AV RECEIVER REVIEWS

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Steve Guttenberg  |  Oct 24, 2006  |  First Published: Oct 25, 2006  |  0 comments
The little system that could.

Some guys fantasize about winning the Mega Millions Lottery and driving into the sunset in a $1.25-million Bugatti Veyron 16.4 supercar. Or maybe a giddy winner would fork over heaps of cash for an ultimate home theater. The market for ultrahigh-end exotica is surging, but, while I'm waiting for my big payday, I thought I'd come back down to earth and have some fun with one of Onkyo's most reasonably priced audio/video receivers, the TX-SR504 ($300), partnered with Canton's sleek Movie CD 201 speaker system ($1,999). Budgetary constraints be damned, the little system still had to sound great in my home theater and deliver the goods in a cozy bedroom, office, or den.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 26, 2007  |  0 comments
Little speakers are looking up.

Pricewise, these Definitive Technology ProCinema speakers and this Pioneer Elite A/V receiver are a perfect match. Even visual cues unite them, with the receiver's shiny-black metal faceplate echoing the satellite enclosures' black-gloss curve. In other ways, they may seem like an odd couple (or septet, rather). Wouldn't that big receiver be too much for those little speakers? No, say the specs. With the satellites rated to handle as much as 200 watts per channel, the receiver's hefty rated 140 watts are well within the acceptable range, although the speakers' 90-decibel sensitivity suggests that they'll play fairly loudly, even with a lower-powered amp. Therefore, it is legal to marry these speakers to this receiver, at least in Massachusetts, Canada, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Kim Wilson  |  Nov 23, 2011  |  7 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $349 At A Glance: 3D compatibility • Audyssey MultEQ auto calibration • On-screen display via HDMI • iPod/iPhone/iPad connectivity • no component video I/O

Of all the sub-$400 AVRs I've reviewed, the Denon AVR-1612 is my favorite so far. It offers just the right balance of features for my needs, and its audio performance is robust and powerful. It offers the bare minimum of operational and setup features I believe are necessary to assure a satisfying user experience. Moreover, it's audio performance is quite good considering the price.

Dennis Burger  |  Nov 01, 2012  |  0 comments
Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $580 At A Glance: Incredibly intuitive Setup Assistant • Apple AirPlay • Assignable power amps • Network/Internet streaming

As much as the phrase “plug and play” has saturated the electronics world to the point of near-ubiquity, it’s not a label we’ve ever seen applied to the giant mess of inputs, outputs, and speaker connections that define the A/V receiver. That’s not to say that Denon is labeling the AVR-1913 as such, but you could make the case. Or, if not plug and play, perhaps plug and poke and plug and poke and plug and poke and play. (The comedic value would at least outweigh any drawbacks in marketability.)

Chris Lewis  |  Mar 18, 2005  |  0 comments
It's a speaker system away from an HTIB, with more bang for the buck.

Back in the days before HTIBs, there was another kind of home-theater-in-a-box—better known as an A/V receiver. In this era of consolidation, we probably don't entirely grasp the impact that A/V receivers had when they debuted some 25 years ago. A preamplifier, processor, and amplifier all in one box (literally), with a radio tuner thrown in for good measure, was impressive stuff back in the early '80s. Receivers were the Swiss Army knives of home audio, and they, along with surround sound itself, are probably as responsible as anything for the audio explosion amongst the masses that we now know as home theater.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 16, 2011  |  1 comments
Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $650 At A Glance: AirPlay and direct iDevice link • Expansive Audyssey suite • Browser control, network audio features

In A/V receivers, there are two prevailing philosophies when it comes to certain must-have features—room correction and dynamic volume modes being good examples. Some manufacturers prefer to develop their own in-house versions. This gives them the ultimate control over what they sell to consumers, sometimes offering greater versatility or an unusual spin. Others are content to license features from other companies. The advantage of resisting the “not invented here” philosophy is that technology licensors such as Audyssey devote all of their attention to making their stuff work and are constantly improving it.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Dec 15, 2010  |  0 comments
Price: $899 At A Glance: 3D and HDMI 1.4a • Audyssey MultEQ, Dynamic EQ, Dynamic Volume • DPLIIz height enhancement with seven channels • Built-in digital HD Radio tuner

Installer’s Pet

It’s not every day that I get to review a product from a 100-year-old brand name. But Denon is indeed celebrating its centenary in 2010.

David Vaughn  |  Feb 28, 2013  |  6 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $900 At A Glance: Fabulous video processing • Audyssey MultEQ XT enabled • Apple AirPlay enabled

With over 100 years of history behind it, Denon Electronics has high standards for any product it releases. And in my experience, it generally delivers the goods. Its AVRs (audio/video receivers) are often among the best on the market and run the gamut from the budget category all the way up to high-end models that will set you back a few months’ worth of mortgage payments.

Chris Lewis  |  Sep 01, 2003  |  0 comments
Denon punches their ticket to the universal dance.

When you boil it all down, you realize that most format wars are somewhat ridiculous. Sure, it's fun to get the blood up every few years, and those of us in the A/V press certainly appreciate the opportunity to ramble on about these conflicts' various aspects and ramifications. Format wars ultimately belong in the software section, though, where the most that a wrong decision will cost you is the $20 or $30 that you spent on a disc, tape, or whatever else. When it comes to hardware, format wars can cost people hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Ultimately, that's no good for either side, let alone the buying public as a whole. Thanks to universal disc players' rapid emergence, the previously contentious (and occasionally ugly) high-resolution-audio war is now software-based, as it should be. This doesn't mean that the DVD-Audio and SACD camps don't still take shots at one another. Now high-resolution-player buyers have the luxury of either ignoring the conflict altogether or simply enjoying it for what it always should've been, secure in the knowledge that big bucks are no longer on the line. With competition between the various and ever-growing assortment of universal-player makers, capitalism survives, but nobody gets burned. The result should be a boom in universal-player buying over the next couple of years.

Ultimate AV Staff  |  May 24, 2006  |  0 comments

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Shane Buettner  |  Sep 13, 2006  |  0 comments
  • $1,099
  • 110-Watts x 7 into 8 ohms
  • Processing Modes: DD, DD-EX, ProLogicIIx, Dolby Virtual Speaker, Dolby Headphone, DTS, DTS-ES/Discrete/Matrix/Neo: 6, DTS 24/96
Features We Like: HDMI 1.1 and component video switching, auto calibration with Audyssey MultEQ room EQ, transcoding of analog video to HDMI, two coaxial and five toslink digital audio inputs, one 7.1-channel analog audio input, 7.1-channel preamp outs, XM Satellite Radio Ready, AV sync delay, multi-source/multi-zone
Mark Fleischmann  |  May 01, 2012  |  12 comments
Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $1,100 At A Glance: Discrete amplifier circuitry, 125-watt channels • CI customintegrator features • Full Apple and Audyssey suites

Denon has long been among the most nimble of the major manufacturers of audio/video receivers. If a feature of any significance raises its head above the parapet, Denon nails it faster than just about anyone—and often spreads it among many models. You might quibble over the value of, say, the company’s quick and near-universal inclusion of multiple height-channel surround enhancements. But as one of Denon’s CI-series models, the AVR-3312CI also has a substantial array of features designed to make life easier for custom integrators and their clients. It sure doesn’t hurt that the receiver is Apple-hip.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Aug 19, 2004  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2004  |  0 comments
This feature-laden receiver conceals its gifts behind a basic black exterior. There's nothing unusual about the plain white fluorescent display, volume and jog dials, or flip-down panel that conceals most of the buttons. Denon's one original touch is a set of navigation controls behind the hinged panel that follow the same layout as those on the remote (up/down/left/right, with the enter button in the center).
Joshua Zyber  |  Jul 27, 2008  |  0 comments
Denon sound quality lives on in the next generation.
Ultimate AV Staff  |  May 24, 2006  |  0 comments

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