Some audio mag like Sound and Vision or something like that (I'm not really sure which one it was), but it was this month's issue I'm pretty sure, compared the avm 30, halo c1 and a krell. The AVM was the cheapest of the bunch and that was the one they picked as their favorite. Hopefully someone will clue in to which magazine I'm talking about and clarify this:)
I was disgusted that the S&V review didn't discuss the Bryston SP 1.7 - I own one and feel it blows away the Parasound (and I ever was impressed by any of my friend's anthem stuff). Haven't heard the Krell, so I can't comment there... but having made the move from a 1055 myself, well, I don't think it can get much better than the Bryston - 20yr warranty, 2ch bypass, absolute purist piece (no video switching!!). Yeah there's obviously a lot better straight-up 2ch stuff out there, but this is the best sounding (for music) HT pre-pro I've ever encountered.
When dealing with high-end pre/pros, I think your decision should primarily come down to features that matter most to you.
I will have an AVM 30 in my system by the weekend. It's extensive bass management features were the most appealing to me compared to others. It's a feature that can truly improve the sound in almost any room, so that's what was important to me. We'll see how it turns out, but sorry I can't give more info or a direct comparison to the Halo.
I believe the Halo has some impressive self-calibration features, so that feature may be important to you.
The self calibration on the parasound was 'ok' at best, it did a HORRIBLE job with the sub - it wanted to think our DD15 was 45ft away and cranked the gain up by approx. 15db!!!! can you say oops? any person even without an SPL meter can manually enter speaker distances and guess gain better than most auto-setup things, it's for (no offense to anyone on the 'gon) folks with far more money than knowledge who are either too cheap to have someone configure it for them, or don't know well enough to set it up themselves.
The AVM20 is very competitive with the C2, and i'd expect the AVM30 to me better than the parasound.
Now that TAG McLaren is on the shelf, Bryston and Krell do figure in at this price point. Also with no Meridian peice at $5K anylonger it is wide open.
If you find yourself not making a decision until closer to the new year, the re-emergence of the TAG processors as Audiolab would be the only processor available that is significantly better than the three brands mentioned above.
So Anthem, Krell, Bryston...all winners, and if it matter I would buy the Anthem, although the Bryston has the best analog line stage, its over simplicity is still a bit of an achilles heal vs the Anthem and the Krell.
Plus Bryston with video switching gets into Meridian $$$ and then there is no comparison. Hope that helps.
Not to complicate things, but I have the Cary Cinema 6. It sounds fantastic with movies, but even more importantly to me is that 2 channel audio sounds better than any pre/pro I've heard.
One review (I think absolute sound) said it was the top sounding unit in its price range ($2500 list).
Hey ! now i am really confused.
I was just about setteled on the AVM-30 untill I saw the Cary Audio Cinema 6. Its so hard to hear a side by side. Can any of you folks help me out?
I too have been going back and forth between the AVM30 and the C2.
I spoke to a dealer in another state then I live in and he has both of them in his showroom. Wish I could compare them. He tells me that sonicly the C2 sounds a little better. Feature wise the C2 is ahead of everyone. No one has bass management and DSP's for the 5.1 analog inputs for SCAD's and DVD-Audio the way the AVM30 does. Anthem also has been coming out with updates every 2 to 3 months. Others just say they can be updated, then don't release any.
I'm going to go with the AVM30. Multi-channel music and movies are important to me. Two channel is dead.
I am very late to this discussion, and wondering what you got? I sold my Parasound C2 and bought the Anthem AVM 30 and have been extremely happy. I didn't dislike the Parasound, but Anthem really does do upgrades, and Parasound really does not. Or, if they do, they are not planning any time soon. Anthem is bringing out hardware upgrades such as IEEE1394 Firewire connections and switching, and HDMI switching this year. Sonically, they are very close on analog, and I actually give the Anthem a little advantage on digital with it's superior software package.
You may want to edit your last post as Parasound released the PLIIx update today! ;)
And Parasound is also doing hardware upgrades that should be out before the end of the year.
I was really talking about the hardware upgrades. The Parasound techs told me that "if" they came out with hardware upgrades they would not have HDMI switching on the C2 due to space considerations. He said they may have them on the C1. Also, they were not positive if they would have IEEE1394 Firewire connects, because the current DAC's would not decode SACD or DVD-Audio. That's just what I was told. Anthem has all of those upgrades in the final testing stage. If Parasound does as well, they should be a little more communicative about them.