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Anthem AVM90 AV Processor Review

Rate This AV Processor:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 7 3.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 15 7.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 93 46.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 87 43.1%

  • Total voters
    202

Russ_L

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The outputs are balanced. Some people want their avps to be input to output end to end balanced. The only one that is known to be differential/balanced from input to output is the Denon AVP-A1HD, launched many years ago. Such schemes are often referred to as fully balanced. Fully balanced end to end doesn't mean better sound quality, but some people just want it regardless.
Emotiva processors XMC-2, RMC-1 and RMC-1L are fully balanced input to output.

Russ
 

peng

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Emotiva processors XMC-2, RMC-1 and RMC-1L are fully balanced input to output.

Russ
Thanks, but I don't trust those would do any better than the typical kind such as the AVM and AV's that are not end to end differential/balanced.:D
 

Russ_L

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Thanks, but I don't trust those would do any better than the typical kind such as the AVM and AV's that are not end to end differential/balanced.:D
The RMC-1 measured very well. I expect the next generation of Emotiva processors, due out next month, to measure even better.

Remember, true fully balanced beside doubling the amplitude of the signal CANCELS OUT the noise. This should yield a measurable benefit.

Russ
 

rynberg

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Who cares if the Emotiva garbage measures even better than the essentially audibly transparent Anthem when you are suffering your 1000th operating bug just trying to watch a movie or listen to music...
 

muslhead

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Who cares if the Emotiva garbage measures even better than the essentially audibly transparent Anthem when you are suffering your 1000th operating bug just trying to watch a movie or listen to music...
and the 30 second delays when switching inputs among other "features"
 

peng

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Remember, true fully balanced beside doubling the amplitude of the signal CANCELS OUT the noise. This should yield a measurable benefit.

Russ
A little more complicated than that, so, please remember the following too:

- For such noise cancellation, you don't need those so called fully/truly balanced configurations, commonly found "balanced" schemes, including devices used in the proaudio, such as the Crown audio, QSC devices, and many hifi audio devices can do the same.
- Balanced circuits do not "cancels out" all noise, jus the common mode noise.
- The so called Truly, or fully balanced circuits don't "cancel" such common mode noise any more than the more commonly found balanced circuits used in AVPs such as the Anthem and Marantz flag ship AVPs, but such circuits, if designed and implemented perfectly, would cancel the even order harmonics as well.

I don't trust those so called fully balanced designed/implementation in the lower cost devices, because a) to perfectly "cancel" the harmonics, the two legs of such balanced designs have to be implemented with parts and components that have very tight tolerances, and as they say, you get what you pay for so I don't expect to get the fully benefits for such "fully balanced" 15 or more channels AVPs if they cost a lot less than some of the other mainstay devices such as Anthem, Marantz, Arcam, ATI's., b) even for those super expensive fully balanced devices, if you look at their bench measurements and their SINAD (that includes both noise and harmonic distortions), they are no betteer than the likes of Anthem, Arcam (some) and Marantz that have been measured and confirmed that they already achieved >100 dB SINAD, so why would I pay extra for the fully/truly balanced ones, but of course on money no object basis, okay, I'll go for one too. Just that I won't worry about truly balanced or not if have an AVP like the AVM90 or AV10 but of course ommv.
 

FriedChicken

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If I had the money, I would buy this in a heartbeat
 

Descartes

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To the owners and Amir

After reading your review I acquired an Anthem AVM90 and have setup a 9.4.2.

Since, I only have two in ceiling speakers for now that are placed over the seating position, in your opinion and experience how should I set them up for ATMOS should I choose front, middle or rear?

Once budget allows, I intend to install 4 additional speakers at some point but for now, I only have two in the ceiling!
 

ban25

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To the owners and Amir

After reading your review I acquired an Anthem AVM90 and have setup a 9.4.2.

Since, I only have two in ceiling speakers for now that are placed over the seating position, in your opinion and experience how should I set them up for ATMOS should I choose front, middle or rear?

Once budget allows, I intend to install 4 additional speakers at some point but for now, I only have two in the ceiling!
If you only have two, set them to Top Middle. Many Atmos mixes only have content in the Top Middle pair of height channels, so you want to make sure you capture this. See the Atmos Channel Activity thread on AVS for details:


Many people, myself included, have chosen to go with 4 height speakers rather than 6 because Atmos will mix Top Middle content to Top Front and Top Rear when only those channels are present, but if all six height channels are there, only the two middle ones will be active in the case of the aforementioned subpar mixes.
 

GXAlan

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To the owners and Amir

After reading your review I acquired an Anthem AVM90 and have setup a 9.4.2.

Since, I only have two in ceiling speakers for now that are placed over the seating position, in your opinion and experience how should I set them up for ATMOS should I choose front, middle or rear?

Once budget allows, I intend to install 4 additional speakers at some point but for now, I only have two in the ceiling!

There was a YouTube video looking at this.
Front height/ceiling made the screen feel like it was bigger than it really was. It consistently improved feel with upmixers.

Middle height was the best for specific Atmos content. This was what the video creator thought was the best. Since you already have a bed layer of 9 ch, this makes the most sense to me.

The rear height was considered the worst. While it was very helpful in combination with a middle or front height, in isolation, it added less than the other two. That’s because the front or middle height with bed layer rear still sounded great because our localization is worse in the back.
 

Descartes

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There was a YouTube video looking at this.
Front height/ceiling made the screen feel like it was bigger than it really was. It consistently improved feel with upmixers.

Middle height was the best for specific Atmos content. This was what the video creator thought was the best. Since you already have a bed layer of 9 ch, this makes the most sense to me.

The rear height was considered the worst. While it was very helpful in combination with a middle or front height, in isolation, it added less than the other two. That’s because the front or middle height with bed layer rear still sounded great because our localization is worse in the back.
Do you have a link to the video?
 

Descartes

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If you only have two, set them to Top Middle. Many Atmos mixes only have content in the Top Middle pair of height channels, so you want to make sure you capture this. See the Atmos Channel Activity thread on AVS for details:


Many people, myself included, have chosen to go with 4 height speakers rather than 6 because Atmos will mix Top Middle content to Top Front and Top Rear when only those channels are present, but if all six height channels are there, only the two middle ones will be active in the case of the aforementioned subpar mixes.
Thanks for the link! Iff TV is surprising how little comes out of wide speakers?
Do Dolby Surround up mixer and DTS:X Neural X usdd Ed all channels?
 

radix

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I use Anthem STR integrated in my 2.1 system and I will never live without room correction and DSP again. However, I have no experience with the others so can't make comparisons.

I also have the Anthem STR preamp, replaced minidsp SHD. I found ARC easy to use, but hard to fine-tune. It might have just been me, not being familiar with it. DIRAC/SHD definitely give more options for the gear-heads. But I much prefer the UX with the STR than the SHD.

The results with ARC were good, but when I measured with REW, I wanted to fine-tune somethings, and that's where i found ARC harder to work with. That was maybe 1.5 years ago, I should try again and see if there's been any updates.
 

peng

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I also have the Anthem STR preamp, replaced minidsp SHD. I found ARC easy to use, but hard to fine-tune. It might have just been me, not being familiar with it.

Definitely not just you, easier enough to use for sure, but I also find it hard to fine-tune, if one wants prettier REW graphs lol..

DIRAC/SHD definitely give more options for the gear-heads. But I much prefer the UX with the STR than the SHD.

The results with ARC were good, but when I measured with REW, I wanted to fine-tune somethings, and that's where i found ARC harder to work with. That was maybe 1.5 years ago, I should try again and see if there's been any updates.

By all means and try again, but let me lower your expectations, in my experience ARCG is, as you mentioned, is still difficult to fine tune, it is flexible but highly restrictive vs the popular Auddyssey and Dirac Live apps. I assume your room may be more friendly, but in mine, no matter how I tweaked things for hours and hours, I could not get a REW curve as smooth as I used to be able to get with my Denon AVR or Marantz AVP. It is find audibly, but best I could do in my setup would about +/- 5 dB from 15 to 200 Hz of smoothness versus +/- 1 to 1.5 dB with 1/12 smoothing using Audyssey with Ratbuddssey or DLBC.

People can say all they would about how great ARC G/Bass/phase optimizer, that could be true going by ears, but for those who want pretty graphs, I didn't find it that good, and I would love to see people actually post some REW graphs that is comparable to mine using Auddy/DL, like even +/- 2.5 dB 1/12 dB smoothing, even just for the mmp. I am hopeful that Anthem will eventually update ARC G, as it's phase control/optimization clearly has potential, theoretically.
 

peng

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REW graphs that I would like to see are those that show FR comparing with and without ARCG enabled. Obviously in some setups, people may have excellent results without using any RC at all.
 

madrac

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To the owners and Amir

After reading your review I acquired an Anthem AVM90 and have setup a 9.4.2.

Since, I only have two in ceiling speakers for now that are placed over the seating position, in your opinion and experience how should I set them up for ATMOS should I choose front, middle or rear?

Once budget allows, I intend to install 4 additional speakers at some point but for now, I only have two in the ceiling!
And make sure you hook them up to Height 1, even if in the middle (or rear), if you only have 1 pair of heights.
 

ban25

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Thanks for the link! Iff TV is surprising how little comes out of wide speakers?
Do Dolby Surround up mixer and DTS:X Neural X usdd Ed all channels?
A number of studios have produced so called 'static' Atmos mixes, where they configure a set of static emitters that effectively serve as channels and just mix tracks into them. These mixes can be identified in the Trinnov Atmos visualizer or in something like the Pro Tools Atmos renderer. For these mixes, there are essentially no spatial objects and limited panning effects. So, if there's three emitters for the front stage and the mixer pans from FL to SL, it will skip over the Lw channel. Conversely, if proper discrete objects are used, the audio will pan through all channels properly.

As for upmixers, I find AURO3D to be the most 'active', though DTS Neural:X can be quite active as well -- often times, too active. DSU is quite muted. It often feels like DSU just puts some content in the other channels at maybe -6 to -10 dB. This is fine for dialog heavy tracks, but for something like music, I prefer AURO3D.
 

Descartes

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A number of studios have produced so called 'static' Atmos mixes, where they configure a set of static emitters that effectively serve as channels and just mix tracks into them. These mixes can be identified in the Trinnov Atmos visualizer or in something like the Pro Tools Atmos renderer. For these mixes, there are essentially no spatial objects and limited panning effects. So, if there's three emitters for the front stage and the mixer pans from FL to SL, it will skip over the Lw channel. Conversely, if proper discrete objects are used, the audio will pan through all channels properly.

As for upmixers, I find AURO3D to be the most 'active', though DTS Neural:X can be quite active as well -- often times, too active. DSU is quite muted. It often feels like DSU just puts some content in the other channels at maybe -6 to -10 dB. This is fine for dialog heavy tracks, but for something like music, I prefer AURO3D.
Anthem doesn’t have Auro3D
 

peng

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Audio Advice is selling these for $3,199.99 and $5,999.99.
Those are their typical on sale prices, that seem to happen 2-3 times a year. People who know where to buy from should be able to negotiate similar deals even when the official sales are not on.
 
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