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$3000 pro a processor. Looking at Arcam or Anthem. Help with decision


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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   Mike Bassi

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Posted August 19 2012 - 11:35 AM

Ok here is my deal. I have been putting together a new system for myself. It's going to be used as a home theater system primarily but will also need to be used as a high end 2 channel set up. Here is what I am working with. I just bought an Arcam 150-7 fmj p-7 amp. I have Acoustic Zen Adagio towers and center, Von Schweikert sub, and all new high end cables. Pioneer Elite Blu Ray player and a computer system that does my HT and music set up. I will be playing everything of note, movies and music though the computer into the amp. The computer can decode lossless and flac audio as well as all my 1080P Hi Def video. I'm pretty much down to the pre at this point, and have about 3k or so to spend. I was looking at a used or slightly used Anthem AVM 50V or if I can find a D2V in my price range, and or an Arcam AV-888. Not sure which of those are better, but sound and video is very high on my list. Options are as well. I don't know what else in that price range that can compete with those 2, so this is why I need your help. What else can do what they do and good as they can do for the price? Thanks in advance everyone.

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Posted August 19 2012 - 05:29 PM

I have an Anthem D2V and an Lexicon MC-12HD.  Then Anthem is an awesome pre-pro.  If you can get that I would highly recommend it.  I haven't listened to an Arcam, so can't comment there.  I've always loved the Anthem's that I have had.  I only had one problem with the D2 and that was the early ones had such weak HDMI inputs that they would break from having a heavy HDMI cable in them.


The computer can decode lossless and flac audio as well as all my 1080P Hi Def video.


I would be really concerned about that.  The chances of your computer doing a good job of outputting a signal that doesn't have a ton of jitter, is highly unlikely.  Amir Majidimehr has wrote a great article on this jitter.


#3 of 7 OFFLINE   Mike Bassi

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Posted August 19 2012 - 06:15 PM

Ok great, thank you so much for the input. Can the anthem decode this stuff? How should I run the computer with the anthem? Is there a way that the anthem can decode and just take the file to play though the computer and not let the computer decode? Yeah I am hunting high and low for a D2V or a AVM 50v at my price point. It seems as if I will have better luck finding an AVM 50v than the D2V. I was told the only difference is music?.

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Posted August 21 2012 - 04:31 PM

Originally Posted by Mike Bassi 

Ok great, thank you so much for the input. Can the anthem decode this stuff? How should I run the computer with the anthem? Is there a way that the anthem can decode and just take the file to play though the computer and not let the computer decode? Yeah I am hunting high and low for a D2V or a AVM 50v at my price point. It seems as if I will have better luck finding an AVM 50v than the D2V. I was told the only difference is music?.


The Anthem can decode every codec supported by Blu-ray that matters.


The Anthem AVR's (not the pre-pros yet) can play the music directly from a USB thumb drive.  This is actually a very attractive option as there is nothing introduced from a spinning drive.  I listened to high bitrate music this way at CEDIA last year at the Anthem booth and was astonished at how good it sounded.


One of the big differences between the AVM and the D2 is the quality of the DAC and ADC.

I'll have Amir post here the exact setup he was doing to get the best audio quality from audio from a PC.



#5 of 7 OFFLINE   Mike Bassi

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Posted August 22 2012 - 03:20 AM

Thank you Kevin. Is using the thumb drive that plugs into the Anthem, better than plugging a computer into the Anthem?

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted August 22 2012 - 03:54 AM

I'll speak up on that one... We use a Netgear WNDR4500 that has its own "network file share" via USB. We connected a Western Digital flash drive(have no idea the model number, I'd have to go dig it out from behind where the 4500 is) that holds a crap-ton of music/video/pictures. The main difference we noted right off the bat, switching from an actual computer supplying these "files", the boot up is instantaneous. That is probably equal measure "flash from spin" and 4500. Granted the "most fabulous" pieces of equipment we are using is an Ipad 2(connected via bluetooth to a Belkin FZ) for music off the Western Digital...it still sounds good. As good as a CD? Ehh. But any phone, Ipad(we have a 1 and 2), Ipod, DLNA device(which many TV and BD players are now DLNA compliant) or computer can raid the Western Digital at will.

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Mike Bassi

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Posted August 22 2012 - 05:25 AM

Sounds good, but what if the files are lossless or flac which tend to be much bigger files. Can the flash drive handle 500 of them? Is there a menu on the Anthem to the TV that will present them like a GUI so that I can pick songs out at will? I dislike mp3's unless I am on my ipod or something like that. I'm just afraid that with the 500+ songs I have on lossless the files are just way too big. I am curious why the computer format would be worse sounding if it's just picking files out of the USB? Thanks again so far guys. :)