AV upgrade (from Linn) - Anthem AV + NAP250DR + S400s

Music system is Naim active in a dedicated room, that doesn’t usually have a tv. For coronation, Wimbledon and lately the Proms, it is clear, via an Apple tv box to smallish LG tv and then toslink to my Naim streamer, the sound from the source is excellent.
For AV in my study, I have a Linn (long story*) based 5.1 system with a larger LG tv. The system is some years old, and fairly basic, so I could improve the sound and connectivity. REL9 sub stays as does Oppo 205 4k + Apple tv 4k, + a Sky HD box, (with sound via toslink not HDMI).
Under consideration, Anthem processor AVM 70 / 90, using a Naim NAP for front pair of speakers+ Anthem MCA 325 GEN 2 which is a 3 channel amp for centre and rears. I have no desire to install anything more than 5.1 - current wiring is already totally hidden. The rear speakers will be again wall mounted, no option.
Speakers potentially Kudos front, rear and I believe they will do a single channel speaker to special order, so choice of front speakers might be 20A, 505 or 606s + NAP250DR or a NAP300DR.

Anyone able to suggest options for alternatives for the processor and the choice of speakers?
I have listened a while ago to PMC, my preference then was ProAc. Recent comments elsewhere on the forum suggest Kudos usually surpasses ProAc. Budget is a VFM issue rather than specific; ex-dem or used would be a poss.
I could retain the rear Linn speakers, on wall brackets from the current set up which is my current Linn AV system, all ex demo or s/h and was updated from an earlier system I used when living abroad for a time.

So currently * Linn Akurate 5.1 processor + 5125 x 2 into activ Linn Ninkas (front) and active Linn Trikan with passive Linn Katan rears (+ REL sub).

Appreciate any thoughts - apart from the stereo v surround sound issue or debate.


I would suggest that all you need are perhaps the extra loudspeakers (if your current ones are not “doing it” for you) and a half-way decent AVR (AV Receiver). I use an Arcam AVR850, with the front L/R channels running from the appropriate preamp outputs in to AV input on my Naim 552, and then into my NAP 300DR. This system has served me well for several years. The only downside is that with the purchase of a newer LG TV, I may eventually need to replace the AVR850.

Thanks for your thoughts. I tempted fate considering some changes. Two of my three Linn boxes have suffered from power failure, so upgrade is now serious.
I have Arcam AV41 on demo for a month from my excellent dealer hifi lounge.
Kudos 606s have been collected they are recent used and in nice condition, now powered by a new NAP250DR bought at a v v attractive price. I have done a crude setup w/o a mike - all sounds good and much improved, with Linn driving existing centre and rears.
I’m not so sure about the Arcam - took a lot to get it responding and it occasionally freezes the tv picture, when the source is paused. Will see how it goes. The other option is an Anthem processor or all in one processor amp, with fronts as now is. More research required!

The only reason I wonder about changing the Arcam 850 is to perhaps get something which might better integrate with my PS5 etc and new LG TV. The 850 does occasionally lose sound, but it’s always fixed by changing the input on the Arcam and then back again - bloody annoying when it does that when some crucial dialogue is going on!

Arcam have apparently addressed their quality issues, although different dealers have different views on that score. It does make me a little wary after there were so many issues.
My own dealer has an Arcam set up for av - interestingly despite definitely liking Naim kit and being a dealer, he has never had Naim at home; just one of those things, I guess.

I have used my Arcam for audio when unable to use my Naim stuff (DR upgrades etc). It actually sounds very good streaming from my NAS. I sometimes debate whether I need the multibox setup at all.

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At last, delay mine, an update on my AV reconfiguration for the Home Theatre buffs.

So Anthem AV processor AVM70 arrived this week.
Linn AV system dismantled, room cleaned and set up - initially as a 2.1 system (see below).
Apple 4k tv box 3 gen / Oppo 205 via HMDI to Anthem - for now optic from Sky HD+ (cables are all in wall so an additional HDMI is required.
Anthem feeding recent LG55 tv via Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI.
To add some Naim flavour - QU2 (spare) as a music streamer via coax. All other systems are Naim.

Been running AV system for some months as 2.1 to gauge the changes. Existing sub REL9 remains.

Anthem ARC system appears excellent. It does though, require some thought, patience and time to achieve first interaction. The Anthem box wasn’t immediately clear that is was updating the firmware, despite the fact that ARC wouldn’t progress until this had been done. All clear in the end, but as sometimes happens, not immediately obvious how to do these things. That included giving the supplied microphone permissions in iMac OS (you tube to the rescue).

First few minutes, (tv pic unchanged, already good) the sound become more full some, providing surround sound sense, even from 2.1.
Using a Prom 2023, Anna-Maria Helsing’s Fantasy Film Music conducting I had used a number of times.
The music lends itself to lip sync, commentary, violins, celeste keyboard et al.
Quick first listen to films, one JB and one PC in Paris, featuring drums - all good.
Finally quick audition from Sky box - ditto.

All working well and straight out the box, no lip-sync issues from any of the sources.

Sources and AV processor as described.

Front speakers (see below) are now Ovator S400s, joining a couple of other pairs I have dotted around, in this instance using a brand new, great price NAP250DR via NACA5 cable.

The only, no so terrific news, concerned my first thought on speakers. When I spotted last autumn, two pairs of Kudos 606s, I negotiated a great price on a pair and breaking the cast iron rule, bought unheard.

First up, I set a temporary Fraim (while main system was being cleaned and reconnected.

NSC222 + NPX300 (on loan), using three amps in succession, NAP250DR, NC250 and NAP300DR (from main system).
For those interested there is, imho, a clear hierarchy. The later does creep ahead of the NC250.

The music side of K606s was excellent and they would have stayed in a music system, being played in a logical triangle listening position.
Alas their role was to be AV, in a very skewed speaker positioning, dictated by room and tv positioning into corners.
There the K606s displayed issues which I wasn’t expecting and seeking a possible solution, dragged a pair of S400s from my NC system in diner, into play.
Issue resolved so, being lucky enough to locate another pair of S400s, that is now the front configuration. The incoming pair, hadn’t been touched, so full torque reset undertaken.
Despite having a Snaxo to take the K606s if necessary, which had belonged to a forum member it seems, my dealer for the Anthem, was not surprised and confirmed my experience.

Will post more listening experiences in due course.

Plan is a new Lateral stand for the boxes - old Audiotech stand, many decades old with spiked shelves, doesn’t have the shelf height for the Anthem boxes.
Adding an Anthem 5 channel amp for centre, sides and rears.
Audition - this time - appropriate speakers for the these.
I just have space if I could find yet more S400s - they seem to be unloved so they can have a welcome home here!

Thanks to Andy at Signals for great advice and guidance, even if he did suggest setting the level of my REL such that the ARC sound check aborted more than once!

Same to RD for re-opening the thread and to Paul at HFL for loan of Arcam AVP, special cables for NAP300DR and the NPX300, which while great, didn’t work quite as expected when the NSC222 + NC250 returned to the dinning areas. It is exceptionally tricky, position wise. Worth noting, again the S400s seem to take it in their stride, not least because the speakers can only be sited in a shallow alcove, against all conventional wisdom.

Long post, just goes to show how adaptable Naim kit can be !