Anthem MRX 700 review?

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Hi,

A new member from Canada :) . I was wondering if there are plans to review Anthem MRX 700 receiver - I am currently thorn between MRX and Arcam AVR 400. In Canada MRX is the cheaper of the two (Arcam carries the premium that Anthem has in the UK). I have read WHF review of AVR 400 and since I have heard both, I am curious to hear your opinion.

Regards, Dejan
 

hunnyy

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Hi Dejan,

I own an Anthem MRX 700 and the sound quality is really superb.

Regarding a review of the MRX 700, until the eminent folk from this journal review it, there are plenty of reviews already conducted elsewhere - just Google.
 

hunnyy

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Can't really help you re. the other receivers, except to say that I had a demo of the Arcam AVR 400 and didn't think it sounded as good as the Anthem.

As a point of (possible) interest, I recently changed my Monitor Audio GS20 speakers for Spendor A9s, left and right, plus matching Spendor centre speaker. Sound quality, which was already very good, has improved several leagues! Movies and music are magically good. These Spendor A9s are outstandingly good speakers, and seem to pair well with the Anthem.
 
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Anonymous

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That is true, and I read your own impressions on this forum. However, what I am looking for is where in the opinion of WHF staff MRX 700 stands compared to the likes of Arcam AVR400, Pioneer Elite SC-LX83, Denon AVR4311 etc. - you know, the other heavy hitters in its class. Being in Canada, the cards are heavily stacked in Anthem's favour (MRX 700 is $2000 vs $2500 that Arcam AVR400 wants) but knowing that UK public cares about music a lot (not only movies), I am curious to see how WHF will rank it.

One additional thing I am looking for is whether MRX700 whould be sufficient to drive a set of B&W 805s/HTM4S/ASW825/CM1 (I know, I could have had another pair for the rears but it seems such an overkill having 805s reproducing effects :). I am wondering if I should bother with a receiver and look at power amps for the B&Ws (or perhaps start with a receiver and add a three channel power amp for the front 805/HTM4S, leaving the receiver to power the rear CM1 pair).
 
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Anonymous

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I assume you have re-run ARC to account for the speaker change? I also assume you are running A9 full range since I don't see the subwoofer listed in your profile.
 

hunnyy

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Indeed, I have had my dealer re-calibrate the Anthem due to the new speakers.

I do have a subwoofer, an Epos (from a legacy system), which seems to blend well with my current system.
 
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Anonymous

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Hi there,

Before I bought my MRX700, I had a chance to compare it side by side with Arcam AVR400, 500, 600, Denons, Rotels and couple of other receivers at home.

Conclusions??
There is no better sounding AVR below £4K on the market! Simple as that.

It has some cons (lack of multichannel analogue inputs - which is a disgrace...) but the sound quality is outstanding.

I have a similar set up as yours (B&W 803's/805's/HTM/ASW1000) and can say that the MRX700 can handle it easily.

Hope this helps.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks, smgl. I am surprised that you find that MRX 700 tops Arcam AVR600, considering how much more expensive it is (in Canada, it is ridiculous - $6000 vs $2100 CND). I am also encouraged with your driving of B&W 803s with it - surely my 805s will be easier to drive.

I have noticed one thing in your profile though. You list Rega DAC as part of your system, but MRX receivers don't really have pure direct analogue inputs - all inputs are digitised if they are not digital to begin with. That kind of defeats the purpose of an external DAC. Anthem will put it through the A/D converter again (for ARC, bass management etc.). Going digital in (either using HDMI or SPDIF) cuts on one D/A and one A/D stage. Incidentally, that is why there are no multi-channel inputs (apart from the cost of 7.1 A/D chip - MRX only has a stereo A/D). Going in via analog multi-channel inputs would not improve things over digital. Purists like to run analog outs from their SACD-capable machines (such as Oppo 95) into pure direct multi-channel inputs of AVRs but Anthem does not want that.

To their defence (based on discussions on US and CND fora) they claim that ARC works in digital domain and the effect of ARC is much more dramatic than the difference from going digital and analog in. They say that while there is a 'pure direct' on their upscale pre/pros such as AVM 50V or Statement D2V, feedback from customers is that they much prefer going digital and taking advantage of ARC than going pure direct and forgoing ARC.
 

CnoEvil

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smgl said:
Hi there,

Before I bought my MRX700, I had a chance to compare it side by side with Arcam AVR400, 500, 600, Denons, Rotels and couple of other receivers at home.

Conclusions??
There is no better sounding AVR below £4K on the market! Simple as that.

It has some cons (lack of multichannel analogue inputs - which is a disgrace...) but the sound quality is outstanding.

I have a similar set up as yours (B&W 803's/805's/HTM/ASW1000) and can say that the MRX700 can handle it easily.

Hope this helps.

Great speaker cables; though I might challenge your assertion that the MRX700 is the best amp under £4k.....well I would, as I have the AVR600. ;)

SMGL, very nice kit you have there.....and welcome to the party.

Cno
 
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Anonymous

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AVR600 is definitely comparable in regards of the sound quality but, the price difference is... well… ridiculous - as you said.
I do not personally use ARC for music as I found the sound to be far more engaging without it. And it’s not only my opinion. With movies on the other hand, ARC’s effect is simply gorgeous.
In regards of the DAC and its usability with this set up – I can only believe in what I hear. The difference is (again – not only for me) quite obvious ;) .
 

CnoEvil

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smgl said:
AVR600 is definitely comparable in regards of the sound quality but, the price difference is... well… ridiculous - as you said.
I do not personally use ARC for music as I found the sound to be far more engaging without it. And it’s not only my opinion. With movies on the other hand, ARC’s effect is simply gorgeous.
In regards of the DAC and its usability with this set up – I can only believe in what I hear. The difference is (again – not only for me) quite obvious ;) .

It's great to have people on here with as big a variety of kit as possible....it all adds to the mix.

BTW what other speaker cables (if any) did you compare the Telurium Q Black against. It's not used a lot on here and imo deserves greater recognition.

Sorry to OP for slight diversion.
 
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Anonymous

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It's just a matter of personal taste, nothing more ;)

in regards of the cables - I have just changed them couple of weeks ago and can't really find an appropriate word in my vocabulary to describe their impact on the set up I have and my own perception of sound :)
Guys from my local AV shop gave me one day TQ Blues to check - I found them great. Then said that I should not try the Blacks because it's dangerous :? So I tried... and fell in love. That's it ;)
Also, I need to add that there are good couple of meters from my amp to the speakers and I am not easily impressed person ;)
 

CnoEvil

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smgl said:
It's just a matter of personal taste, nothing more ;)

in regards of the cables - I have just changed them couple of weeks ago and can't really find an appropriate word in my vocabulary to describe their impact on the set up I have and my own perception of sound :)
Guys from my local AV shop gave me one day TQ Blues to check - I found them great. Then said that I should not try the Blacks because it's dangerous :? So I tried... and fell in love. That's it ;)
Also, I need to add that there are good couple of meters from my amp to the speakers and I am not easily impressed person ;)

IMO. It is more than just a matter of personal taste, as it brings a greater variety of products to the attention of the members, which is always a good thing.

I'm glad you are enjoying your system

Cno
 
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Anonymous

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smgl said:
I do not personally use ARC for music as I found the sound to be far more engaging without it. And it’s not only my opinion. With movies on the other hand, ARC’s effect is simply gorgeous.

Can you explain this a bit? There are opinions on the long running AVS forum thread that ARC should be kept on all the time because it does wonders for music too (particularly if your room is not ideal, or you are using a subwoofer and want a clean transition to the main speakers). A few members disagree complaining about the lack of bass for music (not the movies though).

For me not using ARC would be a problem because I am still using the digital domain - cannot avoid their D/A, which means that I cannot use analog output on my Arcam FMJ23T CD player (well, I can but it will be A/Ded then D/Aed again by MRX). My plan was to go SPDIF in and allow ARC to do its thing, so you not using it for music is giving me a pause.

hunnyy, how about you? Are you using ARC for music?
 

hunnyy

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Hi dglozic,

Yes, I use ARC for music as well. I find music more engaging with ARC than without it.

By the way, I also have Tellurium Q Black speaker cable, (which replaced Chord Odyssey). It seems to let the music flow, naturally and with more detail, than other cables I've tried. A dealer let me have a set (left, right and centre) on home demo for a week and after that, although expensive, I felt I had to place my order!
 
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Anonymous

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In the matter of sound and picture I just trust my senses.
If the particular set up sounds right for me - I go for it, if not - I try another. For instance, I was delighted by the sound of my Arcam DV139 until I tried it with an rDAC...
 
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Anonymous

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smgl said:
In the matter of sound and picture I just trust my senses.
If the particular set up sounds right for me - I go for it, if not - I try another. For instance, I was delighted by the sound of my Arcam DV139 until I tried it with an rDAC...

Well, in that case rDAC uses a new Wolfson D/C chip (WM8741) while DV139 uses the previous generation WM8740. That, coupled by possible changes in the output buffer, can explain your preference for rDAC.

In the case of Anthem, however, it is not possible to disengage its own D/A converter. That means that when you use external DAC and like it more, you like the contribution to the sound that external DAC+Anthem A/D converter are providing over the straight SPDIF feed. I respect preferences but my gut feeling is that less processing is better than more processing, and in theory the removal of two stages in the signal chain ought to be good for sound :?

Personally, I would have really preferred if Anthem had a pure direct option, then going with external DACs and analog sources would make sense. It seems that Anthem thinks ARC offers such an improvement to the sound that nobody would really want to live without it under no circumstances. Sigh...
 
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Anonymous

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As interesting the discussion has been, I have to return to my original question: will there be an Anthem MRX 700 review in WHF any time soon? And to help the scans by WHF staff, this one is for Andrew :).
 

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