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denon 3313ci

A Review On: Denon AVR-3313CI Receiver

Denon AVR-3313CI Receiver

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Price paid: $1,400.00
excusemaker
Posted · 3841 Views · 3 Comments

Pros: its size and the features that its supposed to have...

Cons: the most unreliable "TURD" i've ever owned in the A/V world

first let me say that this is in fact the very first DENON product I've ever owned. I've always been a fan of Yamaha. my reason for switching to Denon on my new receiver was because of the size of this receiver. my entire A/V system is wall mounted and I needed a receiver that would fit on my wall mounted audio rack. Yamaha simply didn't offer a unit that would match the capability of this DENON unit and also fit on my audio rack for any price. now I understand there's a lot of people out there that will argue specs with me about who makes the better a/v receiver and that's fine, but let me tell you that before we consider quality that can only be measured with test equipment lets first address the basics - does the unit actually work or not? this denon unit seems to work when it wants to and that's no bull!

go on any website and read the reviews of this Denon unit and everywhere you go you hear the same thing - "NEW UNPERFECTED TECHNOLOGY". I don't know if its just a DENON issue, or if all the new A/V NETWORK RECEIVERS are having the same issues. the HDMI switching absolutely sucks!!!

to be fair to DENON I have to admit that i'm probably not the average consumer as I am in fact maxing out the use of this little receiver. I'm doing a lot more than just hooking up some speakers, a blue ray player, and a tv to this receiver. this receiver was designed to do a lot more than that and i'm challenging this unit and DENON to deliver on its word. My DENON 3313ci is the center of my entire house. I have the following setup...

DENON 3313CI NETWORK RECEIVER

(main zone - garage)
ADCOM 7400 5 CHANNEL POWER AMPLIFIER
KLIPSCH 5800 wall (2) and ceiling (2) speakers for front and rear channels
KLIPSCH RC 52 center channel speaker
KLIPSCH RW 10 subwoofer
COBY 42" 1080P LCD TV
DELL 2400MP DLP 720P PROJECTOR

(zone 2 - back yard patio)
ADCOM 5300 2 CHANNEL POWER AMPLIFIER
KLIPSCH AW 650 outdoor speakers(
DELL 2400MP 720P DLP PROJECTOR

(zone 3 - nothing built yet, but planning zone 3 audio only in the front yard)

(sources)
home network internet connection - hardwired CAT 6A gigabit service
play station 3 hardwired internet cat 6
computer work station hardwired cat 6
iphone
ipad
NAPSTER

if familiar with my equipment the reader of this review will know that I had to work out a lot of issues to get all of this to actually work together which it does. everything works perfect except the receiver. the receiver it seems gets confused too often. just this morning I was ready to unplug it and take it in for repairs because last night it wouldn't work at all. given the vast amount of connectivity involved I decided to try again to trouble shoot the problem and was actually successful. if you download the owner's manual you can find at the very end of the manual under "trouble shooting" where you can reset the micro processor and start over from the receiver's default settings. from here I was able to get it to work again. I had lost the front display screen and couldn't get it to send a signal to the tv. NOTHING! after resetting the microprocessor I had to recalibrate the speakers and then program the sources and update the firmware again. now it works like a champ. so like a computer I guess this thing you have to reset ever so often. seems like a lot of work for something that should just work on its own. its almost as if the owner of this device needs to be a technician or something. how the average consumer will be able to navigate something like this is beyond me. this NETWORK receiver is not for the beginner level A/V enthusiast. it has too many issues and way too many quirks.

my biggest grievance with this receiver is that it has problems that occur too often. given the complexity of my entire system its sometimes hard to know if its my wiring, a source device, a power cable, my internet service.... with all that I have going on problems can be very difficult to troubleshoot. one would hope that the receiver itself is not the weak link in the chain and yet most of the time it is in fact the receiver. the problem I believe is with the HDMI switching. after doing hours of research trying to figure out what the story is with HDMI issues I found that its all the encryption junk that's built into it now. the equipment just can't keep up with it I guess. i'm speculating, but I think that's the problem. this technology is not perfected yet and the typical consumer isn't going to have the patience to work through all the issues. this DENON unit, while impressive in its capabilities, is not a unit I would recommend to anyone unless they are really into tinkering with things. you almost have to be a tech to own one of these things.

I have built an amazing home theater and zone 2 system. something i'm hopeful to sell to others as far as building sytems similar to what I have for other people. this receiver I would not install in someone's house, because I already know the customer will be calling me back every other day because there's an issue. that's how unreliable this thing is. when it works its awesome, but you never know when its going to mess up and start having problems. you want so much to believe that its a wire or a connection somewhere, but no - its something wrong inside the actual receiver which is the brain of the whole system. too unreliable to sell to a customer from an installer point of view.

LIMITATIONS

one big thorn in my side about the limitations of the 3313CI is the fact that it won't send and audio signal out the zone 2 preouts from a digital source (HDMI or TOSLINK OPTICAL). to use the zone 2 preouts you have to have an analog source. I've read a lot of complaints about this from other forums and I did find a solution. HDMI AUDIO EXTRACTOR is the device you need. I'm using this for my PS3. HDMI A/V passes through it and also extracts 2.0 analog audio. so the connectivity going to the receiver is actually both HDMI and RCA STEREO. the RCA STEREO connection is for the zone 2 system. I have a similar setup with my computer work station. HDMI for A/V coming from my computer for the main zone and then for audio i'm also pushing a stereo 1/8 connection to a toslink conversion that's running the long distance to the audio rack of the receiver and then converting from TOSLINK OPTICAL to RCA STEREO for my zone 2 audio. believe it or not this all actually works and it works well. its the only way to get the receiver to do what I want it to do. sometimes the receiver automatically chooses the correct audio signal and sometimes I have to manually switch it from the setting menu on the tv. its still something i'm toying with.

another issue I had problems with was that of getting the projectors to work. this is not a DENON issue since the HDMI outputs on the denon unit are designed to send an HDMI signal to an HDMI display device. my projectors are analog projectors. to get them to work I had to intercept the HDMI signal going to the projectors and use HDMI TO COMPONENT VIDEO CONVERTERS. this solved the problem and the projectors work great. still, there are times when the HDMI switching has issues and a lot of the issues i'm still trying to figure out. the ZONE 2 system doesn't always want to work independent of the main zone like its supposed to. often times it seems the zone 2 system won't work unless the main zone is using the same source which is not supposed to happen.

all of my equipment is HDCP compliant so I don't know what the problem is. my cabling is all very high quality. CABLE SOLUTIONS is the maker of most of my cabling. I've done some extensive work on my system and like I said this has become a real hobby. this DENON 3313CI NETWORK RECEIVER is not for the faint of heart. you will pull some hair out trying to make sense of it and possibly even invest in a good sledgehammer after a while. I will say this much. the sound quality of my entire system is absolutely amazing and i'll challenge anyone to test it. the denon receiver is responsible for part of that. the cabling, speaker quality, and installation method certainly played a role too.

I don't have money for a new unit since I just got this 3313 a few months ago. I do plan to upgrade within the next 2 years if I can get this thing to last that long. hopefully the technology will be a little more perfected by that time. next time i'm going YAMAHA. never had problems with a Yamaha before.

3 Comments:

Fortunately your experience is not typical as noted by other 3313CI owners in the Denon AVR-XX13 Owner's thread. Regarding the limitations you noted:

1. At least 95%+ off all AVRs on the market today cannot pass digital audio to Zone 2 from external sources.
2. HDMI handshake issues exist with all brands of AVRs as it is a flawed technology.
the reason my experience isn't typical of other 3313ci owners is because few people out there are actually trying to use this receiver to its full potential. the only real advantage i know of with the 3313ci over the next step down is the 3313 has preouts on it. most people that own the 3313 aren't using external power amplifiers nor are they using reference level speaker systems.

this unit has a lot of issues with ZONE 2 video too. you will be playing from a digital source and every 15 or 20 minutes the screen goes blank and then comes back on and sometimes you lose audio during that time too. its not supposed to do that. its almost like its turning itself off and rebooting or something. it comes back after about 30 seconds, but c'mon.

so yes, this DENON 3313CI works great if it isn't doing anything LOL! when you are like me and you actually use it for what it was designed and built for then yes you are going to have issues. its not a reliable AV receiver. DENON is supposed to be a good name brand, but i think they really screwed the pooch on this one.

oh and that APP they have for the iphone is absolute trash. i found an aftermarket app for 5 bucks that works much better. its more stable and i have yet to have a problem with it.
Sorry you're having issues with the AVR.

Would you mind providing more information about the remote app you're using?

Thanks!
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