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Harman Kardon - upgrade or not?


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43 replies to this topic

#26 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:06 PM

I'm a huge Denon convert after my Yamaha days....I havent found any affordable equipment I like better to power my Paradigm Studio 60's.

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#27 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:47 PM

thanks for the suggestion. I've been reading there until my eyes started bleeding!!


From reading your thread, it seems you are 100% happy with your current HK AVR's audio, and all the improvement you are looking for is on inputs and video, hence my suggestion of the DVDO. Personally, I have a Denon AVR (pre-HDMI) 7.1 AVR, and was very happy with it, but needed to upgrade the switching and video processing so I could actually watch a few SD channels.

The mosquito noise reduction, upscaleing everything to [1080p] which matches my TV's native resolution, and edge enhancement/detail controls to make SD look bearable were my primary concerns. I rarely use any of the other adjustments. Some of them I had to look up to see what they did. The switching is fault proof. You can set it to manually switch to the last powered on device, or set it like mine, manual, so the harmony remote does the switching.

If your current HK actually needs upgrading in the audio area, then I can understand looking at other AVRs, but if its solid and you love it.... just remove the video from its tasks :)

Edited by Davenlr, 15 October 2012 - 08:19 PM.

Tivo Premier XL4, Tivo Premier, Tivo HD whole home on Xfinity HD, DirecTv Whole Home with 39" high gain KaKu dish, Roku3,SageTv 8 TB Win8 Server -> DVDO Edge-> Denon AVR, Klipsch KB15's/Panasonic 55ST60 plasma"


#28 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 09:36 PM

I am pretty happy with my current HK from an audio standpoint, but at 5 years old it is getting a little long in the tooth. Hence the search for a replacement while not being in a hurry.

And I did look over the suggestions you made about the video processors, and it gave me quite a bit of very good reading. The reviews I found of the DVDO Edge (now Edge Green) were all pretty positive about it.

Lloyd
Receiver : Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey, Genie
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#29 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 09:46 PM

Well I finally came to a decision. I just ordered the Denon AVR-2113ci.

Thanks to those that responded to my questions. All your points and suggestions gave me lots to ponder over the last few days.

Lloyd
Receiver : Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey, Genie
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#30 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 09:52 PM

That sounds like a sweet unit... Post how it sounds. I love my Denon. Cant afford a 4K tv tho. Would be interested to see how standard 1080i looks when upconverted tho.

Tivo Premier XL4, Tivo Premier, Tivo HD whole home on Xfinity HD, DirecTv Whole Home with 39" high gain KaKu dish, Roku3,SageTv 8 TB Win8 Server -> DVDO Edge-> Denon AVR, Klipsch KB15's/Panasonic 55ST60 plasma"


#31 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 09:54 PM

Yes, it does seem to have everything I want in a unit, and I will post a followup after I get it in place and calibrated, including video comments.

I came very close to getting the AVR-2313 as it has Audyssey DSX which gives the ability to use front wide speakers, but in the end I figured it was a feature I wouldn't really use so why pay the extra for it.

Lloyd
Receiver : Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey, Genie
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#32 OFFLINE   kikkenit2

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 12:50 AM

When you do the audyssey setup with the microphone remember to manually set the speakers to small after it is done. The receiver almost always sets the speakers to large. If you leave it that way the subwoofer won't get the bass signals. Pretty stupid but that is how it works. Read on. lol

http://www.avsforum....ners-thread-faq

http://www.avsforum....d-faq-in-post-1

#33 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 06:20 AM

Yeah I know about the speaker settings, I think every damned eq setup does the same thing, or at least on my HK and previous Sony amp they did.

Thanks for those links, I've been in both of them a few times already. All you ever want to know about Audyssey and Denon xx13's in 4000+ posts!! :)

Lloyd
Receiver : Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey, Genie
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#34 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 01:53 PM

I just got my AVR-2113ci today and you can officially color me IMPRESSED!! :)

First let me get the bad and dumb out of the way. Got it all connected just the way I wanted, power on, no video! Fiddled with connectors and finally called Denon. They tried to help and even suggested to send it back since it seemed mine was defective. Of course that was after they kept insisting that it needed HDMI 1.4 cables. I didn't argue with them, but new that was just bogus info. I was just about to box it up and send it back when I thought to try some other things.

Now for the dumb part, or at least it seems so. I had selected an HDMI input that had nothing connected at that time, so I decided to select the Satellite tuner. Voila`, I got me some video! But that brings up a question. I didn't see anything in the quick setup guide that indicated that I needed any inputs connected to do a setup, what did I miss?

Now for the good!

Audio :
Frankly I wasn't expecting this unit to sound as good as the HK AVR247 it was replacing, but I was pleasantly blown away! The highs and middles were crisper than the HK and the bass was strong without being overpowering. That was after running the 6 position Audyssey setup. It set the speaker sizes correctly, but the crossovers seemed a bit low @60 for some. I changed that to 80, hopefully that won't mess things up.

Video :
This was the main thrust of the upgrade. I wanted to get better upscaling to 1080p from the few satellite SD channels I view. The 2113 does a superb job of this. No it doesn't make SD look like HD, but it sure makes it look a whole lot better and the scaling and massaging of the SD video is much better than the HK's.

I'll most likely fiddle with changing speakers around to try out front heights, but that isn't certain as I am very pleased with this unit so far.

Lloyd
Receiver : Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey, Genie
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#35 OFFLINE   satcrazy

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 12:01 AM

lp,

can I ask where you purchased your new denon?

#36 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 06:46 AM

I got mine from AAFES, the military exchange store. I made sure they were an authorized seller so the warranty would apply and they had a sale going on that made it competitive although not the cheapest place.

Lloyd
Receiver : Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey, Genie
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#37 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:41 AM

I've got to comment of clarity. While playing at my usual fairly loud volume levels, the performance is superb.

But even better is the low volume performance! Audyssey EQ really makes listening a lower volumes much more enjoyable than my HK ever did at low volumes. My normal listening level is around -25db for TV shows and -15db for BluRay/DVDs, but this morning I flipped on the rig to watch something while drinking coffee. Others here sleep much later than I do, so I turned the volume down to -40db and was frankly amazed at how listenable that was. Dialogue was clear and easily heard and the other sounds were all right there too. The HK just didn't have that ability. At lower volumes the center (dialogue) speaker was almost impossible to hear well enough to know what was actually being said.

The bass on the Denon is different than what was produced by the HK, it is smoother and more integrated into the soundfield. The HK could sometimes be a bit overpowering with bass at times.

I suppose that is the difference between 2007 technology and 2012 technology.

Lloyd
Receiver : Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey, Genie
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#38 OFFLINE   kikkenit2

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:12 AM

Thanks for the followup. All good news too.

#39 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:24 AM

Thanks for the followup. All good news too.


It is very nice when an upgrade actually improves everything! :)

One thing I fiddled with just a few minutes ago. On the HR24, I had it set to do 720p and 1080, which means that the HR was doing the de-interlacing and upscaling to 720p, then the Denon did the upscale and massage to 1080p to the TV.

So I added in both 480i and 480p with native on. Now when I select an SD channel/recording, it is sent from the HR as 480i and the Denon is doing all of it. Better picture was the result. Certainly still not as good as HD, but very much better than the HR or the TV can do on their own.

Lloyd
Receiver : Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey, Genie
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#40 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:32 AM

Great news! Always nice to hear when someone is very pleased with his new equipment.

I have a newish lower end Denon and it rocks for my purposes. I haven't even really gotten into trying to shape sounds at all- don't even use the presets well. But a huge upgrade from a ten year old Sony.
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#41 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 09:36 AM

Laxguy, I don't know which model Denon you have, so these suggestions may not apply since there are certainly differences between models.

My current setup is the classic 7.1 speaker setup using the 2 back channels. The room I'm in and the way it is laid out makes that very doable. I'm assuming you've run the Audyssey setup, but if you haven't, it is worth doing. I listened to mine before running that and the difference in performance and sound was very much improved.

Also, for my TV watching, I have selected the Movie mode which means on mine that is is decoding Dolby 5.1 and layering Dolby PIIx to fill in the 2 back channels, and also layering over the PCM when the channel isn't doing Dolby 5.1.

If you're not doing 7.1, then layering Dolby PIIx will fill in the surrounds and give your room a fuller sound. It does an excellent job of this.

I also do that same kind of layering for the BluRay discs so that if they are not encoded with a full 7.1 soundtrack (and most aren't), then it fills in those back speakers.

Basically by using that layering, you get a better immersion in the soundfield and makes it more movie theater like.

One other thing that I like with the networkable Denons is that they can be controlled a bit by a web browser. And it works mostly in just about any web browser on any platform. But on Windows only, not only can you control it, you can save your configuration to disk. That could come in handy if I ever need to do a complete unit reset, or if it needed to be sent off for repair.

Lloyd
Receiver : Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey, Genie
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#42 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 10:36 AM

Many thanks. My setup is very simple, as I am going to be moving and don't want to wire up anything here now, nor purchase a woofer. It's a 3.0. Good left and right, decent center speaker.

I guess I don't know what the best setting is for either classical music or movies or sports. I think that "Pure" is what I want for music, and DolbyPIIx for all else?
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#43 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 10:49 AM

That's what I would use. I don't really just listen to music on my rig, all is TV.

But since you have all those settings, you can play around a bit with them to see what sounds the best to you. For me, the Dolby PIIx Movie setting sounds the best, but there is Neo 6 that some seem to like better.

Kind of like the Audyssey setup routine. It sets the room eq to be as ideal as it can make it, but if your ears aren't ideal (mine sure aren't!), you may want to set some level differences. For instance, because of the way my left surround speaker is mounted, I bumped the level up on it a tad so I could hear it better. To me it that sounds proper, to Audyssey, I'm off a bit.

Lloyd
Receiver : Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey, Genie
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#44 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 11:04 AM

Ah, good. I did use Audessy in the first few minutes of setting it up, and may go again to see if there are tweaks, esp. since my right ear is a bit stronger than the left. Also, my model is the 1613. Best $400 I've spent in a bit, similar to the $200 3D Sony TV!
"Laxguy" means a guy who loves lacrosse.




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