My Review Of The Anthem Statement D1 Pre-Amp

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Reverb

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Sorry it took so long, but better late then never. :D








I was one of the early adaptors of DVD back in 1997, back then there weren’t too many options out there. You have a small selection of players, most of which were bear bones players before DTS was added, and your choice of receivers with Dolby digital was very slim with only a hand full to choose from.

Fast-forward to today and you have a vast cornucopia of option’s ranging any ware from a few hundred dollars to practically the price of a new beamer. DVD has gone from the format that most were sure would fail to the most successful and fastest selling consumer electronics product of all times. DVD opened the door for high resolution audio and video that had to be seen to believed, DVD has helped sell multi-thousand dollar TV’s, and audio systems most would have said was useless or over kill and walked away from.

With so many options out there today which product do you choose?

Well if your in the market for a surround sound preamp how about the Anthem Statement D1?

The D1 was very easy to integrate into my existing system, in no time at all I was up and running. First I wanted to set up the processor for my system, what I found is the D1 has basic set up features like crossovers, speaker distance, ETC. But the D1 also has some advanced setup feathers that are factory defaulted to off and can be enabled and setup later if you wish. The Notch filter is one of the advanced feathers that I have elected not to enable because it can destroy the sound as fast as it can help it. The notch filter allows you to adjust the sound curve to the acoustics of your room, it is however very tricky to use. The filter will allow you to adjust the center frequency, with, and depth. So you will need to know at what point you have a frequency peak in your room and adjust for its depth and with.

For crossovers you can set a single crossover point any ware between 25Hz-160Hz, any speaker set to small will get this crossover point and any speaker set to large will get the full range single. In advanced settings you can turn on an advanced crossover network that will let you set a different crossover point for each group of speakers (Center, Lift/Right, Surround Left/Right, Back left/right). So you could set the center to 80Hz, the front left/right to 35Hz, surrounds to 70hz, and your back speaker to 80Hz. This would be grate because it would allow you to get the full potential out of your speakers; the only disadvantage to it is it could put a hole in your subwoofers crossover point. Because your main speakers may send some information to the sub under 30Hz and your center may send some information at the same time at around 60Hz, your sub will try and hit two different frequency’s at once which may give you a hole in your crossover or a very undesirable effect. But with a little time it is possible to fine-tune it to have different crossover points.

The D1 has lots of processing power with duel Motorola DSP 56367 engines, Duel 3Mbit 8ns External Cache memory, independent digital audio board, two massive toroidal transformers, and 24-bit/ 192-kHz precision and Upsampling. Upsampling increases the sampling rate of the incoming digital signal. This allows the reconstruction filter to operate at a higher frequency, making it less intrusive in the audible bandwidth. OVERSAMPLING: Along with upsampling, the D1’s DACs also incorporate 128X oversampling to increase the sample rate to 24.576 MHz, thereby ensuring the best phase- and frequency-response possible. This combination of upsampling and oversampling allows the D1 to use much gentler 3rd-order Bessel reconstruction filters. Measurable results are profoundly superior, reflecting exceptionally flat frequency response and THD+N in the upper frequencies up to twenty times lower than some of the best high-end outboard DACs.

Superior digital-to-analog conversion in the D1 is courtesy of our very high-quality DAC design. Here again, we have essentially eliminated ultrasonic noise and distortion in the 20 kHz to 80 kHz frequency band. Our six-layer converter boards use separate analog and digital planes as well as separate power- and groundplanes for the lowest noise possible. Since the D1 also includes our own built-in state-of-the-art Upsampler to convert the sample rate of any incoming digital signal to 192 kHz, the DACs are able to run at the highest speed (192 kHz), regardless of the incoming digital bitstream. The result is extremely low background noise up to almost 100 kHz.

AKM® AK4395 converters operate at their full 24-bit x 192-kHz resolution and switched-capacitor output filters significantly reduce the DAC's sensitivity to rapid fluctuations in the bit rate during the conversion process.

Audio-grade Nichicon® MUSE® Series UK signal-coupling capacitors with low-voltage coefficient ensure minimal distortion and low microphonics—dramatically reducing the DAC’s sensitivity to vibration.

By eliminating the potential for errors in timing, our DAC’s high-accuracy clock generator (49.152 MHz, ±0.001%) makes a substantial contribution to distortion-free performance.

That’s Fine and dandy but how does it sound?

The D1 has a sound that I can’t describe as warm or cold it’s very natural in the scene that it does not draw attention to itself, I find it natural in the scene of a sound being played back as I would expect it would if it were truly in my room. What struck me right off the bat is the D1’s control over the entire frequency range, at no time did the audio become flat lifeless for loose on the bottom end of the frequency range. Every sound was tight controlled and very, very detailed. Every sound seemed to float in midair with grate separation, some processors I find flatten the image so it’s hard to make out anyone particular sound. With the D1 I could make out all the screaming and talking in the background with gun’s blazing.

My first test DVD was Bad Boys 2, I love using this DVD as reference material, some home theaters handle the big chase very well and some just fold up and go home. With Ferrari a blazing and bullets wizing past my head there was no stopping it now lets see what happens when they take the 18-wheeler on the freeway. With every car falling off the back of the truck my couch would vibrate as if there was an actuator under it, but no that’s all ML Descent with the D1, it truly felt like I was there and was living in the action.

One area the D1 has done better then every other receiver or pre-amp I have tried, is shifting sound from front to back. My over all goal with my setup is to get the sounds to move around the room from one speaker to another with out them changing in volume level, detail, or tone. This may sound easy but every receiver or pre-amp I have tried could not convincingly do this, the D1 is the first to take a male voice and start it at the center speaker and move it to the right speaker to the right back, left back, front left and back to center convincingly without making me take notice to its change or movement. In bad Boys 2 gunfire from the main speakers had the same tone as it did in the back speakers. With the SunFire Theater Grand III this was not the case, gunfire up front sound good but in the rear speakers it had a hollow unrealistic quality to it.

Closing Comments.

The Anthem Statement D1 is by far the best pre-amp I have ever tried, and is defiantly a keeper. I find a lot of time’s as you change components you sometimes give up a little something the other component had, in order in gain in another area the new one has. In the case of my old Sunfire Theater grand III it was not as grand as I thought, I don’t miss it, in fact there is nothing but the remote the Sunfire came with that I miss. The D1 does perform on another level the Sunfire could not.

Anthem Made the D1 to compete with every high-end processor out there like Lexicon, Theta, Meridian, ETC, and better them with better performance and a reasonable price. I don’t think the D1 quite has the transparence of a Lexicon MC-12B or the DAC’s of the Theta Casablanca, I do feel it is in the same league as the high end gear with out the stupid price tag. All that high-end gear has one thing in common; it is at the point of diminishing returns.

Anthem is coming out with a D2 processor and an upgrade for current D1 owners that will add 4 HDMI video inputs and 1 output along with video scaling using the Gennum chip. Anthem hope’s to have the D2 backwards compatible with Hi-Def DVD when it comes out early next year, so with my fingers crossed I hope the D1 will be the last processor I buy for at least a few years. Anthem has also said they are working on auto room EQ’ing feature that with the assistance of a microphone in your listing position will automatically setup the D2’s EQ to compensate for your acoustic peaks and dip’s, like Pioneer’s MCACC.
 

Anthony A.

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excellent review. i will be getting a d2 in the near future and i have never read anything bad about any of the anthem products. i had an mca 30 amp about a year ago and they were excellent for the money. and not only that, anthem factory/headquarters is 15 mins from my house, so the price here in canada is sooooo attractive. for the price, i honestly believe nothing comes even close. i have talked to the designers and all tell me that they made it in a way that everything just sounds cleaner and realistic, not imparting any sense of trademark such as being warm, transparent, bright. etc. and isn;t that what we all want anyway in a pre/pro. no sonic characteristics, just letting the sound through without any grunge on it. i can't wait till i get one. for the time being, enjoy it until i come up woth posts saying how i feel about it. cheers!!!
 

Robin

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Fantastic "Anthem D1" review....

Joe,

Thank you for such a wonderful review of the, "Anthem D1 Peramp. / Processor". The crossover control, charactoristics sound marvalous. Your discrptions of the DAC's, was just what I wanted to hear. Your impressions of how the D1 seporates, as well as, moving the sounds to other speakers during a DVD movie was very reassuring, but also not surprising, to me. I'm just glad you said it... I had heard, what you discribed, in the show room. The D1 was like no other processor, I have ever heard as far as, HT sound control, moving the sounds around the room with natural ease and fluidity... Seamlessly, and with great dynamic effect, which other processors just can not match in the D1 price range. The next, best processor's cost, at least $5,000.00 (USD) more....

Joe, what you discrib, is what is lacking from my, "Pioneer Elite VSX 59TXi", reciever. My 59TXi, as a processor, just can not even come close, to delivering the kind of seporation and control of sound movement for HT as the D1... ;)

I think, IMHO, the "Anthem D1" processor would be totally awesome with the "Anthem P5" amplifier. Maybe, we should have them visit each someday, so they could play together. :D

I am very happy for you, Joe.... Have a blast with your new D1... :D

Enjoy

Cheers

-Robin
 

DTB300

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Robin said:
Joe, what you discrib, is what is lacking from my, "Pioneer Elite VSX 59TXi", reciever. My 59TXi, as a processor, just can not even come close, to delivering the kind of seporation and control of sound movement for HT as the D1.
From the time I have spent listening to a D1 and hearing the brand name HT Receivers (I have one of those typical brand name units as I spend more on two channel than HT) the D1 was ALWAYS an impressive sounding unit.

Robin...Stay away from the D1 or D2 unless you want your wallet to suffer severe damage Ha Ha Ha :) As much as I would like to have one myself, spending that kind of money (I have seen them for $3500 or sometimes less on 'Gon) with College savings in full swing here, would guarantee me having to find a new place to live :D

Dan
 
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Robin

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D1...

Dan,

I think you are quite correct... I've got two kids, in college, as we speak. I owe, I owe so it's off to work I go... Maybe someday though,... until then I will continue to dream of the D1.... :D :D :D

Cheers

-Robin
 
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