Harman Kardon - upgrade or not?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Audio' started by lparsons21, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. kikkenit2

    kikkenit2 Icon

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    If you want to buy a receiver go here.

    http://www.avsforum.com/f/90/receivers-amps-and-processors

    They are slanted toward Denon, but cover every brand and model in minute detail. I also have the Denon 4311. It has the best room correction software in any reasonable price range. Also has 1000 watt power supply that drives 4 ohm speakers fine. To get the best price on new product you have to call the vendor. Authorized dealers can't advertize the best price. Call Electronics Expo first. So what is your real budget $$$ wise?
     
  2. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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

    I'd say that they are a bit Denon happy over there, but Pioneer gets good coverage also and to a lesser extent many other brands.

    Budget wise I want to stay at $600 or less, which opens up lots of possibilities.

    a. Go with just a video processor. @less than $400 that is viable and is on my list of things to consider.

    b. Denon 2113ci - @$649 list and available for much less, it is getting serious consideration. 3-year warranty, lots of HDMI inputs (I need 5), and Audyssey XT it has lots going for it.

    c. Pioneer 1120 or 1121 - yeah last couple years models, but were and are still, better than the current model that replaces them. Used w/a 3rd party warranty puts them around the $450-550 price range. Lots of HDMI, and THX2 certified.
     
  3. kikkenit2

    kikkenit2 Icon

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    I agree that the Pioneer vsx-1121 is a good value. I bought one 7 months ago for $400 as a backup/spare. It is streaming airplay in my garage as a 2.1 setup right now. Sold out and this year is a huge step down. Receiver market is pretty stale this year. 4k is no big deal. Denon is expensive, but pretty stable. And jdsmoothie & batpig over there know everything about them. Did you call EE for shipped prices?
     
  4. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    No, I haven't called anyone yet. At this point I'm trying to keep actual dollars needed out of the equation and instead look for features and SQ/VQ information. I'm doing that because I don't want to miss something that I should consider because the list price scared me away.

    One question that keeps niggling around in my old brain is bass. I'm used to and love the way that HK handles the bass. Very strong without being overwhelming and you get to not only hear it but feel it. You know, the kind of bass that your ears aren't sure you're hearing, but when it isn't there you know it.

    So how does Denon do in this regard? I know that in some models from a few years back that Denons were a bit flatter than the HKs after calibration, is that still the case?

    For info, I have Cerwin Vega surrounds (89db) and a Velodyne VRP-12 12" subwoofer in a classic 7.1 setup. The room is my front room (I'm a bachelor) and measures around 12'x18'. Not a difficult room to calibrate in so far.
     
  5. kikkenit2

    kikkenit2 Icon

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    It helps to have a large subwoofer like me. Denon does the bass just fine. The trick with auddysey and most software is manually set all the speakers to "small" instead od "large" and all the bass will play through the sub. From there you can manually eq somewhat and surely turn the volume control of that speakere seperate from the rest.

    I used to like HK, but there just isn't the value there anymore. Everybody else caught up. Get a receiver with a network connection and the connections you need. If you are worried about enough power to tower speakers get one with a full set of rca preamp outs. Those don't come on most denon models though. On paper Onkyo is the best value. I won't touch them again. Their hdmi board runs so hot among other defects the last 4 years. Yamaha is decent, but the room correction is their own brand.
     
  6. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    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.
     
  7. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    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 :)
     
  8. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    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.
     
  9. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    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.
     
  10. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    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.
     
  11. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    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.
     
  12. kikkenit2

    kikkenit2 Icon

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  13. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    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!! :)
     
  14. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    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.
     
  15. satcrazy

    satcrazy Icon

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    Great...
    lp,

    can I ask where you purchased your new denon?
     
  16. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    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.
     
  17. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    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.
     
  18. kikkenit2

    kikkenit2 Icon

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    Thanks for the followup. All good news too.
     
  19. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    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.
     
  20. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    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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