Sunfire TG III vs Anthem AVM-20

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Aaron Cooke, Aug 11, 2002.

  1. Aaron Cooke

    Aaron Cooke Second Unit

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    Have there been any comparisons of these two pre-pros? I have been planning on getting the Anthem, but now it would seem that I can probably get the Sunfire slightly cheaper. And that's before the upgrade to the anthem. Is there anything the anthem can do that the Sunfire can't or any known problems with the sunfire?
     
  2. Frank Frandsen

    Frank Frandsen Stunt Coordinator

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    I have heard neither but I have heard alot of current Sunfire mark I and II owners complaining because Bob wants to charge them near list price to upgrade to the mark III. It appears Sunfire's units are non upgradeable and the company has no loyalty to current owners. Of the two I wouild go with Anthem.

    Frank
     
  3. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Frank,

    The upgrade price quoted is US$1795.

    The new retail price is US$3495.

    Help me out with the math please.

    Regards,
     
  4. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    That price is ridiculous IMO for the upgrade alone!
     
  5. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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  6. Chas_T

    Chas_T Supporting Actor

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    Doug is correct on the prices of the TGIII on Ebay. I've listened to both pre-pros at different locations and liked them both.

    I actually preferred the look of the Sunfire over the Anthem AVM-20. That point aside, I don't think you could wrong with either one purely from an output perspective. The Sunfire and the Anthem both did 2 channel and HT to my satisfaction in its price range.

    However, the item that concerned me was the long term future of Sunfire. There were and are to many rumblings of financial problems with this company so in the end, I decided to purchase the Anthem.

    I was able just like you Aaron to negotiate a better price on the TG III. That is/was something to consider too.

    However, there is a lot more feedback and stability it appears on the Anthem product. On one of the boards, I read something about a glitch in the software on LFE output. In fairness, I've read where Anthem had/has a problem with 7.1 output. However, that would not effect me because I have a 5.1 system.

    Due to a lack of available information on the Sunfire from end users it made the selection easier for me. I attempted to find information on the TG III and at that time, it was limited in scope due to not being in the marketplace as long as the Anthem. The majority of the time I base my buying decisions on feedback and a personal audition.

    It does not mean that the Sunfire is not a quality product because IT IS after listening to it for an hour or so.

    However, from my vantage point, I looked at current feedback on the boards, reviews online, talking personally with dealers and asking myself if Sunfire would still be in business in the future.

    That is the criteria I used and how I based my final decision. In the end, the Anthem is now in my home and I am happy I made this choice.
     
  7. Amir

    Amir Agent

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    I was also thinking about the Anthem but something was bothering me about the stereo sound. The music is much more important to me than HT. To be honest my denon 2800 as pre/pro with my parasound HCA 2250 will do fine, but for two channel I was not happy until I heard in the same store The Anthem with Anthem amp and a Conrad Johnson PV14L with Conrad Johnson amp. Even though the two units were in different sound treated rooms they used the same brand of speakers. There was no comparison in my mind. The Anthem sounded more like my Denon but the conrad Johnson had "life". I found what I was looking for and a lot less than Anthem (for my needs). If you value music more than HT and are not concerned with 5/6/7/11 .. speakers give the tubes a try, they sound is different. What is interesting is looking at specs the CJ harmonic distortion is .25% much higher than the Anthem and even lower cost pre/pro but as understand it is there is good distortion and bad distortion (like cholesterol!) the distortion in the tube gear is more even order harmonics which is what gives the music the "life". Give it try!

    Amir
     
  8. Dzung Pham

    Dzung Pham Second Unit

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    I owned a Sunfire TGI, and then a year and a half later upgraded to a TGII for $1k, which I thought was reasonable at the time. When I heard that that TGIII was coming out another year and a half later, I called Sunfire to see what the upgrade price would be. Although they wouldn't tell me anything definitive, I got the impression at that time that the pricing would be either a lot higher, or they wouldn't offer an upgrade at all. I promptly sold my TG2, and bought an Outlaw 950 and a Sony TA-P9000ES. I made about $400 from the deal and even though the components are less expensive, I believe that the new setup is an improvement over the TGII.

    IMO, the pre/pro market is in so much constant flux that I can't justify paying $3k for a unit. In a couple of years, I will likely need a new processor that supports a high bandwidth connection such as firewire. At that time, I think I will lose less money on the resale of a less expensive unit such as the 950 than on a $3k unit.

    Sorry about being a bit OT but I thought the above might help with your decision process.
     
  9. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Sunfire is a very small company, but I haven't heard of any financial difficulties they are having. Companies in trouble usually don't release alot of new products or offer upgrades to existing ones like Sunfire is doing.

    At any rate, it would be hard to go wrong with either unit, as others have said, but I must admit the Symphony chip in the TG III does pique my interest. I've spent a bit of time with the TG III for movies and music and I really like what I've heard so far compared to the TG II.

    Incidently, Sunfire is offering an upgrade for TG II owners at a price of $1699.

    DJ
     
  10. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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  11. PaulXH

    PaulXH Stunt Coordinator

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    I listened to both. As others have said both units are outstanding. However I ended up picking the Sunfire. I have been waiting for them to upgrade the Anthem since May (thats the first time I have read that an upgrade to the unit was coming out) and I given up. My Anthem dealer has no idea when the upgrade will be coming out. Nothing against Anthem but at that price I want the latest formats. The Sunfire IS upgradable. They send out a watermark CD that you play as it upgrades your system.I have had the Sunfire for about a month now and I LOVE IT!
     
  12. Marc_E

    Marc_E Supporting Actor

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    About the upgrade, don't forget that the chip has only been available for a short time. I just got off the phone with Anthem (a guy who's name I do not know but I recognize his voice from speaking with him before) said it will be another month. He said it is basically done and they are just testing it now. He said he was actually playing with it while we spoke (damn I am jealous!). 0He said the major problems were chip availability and then the chip did not work the way they expected it to.

    I also asked him about the additions to 1.16 firmware. He said there really aren't any. I just changed the way the microprocessor worked. No specific changes.

    Marc
     
  13. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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  14. Aaron Cooke

    Aaron Cooke Second Unit

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    For those who have heard both, is there much difference in 2 channel stereo quality? Surround modes are important to me as i am in the process of upgrading, but i am currently running a 5.1 system and my main reason for going with Anthem or Sunfire vs Rotel/Outlaw is the improved quality for 2 channel listening. Will the new upgrade for the Anthem affect sound quality at all or is it purely adding additional processing modes?
     

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