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  1. #1
    Polk-a-dweeb
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    Default Quality time with my Anthem AVM20

    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!
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D

  2. #2

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    "The sound from the Anthem, along with the Lsiís, is something you just have to hear."

    I wish I could have the opportunity, but I know what would happen. And my wife would probably shoot me. Glad to hear you're enjoying your new Anthem, sounds like a GREAT unit.

  3. #3

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    Hey Frank.

    That's awesome man. I also noticed a huge difference when I went from using my Yamaha receiver as a pre-pro to my B&K PT5 preamp. I know it sounds like a cliche but it was like I lifted the veil on my system at the time. No doubt about it. Totally different sonic characteristics. I have come to believe and proven to myself that the preamp plays a larger role than comparable amplifiers in the sonic characteristic of the sound. Just my opinion though based on my experimentation.

    Enjoy the Anthem. One day I might too. But for now I guess I have to settle for my Rotels and B&K's. They suit my needs and budget perfectly right now.

    Paul

  4. #4

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    Originally posted by pjdami
    I have come to believe and proven to myself that the preamp plays a larger role than comparable amplifiers in the sonic characteristic of the sound.
    Paul I absolutely agree! I was blown away by the improvement in sound after hooking up the Rotel 1066.

    Frank nice stuff..ENJOY! Musically the LSi's are killer speakers!
    suds, suds and more suds!

  5. #5

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    Thanks Frank!


    for your great review on your pre!........sounds like it's only the big beginning of your fun. I guess once everything is set up to a 100% you will be dancing on your head and don't forget to put your a family a head before your big toys. Well, hope to hear more updates as your slowly break in your Anthem pre........I hope to share the same ultimate audio experiences with separate pre/amps as others on this Polk board in the fall time maybe. I have enjoyed using my receiver for the past couple of yrs but not yet experience the higher levels of separates.


    dc.


    :D

  6. #6

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    Default it's a sickness

    Frank: Who are you trying to convince?? Be honest man, once you get on board the upgrade train, it's like the Hotel California, you can come but you can never leave! Welcome aboard.
    Really, great review. Congrats on your purchase....not going to upgrade for a long time.......maybe not your processor but I bet you'll find another toy necessary to complete "the set"
    I am with you amigo, and still married.
    Cheer,
    Rick

  7. #7
    Polk-a-dweeb
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    Thanks to all for the feedback!

    Now let me clarify, Audio-wise I'm done! Video...well that's almost done too. Looking forward to the 921 PVR later this year.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D

  8. #8

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    Frank- I take it the Outlaw 7100 is satisfactory with the Anthem? I am real close to pulling the trigger on this amp and will mate it with my DSP-A1 for a while and then get a separate processor. I am using Boston Acoustic VRM series speakers in my main system (yes I have Polks in my secondary system) and I don't think I need more than 100 watts or so. It will be great to know I can put my money in the processor and video side of the system instead of in amplification.

  9. #9

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    Awesome review, Frank. I'm sure you know about some pretty huge Anthem threads over at HTF, so check those out - it's like a huge support group for Anthem owners.

    Your bass management is top notch (similar to the B&K Ref 50 and AVR 507), but selecting different crossovers for each speaker has its own set of issues (see article below).

    You have selected what is often referred to as "LFE + Mains" where the mains are sent a full range signal, and the sub is sent a duplicate signal from the mains, plus the LFE channel, plus low passed bass from any surround set to small.

    This configuration is available on most higher end AVRs, but is rather non-conventional and unpopular since it tends to create issues with speaker/sub phase and waves/nulls. It also usually sounds pretty heavy/dominant in the bass region. Do whatever sounds best to your ear, of course, but this article also addresses some of these points very well.

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...rs-9-2002.html

    Also - and I honestly mean this from a completely constructive and non-offensive standpoint - please consider at least demoing (in your own room) a better subwoofer than the Sunfire you currently own. If you can tolerate the aesthetics of a larger sub in your room, the rest of your gear almost demands a world class sub at this point. The Sunfire is one of the best micro-subs out there, but you have a VERY impressive, high end, and articulate system that screams for a sub with commensurate sound quality and performance. I can recommend some subs with a furniture grade finish to match your LSi's if that interests you over the typical black finish.

    Doc
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

    Ed Mullen (emullen@svsound.com)
    Director - Technology and Customer Relations
    Specialty Technologies
    SVSound

  10. #10
    Polk-a-dweeb
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    Doc,
    Thanks for your input. It will take me a long time to go through all of the various setup options and listen to the differances in the sound. From what I've heard so far, I can't imagine having anything come out of the speakers that can't be tweeked!:D

    As far the sub goes, I know your're really into the SVS subs, and I have never had the pleasure of hearing one, but I'm very happy with my Sunfire. For my tastes, it produces astounshing results for both music and movie sound tracks. I've found that proper location is critical for the best possible sound from my sub. Corner loading at a 45deg. angle works the best in my room. Thanks for the offer to assist, I do appriciate it.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D

  11. #11

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    Glad your digging it Frank - location and set-up are key, I agree. Actually, I thought you might be interested in a furniture grade finish to match the LSi and I had some alternative (non SVS) subs I thought might appeal to your sense of aesthetics. But if you're happy that's all that matters. The Anthem is a REALLY nice rig - I'm jealous; your system is very nice.

    Doc
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

    Ed Mullen (emullen@svsound.com)
    Director - Technology and Customer Relations
    Specialty Technologies
    SVSound

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