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). Anthem ARC 5 kHz Results, BESL Monitors and Subwoofers, Anthem ARC 400 Hz Results, BESL Monitors and Subwoofers. 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. Just don’t forget the HDMI next time! The power amp’s 7-inch TFT display’s main party trick is to digitally simulate two huge ballistic VU meters. On the operations end, there is also a USB port for updates, a mini-USB port for connecting the computer performing ARC measurements, an RS-232 serial port for automation systems, and a couple of triggering jacks. The STR amp is about as good a 2-channel amplifier as you are likely to find for all practical purposes. Using a 24-bit/96 kHz, 1 kHz sine wave produces a THD+N of 0.000645% at 4 Volts measured at the XLR outputs. 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. My subs now sounded cleaner with all the extension and power that my room would allow. Using the MM input and precise test tones generated by SpectraPLUS, I’ve plotted the left and right channel RIAA tracking response for the STR preamp’s phono section and overlaid them on the target plot. Again, a clean response with two minor harmonics at 2 and 3 kHz registering at 94 and 95 dB below 4 VRMS respectively. At no point did his voice sound unnatural or lacking at all. 1 kHz 24/96 at 0 dBFS XLR-In XLR-Out Analog Direct, 4 VRMS. Fast & Free shipping on many items! 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. 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. 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 monitors maintained the imaging and liveliness that I liked about their sound but now the subwoofers were more seamlessly integrated into the whole. Things sounded good overall, but the bass was noticeably tamer than I wanted. A casual walk through any good audio show like Munich High End or RMAF proves my point. 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. Too often you hear audiophile components trying to reproduce ensemble jazz as if it were a distinct set of instruments. It becomes much more fun for me to listen to something like the “Summer Presto” movement from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Every cracking raspy detail of Kurt Cobain's voice was showcased for my listening pleasure, as was the crunchy texture of that guitar sound, which was the pinnacle of the grunge movement in the 1990s. As you can see the AKM AK4456VN DAC of the STR preamp starts to exhibit trace levels of linearity error before it hits its noise floor at -140 dBFS. The STR power amplifier is quite simply a handsome looking beast that should handily drive any speaker load that you can devise. I hooked up my Surface 3 PRO tablet, via USB, to the STR preamp and downloaded/installed the requisite ASIO driver from Anthem’s website in order to try out playing some DSD files direct to the DAC. Today, Anthem is making waves in the stagnant pool of stereo preamps with its STR DAC-preamp. On the AV side of the equation, there are exciting new frontiers in room correction, seemingly constant HDMI updates, improved internal DACs, feature-rich control system drivers... KONKA Announces Three New Android TV Series for 2021 Lineup. 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. 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. Both components have a minimalist, gently sculpted aluminum faceplate that is dominated by a large TFT display. Listening to the opening track “Baby I’m a Fool” through the STR duo and the Persona 7F speakers made for a heavenly combination. I also elected to bump up the Room Gain setting from 1.5 to 4 (5 sounded fun for some tracks but was too much for a broad range of music) and went for a steeper roll-off (6th order) at 25 Hz. I hope Anthem comes up with multi-channel versions of the STR Power Amplifier sometime soon. Plenty of digital and analog inputs. In place of rail fuses, Anthem uses advanced DSP to monitor the amplifier’s output conditions and help guard against high operating temperatures and other fault conditions. The Anthem STR preamplifier is a well-built component measuring 17”W x 3.9”H x 14.8”D and weighing 16.8 pounds. 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 … My practice in the past has been having these subs operate as a stereo pair since their individual responses closely match, so I elected to continue that here. 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. 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. A number of the tracks from the films prominently feature tympanis or bass drums being played with abandon. Less so for the amplifier because comparable products from companies like ATI, Bryston and such are in that ballpark. The power amp seemingly has plenty of clean power to spare at any volume. Moving to my 2.2 channel setup, I listened to a very dynamic orchestral recording of selections from the various Batman films. However, as a premium audiophile component, I would have expected Anthem to have picked from AKM’s higher level chips or ESS’s new Sabre chips. I do not currently have the resources to bench test power amplifiers so the analysis on the STR power amplifier is strictly subjective. Elvis, Elvis Is Back, RCA/Analogue Productions, 45 RPM LP. In real life, these sweeps would sound identical.

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