Anthem MCA 325 vs Monolith 3 X 200 Amp

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Djradman36

Enthusiast
Hi guys I currently have the Anthem 720 receiver powering my B&W 603 towers, HTM6 center, SVS Sb3000 sub, soon to have 2 rear in wall n 4 in- ceiling for Atmos. I love the sound of my anthem receiver with my speakers. Just can’t decide whether to stay with an anthem amp or try a monolith but worried the sound might change or be different because of a different brand. What would you pick and is there a big difference adding an amp to the mains. Thanks guys!!
Conrad
 
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PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
If you are after better sound quality, or instead of "better" that could be a subjective thing, let's say neutrality/accuracy is you goal then the speakers are the top priority. For power amps, the Monolith seems to have stronger power supplies but overall I prefer the MCA 325. It is much lighter, and for real world music enjoyment its smaller power supply is not an issue unless you listen to compressed music at very loud level. If your power demand is well below the capability of the 720, it is unlikely that you will hear any difference just by adding an amp, let alone "big difference".

No doubt you will get a lot of feedback on forums about those night and day difference by adding an amp, it is up to you to choose what and who to believe any such subjective opinions. In my opinions, specs verified by measurements by competent reviewers are much more reliable than subjective reviews.
 
M

Movie2099

Full Audioholic
Hi guys I currently have the Anthem 720 receiver powering my B&W 603 towers, HTM6 center, SVS Sb3000 sub, soon to have 2 rear in wall n 4 in- ceiling for Atmos. I love the sound of my anthem receiver with my speakers. Just can’t decide whether to stay with an anthem amp or try a monolith but worried the sound might change or be different because of a different brand. What would you pick and is there a big difference adding an amp to the mains. Thanks guys!!
Conrad
I say jump on the Monolith amp or pick up and Anthem Amp. Mono amps are some of the best bang for buck out there. I'd pick up the 5 or 7 channel, in case you add more speakers down the line. Personally, I think you would enjoy going down the amp route. I have B&W 703 in-walls and have them hooked up to an Outlaw amp. I would never settle for just AVR power with my current setup. I think if you're going to have nice speakers, you might as well feed them with some quality wattage.
 
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Djradman36

Enthusiast
I say jump on the Monolith amp or pick up and Anthem Amp. Mono amps are some of the best bang for buck out there. I'd pick up the 5 or 7 channel, in case you add more speakers down the line. Personally, I think you would enjoy going down the amp route. I have B&W 703 in-walls and have them hooked up to an Outlaw amp. I would never settle for just AVR power with my current setup. I think if you're going to have nice speakers, you might as well feed them with some quality wattage.
Yah for sure I’d like to add the amp. Just not sure if it will change the sound of the speakers or if say anthem n monolith have different sound signatures. Anthem amps are on sale right now but after watching gene’s review on the monolith, I’m wondering if even the monolith amp will sound better than my anthem receiver. I do watch movies and I’m sure it will be great but then I also do hi res audio with a bluesound node 2i. Just wanna make sure the amps are good for that too. Sorry I’m new to the whole amp thing
 
D

Djradman36

Enthusiast
If you are after better sound quality, or instead of "better" that could be a subjective thing, let's say neutrality/accuracy is you goal then the speakers are the top priority. For power amps, the Monolith seems to have stronger power supplies but overall I prefer the MCA 325. It is much lighter, and for real world music enjoyment its smaller power supply is not an issue unless you listen to compressed music at very loud level. If your power demand is well below the capability of the 720, it is unlikely that you will hear any difference just by adding an amp, let alone "big difference".

No doubt you will get a lot of feedback on forums about those night and day difference by adding an amp, it is up to you to choose what and who to believe any such subjective opinions. In my opinions, specs verified by measurements by competent reviewers are much more reliable than subjective reviews.
Hi thanks for the reply. Honestly my volume is really usually at -20 at the most if not -30. Never go beyond that as it’s plenty loud for the wife n kids. Sounds great I just wanted to see if adding an amp n going separates like that will add more dynamics or soundstage and moderate volumes. Just wanted to get the most of my b&w 603 towers.
 
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Movie2099

Full Audioholic
Yah for sure I’d like to add the amp. Just not sure if it will change the sound of the speakers or if say anthem n monolith have different sound signatures. Anthem amps are on sale right now but after watching gene’s review on the monolith, I’m wondering if even the monolith amp will sound better than my anthem receiver. I do watch movies and I’m sure it will be great but then I also do hi res audio with a bluesound node 2i. Just wanna make sure the amps are good for that too. Sorry I’m new to the whole amp thing
Had to do some searching but found that Your AVR uses both class A/B and D.

" This is made possible by the types of amps used: the first five channels are powered by class-A/B amps, and the rest by smaller and far more efficient class-D types."

If you purchased a separate amp that is class A/B your sound should pretty much be the same. But since you don't usually go at high levels, the AVR you have, based on what I've found should be sufficient for your current needs. Even with adding a couple Atmos speakers. I think if you did purchase an amp, you might hear some minor details that you couldn't before, but I don't think it would make it a night and day difference that would justify the purchase.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Hi thanks for the reply. Honestly my volume is really usually at -20 at the most if not -30. Never go beyond that as it’s plenty loud for the wife n kids. Sounds great I just wanted to see if adding an amp n going separates like that will add more dynamics or soundstage and moderate volumes. Just wanted to get the most of my b&w 603 towers.
If I understood right, the MRX 720's volume range is -90 to 0 (maximum) right? If true, -20 would be quite loud, probably close to reference level. For comparison, the more popular Denon/Marantz's volume range is -80 to +18.

The B&W 603 are not the easiest speakers to drive so if you listen at such loud level, it doesn't hurt to add an external power amp. Adding a 200 W power amp will give you only 1.5 to 2 dB at the most so if you are happy with volume at -20, with the amp you may be happy at -22. It will take the load off the AVR though, and that's a good thing.
 
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PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Had to do some searching but found that Your AVR uses both class A/B and D.

" This is made possible by the types of amps used: the first five channels are powered by class-A/B amps, and the rest by smaller and far more efficient class-D types."

If you purchased a separate amp that is class A/B your sound should pretty much be the same. But since you don't usually go at high levels, the AVR you have, based on what I've found should be sufficient for your current needs. Even with adding a couple Atmos speakers. I think if you did purchase an amp, you might hear some minor details that you couldn't before, but I don't think it would make it a night and day difference that would justify the purchase.
I would agree with you but I am not really sure about the Anthem's volume range. If it is an Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon/Marantz, -20 is not a concern but it may be for Anthem's.

To be sure, the OP should use an online calculator to figure out his power need, or at least tell us his seating distance from the 603s.
 
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Movie2099

Full Audioholic
I would agree with you but I am not really sure about the Anthem's volume range. If it is an Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon/Marantz, -20 is not a concern but it may be for Anthem's.

To be sure, the OP should use an online calculator to figure out his power need, or at least tell us his seating distance from the 603s.
I agree. Hard to gauge what his volume range would sound like. I know when I want to crank stuff for movies and music I only need to hit around -10db and it will move house and earth. Last night I had it at -20db and it was plenty good. I use a Pioneer SC-LX701 AVR with an Outlaw 5000. I just have my front 3 plugged into the Outlaw and leave my 2 surrounds in the AVR. My AVR does 135watts at 8 ohms in 2-channel.
 
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Djradman36

Enthusiast
Hi yes
If I understood right, the MRX 720's volume range is -90 to 0 (maximum) right? If true, -20 would be quite loud, probably close to reference level. For comparison, the more popular Denon/Marantz's volume range is -80 to +18.

The B&W 603 are not the easiest speakers to drive so if you listen at such loud level, it doesn't hurt to add an external power amp. Adding a 200 W power amp will give you only 1.5 to 2 dB at the most so if you are happy with volume at -20, with the amp you may be happy at -22. It will take the load off the AVR though, and that's a good thing.
-20 is close to 0 which would be reference. It is loud already for my family with that level. Most of the time watching movies I’d say we At lower level -40 - 30. So at those levels even adding an amp like the anthem mca325 might now be too much of a difference esp for the price? Like you said my speakers are not the easiest to drive but the receiver is good so far.
 
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Djradman36

Enthusiast
I agree. Hard to gauge what his volume range would sound like. I know when I want to crank stuff for movies and music I only need to hit around -10db and it will move house and earth. Last night I had it at -20db and it was plenty good. I use a Pioneer SC-LX701 AVR with an Outlaw 5000. I just have my front 3 plugged into the Outlaw and leave my 2 surrounds in the AVR. My AVR does 135watts at 8 ohms in 2-channel.
Hi yah even with my anthem 720 receiver if I have it AG -20db it’s plenty loud already. Wanted to see if adding the amp would add anymore detail, better sound or something I can notice at those sound levels or is it more for going over reference volumes
 
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PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Hi yah even with my anthem 720 receiver if I have it AG -20db it’s plenty loud already. Wanted to see if adding the amp would add anymore detail, better sound or something I can notice at those sound levels or is it more for going over reference volumes
How far are you sitting from the 803s? My guess is, 8 to 10 ft based on available info so far.

If so, adding a 200 W X 3 Monolith will help a little when you crank the volume to -20 and higher. At volume -30 and lower, you may hear more details, dynamics etc if look for it and let Placebo take over. As I said before, others will tell you something different, you would have to choose who to believe. Again, it is easier, logical and scientific to choose base on data instead of others opinions.
 
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Djradman36

Enthusiast
How far are you sitting from the 803s? My guess is, 8 to 10 ft based on available info so far.

If so, adding a 200 W X 3 Monolith will help a little when you crank the volume to -20 and higher. At volume -30 and lower, you may hear more details, dynamics etc if look for it and let Placebo take over. As I said before, others will tell you something different, you would have to choose who to believe. Again, it is easier, logical and scientific to choose base on data instead of others opinions.
Hi, yah I have the 603s. I’d say the seating position to the speakers is about 10-12ft. So maybe within those levels my receiver is good enough for what I do. Maybe I just have the upgradeitis and looking for something new to get and just seems the amp is the only missing piece in my system. Just wasn’t sure if $2K is worth the anthem Amp at the levels I listen at.
 
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Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
Hi guys I currently have the Anthem 720 receiver powering my B&W 603 towers, HTM6 center, SVS Sb3000 sub, soon to have 2 rear in wall n 4 in- ceiling for Atmos. I love the sound of my anthem receiver with my speakers. Just can’t decide whether to stay with an anthem amp or try a monolith but worried the sound might change or be different because of a different brand. What would you pick and is there a big difference adding an amp to the mains. Thanks guys!!
Conrad
Hey I own the anthem mca 525 and like PENG said it's an excellent just accurate to the source very transperent I'm not a big fan of stating amps can improve soundstage dynamics and everything I believe your speakers are more important for that get the right speakers feed them the power you need to get to your desired listening levels and away you go. The amp hopefully gives you the power it shouldn't impact the sound

But I love the Anthem like it's been stated its very neutral transperent gives great power for its power supply and it's so light weight

But I have a 5 speaker setup in my bedroom and it sounds great I mean super great running crown 1502's and 1002's

Honestly If I was blindfolded I might have trouble telling either set of amps apart I'm not sure measurements are always audible when you get past a certain point

But the Anthem are in my movie room setup due to better specs the great customer service I get from Anthem and it's a dedicated space I want the wow factor and the fact that they will last

I think Outlaw ATI monoprice Anthem Parasound are all great places to get amps it's just the price your willing to pay for better specs etc etc but I think all of them will sound great

But honestly I think if you want to spend less going with the Monoprice its a great idea your in a win win kind of choice here
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
If you are after better sound quality, or instead of "better" that could be a subjective thing, let's say neutrality/accuracy is you goal then the speakers are the top priority. For power amps, the Monolith seems to have stronger power supplies but overall I prefer the MCA 325. It is much lighter, and for real world music enjoyment its smaller power supply is not an issue unless you listen to compressed music at very loud level. If your power demand is well below the capability of the 720, it is unlikely that you will hear any difference just by adding an amp, let alone "big difference".

No doubt you will get a lot of feedback on forums about those night and day difference by adding an amp, it is up to you to choose what and who to believe any such subjective opinions. In my opinions, specs verified by measurements by competent reviewers are much more reliable than subjective reviews.
PENG I'm wondering Anthem rates there amps all the way down to 2ohms I'm really always been curious how they can pull that off with such light weight and manageable size

As you stated there power supply seems smaller so how are they able to do that? Do you any understanding from an engineering perspective on how they can pull that off?

Just curious is all
 
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Djradman36

Enthusiast
Hey I own the anthem mca 525 and like PENG said it's an excellent just accurate to the source very transperent I'm not a big fan of stating amps can improve soundstage dynamics and everything I believe your speakers are more important for that get the right speakers feed them the power you need to get to your desired listening levels and away you go. The amp hopefully gives you the power it shouldn't impact the sound

But I love the Anthem like it's been stated its very neutral transperent gives great power for its power supply and it's so light weight

But I have a 5 speaker setup in my bedroom and it sounds great I mean super great running crown 1502's and 1002's

Honestly If I was blindfolded I might have trouble telling either set of amps apart I'm not sure measurements are always audible when you get past a certain point

But the Anthem are in my movie room setup due to better specs the great customer service I get from Anthem and it's a dedicated space I want the wow factor and the fact that they will last

I think Outlaw ATI monoprice Anthem Parasound are all great places to get amps it's just the price your willing to pay for better specs etc etc but I think all of them will sound great

But honestly I think if you want to spend less going with the Monoprice its a great idea your in a win win kind of choice here
Hi thank you!! Yah I’d like the price of the Monoprice but also I love the quality of the Anthem and I am happy with the sound of the 720 plus my speakers. If the anthem amp will just makes the the system have more headroom like most of the amps will do, I just don’t want the sound to change if any by going to a different brand amp. I really want the anthem and maybe I’ll just do it and stop thinking about it.
 
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Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
Hi thank you!! Yah I’d like the price of the Monoprice but also I love the quality of the Anthem and I am happy with the sound of the 720 plus my speakers. If the anthem amp will just makes the the system have more headroom like most of the amps will do, I just don’t want the sound to change if any by going to a different brand amp. I really want the anthem and maybe I’ll just do it and stop thinking about it.
None of the amps mentioned should change the sound they should all give you the dynamics your looking for when you want to push the system

But! If the Anthem is on sale I think you should go for it that's a very well made amp
 
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Djradman36

Enthusiast
None of the amps mentioned should change the sound they should all give you the dynamics your looking for when you want to push the system

But! If the Anthem is on sale I think you should go for it that's a very well made amp
The MCA 325 can get for $2100. Still a lot compared to the rest but in your opinion, do you think it’s worth the extra cost compared to the rest?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
PENG I'm wondering Anthem rates there amps all the way down to 2ohms I'm really always been curious how they can pull that off with such light weight and manageable size

As you stated there power supply seems smaller so how are they able to do that? Do you any understanding from an engineering perspective on how they can pull that off?

Just curious is all
I believe that's a smart marketing move on their part. For real world music and movies contents, they know any high current demand moments are going to be short like a few seconds, so if the load impedance happens to dip down to 2 ohms at those moments there won't be any issue.

Unlike Monolith, Anthem won't tell you the VA rating of their transformers and storage caps, but you can see the nameplates of the caps and that's how I know Monolith uses bigger caps. It is hard to see the nameplates of the their transformers, but you can see and estimate their external diameter and height by measuring and scaling it based on the external dimensions (that they do provide) of the casing.

They described their power supply size "massive" though, I thought that was funny. I actually emailed them (twice) in the past and asked about their VA rating. Got a non answer the first time, and never got a response the second time. That tells me those "massive" toroids are likely small relatively speaking.

I'll say that again, their design is smart and efficient. Heavier is not better if it means extra transformer VA and storage capacity that will never be used.

Why do you think their AVRs now only provide 140/150 W class AB amps for the main 5 channels and only about 60W for the other channels? Same answer, just being smart, based on real world needs.
 
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Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
The MCA 325 can get for $2100. Still a lot compared to the rest but in your opinion, do you think it’s worth the extra cost compared to the rest?
Man I love my anthem but considering. Brand new 3 channel Monolith is a $1000 bucks less I'd go with the Monolith I think soundwise blindfolded you couldn't tell the difference to be honest

They have one open box for 900 bucks and some change

I think what your paying for with the Anthem is better build (not by much) fully balanced differential xlr I believe not necessary with short runs and the lighter weight

Not really sure if I had to do it over again I wouldn't go with monoprice for that kind off savings

Hell if you to go all out there eleven channel 3×200 8×100 rms all channels driven is only 400 more then your anthem 11 channels for that amount that's insane
 

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