Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Roger Kanno,

Thanks for the review of the Anthem AVM 60.

I have an Anthem MRX 700 [receiver] from 2011, which was a departure from my music-system journey. I now own a Hegel P20 [preamplifier] and Hegel H20 [power amplifier], with an Auralic Vega DAC that I use for music, and on its way is a pair of PMC twenty.26 speakers that will arrive sooner or later. I’m very excited about that.

I still use the Anthem MRX 700 connected to the HT bypass on the P20 preamp for TV and movies, and, to my surprise, when I set my Mac Mini with Audirvana Plus or Roon to HDMI where the Anthem is connected, the performance of the Anthem MRX 700 with the Hegel H20 is quite good. It has a more forgiving nature that sometimes I find to be more enjoyable than with the Auralic Vega with both Audirvana Plus and Roon when I am using the whole audiophile chain (Vega, P20, and H20); perhaps there is with a little more noise in the Anthem. But when I see that this comparison between the Vega, P20, and H20 is not a night-and-day difference versus the Anthem and H20, I wonder if maybe having just the AVM 60 could do a better and simpler job than the Vega/P20 combo and may actually let me sell the Vega, the Hegel P20, and the Anthem MRX 700, and just get the AVM 60 with my H20 in my audio chain.

Or maybe I am not hearing what the H20, P20, and Vega can really do because my speakers are modest Paradigm Monitor 7s from 2005.

Best regards,

I have not had any of the Anthem MRX receivers in my system, but understand what you mean when you say that a “more forgiving nature” can sometimes sound more enjoyable. One thing I have found with Hegel components is that they do have a bit of a characteristic of sounding very clean and a little forward. They are certainly not harsh sounding, but things like vocals get pushed to the front of the soundstage, making them very present and giving a lively sound that I find very engaging. However, their clear and transparent sound does nothing to hide imperfections on less-than-pristine recordings, which is probably why the more forgiving sound of the MRX might sometimes sound better.

You do mention that you have some older and relatively inexpensive (when compared to your electronics) Paradigm Monitor 7 speakers and are expecting some PMC twenty.26 speakers, so I would definitely hold off on making any decisions until you hear your system with the new speakers. Also, I find that Anthem’s room correction system, ARC, not only makes multichannel movie soundtracks sound better, but also stereo recordings on most speaker systems with subwoofers, so that might also be some of what you are hearing with the MRX in your system. Once you get the PMCs, I am sure that you will be able to make a more fulsome assessment of whether you prefer the sound of your system with the MRX (and then possibly consider the AVM 60) or if you prefer the Hegel preamp and Auralic DAC. Based on my experience with Hegel’s components, I think that you will find that your system sounds better once you get more highly resolving speakers like the PMCs.

I look forward to hearing back from you on your impressions you once you get your new speakers. . . . Roger Kanno