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Denon DHT-1312BA HTiB First Look

Denon DHT-1312BA

Denon DHT-1312BA


  • Product Name: DHT-1312BA
  • Manufacturer: Denon
  • Review Date: May 02, 2011 01:30
  • MSRP: $599.99
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

Denon AVR-1312

  • 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, DD+ and PLII
  • dts-HD Master Audio and dts-HR decoding
  • Analog Devices 32 bit DSP processor
  • 24 bit, 96 kHz A/D
  • 5 channels equal power amplifier section, fully discrete construction
  • 75 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20 – 20kHz, <0.08% THD)
  • 110 watts per channel (6 ohms, 1kHz, 0.7% THD)
  • HDMI 1.4a Repeaters with 3D Support – All Mandated Formats (4/1)
  • New GUI, with overlay (HD)
  • HDMI CEC Support
  • Dedicated iPod™ compatible port (for use with optional Denon Docks, with front panel display and remote control)
  • Variable low/high-pass crossover
  • New Style Pre-programmed Remote Control

Boston Acoustics MCS 160

  • Four matching satellite speakers - 3" mid-bass driver and 1/2" dome tweeter
  • Center - Dual 3" mid-bass driver sand 1/2" dome tweeter
  • Shelf or wall mounted
  • 100 watt subwoofer - 8" long throw woofer

Executive Overview

We almost feel guilty putting the Denon DHT-1312BA in the Home Theater in a Box category. First of all, the AVR-1312 is a real receiver, on sale on its own, not some scaled down shadow of a receiver that many manufacturers include in their HTiB solutions. In the same vein, the Boston Acoustics MCS 160 5.1 channel surround sound loudspeaker system is also on sale individually. This is more like a package deal than a HTiB. Not only that, but both products are so new that they aren't listed on their individual websites yet. You're got getting last year's "what they heck are we going to do with this stuff we can't sell" gear shoved together for a quick sale. This isn't last week's infomercial product given away with this week's infomercial product. These are cutting edge (if budget) offerings from two well respected companies. Of course the reason we're seeing Denon and Boston Acoustics products in the same box is because D&M Holdings own them both. To start with, let's look at the receiver.


The Denon AVR-1312 will retail for $250 when released. It is a 75 watt per channel receiver with five channels of discrete amplification (the 110 watt spec you may be seeing is into 6 ohms). The AVR-1312 features a new GUI with HDMI overlay, 24 bit, 96 kHz DACs and support and decoding for all the latest HD audio codecs. The receiver has four HDMI inputs (1.4a repeater function with 1080p and 3D pass-through capability), an Analog Devices 32 bit DSP processor, and a front 3.5mm jack for MP3 players. The AVR-1312 is compatible with Denon's iPod/iPhone docks which will give you not only the audio from your i-device but also on-screen artist, album, and song information.

The Boston Acoustics MCS 160 speaker system sports four matching satellite speakers with 3" mid-bass drivers and 1/2" dome tweeters. The center adds an additional 3" driver to the mix. The speakers can all be shelf mounted but also include keyhole brackets for wall mounting. The 100 watt subwoofer has an 8" long throw woofer which is likely downfiring. 

While information on the MCS 160 is sketchy, we can look at a similar speaker system from Boston, the MCS 130, for hints as to what to expect. The smaller speakers in the MCS 130 package, the ones most similar to the satellites of the MCS 160, are rated down to 110Hz with the sub (with a 100 watt more powerful amp) rated up to 150Hz. We'd expect similar performance from the MCS 160 speakers. The speakers are small, easily wall mountable, and light. The sub weighs in at a touch over 30 pounds but it is unclear if the MCS 160 sub will be the same. The claim of 40Hz output seems reasonable for such a system. Of course, until the full specs of the MCS 160 5.1 speaker system are released, we won't know for sure.

And that's the only thing that is really holding us back from being really excited about this system. The unknowns. We don't know the specs of the Boston MCS 160 speaker system. We don't know the full specs of the Denon AVR-1312. Heck, we haven't even see the back panel of the receiver yet so that we can count the number and types of inputs. While we expect to be impressed and place the DHT-1312BA system near the top of the list of HTiB systems we recommend to cheap friends/first time buyers, until we know more, we'll have to curb our enthusiasm.


The thing to really look at is the price tag. At $900, the MCS 130 does have a bit more to offer than the forthcoming MCS 160 (like a more powerful sub and front speakers with an additional woofer) but paired with the AVR-1312, it is sure to be a deal. We wouldn't be surprised to see a price tag north of $450 on the MCS 160 which makes the $600 price tag of the DHT-1312BA package very attractive. With the technology of one of Denon's newest receiver paired with the sound quality of Boston Acoustics, the DHT-1312BA is sure to be a big seller.

For more information, please visit www.usa.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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