I then ran ARC again just for the AVM 60 home theater. 1 kHz 16/44 Sine Wave at 0 dBFS USB-In XLR-Out, 4 VRMS. Vol.12 – December 2020, The Smallcombe Home Theater II – Part 3, “The Future of Audio Shows” Cartoon by Carlo Lo Raso, Setting Up a Bryston BDA-3.14 Streaming DAC and Qobuz Streaming Service – A How-to Series, Part 2, Setting Up an AURALiC ARIES G1 Streamer and Qobuz Streaming Service – A How-to Series, Part 1, DCI-P3 Color – What It Means in Today’s Ultra HD World, AVR-Audio Video Reciever-Build Quality: Part V. Does Your Projector Display Accurate Color, and Why Is That Important? The monitors were crossed over to the subs at 80 Hz. Moving to my 2.2 channel setup, I listened to a very dynamic orchestral recording of selections from the various Batman films. This may sound like a lot of work, but it offers an amazing amount of flexibility in terms of configuration. Best Wishes for a Peaceful and Safe Holiday, JBL Synthesis SDP-55 & SDR-35 Q&A Nick Clarke – Senior Director of Global Engineering, Thank You To All of Our SECRETS Fans and Supporters, RIAA Vinyl Sales Q&A with McIntosh Group CEO Jeff Poggi. The category of preamps has changed a lot in the past decade or so. There's also a home theater bypass feature that allows the user to defeat all processing and gain control completely, such that your AV preamp or receiver can handle processing when you're watching movies and pass its signal straight through the STR, even with the power off. I remember marveling at how good and lifelike “The King” sounded in that setting. The MM/MC phono input stage deserves some special mention. Anthem STR Preamplifier and Power Amplifier, STR Preamplifier and STR Power Amplifier with the Anthem AVM 60, © Copyright 2021 Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity /, Show Reports, Film Festivals and Concerts, McIntosh C2700 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier and MC462 Power Amplifier Review, Bluesound Powernode 2i Wireless Streaming Amplifier and Pulse Flex 2i Wireless Streaming Speaker Review, PS Audio Stellar Strata Integrated Amplifier Review, McIntosh MX170 Surround Sound Processor and MC257 7-Channel Power Amplifier Review, Sonus Faber Electa Amator III Speaker Review, What We Are Watching Vol. I hope Anthem comes up with multi-channel versions of the STR Power Amplifier sometime soon. AmplifierAnthemARCPreamplifierPreamplifier Review 2019room correction. This Relative Linearity chart allows us to examine the above-mentioned errors in a more exaggerated, and easy to see manner. If the AVM 60 looks a lot like Anthem’s top A/V receiver—well, essentially, it is a de-amplified edition of the brand’s 11.2-channel MRX 1120 (reviewed last month), at a $500 savings and with all-channels balanced (XLR) preamp I really enjoyed listening to the STR Preamplifier since it brought back fond memories of the Anthem Statement D2v 3D which was Anthem’s flagship A/V processor for many years. Anthem ARC 5 kHz Results, BESL Monitors and Subwoofers, Anthem ARC 400 Hz Results, BESL Monitors and Subwoofers. Any phono preamp must administer this EQ curve (or decompression, referring to the ZIP analogy) to any signal coming in from a turntable in order for the music to be reproduced correctly. Benchmark audio tests were conducted on the RCA and XLR analog inputs and the SPDIF and USB digital inputs of the Anthem STR preamplifier. In my case, I didn’t need an HDMI input on the STR Preamplifier because I could make use of the inputs on the Oppo UDP-205. The quality construction continues on the inside of the STR preamp with well laid out board designs and neatly mounted components. Full of dynamics and without a hint of harshness. Can’t ask for better than that! ARC automatically defaults to a flat EQ profile with an upper limit of correction set at 5 kHz and ARC detected a modest level of room gain dialed in below 300 Hz. I started off by using the Paradigm Persona 7F loudspeakers hooked up and playing full range with the STR duo. 20 kHz 24/192 at 0 dBFS XLR-In XLR-Out, A-D DSP On, 4 VRMS. In analog direct, the response is flat until we see a very gradual 6 dB roll-off as we approach 90 kHz. The congas sounded more like they should, with added weight returning to their sound. Less so for the amplifier because comparable products from companies like ATI, Bryston and such are in that ballpark. I’ve already made mention of the top-shelf build quality and unique design of these STR components. Anthem STR Preamp Frequency Response, A-D DSP and ARC On. Analog Direct Mode- 92 dB (MC), 110 dB (MM) With the introduction of the STR models, Anthem aims to change that perception. And by adding volume to the STR, I could hear an obvious increase in scale, dynamics, and size of soundstage. Feature wise, it pushes the limits of what you can expect to find in the stereo preamp category. Beautifully built and engineered components. For this review, Anthem Electronics has provided us with their new STR 2-channel preamplifier and matching (beastly) stereo STR power amplifier. The unit has other goodies, too, including bass management for two subwoofers, which is a nifty feature normally reserved for AV preamps and receivers. I should also note that the Home Theater Bypass functionality can be used with any brand of home theater receiver or processor. The noise at 45 kHz rises by a hair and we see a few more small sidebands show up around the 20 kHz fundamental. ConclusionAnthem isn't afraid to throw down with the big-time audiophile or home theater companies, and that's just what they've done here with the Anthem STR stereo preamp at $3,995. Anthem’s small but solid remote control is also made from machined aluminum and has a clean, simple layout. While a lot less money, there is no solution for vinyl like with the Anthem STR, and there is no room correction, so you do save some money here and you get a recording studio quality device in the bargain, but you to lack many of the key features and the aesthetic of the Anthem STR preamp. It was at about that time as well that Carlo began purchasing “Audio Magazine” on a regular basis and came to appreciate, in particular, the writing and reviewing of the late Leonard Feldman. The STR power amplifier is a sight to behold both inside and out. That is the only 1 kHz 16/44 Sine Wave at 0 dBFS SPDIF-In XLR-Out, 4 VRMS. The subwoofers, when used, acted essentially as bass stands under my BESL monitors so they were both 10.6 feet from the listening position. Hi all, Ive been reading and reading and found that there has been a release of an updated Parasound Halo Integrated (HINT 6) and the release of a new product, the Anthem STR integrated from the Paradigm stables. The noise and harmonics profile also appears identical to the 24/96 test. Earlier this year Anthem launched the STR Integrated Amplifier in a return to 2-channel, and representative Devin Zell explained that they have expanded that line this year with a 2-channel preamp and dedicated amplifier. Digital In, 192 kHz: 10 Hz – 50 kHz (+0, -0.5 dB) ARC had effectively corrected the biggest problem area in the room (within its acoustic capability) and allowed me to extract the best performance possible out of an already stellar pair of speakers. 19 & 20 kHz 24/96 Sine Wave at -5 dBFS SPDIF-In XLR-Out, 4 VRMS. My reference home theater processor is the Anthem AVM 60. I was converted. Not much in the way of noise spurs but a few harmonics show up through the spectrum. If vinyl were your primary concern, you might need to buy a dedicated analog phono stage. The second harmonic at 20 kHz is about 90 dB below 4 VRMS. The design also incorporates the AK4137EQ sample rate converter and an 8-channel analog volume control chip from Cirrus Logic, the CS3308-CQZ. On the digital side of things, there are a pair of coax digital inputs, a pair of Toslink digital inputs, a single AES/EBU digital input and an Asynchronous USB input as well. Repeating the test with the digital conversion on, THD+N becomes 0.001476%. It successfully takes all the essential analog and digital elements of a top-notch stereo front end and successfully mates them to the almost practical necessity of an advanced and flexible room correction system with proper bass management. I may be in the minority, but I almost never use a USB input, it’s too impractical for me and I would gladly give it up for a properly implemented HDMI input. The up close and intimate presentation of her vocals and many of the lush orchestrations make for the perfect material to get lost in, while listening through a good pair of speakers. Yes, even a single HDMI input-output would have made it even cooler, but that would have made it more expensive, too, and its price point is pretty fantastic right now. I would have liked to have seen a lower fixed capacitance setting as 270 pF might be a little high for some MM cartridges (after factoring in interconnect and tonearm wiring capacitance). This allowed ARC to focus on the bass response while allowing the bulk of the Persona’s sound, which I already liked in my room, to remain untouched. Analog Direct In: 10 Hz – 80 kHz (+0.00, -0.10 dB) It allows me to extract the best performance and all the potential of any speaker and subwoofer combination that I could bring into this room. Ultimately, this is a hobby and it should be fun. The rest of the track was a supportive and balanced concoction of piano, acoustic guitar, bass, and cymbals. Anthem proudly proclaims that their components are “Crafted in Canada.” 600 watts @ 4 Ohms (Continuous, 20 Hz – 20 kHz, <1% THD) Our magazine, which began with the publication of the SECRETS Primer, is available exclusively on-line and offers to our readers an extensive information resource about home theater and high-end audio. The Krell Illusion II preamp has been on the market for a while and is priced at $7,000, which is a significant uptick in price over the Anthem STR Preamplifier. Well, either in full analog mode or with ARC and A/D signal conversion engaged, cranking the volume wide open, with no input signal, gave me nothing but silence. We repeat the same frequency response sweep but now with the incoming signal converted from analog to digital by the STR. Where I once felt just a sense of bass coming from cellos and the lower octave stringed instruments, I now have this churning wave of bass floor that that adds so much more depth and dimension to the performance. Today, Anthem is making waves in the stagnant pool of stereo preamps with its STR DAC-preamp. The approach worked exceedingly well and I never experienced any type of lip-sync delay problems. There are other players on the market, such as the super high-end Trinnov Amethyst at over $10,000--a DAC-pre with apex-predator-level room correction. I was actually rather surprised at how much bass I was getting from the BESL’s twin 7-inch drivers alone. The resulting sound was absolutely spectacular. A number of DSP phono EQ filters are included to get the best out of your LPs, even if purists cringe. For 2-channel playback, I think the preamp has been carefully tuned and refined to be an incredibly effective front-end solution. The question of what makes one piece of equipment sound better (or worse) than another is something that he’s always found fascinating. I think more and more people are coming to the inevitable understanding that correcting the room makes a bigger and more noticeable sonic difference than higher bitrates, expensive cables, MQA or any of the other things that are more like “crumbs on the acoustic periphery”. Again, a clean response with two minor harmonics at 2 and 3 kHz registering at 94 and 97 dB below 4 VRMS respectively. Oh yes, you can spend more money, but you'd have to spend a lot more to get that next level of sound. Classé's CP-800 is discontinued but was a good solution from the recent past that you may be able to find for a decent price. As revealing as the Persona 7Fs are, I was curious to see if they would pick up any residual noise in the preamp. And yes, these are completely run in the analog domain, so they still work when you push analog direct mode. As you’ve no doubt surmised, I really like these Anthem STR separates. The port also communicates with home automation systems as well. It’s got low noise, plenty of transparency, scads of power reserve capability, impressive build and, by Odin’s beard, those huge meters are awesome! On appearances alone, the STR amplifier certainly looks the part, and while I have no way to measure the amp’s actual output, I would be very surprised if it didn’t meet its rated specs handily based on the quality of construction and parts used. There is IP/RS-232 control, which allows this stereo preamp to live comfortably in a modern, smart home controlled environment. It became quite clear after repeated listening that the A/D conversion and processing that Anthem was employing in the STR was as transparent as I have yet come across in a digital component. And, barring any serious room acoustic issues, if you are spending the kind of money that buys a pair of speakers like these, you hopefully are doing so because you like the way that they are voiced to begin with. The STR preamp’s phono stage mated well with my Technics turntable and Audio-Technica OC9/ML II moving coil cartridge. Using an analog 24-bit/192 kHz, 1 kHz sine wave produces a THD+N of 0.000756% at 4 Volts measured at the XLR outputs with all digital processing disabled. The Personas sounded good in this room already but now, any hint of boominess to the bass had been filtered out and yet there was still a tight and visceral impact to the bottom end. Bass notes in the introduction of the track were taught and well defined, not flabby as I have heard with lesser gear on this track. ANTHEM STR PREAMPLIFIER AND POWER AMPLIFIER SPECIFICATIONS. Moving to the more R&B tinged “Who Will Comfort Me”, ARC once again delivers tight and meaty sounding acoustic bass lines through the Personas which, without acoustic correction, would otherwise sound peakier and more bloated in this room. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The STR preamplifier is probably one of the more useful and compelling pieces of 2-channel audio equipment to come out in some time. but you don't need a Ph.D. in electrical engineering to make it work, either, which was good for this reviewer. 1 (1987) {Full Album}. ARC remains off for this test. Note however that the pure analog signal path bypasses all bass management so any subwoofers you have in the system will be silent and your main speakers will operate at full range. Only through the phono inputs was I able to get the slightest wisp of a noise floor at full volume, but I had to be practically kissing the speaker to hear it. While the STR preamp can be paired with any power amplifier one wants, Anthem sent along the STR power amp to create a perfect synergistic match. For the duration of this review, and in every tested configuration, I relied on Wireworld interconnects and speaker cables--running XLR balanced audio connections between preamplifier and amplifier. For both speaker configurations, the main speakers were 9 feet apart with the main listening position being 10.8 feet away. Anthem STR Preamplifier for sale. The revolutionary STR Preamplifier is a new type of audio component that gives you more control and more refinements, including more connection options and more advanced technology, in a single, easy-to-use component. He can never keep that straight…. For the 2-channel audio enthusiast, the level of product innovation hasn’t changed very much over the last few years. Faithfully reproducing the source material the way it was recorded, with great clarity, musicality, and finesse. Rich and Robert Kozel for their invaluable assistance in this review. Bought as a dealer demo about a month ago, plans have changed quickly. For the money, a more state of the art A/D D/A solution. The second harmonic at 40 kHz is now at 86 dB below 4 VRMS and the noise floor rises by 3 dB again. Priced at $3,499, this component competes in the sex appeal department with a polished chassis and a very cool front screen. While every detail and texture of the instruments were heard, I felt like it all gelled into one cohesive presentation. Far too often, AV manufacturers choose to ignore an internal phono stage from their stereo preamps, be it for greed's sake (so they can sell you another black box) or perhaps for performance's sake. The attacking bass performance on the track “Mars” was palpable and precise thanks to the Triton Reference and Anthem Room Correction on the STR Preamp. One would assume Classé will be back with another DAC-pre at some point down the road after being acquired by Sound United (the parent of Denon, Marantz, Polk, and Definitive Technology). We see some distortion spurs throughout the spectrum. A casual walk through any good audio show like Munich High End or RMAF proves my point. The included remote control is a streamlined, all metal, affair that easily accesses all the features of the preamp and quickly becomes intuitive to use. Yes, it is beautifully engineered, has a dynamite phono input and, realistically, I’m sure I probably wouldn’t hear a difference with better digital chips (you can tell in the measurements that Anthem has spent some time getting the best out of the silicon they are using), but I really wish this thing had an HDMI input so that I could directly pass a DSD bitstream over from my OPPO (or any other) HDMI equipped player. On a side note to the fine folks at Anthem/Paradigm, I can easily see the STR preamp, with not too much modification, become the control center for a range of fully active speaker systems. The NAD is somewhat of a modular design, so you can customize your component a little bit more to your specific needs. With the connections out of the way, the next thing to consider was room correction. The harmonics at 2 and 3 kHz registering again at 94 and 97 dB below 4 VRMS respectively. DCS has an uber-expensive DAC-pre unit that is likely beyond the price range of anyone looking at a $4,000 preamp. I am in the military and have an assignment overseas and I don't want to just box this up in storage. Repeating the test with the digital conversion on, THD+N becomes 0.005785%. As I mentioned earlier, the STR preamp will accommodate practically any 2-channel speaker configuration that you can come up with, from a simple pair of monitors or towers to a pair of speakers and a pair of subwoofers (in either mono or stereo configuration). It wasn’t earth-shattering by any stretch, but it was more than I’d ever heard with other amps running these speakers without a crossover. It’s got a fantastic room correction system, effective and flexible bass management, very low noise, an overachieving phono section, a very good A/D and DAC section, tons of inputs, great looks and build quality and I can go on. 1 kHz 24/192 at 0 dBFS XLR-In XLR-Out, A-D DSP On, 4 VRMS. After “seasoning to taste” I brought the correction limit down to 400 Hz and bumped up the Room Gain to 4.5. Individually, they are some of the very best sounding examples of their respective categories. It's DAC is MQA compliant, which is especially nice for the Tidal streaming fans out there. Electric bass was suitably deep and punchy without any artificial bloat. I used two Dayton Audio SA1000 subwoofer power amplifiers to run my subs when they were in play. My nitpicking may sound a bit on the irrational side, but these are billed as audiophile components and, for the money spent, an audiophile looks for state-of-the-art, even if sometimes it’s only for bragging rights. (at 1 kHz, IEC-A, 2 Vrms output), 3.3Vrms (<0.1% THD) Yes, it is not inexpensive, domestically designed and manufactured products like this almost never are, but it is a quality item and I imagine we will see more components like it arriving soon from other manufacturers. There are some noise spurs out past 45 kHz but the loudest is at 100 dB below 4 VRMS. The separation of instruments and amazing sense of detail in Howard Shore’s score “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – The Complete Recordings” has never sounded better in my room. With ARC in play, the room resonance is sharply reduced and the bass sound became more focused and melodic while retaining the desired impact. The soundstage sounded wide and deep, with clear ability to place Cobain's vocals, the drums, and additional guitars across the soundstage. For A/D and D/A duties, Anthem has chosen chips from AKM, specifically the AK5552VN (2 channel) ADC and the AK4456VN (6 channel) DAC respectively. Setting this option to “Yes” allows the amp to automatically turn on whenever a signal is detected. 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