When it comes to naming cost no object amplifiers few brands come to mind, Krell, Mark Levinson, McIntosh, Audio Research, Classé and that might be the list. But you've missed one. Anthem. While usually grouped among the value-for-money set, Anthem, specifically their Statement line of products such as the Statement P5 multi-channel amplifier reviewed here are out to challenge the status quo and even change the way consumers think of cost no object products. The truth of the matter is, cost is always an object for even super premium products are designed to a budget, however the Anthem Statement P5 seems like it was designed without one yet costs a budget friendly $4,999 retail. How good is the Statement P5 you ask? Well I've just about owned 'em all, Krell, Mark Levinson, McIntosh and beyond and I can tell you the Statement P5 can not only hang, it can in some cases embarrass some of the before mentioned competition.
Multi-channel amplifiers have never really been a design tour de force if you know what I mean and the Statement P5 is no exception though Anthem has included enough subtle design details to keep the P5 from being just another black box. The P5 churns out 325-Watts across all five of its channels into eight Ohms and 500-Watts per channel into four. It offers both balanced and unbalanced connection options and features not one, but two, detachable power cord receptacles. That's right the Statement P5 utilizes two 15-amp circuits to do its thang.
The P5 is built like a brick shit-house and is as reliable as a wood-burning stove. Integration and day-to-day livability doesn't get any easier for the P5 sounds good in almost every system configuration I could cook up and in some cases elevated the sonic quality of a few lower priced systems I assembled. The P5's sound is robust but never tubby or overly saturated. The treble response is natural, smooth and airy while the bass has control to spare and knows just when to sick the dogs on you and give you a bit of a thrill. While this may sound great for movies, I assure you at the heart of the P5 beats a musical heart, which is why it pulls double duty in my home theater as both a multi-channel home theater amp and stereo amp.
Read Page 2 for The High Points, Low Points and Conclusion
• After a few minutes of warm up the Anthem P5 is so poised and refined you'll think you've spent far more for it than you actually did.
• From the highest frequencies to the lowest of lows the P5 doesn't seem to have an octave it doesn't like and while many amps extol their various, individual sonic virtues, the P5 is one of the most solid all round performers out there.
• Dynamically, the P5 is every bit the brawler that it looks, though it doesn't take the sledgehammer approach to dynamics most mega Watt amps do. The P5 seems to pile on layer upon layer of detail, subtlety and texture to achieve higher volumes and its dynamic prowess without becoming shouty or fatiguing.
• The P5's rear panel is neatly and spaciously laid out allowing for all types of cables to connect comfortably and securely in their proper places.
• If your house is a bit older and doesn't quite have the richest power on tap all the time the P5 will let you know with a subtle dimming of nearby lights upon power up.
• The Anthem P5 is a beast in more ways than one. First, it's huge both in height and depth and second; it's heavy as hell so be sure to lift with your knees. Better yet bribe a friend when you go to install it.
• It's an Anthem. This may sound like a funny downside but those in the market for a Krell or Mark Levinson amp may overlook the P5 purely based on its price and value for money status. Rest assured, the P5 is every bit a reference grade, super-premium offering as the others only it costs half if not a third as much.
Among the value for money set $4,999 is still a fair amount of money, however among the super elite amplifiers it's sales tax, yet the P5 is every bit as good as the costlier competition yet costs a touch more than many budget offerings. So is the P5 good value for your money or a cost no object piece of engineering? It's both and neither at the same time. While I usually don't understand or agree with many of the names manufacturers give their components I think Anthem has the right moniker attached to the P5 for it's quite a statement.