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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:58 am 
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So, I recently picked up an older Anthem MRX300. I want to calibrate it with ARC, but I noticed the ARC system seems archaic with a serial port. Not only that, the drivers are apparently only for Windows and all I have are Mac s at home.

For those of you with the older MRX300/500/700 receivers, how did you calibrate them? DOes it have to be Windows XP or can it be Windows 7 or 10?

I may have to go on Kijiji and find a cheapo old XP laptop with a serial port if that's my only option. Hopefully not. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:41 am 
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If you check with Anthem they will tell you to use a Keyspan brand serial to USB adapter. Anthem's software works fine on newer versions of Windows.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:44 am 
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It's a little silly, but the results are worth the hassle. Running arc with the keyspan usb adapter works quite well. It doesn't take very long to install and run, so you might find someone who has an old winblows laptop and offer them a beer or two... In most cases it'll be good the first time thru, it's not like you need to keep tweaking it unless you change components.

I use a mac now, but keep an old winblows laptop around for a couplle of things arc being one of them.

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Audio: JMLab Mezzo Utopias, Oracle Delphi Mk 1/6, SME309, Sumiko Celebration, AR CD3, MD FT101, Acoustech Ph1, Moon P5, AR VT-100
Video: Anthem AVM60, 2 X Bryston 4BSST, Totem Mani-s, M1 centre, Rega P6/RB900, 17D3, Ph1, Paradigm sub, Totem Mite surr/back


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:54 am 
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Thanks for the tip on the keyspan adapter. What Windows version are you guys using?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:32 am 
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I used it on an older Windows XP laptop ... none of my newer computers would recognize the USB microphone.

In my room I had to increase the room gain by a couple dB in order to have any bass at all. It does a good job of integrating a sub, but honestly, in my room it made no audible improvement for stereo listening (I thought the sound was a bit more transparent for music with ARC off). But for center and surround (and sub) it made a very worthwhile difference.

I sold my MRX500 recently and am now using an AVM40. The AVM is more transparent (much better for music listening IMO) but I'm wondering if it's not a bit leaner than the MRX500 which seemed to have a beefier bass? I understand that ARC can be used with the 40 but I no longer have the equipment to do so, but hope to look into this in the fall/winter. I'd really like to clean up my 5.1 presentation and play with the bass EQ for 2.0 listening.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:38 am 
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I'd be using it in a 2.0 setup with some Totem Sttafs. I may even use my LFD integrated as the power amp and just use the MRX300 as a pre/pro, since I need to feed some HDMI sources through.

Technically, if I use the pre-outs on the MRX plugged into the line-in on the LFD integrated, it would bypass the LFD preamp, correct? And then if I plug it instead of the line-in but to the regular CD input, then at that point the MRX is just functioning as a DAC, correct?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:46 am 
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You can not bypass the ADC/DAC processing, even with everything defeated (I used my 500 as a pre/pro with and Anthem power amp). There are better choices for 2.0 listening; get a decent analogue preamp, it will perform better.

If you are looking for an inexpensive pre/pro for 2.1/5.1/7.1 then it's worth the compromise and performs well enough that I could have lived with it happily as such. Features are really good, and the sound is quite decent for a receiver.

Also keep in mind that if your room is bad, the ARC will be more of a sound benefit than upgrading to a better preamp without room correction.

The reason I switched to the AVM is because it can be used as a gain stage for 2.0 listening (with the features to run my home theater or use bass management for music).

I would think that the preamp stage of your LFD would be superior to the Anthem receiver? Have you compared them?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:17 am 
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L-Man wrote:
You can not bypass the ADC/DAC processing, even with everything defeated (I used my 500 as a pre/pro with and Anthem power amp). There are better choices for 2.0 listening; get a decent analogue preamp, it will perform better.

If you are looking for an inexpensive pre/pro for 2.1/5.1/7.1 then it's worth the compromise and performs well enough that I could have lived with it happily as such. Features are really good, and the sound is quite decent for a receiver.

Also keep in mind that if your room is bad, the ARC will be more of a sound benefit than upgrading to a better preamp without room correction.

The reason I switched to the AVM is because it can be used as a gain stage for 2.0 listening (with the features to run my home theater or use bass management for music).

I would think that the preamp stage of your LFD would be superior to the Anthem receiver? Have you compared them?


Yes, the LFD is superior as an amp and pre-amp for sure. I'd be fine if the MRX functioned just as a DAC for my HDMI sources like Apple TV. But as you're saying, with the Anthem having ARC, I guess I'd need to compare the Anthem with ARC calibrated to the LFD and then at that point decide which is better as preamp.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:54 am 
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I did the same upgrade (to AVM60) for same reason (that plus Dolby Atmos).

I had an MRX-700 that was decent for some 2 channel listening, but it always bothered me somehow that I couldn't bypass the a/d d/a conversion for phono once I added a tt to my video system.

In terms of bang for buck, the mrx300 is an awesome value, just don't try to stretch it beyond it's boundaries.

If you wanted to run say a cd digital into the mrx, then use the pre-outs of the mrx to the external amps power amp inputs if it had them, that could work, and you still get the value of arc, you'd just be using the lfd as your main channels and the mrx 300 for the surrounds/centre.

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Audio: JMLab Mezzo Utopias, Oracle Delphi Mk 1/6, SME309, Sumiko Celebration, AR CD3, MD FT101, Acoustech Ph1, Moon P5, AR VT-100
Video: Anthem AVM60, 2 X Bryston 4BSST, Totem Mani-s, M1 centre, Rega P6/RB900, 17D3, Ph1, Paradigm sub, Totem Mite surr/back


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:21 pm 
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kb007 wrote:
I did the same upgrade (to AVM60) for same reason (that plus Dolby Atmos).

I had an MRX-700 that was decent for some 2 channel listening, but it always bothered me somehow that I couldn't bypass the a/d d/a conversion for phono once I added a tt to my video system.

In terms of bang for buck, the mrx300 is an awesome value, just don't try to stretch it beyond it's boundaries.

If you wanted to run say a cd digital into the mrx, then use the pre-outs of the mrx to the external amps power amp inputs if it had them, that could work, and you still get the value of arc, you'd just be using the lfd as your main channels and the mrx 300 for the surrounds/centre.


I have no surrounds or center. My setup is 2.0. Like I said, the only reason I got the MRX was to be able to get sound from my Apple TV (the new one has no optical out and only HDMI out). I'm not expecting miracles from it. It's doing what I intended it to do, so far. I'm just trying to maximize what it can do. ARC being my next step


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:52 pm 
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If you have no surrounds or centre then ARC may be a waste of time. It's designed to correct for multi channel "anomalies" with different spaces etc. in multi channel environments.
It might be a minor help if you have a sub to balance the levels, but even then a free db meter will get you pretty damm close without the hassle of getting ahold of a winblows pc.

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Audio: JMLab Mezzo Utopias, Oracle Delphi Mk 1/6, SME309, Sumiko Celebration, AR CD3, MD FT101, Acoustech Ph1, Moon P5, AR VT-100
Video: Anthem AVM60, 2 X Bryston 4BSST, Totem Mani-s, M1 centre, Rega P6/RB900, 17D3, Ph1, Paradigm sub, Totem Mite surr/back


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:08 pm 
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najibs wrote:
Thanks for the tip on the keyspan adapter. What Windows version are you guys using?

I'm pretty sure I was using Windows 8.1 when I had my MRX-300, and I had no problems with running the ARC software. I definitely wasn't using XP.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:46 pm 
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I have a MRX300 with an Anthem MCA50.
I have never bothered to use Arc, I have set up my 5.1 based on speaker distances in the
set up.
It sounds wonderful in 2ch or 5.1.
That is not to say there is no value in Arc.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:49 pm 
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Some people on avsforum were able to use boot camp with windows 7 to run arc.

I always ran arc with my windows htpc which had a com port.

As people have mentioned, arc is definitely worth the hassle.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:07 pm 
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allgonoshow wrote:
I have a MRX300 with an Anthem MCA50.
I have never bothered to use Arc, I have set up my 5.1 based on speaker distances in the
set up.
It sounds wonderful in 2ch or 5.1.
That is not to say there is no value in Arc.

You are missing out on the best part of Anthem products. Setting speaker distances is really the least significant thing that ARC will do for you, the magic is in the room equalization.


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