The preamp has a clean pure-analog mode and a high-quality MM/MC phono section. 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? On the heels of Anthem’s well-regarded STR stereo integrated amp, the company has drilled further down the 2-channel rabbit hole with the introduction of these two new STR separates. I would like to thank my colleagues Dr. David A. After listening to those initial results, which were notably more linear but a little bass-shy for my tastes and also missing a little of the added presence in the vocal region, I experimented with a few changes that got the sound more to my liking. ARC may not give you the kind of granular control over the EQ curve that DIRAC LIVE or even Audyssey’s new Curve Editor App allow, but the available controls are plenty powerful, and the results do sound mighty sweet when you get things set just right. The rear panel has both balanced and unbalanced inputs, a pair of robust 5-way binding posts per channel, a USB input for firmware updates, and a pair of trigger jacks with toggle switches to set their operation. Electronic music, even at high levels and with the bass bumping, was tight and crisp but never "night club/horn speaker harsh.". 1 kHz 16/44 Sine Wave at 0 dBFS SPDIF-In RCA-Out, 2 VRMS. With the connections out of the way, the next thing to consider was room correction. Just after the opening 15 seconds, an intense barrage of bass drums establishes the underlying beat for the passage and my ARC corrected subwoofers were hitting commensurately hard. There is IP/RS-232 control, which allows this stereo preamp to live comfortably in a modern, smart home controlled environment. Honestly, though, you would be hard pressed to find a better quality, more versatile phono stage built into a digital preamplifier/processor. 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. While the amp supports 12-Volt trigger operation, there is unfortunately only one 12-Volt trigger on the AVM 60 and that was used to power on one of my theater amps. Priced at $3,999, the Anthem STR stereo preamp isn't cheap by any measure, but considering that it includes Anthem Room Correction, a high-end internal 32 … The STR Preamplifier provides Home Theater Bypass functionality for both the front left and right channels as well as two subwoofers. Moving to my 2.2 channel setup, I listened to a very dynamic orchestral recording of selections from the various Batman films. The second harmonic at 20 kHz is now at 92 dB below 4 VRMS and the noise floor rises by 3 dB again. Analog In, DSP Mode: 10 Hz – 40 kHz (+0.00, -0.20 dB) NAD's M12 DAC-Preamp is likely the closest competitor to the Anthem STR preamp. Digital In, 44.1 kHz: 10 Hz – 20 kHz (± 0 dB, Analog Direct Mode: 0.0016% Connected source equipment included an OPPO BDP-105D universal player, a Technics SL1200 mk6 turntable (that has been modified by KAB Electroacoustics) equipped with an Audio-Technica OC9/MLII moving coil cartridge, and a Surface 3 Pro tablet (via USB) using J River Media Center 24 playback software. Hi audioholic n gene hope you doing better on covi19. Scan-Speak 32W/4878T Revelator 13" Subwoofer’s, VPI Prime Turntable, Ortofon MC Also, the internal DAC in the STR Preamp cannot decode MQA, which might miff some of the Tidal fans out there who are streaming HD music for $20 per month--many of which are MQA encoded. The fine-sounding STR preamplifier features Anthem’s new Genesis DSP room-correction software that gives a user the almost limitless ability to address the quirks of real-life listening spaces, employing two dozen IIR filters per channel and operating at 192kHz. REVIEW: Anthem STR Integrated – Is one box better than two? Repeating the same test but, this time, allowing the STR preamp to convert the incoming analog signal to digital (no ARC) allows us to examine how the signal integrity is maintained before any room correction processing. This may sound like a lot of work, but it offers an amazing amount of flexibility in terms of configuration. Anthem STR 2-Channel Integrated Amplifier $4,499.00 Choose Options Anthem STR Power Amplifier $5,999.00 Choose Options Anthem AVM 60 Audiophile 11.2 Channel Pre-Amplifier Processor *Buyers Club $2,999.00 Add To Cart 24-bit/192 kHz 1 kHz THD+N looks almost identical to the preceding test with a result of 0.000666% at 4 VRMS. Elvis, Elvis Is Back, RCA/Analogue Productions, 45 RPM LP. Everything else that fell above the ARC EQ cutoff sounded, subjectively, as close to identical between being in pure analog mode and converted to digital for processing. Individually, they are some of the very best sounding examples of their respective categories. The preamp has a clean pure-analog mode and a high-quality MM/MC phono section. Here, a 16-bit/44 kHz, 1 kHz sine wave produces a THD+N of 0.000812% at 4 Volts measured at the XLR outputs. ), Anthem, Preamplifier, Amplifier, Room Correction, ARC, Preamplifier Review 2019. 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. Unlike some room correction systems in other AVRs that downsample to 48 kHz, we can see here that the ARC implementation in the STR is indeed processing at 192 kHz. 20 kHz 24/192 at 0 dBFS XLR-In XLR-Out, Analog Direct, 4 VRMS. How Much Amplifier Power Does your Home Theater Need? The measurement procedure was the same as with the Personas, the only difference being my needing to tell ARC that there were 2 subs now in line and whether to treat them as a mono or stereo pair. Anthem STR Preamplifier is a new type of audio component that gives you better control and greater refinements including more connectivity and further advanced technology in a one-box simple to use component. We see an almost identical noise and harmonic profile to the 24/96 test. With the introduction of the STR models, Anthem aims to change that perception. The STR amp uses a cascoded complementary feedback input stage which, Anthem claims, creates a sound quality similar to Class A amplifier designs but with much greater operating efficiency. 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). Benchmark's focus is a bit more on the DAC side of things, as their half-rack sized components are heavier on the digital inputs than analog. ARC only allows a maximum Room Gain setting of 6 and maxing it out makes the bass sound muddy with music and just defeats the purpose. 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. 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. 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. “Soldier Boy” which is structured like a classic doo-wop tune comes out sounding very full, with significant depth to the presentation. 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 connected the front left and right channels from the AVM 60 using the XLR inputs on the STR Preamplifier and I connected the two subwoofer channels using the RCA inputs. With rock, things never sounded too sweet or polite. The Krell Illusion II preamp comes with a high-end internal DAC, RS-232 control, and comparable sex appeal, as you always expect from a Krell component, but it lacks a phono stage, an LED screen on the faceplate, and most importantly room correction. I would have to say the price. 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. When Carlo told me how much he had been enjoying the Anthem STR Preamplifier and STR Power Amplifier combination in his listening room, I became really curious to hear how the pair would sound in my existing home theater. I then ran ARC again just for the AVM 60 home theater. Simply put, performance-wise the Anthem STR stereo preamp can hang with components priced many times above its asking price. A surprising menu feature that I came across relates to the phono input when you elect to have its signal converted to digital. Ultimately, this is a hobby and it should be fun. I connected the subwoofer outputs from the STR Preamplifier to the built-in subwoofers in the Triton Reference speakers. There are four pairs of unbalanced RCA inputs. To Carlo’s point about the lack of HDMI inputs on the STR Preamplifier, I think it comes down to how you choose to connect sources to the STR Preamplifier. It most certainly looks the part! This left the second XLR input on the STR Preamplifier available for connection to my Oppo UDP-205 4K UHD Blu-ray player which was also connected via HDMI to the AVM 60. Wynton Marsalis' album Marsalis Standard Time (RCA) was my litmus test. In terms of speakers, I alternated between a pair of Paradigm Persona 7F loudspeakers run full range, and my BESL (Bamberg Engineering Sound Lab) Series 2 MTM monitors crossed to my two DIY 15-inch sealed subwoofers (each in 4.5 cubic ft enclosures) for a 2.2 channel system. It's DAC is MQA compliant, which is especially nice for the Tidal streaming fans out there. Career-wise, Carlo eventually graduated from Sheridan College with a degree in Classical Animation and was subsequently employed by Walt Disney Consumer Products for 10 years as a Character Artist and Art Director. But to assuage said analog purists, the included RIAA EQ filters use such high-quality components that they achieve a +/- 0.1dB tolerance. Anthem STR Preamplifier 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. (at 1 kHz 20 Hz – 20 kHz BW, 2 Vrms output), Measurement microphone, Mic stand, USB cable, Remote control, Power cord, 400 watts @ 8 Ohms (Continuous, 20 Hz – 20 kHz, <1% THD) If you decide to stay completely analog with your turntable’s output, then RIAA EQ is all you get. One exception is Anthem, who was a somewhat disruptive force in AV preamps ten years ago with the Statement product line. 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. Elvis’ voice is parked dead center and he gets to flex his range a little bit on this one. An organ weaves in an out with the bassline providing a very grooving foundation. 600 watts @ 4 Ohms (Continuous, 20 Hz – 20 kHz, <1% THD) , I am alfredo from Puerto Rico I have a legacy focus se speakers I whant to put a good 2 ch audio quality for my music collection, I think about to brands , ps audio or anthem str separated, what you think in comparation on sound quality of Anthem str preamp n str power amp vs ps audio bhk preamp n bhk 250 power amp? I was lucky to have an Anthem STR amp to use for the review, along with a Krell Theater Seven, Parasound JC5. The STR amp is about as good a 2-channel amplifier as you are likely to find for all practical purposes. I didn’t think I would like the sound of vinyl converted to digital and I was sure there would be some inevitable loss of warmth or body in the process. 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. Virtual inputs allow users to setup and save up to 30 different settings for sources. STR is Anthem's new flagship two-channel line comprised of three models so far: the STR Integrated Amplifier, the STR Preamplifier (reviewed here), and the subject of this review- … The biggest issue in any music playback chain, outside of the source material that you listen to, is the listening room itself. Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto, Verve Records, DSD Files. But, back in the real world and with all my grousing aside, the STR preamp is an incredibly transparent piece of equipment and the ARC room correction is the linchpin. Having used ARC in my home theater system for the past couple of years I have become familiar with how it works. Can’t ask for better than that! The TFT display on the front of both the amp and preamp are total eye candy. Competition and Comparison While every detail and texture of the instruments were heard, I felt like it all gelled into one cohesive presentation. The preamp can accept asynchronous USB audio up to 32-bit PCM and the latest of DSD formats, which gets the HD audio enthusiast in me excited. Its exterior design and construction matches the quality and attention to detail of the STR preamp, just on a larger scale. . 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 Digital In, 96 kHz: 10 Hz – 45 kHz (+0, -0.5 dB) Large digital displays are easy to read and look just plain cool. Unless otherwise stated, most measurements were taken from the balanced XLR outputs. I’ve already made mention of the top-shelf build quality and unique design of these STR components. This helped even up the lowest reach of both the speakers while matching the natural roll off imposed by the room. 1 kHz 24/96 Sine Wave at 0 dBFS SPDIF-In XLR-Out, 4 VRMS. Carlo started his own company and has been freelancing artwork, from his home studio, for primarily the toy and publishing industries since 2001. The STR amplifier had no trouble keeping up with the dynamics and volume swings regardless of the level I was listening to. Moving now to examine pure analog performance via the XLR inputs, a 24-bit/96 kHz, 1 kHz sine wave produces a THD+N of 0.000737% at 4 Volts measured at the XLR outputs with all digital processing disabled. I connected the STR Power Amplifier to the STR Preamplifier using balanced interconnects. Within ARC’s controls, it’s very tempting to go crazy with the Room Gain setting, particularly when dialing in subs. HDMI, HDMI…. It seems to be a part of a whole collection of 2 channel products from Anthem. Yes, there is a ton of artificial reverb in this track, but so what? but you don't need a Ph.D. in electrical engineering to make it work, either, which was good for this reviewer. In real life, these sweeps would sound identical. Priced at $3,999, the Anthem STR stereo preamp isn't cheap by any measure, but considering that it includes Anthem Room Correction, a high-end internal 32-bit, DAC and the latest in analog preamp technology--as well as the coolest front faceplate complete with an TFT display for full control--it is uniquely positioned as a potential high-end audiophile value. Today, Anthem is making waves in the stagnant pool of stereo preamps with its STR DAC-preamp. Also, as a budding graphic artist, the aesthetic aspects of a given piece of gear became increasingly of interest to his eyes. Testing the RIAA tracking ability of the phono stage and overall frequency response of the preamp was done in a similar manner, but the test tones and sweeps were provided by the built-in signal generator within the SpectraPLUS software. 10 kHz 24/192 at 0 dBFS XLR-In XLR-Out, Analog Direct, 4 VRMS. The nuances of the female harmonies on the track “Time” from the Delicate Balance album “Driftwood” were noticeable. The STR power amplifier is quite simply a handsome looking beast that should handily drive any speaker load that you can devise. Whatever I threw at the Anthem STR DAC-pre, it handled in the same matter-of-fact way. Up Next NAD M17 V2 Surround Sound Preamp Processor Review The AVM 60 is the first 11.2-channel preamplifier-processor from Anthem. Room EQ choices for stereo listeners have, until recently, been limited to affordable, DIY-based solutions from MiniDSP (incorporating DIRAC Live) or more expensive custom solutions from companies like DEQX or Bohmer Audio. The second harmonic at 20 kHz is about 94 dB below 4 VRMS. While the STR Preamplifier is expensive at $3,999, combining it with the AVM 60 at $2,999 for a total of $6,998 is still far cheaper than the price of $9,499 for the original Anthem D2v 3D. ANTHEM STR PREAMPLIFIER AND POWER AMPLIFIER SPECIFICATIONS. An ideal linearity measurement would show a perfectly diagonal line from 0 dB down to the DAC noise floor, indicating that measured DAC output level is identical to signal input level. DCS has an uber-expensive DAC-pre unit that is likely beyond the price range of anyone looking at a $4,000 preamp. The congas sounded more like they should, with added weight returning to their sound. The choice of connection type is a user preference, but I like to use balanced connections when available since they offer common mode noise rejection. Having two properly calibrated subs playing this stuff is just outstanding! Regardless of the speaker system is connected, the STR preamp uses a custom version of Anthem’s ARC room correction system to manage the speaker room interaction. I hope Anthem comes up with multi-channel versions of the STR Power Amplifier sometime soon. The noise at 45 kHz rises by a hair and we see a few more small sidebands show up around the 20 kHz fundamental. When running the ARC calibration for each speaker system, Anthem recommends a minimum of 5 measuring points, the first being at the main listening seat and the others made at least 2 feet away from the first measurement position. I’m talking about you Marantz with your silly little porthole scheme! I was able to adjust the MC Phono input level a touch and raise the gain by a few dB to get a good, noise-free, overall playback level. Miss Gardot’s voice was rendered with a sweet, almost liquid quality that just drew me into the music, while the band with the background strings unfolded into this broad and deep musical image. Anthem STR Preamp Back Panel The Anthem STR Preamp has a wide array of I/O connectivity for a two-channel preamp. I was able to independently adjust the gain of each input until they were all matched and then it was a simple matter to cycle through each of the three inputs, via remote, with an album playing and compare the sound between them. 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. Overall response is clean with two very minor harmonics at 2 and 3 kHz registering at 100 dB below 2 VRMS. It goes without saying that these Anthem STR separates are some of the most stylish looking pieces of 2-channel gear that I have laid eyes on. Anthem STR Preamp, CS3308-CQZ Volume Control Chip. As with the 24/96 test, converting the incoming analog signal to digital raises the overall noise floor by about 3 dB and actually improves the THD+N figure to 0.000566%. These are all fine chip choices and are almost identical to what is used in Anthem’s AVM60 pre/pro and the MRX1120 receiver. The meters can be set to accurately show power into 8, 4 or 2-ohm loads as well as displaying current operating temperatures for each channel. There are no adjustments for cartridge loadings, so you are fixed to the standard input settings of 100-Ohms for moving coil and 47K-Ohms / 270 pF for moving magnet cartridges. And the close mic-ing of Gilberto’s vocals came across in a beautifully detailed presentation. 1 kHz 24/96 at 0 dBFS XLR-In XLR-Out, A-D DSP On, 4 VRMS. My reference stereo preamp is a Parasound JC2BP with an Anthem AVM 60 in use on the home theater side of things. Right from the start of “The Girl from Ipanema” the preamp’s DAC latched on to the 2.8 MHz DSD bitstream without issue and played back the music splendidly over my 2.2 channel rig. For our initial setup Joey felt that 5 total mic measurements would be sufficient for my needs. But after weeks of listening, that preconceived notion was put squarely out of its misery and I found myself preferring to listen to my vinyl with ARC engaged. At 20 kHz into the XLR input, THD+N was 0.001785%. The little dip past 20 kHz is an artifact of my measuring setup. 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. (IEC-A, 2 Vrms output), 0.002% (MC), 0.0015% (MM) Dion's many extended vibrato notes showcased the tight control and timing with the STR separates combo, but was also gripping in terms of bass performance with the Parasound JC5 or especially with the Krell Theater Seven being used as an amp. But outside of aesthetic differences and varying degrees of engineering application, the stuff doesn’t break much new ground. My reference home theater processor is the Anthem AVM 60. Both components have a minimalist, gently sculpted aluminum faceplate that is dominated by a large TFT display. At 2Vrms out via the balanced outputs, the STR exhibited a squeaky clean FFT output with the 2nd … The Anthem STR preamplifier and power amplifier are singular and highly capable components that can form the nucleus of an exceptional stereo music system. The analog direct mode, for example, allows you to defeat all digital processing, leaving only analog filters and gain amplification. Oh, and did I mention HDMI? CES Trends: MiniLED and is it Better than OLED? The following are a few notable musical selections that I felt showed off the Anthem STR duo during our time together: Melody Gardot, My One and Only Thrill, Verve CD. 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. The port also communicates with home automation systems as well. 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