I had the AVR-1802 for many years and was very satisfied with its ability to produce the heart of my HT system. This posting is perhaps out of place since it voices my experience with using this...
What it can do
Figuring out how to get it to do it.
I had the AVR-1802 for many years and was very satisfied with its ability to produce the heart of my HT system. This posting is perhaps out of place since it voices my experience with using this receiver more than evaluating its overall performance and features.
My AVR-1802 required using 6 channel discrete inputs via the "Ext In" to obtain pure audio, since it has no HDMI ports. It was VERY capable in handling the audio of my Oppo BDP-83 and the results were impressively sweet. However, the older 1802's lack of connectivity, coupled with its curiously hit and miss encoding of DirecTv's renditions of Dolby Digital 5.1 compression eventually forced my hand to buy a suitable upgrade to prevent further frustrations in my pursuit of audio euphoria in my living room
The 2312CI seemed the logical selection, priced at just under $600 and seemingly having the right bells and whistles to be considered a step up. I have owned it less than a week, but after spending days in calibration attempts, reading reference materials, and fearful tweaking, I think it is very close to reaching its potential. However, it bothers me that I am all-the-while attempting to match or better the previous AVR unit, instead of blowing away its memory.
The Audyessy calibration sounded like a great benefit - and perhaps it is - but I am not sure if it performs its magic to provide more accurate results (closer to reference) or just the faster path, considering the maze of adjustments required to get there manually.
I have calibrated, read, re-read, and studied the references provided on and linked to this forum, as well as the other sources from Denon, etc. (and of course, all instructions). I obeyed the advisories and theories concerning the "small" speaker configuration and LFE bass management. Perhaps my disadvantage remains to be the fact that it's all still a bit unfamiliar for me and I find it difficult to find where to make adjustments to the point of forgetting what i wanted to achieve by the time I get there. The other issue I have going against me is the definition of some settings vs their intended use.
For example, when listening to my "Hotel California" DVD-Audio disc for system evaluation, I opened the AVR "Music" menu to assure proper audio track/type. Of the choices, the "Multi-channel" seemed closest to what I expected to be correct, out of all the choices listed. But selecting it delivered some harsh, hollow, bad sounding result that hurt even the memory of what it formerly sounded like. However, selecting the AVR menu's "BD Direct" choice resulted in producing what seemed close to my desired expectation. So I wondered if the "Music Menu" isn't full of those synthesisized pre-sets that people who don't care about reference or audio quality at all select - I don't know.
The "BD Direct" probably just plays the raw PCM into the AVR's decoder - which does a splendid job when properly configured. But I haven't found where Denon's user guide explains the little (but VERY important) operational details like that. It is there - I am sure. But I just haven't been able to ascertain it yet. Maybe it's in one of those grid tables with little dots in columns, to be understood by the engineers who designed it.
It just seems easier to pick some filtered, pre-set audio mode then it is to get to the pristine or decoded-only pure sweet audio. That's all I really want! Hopefully, I will "get it" sooner or later. I drank the Denon Kool Aid years ago..... it just needs to take affect.