I was beginning to feel a bit left out on all the discussions about Audyssey and decided it was about time I replaced my ancient analog preamp I've been using in my home office system. That system consists of an analog preamp, power amp, five speakers, subwoofer, LCD HDTV, HD-PVR, computer and DVD player. Since the analog preamp has no bass management or digital inputs, and enjoys a rudimentary pro-logic1 decoding scheme that makes the surrounds appear to be emanating from the bat cave, I've had to be creative.
After some research into mid price receivers, I decided that the new Denon AVR-1910
had the features I wanted. It really does appear to be a head above the rest in its category. Besides good sound, the top of my wish list was the ability to upconvert and scale any analog or digital video input to 1080p, along with Audyssey Multi EQ, Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume. I didn't care much about preamp outputs, as the power amps supplied with a mid priced receiver are matched well to the quality of the preamp. If I wanted to feed external amps, I would get a proper processor, as I don't see the reason in paying for the power amps in a receiver and not using them. The one feature I would have liked to see on the Denon was RDS for the tuner.
Overall, I'm fairly impressed with the receiver. It does everything I expected and more.
My DVD player uses a three wire component 480i output. The Denon scaling of that signal to 720p through its HDMI output is excellent. Much better than the scaling that was done in the HDTV itself when I had the component cables hooked direct. And of course, I can now connect the Dolby Digital from the coax output on the DVD, where before I was utilizing the red and white analog cabling.
The HDMI 720p from my HD-PVR passes through the receiver very well, as I can't see any degrading of the signal. It's also nice to know that if I replace my 720P HD monitor with a 1080p in the future, that the scaler in the 1910 can handle it. All in all, very impressive video processing from a mid priced receiver. I wanted to be able to take any video signal from any device I own and send a single cable with native mode resolution to my LCD TV up to 1080p. This receiver accomplishes that task nicely.
How does it sound? Well, I admit to being a bit spoiled, since my main system is somewhat higher end. It consists of a Bryston SP2 processor and three Bryston power amps feeding ProAc 3.8 mains with an Arcam Alpha 9 CD player and Servo-15 sub.
Anyway, I don't hear a lot of difference between the Denon in direct mode compared to my old analog setup, but after setting up the Audyssey in the Denon, it is quite a bit better. Excellent sound quality. The Audyssey is somewhat of a challenge. I played around with EQing my sub with my BFD before and after running Audyssey and I came to the conclusion that getting the sub EQ and (sub+mains phase) set up before running Audyssey to be the best order.
I didn't like the fact that Audyssey set my mains to 40Hz crossover (although I suppose they're capable, being a large set of three way JBL's that I've had for years and modified). I switched the mains to 80Hz, but that's the only change I made.
The Audyssey doesn't seem to have much problem smoothing the >200Hz bandwidth, but in the below 200Hz modal region it appears to need a little help from the BFD before running.
I also notice an shelf boost to the bottom end that surprised me with Audyssey. It sounds good, but I'm a bit concerned with my basic Energy 12" sub having enough headroom in the 20Hz area where the most boost is realized from Audyssey.
Here's a few graphs. I was going to show full range, but backed it off to 400Hz, since above that it's basically flat as you would expect with Audyssey. I used 1/3 octave smoothing to remove the comb filtering to reveal the underlying signal better. The 20Hz seemed appropriate with the weaker sub I am using.
The first graph is the sub + mains before any EQ or Audyssey correction.
You can see the large ~50Hz peak that needs to be EQ'd.
My 12" sub drops off at ~25Hz fairly rapidly as would be expected.
SUB + MAINS. NO BFD. NO AUDYSSEY
The next graph below is sub + mains with BFD filtering and no Audyssey correction.
SUB + MAINS. YES BFD. NO AUDYSSEY
The next graph below is the sub + mains with BFD filtering and Audyssey correction.
SUB + MAINS. YES BFD. YES AUDYSSEY
Anyway, I'll probably spend the next month playing with all the features this receiver has, but no use for me to discuss them now. A few points I can make though.
Sounds great - low noise floor.
The receiver runs very cool - that's good.
The remote is a bit odd, as there are buttons on both sides.
The OSD is handy and reasonably laid out, but it doesn't overlay the HDMI screen, instead it switches to a black background with white text.
Note that the title of the thread is Denon AVR 1910/790. This is because Denon releases its receivers with a parallel line that is identical, except for a few features. The lower number models go to the big box stores and the higher number models with a couple extra features go to the smaller audio retailers. The price of the lower number (AVR 790 in this case, is about $50 cheaper). If you have any negotiating skills at all, it's very easy to go the audio retailer and get the more featured model at the same price as the big box model (who almost never negotiate). I would rather support my local audio dealer.
I admit the manual for the Denon was quite challenging. I honestly can't imagine someone who's hobby wasn't HT stereo equipment being able to actually set this thing up by using this manual. For the hobbyist it shouldn't be too much trouble though.
Anyone else have this receiver yet and care to comment how they like it?