Anthem AVM/20 upgrade to Integra or Marantz??

Greetings all,

I've enjoyed and stretched out the life of my Anthem AVM/20 paired with a Lexicon CX-7. My sources are Oppo, AppleTV, Roku, vinyl, and cable if you are interested. These are all being driven through Revel Performa M22 monitors, C32 center and B15 sub and Revel in-ceiling for surrounds. The speakers are in a 7.1 setup in a formal living room, not dedicated HT.

I need HDMI compatibility in my Pre-pro at this point but I don't want to lose or compromise the sonic quality I've had with the Anthem. Given that another, newer pre-pro from Anthem that isn't north of 5k isn't in the near future I'm looking to either Integra or Marantz as sonically they seem to be given top billing.

So here is my issue: I *love* 2-channel and I don't want any sonic compromise at all in soundtage bredth and depth, tonal accuracy, and sheer emotional involvement in the music. In fact, I want *better* performance than my AVM/20 currently offers.

So,will the Marantz AV7005 or Integra 80.3 do the trick? I've read Kal and Michael Fremmer's reviews of the AV7005 and they are excellent. Michael even bought the review sample and I think Kal has the integra 70.2. However the Integra offers the newer Audyssey room correction. The Anthem is just such a well put together piece that I am afraid that my upgrade will be a sonic downgrade. Are my fears justified or not?

Looking for some sage advice and guidance! Many thanks to all in advance.
Kal's point is just as true with new, perhaps even more so because of depreciation. Except for added complication, using a reasonably priced processor in pass-through mode with your favorite preamp seems a good way to go. What's thought to be the latest and greatest processing changes rapidly compared to preamp design.

I bought a month old Cary 11a from a local source for just over 50% MSRP, and have found the balance of sound quality to bugs easy to live with. I do wish the Cary processed LPCM to provide bass management for 5.0 SACDs via HDMI.

Absolutely, no question about it. I have great relationships with my local dealers and I often query them about what I'm looking for. On Saturday I borrowed an AVM50v to test it out. Jaw dropping is one word that came immediately to mind. The build quality speaks for itself. The performance is mesmerizing. I'm looking forward to testing out a few other pieces. I heard the Classe as well and I don't know why but it didn't make me immediately jump. It must have had something to do with the setup there. The system was connected to Paradigm signature speakers and I've come to the conclusion that in the demo rooms where I've been, I just haven't been moved by the Paradigms. In one sense that's odd since I've lived with an AVM20 for so long. I don't have an Integra dealer really close to me so its doubtful I'd be able to do a side by side comparison between the AVM50v and the Integra. However, I'm mightily impressed by the 50v
I went from a Anthem 30 to a Onkyo prepro. The Anthem was a great piece, but its just too far behind in features I want. IMO the new anthem pieces are way too expensive. When they could be had around $2500 new, they were a much better deal and worth buying. My opinion.

The Onkyo sounds great. Movies actually sound better. If you are worried grab a used 2 channel preamp. I've seen some 5508's under $1500 used already. Compare that to a new anthem. At 5k, you can easily beat the Anthem for music & movies, even if you have to get a preamp, and a prepro to do it.

I have been following this thread with interest since I have the exact same setup as you in terms of speakers and equipment. We currently have an Integra 7.9 reciever but have been considering upgrading.

Curious to hear where you are in your decision process and if you consider the Anthem Receievers.
Samski - I have a B&K Ref 50 and was considering replacing it with a Marantz AV7500 but your comments are causing me to rethink that. Did you try any other processors? Are you going to? My Ref 50 has some issues and I would like HDMI but my main use of the system is stereo music. I also am considering the Integra or an Anthem. I have a OPPO BD 95, McIntosh 302, REL sub (plan to replace it with 2 JL Audio Fathom F10s), Martin Logan Ascent I front speakers, Cinema center and Clarity rears. I use an Acurus 5x125 to drive my center and rears.