Anthem AVM20-get off the $$$

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Wilkins, May 18, 2002.

  1. Bill Wilkins

    Bill Wilkins Agent

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    As time goes by with my AVM20 I find myself liking it more and more. The bottom line is, if you want a great pre/pro, you need not look any further than the AVM20.
     
  2. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    What if someone wants Logic7? [​IMG]
     
  3. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    "What if someone wants Logic7?"
    Then you will either have to (a) sacrifice 2 channel sound quality, analog bypass modes, component video switching, balanced inputs and outputs, and future upgradability with the MC-1, or (b) pay $6000-$7000 more for the MC-12 to get it all. [​IMG]
    IMHO.
    Michael
     
  4. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    Bill,

    Are you still on the Outlaw 950 waiting list? I was wondering if you plan on comparing the 950 to the AVM-20 as a reference point? Or has it become a "why bother" scenario?

    Michael
     
  5. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    OK, Bill. Talk me into it. I've been considering the AVM-20 but can't seem to make up my mind. What is it about this unit that has you so smitten?
     
  6. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    A comparison of the 950 and the Anthem has been done in this thread if you are interested.
     
  7. Jeff Keene

    Jeff Keene Supporting Actor

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    God I love my AVM-20, too.

    It sounds SO good, whether I go direct to the analog inputs with DVD-Audio or through the digital in with CD. I'm hearing instruments, vocals and noises I've never heard before. Listening to "Since I've been Lovin' You" on Led Zeppelin 3, I heard the kick-drum pedal squeaking (this reminded me of Robert's review of the 950, when he heard the headphones of the singer)!

    And not only can I hear all these things, they just sound so darn nice. I notice it most with horns and violins. They sounded so harsh and nasty using my old Pioneer receiver as a pre/pro. I couldn't even listen to Miles Davis - Kind of Blue without serious ear-ringing. Now it sounds like a dream.

    Not to mention the features. It decodes everything, outputs to RCA or Balanced. 7-ch. Has full (and defeatable) bass management and time alignment for all analog inputs, including the 5.1 for DVD-A or SACD. It is fully upgradable (PLII and THX Ultra 2 support is on its way). It has support for 3 zones. It has all the coax digital inputs you could ever want.

    It has adjustible speaker levels for each type of presentation. This is great for me, since for movies (DD or DTS) I have enough people down here for two rows of seats, so I calibrated for the second row. I usually just listen music by myself or with my wife in the front row, so music (6-ch input) is optimized for the front row. If I want to change either one ON THE FLY, it takes 4 clicks.

    And it's shiny.
     
  8. Gail M

    Gail M Agent

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    Bill,

    Yes, the Anthem is one sexy piece. Sounds damn good too. Still, if you gotta spend $2500 to get good sound, then we would recommend that you buy an Outlaw 950($900) plus a Sony TA-P9000es($475), plus a Sony 555es MC SACD player($600), plus an Outlaw ICBM($299), plus a bunch of high quality interconnects from Outlaw to complete the cost.

    That combo is gonna give you a whole lot more sonic quality than just puttin out the money for the Anthem. And, you don't need to upgrade it to get DPL2.
     
  9. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    Outlaw-smoutlaw.
     
  10. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    "Still, if you gotta spend $2500 to get good sound, then we would recommend that you buy an Outlaw 950($900) plus a Sony TA-P9000es($475), plus a Sony 555es MC SACD player($600), plus an Outlaw ICBM($299), plus a bunch of high quality interconnects from Outlaw to complete the cost. "
    Even with all of this equipment, you still would not have:
    (1) Online software upgradability
    (2) Separate time alignment for the rear and side speakers
    (3) Seven digital coax inputs (instead of two)
    (4) Balanced preamp outputs (for both 2 channel and 7.1)
    (5) Balanced 2 channel analog input
    (6) Balanced 2 channel Zone 2 output
    (7) Balanced digital input
    (8) Separate triggers (three), selectable by source input and zone
    BTW, who is the we in "...we would recommend..."? [​IMG]
    Michael
     
  11. Gail M

    Gail M Agent

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  12. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    Here is the location of the last AVM-20 software upgrade:
    http://www.anthemAV.com/pages/software3.html
    The rest of my post merely pointed out that some HT owners might benefit from those AVM-20 features that were missing from setup you are proposing. Sometimes, simplicity has its advantages, in setup, ease of use, and in sound quality.
    Michael
     
  13. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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  14. Gail M

    Gail M Agent

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  15. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    RAF,

    "A comparison of the 950 and the Anthem has been done in this thread if you are interested."

    My curiosity about whether Bill will go ahead and receive his 950 has to do with the fact that he has "tunable" system. From what I have read, setting up a component in a "tuned" system is not a trivial matter, so I wondered whether he was going to take the time to do so with his system, given the positive comments he made about the AVM-20 in his initial post.

    Michael
     
  16. Bill Wilkins

    Bill Wilkins Agent

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    Good Morning,

    I have never heard logic 7 before so I can't comment on it.

    From the following it has received I can imagine that it is great. At this point in time I have no reason to try it out as I am that happy with the AVM20's performance. Same thing goes for trying out the Outlaw 950.

    As Michael Mohrmann pointed out I have a Michael Green Designs tunable system. This includes a tunable room, a full complement of PZC's, tunable racks, and tunable speakers. The tunable system is very revealing of what is going on in the room, the equipment, and the recordings. The tunable system is all about controlling sound pressure, resonances, and vibration in a manner that allows the purest form of musical reproduction I have ever listened to in my 25 years of experience. Unless you have experienced a tunable system in a tunable room you could not possibly relate to what I am hearing. For example, the tunable room and speakers allow me to experience surround sound in 2-channel stereo. I can walk to the front of the room, behind the speakers, and get a complete soundstage on the back wall.

    As I stated above, the tunable system reveals everything good and everything bad. What I love about the AVM20 is it's sound, neutrality without being sterile. I also enjoy it's versatility in being able to make on the fly sound level adjustments to the fronts, center, surrounds, rear surrounds, and sub(s).

    All equipment, heavy or light, is tunable to different degrees. A lighter piece, such as the 950, may be able to tune to a larger degree than the heavier AVM20. The AVM20 was good right out of the box and continues to get better as it has been breaking in 24/7. The AVM20 is the first processor I have used that doesn't add unwanted coloration.

    I am sure there are other processor's out there that would work in my system, but I have no desire to look any further.
     
  17. Jeffrey_S

    Jeffrey_S Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been very tempted by the AVM-20. IMO, there are some things that it seems to have going for it over the 950. The extra features that tempt me are:

    1. An AM tuner that I'm assuming has less of a static problem. If someone could confirm this, that would be great. I've been reading that the 950's AM tuner has alot of static associated with it.

    2. The Anthem is much more Pronto user friendly. They have a Pronto setup file on their site.

    3. Speaker trim functions are more accessible. It only takes a couple of button presses to adjust the sub level for example.

    4. The Anthem remembers mode settings individually. It is my understanding that the 950 only has one universal memory.

    5. You have better bass management with the AVM-20. You can specify subwoofer distance from listening position. You can set the x-over in 10Hz increments. Now granted the 950 has a tripple crossover and the Anthem does not. There are additional bass management features that the Anthem has that I'm not mentioning as well.

    6. There is a headphone jack. I think that the 950 is lacking one.

    7. The Anthem is an IR hub.

    8. And most importantly, to me, the Anthem is software and hardware upgradeable. A DPLII THX 2 hardware upgrade will be available this summer. Software upgrades, which are free if you do them yourself, are made available when needed. The AVM-20 has already had one which people seemed not to have a problem with. As I understand it, Outlaw will not offer upgrades for the 950.

    9. Another big factor here is the fact that the Anthem AVM-20 is available now. My dealer has at least one in stock (a silver one). The Outlaw 950, on the other hand, cannot be had for at least a month. Yes I'm on the reservation list and I'm basing this time estimate on the latest info. And as we all know, this one month estimate might actually be longer.

    Well as you can see, I've been thinking alot about the AVM-20 lately. If the Outlaw 950 was available today, I'd take it for a test drive and see if it fit my needs. At worst this would only cost the $50-$70 round trip shipping expense.

    To conclude, the only thing the Outlaw 950 has going for it, IMO, is DPLII now and the approximate $1700.00 savings over the AVM-20, and I agree that the money is a huge factor. Yes, there is the triple x-over that the 950 has but I've heard that a triple x-over may not do that much for you. The AVM-20 will have DPLII after the hardware upgrade this summer (yes for an additional $300). I'm still not sure what I'm going to do. Alot will depend on how well Outlaw keeps us informed and how quickly the 950 seems to be shipping.

    Jeff
     
  18. Dennis Oblow

    Dennis Oblow Stunt Coordinator

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    Dennis
    This is like comparing a Chevrolet to a Cadillac. Both of these pieces will take you where you want to go. One has all the bells and whistles, while the other does not. One also looks better than the other one too. America is a great country, we have plenty of choices. More Chevy's are sold than Caddy's do to cost. We make our own analysis, and based on our wants and needs make a choice that is good for us. Baskin Robbins would really be boring if it only had one flavor of ice cream.
     
  19. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    I compared the 950 to the AVM-20 and sonically I was surprised by how well the 950 performed in my limited test. With that being said, I only kept the 950 hooked up for about an hour and couldn't wait to swap it out with my AVM-20 after running my mini-test. I love the way this sounds, I do a lot of video switching with it and will do a lot more in the future. I do intend down the road to run multi-zone and I want the balanced connections.
    This is not a thread trying to knock the Outlaw, which is a very good piece, especially for the money, but the Anthem is marketing their piece to the owner that wants to create a single great sounding hub of their home theater that will remain in place for years to come. People complain that the Anthem doesn't have the DPLII upgrade. Well, for people like me who only run 5 speakers and think DPLII is a little overrated, I may NEVER get that upgrade and thankfully I have a choice as to whether the cost is something I want to add. I don't have that choice with the Outlaw.
    This is simply a thread for AVM-20 owners to gloat about how good their HT sounds now, not to knock any other products out there. And sound good it does. Slightly warm in the presentation but details galore without sounding analytical. Extremely musical in it's presentation and never fatiguing. This is a wonderful unit and I love it more and more every day.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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