Exclusive: Anthem Unveils New 2021 AV Processor, AV Receiver, and Amplifier Range

Posted on 30th October, 2020

Exclusive: Anthem Unveils New 2021 AV Processor, AV Receiver, and Amplifier Range

Canadian award-winning specialist AV manufacturer, Anthem, has announced its highly anticipated new range and next generation of receivers, processors and power amps.

One of the benefits enjoyed by Anthem's customers is the fact that the company is not known for a high-turnover product cycle. Buying Anthem today, won't see your investment superseded by new models next year, thanks to its 3-4 year product life cycle. Which also means, this new lineup which has been rumoured for some time has been eagerly awaited and from first impressions, the wait was worth it.

Announced today is the all-new AV Receivers comprising the MRX 540, MRX 740 and MRX 1140 A/V Receivers, two updated AV Processors including the AVM 70 and AVM 90, and three updated Powers Amps including the MCA 225, MCA 325 and MCA 525.

John Bagby, Managing Director, Paradigm Electronics Inc, the parent company of Anthem, told StereoNET:

Each line up has been refreshed with careful thought regarding the features and capabilities that enthusiasts want and need. The new releases are a culmination of the research and learnings from the past five years and make Anthem the ultimate powerhouse of any home theater or media room.

One key and sought-after feature introduced in the AVM Processor and MRX Receiver range is channel re-assignment, or 'matrixing'. This allows for versatility with installations as unused channels can be assigned in many ways, according to Anthem. For example, you can bi-amp loudspeakers by assigning any unused channels to bass or mid-range drivers. Other channels could be used to power an additional audio zone. Anthem says you can set up any configuration of height, width or presence speakers in a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X system, and then balance the presentation with ARC Genesis.

AVM AV PROCESSORS

The new AVM 70 (AUD $5,499) and flagship AVM 90 (AUD $10,999) AV Processors feature the latest version of Anthem's ARC Genesis Room correction (complete with a redesigned and higher precision calibration microphone). 

Both models feature a modernised design with high-resolution front panel display, and Anthem's “next generation multi-core DSP”, and an all-new electronics platform that supports up to 15.2 (AVM 70) and 15.4 (AVM 90) channels, HDMI 2.0b and HDCP 2.2. With undefined standards and teething issues still surrounding HDMI 2.1 (8K), Anthem has opted to offer an upgradeable HDMI board expected to be available in early 2021. This is welcome news given the uncertainty surrounding HDMI 2.1 boards currently utilised in upcoming processors and receivers from other manufacturers. 

There's also a new networking platform with web-based setup and over-the-air updates. Using a phone, tablet or laptop, owners can easily access any function or setting and make changes on the fly. Additional controls include the ability to power the main or second zone on and off, adjust volume, change audio modes or even channel trims on the fly.

Object-based audio codecs, including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and IMAX Enhanced are supported for up to 15.4 channels, including four independent subwoofer outputs with phase and distance delay. Video support includes seven HDMI 2.0b inputs with two outputs and independent Zone 2 HDMI. There's also Pass-through of Ultra HD signals with Dolby Vision, HDR or Hybrid Log-Gamma.

Streaming services built-in including AirPlay2, Google Chromecast (Audio), Bluetooth v4.2, and Spotify Connect and Roon support is coming soon. There's no mention of support for Tidal Connect as yet. Turntable fans will be pleased to hear there's also a MM phono stage built-in.

Finally, the flagship AVM 90 AV Processor features upgraded audio circuitry, four independent subwoofer outputs and a 32-bit AKM AK4499EQ DAC with 768kHz sampling capability.

MRX AV RECEIVERS

The updated MRX AV Receiver line comprises three models including the MRX 540 (AUD $2,999), MRX 740 (AUD $4,499) and MRX 1140 (AUD $5,999), which Anthem says builds on the feature set of the previous models.

Like the Processor range, all three receivers feature the latest version of ARC Genesis Room correction and the redesigned and higher precision calibration microphone. 

As you would expect the specs and features follow that of the new AVM processor models, with the MRX 1140 supporting 15.2 preamp channels and 11 channels of 140w (8 Ohms) continuous power amplification. The MRX 740 supports 11.2 preamp channels and 7 channels of 140w (8 Ohms) continuous power. Finally, the MRX 540 supports 7.2 preamplifier channels, and 5 amplifier channels rated to 100 watts (8 Ohms) per channel of continuous power. 

Similar to the AVM Processors, the MRX Receivers feature an upgradeable HDMI board for HDMI 2.1 (8K) at a later date.

MCA GEN2 POWER AMPLIFIERS

The MCA amplifier range, now in 2nd generation, are a perfect match for the rest of the new lineup both cosmetically and sonically. The three models include the MCA 525 GEN2 (AUD $5,299) Power Amplifier offering five channels rated at 225 watts per channel continuous power into 8 ohms. The MCA 325 GEN2 (AUD $3,699) Power Amplifier includes three channels rated at 225 watts per channel continuous power into 8 ohms. Finally, the MCA 225 GEN2 (AUD $2,999) Power Amplifier is a two channel power amplifier rated at 225 watts per channel continuous power into 8 ohms.

The new Anthem AVM, MRX, and MCA ranges will be available in Australia in December, but our advice would be to get your pre-orders in with dealers soon. StereoNET has select models already pencilled in for a comprehensive review as they become available. 

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Marc Rushton

StereoNET’s Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Home Theatre
Tags: anthem  audio active 

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