Anybody able to compare Athem AVM/Sunfire G III ?

I currently have AVP 2 and tired of all the problems,lack of component video switching,no tuner,no balaced for rear channels,and no SACD/DVD audio. Do I need to say more.I have a Ayre CD-7 and will bypass DACS of processor for 2 channel sound.Looking for surround processor that would do all of the above and have great surround sound imaging as well as upgradeable. I was wondering if anybody has compared Anthem AVM 20 and Sufire G III in sound. I realize both units would meet my needs but overall sound quality in analog bypass and surround sound is the last questionI need answered. I hear that the Sunfire sounds terric in home theatre.Does anyone have thoughts or experience with both pieces ?Thanks
I recently had both in my system hooked up to Aragon 8008BB amp and B&W 805N speakers. The Anthem AVM20 is in a different class. The Carver sounds flat and lifeless (IMO). It also has this annoying auto input switching feature that gets confused a lot. The Anthem has an almost tube like sound. When it comes to customer service, I would give the nod to Sunfire. Sonic Frontiers customer service can be frustration at times. I had an AVM2 that died and sent it back for repair. Service beat the hell out of the unit and when I got it back there were scratches on the face and case and the unit was still dead. Sent it back a second time and they returned the unit in the same condition (still not working and with scratches) and said that they replaced the face and case. They even sent me an invoice for this repair! Afer many phone calls and threats of legal and criminal action they agreed to replace the unit. They few times I call Sunfire with questions they were curtious and they even returned phone calls when they said they would!!!!! I ended up returning the Sunfire to the dealer who loaned it to me while he was on vacation.

I sat down yesterday and watched the Matrix Reloaded yesterday. I kept getting distracted from the movie because the sound was so da__ good in some of the scenes. I guess that says a lot about the Anthems HT capibilities.

I currently have my DVD player hooked up 4 different ways to the Anthem: 2 channel analog for bypass and stereo and 2 channel SACD listening, coax digital for stereo listening with sub, Toslink digital for movies, and 6 Channel input for Multi-Channel SACD. That should give you an idea of how flexible the inputs are on the Anthem.
Pr: I'm curious as to if you ran the Sunfire with the XLR or RCA outputs ? Did you try turning off the "auto select" feature on the Sunfire ? I agree that it can be a nuisance, especially if you have multiple sources connected and turned on. Sean
All balanced using Cardas Golden Cross IC's. I did turn of the auto select feature. I ran into another use with the Sunfire. If you have both an analog and digital inputs going to the same source input on the Sunfire, it always defualts to the digital input. So, if you want to listen to your CD player using the analog input you have to unplug the digital input. I called Sunfire and they said that there's no way to defeat this "feature".
Pr: Thanks for the quick and thorough response.

As to the "automated default" of the TG processor, i agree that it can be a hassle. Then again, what other devices that try to be "convenient", "high tech" and offer a lot of "features" AREN'T getting harder to use ? Hell, i've got so many "user friendly features" on my cell phone that i don't even know how to access 90% of them !!!

As to your selection of cables, i don't know if that was a good choice for the Sunfire. Sunfire's thoughts are that most recordings are quite hot and forward sounding so they took this into account when trying to design and deliver a "musical" sounding product. As such, Sunfire and most of their knowledgable dealers will readily admit that their products are voiced slightly "soft & mellow". Going with cables ( Cardas ) that are known to typically introduce similar sonic traits into the system may have been "too much of a good thing". Contrary to popular belief, balanced cables still impart their sonic qualities to the signal just as much as single ended cables do. The real advantages to going to a well thought out balanced design are that you have twice the voltage swing, a reduced noise floor and less susceptability to outside influences ( RFI & EMI ).

This is NOT to say that the Anthem is not a better sounding unit, only that it is possible that someone using different components and cabling might have come away with a different preference. While i do have a Sunfire TG II, i'm not about to think that it is the best available. A local dealer that i'm friends with had compared the original TG to the original Anthem and he highly preferred the sonics of the Anthem. Since he carried both brands, he had no reason to BS me with a tainted opinion. Having said that, there's no reason to doubt that the latest Anthem could be a superior product to the latest TG, given that both companies have progressed with ideas and circuit design at the same rate.

Besides all of that, there is one MAJOR reason why i asked about xlr vs rca. That is, it is quite possible that the pin-out on the Sunfire did not match the Aragon whereas the Anthem did. There are two different XLR configurations being used in high end audio even though it is pretty much a fixed arrangement in pro audio. Sunfire happens to be one of the companies that is NOT using the European based / pro audio XLR wiring configuration. Instead, they are using what is now being termed the "American high end" XLR configuration. As such, one needs to pay attention to compatability between various balanced products before hooking them up. While the plugs will always fit from unit to unit, that does not mean that they are wired the same internally. Having said that, all one has to do is to reconfigure the wiring at ONE end of the XLR if the components aren't wired the same. This effectively changes and converts the connections to the proper and matching polarities so that both units are operating in sync with each other. If one does not do so but tries to connect two balanced components together that are not wired identically, damage or poorer performance could be the result. The severity of the problem would obviously vary with the components being used and their individual designs.

So that others know, Sunfire provides the pin-out of how their XLR's are wired in the manuals of their units. It may also be on their website, i don't know. Obviously, running Sunfire pre / pro to a Sunfire amp will not produce problems, but mixing and matching various makes / models / brands may be another story. This is also true of other brands, so don't think that Sunfire is out in left field by themselves on this one.

As such, this is something to think about when looking at or auditioning components. Then again, many dealers may not be aware of this themselves. As such, they could be demo'ing mixed gear in less than optimum configurations and / or based their opinions of gear that they've already auditioned on those less than ideal installations. As a consumer, you really DO have to pay attention to what you are buying and how to obtain optimum performance from it.

Having said all of that, i'd be curious to see whether all three components were wired the same ??? Sean
I aslo used Cardas Cross SE and AQ Viper balanced cables. In addition, I also used SAR and Aragon 2004MKII ampliefiers in place of the Aragon 800BB. The Aragon 2004 was SE only and the SAR was run in SE and Balanced. When I listened to the Anthem there was just a lot more information there. The soundstage was wide and deep and I could here things that I could not with the Sunfire. My wife, who is not into audio, could also here the difference. I was really hoping the Sunfire TGIII would work out because I was very upset with Sonic Frontiers with the way that they had handled my AVM2 repair.

I guess this is all just personal opinion anyway. If I get a chance over the next few days, I'll check the pinout on the Anthem XLR's compared to the Sunfires.

Pr: Sounds like you did a good job of getting to know the two components via various cable and support component swapping. Obviously, the Anthem was the winner in your system. I don't doubt your results in the least. Sean
"The Carver sounds flat and lifeless"Are we talking about the Sunfire G III?Sorry to say but all do respect,the Sunfire everythig but flat and lifeless.I understand if you like the anthem so much but the class where you put the sunfire it does not exist in this case.They both good and your taste is gonna lead you on it's way.In this class it's very hard to say something like you said .Do not be mad at me but there are no such a big diferents between the BMW & the Mercedes also.It's your taste and your heart.
Oh,something else.You shold not use the Matrix reloaded to compare those processors.One of the worst sound since the dvd was create on this world.Compare it to the first one it's disapointing.I hope they gonna have the new wersion and they gonna fix it.Try something else.Lord of the rings, new edition.Almost perfect.
Sorry about my English,I'm still working on it.
Yes, I'm talking about the TGIII. I had it in my system for over a month. It was on loan from a local store while I was working out my differences with Sonic Frontiers. I watched at least a dozen movies through it and listened to at least 60-80 CD's. I really wanted the Sunfire to work because I was really pissed at Sonic Frontiers. I was changing cables, amps and moving speakers around to get it to work. I made many calls to Sunfire to get help. When I received my new AVM20 fro SF I wasn't even going to hook it up. I had decided to sell it on Agon and use the proceeds to maybe buy a Parasound, Krell showcase, Aragon or Rotel processor. A friend of mine convinced me to try it before selling it. As soon as I put it in the system I heard a big improvement. And, the unit was not even broken in yet. There was more information and a huge soundstage.

I've been in this hobby for about 25 years. My wife says that my hearing is so good that I can hear her think. I've recently had a hearing test (my wife needed to have one so while I was there....) and the DR. confirmed that my hearing is excellent. I just wanted to make it clear that I'm no ameture. I have a few friends that own High-end audio stores and I hang out at the stores too much.

YBA_US - have you had the chance to compare the AVM20 and SUnfire TGIII in your room? In my room, I think the AVM20 is a better sounding product. We are all intitled to our opinions. And, I did everything I could think of to make the comparision fair. I even invited a few friends over, and they agreed that the AVM20 sounded better.

PS-The sound stage is so big on the AVM20, that I liked to invite people over and have them listen to 2 channel audio. I get the same response everytime that we are listening to surround sound because they can here things behind them. Then I show them that the surround amps are switched of and the processor is in stereo. I love the look on their faces.
I have had the anthem(both) in my system and the sunfire II and 111......all were fine sounding units..i have a 7.1 system and was upgrading from a lexicon dc-1. The Anthem AVM won the home theater tests hands down..but the Sunfire TG111 was close..........I bought the TG111 cuz i liked the way it sounded with my redbook cd's and it's overall warm spacious sound. I have a Dynaudio system.