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Anthem AVM 70 - Initial Impressions (1 Viewer)

John Dirk

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The discussion in this thread began to veer from its original topic of projectors towards the AVM70 I ordered and have finally received, so I thought I'd start a new thread to discuss my initial impressions.

I ordered my AVM70 8K from Audio Advice and should have received it this past Sunday. Thanks to Fedex, it arrived today instead, but I digress. Anyone interested in this Pre/Pro should act fast as the current US sale price of $3399.00 may not be around much longer and supplies are limited.

This being my first foray into the Anthem world, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I'd seen @Dave Upton 's AVM60 a couple of years ago so I expected I'd be generally pleased, especially coming from a rather long in the tooth Marantz AV7702mkii. Here is what I've experienced thus far.

I transitioned my HT components from behind my AT screen to a separate rack a couple months back. This greatly simplified the physical installation of the AVM70. I wish I'd done this a long time ago as do my back and knees. The AVM70 is a clean, streamlined piece of kit. Gone are the plethora of legacy connections you find on some other contemporary gear. This one is unashamedly modern. I found this quite refreshing but those needing optical connections and such will have to look elsewhere.

While the physical installation of the Anthem was a breeze, the setup and configuration required quite a deal more patience. As I'd noticed last year when I first viewed the spec sheet for the AVM70 on Anthem's web site, they are not particularly verbose where documentation is concerned. The first thing I attempted to do was run ACR Genesis but I was greeted with an error message informing me a firmware upgrade would be required before I could proceed. Searching through the equally sparse web manual offered no detailed instructions on how to go about accomplishing this so I turned to our old friend, You Tube and still came up empty. I was able to initiate the firmware update from the front panel except it never actually completed. According to the documentation provided by Anthem, turning on "automatic updates" in the menus would force the update the next time the device power cycled. This also did not appear to work. In fact, the only way I finally did succeed was through the browser-based menu system. After this the update took about 20 minutes to complete and I was finally able to run ARC Genesis.

Coming from the Audyssey camp, I wasn't really ready for the power of ARC Genesis. The best way I can describe it is, it appears they designed a room correction system around the very popular Room EQ Wizard software. Those familiar with this amazing tool should have no trouble with ARC Genesis. Instead of making mostly obscured adjustments and allowing the user little to no control over them, ARC shows you exactly what it is doing to your system and allows you to compare before and after curves along with their own target curve. It's exactly what a true enthusiast would expect.

I only had time to complete a single session with ARC Genesis, which now includes independent phase and time alignment of two subs but the difference was pronounced and easily discerned. My first thought upon playing a few of my favorite musical selections was "are the subs engaged?" My Legacy Focus SE's can go plenty deep so I had to check. Turns out they were indeed but are now so well integrated as to not call attention to themselves. I boosted the bass a bit and sure enough, they came to life.

I haven't yet had time to sample any film content aside from a brief spin up of the original [and best, IMO] Marvel title, "Thor." The channel separation and dynamics I heard in the brief session I took in was nothing short of breathtaking. I can't wait to dig a little deeper into my film and music collections.

I don't know whether or not I'm the first here to own the AVM70 but I'll be commenting here as I continue to explore it.

Here are a few pics.
ARC Corrections 2.jpg
ARC Phase Adjustments 5.jpg
AVM70 Closeup.jpg
 
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JohnRice

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Did Audio Advice include any materials of their own for the AVM 70?
 

JohnRice

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Also, a major selling point of the Anthem units seems to be the browser interface. What is your impression of it?
 

John Dirk

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Did Audio Advice include any materials of their own for the AVM 70?
They did not. This came as a surprise to me as well. Perhaps only certain items get their special tips and setup instructions?
Also, a major selling point of the Anthem units seems to be the browser interface. What is your impression of it?
I can definitely see why. I use a tablet to control my entire HT so I thought the Anthem remote app would be all I needed but it crashed repeatedly to the point of being essentially useless. I'll have to spend a little more time with it to see if it's something that can be fixed. Given the apps unreliability, I switched to the web interface. That's where the really granular options are available and I had no trouble at all using it.

The 70 sounds awesome so far. I can only imagine what the 90 must bring to the table.
 

Edwin-S

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Web-based browser set up is a negative in my book, even though it is convenient compared to set up through a physical interface on the equipment itself.
 

Edwin-S

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The 70 sounds awesome so far. I can only imagine what the 90 must bring to the table.

I watched a video comparing the two units. The biggest difference appeared to be "better" DACs and four independent subwoofer channels on the AVM90 compared to two on the 70.
 

John Dirk

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Web-based browser set up is a negative in my book, even though it is convenient compared to set up through a physical interface on the equipment itself.
Why? Not criticizing, just asking. I thought I'd have the same opinion as one thing Denon/Marantz products get right in my view is the GUI and menu system. The AVM 70's GUI/menus will definitely take some getting used to so I'll probably continue to favor the web interface. Having easy web access in my HT from both my Galaxy Tab S [which acts as my universal remote] and my HTPC may be the reason it's a non-issue to me.
I watched a video comparing the two units. The biggest difference appeared to be "better" DACs and four independent subwoofer channels on the AVM90 compared to two on the 70.
Right. Those are the major differences on paper. I'm anxious to hear someone's subjective listening experiences. The Marantz AV7702 mkii mine replaced was circa 2015 technology so I had no doubt I'd be fine with the 70.
 
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JohnRice

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They did not. This came as a surprise to me as well. Perhaps only certain items get their special tips and setup instructions?
They say they do with the AVM 90, so I guess I incorrectly assumed that included the AVM 70.
 

JohnRice

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Right. Those are the major difference on paper. I'm anxious to hear someone's subjective listening experiences. The Marantz AV7702 mkii mine replaced was circa 2015 technology so I had no doubt I'd be fine with the 70.
Everything and everyone comments in the 90's superior handling of two channel music, and I suppose probably surround music. In the end, music really is my #1 priority, and I don't want to wonder how much better it could have been if I got a 70. If not for that, I'd go for the 70 in a second. Especially on sale.
 

John Dirk

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Everything and everyone comments in the 90's superior handling of two channel music, and I suppose probably surround music. In the end, music really is my #1 priority, and I don't want to wonder how much better it could have been if I got a 70. If not for that, I'd go for the 70 in a second. Especially on sale.
You're making the right decision. Again, coming from the Marantz world, I think you'd be happy with the 70 but why entertain doubt when you don't have to. It's the exact same logic I used when deciding on the JVC NZ7 over the MUCH cheaper and smaller [34 vs 49.5 pound] Epson LS12000.
 

JohnRice

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You're making the right decision. Again, coming from the Marantz world, I think you'd be happy with the 70 but why entertain doubt when you don't have to. It's the exact same logic I used when deciding on the JVC NZ7 over the MUCH cheaper and smaller [34 vs 49.5 pound] Epson LS12000.
Actually, I don't use the Marantz for music. I have an entirely different, Emotiva based set of equipment for that, including a DAC and pure analog preamp that is designed to integrate into a separates based surround system. So, the AVM 90 would actually replace three components.
 

John Dirk

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They say they do with the AVM 90, so I guess I incorrectly assumed that included the AVM 70.
You can actually download it today.

 

JohnRice

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You can actually download it today.

That says it applies to all the Anthem receivers and processors.
 

John Dirk

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That says it applies to all the Anthem receivers and processors.
Right. I just reviewed it. There's really nothing special for experienced users such as yourself. One thing they don't mention that you will definitely have to deal with is the firmware update, so you may want to review my initial comments when the time comes.
 

JohnRice

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Right. I just reviewed it. There's really nothing special for experienced users such as yourself. One thing they don't mention that you will definitely have to deal with is the firmware update, so you may want to review my initial comments when the time comes.
Once you tried the browser interface, it worked OK?
 

Robert Crawford

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John, congrats on the new purchase! Because of this thread, I just bought the Anthem 1140 receiver as a replacement for my Yamaha 3080 3060 receiver. Like the Yamaha, it's replacing, I will only have the receiver power up my four Atmos speakers and will use my Outlaw amp to power up the rest of my 7.2.4 setup. TBH, I wanted to buy an Anthem for several years and I finally did it. :D
 

John Dirk

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Once you tried the browser interface, it worked OK?
Yes. With the processor and me now in separate rooms it took me a few tries to realize it wasn't working through the GUI/menu system. When I initiated the update through the front panel it appeared to go through the motions but finished within seconds, so clearly no real update had occurred.

From what I could surmise, only the web interface actually locates the appropriate file(s) for the latest firmware. Initiating the update from the AVM70's front panel never did.
 

John Dirk

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John, congrats on the new purchase! Because of this thread, I just bought the Anthem 1140 receiver as a replacement for my Yamaha 3080 receiver. Like the Yamaha, it's replacing, I will only have the receiver power up my four Atmos speakers and will use my Outlaw amp to power up the rest of my 7.2.4 setup. TBH, I wanted to buy an Anthem for several years and I finally did it. :D
Congrats, Robert! I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Just be patient with the initial setup.
 

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