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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

Theriverlethe

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First photo, that's very easy to miss!
I don't know why, I don't remember if it defaults to 40 Hz, mine is at 120 Hz.
People often confuse that setting with the subwoofer crossover, but LFE is a discrete channel so there is no reason that I'm aware of to low-pass it.
 

StigErik

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People often confuse that setting with the subwoofer crossover, but LFE is a discrete channel so there is no reason that I'm aware of to low-pass it.

The accepted industry standard is to low-pass the LFE channel at 120 Hz in the mixing and/or mastering process, but it's common do at the playback as well... just for safe keeping I guess?
 

Theriverlethe

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The accepted industry standard is to low-pass the LFE channel at 120 Hz in the mixing and/or mastering process, but it's common do at the playback as well... just for safe keeping I guess?
I should’ve said “no reason to low-pass lower than the default 120Hz.”
 

Dougey_Jones

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Incredibly complex. It will probably take me days or weeks, even months, to set it up. I am left wondering why, given its price, digital attenuation is not SOTA and the balanced outputs are the cheap one with worse performance than unbalanced, defeating the purpose. Thank you Amir for a peerless review, it is a pass for me.
To make sure I'm understanding correctly, are the balanced outputs fake? Which is happening here:

1) They took the single ended output from the preamp section and just routed it to an XLR connector.

2) They employed circuitry which converts the single ended output to a balanced one after the fact.

And to make sure I understand what a proper implementation would look like.. The manufacturer would employ DAC's in differential mode creating a true balanced signal and volume control would be done in the digital domain prior to the DAC?
 

Descartes

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To make sure I'm understanding correctly, are the balanced outputs fake? Which is happening here:

1) They took the single ended output from the preamp section and just routed it to an XLR connector.

2) They employed circuitry which converts the single ended output to a balanced one after the fact.

And to make sure I understand what a proper implementation would look like.. The manufacturer would employ DAC's in differential mode creating a true balanced signal and volume control would be done in the digital domain prior to the DAC?
Really why no true Balanced?

It also looks like the Marantz AV 10 is not truly balanced either?

Performance remains the same for XLR as that is derived from unbalanced output”

So why not truly Balanced is it due to cost?
 
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peng

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And to make sure I understand what a proper implementation would look like.. The manufacturer would employ DAC's in differential mode creating a true balanced signal and volume control would be done in the digital domain prior to the DAC?
If you are referring to the AVM 90 and the AV10, they are not wiring the DAC chips in differential mode, I don't think so. The only AVP that use such a scheme, is the Denon AVP-A1HD.

As Gene cited in his review: "Denon boasts the AVP-A1HDCI is the world’s ONLY fully balanced processor from input to output

That was of course years ago, but as far as I can tell, no other AVP has been made using the real differential scheme for the DACs, volume control, and opamp ICs in the audio signal path. If the expensive Storm Audios and Trinnov have done it, you bet they would have advertised it for sure.

image


Denon and Marantz did, at least at one time, implemented the AKM chip, the AK4458 in differential mode, and it would look like the following, and the volume control IC would have to be wired in differential mode as well. That is easier to do because D+M only did it in their 2 channel DRA-800H and the NR1200. I suspect, but don't know for sure, that their successors, the Denon DRA-900H and the Marantz Stereo 70 likely are still done in differential mode. For the AV10 or Anthem AVM 90 to have done so, their DAC IC counts would have been double that of what they have mentioned in their marketing info, so while I have not seen their schematic or block diagram, based on their marketing info, you can forget about differential schemes in the DAC>>>>VOL signal path.

How the D/A would have been wired if in differential,
1704546494348.png


versus the regular way:

1704547066410.png
 
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peng

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Really why no true Balanced?

It also looks like the Marantz AV 10 is not truly balanced either?

Performance remains the same for XLR as that is derived from unbalanced output”

So why not truly Balanced is it due to cost?
Yes, it obviously is due to cost, but also based on the benefits, while implementing truly balanced scheme as shown in the Denon AVP, you can in theory gain 6 dB of noise reduction and may be a couple dB distortions because of the cancellation of the even harmonics, for real world use it most likely won't make any audible improvements.
 
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Theriverlethe

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Yes, it obviously is due to cost, but also based on the benefits, while implementing truly balanced scheme as shown in the Denon AVP, you can in theory gain 6 dB of noise reduction and may be a couple dB distortions because of the cancellation of the even harmonics, for real world use it most likely won't make any audible improvements.
Removing the possibility of ground hum/noise with a balanced connection would be a much bigger benefit than a likely imperceptible amount of SNR gain. This can be a very real-world benefit and is what the vast majority of "pro" audio equipment uses balanced connections.
 

peng

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Removing the possibility of ground hum/noise with a balanced connection would be a much bigger benefit than a likely imperceptible amount of SNR gain. This can be a very real-world benefit and is what the vast majority of "pro" audio equipment uses balanced connections.

I don't think he's talking about just "balanced" output and input. When someone says "truly" or "fully" balanced, the likely are thinking about end to end input to output differential/balanced like the one Gene's talking about in his review of the Denon AVP.
 

Theriverlethe

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I don't think he's talking about just "balanced" output and input. When someone says "truly" or "fully" balanced, the likely are thinking about end to end input to output differential/balanced like the one Gene's talking about in his review of the Denon AVP.
Which is the same as saying "balanced." Obviously it's possible to have an XLR connector without being balanced.
 

dsd4life

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Um why would you not wait for the Emotiva G4P? Processors with true Differential Balanced IO?

No reasons to pay $6,350.00 for a processor without true reference differential balanced topology. Emotiva's new processors will have a reference differential variant of 16 channels for $5,495.00 HDMI v2.1, web ui and dirac.
 

Descartes

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Um why would you not wait for the Emotiva G4P? Processors with true Differential Balanced IO?

No reasons to pay $6,350.00 for a processor without true reference differential balanced topology. Emotiva's new processors will have a reference differential variant of 16 channels for $5,495.00 HDMI v2.1, web ui and dirac.
I will never buy Emotiva again the company is the most arrogant I have ever dealt with!
 

dsd4life

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I will never buy Emotiva again the company is the most arrogant I have ever dealt with!
Ok. Just discussing form and function. They actually have a reference differential topology. I am interested in knowing more about end to end balance processors and amplifiers.
 

peng

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Ok. Just discussing form and function. They actually have a reference differential topology. I am interested in knowing more about end to end balance processors and amplifiers.
Just a cautionary note, the so called end to end differential topology, whatever it is, does not mean much unless the product has better verified (such as by measurements) performance than similar products that do not use end to end differential. If done well, end to end differential could cost as much as double the cost for the parts alone, and if not done well the results could be worse. Also, assuming everything is good, for a truly end to end setup, then one has to consider not just one device but every one in the chain, such as the source such as phono, dac, BDP, streamer, preamp, power amp etc., its some deep multi rabbit hole.

Such "topology" has the advantage that it could in theory cancel the even harmonics, but if you look at even a 19 channel AVP such as the AVM90, it already manage to limit THD+N to lower than -100 dB, and the even harmonics itself are well below -100 dB, so lowering it by less than 1 dB (likely much less) or so is not going to make any difference.

Fully/end to end differential, along with damping factor, EPDR (less so on that one) are becoming just buzz words many so called audiophile tend to throw around for whatever reasons, some just want to show off their new found "knowledge" lol..., been there, done that.
 

dsd4life

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Just a cautionary note, the so called end to end differential topology, whatever it is, does not mean much unless the product has better verified (such as by measurements) performance than similar products that do not use end to end differential. If done well, end to end differential could cost as much as double the cost for the parts alone, and if not done well the results could be worse. Also, assuming everything is good, for a truly end to end setup, then one has to consider not just one device but every one in the chain, such as the source such as phono, dac, BDP, streamer, preamp, power amp etc., its some deep multi rabbit hole.

Such "topology" has the advantage that it could in theory cancel the even harmonics, but if you look at even a 19 channel AVP such as the AVM90, it already manage to limit THD+N to lower than -100 dB, and the even harmonics itself are well below -100 dB, so lowering it by less than 1 dB (likely much less) or so is not going to make any difference.

Fully/end to end differential, along with damping factor, EPDR (less so on that one) are becoming just buzz words many so called audiophile tend to throw around for whatever reasons, some just want to show off their new found "knowledge" lol..., been there, done that.
Huh Amir just said the XLR inputs stink on the AVM90. I would take a HTP1 with functioning XLR and DTS-X Pro over this any day.
 

peng

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Huh Amir just said the XLR inputs stink on the AVM90. I would take a HTP1 with functioning XLR and DTS-X Pro over this any day.

First of all, I don't believe he said that, secondly, that has nothing to do with what I commented in my post your quoted.
 

muslhead

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Um why would you not wait for the Emotiva G4P? Processors with true Differential Balanced IO?

No reasons to pay $6,350.00 for a processor without true reference differential balanced topology. Emotiva's new processors will have a reference differential variant of 16 channels for $5,495.00 HDMI v2.1, web ui and dirac.
Apparently you have never owned a newly released Emotiva product. If you had, you would likely NEVER consider them. Need to wait for about 5-8 years before they have worked the bugs out and even then its a risk
 

EWL5

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Apparently you have never owned a newly released Emotiva product. If you had, you would likely NEVER consider them. Need to wait for about 5-8 years before they have worked the bugs out and even then its a risk
I've only heard terrible things about newer Emotiva stuff. Luckily my XPA2 amp came from the "Golden Age" of Emotiva when they were darlings of the industry!
 

peng

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I've only heard terrible things about newer Emotiva stuff. Luckily my XPA2 amp came from the "Golden Age" of Emotiva when they were darlings of the industry!
I hear you, if I would even try Emotiva stuff, I would only try models that have been proven over time. Like Anthem, I would never pre-order their AVM gear no matter how tempting, but would jump in a couple years after it gets proven, with enough bug fixes, though I would have no concerns about their power amps, and I felt no need to wait for those to be proven over time.
 
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