Anthem MCA Series Amps

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  • gil
    Junior Member
    • Dec 2000
    • 27

    Anthem MCA Series Amps

    How do the Anthem MCA Series amplifiers stack up against the big boys like Proceed, B&K Ref, etc.
    They appear to be a good value and the reviews on AR are all positive.

    They are rated at 200WxN but looking at the specs on the SF website they put out this power at higher THD levels and with only one channel. With multiple channels loaded they derate the output below 200/350 @ 8/4ohms.

    Also, are these heat generators? I saw mention of 6"+ clearance above the unit. I'm lucky to give 2" with my Harman Kardon PA5800 amp and it stays cool.

    Gil
  • AndrewM
    Senior Member
    • Oct 2000
    • 446

    #2
    Well, I have an MCA 2 and I couldn't be happier, I didn't get a chance to compare it to much though, but I did like it better than a pair of Marantz monoblocks and the lower end B&K. For the money that you will spend I don't think you could get a better amp. The sound isn't bright or warm, just kind of in the middle. There aren't to many sacrifices actually, I think the bass could be a little better, it's very powerful and never stumbles but it's not as clean as I've hear (but that may be a cabling issue, and I'm comparing it to some very $$$ stuff), but that's being VERY picky.

    Power ratings are a little wierd, I have no idea why they rated the amps this way, even rated all channels driven it's still pretty much the most powerful amp in it's class. The manual states power figures down to 2-Ohms which is a nice feeling.

    Heat wise, I'm running the amp with 4-ohm speakers and even after listening to a couple of hours of music at a nice volume, or even more torturious a couple of DVD's at near reference volume (speakers set to large) the amps is barely even warm to the touch, just regular listening or watching TV and you would barely even know it was being used by touching it. It does have some fairly large heat sinks on it though, and I have maybe 3-4" of space above it.

    So count me as a very happy consumer, I'll be buying another 3 or 5 channel to finish powering the other channels soon and I will keep them until I can afford to dip into something a bit more Class-A'ish.


    Andrew

    Comment

    • gil
      Junior Member
      • Dec 2000
      • 27

      #3
      Andrew,

      Thanks for the feedback. Yet another happy Anthem customer. Driving 4 ohm speakers and being only barely warm is a good sign. Do you have this in an enclosed cabinet or open rack?

      Which Marantz mono did you compare this to MA500 (125W@8ohms) or MA700 (200W/300W @ 8/4 ohms). I hear the Marantz run hot.

      I would probably go for the 3 channel to drive the fronts. The derating is a bit more for the 3 channel since the three channels share the same supply. I guess the way to look at the Anthem is as an underated 150W amplifier where the distortion should be better. I did see a mag review awhile back on one of the anthems that seemed to point to distortion levels and crosstalk being greater than the best. Not sure if it was the original series or the newer Series II where Anthem claims to have made some performance improvements.

      Also, what is the street price for the MCA amps and can they be purchased from Canada at a favorable exchange rate?

      Any opinions on the Sherbourn or discontinued Citations vs the Anthem.

      Comment

      • AndrewM
        Senior Member
        • Oct 2000
        • 446

        #4
        The amp is in an enclosed space, open from the front only, so yes I'm very impressed with it. My Denon 3300 reciever I had to cut out the back of the cabinet for because of the heat that thing makes, it gets fairly warm (much warmer than the Anthem).

        I listened to both the Marantz's, now keep in mind this was all done in the dealers room with his speakers, not my own. I liked the MA700, but I'm not a big fan of the "warmer" sound, and it's a bit pricey for basically the same power. The MA500 was nice also, but I wanted a bit more power as I like to know that if I ever decide to go with a set of Magnepans, Martin Logans, or whatever low sensitivity speaker setup, I'll have plenty of power to drive them.

        Power didn't really steer my decision between the 2 or 3 channel amps, as the rated power with all channels driven is about a 20W difference, nothing you are going to miss. I choose the 2 channel because I was unhappy with the musical reproduction that was coming from my Denon reciever, it just didn't sound very good. For movies it wasn't nearly as bad. So my plan was to get a good 2-channel amp for now so I can actually enjoy listening to music, then either get the 3 channel or 5 channel amp later down the road and then upgrade to a nice pre/pro. I'll probably do the 5 channel as it will give me some options for future formats (THX-EX actually would need 7 channels of power), or I can use it to power a passive sub for period of time, etc.

        Price wise, I got the MCA 2 for $650, list is $700, so not a huge discount. You should be able to get a nice price in Canada, since they are a Canadian company.

        Nothing on the Sherbourn or Citation, other than what I've heard, which has all been favorable but no direct comparisons.

        Andrew

        Comment

        • DavidY
          Member
          • Aug 2000
          • 67

          #5
          Gil,

          I have read that the power ratings for the MCA5 Series 1, all channels driven, is about 170 WPC into 8 ohms, 250 WPC into 4. Be advised that there is a new version, Series 2 I believe. Heard this at other HT forums.

          Dave

          Comment

          • ThomasW
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Aug 2000
            • 10934

            #6
            Sonic Frontiers makes very good sounding amps. They may not win the horse power wars, but I really think that's secondary to sonic quality

            Andrew M.

            Before you jump off the deep end for something like Krell, chat with Jon and I about these,






            theAudioWorx
            Klone-Audio

            IB subwoofer FAQ page


            "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

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