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Anthem AVM90 AV Processor Review

Rate This AV Processor:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 7 3.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 15 7.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 91 46.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 84 42.6%

  • Total voters
    197

Descartes

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Any news about software updates? I would hope that Roon is getting ready soon!
Does the Marantz AV10 has DTS:X Pro?
 

ban25

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So what’s keeping Anthem to get DTX Pro? Royalties or technical issues?
My guess is it's a small private company with a single owner (or shared ownership with his brother?) that simply lacks the resources to hire a software engineering staff to build in these capabilities, which would also explain why Roon Ready is years and years late. Compared to an operation like D+M, which probably has the highest volume and market share in the space, well, there is no comparison...
 

Descartes

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My guess is it's a small private company with a single owner (or shared ownership with his brother?) that simply lacks the resources to hire a software engineering staff to build in these capabilities, which would also explain why Roon Ready is years and years late. Compared to an operation like D+M, which probably has the highest volume and market share in the space, well, there is no comparison...

They really need to hire software engineers!!

I see based on this article the two brothers bought back their company!
 

jbonn5000

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As an AVM 70 8k owner, I came to this forum to learn more about the AVM 90 and how it might differ from the 70. I left with thinking that when I add another amp for more height/surround channels, that I should go with Monolith's 7 channel amp vs Emotiva's 6 channel amp. Did I do it right?
 

StigErik

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My guess is it's a small private company with a single owner (or shared ownership with his brother?) that simply lacks the resources to hire a software engineering staff to build in these capabilities, which would also explain why Roon Ready is years and years late. Compared to an operation like D+M, which probably has the highest volume and market share in the space, well, there is no comparison...

It could be licensing issues for DTS as well.

But yeah … Anthems’s software is really years behind the competition. I have an AVM 70. For my use it works well and sounds great. Don’t use ARC, And I have just a simple 5.1.4 setup.
 
Last edited:

peng

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As an AVM 70 8k owner, I came to this forum to learn more about the AVM 90 and how it might differ from the 70. I left with thinking that when I add another amp for more height/surround channels, that I should go with Monolith's 7 channel amp vs Emotiva's 6 channel amp. Did I do it right?

What has the AVM got to do with Monolith vs Emotiva amp? Regardless, on all else being equal basis, I prefer the Monolith amps as they tend to use relatively stronger power supplies and it feels better that they were/still are? made by ATI. Having said that, it is hard to really compare, without knowing the models compared to, as Emotiva's flagship amps have impressive specs too.
 

stevenswall

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Wow, we are getting higher and higher priced avrs that still have 75% of the issues of past ones.

If only someone could get Dante and eARC and no muting issues so that there would be an actually future proof processor where you could add dongles for any sort of connector needed in the future... That might actually be worth these asking prices.
 

welwynnick

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The muting issue is a non-issue. It's just muting, not truncating.
 

Descartes

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For me the AVM90 would be the last processor I would ever need! I have no use for any more speakers or subwoofers!
If it last 10 years it’s not bad especially when it’s on sale during Black Friday!
 

johncapra

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Hi all. Does anyone know, or is there was to get a sense of, the quality of the AVM90 as an analog preamp? I want to use some external 2 channel DACs and dont know if the AVM90's unbalanced analog inputs (via analog direct) will be a bottle neck in any way, or if I would need something standalone like a Musical Fidelity M6s Pre, or Parasound P6 (or better) to get the benefit of something like a Denafrips Pontus. If I would 'need' an external preamp I would need HT passthrough. Thanks in advance for any information and the general novice-ness on how to think about Pre-amp quality!
 

peng

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Hi all. Does anyone know, or is there was to get a sense of, the quality of the AVM90 as an analog preamp? I want to use some external 2 channel DACs and dont know if the AVM90's unbalanced analog inputs (via analog direct) will be a bottle neck in any way, or if I would need something standalone like a Musical Fidelity M6s Pre, or Parasound P6 (or better) to get the benefit of something like a Denafrips Pontus. If I would 'need' an external preamp I would need HT passthrough. Thanks in advance for any information and the general novice-ness on how to think about Pre-amp quality!

The AVM90, based on specs and measurements, will likely have better quality (on paper) than the M6s or P6. In my opinion, to use such preamps and HT passthrough is a waste of time and money, if sound quality is the reason.
 

johncapra

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The AVM90, based on specs and measurements, will likely have better quality (on paper) than the M6s or P6. In my opinion, to use such preamps and HT passthrough is a waste of time and money, if sound quality is the reason.
Thank you. Sound quality is the only consideration for me (unless there were some significant usability considerations.)
 

Sal1950

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Hi all. Does anyone know, or is there was to get a sense of, the quality of the AVM90 as an analog preamp? I want to use some external 2 channel DACs and dont know if the AVM90's unbalanced analog inputs (via analog direct) will be a bottle neck in any way, or if I would need something standalone like a Musical Fidelity M6s Pre, or Parasound P6 (or better) to get the benefit of something like a Denafrips Pontus. If I would 'need' an external preamp I would need HT passthrough. Thanks in advance for any information and the general novice-ness on how to think about Pre-amp quality!
Hi John, Welcome to ASR.
I don't think you will like my answer a lot but I'm going to lay it out here anyway.
First, the AVM90 shows to have an excellent measuring (and sounding) onboard DAC.
I very much doubt if you listened to this unit under blind, bias controlled listening conditions, in the manner it was designed vs injecting some boutique level DAC into the path that you could hear any differences.
Then if you also use the DRC software included with AVM you would actually end up with better sound quality than with the way or options you propose.
It's been proved over and over that you will hear what you think you will hear when done under sighted conditions.
I've been pursuing this hobby for 60+ years and learned these lessons the hard and expensive ways.
 

StigErik

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If you don’t need all the extra channels, why not get the AVM70 instead? Afaik, all the analog circuitry is the same. DAC chips differ, but I doubt if anyone can hear that.

I bought the AVM70 based on the review here at ASR. The best sounding preamp / processor I’ve ever had.
 

Bulldogger

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Hi all. Does anyone know, or is there was to get a sense of, the quality of the AVM90 as an analog preamp? I want to use some external 2 channel DACs and dont know if the AVM90's unbalanced analog inputs (via analog direct) will be a bottle neck in any way, or if I would need something standalone like a Musical Fidelity M6s Pre, or Parasound P6 (or better) to get the benefit of something like a Denafrips Pontus. If I would 'need' an external preamp I would need HT passthrough. Thanks in advance for any information and the general novice-ness on how to think about Pre-amp quality!
Few processors today offer true analog bypass. Most separate dacs offer better performance and sound quality than what is available in a pre-pro. If it does have an analog bypass the quality is likely no better than allowing the prepro to do a analog to digital conversion. I use external dacs for all channels which have volume control with my prepro input digitally into the dacs. The problem is that to get a prepro with digital outs is extremely costly.
 

johncapra

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Hi John, Welcome to ASR.
I don't think you will like my answer a lot but I'm going to lay it out here anyway.
First, the AVM90 shows to have an excellent measuring (and sounding) onboard DAC.
I very much doubt if you listened to this unit under blind, bias controlled listening conditions, in the manner it was designed vs injecting some boutique level DAC into the path that you could hear any differences.
Then if you also use the DRC software included with AVM you would actually end up with better sound quality than with the way or options you propose.
It's been proved over and over that you will hear what you think you will hear when done under sighted conditions.
I've been pursuing this hobby for 60+ years and learned these lessons the hard and expensive ways.
Thanks Sal, and you may be surprised to know that I did like your answer. :) What triggered this curiosity was a purchase of an Eversolo DMP-A8. I tested between the analog outs and coaxial output of the A8 into the AVM 90 and preferred the analog outs. I level matched by ear, I did not do a blind test. I think the AVM90 has a mechanism to level match per input so I will do that this weekend.

If we put the DAC piece of this to the side, I think a simpler way to pose my question is if, or how much, my AVM90 would be a bottleneck for ANY analog source into the analog inputs? Say a turntable with its own preamp. I just don't know how to determine if the AVM90 as an analog preamp is plenty good for any level gear I throw at it or there is a point where it will be holding an analog source back?

Thanks again for the warm welcome and taking the time to respond to my initial post.

If you don’t need all the extra channels, why not get the AVM70 instead? Afaik, all the analog circuitry is the same. DAC chips differ, but I doubt if anyone can hear that.

I bought the AVM70 based on the review here at ASR. The best sounding preamp / processor I’ve ever had.
Few processors today offer true analog bypass. Most separate dacs offer better performance and sound quality than what is available in a pre-pro. If it does have an analog bypass the quality is likely no better than allowing the prepro to do a analog to digital conversion. I use external dacs for all channels which have volume control with my prepro input digitally into the dacs. The problem is that to get a prepro with digital outs is extremely costly.
StigErik - Thanks for the advice, sorry I wasn't clear I actually already own the AVM90 :)

Bulldogger: I think you are hitting on my question here. When I say analog bypass in the context of the AVM90, it means that the processor is not converting an analog signal into digital (and then back to analog) to perform any bass management or room correction. There is a setting per input that says "convert to digital Yes\No". Selecting no is supposed to keep the signal analog all the way through to the volume control. Is that truly analog bypass? I dont know. Is it a good analog signal chain, a good volume control? No idea! :D
 

peng

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Thanks Sal, and you may be surprised to know that I did like your answer. :) What triggered this curiosity was a purchase of an Eversolo DMP-A8. I tested between the analog outs and coaxial output of the A8 into the AVM 90 and preferred the analog outs. I level matched by ear, I did not do a blind test. I think the AVM90 has a mechanism to level match per input so I will do that this weekend.

If we put the DAC piece of this to the side, I think a simpler way to pose my question is if, or how much, my AVM90 would be a bottleneck for ANY analog source into the analog inputs? Say a turntable with its own preamp. I just don't know how to determine if the AVM90 as an analog preamp is plenty good for any level gear I throw at it or there is a point where it will be holding an analog source back?

Thanks again for the warm welcome and taking the time to respond to my initial post.

StigErik - Thanks for the advice, sorry I wasn't clear I actually already own the AVM90 :)

Bulldogger: I think you are hitting on my question here. When I say analog bypass in the context of the AVM90, it means that the processor is not converting an analog signal into digital (and then back to analog) to perform any bass management or room correction. There is a setting per input that says "convert to digital Yes\No". Selecting no is supposed to keep the signal analog all the way through to the volume control. Is that truly analog bypass? I dont know. Is it a good analog signal chain, a good volume control? No idea! :D
The AVM won't be a bottleneck for music listening because the measurements indicate the device is transparent in terms of distortions, so basically what goes = what goes out in terms of waveform.

On paper, it will be a bottleneck if you pair it with an ext. DAC (just an example) that has better distortions specifications.

Your Eversolo's dac chip has about the same specs as the AVM90's, but implementation ia likely a little better, and it probbably has a better preamp section too, so the AVM90 may become a bottleneck. Again, that would be on paper only, in a level matched listening, I would bet 10:1, it would't sound different either way.

Since you have the A8 already, I would suggest you use it with the 90's analog input, or directly with a power amp such as the AHB2, or one that has comparable specs.
 
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