In the spirit of "more power is never a bad thing," Anthem has added their own proprietary room correction software based on scientific research done by the National Research Council, which investigated how we humans actually hear, and used their findings to adjust and compensate for speaker and room inadequacies. The Anthem Room Correction (ARC) now comes standard in all D1 and D2 AV preamps, and is available as an add-on for $399 to any older D1 or D2. The ARC is a huge step forward for this exceptional processor and makes what has been one of the best available significantly better. Anthem really did the room correction right on this piece. While most companies include generic microphones, each individual microphone from Anthem is calibrated and assigned to the software and serial number or your processor, making sure you get nothing but the same result they obtained in their modeling of the system.
The Anthem Statement processor offers all most will ever need from an AV preamp. It offers four HDMI inputs and one HDMI output, plus 10 channels of assignable balanced and single-ended outputs, a 5.1 channel input and a whole host of stereo analog ins, including a balanced input. Video inputs are covered nicely with composite, S-Video and component inputs and outputs. All these features are packed into a beautiful black case that comes in free-standing or rack-mount versions.
The sonics of the Anthem are smooth and clear, with great separation and detail often not found in lesser-priced and sometimes even higher-priced AV preamps. The neutral nature of the D2 sonics are very welcome and really stand out above the bright and harsh nature of lesser processors, even if they eke out a few more features for wooing customers with the "laundry list effect." It's important to trust your ears, because in order to significantly improve on the sound of Anthem D2, you should expect to spend double or triple the investment to get to the next level of audio performance from an AV preamp. Add to the value proposition that Anthem's D2 is one of the most stable, reliable AV preamps on the market and its value only goes up.Read about the high points and low points of the Statement D2 on Page 2.
• Anthem's sound, which has made this the go-to processor for many, now is even better, thanks to the new ARC Anthem Room Correction system.
• The Anthem D2 offers plenty of HDMI inputs for even the most source-crazy home theater enthusiast, and Anthem's HDMI switcher is one of the most reliable in the business.
• The exceptionally flexible and versatile video scaler in the D2 can scale to 1080p/24 or 60 and even vertically stretch for use with anamorphic lenses, making this unit at home in even the most advanced AV systems.
• Both balanced and single-ended outputs included in the Anthem Statement D2 allow enhanced flexibility in set-up and amplifier choices.
• Anthem's ARC is one of the best room correction softwares going and the $399 add-on for previous users really shows how committed they are to their customers. This is a major step up in performance for a minor cost and one all prior users should buy.
• The Anthem Statement D2 is missing HDMI 1.3a, so you will not get all of the new uncompressed audio codecs for now. Anthem has been amazing at keeping their customers up to date, and I am sure it will only be a matter of time until this unit gets what may need to be a hardware update for the new codecs. Given Anthem's history, I suspect they will offer it to prior owners at a reasonable cost.
• The unit has only a single 5.1 analog input, which will limit those who use 7.1 systems and Blu-ray or the now defunct HD DVD players, as the D2 doesn't decode the new formats yet. It is to be hoped that new updates will allow these new codecs to be processed by these wonderful Anthem pieces, but only time will tell.
The Anthem D2 is unquestionably one of the best AV preamps made and the addition of the ARC is a huge step towards making a great product even better. You will still miss out on all the new audio codecs but, given Anthem's reputation for keeping up with the Joneses, I suspect you will see an upgrade to this piece soon that allows decoding of these formats as well.
You could spend more and get less, you could spend less and, well, get less, especially in the sound quality department. This is why the Anthem Statement D2 AV preamp is so popular in the AV industry. It offers sonics that are smooth and clear, with great separation and total system control. If you want a finished home theater that will handle movies to excite all and music to entice the audiophiles, then the Anthem Statement is for you.