Give the Anthem AVM20 a listen; a lot of bang for the buck.
Hi, I also have an Anthem AVM-20. I enjoy it very much also. Although be prepared it could take as long as 200hrs. to burn in and show itself at its best. Mine took about 1 1/2 months to be sounding ok. And better as time went on. The difference is not small, have patience. Also it seems to like to be left on all the time for best sound quality. For what I paid for it it is a wonderfull, extremely versitle unit. The built in dac is not bad nor great either. But after burn in does Take the edge off of some CD's with very little loss of definition. If you make CDR's the 24/88 output is way cool. Also bi-amping is easy using the combination of the RCA and balanced out puts. It will keep you surprised with it's many features for a long time (i.e.way too many to think about. The only major complaint is that if you leave it on and and shut down the driven amplifiers tube or SS it has an audiable hum from it's power supply. This not audiable when the driven sorces are on. It may be the obsene loads it see's when thier off. Overall yes I like it. Now I will be forced t post my system. 2 channel anolog is my favorite meduim, DSD can be fun too!
Another vote for Anthem AVM-20. Great sounding DAC and excellent sounding analog bypass in both 2 and 5.1 channels. It's not going to be as transparent as a levinson 380S but it sure does a lot more for half price.
but I think the best part of Anthem AVM-20 is the user interface. Very easy to navigate and still has tons of options. Plus the EPROM Software is upgradeable from a serial port. I just connect the serial port from my laptop to AVM-20 and the update is done in seconds.
Overall a well thought out product unlike some of other Hi-end product that tries to go into home theater arean.
I set out to obtain the best 2 channel performance I could find in a Processor. The Competition ranged from close to not a chance. I wanted to keep it at or under $3600.00 for a new unit. I had some in-home auditions and a couple of in-store.
The winner was a Bryston Sp1.7. My budget kept me from Krell's HTS 7.1 and Classe's SSP-75, so they didnt get auditioned at the time. Since, I have heard both and they are impressive, equal but not really any better than the Bryston.
The competitors were Krell Showcase, Classe SSP-30, Integra RDC-7, Rotel RSP-1066, Sunfire TG3, B & K Ref50, and An Acurus.
My top picks for "best" musical bypassed Processors would be EAD Theatremaster, Bryston SP-1.7, Classe SSP-75, and Krell HTS 7.1. Not in a particular order.