Anthem vs. Denon, thinking of going a new direction - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 5 Old 12-16-13, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Anthem vs. Denon, thinking of going a new direction

Hi guys and gals,

I'm looking at going a new direction with my AVR. I've been running Denon's since my 4306 in 2005, and have had a 4311 for the last two years. By and large they have performed admirably. My 4311 recently came down with an issue on the HDMI board, but it will be fixed under warranty. While it is away I have my trusty 4306 back in the system. Amazingly, I don't notice as much of a sonic difference from my 4311 as I thought I would.

This made me wonder, maybe I'd try a different flavor of room correction with my next AVR, and ARC gets rave reviews. Has anyone here made the switch from Audyssey XT/XT32 to ARC, or visa-versa, and what did they think?

I'm specifically eying the MRX-510. It has enough HDMI inputs, and I have an ATV2 for music streaming. I'm also curious about how buggy it is, if at all, and how well the video conversion works with DirecTV. One of the things I have loved about my Denons is how bullet proof they have been.

While the 4306/4311 have been solid workhorses, and I've admired that, they haven't ever made me love them like I did my old Yamaha/Adcom front end. I don't like YPAO, and I like room correction, hence Yammies not being on my list.

My set up is:

TV: Panasonic TC-P60ST60
Speakers: Def Tech Mythos STS, CS-8060HD, SR-8080BP (5-channel)
Subs: dual SVS PB-13 Ultra (BASH amp versions)
Blu-Ray: Sony BDP-S790
Apple TV2 streaming Apple Lossless
Adcom GCD-700 (barely ever used anymore)
PS3 for the occasional gaming session (not all that often anymore)
Harmony One remote

My room is an acoustic nightmare. It is our living room which is roughly u-shaped with the kitchen and dining room on the left, and the foyer and staircase on the right. Total volume (not including staircase/upstairs) is 4,300 cubic feet. Ceramic tile over concrete slab, with a thick rug over the tile between the couch and LCR's. The subs are symmetrical and equidistant to the MLP, being used as end tables. I have bass traps and acoustic panels for the front and rear walls but none on the sidewalls due to built in cabinets on the right side of the room and the dining room on the left. 8 foot ceilings. The couch is almost to the back wall, the only place I can put it. The front "wall" is open on both sides to the aforementioned areas, and is only 8 feet wide. The wall behind the couch has two large windows that I block with heavy shades when watching the TV.

Usage is about 80% movies/TV, 19% music, 1% games, but the music is all me which changes the weighting. My scale of importance is about 50/50 music movies.

The MLP is ~10 ft. from the LCR, with the surrounds on the back wall behind the couch and about 6 ft. up.

Average listening volume has gone down since my 6 month old was born, but when we can movies are about -20 to -15 db. Music is maybe a little bit higher when alone and a lot lower when I'm not.

My music tastes are probably pretty common, a lot of jazz, rock, and some pop. My wife likes hip-hop, dance, and country ().

I normally cross over my mains at 100 Hz for music and 80 Hz for movies, the subs give me a bit more thump in the midbass for tunes this way. I like that the Anthem allows for two profiles so I can keep doing this.

I have a MiniDSP UMik for REW already, but like that Anthem takes their measurement gear seriously. I also have a Anti-mode 8033C, but I don't use that since I got XT32.

Finally, I don't see much to compel me to upgrade from my 4311 in Denon's current line-up. If my 4311 can't be repaired (unlikely) I may try to upgrade to the 4520 or downgrade to the X4000. Most of the curiosity is around the Anthem and ARC, as I think this would most likely be the most audibly noticeable difference. The street price of the MRX-510 and the 4520 aren't too far apart.


If you are still with me, what opinions, experiences do you have?
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-29-13, 07:30 AM
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Re: Anthem vs. Denon, thinking of going a new direction

I don't have any hands-on experience with ARC... but it sounds like you're in a good situation to do a head-to-head comparison!

Checkout the responses to this might find some of the banter helpful.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-29-13, 08:18 AM
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Re: Anthem vs. Denon, thinking of going a new direction

I don't have any experience either. But I can tell you that room calibration software would not be enough to motivate me to change equipment. I may just have a good room acoustically but I view the effects of the software to be subtle at best. Your room may be different from mine.
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-29-13, 08:46 AM
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Re: Anthem vs. Denon, thinking of going a new direction

As long as you have the $$ and it does not cause discourse in your relationship there is nothing wrong with trying new gear.
As far as getting a different sound by switching AVRs, I think it will be subtle.
Changing speakers is where real differences can be made.
I am interested to know how this turns out, please keep this thread alive.
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-29-13, 09:17 AM
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Re: Anthem vs. Denon, thinking of going a new direction

I agree with you all... adding, aside from different speakers, the biggest impact you can have on sound is treating your space with acoustic panels and bass traps.
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