Experience with the Anthem PVA series?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rich X, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. Rich X

    Rich X Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm looking for a 5-channel amp to pair up with a used Anthem AVM2 that I'm going to buy from a friend. I like the MCA5 but would rather spend a little less.

    I was thinking of buying a reciever for this system in the $2000 range, but thought that since I could get good deal on the AVM2 ($1000) I could pair it with a decent amp and have a better sounding system for the same price. I can get the PVA 5 from a local dealer for around $900.

    Has any one tried any of the PVA series amps? Other suggestions to demo in this price range?
     
  2. Bob Wilson

    Bob Wilson Agent

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    I have a PVA 7. It is very very quiet. They claim 122 db noise level which may be difficult to measure. I can only say that it is dead silent. I think the MCA versus PVA issue probably depends on what speakers you are driving. The MCA is likely better on very difficult to drive and how much power you need. My Thiels aren't the most efficient speakers in the world (or the easiest to drive)but I can get to very loud levels with no audible signs from the amp that it is having problems. The sound is very clean.
     
  3. Rich X

    Rich X Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm probably going to put smaller, moderately efficient speakers on this system--B&W 600 series LCR or Totem Acoutstics. Bass will be handled by a powered sub.

    The PVA has gotten good reviews, but I'm glad to hear from someone who has tried one. What pre-pro are you using with it?
     
  4. Mark Dubeau

    Mark Dubeau Stunt Coordinator

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    I am using the AVM-20 with the PVA7 and it's great. No lack of power.
     
  5. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    What are the differences between the two lines?
     
  6. Rich X

    Rich X Stunt Coordinator

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    From what I can tell the main difference is the number of transformers. The PVA's have one and the MCA's have two. This gives the MCA higher power output and better dynamics. However, if you are only trying to drive smaller more effiecient speakers, it seems to me that the PVA should work fine.

    Anthem also has a new series of MCA's out now the 20, 30, and 50. These also have two transformers, but they are larger and anthem has also enlarged the heat sinks on these amps. They are rated at 225 RMS into 8ohms.
     
  7. David Olstein

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    Another difference is that the MCA amps have balanced inputs and the PVA amps do not.

    In addition, there is no 7 channel MCA amp.
     
  8. Doug_Fr

    Doug_Fr Extra

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    When I asked Anthem (via email) whether they recommended the PVA or the MCA with my AVM20 and Paradigm SA-35 speakers, they were amazingly honest and said the PVA was a great piece but if you cranked up the Led Zeppelin it would run out of steam. I took that to mean that if you like to rock, you need more power. I took their advice and got a Sherbourn 5/1500A for under $1200 -- it rocks.
     
  9. Rich X

    Rich X Stunt Coordinator

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    I have to admit that I know nothing about Sherbourn amps, though I have seen them favorably mentioned a lot on this site.

    Where can I get more info on them and run a dealer search?

    The Paradigm SA-35's that you are driving are in-walls right?
     
  10. Bob Wilson

    Bob Wilson Agent

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    I am using the PVA with the AVM 20. As I got both at the same time I can not comment on the overall sound of one without the other. The Totems are, if memory serves correctly nominally 4 ohm speakers. From the reviews they are not the easiest speaker to drive but certainly easier than my Thiels. A friend of mine has the Mani 2s and drives them very comfortably with a Bryston 120 per side amp. This is pretty much the same as the PVA with 1 channel driven. I think in a home theatre set up with 7 speakers plus a sub you will find the PVA more than enough power without having to go to an MCA or any other amp with humongous power.

    You must also take into account the actual power that can come out of the circuit. At full output into 8 ohms the MCA 50 draws 1800 watts and the MCA 20 draws 800. Into 4 ohms they would need to pull more to get to full output. However a 15 amp circuit has only 1800 watts to start with (if the voltage is at a full 120 less if your voltage is actually 110 or lower). As a result you are not likely to be able to get a 200 times 7 amp that will truly deliver the power that you paid for. In my room the TV, and the amps are on different circuits but the amp and the subwoofer are on the same circuit so there is no way I could really get 200+ per channel continuously, all driven unless I rewired the house.
     
  11. Mark Dubeau

    Mark Dubeau Stunt Coordinator

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    I use my PVA7 to power Paradigm Studio 100's, SA-35 Inwalls for my rears, and a Studio CC

    .. and I gotta tell ya.. Running 6-channel DVD-Audio Metallica makes my ears bleed. No extra power necessary.
     
  12. Steve K.H.

    Steve K.H. Supporting Actor

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    I'm tossing around the idea of a used MCA 5 or a PVA 7 myself. The MCA has greater power, but the PVA sets up well for 6.1/7.1... (where I'm headed)... Of course I can use the internal amplication of the AVR 520 to power the surrounds, and bi amp the mains (5th channel for the center)

    Anyone got a coin to toss?
     
  13. Bob Wilson

    Bob Wilson Agent

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    Steve, the difference between teh MCA and the PVA is in reality only 3db. I think the MCA series may be getting into the diminishing returns area. Also to really get the extra power into 5 channels or 7 if you use another amp for the rear channels you need to consider your power supply (ie the electrical service to the unit). The MCA at full tilt draws 15 amps out of your wall and that is all you have in a normal circuit. Reviewers tend to use 20 amp circuits for testing so they can hear the difference. I used to own a Bryston 4B back when I had a pair of Dahlquist DQ10s (those puppies really ate power) but I find that outside of speakers like those that 200 plus watts per channel is simply overkill unless you want to become deaf.
     
  14. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    The PVA7 has been reviewed over at Secrets pretty favorably. For the price I guess its hard to beat, but I suspect it would fall short of the Sherbourn if compared. In fact, IMHO from what I've read/heard the Sherbourn would outperform the MCA5 or MCA50 too.
     

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