Anthem processors: AVM20 v. AVM30 v. D1

I am building a new system from scratch for HT and music and have liked what I've read about the Anthem processors. While I can afford to buy the D1, I also don't like paying a lot more for marginal improvements, and from what I've read, the AVM20 with upgrades is so good that upgrading buys some improvement but there isn't a lot of room to improve.

For those of you who have owned or used the Anthems, how do you evaluate the enhancements compared to the added costs, both in 2-channel and HT? What does an upgraded AVM20 used go for and how much more might I pay for the 30 or the D1? Would it be wisest to get the 20 and if I want to upgrade wait until the D1 is replaced and becomes more widely available used?

As an aside, I'm pretty set on getting a DD Velodyne as the sub while my choice in speakers is still wide open (I need to foind more time to listen to speakers).

Also, any suggestions for mating the Anthem pre's to an amplifier?

Thanks for your suggestions.
I did have the avm a year or so,ago.--The original,just after it came out.My usual advice: the processor is 1/3 of the chain.---Good amps and good speakers are the other 2/3. With good enough quality, in the second 2/3 you may find there are better processors.
Avguygeorge - I'm not sure what you mean in the last sentence of your post. Could you explain?
OK, I have an AVM 30 and it is AWESOME!! That said, I listened to and test drove the D1 from my dealer. With my equipment at the time, Innersound ESL 300 amp, Maggies 3.6R speakers, Velodyne DD-12 sub, Onkyo DS-1000 player, Sony 50" LCD, I didn't notice any difference, and the software is identical as far as I could tell. I got the AVM 30 instead of the D1, but I messed up.

The only difference between the 20 and 30, even according to the guys at Anthem, is the color of the display. I wish I had just gotten a used AVM20, then downloaded, gratis, the newer software.

In addition Anthem is coming out with a major hardware upgrade package for the AVM20/30 and D1 that will include IEEE1394 (firewire) input and output, and HDMI switching. The only diffence in the AVM upgrade and the D1, according to the Anthem tech's that is, will be that the D1 will have a video scaler as well. Pretty cool. If you have a video scaler already, or your DVD player does, that's not an issue though.

Great equipment and support, I am now a huge fan of Anthem.
Macdadtexas - Thanks for sharing your experience. I'd love to try the Maggies but I have a two-year-old son who no doubt would try to stick his hand through them. Do you have any sense of the price difference between the AVM20 and AVM30?
about $700. I have them 5, 3, and 15 months, and no problems.

Good luck.
Jonsher; I see I wasn't that clear---So the long version might be: If your speakers and amps are just so,so--a million dollar processor won't be doing what it is capable of --sound-wise. Believe me I have anything against the Anthem--- Just so we all know there is better;----Then 'better' requires quality amps and quality speakers.---Not that much different than 2ch.
This is just a good general rule. You wouldn't use the CJ Art2 with Bose speakers and a $300 amp.---Ok ,yes, I'm pushing the limit to make my point.
I have owned the AVM-20 v2 (along with a Rotel 1068, and an Parasound AVC-2500) and traded up to the D-1, which I currently own. While there is a point of diminishing returns, I am very happy with my decision. While some of the feature sets are similar there are some that set the D-1 apart. I think the right processor for you will depend on what speakers you plan to pair it with. If you have full range (or at least go lower than 80 hz (THX standard)) for fron and rear, you will hear a benefit from the D-1.

The major difference is the D-1 had 24 bit/192 kHz DAC's on all channels which for me was the major benefit. I had my CD players going into a Musical Fidelity A 3.24 into the AVM-20, and straight into the D-1 beats it for me. The D-1 is airier and more detailed. So if you listen to a lot of music, the D-1 could be worth the extra $$.

The D-1 has dual digital processors, which doesn't make a huge difference at this time, but will when the new Hi-Def audio formats come out, and makes it more future proof.

The upgrade for the D-1 will also include a video scaler, which won't be in the AVM-20 or 30 upgrade packages.

Either way I think that anthem is a great way to go. They continue to have free software updates, and support their products for years. The bass management is far superior on the Anthem processors compared to the other models I have tried. I have never heard the Parasound C-1 or C-2 though.

Hope that helps,
In the last 2 years I have had: NAD T762, used as a premap for the front end, B & K Ref 50, Rotel 1098, Parasound Halo C2 (great processor), then finally the Anthem. I am sticking with the Anthem. As I said, my dealer let me test drive the D1 and I couldn't justify the upgrade with the equipment I had at the time (funny, but I am in process of going back to the same speaker set up). That doesn't mean it's not right for you. I think they are both great, great processors, and I am now a bigger fan of Anthem than Parasound even, if that is possible. The support personnel are fantastic. They are big audio nuts themselves, and not arrogant about it. They are more excited about the upgrades coming than anyone. Great company. Go ahead, if you can afford it, buy the D1, you won't be sorry.
Just to be clear, the blue display is not the only difference between the AVM20 and AVM30. Here are the ones that I know of:

4 component ins and 2 component outs (up from 2 and 1)
Faster processor (more than double the clock speed)
Double the memory on the motherboard
Blue readout and blue/red LEDs
Finer grain on the front panel
Optional rack mount

Also, the PLIIx upgrade is not yet available for the AVM20, but is for the AVM30. I'm not sure about the status of that. The component out difference was the dealbreaker for me when deciding between the two. That and the fact that the MSRP was actually a bit lower for the AVM30 made my choice easy.

I have owned several AVM-20's at old residences, and as primary, and secondary systems. I have since upgraded to the AVM-30, and really like the Anthem gear. The display is much better than the 20, but other than that, I can't tell any other difference, even though I know of them. I loved the pairing of the MCA-50 amps that I've used in a couple different set up's. I'm currently using a Pass Labs X-5 with my AVM-30, and the sound is totally awesome. Anthem has great customer service, and firmware upgrades are a snap. I would suggest picking up a used 20, or 30 on audiogon, and I think you'll be more than happy. I can't vouch for the D-1, as I haven't had any experince with it. I'm sure it's very good because of the company. I have also had very good experiences with Dunlavy speakers, and would highly recommend them. They are no longer in business, but come up for sale quite often on audiogon. Any of their monitors would mate well with the Velodyne subwoofer. You can see my system in virtual systems labeled as small home theater. Feel free to ask me any questions. I love the A/V hobby!
in late but... good stuff on the Anthem product. My slant is on the Velodyne. I had a DD-12, which at the time I got it I thought it was totally awesome and I thought I'd died and went to subwoofer heaven. HOWEVER, I upgraded it to a DD-18 recently and am now writing this from there! Get the biggest, baddest one you can (or can't) afford. They are awesome, blend into any room (mine has one wall of glass sliders!) and what they do for my B&W 9nt floor standers listening to vinyl has made me not even think about getting better ones. Truly a great piece of gear. Yes, 4,999 retail on a subwoofer might be close to 'stupid' money for some - but once you have one you'll know!
"Faster processor (more than double the clock speed)"

If you're lucky, some of the very last AVM-20 v2s had the same DSP processor as the AVM-30. Had one of those a while back and sold it when scaling down my HT.
I'm just curious as your "priority order" here for picking gear....seems you are focusing on the pre/pro and amp and such first, then the speaekrs last. It's all good of course. But you have to know of couse that this is backwards, no? Speakers are DEFINITELY the priority for a system, then the electronics after that.
If you focus on the speakers that do what you need, then the amp can match what the speakers require, both power-wise, and tonally, ey?
It seems far too many people get fixated on their pre's (see the thread "preamp deal of the century") and amps and such, and that the speaker threads are SPARSE and less heavily posted. This explains why most peoples sytems are mediocre from my experience, at least in part.
Focus on the speakers, seating, and setup/acoustics, and the rest will season to taste. Good luck