But as rewarding as the 225 can be on contemplative acoustic music such as Winstone’s Distances, it’s also a blast to hear on more energetic, electronic, rock-oriented music. I made this discovery while playing a favorite track called “Bass ‘n’ Drums” from Zooma [Discipline Global Mobile], a solo album by John Paul Jones (famed bassist for Led Zeppelin). The track is a remarkably funky, syncopated and, yes, realistically recorded duet between John Paul Jones on 4-string electric bass and Denny Fongheiser on drums. Frankly, not many hi-fi amplifiers (or loudspeakers, for that matter) are capable of reproducing bass guitars or drum kits at realistic volume levels, but the Integrated 225—which, let me tell you, is no shrinking violet—proved ready, willing, and able to handle the task. I was enthralled with the way the amp nailed the jaunty, aggressive, agile bounce of Jones’ bass lines and the crisp “snap”, “pop,” and “boom” of Fongheiser’s snare, tom-tom, and kick drum playing. To get this track right, amps have to deliver prodigious amounts of power on demand, yet also be able to start and stop on the proverbial “dime.” The 225 can do both, all day long.
Anthem’s Integrated 225 is a wonderful (and wonderfully versatile) integrated amp that offers plentiful power and equal measures of control and refinement (there’s nothing “loose” or foggy-sounding about this amp). While the amplifier’s built-in phono section does leave room for improvement, the rest of the amp is so powerful and so capable for the money that it easily earns a Playback Recommended award. Note, too, that this would be a good amp to use with hard-to-drive, power-hungry speakers.
Anthem Integrated 225 stereo integrated amplifier (solid state)
Power: 225Wpc @ 8 ohms, 310Wpc @ 4 ohms
Inputs: one phono input (moving magnet), seven stereo analog inputs (5 single-ended via RCA jacks, 1 balanced via XLR connectors, 1 portable audio via 3.5mm mini-jack)
Outputs: one tape output, one variable level pre-amp output, one headphone (1/4-inch jack) output
Other inputs/outputs: RS-232 control port, 12V trigger in/out, IR in/out, remote control
Dimensions (HxWxD): 5.875” x 17.25” x 18”
Weight: 42.6 lb.
Warranty: Five years, parts and labor