I have seen a lot the anthem, but never had the choice to try them out and listen...btw, here's a review on it:
Thanks, I knew about that review. its one of only two out there...
I think the Anthem 225 is a very good value, and sounds good to boot. I think it has the basic "Anthem house sound" which isn't a bad thing at all. It does everything very well without calling attention to itself. It has good bass qualities and isn't bright sounding, maybe a little soft in the upper frequencies. Again, not a bad thing. It brings a lot to the table, great build quality, great power output, built-in phono stage(which I haven't listened to), remote control. Just a good all around solid buy.
I have listened to this amplifier on and off since it came out, mainly with Paradigm speakers such as the studio series 60/100's. Note I do not own one of the 225's, but when I have listened to it, it is a very likeable amp, and if I were in the market for an integrated, it would be put on my list to get serious about.
I also have heard it next to the Cambridge, and either one to my ears would do the job, both are very good amps. I didn't feel either one was "best", they both did the job of making good music. The Anthem is certainly not way below the Cambridge by any shot.
Just my 2 cents worth! If you get the chance, do the comparison for yourself, it is the only way you will know. Enjoy the music! Tim
One thing about the Cambridge 840A series integrated is that awfull ratchet clicking sound when using the volume control. Went to a dealer for a demo, just could not get my approval.
Yes, the stepped attenuator does make a bit of racket, but most importantly is, how did the amp sound to you? I do think most of the Cambridge line is good value for money, and the 840E/W are very good pre/amplifiers, and while a bit more expensive, still not out of line with some more expensive gear.
Again, between the Anthem or the Cambridge, I don't think you can go too far wrong. That being said, I don't know your system that you would use these with. If you can listen to them with your equipment or similar, that would always be best.
I should also say that while I do not own any Cambridge gear, I have listened to it about as much as I have the Anthem 225. I also do own several pieces of Anthem gear-TLP1, PVA2, MCA-20, AVM-30, and have been very pleased with the Anthem gear. Try to listen to the Cambridge and Anthem if you can, side by side. Tim
Frazeur1: As I have been (like many others) in this hobby for probably far too long, I of course know about the ''listen-with-you-own-ears-and-decide'' strategy.
This upcoming amp is for a second system, but I still want a minimum of quality. Your comment ''Yes, the stepped attenuator does make a bit of racket, but most importantly is, how did the amp sound to you?'' is well taken.
Here's how it sounds to me. ''like a fine amp for the money, with a helluva racket when ajusting the volume''.
What I mean is that it is irritating enough to interrupt (very briefly of course) my enjoyment of the music.
So, the quality of the sound is a non-issue from the moment that something interferes with this quality.
I once got rid of a Shanling SACD player - a beautifull unit - because the whirling noise of the open transport's fast spinning noise drove me nuts during soft passages.
To me, the AZUR amp is like playing a clean LP on a nice turntable, with cliks and pops anytime you adjust the sound. Same thing ! For some, it won't be an issue.
I have owned a truckload of integrateds over the years. A few I was impressed with, most others, nah.
I am not able to get a clear view (and audition in a proper setting) of the Anthem 225. That's why I need what I consider ''Plan-B strategy''...YOUR valued opinion !
Sonic, I totally understand, been there too. Sorry if my comment caused a little stir, not my intention! If the Azur bugs you in that respect, then obviously it is not worth buying. I have had similar things too, and passed on them knowing I wouldn't be happy.
I do think the Anthem is a solid buy, and sounds very good, and not just for the money. It is actually a very nice looking amp too! Otherwise I might suggest an NAD possibly, and any of the Naim Naits are a great value too. I think most electronics these days are all pretty good sounding. I think the room interface and the speakers are what is more important overall, and if this system isn't going to be "critical", don't fuss over it much. Enjoy the music. Tim
To those who are mentioning the Cambridge Audio "One thing about the Cambridge 840A series integrated is that awfull ratchet clicking sound when using the volume control" Are you not aware that you can turn that off with the Cambridge Unit...
I own an Anthem 225 for about two years now and I'm pleased with it. As Frazeur1 says, very neutral and doesn't call attention to itself.
I just listened to that amp at a shop in Wilmington DE yesterday for two hours while auditioning equipment. I was impressed by it food the price..about $1300. It was pretty smooth and neutral with realistic bass and mids and decent soundstage. I am looking at moving from steps to an integrated so wanted a pace comparable to my upgraded Macintosh mc250.the 225 was very nice but different more modern. It paled next to the Ayre CX5 I listened to next but that was 2+x more costly. I figure the Anthem is a good budget choice. BTW I was replacing a CA Cd740 which had issues at 3 yes old. Made me wonder about CA quality?
I owned the Cambridge audio 840a and wasn't impressed. It was a good unit just didn't blow you away. The Anthem is also twice the power.
The Anthem 225 will blow you away- tommy89
I have had both The 804a V2 is very good and well built ut a bit thin sounding Does not lack bass. Just not a rich sound. More of a lean sound. Yes the rattle is annoying. I thought the Anthem 225 was going to be the deal and end the merry go round. Great bang for the buck. problem is I (and others) found it kind of dry sounding . Also I ran it against an exposure 2010S. One would have thought the exposure was the more powerful amp. more exciting , more live more organic. Much like a Naim or old NAD 3020/7020. The 225 may have been a touch more refined but less involving. I still would like to try one again as it is a good value. A dealer near me has a great deal on them. NO relation.
The Anthem stuff being made locally as well other good makes they have always been reachable retail and used. More people seem to prefer hanging on to them because I only see a small handful go up since those started being made. The 225 I had would be I guess 4 or 5 years old by now. I have lots of good things to say about them, but first being that they are for your taste. It can does play a lot on synergies I think paradigm and PSB sound vg with Anthem. Goldi speakers are notoriously known for liking alot of power to sound best, the 225 takes a good grip on them.
Look at the 225 specs, power and stability and other key aspects. If an exposure 2010 sounded more powerful some kind of mismatch was going on there. The anthem outweighs it substantially, they are 42.5 lbs vs 14 with the exposure. I can admit the exposure has more full and robust sound in comparison. That can trick ears into thinking one amp sounds more powerful than it actually is or vs another, until you push them harder then truth shows. they are fine amplifiers, exposures. but the 2010S just havent got the balls of the Anthem. The 225 doesnt sound bad to me Its one I wouldnt of minded keeping it, at the time hearing other amps was higher up on choices. 1300 is a good deal for a new oneé They go for more in other places. even locally, wich dont seem right.
Theres more notes on power, they are known to score higher on bench tested output, the 225 x 2 gets a little under credited in its manual rating.
Nice lookers, blacked out and understated it looks business http://www.anthemav.com/products-current/model=i225/page=overview
So this thread's ancient but the 225i is coming up again as low as $1100. new so i'll share my last 2 years with it. I have kef 107/2, 105/3, and revel F 52's. the 225 I doesn't have a tape loop and the kefs have an active eq for the bass,could be an issue for someone. It does have pre out tho' and a clean 225 wpc that never runs out of power and controls all 3 pair with ease. I bought the 225i to replace my krell 300 il that keeps failing and the krell did have more bloom in the midrange making more of the harsh cd's listenable. I think the 225i is a steal but will never be confused for tube gear. good sound great price. solid state limitless power that has excellent imaging and bass control but thru my f52's sound a little sterile compared to my old krell in the midrange.
All the positive reviews of the Anthem are in the context of its price. I have had one and I found it was pretty decent, but not great, at mid and high volumes. At low volumes - lifeless. I have had Cambridge Audio and that was similar. I did hear a 840 at a dealers and that was better. When I got my ATC SIA150 it was in another league - another league in price too :-<
I would go for an Exposure. Don't be mislead by Watts. Class A biasing and circuit design are way more important.
Incidentally I had another curious problem with the Anthem. Occasionally the Volume Control would start increasing of its own accord. Very scary! It took ages to diagnose but there was an interference between the remote control and the fluorescent lighting! I would not worry about that though, the chances of that being replicated are too small.