Siddharth ZarabiDec 30, 2009 13:00:56 IST
The full fledged home theater is always driven by a central mainframe known as the AV receiver, something that pretty much dictates the sound and video quality. The features it sports is responsible for your overall home theater experience. Denon, one of the pioneers in this market, has sent us a solid mid level model of their AV receiver line up: the AVR 3310, meant for serious home theater enthusiasts. But at this level of fidelity too we have choices, and good and bad products, thus if you are one of them enthusiasts looking for a good upgrade for 2010, continue reading...
Design and Features
Clad in a chrome chassis, the Denon looks quite decent with no elements of flashiness, just a good typical yet functional AV receiver design with a volume knob on the right and an input selection knob on the left. The alphanumeric LED screen takes up the whole center portion, with a flip tray below, concealing more buttons and controls behind. The power push button is positioned on the left bottom corner. It's quite sturdy in build.
The connection offered are plenty, with 5 HDMI inputs and one out(with AV repeater functionality), a full suite of analogue and digital audio inputs, USB input and also a Ethernet port of network connectivity. Thus one can stream content from a PC, and also access a list of 7500 internet radio stations. Feature wise we have a strong list, which includes The Audyssey MultEQ room acoustic measurement and correction system, which analyzes your listening room’s response (included mic) and automatically optimizes various parameters for the best possible sound quality. Then we have Audyssey Dynamic Volume which ensures no annoying jumps between TV program and commercials, and the Dynamic EQ function for "smooth and rich" sound at any volume level. Also we have Anchor Bay's ABT-2010 advanced video deinterlacing and upconversion circuit under the hood.
Zone 2 and 3 options are available thus one can use a separate set of speakers in another room with this receiver. The power supplied for each channel of this 7.1 amp is 120 watts RMS @ 6 ohms. This receiver can decode all the modern home theater audio formats including Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital and DTS-HD Master Audio, also it supports the latest version of Pro Logic, Dolby Pro Logic "z".
We plugged the receiver into a HT set of Monitor Audio Gold series lent to us by AVMAX Magazine for the review, and video was on a Samsung 32 inch V530. We played Kung Fu Panda Blu-ray and for audio ran usual Sheffield test and Burn in disc along with music material comprising Jamiroquai, Miles Davis and Kings of Leon.
The Audyssey features are already tried and tested by us in other models, and we feel the MultiEQ option really works well, only it's a bit time consuming, understandably at that. Getting to the basics, the frequency response of this amp was quite smooth and perceptibly pleasing to hear especially the bass which had good control and tightness.
The speaker drivers seemed to be adhering to the accurate timing very well, and overall we feel the bass response is really very impressive. This mids were up there, but not spectacular - there was a hint of extra thickness and "forwardness", but only slightly. The highs again are very airy and well balanced, but still they seem a little higher in level than the lower end of response. It never ever goes into the realm of discomfort though, even in loud transients.
For cinema, dialogues were bang on loud and clear, and our True HD Soundtrack was played just fine. We also played a DivX with stereo audio encoded and tried out the extensive DSP this receiver attempts. Out of them we like the new Pro Logic 2 "z" - it has some nice rendition in the front speakers for separating background score and voice track in a movie.
At Rs. 99,000, this model is your typical mid range receiver packed with all the features you need and then some.The bass response is the best part of the package. It's clean and very round, with good timing. It's definitely expensive, but it's worth it for someone looking for a solid upgrade or anyone done with entry level gear and looking for something more hardcore. This Denon should surely be considered.
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