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Anthem AVM60 Review (AV Processor)

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Anthem AVM60 Home Theater Audio/Video Processor (AVP) with balanced output. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $3,000.

The design is typical of Anthem:

Anthem AVM60 Review HDMI AV Processor.jpg


Menus were low resolution but speedy which I appreciated.

Back panel shows balanced outputs which is what I used exclusively for my testing:
Anthem AVM60 Review HDMI XLR Balanced Output AV Processor.jpg


For testing, I reset the unit to factory. I usually test HDMI and Toslink/Coax. Here, no matter what I did, I could not get the unit to output anything when using either Toslink or Coax. It would recognize those inputs and tell me it was receiving PCM signal but the output was basically noise. Don't know if this is a bug or a defect in this sample.

Anthem AVM60 Measurements
As usual we start with feeding the unit over HDMI and measure what comes out of front left and right when adjusted for 4 volts (for balanced outputs):
Anthem AVM60 Measurements HDMI AV Processor.png


Well, this is not very good. We can't even clear the 16 bit mark which would require SINAD to be at least 96 dB. There are a lot of distortion and spurious tones. As such ranking is even worse than one of the previous Anthem AVRs we have tested, the MRX1120:

Best home theater processor review 2021.png


Dynamic range is a letdown as well:

Anthem AVM60 Measurements HDMI Dynamic Range AV Processor.png


Output drive is very good though:
Anthem AVM60 Measurements HDMI AV Processor output vs level.png


Intermodulation distortion versus level shows very high residual noise:
Anthem AVM60 Measurements HDMI IMD Distortion AV Processor.png


Linearity shows that there is no ability to output 24 bits and that some kind of truncation to 16 bit is occurring:
Anthem AVM60 Measurements HDMI Linearity AV Processor.png


Distortion versus frequency also showed high levels of unwanted signals:
Anthem AVM60 Measurements HDMI DAC THD+N vs Frequency AV Processor.png


A wideband FFT shows all the spurious tones causing the above:
Anthem AVM60 Measurements HDMI FFT AV Processor.png


Jitter was really bad:

Anthem AVM60 Measurements HDMI DAC Filter AV Processor.png


At this point I thought maybe my system is truncating bits to 16 bits for it gets to AVM60 which can happen with HDMI output but without other inputs working, I could not verify if this was occurring. As I was playing with the unit, the real source of problems popped out. I had the input selected as HDMI but no audio signal being output. This was the FFT spectrum:

Anthem AVM60 Measurements HDMI DAC noise floor AV Processor.png


Notice how there is a 1 kHz tone generated internally together its harmonic entourage! With this as the baseline, no wonder all of our tests show poor performance. There is some interference to the tune of 1 kHz (e.g. some CPU timer) creating noise that is bleeding into the output of the DAC.

Conclusions
Based on above measurements, we have one broken AV Processor. Performance across the board struggles to clear 15 bits yet we have this marketing information from the company:
AVM60 Advertising.png


We don't have anything like that here. Assuming that "A/D" is meant to be "D/A," the 106 dB must be some DAC chip spec, not actual system.

Needless to say, I can't recommend the Anthem AVP60 Processor.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Appreciate any donations using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #3
Blue used to be a substitute for white LEDs because they were not yet invented. Maybe that is the reason it is still associated with "high-end."
 

Dj7675

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#4
I’m not sure why anything surprises me anymore, but this actually does. Their MRX1120 receiver measured quite a bit better. It would be nice to hear from Anthem if this matches their measurements/expectations. Thanks to whomever sent it in and to Amir for the measurement as always.
 

Francis Vaughan

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#5
Their MRX1120 receiver measured quite a bit better.
Given this appears to be an MRX1120 with the amplifiers removed (for a saving of a measly $500) something is clearly odd. It appears broken in some manner. Someone has managed an own goal somewhere in the execution, messing things up. It should be much better than this. Given the complexity of these devices it could be anywhere. But quality process, QA, or QC is clearly not working for them.
 
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respice finem

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#6
Considering the price, major :facepalm: .
AV processors (and AV receivers/amps even more so) are complex "beasts", but at least in higher price regions, this is no excuse for a "come on, no one will notice" approach, even if some of the problems might not be audible to many users, on many systems, in most rooms. Proper design (and shielding) were invented long ago. I'm not sure if I would want to see the "measured truth" about my own AVR :rolleyes:
 
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respice finem

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#7
Blue used to be a substitute for white LEDs because they were not yet invented. Maybe that is the reason it is still associated with "high-end."
Blue, or sometimes green (which is eye-friendlier than blue). I guess many AV prosessors / receivers still have those good old CCFL displays (in mine it is at least white on black). In some recent ones, nice modern OLED displays, IDK how long those will last.
 

beeppeep61

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#11
Happy Sunday everyone, in 2018, I bought this model convinced of its goodness after reading its test carried out by a well-known online newspaper !! As soon as I connected to my system (it replaced a very quiet McIntosh MX119), in XLR only mode, I realized that from the tweeters of my B&W 802D2, in the absence of a music signal, a noise could be heard (2.5 meters away) strange, like the audio of a digital communication !! In short, after long phone calls with the dealer and a month of wasted time, I get a second copy that is used and with cosmetic defects, but which continues to have the defect complained of in the first AVR, so after dozens of phone calls and losing the 10% of the initial value I get a refund of the expense made. ANTHEM .... never see us again !! Now for the HT part I have a MARANTZ AV8805, very quiet (as it normally should be) and of which I am very happy. I am attaching an image of how the plant was in 2018.
Impianto con ANTHEM_1.jpg
 

respice finem

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#13
Save for the toroid transformer, the pictures show the "malaise" of multichannel equipment in general. Everything sits close to everything else without much (or any) shielding. For my half-educated understanding of the matter, this is one of the reasons for this "misery". 10-20$ per unit for a decent shielding concept would not "break the bank" I think.
 

Matias

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#15

Krobar

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#16
@amirm Any chance you could test the RCA outputs? I think these are single ended conversion XLR outputs so you may see better performance on the RCAs. (Same applies to Marantz and Arcam)
 

tecnogadget

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#17
I’m starting to think of AVR’s as COVID. Most countries and governments aren’t actually working in an efficient manner to solve the problem, every move they make is so driven by populism and demagoguery, and nobody seems to really care.

AVR’s from all price tags produce way inferior performance than budget stand alone DAC’s, some are even broken like this unit. No manufacturer seems to care. There is even a guy called Amir bringing out their dirty laundry takind the time to measure their crappy gear. No manufacturer seems to care...
 

LTig

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#18
Chances are that some internal truncation to 16 bit without dither in the HDMI input chain is the cause of all those HD components.

@amirm: could you measure the behaviour of an analog input?
 
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#20
Blue looks good. Old 70ies Marantz are popular. I wish I didnt throw one out for sucking when prices were low. I could have sold it for 500dollars plus today :D
 

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