Published On: October 27, 2008

Anthem PVA7 Seven-Channel Amplifier Reviewed

Published On: October 27, 2008

Anthem PVA7 Seven-Channel Amplifier Reviewed

The PVA7 from Anthem may not be the most powerful amp out there, with "only" 105 watts per channel, but at $1,500 it's priced extremely well for just about any budget. This high-value but still with great performance is what Anthem is all about.

anthem-pva7.gifFor the audiophile who wants it all for his surround sound system, without spending any more of the equity of his home, here comes the Anthem PVA7. Priced at $1,495, this rack-mountable amp is rack-friendly (with new rack mounts) and a relatively diminutive size, compared to other amps in the class. The industrial design is gorgeous, looking more like a $3,000 amp than a $1,500 product. The power rating for each of the channels is a conservatively rated 105 watts x seven channels. The signal to noise ratio is incredibly low for a class-AB amp at 122 dB. You find this kind of performance from big boy audiophile amps from the likes of Krell, Halcro and Mark Levinson.

Additional Resources

The sound of the Anthem PVA7 is distinctly music first. As soon as you cue up a compact disc or, better yet, a DVD-Audio or SACD, you can hear the control this amp has over any number of good speakers. Anthem would prefer that you use Paradigm speakers (as they are owned by the same company), but you can power nearly anything with an Anthem PVA7, including B&Ws, PSBs, MartinLogans, Revels, Cantons and Orb Audio speakers. The sonic characteristic that grabbed me most was the Anthem's ability to present a controlled yet open midrange sound that made voices palpable. With the newest surround sound formats, like Dolby TrueHD and/or DTS Master Audio, the Anthem PVA7 also shines. Its ability to resolve the finest details only makes your movie soundtracks sound better when the resolution is beaming at HD levels.


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High Points
• Most people would think that you need to spend audiophile money to get this level of audiophile sound over seven channels of amplification, but they are wrong. At the price, Anthem delivers in spades.
• This is one good-looking amp that could stand on its own on the floor in the middle of your room, just as it will make its home in your equipment rack.
• The Anthem PAV7 has a great midrange sound that is killer for vocals, whether it be a dialog channel or a sultry audiophile demo.

Low Points
• The Anthem PAV7 doesn't have the might that more expensive seven-channel amps possess, so if you are looking to make the paint fall off the ceiling with movie soundtracks or during a Rob Zombie listening session, you might need to look to a more expensive, higher-powered multi-channel amp.

Conclusion
A little-known fact is that Anthem is Canadian for "good bang for the buck," which is just what you get with the Anthem PAV7 seven-channel amp. This Anthem amp for a very modest price delivers audiophile performance - especially control - along with movie soundtrack reproduction that makes the expensive receivers sound downright lame. An Anthem AV preamp paired with a PVA7 is a far better option than even the best HDMI receivers on the market today.

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