Well Iíve finally had some time to sit down and play with my new preamp. Sorry it took so long, but family and work gotta come first! Everything in quotes is taken from the Anthem manual.
Connecting the Anthem to the rest of my gear was a breeze, nothing complicated. The back panel is well marked and the layout is pretty straightforward.
Setup/configuration is another story! While not difficult, having the manual within arms reach is a must! There are so many options that it can quickly become mind-boggling. Actually I had a blast going through the multiple on-screen displays and marveling at the options before I really got to work. After pouring over the various speaker size options I found out that not only can you select the desired size, but you can also select the crossover point for each individual speaker! Back to the file cabinet to pull out the Lsi specís and set the crossover points. THIS IS SO FREAKIN COOL!! You can also enable a Center Channel Eq. that compensates for a wall mount or set top location so that ďthe frequency response of the center channel output will be slightly altered to compensate.Ē After setting the Noise level at 80db, I calibrated the speakers and set the Peak Bass Level. Another great feature is the ability to set the bass output to ďSuperĒ which ďCopies bass from the speakers set to large, extracts bass from speakers set to small, and together with the LFE channel, routes this combined bass signal to the subwoofer and large L/R front and surround speakers simultaneously.Ē There are a bunch of other set up options, the manual itself is 74 pages!
I limited myself to CDís, DVD-A, and a few SACDís to start with, all of which sounded incredible! I have to say that my Lsiís never sounded so good! After listening to everything from classical to Rock-n-Roll, I really feel that I made the right decision. The sound from the Anthem, along with the Lsiís, is something you just have to hear. I can honestly say I wonít be upgrading for quite some time. The Anthem has a warmer sound than my Pioneer Elite receiver did, thatís not to say it was harsh or overly bright. The sound stage is also very impressive. The DPLII modes are noteworthy as well, I used them when listening to some of the music channels from Dishnetwork and was surprised at the surround effect that this unit delivered.
When it came time to checkout a few select movies, the Anthem really delivered! The pod race scene from StarWars Ep.1 was tremendous, the plane crash in Castaway had me reaching under my seat for my flotation device, and during the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan I ducked and cringed with every gunshot and explosion!
If youíre in the market for a new preamp, do yourself a favor and audition the Anthem, you wonít be disappointed!