Anthem: Doing the HT / 2 Channel Tango

I’ve been the happy owner of a Luxman 507ux fed by a Mytek Brooklyn for about 2 years. Extremely happy with the 2 channel performance, especially with Roon as the source.

For about the same time I’ve created kind of a hybrid system. An Anthem AVM 50 processor feeding 3 IcePower monoblocks, and a subwoofer, with L/R going to the Luxman, and a miniDSP doing room correction somewhere in there.

I finally bit the bullet today and purchased an Anthem MRX 540. I’m always leery of new HT equipment because a lot of highly rated stuff sounds like crap to me. I’ve spent a lot of money on Emotiva and Onkyo solutions which just sucked. My significantly older Theta Casanova easily spanked all of them. The AVM 50 was at least OK, but the MRX 540 is a lot better sounding, even as a preamp.

It’s not a home run. I can’t get the Audio Return Channel to work, and the lack of Roon support means it’s useless as a streamer for me, but still I have to say I’m really happy with the overall sound quality, and this is before any calibration has happened.

In particular it's the background detail, the ambient sound queues feel like they are filling the room a lot better than the AVM 50.

Over the next week or two I’ll set up the subwoofer, and run the ARC to see if I like the choices it makes with minimal intervention.


Figured out the eARC issue somehow.  It seems I had to enable the CEC settings on both the TV and Anthem to get it to work.  Odd, but OK. 

It's a real shame how complicated a HT processor or receiver can be.

I've figured out the eARC issues, now faced with the room correction software utterly failing to connect to the receiver.

Basic settings, like distance, volume, and crossover frequencies are available via the simple web interface but one of the main reasons for purchasing this unit was the built in EQ.  I was really hoping to get to evaluate the automatic configuration settings as well as my ability to change them.

I bought the 740.  It was a little frustrating at first. 
I have a great dealer who helped me with set up.

I’ve owned some nice processors and receivers.  
the anthem sounds way better.  It integrates with my 

subwoofer so well.  It just sounds awesome.  

Fortunately Anthem Tech support got back to me extremely quickly.  The main issue was that the web page has a firmware upgrade command, which I ran, and thought worked, but it's buggy.  You have to upgrade the firmware from the on screen display.  Once that was fixed ARC Genesis mostly worked.

The AVM 50 was at least OK, but the MRX 540 is a lot better sounding, even as a preamp.

Very interesting feedback Eric.  Thanks!  I don’t tend to expect major sonic improvements in A/V equipment, so this info is impressive.  Hopefully the sound quality makes up for your tech pain. 

 I don’t tend to expect major sonic improvements in A/V equipment,


Honestly, @soix , when I started looking for processors I didn't either.  The problem is I was spoiled by the (now vintage) Theta Casanova and the sound quality for everything, movies, music was just so much better than the first two HDMI processors I was unable to move away from the Theta for a very long time.

I wish I could afford modern top end Theta or Datasat gear but I just can't, so finding a reasonably affordable receiver/processor with all the 21st century audio format support AND comprehensive DSP capabilities was a real godsend.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. The Anthem mrx540 sounds like it may be the ticket to a good 3.0 system. I can’t seem to get beyond a 2 channel system for HT because I’ve never been happy with AVR’s sound quality. My 10 year old Rega Mira3 sounds clearly better than my 4 year old Yamaha RXV681 that I can’t justify purchasing a center speaker for a 3.0 system, so I’m stuck in the world of 2 channel, switching between the two. I like the DSP programs that helps w/ some poorly broadcast programing material, but the Rega is clearly better that I’m in turmoil. Maybe the MRX-540 will change that. What do you think?

Hi @mjcmt 

I haven't heard a Yammi receiver in forever, but I can tell you that I went through Onkyo and Emotiva HT processors and they absolutely sucked.  The Anthem AVM 50 was not meatless like those were, and the MRX is more transparent. 

I have lived with and without a center channel.  I will say that I'd rather have a subwoofer than a center channel and that the Genesis ARC, following my guide, does spectacular.

I always found arc sounded better off but not sure on the new generation. It will probably depend on your system and room. The trick I found is to restrict the amount of boost and find the natual room gain of your speakers and room so that there is less of a delta. It is always better to cut than to boost. Genesis usually gets it pretty close but you may have to tweak the speaker levels when you get more practice. Taking more measurements and varing the height of the microphone also help. You can go up to 10 positions. I usually don't see many people using the tilt but it was refreshing to see someone else that uses it also. It is usually done to track the natural roll offf of your speaker rather than boosting it flat. YMMV.

These settings will give you a good house curve similar to a harman curve

Room Gain: 2.0 dB
Room Gain Center Frequency: 200 Hz
Deep Bass Boost: 3.0 dB
Deep Bass Boost Center Frequency: 50 Hz
Tilt Level: -2 dB
Tilt Start Frequency: 1000 Hz

Then setup a few other profiles like this an then try limiting Maximum Correction Frequency: 350 Hz Or changing Deep Bass Boost Center Frequency to 80hz or removing the tilt