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Anthem Integrated 225 Stereo Amplifier

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Anthem Integrated 225 Stereo Amplifier

Anthem Integrated 225 Amplifier - Silver

Anthem Electronics
While home theater receivers can be used for two-channel sound, they generally do not have the features found in stereo receivers and amps that enhance the stereo listening experience. With a few exceptions, features such as analog-only circuitry, a high-quality phono stage and balanced-line connections that contribute to better music reproduction and are typically found only in upscale stereo components. So it's refreshing that Anthem includes the features that audiophiles, music lovers and stereo enthusiasts look for when choosing a two-channel receiver or integrated amplifier.

Anthem Integrated 225 Features

Anthem is a Canadian company well known for its line of mid and high-end audio components. The Anthem Integrated 225 is an analog stereo integrated amplifier with 225 watts per channel, seven analog inputs, including a pair of balanced-line analog inputs, moving magnet phono input, CD and four AUX inputs with one front panel stereo input for a portable music player. Its features are geared for stereo listening and recording or custom installation applications, such as a zone amp for multiroom audio applications.

Construction quality of the 225 is excellent. The front panel is fabricated from 3/8" thick aluminum and even the machine screws that fasten the steel cover to the chassis are flush with the surface. I removed the cover to have a look at the inside of the amp and all circuitry is neatly organized and logically laid out.

The Integrated 225 amplifier is a Class A-B design with six bipolar devices per channel. Its generous power output of 225 watts per channel uses a torodial transformer backed by dual 30,000 micro-farad filter capacitors, which provides plenty of dynamic headroom and makes it well suited for a wide variety of loudspeakers, even those with a sensitivity spec well below 90dB.

The Anthem amp uses analog circuitry throughout, even employing a motorized analog volume control that can be controlled manually, by remote control or via the RS-232 control interface for use with a system controller. A lighted indicator on the volume control would be helpful since there is no on-screen or front panel display to indicate volume level.

Additional Features

The Anthem Integrated 225 comes with a universal learning remote control that can be programmed to operate other system components or can learn commands from other remote controls. The Anthem remote control is fully backlit enabling easy use in low light. Macro commands can be programmed into the Anthem remote control to execute multiple functions, such as amp power, cable box, TV power and so on. A total of 32 commands can be programmed into the macro function.

Custom installation features include a +12-volt trigger in-out connection so it can activate other components or be activated by a control system. Its detachable IEC power cord makes installation easier.

The moving magnet phono stage uses active and passive equalization that, according to Anthem strictly follows RIAA standards and is designed to provide accurate, uncolored reproduction of vinyl recordings. High-output moving coil cartridges can also be used with the Integrated 225.

There are a few features I wish the Anthem amp had, including a separate headphone level control, a pre-main coupler and bass management circuitry for use with a subwoofer.

Audio Performance

I tested the Anthem 225 in my reference two-channel system consisting of a pair of Paradigm Reference Studio 100 speakers and a Yamaha CDX-1060 CD player. The 225 seemed right at home with my Paradigm speakers and produced extraordinary detail, vocal presence and warm bass response.

Most notable was Diana Krall's breathy, sultry voice in How Insensitive in her "From This Moment On" disc. Every breath had a palpable in-room quality that makes this great recording sound live. Her voice was easy to visualize as it floated between the speakers. Each musical element was distinct and the soundstage sounded almost three-dimensional as if I were listening to a multichannel recording. Bass was full and warm from the moment the track began with the bass drum.

Percussion instruments sounded distinct and tight from Diana Krall's piano to the dual guitars in Acoustic Alchemy's Mr. Chow. Cymbals were crisp, clean and detailed without the sonic smear so common in busy recordings with multiple musical instruments.

A good recording brings out the best in a system and Ana Caram's "Anos Dourados" and Sara K's "Miles Away" from Chesky Records was no exception. Every minute instrumental and vocal detail sounded meticulous and precise.

Ah, the warm sound of a vinyl recording. My carefully preserved LPs sounded as good as ever on the Integrated 225. Joan Baez' "Diamonds and Rust and Quadrophenia by The Who were just a few of my favorites I listened to on the Anthem amp.

Conclusion & Specifications

The Anthem Integrated 225 lives up to my expectations of a component in the Anthem electronics family. Its performance qualities are the closest I've heard to separate components, except they're combined handily in one chassis and at a much lower price. Its phono section will please vinyl enthusiasts and it has more than adequate power output for virtually any speakers with excellent dynamic headroom. You could spend less for an integrated amp, but not an amp with 225 watts per channel of clean, solid, dynamic power.

Specifications

  • Power Output: 225 watts per channel, continuous RMS, 20Hz-20kHz, <1%THD, both channels driven
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz (+0, -0.15 dB)
  • Bandwidth: 1Hz to 200kHz (+0, -3dB)
  • Slew Rate: 25V/µs
  • Damping Factor: 80 @ 1kHz
  • Signal to Noise ratio: 105dB
  • Dimensions (H x W x D) 5 7/8" x 17 ¼" x 18"
  • Weight: 42.6 lbs.
  • Available in Black or Silver finish
  • Price: $1499
  • Contact: Anthemav.com
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
simplistic giant killer, Member roguemodel

Here is a simplistic assessment of the Anthem 225 integrated amp. Anthem is the electronic side of Paradigm, so, its lineage is well established. The amp is solidly built, internally the parts quality is above par over lets a Denon, Pioneer, or Sony. At 225 wpc the power per dollar ratio is way of of sync....to the good. $1600 get you a a lot for your money! Power is one thing, sound reproduction is another. I'm a two channel guy, for my home theater I use the top of the line Zvox. It's all I need....I appreciate the simple nature of a good machine, I run an Ipod (lossless) through a Wadia I71i into a Benchmark DAC1. My second source is a United Home Audio reel to reel and I run discs on an OPPO BDP-95 Universal player, itself a beautiful piece of work. I had an issue with the about.com reviewer and his Yamaha CDX-1060 CD player, not really a very good unit. Power is needed from an amplifier not for loudness; of course it helps, but for transient peaks and acute swings in octave reproduction, it is stereo 101. So, how does the unit sound? well, at first, not very impressive. I know better than to listen to a brand new unit. The caps aren't charged, the circuitry is not ""broken in."" All electronic components need a break in time, this is especially true for speakers. I ran the unit in for 50 hours at a low volume, all that is needed and probably overkill. Oh, my loudspeakers are the Usher Dancer Mini 2 DMD. These speakers demand the high end, or, you hear a rather uncomfortable message from them that your front end is insufficient. I was going to use another word but about.com censors these posts. Solid State, the bain of many audiophiles who believe that tubes are the only effort worth making. In some sense they are right. There is a ""rightness"" about the tube sound. However, there is a ""rightness"" about the sound I heard from the Anthem; sweet, delicate, precise, gripping controlled sub 100 hz output....i mean, really controlled, the Ushers are a transmission line speaker and if you match it wrong the bass can just be a flop of cheese. The Anthem is warm, but not obtrusively so, which means it is not a sterile clinical presentation. Tube anyone? $1600? You have got to be kidding me? What is the catch? Well, no moving coil phono section, decent mm phono. no bells, no whistles, no 10x markup. Stereo is like jewelry, the mark up is extraordinary, and many time you pay to have a unit sitting on your shelf....so you can say I own a topratedgizmochunker. This isn't Sony, it isn't a Pioneer.....it isn't a Krell either. It is much better. Compared to the krell S300i, it is a giant killer, at $1000 less. Buy and don't look back!

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