Opinions: Anthem AVM2

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MarkFrab, Aug 1, 2001.

  1. MarkFrab

    MarkFrab Agent

    Feb 10, 2000
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    Hi all,
    Considering this unit - can get a floor model for $2300.
    Do you have it/what did you pay/how's the sound/any problems/etc...
    Anyone know of a better unit for the price?
    [email protected]
  2. Vishwa Somayaji

    Vishwa Somayaji Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 10, 2001
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    A few points in reference to AVM2. It is a very nice unit. Lots of features such as multi zone, centre channel eq. etc.. lot of digital and analog inputs. Considered by many as sonically excellent. Downside, however, is that it is strictly 5.1 with no possibility of any hardware upgrade, no DPLII planned as of right now. I do not own it but have auditioned it. Watched gladiator a couple of times. The company even provides a .ccf file for pronto. $2300 for a display model is probably OK but definitely not a great deal. That is almost the deal you should get for a new piece. If you already do not know, they have announced the AVM 20 which will ship in September. In my opinion, it is not something to jump at but if you really like the unit then it is a fair price.
  3. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

    Jul 31, 1997
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    Although I not currently an owner, I lived with an AVM-2 in my home system for a week (feeding a BEL 1001 Mk V power amp driving Magnepan MG 3.6s), auditioning a wide range of familiar material on both CD and DVD. While at first it seemed to have an "exciting" sound, I was appalled to discover that it was on music that the unit sounded the worst -- it was harsh on loud passages and had such clinically exaggerated, “autopsy-like” detail ("grainy" in the extreme) and bizarre, shifting sound stage, that the cohesiveness of the music was lost. Very fatiguing to listen to after only an hour or less, an experience I endured each of several evenings. Not at all what I expected of a processor from a division of Sonic Frontiers! Soundtracks sounded better, but...
    ...the unit also had several operational anomalies including switching itself during movies from Dolby Digital to Stereo with no way to switch it back, short of turning off the unit for a while and letting it "reset" itself. In addition, the Anthem lacks its own internal AC-3 RF decoder, so to do Dolby Digital with laser disc, you have to have an external unit. The Anthem refused to accept input from my Lexicon AC-3 RF decoder, which has worked perfectly with several other pre/pros. Add to that a total lack of response from Anthem from my direct inquiries to their "Customer Service" and no real help from them via the dealer (Anthem basically told the dealer "our unit is supposed to work with external decoders -- it must be a problem with the other unit"), so I gave up on them and their product.
    In the same general price range, I’d suggest the B&K Ref 30. That’s not what I ended up with, but I had to up my investment substantially beyond your stated price range to get what I really wanted in a pre/pro. The B&K Ref 30 is a fine unit but still lacks a few features that I finally decided I really wanted and was willing to pay more for, such as built-in phono stage and Dolby Digital AC-3 RF input as well as accepting the input from my external decoding unit so I can easily use both my LD players, easily switchable “direct” mode for all analog inputs, “killer” DACs comparable to, or better than, highly regarded external DACs which would have added to the price of the B&K – or the Anthem, had I held on to it.. (I’d consider the external DACs a nice upgrade option for the B&K, but an absolute necessity for the Anthem.)
    But if those features are of less importance to you, the B&K Ref 30 would be hard to beat in its price range (list is about $2,800, but a 20% discount would get you below the "sale" price of the far inferior AVM-2). BTW -- if I had kept the Anthem, I would have ended up paying less than the price you have been quoted for it -- including our 8.25% sales tax.
    You might want to check out this review of the B&K Ref 30: http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...r-12-2000.html
    Hope this helps a little.
    [Edited last by Burke Strickland on August 01, 2001 at 10:28 PM]

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