Anthem AVM90

Just got mine.

I wasn?t originally planning on getting this. I was holding out for the AVM70 to get the HDMI 2.1 board upgrade. But speaking with the guys from Anthem, it ticked a few boxes.

It was designed by guys who had a hand in the old Classe SSP800 processors. It uses the ESS9038 Pro DACs for the 19 channels.

I?ve been using the older AVM60 with the AK4458 DACs and generally been quite happy with it.

But it was on loan cos my 8802A audio board had died.

So out went the 60 and in went the 90. It was quite painless to swap the two units.

I didn?t use Room Correction on both units so just doing an AB comparison of how they sounded. Even had the same channel levels set the same and a quick SPL test confirmed the relatively levels were the same.

For movies, I can?t say there was an immediately noticeable improvement in sound quality. I did notice the bass control seemed punchier on the 90.

For music, using TIDAL?s Atmos playlists, the difference was more apparent. Bass tightness and there was more detail. I?ll need to try some stereo sources another time.

One thing that did surprise me (and something I wasn?t expecting) was the visuals. The video seemed cleaner and sharper somehow. I had the same settings, same source (AppleTV 4K) and display (Sony 760ES) and same cables. Just the processor was changed.