FWIW... Yamaha RX-v2700 / Anthem Pre1 Combination

This post may come as no suprise to many of you, so your indulgence is appreciated. But for those who may not know about Phono PreAmps I post...

I recently put in a Yamaha RX-v2700 into my system to use as a pre-amp/prosessor and to run my surround speakers. The front three are handled by outboard amps.

In the system is a Scout turntable with a dynavector 20x High Output cartridge and an Anthem Pre1P phono pre-amplifier. I've use that for a couple years and really know no other set-up, it being my first journey into analog of this nature.

Upon installing the Yammie, I decided to by-pass the Anthem and go direct to the 2700's inboard phono stage thinking I'd not hear much of a difference and could simplify my system.

Big mistake, not even close. The sound stage became one dimensional and sounded compressed and flat to me. Favorites lost all their magic. The little things were missing totally and the sound was okay but certainly ordinary.

I hooked up the Anthem and everything returned. Wide soundstage, intimate details of the recording and all the little things that keep you involved in the music. Even the volume itself was almost 30-40% higher. I did use an SPL meter as I knew the volume would be different and know that generally louder sounds better anyway.

I don't believe this to be a sign of the Yammies unability to produce good sound. It sounded okay but just that, ok. The rest of this processor sounds marvelous and does H/T just fine. It replaced an older Anthem unit and sound wise is just terrific. Not having a dynamic phono stage in a receiver of this nature isn't suprising.

I post this more to let anyone know that is contemplating a purchase of a stand alone phono preamp it will make all the difference in the world over a built-in one in a similar type receiver.

This also confirms, to me at least, that this Anthem Pre1P is one terrific phono stage - totally transformed the sound. They are very resonably priced if you can find one and have a tube stage as well.
Of course. What did you expect? Yamaha is one of the only HT receiver builders even including a phono stage these days, although at the price points they sell the receivers you gotta figure that they can't be putting more than a few bucks toward the phono stage. To compare it to a stand-alone phono preamp and find the stand-alone superior is not news.

What is news, in my opinion, is that the phono stage Yamaha includes in its HT receivers in fact holds it own very well against entry-level phono preamps. I am presently using an RX-V2400 receiver for all my listening (a spouse compromise thing) and sold my Rotel RQ-970BX becuase the Yammie phono stage is at least as good as it. I'd say that the Yammie phono stage also compares favorably with the entry-level NAD.

So, if I were you I would not conclude, as you do, that your listening "test" demonstrates that the Anthem Pre1P is a terrific stage (although I'm sure it is) -- most non-entry-level phono stages will sound "terrific" compared to the onboard stage of an HT receiver. The more accurate conclusion is that Yamaha is still including a very competent phono stage in its HT receivers, for virtually nothing. For someone looking for a single solution to their 2-channel and multi-channel needs, this puts the Yamaha in a class, at its price-points, by itself.
No suprise at all. Anthem gear is quite good. I bought an old CD1 with tube output stage for a second system. It was so good , it's now in my main system.
Can you imagine if you replace the 2700 with an Anthem AVM-2/20/30 and matching power amp? I tried a Yamaha 2200 and was repulsed at the quality of build and sound. My Anthem will blow away anything the Yamaha has....
Elevick... I can appreciate what you say. However, the gap isn't as much as one might think on this particular Yammie. I'm very familar with the AVM20, and in a stand alone processor, it is very highly recommended not just by me but mostly anyone whos heard or had them. The build a great product. A hands down winner.

But for one thing, it should sound better. An AVM30 cost almost double what the 2700 does. So it just plain better sound far superior for that kind of cost. A comparison not taking into account the cost of any gear isn't really an apples to apples comparsion.

However, for H/T IMHO there isn't a tremendous gap between the two units and I've heard both with my gear. I might even prefer the Anthem but Yammies processing and the way they impliment it is just fine and the detail for H/T it produces is astonishing. I've no experience with a 2200 so I won't comment on its merits or lack thereof.

For it's price point, this Yammie is very credible and does the job. Very value packed considering the video processing etc. built into it.

Its competion from Anthem would cost $4695 at retail - quite a jump. Frankly, if I had the money, that's where I'd be. But for now this unit sounds great and allows me the luxury of really cranking up the wattage out of my stand-alone amps by bridging them.

My point posting is no matter what your using for a pre-amp, a good stand alone Phono Stage, assuming your into vinyl, makes all the difference in the world, at least to me. I also have mentioned this 2700 before and wanted to pass along what I found out about its phono stage.

STEUSPEED if you ever get a bug to sell the tubed Anthem CD player, let me know! I bet its one terrific sounding unit and is a changer too, correct?
Sailfisben - Yes it is. The changer guts are Sony internal stack type. It's slow and clunky sounding when changing discs as archived reviews describe. I don't really use it as a changer much. Pull the top off and there is a big Sonic Frontiers board in there with DAC and output stages. Lots of MIT caps etc.. and beafy power supply. I bought it here on Audiogon. It has an upgraded tube. I can't recall what type now. They pop up in the $600-650 range. I sold Sonic Frontiers in the 90's. We never carried the Anthem gear though. Down the road I would consider SFCD player or SFD2 DAC which I know is very good.