SQ : Anthem receiver vs. processor

Hi everyone,
I’m on a quest to simplify my life and get rid of my separates. In terms of a range of options, I’m probably settling on Anthem. My choices are:

  • MXR 720 - 7 Channel receiver ($2,500) and use external amps for L and R
  • AVM 60 a pure processor ($3k)
  • Classe SSP used (~ $3k)

I’m wondering if any of you have direct experience comparing the sound quality of each? I have an external DAC I’ll be using for music sources.

The processor total cost of ownership is significantly higher, not to mention space and wiring required.
Not sure which sounds better but have read that the preamp/processor, DACs, ARC, are the same for the AVM 60 and the MRX 720. Can’t remember where I read that but best to confirm that with Anthem. My guess would be that the AVM 60 would have a slightly lower noise floor because of lack of on board amplification.

This might be where I read something.

If my NAD T175HD pre/pro takes a dump anytime soon and I can’t find the newer T187 pre/pro at a good price, I will look for the best deal I can find on either the AVM or MRX.

Thanks for the link, Bill!

The Anthem AVM60 pre pro is the same as the preamp processor/DAC section of the Anthem MRX1120 av receiver, not the MRX720. The MRX1120 is Anthem’s flagship av receiver, which retails for $3500 new. The MRX720 is a step down from the MRX1120. 
caphill :

The only thing I can see it stepping down in is wattage and channels.

Do you think there's more?

In receiver land, you generally want the biggest receiver so that you have the largest power supply.  This will give you the most bass/midbass power and also have smoother sound overall.  The increase of watts/channels is the reason why the manufacturers have to build a larger power supply.
aux - That's an interesting perspective. I hadn't thought of that. So, for the same level of sound, the larger receiver has a stiffer power supply.

If you're like me, and 2-channel is your passion but you also want a good, satisfying, and entertaining HT experience, I'd find it VERY hard to justify the considerable added expense of running a separate AV processor and multichannel amp.  You're only using the AVR to power the center and surrounds, and the MXR 720 is no slouch.  It's really hard for me to fathom you using the MXR 720 in this role and being in any way disappointed in your HT experience.  I'd put the additional funds into a better integrated or stereo separates -- no question.  Best of luck. 
The reason I’m going through all this trouble is that in the past I’ve had 3 HT processors:
  • Emotiva
  • Onkyo
  • Theta Casanova
And the Emotiva and Onkyo were really terrible. Practically jokes compared to the much older Casanova. Of course, the Casanova had no HDMI, or advanced decoding past DTS, but for music and movies it was in a completely different league.
I finally ended up getting an Oppo, Parasound P7 and Class D amps along with a MiniDSP to do Center and subwoofer integration duties, along with a Mytek DAC.

I’m not looking to get a Theta Casablanca IV ($25K) for cheap, but I’d like to not be disappointed in the way I was with the Emotiva and Onkyo again.

Many recommended the Classe SSP, but the idea of an all-in-one receiver is really appealing to my space situation right now. If the DAC is decent, this may replace everything I've cobbled together.

I’ll go have a listen to the Anthem line this weekend.

@erik_squires why go with anthem when Dirac Live seems to be cornering the Hifi/ht room correction market ?.

difference between the 720 and the AVM60 is the AVM has a toroidal transformer.
I care more about signal quality than room correction. 

The idea of an all-in-one AV receiver will not satisfy your two-channel needs for music playbacks. It compromises your stereo performance. The higher end and better build AV receivers will of course sound better than the entry level ones but they will not perform on the same level as good stereo integrated amps or separates.

caphill -

<< sigh >> I know. At this point i'm limited by space, and clutter.
If things get bad, my amps have switchable inputs, so I can use the RCA for HT listening, and the XLR inputs from my DAC for music directly.