Monday, October 26, 2015

Anthem MRX Series AVRs

Anthem MRX 1120 Rear Panel CEDIA 2015
   At CEDIA 2015, Anthem unveiled its latest MRX AV receivers, and the top model offers full 11-channel amplification within its chassis. If you’re looking for an AVR that can handle 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos, you’ll find that most companies offer only nine amplified channels, even if they tout 11-channel processing. Anthem dispenses with that limitation in its new flagship MRX 1120 AVR.
   There are three new AV receivers in Anthem’s lineup. The MRX 520 is the base model and offers five channels of amplification for $1400. Due to the limited number of channels, it does not support immersive audio formats.
   The step-up MRX 720 is a seven-channel AVR that costs $2500 and supports Dolby Atmos as well as DTS:X. While its internal seven internal amps can only power a 5.1.2 immersive audio configuration, by adding external amplification and using its preamp outputs, the MRX 720 can run up to a 7.1.4 Atmos/DTS:X system.
   The flagship Anthem MRX 1120 sells for $3500 and stands tall by offering 11 amplified channels, all fed juice by a toroidal power supply. The MRX 1120 can run a 7.1.4-channel Atmos/DTS:X system all on its own, a rare capability among AVRs.
   All three of Anthem’s new AV receivers sport 32-bit DACs, Anthem Room Correction, and HDMI 2.0a inputs plus outputs that support HDCP 2.2. These AVRs handle HDR video, 10-bit video, 4:4:4 color at 2160/60p, and a BT.2020 gamut. Furthermore, the MRX 720 and 1120 offer DTS Play-Fi audio, which allows for communication with other Play-Fi devices, for multi-room audio. Unfortunately, I don’t have the power output specs for any of the new MRX models, but the Japanese MRX 720 is rated at 100 watts per channel while the Japanese MRX 1120 is rated at 120 watts per channel. All three of Anthem’s new receivers will ship this January.




If you’ve been holding out for a new receiver that features not only Dolby Atmos and DTS:X processing, but also the stunning audio performance and world-class room correction delivered by a company like Anthem, I have good news for you. Your wait is almost over. At this year’s CEDIA Expo in Dallas, the company introduced the third generation of its MRX receiver lineup, two of which feature the latest and greatest object-based surround sound formats, and all of which boast support for cutting-edge UHD video connectivity and processing, including HDMI  2.0a inputs and outputs with HDCP 2.2 copy protection, high dynamic range video, 60 frames per second video, 10-bit color, and more.
What’s more, all three of the new receivers—the MRX 520, MRX 720, and MRX 1120—feature differential output 32-bit digital-to-analog conversion with sample rate-optimized filters. What’s even more, all three feature built-in DTS Play-Fi capabilities, and can exist in the same streaming audio ecosystem asParadigm’s new Premium Wireless speakers, also debuted at the show.
We spoke with Western Regional Sales Manager Rob Sample for more details:
As Rob points out, the MRX 1120 will be one of the very few AV receivers on the market to feature a full 11 channels of amplification, meaning that you can use it to power a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos or DTS:X speaker system (that’s 7.1 channels on the ground and 4 in-ceiling) without having to add your own amplification. That’s a pretty huge deal in and of itself.
If you don’t mind bringing your own amps to the party, though, you might be more interested in Anthem’s new AVM 60 preamp/processor. The AVM 60 brings all of the features that we love about the new Generation 3 MRX receiver lineup to the table, along with the flexibility to configure your system perfectly with as much power as your room needs. It’s a great match for Anthem’s new 225-watt-per-channel MCA 525, MCA 325, and MCA 225 amplifiers, which deliver five, three, and two channels of amplification, respectively, allowing you or your home tech specialist to mix-and-match to suit your system perfectly. Just need a 5.1 surround sound system? The MCA 525 is your guy, when combined with the AVM 60. Looking to expand to 7.1? Just add an MCA 225 and you’re in business. Or, if you want to take full advantage of the AVM 60’s Dolby Atmos and DTS:X processing capabilities, you can combine an MCA 525 and two MCA 325s for the perfect amount of amplification.
All seven new products are expected to ship in January, with prices as follows:
  • MRX 520: $1,399
  • MRX 720: $2,499
  • MRX 1120: $3,499
  • AVM 60: $2,999
  • MCA 525: $3,499
  • MCA 325: $2,499
  • MCA 225: $1,999