Is anything wrong with my Anthem MCA-525?

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by Andrein, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Andrein Audioholic

    Andrein
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    I would prob like to not hear the difference but i do unfortunately. And this was since i was 6 years old. Mind constantly monitors for any sounds that are not native in given situation. This medical condition has its name. But i forgot it...
  2. slipperybidness Audioholic Spartan

    slipperybidness
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    You may hear differences between amps, I can concede that point.

    But, I guarantee that you cannot hear the difference between 0.1% THD vs 0.01% THD vs 0.001% THD. No human has ears that sensitive.
  3. Andrein Audioholic

    Andrein
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    I heard distortion during certain peaks or in classics. Hence started looking for the new amp. With monolith and mca i cant hear anythin in the same places of same songs. Whatever thd percentage is there. You got my point.
  4. sterling shoote Senior Audioholic

    sterling shoote
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    It's broken. Send it back.
  5. Andrein Audioholic

    Andrein
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    No. It is not. Thanks. Bye.
  6. lovinthehd Audioholic Spartan

    lovinthehd
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    We get that you think you hear a difference, under what conditions isn't known; without a proper comparison and analysis who knows what the difference is. Could be placebo. Could be gain structure related for all we know. Has nothing really to do with your complaint of the Anthem amp making bad noises on turnoff, to me that's a defective amp but if you want to do a workaround....
  7. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    Certainly.

    [​IMG]
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  8. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    I disagree, from what I have read so far, his amp is fine. The quiet pop he is getting is inherent from the design. My Adcom would do the same thing and had done it for probably 20 years before the right channel died.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
    PENG,
  9. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    Thanks
    PENG,
  10. lovinthehd Audioholic Spartan

    lovinthehd
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    He's the one complaining, perhaps the literature should warn their customers so they can simply be happy the amp is performing as expected?
  11. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    He didn't know in the beginning. Since then he learnt his is not the only one behaving like that, the dealer's did the same; and he found out Anthem had got rid of the relay in this generation.
    PENG,
  12. lovinthehd Audioholic Spartan

    lovinthehd
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    Still doesn't change that TO ME it is a defective amp :) as I said....by making such noises with no confirmation from the dealer or manufacturer (if anyone even asked the manufacturer). He thought it was defective too because Anthem and their dealer apparently can't explain this is normal and even exchanged it a few times. So defective marketing and distribution, too. it seems. I hope the actual hardware is better than this makes it sound like. He hears magic in the amp, so he'll just have to find a workaround with the noise issue to be happier with it thanks to your sleuthing so there's that. My .02 YMMV and all that.
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  13. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    I'm inclined to agree with you on this. The type of behavior described here is just not "classy" and decidedly down market. That being the case there are amps to recommend over this one.
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  14. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    I agree with you both on this point. Anthem eliminated the output relay that has worked well in my MCA20, In their current MCA225, 325 and 525, for audiophile kind of reason they eliminated the speaker isolation relay, yet apparently failed to deal with the switching noise due to transformer and/or capacitor inrush current effects. As HD said, they should mention the potential of such noise in their product literature. If they did, then I would find it acceptable. I have no doubt there are higher end vintage DC (direct coupled) amps that don't have speaker relays, and some of them would make some switching (power on/off) noise too, but I don't know if this is still the case in their new products.

    I like my MCA20 and would buy it again at the same price point, but I do it odd that despite they seemed to use the term "oversized" freely on their website, they failed to do better in a couple of areas such as:

    - The power supply transformer and capacitors in my 225 WPC amp are only 530VA and 16,400 µf per channel respectively. For the 5 channel version, there are 16,000 µf per channel. Even my low cost Adcom has a larger transformer and 30,000 µf per channel.

    - They don't provide THD figures for full bandwidth at full rated output. That appeared to have worked well on the OP, as he seemed to have make his decision based mainly on the 0.001% THD, perhaps compared that others who showed higher THD but at full rated output and for full bandwidth.

    Neither of the above points mean nothing to me as I am one of those people who can't hear the difference between 0.1% and 0.0000000001% THD, but I do find it odd that Anthem won't just say THD+N, X % full bandwidth at full rated output, or better still, at any output level up to full rated output.

    One thing I like about Bryston is that they actually provide signed bench test data sheet, and include graphs of distortions vs output that covers 0 to rated output in the user manual.
    PENG,
  15. Andrein Audioholic

    Andrein
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    I wont be hearing at even 100w. So hope i will get 0.001 to 0.005. Next time i will ask you guys first. But this time i will leave this one. Another reason was price. And 3y finance option with 0 interest rate. Given i like how it sounds i will leave it. After all it is sound quality which matters most to me. Even if i return i told i will need to pay for shipping and also credit check kind of wasted. There are always some compromises. Some people said emotiva was great. But it did not impress me. So i am happy i found the amp with the sound i like. But i agree with you they either saved the money by dropping relay or made mistake in design.
  16. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    I did recommend you keeping it too once I knew the amp was dc without relay. As I mentioned, other direct coupled amps make such noise too.

    Anthem claimed they have some sort of inrush suppression so as long as the pop is a quiet one, it shouldn't hurt your speakers.

    Please do follow the golden rule of turning on the power amp last and turning it off first regardless.
    PENG,
  17. sterling shoote Senior Audioholic

    sterling shoote
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    Or they did not make any mistake and the amp is broken, that's to say defective. I purchase a turntable from Dual many years ago, which, at the time, was their top model. I got it home, unboxed it and turned it on. I heard a pop through my speakers. This was simply unacceptable and I returned it to the dealer. These products are too expensive to keep with such a problem. You will never be satisfied and when you do replace it will cost more than you ever actually needed to spend. What I am saying is the only thing that's expensive is making a mistake-like keeping an amp which pops when it's turned on.
  18. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    If it is in fact broken then it is a good idea to return it for an exchange. In this case, if you had read the whole thread you would know that this is his second MCA525. Including the one in the dealer show room, all 3 do the same. Also fact, the amp has no output relay by design, and the pop is noticeable but not loud.

    Not all amp designers worry much about a slight pop, just do some google search and you may no longer insist that his amp is broken. Some user reportedly was told by Anthem such switching noise was "normal". See post#8 in the link below for an example.

    https://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/threads/that-annoying-pop-on-my-anthem-amp.161609/
    PENG,
  19. sterling shoote Senior Audioholic

    sterling shoote
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    O.K. not broken, but worse, defective, as in defective design, as evident in at least 3, right. The amp is a POS product. Man needs to get his money back and go to another brand. And, when you say," not all amp designers worry" are those the designers who don't know, don't care, or don't think it's important? When is product design not important? There are no excuses because, after all, these are not cheap products where any short cut or economy measure would allow for a pop or other fault.

    Now, the OP is obviously concerned, his posts here attest to it. So, at the least, this is a distraction from the pleasure expected from the product. He knows now that there are other amps out there that do not have any pops. Therefore, just because the dealer says it's not broken or defective, the OP now knows he bought before having full product knowledge. He likel will never be satisfied, even with condolences from the manufacturer, dealer, or folks here. Sorry, a pop from amp to speaker however slight is just not right.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  20. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    It is about trade off, compromise, choices etc. that we all have to face, given a budget and other constraints that we have to work within. Some designers prefer as pure and direct audio path as possible so they don't want to use too much transient suppression and/or relay isolation that they believe would jeopardize sound quality too much. So they rather put up with a mild, quiet, gentle pop when first powered up. For example, McIntosh prefers the use of what they call the 'autoformer" (for other reasons), that many of us, e.g., irv, don't necessary like. You don't have to like Anthem's approach. If you insist in calling design choices based on individual manufacturers own belief as "defective" because you don't agree with or like their choices, then okay, I won't debate you because that's you opinion.

    In case you missed his most recent posts, he said he would keep the amp. I have the impression that's because he now has the information he needs, and made his informed decision. We may not all agree with his decision, but it is his to make. All we can do is to provide him with information we wish to share, even offer our opinions, and I believe we have done so.
    PENG,
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