The best value in my mind is the anthem avm 20 with an mca 50 5 channel amplifier. check it out
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As a cinema grand signature and theater grand II owner, I have a somewhat different opinion than the previous two members. Although I haven't spend a great deal of time with the anthem gear, I did audition them a few years back. At that time, I chose to go with the B&K ref 20 / AV5000II setup over the anthem. Admittedly, the anthem had greater depth to the soundstage and a bit more neutrality on two channel, but on DVD, I actually preferred the low end slam and somewhat warmer sound of the B&K. Ultimately, I opted for the B&K package because the difference in sound quality did not justify the difference in price. Recently, I helped a friend pick out, and purchase, an all rotel setup with NHT speakers (from some electronics chain). For the floor price, you can't beat it. The sound, while not approaching the B&K or the Anthem, is quite listenable, despite restricted dynamics and leanness on the bass. Having said that, I recently upgraded to the sunfire from the B&K, which IMHO blows the whole lot away by a steep margin. The sunfire gear is not neutral, but a bit euphonic. For me however, the added sweetness mates well with my very revealing speakers. Good material sounds great and bad material sounds almost tolerable. Best of all, it mellows out the harshness of DD and DTS soundtracks. Since the TGIII just came out, you can now purchase used Sunfire equipment on audiogon at pretty low prices. Things you should consider is whether or not you (1)need the power of the sunfire gear for a bedroom system and (2) have the room for it as it is quite big. For me, and my main system, I haven't even looked back. If it sounds suitable take the plunge.
Sound & Vision just did a "generic" ( the whole magazine is pretty generic ) review of the Sunfire TG III, Anthem AVM-20 and Aragon Soundstage in the latest issue. While most of the writing is gibberish, it does cover the high points of each device and gives you some test measurements to compare. Sean
I can't speak to the Rotel or Anthem line myself, but I do have experience with B&K and Sunfire products. I recently purchased a Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature Amp and the Sunfire TGII. I still have not come up with a final opinion on the TGII vs. B&K Ref 30 which I have also used. I am quite happy with the TGII as a movie processor, I do not use it as a pre for my 2 channel listening.(I use an ARC SP 9mkII). The TGII has a wealth of inputs and outputs, great video switching, a good bass management program, and I personally prefer it's looks over the Ref 30.
What I prefer with the TGII/Cinema Grand Signature combo is the ability to connect the two via a full set of balanced cables, which IMHO results in an overall lower noise floor and less chance of RFI.
My speakers are very revealing of anything in the chain ahead of them, making bad source material sound worse, and pointing out flaws in weaker link components upstream. (Magnepan MGIIIA w/modified external XO)
The Cinema Grand Signature amp is a powerhouse SS amp. It gives you the opportunity of using two different taps: Current Source and Voltage Source. Magnepan speakers are very power hungry and can take whatever in the way of clean watts you throw at them. At 405 watts x 5 channels, it's a good mate for the Maggies. The current source tap is said to be more "tube like" than voltage source but has the side effect of running very hot at full tilt, pulling about 15 amps.
Both Sunfire pieces are big in size and the amp requires good ventilation as the heat is expelled from the bottom plate of the amp.
Sorry for the long ramble - but if I had to choose between the B&K and the Sunfire again, I would still choose Sunfire.
I haven't fully resolved my final opinion on the processor, but I can say hands down that the CG Signature amp is a GREAT HT product, and a damn fine 2 channel amp as well. I think it may be underated by a lot of people.