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Derrick

Anthem 225 troubleshooting and expectations

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Hello, 

 

I recent picked up a "new to me" Anthem 225I integrated amp (225 w\ch). It is in pristine condition. Th guy that I bought it from takes excellent care of his equipment so I have no doubt that it has not been abused. He upgraded to the STR so he offered the 225 to me for a song. He bought it in Nov 2016. 

 

I swapped out my Marantz PM6006 (45 w\ch) last night. I was very excited to hear how this beast would drive my Avid 330's (88 db). I was very disappointed. It sounded flat, dead, lifeless, just bad. My Marantz kills it. I checked all of the connections multiple times and everything is connected properly. I was expecting that I would not have to increase the volume past 9 or 10 o'clock to max out the room. Quite the opposite. It doesn't sound good until at least 11 or 12 o'clock on the dial. I decided to sleep on it. This morning I hooked up a line-in and listed to some different music and it sounded decent. Still not as "alive" as the Marantz. 

 

I don't have enough experience with different amps to know how drastically different they can sound. Do you think that there is an issue with the amp or am I just hearing a different sound signature? The Marantz is a bit underpowered for 88 db speakers so was I hearing distortion and thinking it was a more robust sound? I do find that the Anthem is less fatiguing with high frequencies. It can also keep getting louder where the Marantz stalled out at about 1 o'clock on the dial.

 

I guess I was expecting the higher powered amp to be significantly louder at lower volume but that may be an inaccurate assumption. The hogher power does play bass and dynamic range better.  Just not what I was expecting. Any insight would be appreciated. 

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Well..... Do you have a SPL meter (or equivalent)? Hook up one amp, set volume to your preference with a piece of music you like and are familiar.  Denote SPL. Mark with a piece of tape the volume setting(for repeatability). Now hook up the other amp and adjust volume to the same SPL. Mark its volume setting also. Now switch between the two, and this is the tricky part, as fast as possible. At least you now know both are close to the same level. Now then you will hopefully be able to discern differences(or not). Comparing two systems at different volume levels is a fool's game at best.

I'm sure others will chime in shortly.

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On 1/14/2020 at 10:48 AM, Derrick said:

 

I guess I was expecting the higher powered amp to be significantly louder at lower volume but that may be an inaccurate assumption. 

 

Respectfully, that statement above is contradictory in itself, louder @ lower volumes.

 

There is a free app for smartphones to enable a sound level meter right in your phone. Google it. Here is one example: https://www.noisyplanet.nidcd.nih.gov/have-you-heard/cdc-niosh-app

 

Clearly the Anthem has power reserves that your Marantz does not possess, and this would be tapped at higher volumes. The Anthem will play significantly louder and cleaner compared to your 45 wpc Marantz. But this is not to say the Marantz amp does not possess sonic attributes or a "signature" you may prefer over the Anthem at lower listening levels.

 

There are reasons or sonic characteristics some peeps prefer straight up class A amp vs an AB amp. And some here who desire old fashioned low powered tube amps. What is delightful for my ears may not be the same for another guy. And not all AB amps sound the same.

 

I'd give the Anthem some time to settle in with you. I think you were expecting a grand slam and that just didn't occur for you. In the end, let your ears ultimately decide which you prefer.

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I had a 225 for a week and returned it. My impression was much the same as yours. The volume knob on mine was loose too, thought it was going to fall off and the remote was garbage.

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Thanks for the responses guys. 

 

I was listening at about 85 db avg with peaks to 93. The volume dial is at about 12 o'clock. I guess I expected that level of volume lower on the dial. I guess it doesn't really matter where the knob is. The Marantz at the same level is harsher sounding. I guess that is what the extra power gives you. No necessarily louder as you don't listen louder given the extra power but a cleaner sound at the same SPL. 

 

I checked the hook-ups again and they are correct. The inputs all act the same and the tone controls are defeated. 

 

When I said louder at low volumes I should have said louder at lower volume setting (dial). If that makes sense. 

 

I think you nailed it. I was expecting to be blown away with this huge sound as soon as I turned it up a bit and that wasn't the case. I am going to see if warms up to me. It is just odd to me that I am only getting an spl of about 85-90 db with a 225 wpc amp at 50% of its volume potential. I was expecting a lot more volume at that dial position. Having said that it is a much clearer sound at that level and probably has a lot more to give versus the Marantz that basically stalls out at that volume level.   

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There are several variables here. I mean inside the two different amps. They may have different total gains in their circuits. Their volume controls may be in different locations in their respective circuits. For sure their circuits are not identical. That's why I suggested to first match the volume levels and make it fairly repeatable. Then go from there.

And most of all enjoy.

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The Anthem Maxed out compared to the Marantz maxed out will probably be about 7 or 8 dB louder.  The Anthem has more head room and should handle peaks and transient spikes better.

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Maybe some of the specs below contribute to the difference.

 

Marantz PM6006

Power Output (8 / 4 Ohm RMS) 45 W / 60 W
Frequency response 10 Hz-70 kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion 0.08 %
Damping Factor 100
Input Sensitivity MM 2.2 mV / 47 kOhm
Signal to Noise Ratio MM 83 dB
Input Sensitivity High Level 200 mV / 20 kOhm
Signal to Noise Ratio High Level 102dB (2V input)

 

 

Anthem 225

 

Input Impedance 30 kΩ
'Pre-Out' Output Impedance 560 Ω
'Rec-Out' Output Impedance 100 Ω
Rated Input 1.0 Vrms
Maximum Input 7.6 Vrms
Minimum Load 5 kΩ
Rated Output (100 k1 load) 1.0 Vrms
Maximum Output (100 k1 load) 7.6 Vrms
Headphone Output 500 mW into 32 Ω at 0.03% THD+N
Channel Separation (at 1 kHz) 75 dB
Crosstalk Between Inputs (at 1 kHz) 72 dB
XLR Pin Configuration Pin 1: Ground; Pin 2: Positive; Pin 3: Negative
Frequency Response and Bandwidth 20 Hz to 20 kHz (+0, -0.1 dB); 1 Hz to 170 kHz (+0, -3 dB)
THD+N (at rated input and output, 80 kHz BW) 0.003%
IMD (CCIF at 15 kHz and 16 kHz) 0.0005%

 

 

Bill

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Really when you look @ the specs of the Anthem 225 (which I did a couple days ago when i first read this post), they are not really that impressive. First is the amp damping @ 80 (their spec). For such a heavy piece I expected more, like 120 or better. Overall unit weight is not the end all, be all but good power reserves require a large Torroidal transformer (or two, the really good amps), so really good old school class AB amplifiers are usually pretty heavy. Anthem 225 @ 42 lbs, not bad. McIntosh amps are really heavy, ditto Luxman. There are exceptions to this as the newer class D amps do not require a large heavy torroidal trans (power supply) as they are exceptionally power efficient. Example of this is a Crown XLS 2502 commercial amp, 1500 watts bridged 8 ohm load, but only 11 lbs.

 

And Anthem's meaningful noise measurement (rated @ 100 watts in to an 8 ohm load): 0.01% at 1 kHz, 0.03% at 20 kHz (100 W into 8 1)

 

225 watt = (per channel, continuous RMS, 20 Hz to 20 kHz, <1.0% THD) right from their spec page.

 

Distortion is audible around .25%, at elevated listening levels. For some peeps its lower, and for some higher. So the Anthem has a low noise floor, but it does get noisy as it approaches its rated power output. 

 

Anyway, this the analysis of spec data. Just my opinion, yours may be different. The end eval should be your listening experience.

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39 minutes ago, polizzio said:

Anyway, this the analysis of spec data.

I figured the difference in input sensitivity and input impedance of the two amps may be the culprit.

 

Just guessing.

 

Bill

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Thanks so much for the insight. Much appreciated. 

 

If I understand properly, in simple terms are you saying that the Anthem needs a higher gain at the sources vs the Marantz to pay at the same volume at the same dial position?

 

That would make sense to me. 

 

Thanks again.    

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39 minutes ago, Derrick said:

Thanks so much for the insight. Much appreciated. 

 

If I understand properly, in simple terms are you saying that the Anthem needs a higher gain at the sources vs the Marantz to pay at the same volume at the same dial position?

 

That would make sense to me. 

 

Thanks again.    

That may be the "problem"

 

Bill

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I am adjusting to the different presentation of the Anthem and I like what I hear. Sounds great at lower volumes. Has a certain grip on the music and is much more neutral than the Marantz. It’s a keeper.

Thanks for everyone’s input.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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2 hours ago, Derrick said:

Has a certain grip on the music and is much more neutral than the Marantz. It’s a keeper.

I am in the neutral camp as well.  Glad all is working out for you.

 

Bill

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