Anthem 225 - using an external phono amp


Hey guys. Long time lurker first time poster.

I previously had a Moon 220i (for sale if anyone interested btw) with a Moon110LP preamp running my B&W 683s. This was a switch from my Anthem MRX when I was running my vinyl on the same system as my home theatre. From day 1 I was underwhelmed by the sound of the Moon as it was just too underpowered for the 683s. I had thought a low power/high quality setup would work well for me in my dedicated music room. It didn’t.

I ended up switching to an Anthem 225 - I wanted power but didn’t want to spend north of 3 or 4000 on an amp. It actually was a lower price point than the Moon amp/phono amp combined. The sound is much better for my tastes - mostly classic rock, new rock and blues. I still found the mids a bit thin, but overall very good when you really have it warm and play it loud.

Story is getting a bit long, but I decided to try my old Moon 110LP phono amp on a different input to compare it to the 225’s built in phono stage. I had read mixed but generally positive reviews on it so wasn’t expecting too much difference. Boy was I wrong. It sounds absolutely amazing now. I can’t really find any holes in the sound, and across all volume ranges the music is far more full and pleasurable to listen to.

Has anyone else used a different phono amp with the 225? Am I crazy? It seems a bit redundant to use an external phonoamp - especially a fairly pricey one - when my integrated has a "built in" phono stage already, but it just seems to really make a difference. Especially when it was just lying around waiting to get sold. It also begs the question - is the 225's phono stage actually "good?"





88d41c0a 0159 4898 ac23 accb5471caa0johnhanson
I like this amp and think it falls in the class-D category. Still, it offers high power and high current well enough to drive my reference Thiel loudspeakers.  Sounds excellent on cd/sacd. I did not hear it w/ a TT set-up. Happy Listening!
Most phono stages in mid-priced integrated amps are mediocre at best.  They are often a conveniency feature.  The fragile phono signal can be much better handled by an external unit that doesn't share the power supply and internal wiring of the integrated.  

Best, Scott
Has anyone else used a different phono amp with the 225? Am I crazy? It seems a bit redundant to use an external phonoamp - especially a fairly pricey one - when my integrated has a "built in" phono stage already, but it just seems to really make a difference.

Well not with a Anthem 225 but with another quality integrated with a good MM/MC built-in phono stage.  I have a Moon 110LP and wouldn't dream of using any other phono stage.  It blows away the built-in MM/MC phono stage in my Marantz Reference PM15S2 LE. 

I also use the LOMC capability the Moon 110LP offers and at 60db of gain, its as quiet as a graveyard.  With this kind of totally black background, the details of the music really start to flow.  So don't worry about how good or bad the Anthems phono stage is.  Or if its redundant.  Just be glad you have a Moon 110LP that is so much better.

Thanks guys. I appreciate the responses. Although this amp was good out of the box I knew there was something missing. I’ve done a few more records now back to back with the Moon and the built in phono. It really is apples to oranges. I’m so glad I didn’t get rid of the 110LP. I suppose I was just very surprised there could be this much improvement. I'm still relatively green when it comes to the amp game. 

In the meantime I did come across a review that was diplomatically critical of the 225’s phone stage - basically nailing to a T its deficits. It really is an outstanding amp for the price outside of this problem.

http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/tested-anthem-integrated-225-integrated-amplifier/