Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Regardless of your budget, you owe it to yourself to put the Anthem 225 on your short list to audition" - Luther Ward, Home Theater Shack

Anthem's Integrated 225 was the subject of a recent review by Luther Ward of Home Theater Shack. Known as a separates guy, Luther was a bit hesitant at first glance, but in no time his opinion changed. Below is a summary of his thoughts.

"Anthem as gone to great lengths to build an audiophile class integrated"

"Today that new piece is the Anthem 225 integrated solid state amplifier. For those of you who know me, you’re thinking but you’re a separates guy. Your systems are tubes and mono blocks. Well, you would be right, but remember what I said about keeping an open mind, because you may find something that opens your eyes and ears. The Anthem 225 is one of those pieces of equipment."

Build Quality, Appearance and Functionality
"Anthem has done a fantastic job of keeping it simple and putting their money into design, layout and execution. Part of the weight may be attributed to the solid chassis and aluminum faceplate but most can be found in the massive toroidal transformer and large heat sinks. This isn’t about bling but building an amplifier that will be a solid performer year after year. Not that the 225 isn’t stylish. This is an attractive amplifier, with its anodized faceplate and clean lines that will fit in with the most discriminating audio enthusiast’s system."

"It did not matter what I threw at the Anthem 225, it took it and asked for more"

"Don’t let the minimalist approach to the look fool you into what is underneath this wolf in sheep’s clothing. Anthem has gone to great lengths to build an audiophile class integrated with high quality and close tolerance parts like metal film resistors and high-quality film signal capacitors. Great attention has been spent designing from the ground up with hand laid PCB traces to optimize the ground plain layout and a robust power supply to give the listener a silent black background."

Listening - System 1
"I hit play and listened for the music to start. The tape has a long lead in, so this lets me hear what noise, if any, is coming from the amp. The Anthem 225 is quiet. With nothing to get in the way of the music, the first positive check goes in my notes."

"...the 225 has nice separation giving detail to the many layers in this recording... The 225 again did a nice job in bringing the instruments to life... a nice richness to the bottom end. The imaging is very good... The 225 did not disappoint."

Listening - System 2
"Now it is time to up the tempo, turn up the volume and get some air moving in the room. Here the 225 stepped up to the plate and delivered. The electrostats can be a difficult load to drive and they love power. The 225 brought them to life with a full dynamic sound. From the snare hit... to the driving beat... the sound was solid with a lot of punch, but still blended well with the mid and upper ranges."

Listening - System 3
"Not only did the 225 produce a real soundstage but one with weight to it. Once again the separation between instruments allowed each to be heard individually without smearing or sounding muddy."

"With the 225’s lack of a sonic signature or better yet its neutrality, the 225 allowed Diana’s voice to shine through. It felt very intimate, like a smoky bar. The bass line intro to “Peel Me a Grape” was tight and Diana’s piano crisp. The laid back tracks were a great way to slow down, relax and enjoy the end to my listening session."

"The Anthem 225 reminded me to not think “been there, done that.” To get over myself and keep an open mind. If I had not, I would have missed out. There is a lot of bang for your buck here. Regardless of your budget, you owe it to yourself to put the Anthem 225 on your short list to audition. I feel it is a real value and has the versatility to fit in almost any system."

"It did not matter what I threw at the Anthem 225, it took it and asked for more. It has the power to drive the most demanding speaker and the accuracy and transparency to not get in the way of the music. Add the ease of a plug and play setup and the Anthem 225 is one of the affordable gems in audio."

Click here! to read the full review from Home Theater Shack.
Click here! for more info on the Anthem Integrated 225.

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