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Anthem's New High- End AV Preamp Print E-mail
Friday, 07 May 2004
Anthem has just unveiled the D1 preamplifier/processor/ tuner, a new offering from the company’s all-new high-end series, Anthem Statement. The D1 is designed and built in North America on the same platform and incorporating the same operating system as Anthem’s award-winning AVM 20. The similarities end here, however. What ultimately separates the two is sonic performance. According to Anthem, the D1 is more revealing and displays a greater degree of musical. The D1 features all of the available Dolby and DTS surround-sound modes, as well as the company’s own AnthemLogic-Music and AnthemLogic-Cinema modes. The D1 also includes all THX modes: THX Cinema and Ultra2 Cinema; THX MusicMode; THX Surround EX; and THX for DTS ES. The D1 takes includes its own built-in precision upsampler which converts the sample rate of all incoming digital signals to 192 kHz. The D1’s multiple AD1896 sample rate converters upsample every channel of digital or analog-DSP input up to 192 kHz, including decoded Dolby Digital and DTS program material. Since the D1 operates on all formats and all channels, the result is a higher level of transparency for both multichannel music and movies then with the AVM 20.

The D1 also provides the home theater enthusiast with the ability to “dial-in” not only the D1, but also the room itself. Rooms often have a prominent resonance peak that can make bass from even the finest subwoofer sound boomy. Using Anthem-designed low-frequency test tones and the D1’s Room Resonance Filter users can identify and remove this prominent peak in order to gain a major improvement in bass articulation and definition according to Anthem.

Surround-sound speakers can be configured to run as direct-radiating or dipole and the configuration can even be adjusted so that surrounds can be copied or re-routed to the rears in a 7.1 channel speaker system. Center-channel equalization is also available through the D1’s proprietary algorithm that modifies the speaker’s frequency response curve to provide the clearest sound possible.

The D1 highlights Anthem’s own DSP design which uses two Motorola DSP 56367 chips to provide bass management capabilities and processing power to handle complex algorithms. The hand-designed circuit board ensures low noise and a complete absence of crosstalk, while massive toroidal power transformers minimize stray magnetic field radiation and reduce residual transformer noise to provide a smooth flow of high-current power.

The D1 provides independent audio and video outputs for three zones, and the Record Path can even be reconfigured to add a fourth independent zone. The main digital source can also be copied to Zones 2, 3 and Record. Alternatively, Zones 2 and 3 are independent of the main path, and of each other. Selectable by source, they provide video and 2-channel analog audio output with volume, bass, treble and balance controls to two completely separate zone outputs. The Record Path offers the same flexibility, without tone controls. The D1 can even operate two complete home theater systems at the same time. Each set of outputs can also operate concurrently in different rooms simply by including another amplifier.

Accessing the D1’s functions in an automated home environment is easy via the Crestron, AMX and Phastlink-compatible RS-232 communication ports. The D1 also has provisions to add a future optional IEEE Firewire connection. 12-volt triggers, IR-inputs and IR-outputs eliminate the added cost of external power supplies and make it easy to control your source components from another room, remotely.

While video scalers and video upsamplers can improve picture quality, they often cause signal delays leaving the audio out-of-synch with the video. The D1’s Audio Group Delay corrects for this in half-millisecond increments for each source component and can be adjusted “on the-fly” without having to enter the setup menu.

Each source input can be renamed with a description that will make it easily recognized by family members. In addition, any changes that are made to the D1 can be password-protected in two separate files – one for the user and one for the installer, eliminating the need to worry about losing user preference settings.

Obsolescent equipment is always in the back of the mind when home-theater enthusiasts purchase high-end equipment—that’s why Anthem designed the D1 for quick and easy software updating. Users can connect to the Internet, access the Anthem website (www.anthemAV.com) and download the latest version of AVM 20 software, then connect their computer to the AVM 20 and upload the new software.

All of this high-end technology is packaged in an equally high-end 14-awg steel chassis—fine-grain brushed aluminum cover and extruded aluminum handles, blue vacuum-fluorescent front-panel display, and blue LEDs.

The D1 is available in Black. Suggested retail price is $4,999 and it is shipping now.

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