Interesting in that I'm also researching speakers and looking strongly at the Persona 3F. The thing about the Anthem STR pre-amp is that, for one fourth of the price, you can get much the same functionality with the Parasound Halo P5 pre-amp, in terms of built-in DAC, MM and MC phono stage, home theater bypass, etc. I'm not sure if the P5's DAC can decode DSD files, which the STR can. I'm also not sure about how the P5 would compare in sound quality, given its $1K price tag.
We have the new STR preamp and amplifier on display along with the Persona 3F.
We have Parasound products as well.
There is no comparison, between the two companies. Parasound's products are good for the money, and even the high end Halo products which are well lauded are not as good as the best of the more exotic companies.
We had the JC 1 Mono blocks and the JC 2 preamp and the sound was good, it was not amazing, we compared the JC 1 to the Chord amplifiers and the Electrocompaniet products were far better sounding.
The STR amp and preamp totally caught us off guard. After getting the STR integrated and putting it on display and liking it but not being blown away by it, we had unknown expectations on the separates.
We decided to go with them because there were a few reports coming out of CES that people were blown away by the demo of the Persona 3F with the STR amp and Preamp.
So okay we put them out and boom, way way better then expected.
The combo of the STR amp and Preamp were very strong and reminded us of much more expensive electronics.
The midrange of the electronics were warm, the detail was very good, bass was very tight and well defined.
Overall the sound was so compelling the combo was just so good.
The electronics definitely brought out the best in the Personas.
The proof was when we moved the Personas out of the room and put in the Legacy speakers which also sounded amazing, but so different.
The fact that the electronics sounded fantastic with different speakers and the same sonic qualities emerged showed that the new Anthem pieces are world class products for the price.
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
You can't have it both ways, if you are a dealer and you don't announce you are one, then you are ragged on and if you are a dealer and you announce you are one and your prospective is based on actually having the product you are also ragged on.
You are missing the point that today, there are very few good retailors left let alone ones that have many of the hot products on display:
we recently brought in Elac, the new Anthem STR Amp and Preamp, the Anthem STR integrated, Mytek Brooklyn Dac and Amp, Aqua Hifi Formula, the LH Davinci, the LH 20G active USB, Innuous Zenith servers, Conrad Johnson Classic 62, Parasound JC 3Jr, as well as other products that are talked about in the magazines.
We have been contacted by people reading these posts who have found our comments helpful. Very few of these posts have actually lead to anyone buying anything from us.
If you look at our showroom tour video you can see just how wide a selection of gear we have on display so if someone wants to acutally know how a Lumin compares to an Aurender compares to a Naim sever or an Innuous guess what we have all of those brands in one room.
There are 54 components in this one room alone, plus 8 pairs of floorstanding loudspeakers.
Why can a dealer be helpful, because we have the products and can compare products side by side.
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Jafant, if you are asking what CD players we are using, the answer is almost none.
In our reference room we are using the T+A PDP 3000 which is an amazing CD player/SACD player and DAC.
We also have the Electrocompaniet CD players as well.
We get fantastic sound on the Innuous Music servers or an Aurender or Lumin, directly to our dacs.in our all purpose demo room systems from $2,000-$30k.
In our Reference Room we are using the Batis Reference.
We have a library over 20TB of music so we really don't need to ever get a CD out and spin one.
Hope that helps.
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Why does everyone get upset when a dealer who 1. state who they are and 2. seem to honestly want to help posts here. Why get upset you know they are a dealer so filter out the sales talk and use the information they are giving if it helps. Don't come here to troll or complain please just move on.
we complain there is no brick and mortar shops or very few but yet you will complain about a dealer here....no wonder they are slowly going away.
I don't think the internet seller is going to take the time to help you they just add a 30-90 day free return and ask you to try it. I'd prefer to talk to a knowledgeable person and then make my educated decision.
I'm in no way saying all dealers are perfect some even down right nasty.
I'm not a dealer or anyway associated with the Audio Industry (Navy Submariner 21 years) but I do have a friend who is a manager of one of the better audio shops in my current city.
Thanks to @audiotroy for the comments. I'm also interested in the STR Preamplifier. It would be interesting to see in-depth reviews and such, but perhaps I'll just ask the local dealership to bring in a demo -- they've offered. In the meantime, I'm reading the downloaded manual to find out more about the DSP features.
My impression is, the unit has an Ethernet connector for updates and control, but it is not itself a network renderer -- is that right? For networked audio, one still needs something like a Lumin, Rendu, or Auralic Aries?
I'm gonna try and resurrect this thread.
I've been waiting for a thorough review of the STR Pre-Amp for months.
Finally Gene at Audioholics has done a stellar review of the STR Separates.
Have to admit that I am a long time owner of Anthem Statement gear & find their amps seriously under-rated. Their Pre-Pros are well-respected and rightfully so.
It's disappointing to me that there is such a seeming lack of interest in this gear. The STR Integrated is getting decent attention & great reviews.
After the empirical confirmation of my instincts, I will be buying the STR Pre-Amp for my 2.2 system in the New Year.
I'm hoping to find a dealer willing to deal a bit.
My local dealer doesn't stock the STR Preamp, but when I told him an online merchant offers a 60d trial and 2-day shipping, he agreed to match the terms. On arrival, I fed it burn-in tones for about 150 hrs. I don't believe in that, but to my ears, it made a difference here.
I've played many kinds of music (not metal) and I like the unit very, very much. ARC2 is terrific. The sound is very clean and smooth and very involving. The DAC is excellent. Integration of my two subs is perfect.
I enjoy having tone controls for occasional quick tweaks. They are quite transparent.
In summary, this is a great preamp that I could easily see selling for 50% to 100% more. Even though I don't use the analog inputs or phono, I think it's a bargain and a class "A" component. I'm keeping it.
Thanks, well, I ended up getting a PS Audio Stellar Gain Pre-amp/DAC, which is much less expensive. The Stellar Gain has home theater bypass, so it works well for me.
I'm not sure I can tell that much difference in the sound of CDs via the DAC in the Stellar Gain vs the DAC in my AVR. But I really need to do some more comparisons.
@kingkcryan - The STR Preamp has some really nice features for vinyl, including both MC and MM inputs, adjustable loading, and adjustable de-emphasis curves for non-RIAA recordings. I’m thinking of borrowing a turntable, just so I can experiment with them. From that, you can infer that I don’t know yet myself how the phono stages sound.
I like ARC a lot, and if you want to use it to smooth out bass bumps or other parts of the frequency range, it is just as applicable to vinyl as to a digital source.
To use ARC and some of the fancy phono features, you have to let the preamp convert any analog signal to the digital domain (which it does at 192kHz, I believe) and back again. Only *your* ears can determine whether that will affect the sound enough to bother you. For my part, I consider the STR to have the most transparent DSP of any analog or digital product I’ve used. (Those include the $9k Weiss mastering EQ and $8500 decades-ago Cello Palette Preamp, among others. Not to brag, just to give my experience base.)
If you are interested in the STR Preamp, my suggestion would be, get one on trial and see what you think yourself. It is excellent for digital, and I don’t see any reason to rule it out for vinyl. You probably have seen the reviews, such as this one.
I hope that helps.