Sunfire or Anthem Amps crap???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by scott cerv, Jul 25, 2002.

  1. scott cerv

    scott cerv Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm looking into getting either the Theater Grand III or Anthem AVM-20 and wondering about the respective amps??? THey seem to be rather cheap compared to others and I'm wondering why. I'm mainly 75-80% 2 channel, but the soon to be wife would kill me if we didn't have a killer HT system. I'll be running eith Diva 6.1 or the Rockets. I'm looking for sonic char. of each. For the 2 channel I'm looking into Sonic Frontiers tube DAC to run the CD player and DAT machine through. What do you experts think??? Any other suggestions for amps? How does the Sunfire perform as HT and 2 channel. I've only heard good things about Anthem
    SC
     
  2. Andrew_Ballew

    Andrew_Ballew Second Unit

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    I certainly would not describe either of these pre-amps as "crap." Find a place where you can listen to both for yourself and decide.


    Cheers

    Andrew B.
     
  3. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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  4. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    A wife that would kill ya if you DIDN'T have a killer HT? Most of us here would get killed if we HAD a killer HT. You lucky dog[​IMG]
    I never liked the sunfire (digital switching) amps. You have to really crank them to get their full flavor out. So if you like to listen to soft music then look elsewhere. Also sunfire is good enough for HT but not as smooth sounding for music IMHO. But a lot depends on what speakers you have, room acoustics etc.
    Anthem IMHO is better than sunfire in music and also slightly better in HT. Is has a more livelier, forward presentation. If you like warm laidback sound then look at some of the Mosfet offerings from B&K, or Parasound, or Rotel.
    All these amps are good choices and should keep you happy for a long time. Best of luck in your search for the killer HT.
    Keep us posted on your choices.
     
  5. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    Or maybe he means that if he was gonna spend all that money and not have a killer HT she would kill him. [​IMG]
    I don't know much about amps but I don't think they can be crappy.
    Edit: I'm assuming you're referring to amps of the same brand?
     
  6. Andrew_Ballew

    Andrew_Ballew Second Unit

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    Take note everyone- the Theater Grand III and the AVM-20 are not AMPS, they are pre-amp/processors.

    Cheers

    Andrew B.
     
  7. Al B. C

    Al B. C Supporting Actor

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    I love my Sunfire TGII and Cinema Grand system.
    I just wish that I would have stepped up to the plate and got the signature amp. I don't know if I would notice a lot of difference but the opportunity to have a wife agree with you on spending money on audio equipment only comes around once every 20 years or so and ya just got to make the best out of it! [​IMG]
     
  8. Pat

    Pat Agent

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    Andrew, read the entire first sentence again
     
  9. Marc_E

    Marc_E Supporting Actor

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    I am not experienced with either amp. Feedback I have read about the sunfire are that they are not built like their price would suggest. The Anthem people I have read about that comment on it directly are kind of luke warm about it. I have heard raves about the sherbourn 5/1500A (5 monoblocks) @ $2k msrp can be had for ~1500. Rotel RMB-1095 also is raved about (also $2k had for ~1700). Both amps are reviewed at www.hometheaterhifi.com . I would also recommend going with (if you only want 5.1 not 6.1/7.1) two amps: a great 2 channel (mains for the 2ch listening) and then a 3 ch like anthem MC-3. Push more money towards the 2ch.
    Marc
     
  10. PaulXH

    PaulXH Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Anthem MCA-50. Its their new five channel amp. I love it. Sounds alot like the Rotel 1095. I have also heard the sunfire 425X5 amp. I thought that it was warmer than the Anthem, but for almost twice the money. Either amp I think would work for you, so it really comes down to which pre/pro you pick. Good luck.


    Paul
     
  11. Mike Loiterman

    Mike Loiterman Stunt Coordinator

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    I've got the Sunfire 5 channel amp and it has NEVER disappointed.
     
  12. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    The Sunfire Cinema Grand is one of only a few amps that can deliver more than full rated power into all 5 channnels simultaneously. Not only that, it will outpower virtually any comparably priced amp into 4 ohm loads. All the while hardly getting warm. The switching technology is the reason why.

    If you are looking for serious power, the Cinema Grand is a winner. The Signature model is overkill for most people, and is much more expensive.

    Try to get a demo of the Cinema Grand.

    As far as I know, Anthem uses traditional technology and will not come close to the Sunfire in power output.

    Artie
     
  13. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    Sunfire and Anthem amps are not "crap," but there are better amps out there.
     
  14. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    The Anthem amp sonic footprint is total neutrality. It won't sound warm or bright. However, if you have forward type speakers (B&W, Paradigm, etc.) the top end on some recordings may sound a bit hot. However, going with Rockets or Diva's (speakers known to have a softer top end), should mate perfectly with the Anthem MCA 50/30/20 series and you can still find the 5/3/2 series used on Audiogon which now represent great value.

    The Anthem amps are tremendous values for HT...lots of headroom and great punch and dynamics. They don't quite have the same effect for music IMO, but my opinion might change if I bought a more laid back speaker, which I'm not about to do because I love the detail for movies and am willing to sacrifice a bit for a more well rounded HT experience (50/50 Music/Movies).
     
  15. Andrew_Ballew

    Andrew_Ballew Second Unit

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  16. scott cerv

    scott cerv Stunt Coordinator

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    I thank all for your comments. I wasn't saying they were crap, but the reviews are not so hot. I think I'll look into the SHerbourn and Anthem amps as I don't want every comp. I own to be laid back. If the Anthem is neutral that would be great. My listening of music will be going through a tube DAC at some point to "warm" it up a little. I'm sure someday I'll have a tube pre anyhow.
    Thanks,
    SC
     
  17. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    IMO B&K, Parasound, Rotel are a step up from Anthem. They have more warmth, midrange bloom and slam compared to the Anthem. Is there a reason why you are not considering other similarly priced amps. I have not heard a Sherbourn or an Odyssey stratos but have heard nothing but rave reviews about them. I think you would be happy with any of the above choices.
     
  18. scott cerv

    scott cerv Stunt Coordinator

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    I am looking at those, but the Rotel is $2K and I've heard the B&K to not be so great with 2 channel.
    SC
     
  19. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Actually the B&K sounded the best in two channel of all the amps mentioned above due to its MOSFET devices that have a tubey sound. It also depends mostly on the type of speakers you have them hooked to. If you have Klipschs or Paradigms then there is no beating the B&K in terms of its musicality. With more neutral speakers you can go with either Parasound or the Rotel (B&K would still be my choice). With warmer speakers you can go with Anthem, ATI or the Outlaw. If you haven't listened to a B&K then I think you should give them an audition. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
     

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