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Anthem AVM 60 Preamp Processor Review: Listening Tests

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From the first notes, there was no question that the AVM 60 was a top-notch sonic performer.  Whether it was feeding Revel’s Ultima2 Salons for two-channel bliss or a full-on 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos assault with the SVS Ultra/Beale Street Audio setup, Anthem’s AVM 60 distinguished itself as the master of both setups.  There wasn’t a single time I didn’t savor sitting down and listening to this processor.

Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio MorriconeI love two-channel music. If you’re also a two-channel lover and don’t want to sacrifice the quality of dedicated stereo preamp in a multi-channel setup then take heart, the AVM 60 has you covered.  Whether it was running the Ultima2 Salons full range or switching over to a 2.2 setup with the dual SVS SB13-Ultras, the AVM 60 rendered the music with a deep and wide solid sound stage; timbral perfection; and simply awe-striking bass detail.  Female vocals from Adele, Patricia Barber, Holly Cole, or Norah Jones were full-bodied and endlessly satisfying. The sweet sound of Yo-Yo Ma’s cello on the album, Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone was simply blissful.  Orchestral pieces such as Aaron Copland’s "Fanfare for the Common Man" were majestically portrayed.

I mentioned previously how ARC handles bass correctly. The proof is in the pudding. Without question ARC produced clean, tight, and authoritative bass in both setups.  In fact, ARC refined the SVS PB13-Ultra sub better than any other room correction solution I’ve had in my Dolby Atmos setup. Three different room correction solutions have come and gone over the past year and none have been able to equal or surpass what ARC did.  In fact, one fairly well-known name brand room EQ solution tended to suck the life out of the bass if I didn’t add multiple subs to the Atmos setup.

Firing up Tron Legacy is perhaps case in point. The deep bass notes of Daft Punk’s energizing score pulsated with laser-like precision. Forget sloppy and bloated bass. ARC didn’t just tame the bass notes. It freed the PB13-Ultra to fire away relentless assaults at peak performance. The scenes with the recognizer, disc wars, light cycles, and Zeus’ club were nothing short of astounding.

I’m not a fan of artificial processing, but using the Dolby Surround Upmixer for the past year has changed my tune. The Dolby Surround Upmixer is part of the new Atmos suite of technologies and will take traditional 5.1 or 7.1 channel mixes and translate them to a Dolby Atmos layout.   Through the AVM 60, the Dolby Surround Upmixer took delicate spacial cues from pretty much any Blu-ray or streaming movie I threw at it and wonderfully expanded the sense of space and depth from the audio mix.  I don’t know how Dolby does it, but the Upmixer is the real deal. With the relative dearth of quality Atmos titles, adding an AVM 60 to your setup will bring new life and excitement to your Blu-ray collection or streamed media.

Tron Legacy Mad Max: Fury Road on Blu-ray

However, if you really want the AVM 60 to strut its stuff, then feed it a full-on 11-channel Dolby Atmos track. The pure adrenaline assault of Mad Max: Fury Road stood out as a perfect example of why there’s no substitute for dedicated amplification.  The dynamics, control, and sheer gravitas of this Atmos mix was amazing.  The setup almost chided me into cranking up the volume. No strain. No sweat, Just all-out control.

Turning to the remastered Fifth Element on Blu-ray with its Dolby Atmos mix was likewise superb. The sense of space this mix yields is amazing.  The boundaries of my room disappeared. It was practically impossible to localize any of the speakers and it was time to stop taking notes and just enjoy the classic sci-fi flick.

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

ellisr63 posts on October 22, 2019 12:46
A few questions…
1. How do you hookup the STR preamp to the Yamaha cxa5100, Does it get hooked up as an output or an input on the Yamaha?

2. Will this work if you are running biamped on your front 3 channels?

3. When you run YPAO on the Yamaha do you not run the front channels, or are you not running Athems room tune software?
Danzilla31 posts on October 08, 2019 14:59
Erod, post: 1343970, member: 89019
ARC Genesis sets my Dolby offset to -12 so the overall system baseline is based on 100dB.

The result is, my levels end up being around 62dB. I think it does this so that all my channels hover closer to 0. I generally get -3 or -4 with my fronts, and +2 to +6 with surrounds and ceiling atmos speakers. My sub ends up at around -5.

As a result, my volume control typically sits between -25 and -15, depending on source material.

Sounds awesome, but I've never had a room correction change my baseline off of 75dB like this. Genesis is the first to do that.
I just turned mine off did it all manual that's what I usually do with all my recievers although I ran Genesis multiple times it never changed my Dolby offset from 0

That's interesting it did that for your setup
Erod posts on October 08, 2019 14:52
ARC Genesis sets my Dolby offset to -12 so the overall system baseline is based on 100dB.

The result is, my levels end up being around 62dB. I think it does this so that all my channels hover closer to 0. I generally get -3 or -4 with my fronts, and +2 to +6 with surrounds and ceiling atmos speakers. My sub ends up at around -5.

As a result, my volume control typically sits between -25 and -15, depending on source material.

Sounds awesome, but I've never had a room correction change my baseline off of 75dB like this. Genesis is the first to do that.
Danzilla31 posts on October 07, 2019 13:33
VonMagnum, post: 1343782, member: 86028
If you ran room correction calibration, reference is normally 0.
Cool yes I did normally I am just fine with -35 if I want to get crazy max I can realistically handle is around -27 so I'm in good shape for where I want the room to be. Thanks!!!
VonMagnum posts on October 07, 2019 11:45
If you ran room correction calibration, reference is normally 0.
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