Need opinions: Proceed AVP vs. Anthem AVM20

I am trying to decide on a "long term" home theater preamp, using 5.1 at first, but possibly 7.1 later. The Proceed AVP brings great quality and sound, but the guts are getting old, and it's a little pricey. The only available next upgrade for the AVP to support the newer surround modes will be a $1500-2000 hardware/software mod, on top of around $3000 to buy an AVP used. Anthem is releasing the upgrade to their AVM2, the AVM20, in another week. I only learned about Anthem through a dealer's recommendation when I was inquiring about the Proceed. Anthem's website lists all the latest toys inside this thing, basically all the stuff everybody complains is missing in the other brands. This preamp doesn't seem to lack. Most notably, it has an ultra-wide video bandwidth, which will easily support hdtv up to 1080p, not to mention line doublers and quads.

The question: Does anyone have any experience with the Anthem AVM2 which might indicate the quality/value/sound of the new AVM20? And is the AVM20 going to be an AVP-killer at list price $3200? If Anthem makes a good and reliable product, then this thing should be a hot seller, and should at least stoke the competition a bit.

Thanks in advance for any feedback you can provide.
great question. i have been thinking many of the same thoughts. i have a krell hts, but have been running a separate preamp (the front left & right channels output from the hts run through my preamp) because the hts lacks a good analog preamp. I like the idea of simplifying with just the Anthem piece. I think the Proceed piece is very good (probably better than my hts) but the upgrade path is slow and expensive. You'll get much better bang for your buck with the Anthem.
Well, I have an AVP and I haven't heard the Anthem but I just went through a similar thought process and this is what made me decide to get the Proceed. 1. Great reviews....almost universal praise for the AVP. 2. I bought mine used for $2500.00 I figured that when the upgrade becomes available, I could upgrade my unit and have a $7000.00 unit that is cutting edge with Madrigal's quality behind it and which may be upgradable again for minimal cost.

I am a firm believer in "you get what you pay for" and in this case, I find it hard to believe that a $3200.00 Anthem can compete with a unit costing more than twice its price...not to say it couldn't happen but I doubt it.

I don't know if that helps but I hope it does.

Why not look into the classe SSP30??? I've a little experience with the AVM2 from Anthem, and wasn't at all impressed with the sound I was hearing! (yes, it's all system dependent and room and such, but still didn't care much for what was coming from the speakers!). The Proceed is definitely clean and great sounding. Although I'm not so sure it's better in either 2 channel or Surround than the Classe!!!
Anyway, The Anthem does offer Advanced bass managment flexibility (a plus for proper speaker/sub configuration maximization!!!), plus dirrect through puts for all channels, and 24/192 dac's or something!? 7 channel.
However, I'd only buy this piece if you audition it first!!! I've heard the others in mention sound very very good!...very good infact! Tough choice, and I guess depends on your set-up/needs. Have fun
Thanks for the feedback. I agree with points in both replies, which is why I'm having a difficult time with the decision.

The Proceed AVP is obviously of excellent quality. My concern with Proceed is the dead-end that became of the PAV/PDSD. Those fine "future-proof" $10,000 products are now selling used in the low $3000's. The only available next upgrade to the AVP is going to be $1500-2000 for hardware and software. This upgrade will be to just bring it up to spec with the other latest products on the market. $5000 for a used processor is more than I want to spend for the latest technology, and given the PAV lesson, I'm not sure I could justify dropping that much money on a processor. What happens if component video becomes more the standard than s-video? Another hardware upgrade for the AVP? Another ka-ching...

The new Anthem AVM20 has everything, including the kitchen sink. A surround processor is merely a computer, so it is easy to bundle all the toys in the latest products. The question I have about the Anthem is in its sound quality and build quality. I haven't really read anything bad about the Anthem AVM2 (the older version). For that matter, the B&K Ref30 in the same class enjoys pretty good reviews too.

So, I can buy an AVP1 for about $3000, upgrade it to the AVP2 for another $2000, total investment is $5000. For half that, I could pick up a new B&K Ref30 or the Anthem AVM20, and have all the latest features, including component video capability. The Anthem AVM20 sports a huge video bus of 100Mhz which will handle hdtv quite easily. I hear the Proceed's video bus runs at like 70Mhz, which is questionable about what it will support.

I have read reviews and opinions about surround processors, it just seems that Anthem has incorporated pretty much everything that has been complained about what other processors are lacking.

Does anyone have practical experience with the Anthem AVM2 or done any direct comparisons against other similar processors?
I had an AVM2 for awhile. The DAC's in it were very good. The preamp section was very detailed sounding. It replaced a Krell KRC-2. There are obvious differences between the two. The Krell uses all discrete class a outputs and sound great at any level. The Anthem sounded very good until you drove it hard then it could become a litle brittle sounding. This is definitely the preamp because they were both used to drive a Krell KAS250. For home theater the AVM2 was very nice and very user friendly. I replaced the AVM2 with a Krell HTS2. Not because I was unhappy with the Anthem but a deal came up and I basicaly had no choice.
If you are not currently using a preamp with a discrete class a output section then you may be very happy with the AVM20. I prefer the preamp sound of a Krell.
I hope this helps some.
I have not heard the Anthem, but do own an AVP. Its a wonderful unit. The upgrade coming soon will leapfrog everything else. Its supposed to incorporate many of the features and dacs developed for the new Levinson #40 A/V controller ($40,000 incidently!). I would rather bet $5000 on a Madrigal product than $3200 on a small company that might not be in business in two years. I almost bought a Chiro or an EAD processor. They were both hot products for a very reasonable price last year. I think both of those are gone. take care
Just for the record, Anthem is part of Sonic Frontiers. They are hardly a "small company" and will probably be around for quite some time. At least we hope so : ) Sean
I have an AVM-2 and auditioned it extensively prior to purchasing. I also took a hard look at the B&K pre. I was concerned with a popping issue with the B&K which helped me make my decision. I am very happy with my AVM-2. I have had no problems with it at all. In addition, I have the Anthem MCA5 amp and likewise have been very satisfied. I had a question not covered in the manual and it was promptly answered by Anthem customer service. For the money, I am very satisfied.

With respect to the "brittle sounding" comment above, this has not been my experience. I push my unit very hard and have no complaints. However, that is a listener specific issue. I suggest listening to the unit on the speakers you plan to use. FYI, I have B&W N803s.

thanks for the heads-up about anthem.... I didn't know they were part of Sonic Frontiers. hope they last
Hi all,

I'm an AVP owner and also want to tell you that it is an excellent sounding unit although it is getting old and a little bit behind of all the other processors. Hope that the upgrade will bring it up to date or not to far behind the Lexicon MC-12, Integra RDC-7 or the very promising TAG AVR-192.

I bought mine because I got a good price as a demo unit and also heard the rumours (at that time) of possible upgrade. Bad thing about Proceed is that they are slow (compare to TAG). My first choice was a TAG unit but there is no TAG dealers in Canada. Lexicon MC-12 was totally out because of price and the Integra because of lack of bass management was also out.

About Anthem, I have read that they do not offer any kind of trading or upgrading for AVM-2 owners. If that is the case, I would think twice before buying their products.


Looks like you guys got the short end of the stick. While I agree that Proceed is a "very" good unit, Anthem has rocked the industry with it's reviews. (And more so now with the v.2 out ...)

Bet you guys are sorry now that you didn't go to Anthem eh?
I own an AVP unit and while I do not have any experience with the Anthem unit, I can share my thoughts about my AVP. A very important aspect for me is how the unit works on music. This is where the AVP is simply superb. In 2 channel mode, working as a pass-through analog preamp, or as a DAC and preamp receiving the digital output from my DVD player this unit sounds fantastic. It is truly a high-end DAC and analog preamp. In addition it is also a very good video switcher and surround decoder. I am sure that I will go and have my unit upgraded in the near future, but it is quite excellent as it is. You will be surprised how quickly you grow tiered of bells and whistles. The only thing that matters to me is how the unit sounds, and the AVP is excellent. You can hear the Mark Levenson trade mark sound in this unit for sure. In addition it has one of the best music surround modes that I have ever heard. While I mostly listen to music in 2 channel stereo, this unit does offer a satisfying alternative in surround mode.
I hope this feedback helps some.
Best of luck with your choice.
I am in the same decision mode. I auditioned the new proceed avp2 $6,000 roughly. I auditioned the Krell Showcase $4,000. I looked at the Bryston sp1.7 about $3,400. I looked at the McIntosh MX134 about $7,000. None on my speakers. They all sound really good in demo mode at the dealer. They all offer alot of the same ins and outs. Very confusing process. Combined with the fact that I am also upgrading my 2 channel amp at the same time, my head is spinning. A "fun" process of spending almost $10,000 is getting frustrating. Not sure if it is the best or even worth $7,000, but that McIntosh is sexy to look at...

I have not heard The AVM-20 but i have done extensive
research on PRE/PRO's recently. I am looking to upgrade
myself and will not do so unless i can get stellar 2ch
performance along with the rest. My research started with
everthing i could find info on. Anthem, Lexicon, Procced.. You name i probably have atleast read multiple reviews. What i narrowed to is Aragon stage one and EAD 8000 PRO.
For the price point (very close to AVM-20) they seem to offer best SOUND QUALITY in 2ch and surround. Im not knocking the AVM-20 it does have some great features and
flexibilty. One thing the EAD has is L/R sub outputs that
allow you to re-direct bass from small speakers to different
sub's. That really appealed to me. The Aragon does its bass
management is the Analog domain which is also a big plus.
They both have gotten great reviews. And both are superior sound wise for price point.

One thing you might want to re-consider. I do have a HD
setup and I refuse to route signal (any video) thru any
Pre/Pro. All it will do is comprimise sound and video
quality. All for a little bit of convience. Me i just
couldent sleep at night if i think im comprimising
sound in any way.
I used to own a Proceed AVP. After I saw the upgrade price for the AVP2 I sold it and purchased a Bryston SP1.7 I am very happy with my decision. I enjoyed the AVP and was really torn with selling it, but in the end I enjoy the Bryston more. Something just sounds right now. The music doesn't draw attention to itself as much as the AVP did. Any upgrades in the future for sure will be more reasonable as well with the 1.7 Madrigal has a legendary history but I think that Bryston has hit a home run with the 1.7