Viewing Review: Not bad at the right price... - AVS Forum
Not bad at the right price... Edit
by thestumper Combined Rating: 4.0
We all know that trying to extrapolate true power ratings for five or more driven channels simultaneously can be an exercise in frustration at times. 90 WPC stereo 8 ohms measures around 70 WPC...
Pros Cons
  • REasonably. 7.1 capable. Good price (on sale). Clean sound. Audyssey works well. Intuitive menu system.
  • Heat. Power.
We all know that trying to extrapolate true power ratings for five or more driven channels simultaneously can be an exercise in frustration at times. 90 WPC stereo 8 ohms measures around 70 WPC according to the Home Theater Magazine review. I knew this going in, but still wish I had bought more power going in. I haven't had clipping issues to date, and it is capable of playing at SPL that I probably shouldn't, but still, there is no such thing as too much power. The biggest problem I have had has been heat. I've read various explanations as to why this is a problem, but I only have so many placement options for the unit. The unit was tripping thermal shutdown due to the somewhat poor cabinet ventilation (although my last Denon had no such issues...) so I invested in a $15 USB fan solution. This made an unbelievable difference, even in a tight space. Regardless of the source or volume, the unit stays cool to the touch now. The fans are fairly unobtrusive and make little noise; I dont hear them unless my house it COMPLETELY quiet, and that almost NEVER happens.

So on to the good stuff. I was on a pretty tight budget when i put my system together so I was looking for a bargain. I bought the 1913 juast as it was being phased out by Denon in favor of a new series. IMO, Denon has cut a lot of corners on their lower-end products and I felt the 1913 was a better receiver than the incoming models. I found blow-out pricing from an online retailer and Best Buy matched it on the spot, so for the money I paid for it, I do feel that it is a solid unit. Audyssey works pretty well - I don't have an audiophile grade listening environment so even though there are better versions of Audyssey in higher end Denon receivers, I don't see that as being a big issue for me. All the basics are there, and after tweaking and tuning a little I have what I feel is a good EQ for my room. The on-screen menu system is intuitive; you can use the easy-setup mode for one button configuration, but when I tried this I noticed some questionable results in terms of speaker balance and EQ. My best results were obtained by stepping through the Audyssey EQ process and then trimming things from there. Four HDMI inputs and one output are enough for me at present, and all of the usual interface suspects are present and accounted for, but there are no pre-outs, which at this price point would be unreasonable to expect.

Sound quality is good. I almost never use my HT setup for music; I have a dedicated stereo-geek setup in another room for that purpose. For movies, the sound is clean and balanced. I'm driving Polk TSi's all around (plus a sub) - remember that tight budget thing - and I know the difference between good and great speakers. The Polks are merely "good" speakers for the money (again, blow out pricing) and I've owned some of the best, but movies are about impact for my current combo delivers that with a reasonably wide, detailed soundstage. With four younger kids running around the house, I don't want to have a lot invested in gear at this point - I will upgrade in time - but we ALL share the family room so nothing is ever completely safe :-) Plus there's something to be said for cutting your teeth on something that, if you screw it up beyond repair, won't punish your wallet. As I learn more, I get a better feel for what I like and what I don't. and since I don't have a tremendous amount invested at this point, it won't hurt when i ultimately upgrade.

Overall, ease of use plus a low price and solid audio (movies) performance make for a good overall performer. I might go separates next time around; at least a higher end receiver based on what I know now. Still, for the interim, this is a good unit at a good price that I recommend, especially if you can find one at "Crazy Eddie" prices. It won't please the audiophile or high end enthusiast, but for the average guy looking for a feature-packed unit on the cheap, I like it.
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