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Anthem AVM70 Review (AV Processor)

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Anthem AVM70. It was sent to me by the company for review and costs US $3799.

The AVM70 has a very modern and attractive front panel and display:

Anthem AVM 70 Review 4K Dolby Atmos AVP HDMI.jpg


Company takes full use of the large display as you see with nice icons. Importantly, the interface speed is lightning fast! What a delight it is to finally see an AV product with such good graphics and super responsive UI. Hit a button the remote and the action is taken immediately as are changes including input selection. Whatever application processor they are using must be quite fast with good programming. It is about time we see such implementations especially in higher end of the market.

The back panel shows rich set of connectivity including balanced XLR outputs:

Anthem AVM 70 Review back panel DTS 4K Dolby Atmos AVP HDMI.jpg


That is 17 outputs by my count.

I ran the measurements you are about to see by the company. They are close enough that they signed off on it.

Anthem AVM70 Measurements
Our standard dashboard showing distortion and noise of AV processors and receivers has been tough on the class and a big hurdle to get through. Fortunately the AVM70 does well here (in the class of AV products):

Anthem AVM 70 Measurement HDMI.png


Performance is distortion limited by the third harmonic. Adding all the components and noise, we get a SINAD of nearly 100 dB:

Best AV Processor AVP Reviewed.png


Since we have more headroom, he is the sweep of out output level with different volume settings:
Anthem AVM 70 Measurement THD vs level coax vs HDMI.png


Dynamic range is good for the class:

Anthem AVM 70 Measurement Dynamic Range coax vs HDMI.png


IMD test shows good performance at the limit:

Anthem AVM 70 Measurement IMD coax vs HDMI.png


Multitone test is along the same lines:
Anthem AVM 70 Measurement Multitone coax vs HDMI.png


Ditto for linearity:

Anthem AVM 70 Measurement Linearity Coax.png


I got more jitter on coax than what the company measured:
Anthem AVM 70 Measurement Jitter vs level coax vs HDMI.png


Fortunately levels are below threshold of hearing so not an audible impact.

Filter is the typical slightly lazy one in DAC chips:


Anthem AVM 70 Measurement Filter  Coax.png


This causes THD+N to rise as frequencies increase in our following test:

Anthem AVM 70 Measurement THD vs Frequency coax vs HDMI.png


Conclusions
"Grading on a curve" as I do for AV products, the AVM70 is a good performer. It betters the last generation AVM60 in both interface and performance. Unless I am mistaken, the AVM70 is much cheaper than its competitors with so many balanced outputs. Seeing how it matches and exceeds performance of some of them, it seems to be executed well. Hopefully future generations step up the performance more and become competitive with desktop DACs and such.

I am going to recommend the Anthem AVM70.

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Matias

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Nice, a good step in the right direction.
Now maybe a cheaper version with "only" 7.2 outputs?
 
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amirm

amirm

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@amirm looks to me to be 15 channels plus 2 sub channels. 15.2 capable. With 8ch pre-outs.
Yes, I meant the count as parallel channels of processing, not that they are all wideband.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Do you often do this? Nothing implied by the question -- just honestly curious.
Yes and no. If a company sends me equipment then I do run the results by them since I already have a contact for it. For good or bad I also give them the option of not moving forward with the review. In this case the processor was sent by the company so I provided this courtesy review.

I also have a special relationship with Denon and Marantz where even when the equipment is not sent by them, I run the results by them. It has helped build a good relationship with them, hopefully resulting in better performing products in the future (i.e. they see me as a friend and not enemy).

The above are tiny exceptions. Most of the equipment tested is sent by members where I test and publish the results. It is a service to the membership to test what they own. Same is true of when I buy something. If I pay for it, then I don't ask permission from the company to test their product. :)
 
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amirm

amirm

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Adding on, I do the same kind of review with Genelec and Neumann (for speakers). In other words, when I have a constructive relationship with the company, I do try to take advantage of it to build confidence in measurements.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Eh, those measurements do not impress me. It's sad to me that they're getting a pass since it's an AVR which all seem to be subpar compared to the current SOTA dacs.
As I explained, a while a go I decided to grade AV products in their own class. This is why they have their own SINAD chart and such.

Part of this is justified due to processing in AVRs require (independent) headroom reservation which cuts into dynamic range. This doesn't happen in a straight DAC (although may happen in a player that performs EQ for example).

My feeling is that manufactures have received the signal though that they need to step up their performance. So me putting them down more relative to desktop products may not have a lot of value.
 

jhaider

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I've liked Anthem products since they stepped away from being Sonic Frontiers' junior brand and focused on modern audio equipment. I've owned a few Anthem components as well.

However, $3800 and no Auromatic? IMO that's a gaping hole in the core feature set for any AVR/P with a price tag that extends to that fourth decimal place.
 

JasonC331

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As I explained, a while a go I decided to grade AV products in their own class. This is why they have their own SINAD chart and such.

Part of this is justified due to processing in AVRs require (independent) headroom reservation which cuts into dynamic range. This doesn't happen in a straight DAC (although may happen in a player that performs EQ for example).

My feeling is that manufactures have received the signal though that they need to step up their performance. So me putting them down more relative to desktop products may not have a lot of value.
Did you happen to note the firmware version in this test? Did you try the analog direct feature, sadly it's not an option on the MRX series.
 

gags11

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Looks really nicely implemented. I know people like Denon, but a lot of us need XLR outputs and more than 1.4 volts.

Do we know the output impedance?
 

temps

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Excellent performance, but not quite what I hoped for, in a pre-pro for $3800 USD.... many channels, many features, but the should be a clear class above AVRs with onboard amplification.

MRX 1140 also has 15.2 pre-outs (not balanced) and 11 amp channels.... ditching those should lead to a much steeper discount than $200. I guess we are paying for the fancy front panel display? Is this a good use of our money, especially when many pre-pros are tucked away?
 
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