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@LTE15 that’s partly my conundrum too. Anthem availability for just viewing/demo. Let alone buying.

Same as you, I have the budget for the Anthem, but ain’t gonna spend it if don’t need to. As @trivium91 said - get whats cheapest that works. So I’m sorta leaning towards Marantz for now. And again. I hate Denon - AVR789 put me off them.

I do know my wife is gonna be really unhappy when the Polk disappears. She loves the piano finish - I’ll have a year or so to get her used to the idea.

I do want to know though, why is everyone bagging my speakers. They’re not that bad. And unlike the AVR, aren’t technologically out of date lol.
Trivium is probably right about needing an AB splitter and it really is a bit like splitting hairs. Audio memory is fleeting at best. My issue is, like you, I was/am replacing a very old AVR (mine is 20 years old), but it was a pretty high end Rotel and I have always loved the sound. I paid as much for that receiver 20 years ago as I did for the Marantz. Lol. As you can tell, I also tend to keep things for quite a while and, right or wrong, I feel like maybe I should buy something higher end. Yesterday, I put the Marantz and the Rotel side by side and tried to A/B them but I really couldn't do it very well. There were differences I noticed, but they were pretty subtle and could have been the result of a lot of different things.

Perhaps that tells me all I really need to know. If I just listen and enjoy rather than analyze every nuance, how much of a difference am I really likely to notice between two decent receivers or amps, especially if they aren't right next to one another? And, unlike you, I don't need a 3rd zone (or a 2nd one for that matter) or other features on the flagship receivers, so I don't know if it is worth buying up the chain, like the 7xxx or 8xxx series.

And I definitely get you about the speakers. If you like them, my opinion is keep them until you don't or just feel the need for a change. My speakers are as old as my other receiver (they are all B&Ws, except the sub, but not all from the same series). I like them and don't see any reason to replace them at the moment. If there isn't something you are trying to fix, why fix what isn't broken? If, however, you aren't happy with the sound or are looking for some different sound signature, then by all means, go for it.
 

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I owned an Anthem AVM20 for many years, and that product was flawless. When I decided to upgrade a few years ago I automatically went with another Anthem, and AVM60. I wish I could say the 60 has been as good; I am on my second unit, with the first having been replaced shortly after purchase for an HDMI issue, and the second currently in Canada being repaired for the same HDMI issue.

That said, when the 60 was set to go in for repair, I picked up a Denon X4500H which will eventually be used elsewhere in our house. For the time being though it's filling in for the Anthem, and while I realize you asked about Marantz, I assume there are enough similarities that my comments may have some value.

My theater room is not ideal. I have a 7.1.4 setup, with Axiom speakers except for a set of SVS Elevation used as front heights; I also have an SVS sub. The room is arguably too small for all the gear but I already owned it all before we recently moved. The way the room lays out, the seating positions are rather close to the side and rear surrounds. It's also not completely symmetrical.

ARC on the Anthem did a good job of compensating for all of this and overall the speaker settings were spot on. It was quick and easy to set up a movie profile and a music profile, with slightly different sub levels on each. The Anthem excels at music, and it took very little tweaking to have the mains and sub nicely integrated. I also have always liked the "AnthemLogic Music" mode, which adds just a bit of presence without sending anything to the center channel.

Compare to the Denon...for what it's worth I'm using the 4500's pre-outs, so the same amps are driving my speakers in either case. I know people seem to love Audyssey but I thought it did a terrible job calibrating for the room. It dropped the sub level so low as to be nonexistent. It decided my mains (Axiom M60s, which are towers but not designed for low bass) were large, and between that and the sub level pretty much killed any lower frequencies. The sides and rear surround levels were way too high (again, they are close to the seating position), the center way too low, and the overall sweet-spot was far smaller than with the Anthem.

I spent a bit adjusting levels manually to the point where things sound pretty decent for movies, but I cannot get music anywhere near as good as with the Anthem. Part of that is the lack of the AnthemLogic mode, but I think much of it is that I can't get the sub and mains working well together. I also find it mind-boggling that you (apparently) cannot adjust speaker levels unless the unit is getting an audio signal; so pause a movie to adjust things, the unit loses audio, and the adjustments become unavailable.

Overall I'm not impressed with the Denon or Audyssey. Now mind you I own both of these units. I'm actually not very happy with the AVM60 because of the HDMI issues, and if the Denon had sounded nearly as good I would have happily sold the AVM60 and kept the Denon for my main setup. But sound quality is king, and in that respect the Anthem is just far, far superior to the Denon at this level. Maybe a Denon or Marantz at the same price-point would be more comparable, but my experience with Audyssey was so poor compared to ARC that I'm hard pressed to think that would be the case.

Endaar
 

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Trivium is probably right about needing an AB splitter and it really is a bit like splitting hairs. Audio memory is fleeting at best. My issue is, like you, I was/am replacing a very old AVR (mine is 20 years old), but it was a pretty high end Rotel and I have always loved the sound. I paid as much for that receiver 20 years ago as I did for the Marantz. Lol. As you can tell, I also tend to keep things for quite a while and, right or wrong, I feel like maybe I should buy something higher end. Yesterday, I put the Marantz and the Rotel side by side and tried to A/B them but I really couldn't do it very well. There were differences I noticed, but they were pretty subtle and could have been the result of a lot of different things.

Perhaps that tells me all I really need to know. If I just listen and enjoy rather than analyze every nuance, how much of a difference am I really likely to notice between two decent receivers or amps, especially if they aren't right next to one another? And, unlike you, I don't need a 3rd zone (or a 2nd one for that matter) or other features on the flagship receivers, so I don't know if it is worth buying up the chain, like the 7xxx or 8xxx series.

And I definitely get you about the speakers. If you like them, my opinion is keep them until you don't or just feel the need for a change. My speakers are as old as my other receiver (they are all B&Ws, except the sub, but not all from the same series). I like them and don't see any reason to replace them at the moment. If there isn't something you are trying to fix, why fix what isn't broken? If, however, you aren't happy with the sound or are looking for some different sound signature, then by all means, go for it.
I really do find movies make it really hard to tell the difference, you cant really listen to a movie critically like you can music making differences hard to detect in gear. When i demo gear i almost always use music. When i bought my Denon X1600H i was wanting to move up the chain but as it turns out there was a huge jump to go from a 7 channel atmos to 9 channels, there was a few extra features aswell that i wasn't really interested in. It had 10 more watts per channel and the exact same DAC AK4458 which is not a flagship DAC but still better than most. This works out to a peak DB of 108.4 compared to 108.9 DB on the higher end model, a difference of 0.5DB neither of which are near safe to listen to anyways not mention that 0.5DB is barely measurable. I think the DAC being the same was the real kicker that made me deicide not to jump into the next one. Maybe took a look at these differences in the receivers as you might find the DAC for example is the same either way, alot of times the sound will be the exact same but with more features of which like you said you likely wont even need...so you are throwing money away.

As far as Audyssey, i was impressed with Audyssey but i was always a manual setup type guy before with the levels and distances; never trying out room correction. Once i drank the coolaid the differences were night and day, im a believer. Now with ARC i cant comment as i have never tried it, i do know that Audyssey works very well though but does require a 3DB increase on the subwoofer.

Im glad i didnt jump into the larger receiver because i setup a proper listening room for music in a medium spare bedroom downstairs with the money saved. I prefer the private listening experience in the bedroom late at night to the theatre which distributes sound throughout the entire house. I much prefer an integrated amp at least for music although i imagine a large part of this is phycological and a subtle difference in sound quality... i was also able to select speakers that i would never use for movies because of their midrange presence aswell (KEF Q150). One other option you could go is get the cheaper receiver you were looking at for your movies and a separate integrated amp for music like a cambridge/marantz/nad on a pre-out or a switcher down the road if you felt you were missing out on musical performance. I suspect you will like the AVR's performance though.

The funny thing about this hobby is as mentioned before A-B comparisons are difficult at best because differences are subtle. Being a hobby that is not typically indulged in by young guys, as we age our hearing is not as good which makes things even harder. I've always been fascinated how some people can claim to hear a difference, im 30 so my hearing is still pretty good but i've done blind tests with OP amps chip swaps for different manufacturers, many A-B comparisons with different headphone equipment (DAC's, AMP's ect). One common factor that always surprised me is that even when and if i heard a difference it was far more subtle than a few others on the forums made it out to be. Unless science has somehow crossed human DNA with a dogs, IMO alot of the differences are exaggerated and quite possibly placebo. Also keep in mind that once you stop listening to the gear and enjoy the movies/music as long as it sounds "Great" to you, you wont miss the subtle sound differences higher end units might offer. Best to listen to few, if you cant tell the difference than buy whichever is cheaper that satisfies your feature set.

Anyways i hope my long posts helps, i know how stressful it can be trying to make these purchasing decisions with so many choices.
 

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WRT Audyssey, you’ll get the best results if you follow the calibration procedures described in the Guide/FAQ at "Official" Audyssey thread Part II
It’s the very first post in the Audyssey thread which is pinned at the top of the Receivers sub-forum.

The instructions in the D&M manuals are, shall we say, inadequate.
 
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I really do find movies make it really hard to tell the difference, you cant really listen to a movie critically like you can music making differences hard to detect in gear. When i demo gear i almost always use music. When i bought my Denon X1600H i was wanting to move up the chain but as it turns out there was a huge jump to go from a 7 channel atmos to 9 channels, there was a few extra features aswell that i wasn't really interested in. It had 10 more watts per channel and the exact same DAC AK4458 which is not a flagship DAC but still better than most. This works out to a peak DB of 108.4 compared to 108.9 DB on the higher end model, a difference of 0.5DB neither of which are near safe to listen to anyways not mention that 0.5DB is barely measurable. I think the DAC being the same was the real kicker that made me deicide not to jump into the next one. Maybe took a look at these differences in the receivers as you might find the DAC for example is the same either way, alot of times the sound will be the exact same but with more features of which like you said you likely wont even need...so you are throwing money away.

As far as Audyssey, i was impressed with Audyssey but i was always a manual setup type guy before with the levels and distances; never trying out room correction. Once i drank the coolaid the differences were night and day, im a believer. Now with ARC i cant comment as i have never tried it, i do know that Audyssey works very well though but does require a 3DB increase on the subwoofer.

Im glad i didnt jump into the larger receiver because i setup a proper listening room for music in a medium spare bedroom downstairs with the money saved. I prefer the private listening experience in the bedroom late at night to the theatre which distributes sound throughout the entire house. I much prefer an integrated amp at least for music although i imagine a large part of this is phycological and a subtle difference in sound quality... i was also able to select speakers that i would never use for movies because of their midrange presence aswell (KEF Q150). One other option you could go is get the cheaper receiver you were looking at for your movies and a separate integrated amp for music like a cambridge/marantz/nad on a pre-out or a switcher down the road if you felt you were missing out on musical performance. I suspect you will like the AVR's performance though.

The funny thing about this hobby is as mentioned before A-B comparisons are difficult at best because differences are subtle. Being a hobby that is not typically indulged in by young guys, as we age our hearing is not as good which makes things even harder. I've always been fascinated how some people can claim to hear a difference, im 30 so my hearing is still pretty good but i've done blind tests with OP amps chip swaps for different manufacturers, many A-B comparisons with different headphone equipment (DAC's, AMP's ect). One common factor that always surprised me is that even when and if i heard a difference it was far more subtle than a few others on the forums made it out to be. Unless science has somehow crossed human DNA with a dogs, IMO alot of the differences are exaggerated and quite possibly placebo. Also keep in mind that once you stop listening to the gear and enjoy the movies/music as long as it sounds "Great" to you, you wont miss the subtle sound differences higher end units might offer. Best to listen to few, if you cant tell the difference than buy whichever is cheaper that satisfies your feature set.

Anyways i hope my long posts helps, i know how stressful it can be trying to make these purchasing decisions with so many choices.
Thanks for the response. I also demo with music primarily. I actually like the idea of a dedicated music space, but unfortunately I don't think I have an extra room available for it. That was why I went with the Rotel years ago, as it does both music and movies/TV very well. Also, I don't usually separate the two because so much of a movie soundtrack is music in any event, even if it is only in the background. The quality of the sound adds an emotional impact to a soundtrack (or music) and (without getting too weird about it ;)) I believe that to some extent better sound can be felt on a subconscious level even if the difference is not necessarily something that can easily be defined.

When I listen to music or a movie/TV soundtrack, I try not to get too wrapped up in details initially, but I usually have a sound preference and that causes me to try to figure out what the difference is and whether the gear or something else is responsible. That's the difficult part because so often I think people will say "X" piece of gear is better than "Y", but Y could easily have been adjusted to sound exactly like X.
 

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Thanks for the response. I also demo with music primarily. I actually like the idea of a dedicated music space, but unfortunately I don't think I have an extra room available for it. That was why I went with the Rotel years ago, as it does both music and movies/TV very well. Also, I don't usually separate the two because so much of a movie soundtrack is music in any event, even if it is only in the background. The quality of the sound adds an emotional impact to a soundtrack (or music) and (without getting too weird about it ;)) I believe that to some extent better sound can be felt on a subconscious level even if the difference is not necessarily something that can easily be defined.

When I listen to music or a movie/TV soundtrack, I try not to get too wrapped up in details initially, but I usually have a sound preference and that causes me to try to figure out what the difference is and whether the gear or something else is responsible. That's the difficult part because so often I think people will say "X" piece of gear is better than "Y", but Y could easily have been adjusted to sound exactly like X.
That is true and i agree about the emotional impact in the movie, moreover i can connect better with the music if the sound quality is top notch. Many people claim they dont like classical music for example, but its in our movies and they just wouldn't set the tone without it on a great set of speakers. This reason alone was a good enough reason to upgrade the rear speakers that i was on the fence about. I also find that "better" is subjective and more often than not many people believe that if you pay more money for something than it simply must be "better". Unfortunately that is not always the case. You might find room for a space down the road once the kids move out , or squeeze it in somewhere with some creativity like i did. Im interested in setting up a blind listening test soon with the denon X1600H and the Marantz PM6006, both made by the same parent company and costing roughly the same at the time. I have the RCA splitter, just need the speaker A-B switch.
 

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And @Maximum7, why do you prefere the Marantz for music?
After having the AVM 20 for 17 years, I know it's sound very well. When I hooked up the Marantz, playing music, the soundstage just got better. The Anthem is clean and clinical almost. It's not bad by any means, but the Marantz just warmed everything while imaging better in the soundstage.

Now mind you the Anthem is really old.

If I was your dad, I would tell you to get the Anthem 740. You don't need the 1140. The ARC is much better than Audyssey no matter what anyone says. Plus Anthem says they will be upgradeable. The Marantz is a really nice piece. The one thing I hate is the remote. It's finicky and not back lit and at that price, it should be.
If you decide against the Anthem, then stick with Marantz.

Then I would upgrade those Polks!!!!! I know you like them, but trust us, put that extra savings towards better speakers. You'll be amazed at the improvement.
 

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After having the AVM 20 for 17 years, I know it's sound very well. When I hooked up the Marantz, playing music, the soundstage just got better. The Anthem is clean and clinical almost. It's not bad by any means, but the Marantz just warmed everything while imaging better in the soundstage.

Now mind you the Anthem is really old.

If I was your dad, I would tell you to get the Anthem 740. You don't need the 1140. The ARC is much better than Audyssey no matter what anyone says. Plus Anthem says they will be upgradeable. The Marantz is a really nice piece. The one thing I hate is the remote. It's finicky and not back lit and at that price, it should be.
If you decide against the Anthem, then stick with Marantz.

Then I would upgrade those Polks!!!!! I know you like them, but trust us, put that extra savings towards better speakers. You'll be amazed at the improvement.
Thanks. I appreciate the response, but I think you confused some of my post with that of the OP and actually intended to respond to two different people/questions. Nonetheless, your comments are still generally relevant to both of us overall.
 

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I also find it mind-boggling that you (apparently) cannot adjust speaker levels unless the unit is getting an audio signal; so pause a movie to adjust things, the unit loses audio, and the adjustments become unavailable.
Reason to do it without an audio signal is in a scenario you find one of the channels are too high/low and like to change it without missing part of the movie?
In that case you can pause the movie, go to speakers level menu and adjust there. It sends pink noise to each channel if you want to do your own measurements with an SPL meter.
It decided my mains (Axiom M60s, which are towers but not designed for low bass) were large, and between that and the sub level pretty much killed any lower frequencies.
Yeah, it always does that. I guess it does that if your speakers measure under a certain frequency response. Easy enough to adjust.

I kinda feel the main differences between the different AVRs with more or less the same power specs is the calibration system. I'm fairly skeptical about actual significant "sound signature" differences. A lot can be done with REW + the Audy app to narrow the differences, if saving money is paramount. A lot of folks here who don't want to spend 2700-3700 bucks on an AVR do it. One has to ask himself if a better out of the box calibration software/mic is worth the the extra $1000-$1500. Now with Onkyo/Pio stepping into market with Dirac Live for what mass market products cost, paying that extra $1000 may be stretch.
 

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I have a Marantz 7706 on order and I am wondering if the AVM70 would sound better overall? I love having an onscreen GUI tho but I do have a MacBook and use iPhones so I could evolve to a web based interface. Id hate to order the AVM70 and have it buggy, and it’s not 8k but no big deal now for me. Any input? I could prolly afford the Anthem but would like to stick with the $2499 i already put down for when the 7706 is in. As of now I have a DENON X6300 I’m using as a prepro with a Monolith 7X. Sounds awesome how I have it but I have upgraditiis and want a dedicated processor. Wonder if the Marantz 7706 is lateral move?
 

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I have a Marantz 7706 on order and I am wondering if the AVM70 would sound better overall? I love having an onscreen GUI tho but I do have a MacBook and use iPhones so I could evolve to a web based interface. Id hate to order the AVM70 and have it buggy, and it’s not 8k but no big deal now for me. Any input? I could prolly afford the Anthem but would like to stick with the $2499 i already put down for when the 7706 is in. As of now I have a DENON X6300 I’m using as a prepro with a Monolith 7X. Sounds awesome but I have upgraditiis. Wonder if the Marantz 7706 is lateral move?
The 8K is not fully working on the Marantz 2020 models either, but they are supposed to fix that on their own coin once a fix is ready.
I view the new Anthems as a yet unfinished products that no one tried yet, so possible bugs will only show up when first responders get them. An 8K/2.1 etc upgrade will come around at a later time at an extra cost, as well as other features that are listed as "soon" (Roon ready, Spotify).
Personally if I was in the market such a product and didn't have an urgent need to replace an existing one, I'd wait till kinks are ironed out and the product ships complete with all the stuff missing from the initial run.
 

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The 8K is not fully working on the Marantz 2020 models either, but they are supposed to fix that on their own coin once a fix is ready.
I view the new Anthems as a yet unfinished products that no one tried yet, so possible bugs will only show up when first responders get them. An 8K/2.1 etc upgrade will come around at a later time at an extra cost, as well as other features that are listed as "soon" (Roon ready, Spotify).
Personally if I was in the market such a product and didn't have an urgent need to replace an existing one, I'd wait till kinks are ironed out and the product ships complete with all the stuff missing from the initial run.
Thanks yes that’s all good advice. I love to try new stuff and I went ahead and changed my order from the 7706 to the AVM70. Crutchfield has a nice audition/return policy so if it’s bug and glitch city it’s not the end of the world. I hope it isn’t delayed,

edit- I’m very excited to try ARC Genesis too.
 

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Ya that’s all good advice. This morning I calle

Thanks yes that’s all good advice. I love to try new stuff and I went ahead and changed my order from the 7706 to the AVM70. Crutchfield has a nice audition/return policy so if it’s bug and glitch city it’s not the end of the world. I hope it isn’t delayed,
I'm sure it's not going to be hair pulling experience like what happened (and still not fully resolved) with the Arcam based products. Hope you like it.
 

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I'm sure it's not going to be hair pulling experience like what happened (and still not fully resolved) with the Arcam based products. Hope you like it.
Ya hopefully they learned their lesson with HDMI boards. Most hair pulling came from building the theater and getting acoustics right: All the trial and error of that is over and now just a waiting game while still enjoying the theater. Thanks again.

Edit: was it hdmi boards with Arcam I can’t think now?
 

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To the OP, when I made the switch from AVRs to Pre/Pros I went with Marantz because the comparable Anthem was much more expensive. I use Audyssey and have always used the Mult32 version which required the pro installation kit and I measured at 16 or more locations, with 32 being the max. The newer processors have moved to a paid app which I have no experience using or hearing the results for comparison purposes. I do not know if Audyssey actually made any "under the hood" improvements when moving from the software loaded on a Win based PC to the app.

I would either wait until the companies get their HDMI 2.1 issues figured out or you have confidence that they will make the fix. Too many times I've heard a company state they will "make it right" but when they finally realize what it would take, they back track.

Now, about that LEGO room you mentioned....any pictures or details you'd share?
 

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@Maximum7 any particular (not bankruptcy type level) speakers I should be looking toward?
Depends on what your budget is, and one should always audition speakers for themselves.

That said, I'm helping a friend do a system and we've listened to Paradigm Prestige 75F, Paradigm Premier 700, Focal 816, Monitor Audio Silver 50, Revel Concerta F36, SVS Prime Pinnacle, NHT C-4, B&W 702, Martin Logan Motion 40i, and ESL. All around the 2k per pair +/- a few $$$.
The Monitor Audio's were bookshelves, but we were gonna buy the Silver 300 towers if we chose them.

Out of those I'll rank them:

The Focal and Revel and Monitor Audio were all really close and the best of the bunch. I was blown away by the Monitor Audio bookshelves.
The NHT's were really good too as well as the B&W, (which I normally don't like and they were a bit more money)
The Paradigm's were too harsh in the highs (and I'm a Paradigm Studio 60 V.4 owner. Much better tweeter in the Studios), but they soundstaged better than all of them, but no bass except with the 700's. Too many short-comings with either.
The ML Motions were ok, but the ESL were incredible.
The SVS were unlistenable. I took 3 Advil after.
 
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