Quick, name a Canadian A/V receiver maker! Yeah, I couldn’t either — until now. Anthem, the north-of-the-border firm best known for its “Statement” Series reference-grade A/V preamp (and power amps), has finally merged the two forms into a single new element: the MRX family of A/V receivers.
(Okay, the MRX receivers are actually manufactured in China, but they’re designed in Canada. Anyway, I’m sure they ask the Chinese ladies who do the actual building to wear lumberjack shirts to work, and to speak Canadian.)
Given my long history of reviewing A/V gear from up north, I’d expect any Canadian design to feature a no-nonsense feature set, sensible ergonomics, ruggedly attractive industrial design, and brick-lavatory construction, and the MRX-700 satisfies on every score. Any feature list must necessarily begin with the firm’s proprietary Anthem Room Correction system, since Anthem packs the very complete ARC kit with each receiver. This includes Windows setup/operating software, a quality USB mike, long cabling, and even a rather nice little tripod mike stand (which they won’t be getting back, but please don’t tell them that). On the ergonomics front, Anthem wisely eschewed any gee-whiz user interfaces in favor of straightforward text-based menus and a simple button-based remote control.
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