2 channel system -> 7.2 channel multi use system what would you do?

I recently moved and now my system configuration has to change. In the past, I had a dedicated audio space and dedicated movie space. These are now in the same “multi-use space”.

The current two channel system: dCS DAC → Luxman pre-amp/amp → Magico A3s

I plan to add a Magico ACC (already on order) to complete the front three speakers and add Totem Tribe 1 speakers from a prior system for sides and rears and a pair of Rel T7i subs also from the prior system.

The receiver that was used in the old HT system now controls multiple in ceiling speakers on a different floor.

What I need to figure out now is the AV processor and speaker amplification for the surround and center channels. The Luxman pre-amp has a bypass input on it so I can use my current 2 channel setup for the right and left speakers.

I have a few options but I’m not sure what i should do.

  1. AV Receiver to process and drive the ACC and Totem speakers (least favorite option, cheapest)
  2. AV Receiver to process and pre-amp to another beefier amp (would need to buy) for the ACC, and use the receiver surround outputs to power the sides and rears. (I like this option but am worried that i’ll be missing out on having a better processor)
  3. AV processor, 5 channel Multi Channel amp (not sure what would match well with the Luxman m700u that I already have)
  4. AV processor, add another Luxman, and add a multi channel amp for the surround and rear. (this seems to be going to far and adding too many boxes also expensive)

My local dealer sells Anthem, McIntosh, Acurus, and Trinnov. Trinnov will be too expensive to justify for what I’m going for and definitely would not get approved by the budget committee so it’s off the list.

How would you fill in AV gap in this system?

I’d look at the 740 from Anthem. You can send the L&R to the Luxman and the Anthem will handle the rest.

I have an Anthem AVM 60. I have been using Anthem for many, many years. Find an Anthem Preamp Processor or an Anthem Receiver. Use it and consider the situation handled beyond your expectations. Anthem. Accept no substitute.


Anthem AVM 70 and 90 are excellent.

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I have similar setup with AVM70. I have added the JLCR1 so the sub can be use for both 2 channel and home theater.

Thanks everyone for you input. I see there are a lot of Anthem fans here!

Does anyone know if there is a difference in the processor in the AVM 70 and the MRX 740? I’m not well versed in home theater but it seems to me that they are essentially the same. On a similar note is there a difference in the processing, aside from number of channels, between the MRX 740 and MRX 540?

My dealer recommended the Acurus MUSE and Acurus 2005 amp as an upgrade over Anthem separates. He said it is 90% of the Trinnov but significantly more affordable. The down side is that they do the configuration (unless I buy the additional equipment needed). Does anyone here have experience with Acurus? This would be much easier for me if I could demo before buying but that doesn’t seem to be an option.

The Muse is a great piece, but nothing is 90% a Trinnov except another Trinnov. different universes. And prices. The 5xx and 7xx are basically 5 and 7 channel base devices. The 70 is a processor with better architecture. Depends on what you want to spend. Get an AVM60 if you just want base good HT. AVM70 adds better room addustments and roon soon we all hope.

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I’m going to swim against the current here and suggest you explore processors that offer Dirac room correction. I’m not saying ARC is bad, by any means. It’s built into my speakers and subwoofers and in that context is outstanding for correcting individual bass issues.

The learning curve on Dirac is steep, but I’ve found it astonishingly good in the home theater realm, even after applying ARC on the speakers and subs. I understand some of the new Marantz and Denon processors and receivers will support Dirac, and there are others as well. There’s a huge Dirac thread on AVS forums if you want to hurt your head reading it.

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If you want eArc, the AVM60 does not support it.

What is eARC? Sounds like earache.

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It doesn’t work with BACCH so you won’t care

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So what is better eARC or TOSlink?

EARC is bidirectional HDMI digital connection. Mostly used for TV being able to send audio back to surround sound processor. It can do atmos so Dr that use case it’s better than toslink.

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Yup that’s it. Many TV’s have excellent interfaces built in now like Google TV. To get more than 5.1 audio out you need an HDMI cable from the TV to the surround processor.

The AVM60 does have that but I have never been able to make it work with my Sony TV. I have always blamed Sony for that.

It doesn’t matter to me as I haven’t a use for it. All my content comes from devices attached to my AVM60. I don’t ever use the TV as a source.

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I have read that it works well now with the 540, 740, and 1140. But fan noise caused me to return the 1140 before I got to test it. I have no idea what possessed Anthem to put such noisy fans in a HT device.

So, if I am going to run a 7.2 system with no plans to upgrade in the next 5 years, is there any reason to buy a 740 over a 540? I do not need a second zone. I do not do Atmos. I will (likely) have external amplification for all 7 channels.


540 is only 5.1 but does have 7.1 preouts, so my guess is yeah that should work.

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Since you have a Luxman pre and amp, as long as the Pre has HT bypass, the 540 should work since it has pre-outs for the fronts and you can reassign the channels to speakers in your 7.2 setup.

I would however read the manual and make certain you can reassign the internal amplification for the Fronts to something like the rear or side surrounds.

Thanks for the heads up. It looks like the 540 has pre outs for 7 channels only amplifies 5. So it looks like I’ll be adding a MRX540. I’ll use the HT bypass on my Luxman preamp and amplify the right and left fronts with my Luxman amp. Now add a 5 channel amp for the center, surrounds, and back? Or add another Luxman m700u (if I can find one) for the center and allow the MRX540 built in amp to take care of the surrounds and backs? I’m leaning toward a 5 channel amp. This will allow me to upgrade the processor or AVR in the future without bothering with amplifier upgrades. You know, if not bothering with an upgrade is possible. Oh the lies we tell ourselves.