A year or so back I purchased a pair of monoblock power amps. Each has a solitary output PX4 triode valve, originally introduced in 1929, and each amplifier was reputed to deliver around 3.5W. Needless to say, I didn’t buy them for their power output, but rather because they sound quite delicious, especially through the midband.
Conceptually such an amplifier couldn’t be much further from the subject of this review. The Anthem Statement M1 is also a monoblock power amplifier, but it features the very latest Class D solid state technology and delivers a positively humungous maximum power output of more than 2kW, depending on the load. (In fact it’s rated at 1kW into 8ohms and an astonishing 2kW into 4ohms!)
Indeed, the enormous available power output does seem to be a major rationale behind an amplifier that’s clearly aimed primarily at the AV customer – the web address is www.anthemav.com, and Anthem is part of Paradigm, a well established Canadian operation known primarily for specialising in AV. However, the M1 has also garnered something of a reputation as a top class power amplifier full stop, and the associated brochure makes much of its performance superiority over earlier Class D implementations. Indeed, one is inclined to wonder whether Anthem might be protesting the M1’s innocence of alleged Class D failings a little too vigorously, as it discusses a number of criticisms that hadn’t even occurred to me.
The M1s certainly aren’t the sort of cheapo confections that seem to have given Class D amps a dubious reputation amongst audiophiles. The UK price is £3,500 each, so that a £7,000 stereo pair is well up there in serious audiophile amplifier territory, and well above that normally expected for AV products. One key question for this review must therefore be whether this amplifier is really able to compete with more obviously audiophile oriented components.