Though admittedly expensive (at least by normal mortal standards), the D2v/P5 pair is more than fairly priced for what you get—especially in light of the fact that most of the Anthem combo’s serious competition costs as much if not more—in some cases, a whole lot more). This is a combination you will not easily outgrow, since Anthem has a proven track record for making available running product updates as new developments arise.
Look further if: you want—as would be perfectly reasonable when shopping in this price/performance class—to do due diligence and thus to evaluate the Anthem’s competitors (likely candidates might include flagship models from Arcam, Bryston, Classé, Denon, Integra, Lexicon, Mark Levinson, McIntosh, Meridian and Krell). While you might prefer individual aspects of one competitor or another, the fact is that the Anthem pair can compete with just about anything on today’s market—including models that cost far more.
Be aware that the same things that make the D2v powerful, flexible, and full-featured also require an experienced hand to help oversee setup procedures. Veteran home theater enthusiasts (especially those who are computer savvy and familiar with room EQ systems) could probably handle setup tasks on their own, but others might need or want to have a dealer/installer handle the work. Also know that Anthem’s ARC system is more complicated to set up than, say, an equivalent Audyssey room EQ system.
Ratings (relative to comparably priced controller/amp combos)
User interface: 9 (main D2v/P5 combo), 5 for the ARC software itself
Sound quality, music: 10
Sound quality, movies: 10
Below, I touch on important features and technical highlights for the Statement PD2v and P5. For a more in-depth review of design details for these products, visit the Anthem web site: www.anthemav.com.
• Supports separate Movie and Music speaker system configurations.
• Extensive bass management, center channel EQ, and low frequency notch filter options. Subwoofer crossover frequencies can be set on for each channel, in very fine 5Hz increments.
• Provides separate EQ trim options for each input.
• All HDMI inputs are connected through TMDS (Timing Minimized Differential Signaling) timing regenerators and multiplexers, which are said to be helpful in “cleaning up a noisy/jittery source, or when a long or low-quality cable is being used.
• 24-bit/192kHZ DAC, with 128X oversampling and 24/192 upsampling for all digital inputs.
• ADC functions with resolution up to 24-bit/192kHz levels.
• High-accuracy digital clocking system.
• Dual proprietary Anthem DSP processors (800 MIPS total) for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding.
• Support for AnthemLogic and various THX/THX Ultra2 surround sound modes geared for use with two-channel audio sources.
• Balanced AES/EBU digital audio input.
• Balanced stereo analog audio input.
• Full complement of single-ended and balanced 7.1-channel analog audio outputs—both offering support for dual center channels and dual subwoofers.
• Analog-Direct available on all inputs.
• Very high quality circuit boards and parts (e.g., “audio grade” film capacitors and operational amplifiers, low-ESR electrolytic capacitors, “audio grade” signal coupling capacitors, 1000µF ADC reference voltage decoupling capacitors, etc.).
D2v Room Correction:
• Proprietary ARC (Anthem Room Correction) uses an outboard PC and calibrated USB Mic (included) to take in-room response measures from five different listening locations. The system then plots correction curves for each channel in the system plus the subwoofer, to bring actual in-room response into conformance with a well-defined “target curve.”
• ARC offers both “standard” and “advanced” EQ settings. Under the advanced settings, users can modify the standard “target curve” to fit their specific requirements or listening tastes.
• An extensive graphical interface allows users to see and compare “before” vs. “after” results for each channel and for the sub.