Anthem MRX 740 vs MRX 1140 AV Receiver Bench Test Comparison!

E

EBN

Audioholic
I put the latest generation of Anthem AV receivers, namely the MRX 740 and MRX 1140 models through my bench tests in this report. The MRX 740 retails for $2,899 and has 11 channels of processing with 7 channels of amplification (140wpc x5, 60wpc x2) while the MRX 1140 retails for $4,000 and has 15 channels of processing and 11 channels of amplification (140wpc x 5, 60 wpc x 6). If you're looking for how the preouts are on these units, I've got you covered. I did a full barrage of power measurements and show the measurable differences between the two models. We discuss bass management, the best settings for optimal performance and the amplifier matrix function.

View attachment 54618
Read:
Anthem MRX 740 & 1140 AV Receiver Bench Test Results
Gene have you been listening either one yet? I have read that these new models have annoying fan noise which has driven some owners crazy. Unacceptable for such high cost units.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Gene have you been listening either one yet? I have read that these new models have annoying fan noise which has driven some owners crazy. Unacceptable for such high cost units.
That's good info, thanks. In that case I would like to see some photos of the heatsinks used. It probably won't be too big of an issue if the fan is thermostatically controlled as long as they aren't set to turn on prematurely to avoid warranty claims, because then it can be solved by using quieter external fan (s).
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
great to hear about the preout performance, but no hdmi 2.1 support makes this a no-buy for me.

(dont want an hdmi 2.1 upgrade board and dont want to rely on eARC)

cmon anthem, give me multiple hdmi 2.1 inputs, 2 hdmi outputs, and if youre feeling fancy, add balanced outputs to the preout please.
Gene have you been listening either one yet? I have read that these new models have annoying fan noise which has driven some owners crazy. Unacceptable for such high cost units.
THD+N/SINAD seems to be the sure-selling point these days.

Anthem has had their shares of bugs even WITHOUT HDMI 2.1.

Adding HDMI 2.1 will cause even more bugs and problems.

Then people will be talking about Anthem bugs, instead of talking about THD+N of 0.0006%.

So the smart thing to do is to wait a few years and let Yamaha and Denon iron out everything about HDMI 2.1. Then add HDMI 2.1.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
THD+N/SINAD seems to be the sure-selling point these days.

Anthem has had their shares of bugs even WITHOUT HDMI 2.1.

Adding HDMI 2.1 will cause even more bugs and problems.

Then people will be talking about Anthem bugs, instead of talking about THD+N of 0.0006%.

So the smart thing to do is to wait a few years and let Yamaha and Denon iron out everything about HDMI 2.1. Then add HDMI 2.1.
You and I do agree on the distortions, noise, SNR kind of things, but instead of debating on "audibility", it does seem that manufacturers (including NAD and Anthem, Arcam nest I bet) these days have been listening to Gene on feature related suggestions (e.g. preamp mode, higher pre out voltage, crossover slopes..) and to Amir on the other stuff.

I wonder why Yamaha still seem to get stuck with anomaly distortion/noise issues. It's not like they has not improved, but while they raised their SINAD performance nicely, they would create one of two strange behaviors such as degraded performance on some channels. May be they just need to re-organize their QA team, and give them more say?
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
You and I do agree on the distortions, noise, SNR kind of things, but instead of debating on "audibility", it does seem that manufacturers (including NAD and Anthem, Arcam nest I bet) these days have been listening to Gene on feature related suggestions (e.g. preamp mode, higher pre out voltage, crossover slopes..) and to Amir on the other stuff.

I wonder why Yamaha still seem to get stuck with anomaly distortion/noise issues. It's not like they has not improved, but while they raised their SINAD performance nicely, they would create one of two strange behaviors such as degraded performance on some channels. May be they just need to re-organize their QA team, and give them more say?
Like M Code says, those old Yamaha engineers are stuck up and stubborn. But I think they will come around to it like everyone else.

I guess their priority is currently on HDMI 2.1 and features on the 1st generation of RX-A6-8.

But the next generation of Yamaha AVR and AVP will probably be focused on the THD+N/SINAD war. :D
 
Replicant 7

Replicant 7

Audioholic Samurai
I know it feels like the end of the world lately, but I don’t have any urges to replace my CX-A5100 either since it works 100% of the time and sounds just as awesome as anything with a THD+N of 0.0005%. :D

Even if Bose comes out with an AVP with a THD+N of 0.0001%, I’m not buying it. :D
LMAO, (I know it feels like the end of the world lately), I'm getting in on this! Bose AV, .0000001/2 THD+N+XYZ. Lol. Really though, even Sony's entry level AVR for 299.00 @100 x 2 into 8 Ohms is as quiet as anything else on the market. Even with Yamaha's mess up on the A6A 65db that No human could hear. Just enjoy!
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
But the next generation of Yamaha AVR and AVP will probably be focused on the THD+N/SINAD war. :D
It has been the "watts" war for the longest time. About time for them to start a high tech war, i.e. THD+N, XT.
Arguably that would make more sense anyway, not so much for audible improvements (but to give them a slight edge in competitiveness) because:

a) The older generation enthusiasts (try to be polite so I am okay to call them that;)) had much fewer options to shape their favorite "sound", all they had were tone control, graphic EQ or roll their tubes etc.

b) Now we have all sorts of EQ tools, including auto room EQ and even harmonics generators (thanks Nelson Pass and others).

c) Many of those enthusiasts were blue collar workers who worked in noisy manufacturing environment for most of their career life, so their hearings probable were compromised even before age 40, and THD+N never really meant much to them. Instead, print magazine reviewers easily managed to prepare them to hear all kinds of sound signature often without understand where such "signature" came from and many excepted it as fact that Marantz, Luxman, tube gear = warm sound, Sony = bright sound, Bryston, Krell = neutral etc. etc... Smart marketing teams of Marantz (even Denon in the old days), Pass labs (in a different, perhaps more honest way..), NAD, Harman Kardon and some British makes had (still have, but may be to lesser extent) done an excellent job for them, successfully making it possible for them to hear the so called warm sound even though bench test results often showed they were actually very accurate/transparent in doing what they were desgined to do.

Now many of the older enthusiasts have waken up, and got educated, thanks to the internet in a way, and the more high tech oriented, science based electronic version of print magazines, such as Audioholics.com that have been providing numerous educational articles, reviews and measurements. Along with the younger enthusiasts, many of them have suffered less hearing loss, and are much better at EQ'ing their favorite sound and have no use for the manufactured "sound" that either are BS, or not cooked to their own liking.

So long story short, vanishing THD+N, i.e. SINAD for those who prefer that term, is probably the most important metric, not to say manufacturer should ignore other factors such as IMD, DF, FR, XT, FFT and a few others.

For those who want to argue that THD does not correlate to "sound quality", there could be a long story but the shorter version could be, imo, the following:

- It could be true that higher THD may even sound "better" to many people especially if the distortion is dominated by the lower order even harmonics, but even Nelson Pass had cited that a good proportion of people prefer 3rd harmonics to 2nd harmonics so it is not a given either. On the other hand, if THD is -90 dB, then who cares what the harmonic contents are, you can't hear any of it anyway even if you listen at reference level. So isn't it better to have it as low as possible regardless? That means manufacturers should set their goal on less than say, -80 dB at the minimum, but should be given in the format: 20 to 20,000 Hz, from below 1 W to rated output. Obviously, closer to -100 dB (100 dB SINAD) would be better as it would then guarantee any harmonic distortions will be masked by the noise in the quietest room that approach anechoic, may be not completely masked, to the super sensitive ears.

- As to "there are other things not measured, or can't be measured..." That's a silly point, because if there is something that is known to indicate the best sound quality, then we can be sure it would have been measured, audio electronics are not rocket science, not even closed., and if it can't be measured, then designers/engineers would have been shooting in the dark lol.. How many of such believers would jump in a huge passenger jet that has not been bench tested/measured/recorded, but rather just test flight to see if everything just worked to the liking of the pilots, since there are many things that can't be measured?

The thing about THD+N is that if it is low enough, one could reasonably assume IMD will also be low, linearity will likely be good, SNR, therefore DR will naturally be good too so THD+N is not just THD+N in a broader sense. XT is important obviously, but we know that all 7 to 13 channels popular brand AVRs measured could pass in terms of audibility, so along with DF and Slew rate, it would be nice to see those measured too but I guess that may be too much to expect mass produced AVRs/AVPs to include those in their specs. It may also be worth noting that with the advanced in electronics technology, we can expect more and more use of ICs such as volume control, DACs, OPAs; and PCBs are populated in highly automatic production lines. So we can expect consistent performance in terms of good DF, slew rate, much more so than in the old analog/discrete days, when those specs needed to be looked at under the microscope.

Sorry gents, I really hate long posts. Not going to proof read for typos/grammars for sure.:D
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
It has been the "watts" war for the longest time. About time for them to start a high tech war, i.e. THD+N, XT.
Arguably that would make more sense anyway, not so much for audible improvements (but to give them a slight edge in competitiveness) because:

a) The older generation enthusiasts (try to be polite so I am okay to call them that;)) had much fewer options to shape their favorite "sound", all they had were tone control, graphic EQ or roll their tubes etc.

b) Now we have all sorts of EQ tools, including auto room EQ and even harmonics generators (thanks Nelson Pass and others).

c) Many of those enthusiasts were blue collar workers who worked in noisy manufacturing environment for most of their career life, so their hearings probable were compromised even before age 40, and THD+N never really meant much to them. Instead, print magazine reviewers easily managed to prepare them to hear all kinds of sound signature often without understand where such "signature" came from and many excepted it as fact that Marantz, Luxman, tube gear = warm sound, Sony = bright sound, Bryston, Krell = neutral etc. etc... Smart marketing teams of Marantz (even Denon in the old days), Pass labs (in a different, perhaps more honest way..), NAD, Harman Kardon and some British makes had (still have, but may be to lesser extent) done an excellent job for them, successfully making it possible for them to hear the so called warm sound even though bench test results often showed they were actually very accurate/transparent in doing what they were desgined to do.

Now many of the older enthusiasts have waken up, and got educated, thanks to the internet in a way, and the more high tech oriented, science based electronic version of print magazines, such as Audioholics.com that have been providing numerous educational articles, reviews and measurements. Along with the younger enthusiasts, many of them have suffered less hearing loss, and are much better at EQ'ing their favorite sound and have no use for the manufactured "sound" that either are BS, or not cooked to their own liking.

So long story short, vanishing THD+N, i.e. SINAD for those who prefer that term, is probably the most important metric, not to say manufacturer should ignore other factors such as IMD, DF, FR, XT, FFT and a few others.

For those who want to argue that THD does not correlate to "sound quality", there could be a long story but the shorter version could be, imo, the following:

- It could be true that higher THD may even sound "better" to many people especially if the distortion is dominated by the lower order even harmonics, but even Nelson Pass had cited that a good proportion of people prefer 3rd harmonics to 2nd harmonics so it is not a given either. On the other hand, if THD is -90 dB, then who cares what the harmonic contents are, you can't hear any of it anyway even if you listen at reference level. So isn't it better to have it as low as possible regardless? That means manufacturers should set their goal on less than say, -80 dB at the minimum, but should be given in the format: 20 to 20,000 Hz, from below 1 W to rated output. Obviously, closer to -100 dB (100 dB SINAD) would be better as it would then guarantee any harmonic distortions will be masked by the noise in the quietest room that approach anechoic, may be not completely masked, to the super sensitive ears.

- As to "there are other things not measured, or can't be measured..." That's a silly point, because if there is something that is known to indicate the best sound quality, then we can be sure it would have been measured, audio electronics are not rocket science, not even closed., and if it can't be measured, then designers/engineers would have been shooting in the dark lol.. How many of such believers would jump in a huge passenger jet that has not been bench tested/measured/recorded, but rather just test flight to see if everything just worked to the liking of the pilots, since there are many things that can't be measured?

The thing about THD+N is that if it is low enough, one could reasonably assume IMD will also be low, linearity will likely be good, SNR, therefore DR will naturally be good too so THD+N is not just THD+N in a broader sense. XT is important obviously, but we know that all 7 to 13 channels popular brand AVRs measured could pass in terms of audibility, so along with DF and Slew rate, it would be nice to see those measured too but I guess that may be too much to expect mass produced AVRs/AVPs to include those in their specs. It may also be worth noting that with the advanced in electronics technology, we can expect more and more use of ICs such as volume control, DACs, OPAs; and PCBs are populated in highly automatic production lines. So we can expect consistent performance in terms of good DF, slew rate, much more so than in the old analog/discrete days, when those specs needed to be looked at under the microscope.

Sorry gents, I really hate long posts. Not going to proof read for typos/grammars for sure.:D
THD+N, SNR, Crosstalk and Frequency Response have been measured/reviewed for the longest time.

Although they are not audible in real world situations, nobody will ever COMPLAIN about having the best measurements. So better measurements are welcomed 100% of the time. No debate.

But people don’t usually say that they hear noise and distortion from their systems because THD+N isn’t better than 0.01%. They will complain if the AVR internal fans are making noise!

People will always complain when things don’t work or when the components lack features or if customer support/repair service sucks. This is the real world PERFORMANCE. Like the lack of HDMI 2.1 or when HDMI 2.1 has bugs. Or when WiFi remote and streaming apps don’t work. Or when they can’t get the Automatic Room EQ to work the way they want. Something is not going according to plan.

But Reviews don’t usually discuss much about the things that get all the complaints. Reviews talk about inaudible measurements and some functions and some subjective listening.

So back to the Anthem AVRs. They have fantastic inaudible measurements. Wonderful. No complaints here. Every AVR should strive to have great SINAD.

Now, let’s talk about the REAL WORLD PERFORMANCE that would significantly affect people in the real world like bugs, lack of features, reliability and compatibility, customer support, repair procedures, warranty, etc.
 
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Cos

Cos

Audioholic Samurai
great to hear about the preout performance, but no hdmi 2.1 support makes this a no-buy for me.

(dont want an hdmi 2.1 upgrade board and dont want to rely on eARC)

cmon anthem, give me multiple hdmi 2.1 inputs, 2 hdmi outputs, and if youre feeling fancy, add balanced outputs to the preout please.
Anthem will be releasing the upgrade board and the AVM70 w/2.1 already included. I was talking to my dealer about this. I am perfectly happy with 2.0 HDMI for the near future. I am not worried about my PS5 or Xbox 1SX VRR or 120hz at this point, not enough games that I play use it to make a difference. If I really need to I can plug the Game system into the my Sony TV (Patch is either here or coming soon) and use eARC out for audio, which does work.

HDMI 2.1 is buggy, so happy to wait at this point. This issue affects both AVRs/PrePros and TVs. Anthem released the AVM70 too early which there why there were so many bugs. They are really good about releasing updates and listening to users (See Gene's comments on Firmware beta). I would say arc is about 95% bug free at this point, not perfect as I have had to do multiple setups and still learning.

As for Denon/Marantz, I would wait for more than just HDMI 2.1 bugs to work out, I would be more worried about the sale of the company to a medical equipment company. Yamaha is pretty much the only company not being bought/sold off of the big manufacturers.

Based on ASR review of the RX-V6A IMO, I would wait until their are more reviews on their units. It did not do that favorably.
 
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E

enrique chavarry

Audiophyte
In regards to the bench tests any comparisons to the one that was done for the Marantz sr8015?
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
In regards to the bench tests any comparisons to the one that was done for the Marantz sr8015?
I didn't see a full bench from Gene, but you can compare to the ASR benching here:
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Anthem will be releasing the upgrade board and the AVM70 w/2.1 already included. I was talking to my dealer about this. I am perfectly happy with 2.0 HDMI for the near future. I am not worried about my PS5 or Xbox 1SX VRR or 120hz at this point, not enough games that I play use it to make a difference. If I really need to I can plug the Game system into the my Sony TV (Patch is either here or coming soon) and use eARC out for audio, which does work.

HDMI 2.1 is buggy, so happy to wait at this point. This issue affects both AVRs/PrePros and TVs. Anthem released the AVM70 too early which there why there were so many bugs. They are really good about releasing updates and listening to users (See Gene's comments on Firmware beta). I would say arc is about 95% bug free at this point, not perfect as I have had to do multiple setups and still learning.

As for Denon/Marantz, I would wait for more than just HDMI 2.1 bugs to work out, I would be more worried about the sale of the company to a medical equipment company. Yamaha is pretty much the only company not being bought/sold off of the big manufacturers.

Based on ASR review of the RX-V6A IMO, I would wait until their are more reviews on their units. It did not do that favorably.
Yamaha RX-V6A is their lower end units. I actually bench tested the RX-A6A and found measurable issues that Yamaha and others would have likely missed:


It's an advantage to have an 8CH HDMI Audio Analyzer as I've found most 3rd party testing is done on 2CH analyzers and miss the things I've been finding. For example, apparently NOBODY has ever tested the Class D amp performance of the Anthem receivers until I did on the 740/1140.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Yamaha RX-V6A is their lower end units. I actually bench tested the RX-A6A and found measurable issues that Yamaha and others would have likely missed:


It's an advantage to have an 8CH HDMI Audio Analyzer as I've found most 3rd party testing is done on 2CH analyzers and miss the things I've been finding. For example, apparently NOBODY has ever tested the Class D amp performance of the Anthem receivers until I did on the 740/1140.
@gene
This is why this is the sandbox I play in. I may stick my toes in the pool at a few other sites, but this is where I come for Tetherball, Kickball, Frisbee, kickin' punks in the shins, and all that fun grade-school playground sh!t! :p
1647807617779.png

Put your horns out!
:cool:
 
Cos

Cos

Audioholic Samurai
Yamaha RX-V6A is their lower end units. I actually bench tested the RX-A6A and found measurable issues that Yamaha and others would have likely missed:


It's an advantage to have an 8CH HDMI Audio Analyzer as I've found most 3rd party testing is done on 2CH analyzers and miss the things I've been finding. For example, apparently NOBODY has ever tested the Class D amp performance of the Anthem receivers until I did on the 740/1140.
Thanks for clarification, I was confusing it with the A6A
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Thanks for clarification, I was confusing it with the A6A
The similarity in model numbers has tripped me up a few times....preferred the old more easily distinguished model naming routines :)
 
S

svenyun

Audiophyte
I am considering the MRX 540 with an external amp. Is it likely the 540 has the same quality in its preamp output? And its amplifier output?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Reinforces my point that Anthem had a rough start to their AVR range and really didn't start to see improvement until this last generation. Hence why I went to Marantz after my AVM 50 back in the day.
Yes they have had their issues. I've not subscribed to their better SQ claims by some in any case. It's all about functionality and results, and the Anthems seems to have had many issues in such regard. If they actually resolved this on an ongoing basis with changes in the options in the future, great, yet they seem to have had issues just staying current. I haven't seen any particular justification for the price let alone the bugginess....
 
Cos

Cos

Audioholic Samurai
It's definitely a disadvantage against the bigger players like Denon/Marantz/Yamaha.
- Emotiva, more buggy, slow OS, has had multiple issues
- Monoprice HTP-1, still has the loop bug issues
- Anthem, software issues

Staying current is always the best thing as far as I am concerned.
  • D/M/Y all rushed to get HDMI 2.1 out and that left things buggy.
  • Denon releases 8500 with an upgrade path to the 'H' for 2.1. They charge $599.00 for the HDMI board upgrade until they finally put it in the newer release.
  • I bought my AV8802 before there was an A, at least then it was a free upgrade to 2.0

As far as features, I think the newer models have caught up quite a bit. Roon, Bluetooth, Airplay 2 etc. They poop the bed when the decided to release the AVM70 without a fully functional ARC Genesis. I am sure Covid-19 had an impact on that, just like it did with many vendors, but still they should have waited for release.

I am fortunate, I bought later and have had a 95% bug free experience which may also be user error as I get used to the web based room correction tool. Even with all things considered, I am completely satisfied with my purchase. When I have had issues in the past, I have always had solid support from my dealer. I find it much easier to deal with customer service issues than calling one of the the big 3. I think my dealer has more power to make things happen with Anthem than the big 3.

I never dove super deep into Audyssey, but I am finding the ARC web based tool very user friendly.

As far as pricing its about $800 cheaper than the comparable Denon (though denon has 2 more channels of amplification and now has HDMI 2.1 8k. It is less expensive than the Emotiva RMC-1. so as far as pricing, performance and features it's right in line, or slightly less then comparable units.
 
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