am not sure how the new generation M&Ks sound. I am am extremely happy that my gen 1s are holding up.
Knuck is offline  
post #16 of 17 Old 01-25-2020, 03:43 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jonas2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: South Bay Area
Posts: 5,990
Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2951 Post(s)
Liked: 1915
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuck View Post
So far I am extremely impressed with the Anthem/D-Sonic combo. The D-Sonic is a no-nonsense amp which appears to be extremely well built with balanced inputs, well made binding posts and a 12 volt trigger. It is a large piece weighing about 50 pounds. It appears to have limitless power and has so far handled everything I’ve thrown at it from 2 channel music to dynamic 7.1 movie tracks. As expected with this kind of power, it has no issues driving the M&Ks through any peaks. What I am surprised by is its musicality. Although its early on, I think I am sold on Class D amplification. If it improves with break-in, all the better.

And D-Sonic is at a great price point - offers a ton of quality and power for not the lowest price around, but far from unreasonable. There are a lot of great amps of many classes out there - and I do not fault anyone for wanting this or that - to each their own, but yes - for those that dismiss so readily class D capabilities, especially amps like this - well, what can you say? It doesn't make much sense to me to spend more money on amps like the MCAs with less power and fewer channels at a higher cost. Good amps though, and if you want to match the look of the AVM - that's all good too. Glad I went D-Sonic. Welcome to the family.

7.2.4 System: Display: Sony XBR-65X930D; Processing: Anthem AVM60
Mains:
Paradigm Prestige 85F and 55C; Side / Rear Surrounds: Totem Acoustic Tribe III / Tribe I; Amplification: D-Sonic M3a-2800-7 (7ch. x 400w)
ATMOS:
Definitive Technology DI8R; Amplification: Class D Audio SDS-470C (4ch. x 300w)
Subwoofers:
2 x SVS-SB13Ultras; Media: Oppo UDP-203, Pioneer CLD-59
Jonas2 is offline  
post #17 of 17 Old 01-26-2020, 01:53 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 246
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 166 Post(s)
Liked: 36
So far I’m liking my MCA 225 🙂

Do it all or don't do it at all.


Dynaudio Contour 20, REL T/5i's, Bluesound Node 2i, Anthem MCA 225, Musical Fidelity M2si, Wireworld and Analysis Plus cables
yodog is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Receivers, Amps, and Processors

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off