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Denon New AVR 10/90 Lineup Adds Features, Value




  • Product Name: New 10/90 AVR Lines
  • Manufacturer: Denon
  • Review Date: May 13, 2009 23:05
  • MSRP: $349-$1,999
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!


AVR-4310CI (SRP: $1,999, May ‘09)

AVR-3310CI (SRP: $1,499, June ‘09)

AVR-2310CI (SRP: $849, June ‘09)

AVR-1910 (SRP: $549, May ‘09)

AVR-1610 (SRP: $379, May ‘09)

AVR-990 (SRP: $1,499, July ‘09)

AVR-890 (SRP: $799, June ‘09)

AVR-790 (SRP: $499, June ‘09)

AVR-590 (SRP: $349, June ‘09)

Note: The initials “CI” (for Custom Integration) in the three models noted above emphasize the inclusion of special features and capabilities geared specifically toward professional custom integrators.

Denon announced their new lineup of AVRs this week. Three new high end 'CI' models were released, the AVR-4310CI and AVR-3310CI along with two more in the same line without the CI designation; the AVR-1910 and AVR1610. The retail (or home theater) line is also getting a total makeover with the inclusion of the AVR-990, AVR-890, AVR-790, and AVR-790. The prices range from $1,999 for the AVR-4310CI to $349 for the AVR-590. Think Denon isn't giving you value for your money? Every AVR in the lineup can decode the high def audio formats!

Rather than trying to list the features of each AVR, I'm going to break it down for you by feature. Hopefully this will make more sense to you. First of all, all the CI models are a RS-232 for 3rd Party control and assignable high current DC trigger outputs. All non CI models feature 10-bit video processing, analog-to-HDMI video conversion, and 24-bit/192-kHz Analog Devices DACs. Globally, all the new AVRs include:

  • Audyssey Dynamic Volume
  • Audyssey Dynamic EQ
  • Audyssey MultEQ
  • Source/Quick Select Power On and Quick Select options on the remote control
  • GUI and (OSD) or GUI overlay via the HDMI connection
  • iPod connectivity (via iPod/iPhone docks for the most part, which provides on-screen artist, album and song information)
  • HDMI 1.3a Repeater Inputs with Deep Color, xv-Color and CEC (Consumer Electronics Control)
  • Analog-to-HDMI conversion
  • HD Audio decoding from Dolby and dts
  • Dolby Pro Logic IIz decoding

Specifically, the AVR-4310CI has a USB port for iPod connectivity, features the brand new Audyssey DSX processing for up to 9.1 channels, and Anchor Bay Technologies VRS processing to HD quality (up to 1080p/24/60). DENON Link 4th, featuring HDMI Clock Control is included in the highest end offering. The AVR-5308CI and AVP-A1HDCI processor will also be firmware upgradable to the new DENON Link specifications. The deal with the 4th edition is that when you are using the HDMI interface for A/V output for Blu-ray playback in combination with Denon Link, the HDMI Clock Control gives the Master Clock and Jitter reduction to be handled by the connected Denon A/V Receiver/Processor. In addiion, the DENON Link 4th edition retains all the features from the 3rd edition, including a fully balanced digital connection to handle the transmission and reduction of Jitter of SACD, DVD-Audio, and PCM signals as will as Dolby Digital and dts surround tracks.

The AVR-4310CI and AVR-3310CI offer three-zone, three-source capability. This is a nice feature for those looking for future or current multizone capability. When you get top of the line, you should also get some of the more advanced yet lesser cared about features. In that vein, these receivers also have built-in XM and Sirius satellite radio options. In addition to the AVR-4310CI and AVR-3310CI, the AVR-990 gives users access to HD radio and allows users to stream audio and photos directly from their PCs, choose from over 7,500 Internet radio stations, and connect to Rhapsody and Napster music services (subscription required) through a wired Internet connection. While Denon had experimented with wireless in the past, they have moved on to a fully wired connection because of the added stability (if you lose your Internet connection during an update... well, you don't want to know) and their tests showed that the wireless connection added noise.

The AVR-990 has an RJ-45 Ethernet Port for third-party controllers, Mac/PC audio streaming, a Web browser function and more and features Anchor Bay Technologies ABT-2010. While the AVR-990 is meant for a more consumer level, you can clearly see that it shares some of the same high end features of the top of the line CI models. Both the AVR-990 and AVR-feature Denon’s newly designed GUI with overlay via the HDMI connection. This gives a "flicker free" HDMI menu system that doesn't require additional HDCP negotiation with the irritating waits that accompany them. The AVR-790 and AVR-590 (there is no 690... maybe 6 is an unlucky number to Denon?) have instead the enhanced icon-based OSD. The idea is that now Denon is getting away from users ever having to physically touch the unit after making the connections. In the past, the "cool" onscreen displays were saved for the higher end offerings leaving the people that needed them most - the relatively inexperienced lower end buyers - in the dark. This should make the new Denon receivers very attractive to the Best Buy crowd.

All the receivers in the retail line feature dual source/dual zone except the entry level AVR-590. HDMI inputs include 3 in the AVR-590, 4 in the AVR-790, and 5 in the AVR-890 and AVR-990. At only $350, the AVR-590 is looking pretty good on the value front. It may only have one zone but with high definition audio decoding, 2 component and 3 HDMI inputs, it has what every entry level person needs... except a bunch of composite and s-video hookups for their legacy gear. The AVR-590 is the only 5.1 receiver in the bunch. Everything else is 7.1 or above.


Denon's new lineup looks very, very impressive. Other than the exclusion of multiple subwoofer outputs, the feature list looks long, deep, and generally useful. HD audio decoding and PLIIz throughout the line (including the AVR-590 which is a 5.1 receiver) offers something for everyone. The inclusion of ABT VRS gives shoppers a reason to upgrade and HDMI inputs are everywhere. This is the receiver lineup we've all been waiting for. There is something for everyone here. Now it's just a matter of going out and getting it.

Front View Back View
(when available)

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AVR2310CIBK_E3_fr_000_resized.jpg AVR2310CIBK_E3_bk_000_resized.jpg





AVR790BK_E3_fr_100_resized.jpg AVR790BK_E3_bk_000_resized.jpg

AVR590BK_E3_fr_100_resized.jpg AVR590BK_E3_bk_000_resized.jpg

For more information, please visit www.denon.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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