What Surround Receiver Also Has Amazing Stereo

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by fairaintfair, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. StimpyWan

    StimpyWan Forum Resident

    I've owned NAD 3020, 3140, 3155, and 2155 gear, and others. Earlier NAD, I suppose? Of what I still have, all works well. Maybe I got lucky? Regardless, solid bang for the buck equipment.
    fairaintfair likes this.
  2. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Scottish Borders
    No thanks (but thanks for the suggestion), I'm comfortable with the AVI actives I use. I thought it pertinent to use a current day scenario, not something based on legacy gear.
  3. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    No discrete transistors, no conservatively rated components which are never stressed, I refuse to buy it. I dislike gear which is one custom IC failure away from landfill. A waste of my money. I buy gear which sounds great, is reliable, and withstands many years of use. I can't afford to buy gear which is not. And I buy what I can repair and maintain.
  4. lapepalz

    lapepalz Forum Resident

    I have the same problem. I was thinking about Marantz SR8012... it is about $2500 right now.
    SteelyNJ likes this.
  5. Dingly Del Boy

    Dingly Del Boy Forum Resident

    British Columbia
    It's much more like a Honda Odyssey and an Audi R8. Both are vehicles powered by the internal combustion engine that transport people from A to B. One is designed to carry lots of people, is functional, reasonably priced but compromises in many areas. The other is not.
  6. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    So...which one apparently sucks at getting people transported, yet is more expensive and has rich corinthian leather? Because I don't get that part of the analogy yet. :shrug:
  7. fairaintfair

    fairaintfair I Buried Paul Thread Starter

    SF Bay Area
    I sat for a Demo of the Anthem MRX 720 today and all I can say is "wow".

    It really does have wonderful 2 channel sound. I threw everything I had at it, listening for its weak spots, but it handled the variance of recordings with an ease that left me really impressed. I really didn't expect to like it this much.

    Bang for buck I think it may be hard to beat.

    Arcam and Denon next!
  8. lapepalz

    lapepalz Forum Resident

    how about Marantz ?
    SteelyNJ likes this.
  9. albertop

    albertop Forum Resident

    I own a Denon AVR X6400H and am quite satisfied with its 2-channel capabilities.
    @fairaintfair , I'd love to know what you think about Denons, should you have a chance to do a demo or comparison between Denon and other brands...
    fairaintfair likes this.
  10. NAD T773 receiver
    NAD 375bee intergrated amp

    John M.
    fairaintfair and StimpyWan like this.
  11. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    near Tampa, FL
    I owe MRX 720, and even if now it is pretty much dedicated to be HT and 5.1 music preamp, I remember how transparent and clean it was when compared to my previous HT receiver (Pioneer Elite, do not remember model).
    It also have excellent room correction software, very well made and easy to use. It is bypassable in analog mode.
    fairaintfair likes this.
  12. ronm

    ronm audiofreak

    southern colo.
    I use older totl avrs for my two channel listening.I'm very ok with it.In fact I think they are the best bang for the buck.
    rodentdog and fairaintfair like this.
  13. DonnyMe

    DonnyMe Forum Resident

    NW Indiana
    I stumbled upon this site this morning that sells Anthem equipment at discounted prices. It might be worth looking into if legit. New Age Electronics Perhaps others here can leave feedback if they have dealt with or have further information. If you can save $500 bucks off of retail that would be a nice chunk of change.
    fairaintfair likes this.
  14. lapepalz

    lapepalz Forum Resident

    great site... Thank you !
  15. Nero

    Nero Well-Known Member

    Yes it is bypasable but it will stil digitilize all you put thru it.
    I also thought mine was much better then my previous Dennon receiver, but for 2 channel it will always be a compromise!!
  16. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    near Tampa, FL
    Hmm, I think I remember I asked Anthem and they said in pure analog mode it does not digitize sound... But I agree it is a compromise and you should not expect your HT receiver behave like hi-end stereo preamp. But compared with piers I think it sounded awesome. I compared with Marantz top receiver (do not remember model they have, more then 3 years passed, in analog mode... Dealer had both and it was an easy switch. It was no comparison, Anthem was way more transparent.
    kevywevy likes this.
  17. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    South Bend, IN
    I've owned three Anthem products:

    Statement D2
    MRX-710 (still use today for our 7.1 theater)

    If you go Pure Direct, or whatever it's called in Anthem parlance, the ADCs are bypassed if an analog signal is being fed into any of the units. This is why you don't get any subwoofer output or bass management whatsoever in that mode. It's also why I never used it.

    And even if they are a "compromise" for 2-channel stereo? Get a decent outboard amp for the mains and use the preouts to drive that. The preamp, ADCs, and DACs in Anthem products are all very good for the money spent. That's why you don't see all sorts of bells and whistles on Anthem gear - the money is spent on quality internal components. My MRX-710 has a pretty damn beefy transformer sitting inside it, for an AVR.
  18. fairaintfair

    fairaintfair I Buried Paul Thread Starter

    SF Bay Area
    You could just use an analog crossover hookup for your sub?

    Personally, I'll just use "analog-DSP mode" to run my REL sub. The 720's ADCs are pretty damn good and then the sub will be timed correctly as well.

    Again, I am just trying to get great sound out of one box. And the Anthem stereo demo (arguably the weakest part of any HT receiver) was pretty impressive to my ears?

    If I want to really elevate my stereo experience I'll head to the listening room and fire up the PrimaLuna Dialogue.
    toddrhodes likes this.
  19. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    South Bend, IN
    I used the Anthem gear in a number of configurations IN my audio room, so I got pretty familiar with what they could and couldn't do. Fortunately, a great deal of the former, not much of the latter. And I can't explain it, plus I've long since moved on from that setup, but I have never liked a high-level in/out to mains with the subs in the middle. Just a personal "nervosa" thing on my part, no real science there.

    And like you, I'd rather have the conversion in place when we're talking Anthem. Their ADCs are amazing, so it's not mutilating analog sound for the sake of DSP.

    Enjoy your next demos, looking forward to what you decide! I'm all set for Atmos upstairs, but as long as my 710 keeps kicking, I won't be moving up the chain. But I'll get another Anthem when it does. I got my 710 a little after the 720s came out for $900, new in box. Couldn't beat it.
    kevywevy and fairaintfair like this.
  20. fairaintfair

    fairaintfair I Buried Paul Thread Starter

    SF Bay Area
    More demo madness:

    The goal of my demos is to find the best sounding stereo HT receiver. In the demo I only listen to stereo, which, as common thought would have it, will render the receiver in its worst case scenario. I use B&W speakers at home, so the only variable that I can't control is what speakers are being used, but I ask the vendor to try to "ballpark" my speakers. I do not use a sub for the demo. The receiver is always flat with no room correction applied. I also consider the Amps interface. I'm looking to spend around $2,500 but will go higher if need be.

    I let the vendor run their demo selections (usually beautiful recordings that make copious use of the sound stage imaging) then I run my demo selections:

    01: Massive Attack "Inertia Creeps"
    02: Thelonius Monk "Dinah"
    o3: Nick Drake "Pink Moon"
    04: Led Zeppelin "Friends and Kashmir"
    05: Beatles "Dear Prudence and Helter Skelter"
    06: Father John Misty "Fun Times In Babylon"

    DENON: AVR-X4500H (Cost around 1k to $1,500)
    A very good if robust sound.
    It was a tad excited in the highs and the mids accentuated a bit of the "boxiness" of compressed vocals.
    I think I'd find this amp a tad fatiqing after extended 2 channel listening? But it certainly was no slouch.
    The Amp loved modern sounds.
    Interface was solid/well designed.
    The feature set is remarkable for the price.
    Hell, everything about it is remarkable for the price.

    ANTHEM MRX 720 (Cost around $2 to $2400)
    A surprisingly great stereo sound
    The sound stage detailing was simply beautiful. The amp doesn't punish in the high frequencies and the mids were slightly "rounded".
    The bass was focused (I could see a sub benefiting here)
    The amp handled everything I threw at it with ease.
    This one brought the smiles.
    Great interface. I don't like that the sound calibration is PC only.

    ARCAM AVR 550 (3k-$3400)
    A very solid if fine stereo sound. It's detailing was the standout and the low end was spectacular.
    The amp did reveal a bit of "lifelessness" in the two channel. I had a nagging feeling that the sound was slightly "antiseptic"?
    The Amp loved modern recordings and suffered a bit with 70's era complex arangements.
    Interface is a mess. Remote is close to garbage.
    Great calibration system. PC and Mac.

    ARCAM AVR 850 ($6k)
    Yup. The class G Amp shined. I could really hear the difference.
    The "clean" feeling of the 550 was gone. The details of the soundstage were truly impressive.
    The amp was not fatiguing in the least. I was all smiles and I sat with it the longest.
    It loved everything I threw at it. The 850 particularly shined with vocals and acoustic guitar (wow!).
    Same muddled stupid interface as the 550. Same ****ty remote.
    Out of my comfort zone for price. But I could easily see a HT enthusiast making the plunge.

    Thus far the winner is the Anthem MRX 720. No contest.
    I may try a Marantz as well, just because. But I've heard some not so great things about the stereo sound?
    bluemooze, albertop, DonnyMe and 2 others like this.
  21. Wasabi

    Wasabi Forum Resident

    Lutz, FL
    If you're checking out the Denon and Maramtz, you should put the higher end Yamahas (1080/2080/3080) in there too. I don't think any of them will top the Anthem though.
    fairaintfair likes this.
  22. DonnyMe

    DonnyMe Forum Resident

    NW Indiana
    Seeing the cost of the ARCAM AVR 850 is 3x the price of the Anthem MRX 720 seems to make it even more of a bargain.
    Wasabi likes this.
  23. lapepalz

    lapepalz Forum Resident

    I would like to know the difference between the Marantz SR8012 and the Anthem MRX 720? Has anyone tried the SR8012?
  24. fairaintfair

    fairaintfair I Buried Paul Thread Starter

    SF Bay Area
    Just back from a Marantz Demo!

    Marantz SR8012
    ($2,500 - 3k)
    A wonderful two channel sound. Kinda "warm"? At least the hi-end did not spike or spank my ears.
    Excellent sound stage, real nice seperation. The instruments breathe.
    While it liked everything in my bag the bass was a tiny bit undefined, not "muddy" but could use some clarity?
    Killer remote and I LOVE how the posts are horizontal and not stacked.
    Solid interface. Calibration software seemed reasonable? Not Anthem good, but not much is.

    I do think the Anthem 720 beats it out (in terms of price and sound) but not by much.

    It's my number two choice for sure and I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with the 2 channel of this beast.
    gd0, DonnyMe and albertop like this.
  25. lapepalz

    lapepalz Forum Resident

    Thank you ! You can get Marantz SR8012 in open box too... 2.199

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