I like Bryston. All your suggestions are good options - are you planning to use all XLR - in which case you should get a power amp that has XLR inputs.
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I appreciate every little bit of advice from all who have a little more experience in the separates arena. I just want to make the right decision in regards to the combo I get (pre/pro and amp). I am sure I will hear a huge difference between any separates set-up and my receiver. Of course, I would like to have the biggest, best, and newest toys possible, but I also do not want to be sleeping on the couch for a month either. Trying to stay within reason is tough. What I am most curious about is will I truly be able to hear a huge difference between this amp and this amp. Will the largest improvement be moving simply to separates as long as I get an average to above average amp to work with the AVM 30. In all honesty, to a newbie, will there be a large audible and quality difference between let's say Anthem, Parasound, ATI, Bryston, or Rotel combined with the AVM 30. I am not trivializing purchasing higher priced and better quality products for those who have been doing this for a long period of time, I will probably be like everyone else and get bit by the upgraditis bug after I get a taste of what's out there. I appreciate everyone's patience with a newbie who is excited and enjoying this new hobby (just gaining new information and the pursuit is enjoyable to me). Thanks.
Many people will claim there is a big difference. I say, not really. Sure Ive heard some that give me greater pleasure to listen to, but they are all good choices mentioned here. Id get the A5. Anthem is very solid. You can get a Bryston st for about the same price used if you can live with the 150 x 5 power rating. I know I personally dont need a million watts like some do.
Ive owned some seriously high dollar gear, such as a all Ayre acoustics system with all class components. The Anthem is easily as good as they were, and more fun and flexible as well! Sure, the Ayre was smoother and warmer, then anthem brighter and upfront. One is not better then the other, just different. Rotel is nice, I had a 1095, 1068 setup once also. It was real good for the money, but all in all I would just buy a Denon. The 1068 had some popping issues for me when I changed inputs, or the DAC's changed modes. The sound was very bright, and slightly harsh sounding to me,but still was enjoyable.
The Anthem was a strong choice you made, Id stay with Anthem products. They are top rate!
I dont think you will hear any difference so to speak. I think its what you wont hear on longer runs, noise. That being said, I use balanced connections on everything just because they are there, so why not use them. Specially when I find I prefer a top Canare/nuetrik combo over anything else Ive ever heard. It doesnt seam to play with the signal, adding or subtracting a certain tone.