Anthem amp to go with my 1140 receiver or are their better and cheaper options

I am planning to upgrade my home theater system to try to improve my enjoyment of listening to music. I have a 5.1.4 Atmos home theater system with 1140 Anthem receiver. I am planning on buying a two channel amp with the hope of improving sound quality of my music. I listen with Bluesound node2i that I stream my CD's via a Network drive and stream Qobuz. I am thinking of buying a two channel Anthem amp to match the receiver but I thought I would ask if there are better and cheaper options than going with Anthem. Thanks

Showing 1 response by soix

IMO your best and most cost-effective solution would be a stereo integrated amp.  Why?  Because preamps matter a ton!!!  The preamp sections of AVRs are compromised by significant cost constraints and noise, so they simply can’t match the performance of a good stereo preamp.  Using a better stereo amp will help, but your performance will be throttled by the preamp section of your 1140.  I think your best bet would be to share what sound characteristics are most important to you, what specific improvements you’re looking for, the speakers you’re using, room size, and budget, and you’ll get some excellent recommendations here.  

Just to be clear, the preamp sections in virtually all AVRs suck — yes, even yours.  Anthem certainly does better than most, but they’re still built to meet very aggressive price targets and parts quality is first in line to get cut, not the least of which is the critical power supply.  Nobody but nobody even semi-serious about better 2-channel performance uses any part of an AVR in the signal path, and unfortunately most people don’t realize how silly easy it is to seamlessly integrate a stereo pre and amp into a HT system.  Anyway, just my $0.02 FWIW, and best of luck in upping your 2-channel performance.