Anthem AVM-20 2.0 vs Aragon Stage One Please help me compare the two.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Adam_Reiter, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Ok, I need help on one more thing guys. Lets just say I went balls to the wall, and got an Aragon 2007 amp as my amp,and I was considering either the Aragon Stage One, or the Anthem AVM-20 2.0 Please help me decide pros/cons & features & soundquality & and price between the two units.

    My speakers should eventually be all quality nOrh speakers. (9.0's for the fronts) And lets say I allready own the Aragon 2007 amp. Should I go Anthem AVM-20 2.0 or go Aragon Stage One for pre?. I wanted to kind of wait until the next batch of Pre Amps, however, if one of both of these units are fairly future proof for the time being, I think that I may just get the PRE and AMP now. Are there certain features that one has and not the other? How about sound quality and ease of use? How about price? Lowest I have seen on the Aragon Stage One is about $3300. Anyone find lower? How low have you guys seen the AVM-20 go? I would love to hear from any owners of either PRE.


    I suppose if I can be gauranteed that I can spend $3300 on a pre and have it not be obsolete and at least be upgradable for the next 5 years, I would be happy. Is there any MAJOR new format change comming down the line soon? Is there some new 10.2 format and anything like that in which I might not know about?

    Again guys, thanx for your help. I know it is a pain reading my posts.
     
  2. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    Hey hey, it's me again your favorite no help poster.
    I use the Anthem and love the heck out of it.
    Sound and Vison did a comparison of those two and the Sunfire "Theater Grand" in last years Nov. issue. They said that the Anthem is definetly more tweakable than the Aragon. The Aragon does not have multi zone capability, only has a db25 pin connector for it's multi channel in for using say a SACD player. It also has no on screen menu system so you have to do everything from the front panel. They call it a minimalist design. Short signal paths and less bells and whistles to get you on your way to sonic bliss.
    They never say in their shootouts which ones are the better. It came more down to features adding they all sounded excellent.
    I know Anthem has a great heritage with Sonic Frontiers as their design team and they have been awesome with upgrades as well. (check out the "upgraded Anthem thread" if you dare)"Steroephile's Guide to Home Theater" desribes it as "slightly on the laid back/forgiving/liquid side". Check out this review: http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/maste..._toc_main.html Aragon has been in a state of flux (if you will) ever since Klipsch bought them. A friend of mine has been waiting over a year for them to make up their mind about upgrades and stuff. He now tells me though, they might be on the ball.
    I just noticed that you live in Astoria. I live in Portland (Or.) and I know that Aragon is scarce around here. That could be a factor as well. Dealer support.

    Just my opinion. But then I could be dumb.
     
  3. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    Adam,

    There was someone who performed an audition of the Stage One and AVM-20 on one of these forums, and he found both of them to be sonically very good and quite similar. He ended up purchasing the Stage One because it had the one feature he wanted that the AVM-20 didn't have: separate speaker setups by input source (DVD player, CD player, TV, etc.). This allowed him to have low crossovers (like 40 Hz) when using the CD player, then selecting 80 Hz crossovers for DVD movies.

    Other than that, the AVM-20 has all of the features of the Stage One and then some. Whether you need these features is a question we can't answer.

    Good luck! [​IMG]

    Michael
     
  4. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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  5. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Yeah, I think first of all, Chris needs to stop with the dumb thing. He is not dumb. Chris rocks. He is very helpful and I appreaciate it alot. Being that is in Portland, makes it even better. However, spending the last couple of days reading reviews and studying the back panels... at this point, I can see why so many people love that Anthem AVM-20. I myself think it looks like possible the way I want to go. I like the added features. I really like the that is has so many options. The balanced outs are nice, especially if you ever do take advantage of the multiroom function. I am going to scrutinize both units further, and try to decide what I want more, features, or simplicity.

    Also, is it just me or does the AVM-20 seem more future proof? Seems as tho they are very commited to be able to offer upgrades down the line. I am trying to convince myself to be very commited and get the amp and preamp, and then let everything else fall into place.

    Chris, any chance of maybe a demo at your place? What kind of setup do you have? What speakers are you using?
     
  6. Tom Camlioglu

    Tom Camlioglu Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Guys,

    With Regards to:




    They "did" say that the Anthem and Sunfire were capable of better than resolution than 16-bit CD, something to that effect I believe, where the Aragon wasn't there yet and was impending this capability in a future upgrade.

    Also, in the next issue, I think, the Anthem took the Sound&Vision A/V Preamp Reviewer's Choice award of the year.

    I have no doubt that the Mondial and Carver inspired pieces are very very good, but at least in S&V it's there in writing as to which one (they felt) came out on top.

    Tom[​IMG]
     
  7. MikeAF

    MikeAF Stunt Coordinator

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    Adam,
    Just my $.02. This past summer I was going through the same buying process you are going through now. I bought the Anthem for the following reasons:

    1. Balanced connections
    2. Zone 2 and 3 outputs
    3. Local Dealer who gave me a good deal
    4. Ability to do software upgrades at home which I have now done three times on the Anthem.

    The first two above were what I was looking for and the Anthem had and the Aragon did not. You must decide what features are important to you as I think both are great sounding units. Sonic Frontiers customer service has never let me down and I have no regrets whatsoever in buying the Anthem. YMMV [​IMG]


    Mike
     
  8. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Ok, after much research, I have decided to go with the AVM-20 v2.0. I figure the AVM-20 has everything I'd want in a preamp, and it looks like I wouldn't need to wait for the next gen of Preamps. The Anthem seems it can upgrade to whatever it needs to for some time.

    So, my situation is like this. I am selling all my car audio, I am going to sell my Cisco routers and switch, and I am going to sell my mountain bike as well. This should give me a low approx of about $8500. If everything sells, I will get the Aragon 2007, the Anthem AVM-20 v2.0, the Rocket Loudspeaker Ultra 5 speaker set. I come across these speakers from the HarmonicDiscord.com forums and have been checking them out for awhile. I think I prefer the more traditional HT looking speakers. The Rocket set I want comes with 2 sets of towers and a center channel. Then I would by the dipole surrounds as well. That would give me all 7 speakers for about $3300. These speakers are getting high acclaim and I really want to try them. Plus, they are GORGEOUS speakers!! I will get my nOrh 9.0's for 2 ch music somewhere down the line. Also, hopefully somehow I can work in the SVS Ultra sub. Might have to wait a bit on the sub.

    So, hopefully eBay is nice to me and everything sells nice and fast. I am not getting much use out of my Cisco Equipment or my $3600 mountain bike. Might as well trade them for something I can enjoy everyday.
     
  9. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    Gee thanks for the kind words..really!
    Adam, my HUMBLE system is made up of the following:
    AVM20
    ATI 1505
    Pioneer Elite CLD 79
    Pioneer DV525
    Pioneer Elite CT-05D
    Paradigm 7seMK III's
    Paradigm cc370 v.2
    Paradigm Titans
    Paradigm PW2200

    My Anthem has yet to be upgraded, so it is only "Ultra" and does not have the triple x-over or the sub phase adjustment or the new "Ultra 2" music and cinema modes.
    The Anthem may be over-kill in a system like this, but I plan on having it for a long time and will upgrade my other equipment around it.

    You would be most welcome to my humble home for a "demo", unless of course you turn out to be a murderer and would try to maime me and then, while I was in a heap on the floor wondering why everything went from red to black, try to make off with my Anthem, then I would have to think about it.
    Whether it would be worth your time... I don't know.

    By the way, where are you thinking of buying whatever you decide on? Does Astoria have a high-end electronics dealer?
    I only know of one dealer in Portland and they scare the dickens out of me.
     
  10. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Chris, does that dealer in Portland happen to be Fred's Sound of Music? He is a dealer in Portland that sells the Anthem. I don't really like dealers all that much and prefer ordering on the internet. However, if it turns out that getting the updated AVM-20 at a dealer is the same price as the internet prices out there, I will go to a dealer. Might as well. I love how we have NO SALES TAX in Oregon. That rocks!!!

    As far as the Rockets go, they are a mail order business. They are actaully located in Louisville CO near where I grew up. They are developing a HUGE following. They seem to be converting alot of nOrh owners as well. You actually have to go on a waiting list to buy the speakers because they cant keep up with demand. I am going to check tomorrow and probably put my name down. They have a complete money back garauntee if you don't like them. I am sure they will do just fine for me. And they are a helluva deal, so it seems.

    PS. No, I dont want to kill you........maybe [​IMG]

    Its actually kewl that you have the Paradigms. One of the main reviews for Rocket Loudspeakers were a head to head with Paradigms. The reviewer prefered the Rockets hands down. So, I'd like to take a listen to yours.
     
  11. James R. Geib

    James R. Geib Stunt Coordinator

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    I too am an AVM20 owner, but I would have loved it if the Anthem AVM20 looked more like the Aragon Stage One! What a work of art, as far as aesthetics. Had the Aragon come out before I made my purchase, it may have been an Aragon decoding the DVD's in my H/T.

    Still, you can't beat the AVM20's feature set versus price, and good customer service is a valuable and rare commodity!
     
  12. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Ted, are you refering to the DVI-HDCP connections on the newer TV's?

    Yikes, I dont think AVM has room for one of those. I'd assume you'd have to buy a whole new model since its a hardware upgrade. However, I dont see that I would need switching with that type of connection. I am sure I would only have one HD DVD player for quite some time. Taking video right from the DVD player to the TV without going through the preamp shouldnt be a big deal, IMO.
     
  14. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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  15. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    Adam,
    I'm sure the Rockets are a good speaker. I have heard good things about them.

    Yes, Fred's is the dealer I'm talking about. They are a very interesting bunch and I dread dealing with them. The problem is they carry all the brands I'm interested in. I will not do any bashing here, but I will tell you they do not deal. I have spent at least $5000.00 with them and I have given them at least another $5000.00 in business to them by recommending my friends to them and they could care less. They are a "if you have to ask you can't afford it" store. They do not "take care of you" so to speak.
    And unfortunately I know Anthem is not "on-line" and if it is, it is definitely unauthorized. You definitely don't want that with a product like this.
    I know on the Fred's web site they say they have the old version for like $2899.00, get it upgraded for $300.00 and you'll still be a couple of hundred below the new ones.
    The only thing is, I did that and they promised me it was new in the box and so I went to get it and the Anthem reps were there so I got to pick their brains about it and then they were boxing it up and I noticed they had to "find" the power cord and I said, "I thought I was getting a new one" and they said, "well it's the floor model". They didn't have it new. (even though on two different days I was told by two different reps who put me on hold to check that they did) They still charged me the new price even though it sat on their floor powered on for a year. The web site said new also. I didn't wanna cause a stink with them because the Anthem guys were there an all, but I should of because I think that is really crappy business especially for a return customer. I guess I don't have much of a back bone so it's probably my fault.
    They are however courteous and know their stuff.
     
  16. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    i had a "snooty salesman" experience at Fred's years ago. I was shopping for a 2ch amp and he gave me the feeling that i was completely wasting his time, right down to rolling his eyes several times. granted, i was in my early 20's, but i'm sure i didn't ask that many stupid questions.[​IMG]
    i haven't been back in almost 20 years.
     
  17. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    I just called Fred's. I got a nice guy on the phone to quote me the price of a new Anthem WVM-20 V2.0. The price is $3400. He said they do have an out of the box model of the v.1 that used used in a demo room like one time. Its a silver and he said very mint. That one is $2500 plus then the $300 to upgrade. Damn... decisions decisions.


    I wonder how long they will have that unit availible. I am gonna try and get the money for it in 2 weeks. We shall see. I have the amp covered, we will see if I can raise the AVM money fast.
     
  18. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    Gee, I wonder why they charged me $400.00 more than what you're paying even when they told me I was getting a new one?
     
  19. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    I think its all a luck of the draw sometimes when you deal with businesses. One guy can have a great experience, the guy right after him can feel like torching the place down. Its like drawing straws. The guy on the phone was really nice, I could go in and have a really bad experience.

    I think I will play it out like this, the next $3500 I raise from selling stuff off, I will check to see if that AVM is still availible, if it isn't, I will get the speakers first, then the AVM.... other wise, I will get the discounted AVM, and then come up with the rest for the Rockets. I want those Rockets in my house RIGHT NOW!

    I commited to a salesman for the Aragon 2007. Otherwise I'd get the Anthem next week.
     
  20. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    hey Adam, you could always put a small deposit down on the AVM for them to hold it for you, that way it won't get sold before you come up with all the cash.
    just an idea...
     

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