Denon AVR-3312CI AV Receiver Review
- Product Name: AVR 3312CI AV Receiver
- Manufacturer: Denon
- Review Date: July 18, 2011 01:35
- MSRP: $1099.99
- First Impression: Gotta Have It!
Equal amp power design with seven discrete channels, each rated at 125 watts*, and dual subwoofer outputs
HDMI v1.4a supports all 3D formats and Audio Return Channel
Ethernet, USB, Phono, and seven HDMI inputs for added connectivity
Supports AirPlay for wireless music streaming from iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or iTunes
Audyssey MultEQ XT, GUI overlay, and remote control make setup and operation easy
Enhanced network capability includes Pandora, Flickr, Napster, and Rhapsody online support
Backed by a three-year warranty
AV receivers are getting more and more powerful, and their feature sets are getting more and more expansive. For some, the critical price/performance breakpoint comes at around $5-$600. At that price you start to get advanced features like video upconversion to HDMI and amplifiers that can be re-routed to a second Zone. So what does Denon have to offer above and beyond that with its AVR 3312CI receiver, that's priced at twice that. I mean what do you really get for $1100?
The truth is - there's so much we can't really cover it all in this video. It'd be kinda boring and I gotta get dinner at some point. So let's start with power. While most 7.1 or 7.2 receivers around the $600 price point deliver 90 watts per channel, the AVR 3312CI puts out 125watts, rated 20-to-20, and at just .05% THD. And it puts out that power across all channels equally. Think that's easy to come by? Video processing and a few more connectors don't weigh all that much, and yet the 3312CI is a full 4-1/2 pounds heavier than the 1912. It's all in the amps. The new 3312CI also adds a second HDMI output, so it can play a movie on both a projector and a flat panel TV in another room - at the same time. It also has some pretty advanced features like digital-to-analogue conversion for analogue outputs and pre-amp outputs for multiple zones. It can even send 3 different sources to 3 different zones. There's also a composite video output for Zone 2.
On the back there are 11 speaker connections, which means that no matter how you configure your primary room and additional Zones, it is unlikely that you'll need to swap around speaker cables to get the sound where you want it. And the GUI lets you really SEE what you're setting up, so it's super-easy to configure for multiple speakers and multiple zones.
The 3312CI is, as the model number indicates, part of Denon's Custom Install series - and that means it has installer-friendly features like RS-232 control and the ability to connect to the Internet for updates and even remote configuration. This receiver is also part of the company's new IN-COMMAND series, which really speaks to its ability to network with your existing media content and playback anything from an Apple device, USB drive, or any DLNA source.
What else... oh, it can use the advanced Audyssey Pro installer package, which measures up to 32 different positions for a custom room EQ solution as well as DSX which lets you use height channels for up to 11 speakers... you know, if you happen to live in a concert hall... or you're insane. For Internet services, the 3312CI supports Pandora and Flickr, Rhapsody and Napster in addition to Internet radio.
We like the Denon remote. The remote's cool. It gives you direct access over each source, and it doesn't use a funky screen or any confusing switches. You just select the Zone you want to control (Main, 2 or 3) and hit the source. You've got easy access to menu controls and there are even dedicated buttons for Internet radio - which is a HUGE upgrade over prior remotes. Gone is the dedicated Zone 2 remote, but I'm not sure we'll really miss it. The Quick Select buttons on the remote now reflect types of sources, rather than the former numbered source names only and they have icons instead of numbers which is kinda cool. The defaults are DVD, Cable/Sat, Gaming, and iPod. Those are the four biggies, so I think they nailed it.
We listened to this receiver with a ton of source content. Movies sounded expansive and full - the sound quality on this receiver is well above par. Hey, there are some products priced even higher in the line that really pour a lot of money into the amplifier section, but in terms of value, the AVR 3312CI is going to be really hard to beat. Music came across as very live, particularly in the area of midrange - which was detailed. Male and female vocals sounded realistic and details like breaths and sibilance poked through the mix perfectly. At highs were very airy, with cymbal decays that didn't compress or sound shrill. This is a solid amplifier that is going to work well for all but the most demanding listeners. Add to that the almost ridiculous laundry list of features and you have a product that is easily worth the price of admission.
I've read that Denon has sent customers refurb 3312CI and 3313CI units that are filled with problems.
I'm wondering if anyone else here has had the defective HDMI board problems in 3312CI or 3313CI with Denon Receivers and if your issue was ever solved.
Hope youll now retract nw that even audioholics has written ab article admitting that Denon and Marantz are basicalky same amps, same product in different wrapping and a few connectors thrown in. "High current feedbck" is just marketing BS.
Most of us always thought they were basically the "same", but they may be "tuned" differently in terms of gain/ voltage/ power supply, ect.
The Marantz is a rebadged 3312, with 10% better remote control and 100% worse LCD screen.
You admit below that this is simply not true so why say it in the first place? If you have proof that they are then I'd be happy to retract what I said.
For one thing your statement that "most people" sit too far from receiver to see the LCD is wrong. Most people ate watching watching TV at 10-11 ft or less. We know this from studies of Tv usage and living room design. And the TV is typically set up further away from users than their receiver.
Also the Marantz 6xxx and below are pretty much rebadging other than the useless LCD crippling, the barely better remote and the external box. Same sweatshop in China too. Call a spade a spade.
You're right I suppose I should have worded it better but my point still stands. The ease of use of the GUI, which more and more people are using now to control their AVR's has made the small LCD less useful than before. It's still great for giving you a quick glance of what processing you may be using and what source is running, but many of the small icons are still barely useful at 8 feet away. Since many, if not most people now hook up their AVRs to a tv via HDMI or some other video source then why not downsize the LCD and make the GUI better and easier to use. The LCD "crippling" is a matter of opinion. In your opinion it was a poor design choice, in mine I kind of like it.
I did indeed call a spade a spade. The Marantz is not a rebadged Denon to my knowledge and from my experience with the two units. If what you say is true I should be able to pop open my 5006 and it should look identical to a 3312. Since they don't I can only assume that the Marantz isn't simply a rebadge. Very similar AVR's, many of the same parts, but there are some differences. I don't know enough about the technical aspects to spell it out, but the internals look a little different and, IMO the Marantz had a little different sound. In a different thread one of the EE's on here said that even simply rearranging some of the internal parts can change the sound of an amp. I don't see why this wouldn't be true of a receiver as well, which reinforces my beliefs that they are not simply rebadges of each other.
That being said I do believe that the differences between many of the budget and mid-line receivers from all of the major companies have a lot more in common then they'd like us to believe. To me the real differences only start to come out in their flagship models, but those are only my impressions.