Pros - Great Sound Quality
- Great upconversion
- Easy Calibration
Cons - Not necessarily the best user manual.
Summary Overall, I am very happy with the receiver. I am fairly picky when it comes to sound quality and the Denon AVR -1911 delivers. I was going for best bang for the buck and believe this was the best I could find. I also considered the AVR-591 and AVR-791, but liked the overall features of the 1911 and needed the higher wattage due to having a larger room. I really did quite a bit of research before my purchase and also tested the Pioneer 1020, Onkyo TX-NR608, and the comparable Yamaha. I was originally leaning towards the Pioneer or the Onkyo, because they were less expensive, and they performed well. I also liked the higher wattage rating on the Pioneer and Onkyo. Then I found some technical tests of the three receivers and the Pioneer came out far below the Denon in actual wattage output/THD when run in 5 and 7 channels. With the size of my room, wattage was a concern, so that eliminated the Pioneer. Still a good receiver for a small to medium size room or people that do not like extremely loud music. Upon further research I saw that the Onkyo had some reliability issues due to overheating and that this was a more common problem than I was willing to accept. Overall, it was a good receiver as well. The Harman Kardon receivers run very true to wattage, so do not let the wattage scare you, and their sound quality was great. They did also, however have many reliability issues. The Yamaha was also a decent receiver, but when playing the two side by side I preferred the Denon, and the amps are supposed to be better as well. I also test drove the Sony 1010, and while a decent reciever, it did not seem to stand up to the others. To me the only choice was the Denon, and I love it.While a great receiver. I got a HT addiction and wish I would have bought the 3311 for the pre amp outputs. Consider this if you may upgrade or have power hungry speakers.
Updated on Jan 27, 2011
Pros Excellent, clean sound. I hear both high and low details I missed before.
Enough HDMI etc. connections for what I need to do.
The remote functions as a universal remote.
Good looking case.
Cons No direct phonograph input.
Much of the LED display is small print. I had to get out my magnifying glass.
Contrary to what CNET said, the Denon does not pass-thru HDMI when it is turned off.
The radio is difficult to use.
Summary CNET needs to check their math. 28 stars in 7 user reviews is 4.0 avg, not 3.5.
This unit has great sound, no doubt about it, just like CNET and others said. I think the CNET Editor made a mistake rating it at 3.5 just because they did not like Denon's display font and connections. I have Cable TV, BluRay DVD, HD-DVD, CD player, and Phonograph with pre-amp, and everything is hooked up with connections to spare. And, I could care less about the font. On the other hand, I do wish they had a second optical digital input so I would have one spare. Also, I am bothered that they have 5 analog audio inputs, none of which I need directly, but they do not have a direct Phonograph input. I bought a $20 phono pre-amp at Frye's, but first pass is I have a bad hum and the sound level is about 15 dB lower than my other inputs. The AVR1911 does have a 12 dB adjustment for differing source levels, which is very nice to have.
My second choice receiver was the Yamaha RX-V667. It is 1 inch shorter (nice!) but it also is square and old and dated looking (i.e ugly). It has great connectivity like CNET says. In the Best Buy listening room, I felt the Yamaha actually had somewhat better sound that the Denon. But, I didn't know for sure how either of them was set up. I decided to go with the CNET review on sound quality and bought the Denon.
My Denon AVR1911 has 3 or 4 ways to change audio mode, and I have not yet figured out for sure which mode is optimum for me. Right now I am playing CDs through "Dolby PLII - Music",which sounds great. But I still don't know about "Direct" and "Pure Direct", etc.
It is not simple to adjust the Tone, and to do it I have to turn a couple of other systems off. On the other hand, for the most part Tone does not need adjustment. I do have a low frequency resonance at a particular tone that is a little annoying on some musical sources. I believe the 12 inch woofers in my main speakers are competing with the subwoofer and causing the resonance. Luckily, I can adjust the frequency going to the subwoofer either in the receiver or at the subwoofer itself, so I expect to resolve this easily. One of the nice things about the AVR1911 is it has a adjustment for almost everything buried somewhere in its Menus.
The Denon has a volume leveler and 2 or 3 other audio features that I am not sure whether I should have on or off. More to learn.
Tuning the AM/FM radio is a pain. There is no dial. You must use small little remote buttons that are difficult to read. There is a huge index with several folders to go through to store and find presets. Luckily I won't be listening to the radio much.
The Denon remote is universal, which is great. I will be able to use it for most of my devices. But, I would complain that they have a block of keys toward the bottom that are very difficult to read except in direct daylight. I wonder who in their staff suggested they should put dark gray lettering on black background? It is really stupid, and they could have done better. I don't have much direct sunlight in my family room.
The Denon manual is 82 large pages, and difficult to decipher. But, I suppose in a month or two I will figure it all out.
Contrary to what CNET said, the Denon does not pass-thru HDMI when it is turned off.
The Denon does have ARC audio return, but I haven't figured out why I should care. Best I can tell, even my one year old 1080p Samsung TV does not suppoort ARC. Further, there is no audio to return since I am HDMI connected from the cable box through the receiver to the TV. Seems to me like ARC is a solution looking for a problem that does not exist.
Pros -A breeze to setup
-Great sound for movies
-Great sound for music
Cons -LCD screen is too small, making it tough to read
-Nothing special about receiver styling
Summary To preface this review I'll tell you a little about me first. I consider myself an advanced home theater user and able to understand the subtle differences between the technologies that the receiver integrates with. There are certainly experts out there with much more depth of understanding about the low level details of sound technology, but with an engineering background I am able to 'hang' with most of what is going on. My home theater setup is 5.1 in a relatively large space (30ft x 25 ft).
A little history. I own an older Harmon Kardon receiver that I was very satisfied from a home theater perspective. I retired it to my Xbox only receiver since it lacks HDMI and the latest digital encoding capabilities (i.e. DTS-HD MA, etc).
A few years ago I purchased a Yamaha RX-V663, which was well received critically. However, for whatever reason it never impressed me. I thought the sound was subpar relative to my old Harmon Kardon. I tuned it over and over but always felt it was a little 'flat', especially with music. It was satisfactory for home movies, but still lacked real clear crisp sound. Recently I purchased a Blu-Ray player and attempted to attach it to the Yamaha with little success. The HDMI switching was finnicky (like when I opened the DVD player drawer the HDMI signal would begin flickering, only recovering after I power cycled the receiver). The Yamaha sound quality processing the DTS-HD MA sound from the Blu-Ray was terrible (I tried having the Blu-Ray player process it locally and send PCM as well as having the Yamaha process it bitstream). So I decided it was time for a new receiver.
Purchasing the Denon 1911 has been perhaps my best A/V decision I have ever made. The sound quality in both movies and music is incredible. The clarity and 'wow' that was missing with my Yamaha has been completely fulfilled by the Denon. It only took me 30 minutes to setup the new Denon, which includes unboxing and configuring the sound parameters using the Audyssey sound program. The Audyssey sound program even detected a speaker out of phase... I accidentally swapped the polarity of one of my speaker connections. It processes the latest sound formats from my Blu-Ray player beautifully. Playing Pandora through my TiVo XL sounds incredible. I completely agree with the CNET review that while some of the other features about the receiver are a little behind what you get with other similarly priced receivers, the sound quality is far and away superior.
I did give this receiver a 0.5 deduction due to styling and the difficult to read digital display. I sit about 12 feet from the receiver and struggle to read the display. I had no problem reading the display on my Harmon Kardon or Yamaha. I would classify the styling of the receiver as 'looks the same as any other in this category'. These are minor gripes and really should not stop you from buying this receiver.
In summary, this is the best receiver I have ever owned (I have owned many!). I highly recommend this reciever, as I will probably only buy Denon's from here forward.
Pros Picture upsacaling, feature set, sound quality, ease of use. Audials setup easy as can be.
Cons Onscreen menus look like something from DOS.
Summary Great performer, almost no THD, easy to use and setup. Price a little higher than competition, but if you just wanted to save a few bucks you could buy the AVR-791. I bought this one for the HDMI, and better scaling.
"I don't know yet"on by hayaticik
Pros I don't know yet
Cons I don't know yet
Summary I just wanna ask something to CNET And Matthew : If Denon AVR-1911 sounds better than this one and better than the pioneer as well. my questions is this: Why in the world did you guys rate it "very good" and rates the other two "excellent"???? I know you will say feature but doesn't Denon have almost all of them as well. two HDMI less makes a product less? while had the best sound,which is the main job of the unit, why wasn't it rated as "excellent"? I am very curious. I am planning of buying Denon or Pioneer but the reviews here and the ratings are inconsistent in my eyes. Please help me understand