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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sound and features...
I chose this Denon receiver for 2 reasons: It had features I was looking for; and I always wanted a Denon. I am giving it 4 stars for the same reason many did: a difficult owner's manual; although after finally figuring everything (almost) out, and re-reading, it makes a lot more sense.
The AVR 1609 has 3 features I really wanted: One, simple A/B switching between...
Published on June 13, 2009 by Roy A. Midyett

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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Audio with HDMI
If you plan on using HDMI with this receiver, you should note that this receiver doesn't pass the HDMI audio through to the external speakers. I have a Sony 46" Bravia, a Tivo HD XL, and a Playstation 3 that I connected to the Denon with HDMI. I had to hook up an optical audio cable between the PS3 and the Denon, and RCA cables for the Tivo. When I found out that I...
Published on October 19, 2008 by Mark Tacchi


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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Audio with HDMI, October 19, 2008
By 
Mark Tacchi (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Denon AVR-1609 7.1-Channel Multi-Zone Home Theater Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
If you plan on using HDMI with this receiver, you should note that this receiver doesn't pass the HDMI audio through to the external speakers. I have a Sony 46" Bravia, a Tivo HD XL, and a Playstation 3 that I connected to the Denon with HDMI. I had to hook up an optical audio cable between the PS3 and the Denon, and RCA cables for the Tivo. When I found out that I can't get 7.1 with the Tivo set up (because of the RCA analog cables), I returned the unit and bought the SONY STR-DG820. It's about the same price and does the HMDI audio and video correctly. Also, it's an easier to use unit.

I hope that this helps one of you avoid the frustration and confusion that I went through.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sound and features..., June 13, 2009
This review is from: Denon AVR-1609 7.1-Channel Multi-Zone Home Theater Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I chose this Denon receiver for 2 reasons: It had features I was looking for; and I always wanted a Denon. I am giving it 4 stars for the same reason many did: a difficult owner's manual; although after finally figuring everything (almost) out, and re-reading, it makes a lot more sense.
The AVR 1609 has 3 features I really wanted: One, simple A/B switching between speaker pairs. Not too many receivers have this feature; I have 2 speakers in one room, 2 in another. Second, I wanted some sort of lip-synch correction. After getting a plasma TV, I've had the problem of sound not synching with picture sometimes. Thirdly, it has a "sound-leveling" feature, so louds aren't so loud, and soft parts are louder.
But the main thing is always the sound. This receiver, even without the MultEQ engaged, it is at least as good as my previous Yamaha receiver. With the MultEQ engaged, the sound is noticeably better, with only 2 speakers; with 5 or 7, it is likely to be much better.
I had trouble getting my head around the features of this receiver, but here is my summary: 1. MultEQ: this is an equalizing/adjusting feature that customizes the sound for your room and listening position using the supplied microphone. The set-up is very easy, and takes only a few minutes. Once this is done, you can engage it or not. 2. Dynamic EQ:this is usable once you do the MultEQ setup; it supposedly adjusts the balance at any volume level. I haven't evaluated this. 3. Dynamic Volume: also only usable with MultEQ, it quiets loud sounds and boosts quiet sounds so you can hear everything without waking someone up in the next room. This does seem to work ok. Even if you don't do the whole MultEQ set-up, there is a separate Night button on the remote that does pretty much the same thing as the Dynamic Volume.
Other plusses: quick select buttons on the remote. You can pre-set the TV for example, for Dynamic Volume, then just hit the button. Also, 2 switched plugs in back; also hard to find on receivers.
I have the AVR hooked to 2 Paradigm speakers; I have a Panansonic Plasma with audio hooked with 2 RCA cables, not using HDMI on the AVR. My Sony DVD is hooked to TV with HDMI,and to AVR with 2 RCA cables.
In summary, the Good points:
1. A/B speaker switching
2. Customized, excellent sound with MultEQ
3. Lip-synch correction
4. Dynamic volume (loud sounds softened, soft sound boosted)
5. Quick select buttons
Bad Points:
1.The owner's manual
2.No phono (turntable) input: buy a cheap adapter on Ebay.
3.AM reception pretty bad
I can only imagine how good this sounds with surround sound.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great sound, horrible interface, January 3, 2009
This review is from: Denon AVR-1609 7.1-Channel Multi-Zone Home Theater Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I have been using this receiver for a few weeks. I love the sound, which is far better than my previous Onkyo when used with my BA speakers for music (I don't use the 7.1). However, my big complaint is that the interface is a train wreck. If I had 3 or fewer inputs (including radio) the 'Quick' 1-3 buttons might be OK once configured -- though I'd prefer a UI that allowed me to label them for my wife's sake if not my own -- but as is it's a pain. I have other minor issues, like the double-sided remote (two sides that don't work with my Bravia!), the lack of an analog passthrough, and a horrible manual, but usability is the big one.

I am planning on exchaging this, probably for the Sony 820 or 920.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbeatible Value!, September 7, 2009
This review is from: Denon AVR-1609 7.1-Channel Multi-Zone Home Theater Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I would like to challenge anyone in finding a better AVR in this price category. I purchased the Denon AVR-1609 two days ago for under two hundred and am absolutely amazed that they can sell such a nice product for so little and make a profit. I hooked this up with a 6.1 speaker setup... small speakers, nothing special, and the sound is fantastic. It took me a bit of time to setup because it defaults to 5.1 and 7.1 speaker arrangement and I had to scour the manual to figure out how to add one speaker in the back and nobody likes to read manuals... The manual is actually very well written despite what other reviewers have said and has everthing you would ever need to know about using the auto setup feature as well as fine tuning and making adjustments afterward to suit your listening style and other interesting programming features in a very simple and easy to understand layout. Regarding other reviewers comments... If you call yourself an audiophile then Denon makes plenty other AVRs to suit your needs at 10x the price... This reciever is for people who enjoy fine sound WITHOUT breaking the bank and the resutltant screaming wife. The comments about the HDMI inputs/outputs not passing audio is plain silly and nothing more than a convienience issue, there four are digital audio inputs for your components to be routed separately... I would rather Denon cuts out bonus features and convieniences such as these rather than sacrifice sound quality and choose cheaper amplifiers, etc... If you want features of a high end AVR then spend a few hundred extra and get it. Also, I actually like the doube sided remote... they hide some infrequenty used type buttons in a closable compartment on the back of the remote. Its nice for setup and configuration adjustments. The remote alone is worth a couple hundred bucks... Go ahead and buy this thing, you'll be getting a lot more for your money than you ever expected and wonderful sound from a respected manufacturer!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Major Sound, Minor Issues..., June 30, 2009
By 
zWooDa (Encinitas, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Denon AVR-1609 7.1-Channel Multi-Zone Home Theater Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
Our 10 yr. old JVC receiver was just plain tired. After researching the AVR-1609, I knew I'd need to run extra audio with the HDMI hook-ups. Nothing I read warned me about another minor annoyance:(quoting from the AVR-1609 manual)"Because video signals are output from the AVR-1690's monitor output terminal in the same format as the video input signals, THE MONITOR OUTPUT TERMINAL SHOULD BE OF THE SAME TYPE AS THE TERMINAL USED FOR INPUT."

In other words, if you run HDMI to your tv, the Component inputs on the receiver won't work. Ended up running the component cables from my Wii to the tv & running the audio to the receiver (used cd audio). Not a huge deal, but slightly disappointing.

On the up-side, the sound quality is AMAZING (especially in such a low-cost unit) & more than makes up for the switching issue! The auto calibration process is a bit time consuming, but well worth the effort. I initially set everything up manually, then realized some features are only active if the auto set-up is used. The sound quality achieved with the auto calibration was far superior to the settings I programed!

Video pass-thru using HDMI seems flawless, no noticeable loss in HD.

All & all, a whole lot of bang for very little $$$.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Denon AVR-1609 7.1 Channel Receiver, June 10, 2009
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This review is from: Denon AVR-1609 7.1-Channel Multi-Zone Home Theater Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
We shopped with detailed specs for a new receiver and where we could get the best price. Amazon won out again; disappointed Amazon took almost two weeks to ship. Setting up the unit takes time as instruction manual very difficult to understand and follow; steps were not 1,2,3, etc but jumped around from page to page. Recommend reading manual thoroughly several times to grasp interpretation. Took about a week of experimenting with settings to get the sound we wanted. So far we are very pleased with quality and sound effects. Rated 4 star due to difficulty in understanding manual and limited choice of sound fields and other functionality. Like the automatic sound leveling. Not using 7.1 at this time. Great unit for the price paid.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Denon AVR-1609 7.1 Channel Receiver, May 7, 2009
This review is from: Denon AVR-1609 7.1-Channel Multi-Zone Home Theater Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
This is an awesome receiver. I have paired it up with the Mirage 5 NanoSAT speakers and a Klipsch 8in subwoofer and the sound quality is very good. For the purchase price of $204 (USD) you cannot go wrong. The only downside is the HDMI does not carry the sound - you have to use the optical connection. Not a big deal unless you need more optical inputs - then you have to upgrade to a more expensive receiver. I use this in a 13 x 22 inch bonus room so I am not sure if the power would be sufficient for larger areas. I plan to add two more Mirage speakers for the full 7.1 experience. I was able to get my Direct TV remote to control the volume pretty easily. Also commercial volume can automatically be calibrated to the level of what you are watching. This is a major plus for a reciever in this price range. Setting up the reciever requires time. Read the manual carefully and do not be in a rush. It will be worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HDMI Pass-Thru Only, January 30, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Denon AVR-1609 7.1-Channel Multi-Zone Home Theater Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I purchased this receiver refurbished, otherwise I would have gotten a higher model number that converted all the video sources to the HDMI signal.

When I hook up a DVD player or laptop to the unit, I also have to connect a separate audio cable. The HDMI carries sound to the TV (but not from my laptop, DVI to HDMI cable), and I can choose the audio source I want to come out of the speakers connected to the receiver.

When I switch audio sources, the video on the TV flashes off for a second.

I had the hardest time selecting sources until I looked at the manual and noticed the big dial on the left was to switch sources. The buttons on the front of the remote are very limited as far as being able to select different inputs - like my record player (I had to get a separate preamp for that) and creating presets for the FM Tuner.

There is a second remote control on the back with several very essential buttons - I guess they wanted to keep the front un-cluttered.

I like the "night-time mode" - this is basically a compressor, and it makes my MP3-compressed talk shows and podcasts sound much more sane.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skeptic in Inglewood, October 30, 2009
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Denon AVR-1609 7.1-Channel Multi-Zone Home Theater Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
After purchasing this item, I read the reviews. I can tell you that after reading them I tried to cancel this item through Amazon on-line before it shipped. I was truly dissappointed that I could not cancel through Amazon but only through the shipper "Crutchfield". After speaking with "Crutchfield", I must admit they have great technical assistance. I spoke with a technical advisor about my concerns that I read through the reviews such as the HDMI not having audio but only video. I was told that all I would need is a digital optical cable to run the audio. I was in luck since I have 5 HDMI inputs on my television. All of my components (PS3, 5 disc upconverting 1080 DVD player) can be connected through the televisions HDMI's. The HDMI and digital optical cable can be connected to the Denon receiver and I will be able to get full surround experience through the television. At first I was a little skeptical but have decided to try my luck...after all, the responses on sound quality have been great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointed....., May 18, 2013
This review is from: Denon AVR-1609 7.1-Channel Multi-Zone Home Theater Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I am very disappointed with the Denon AVR-1609. First disappointment, no sound with HDMI. 2nd disappointment, Dynamic Volume Control doesn't reduce volume spikes when commercials come on as stated. 3rd disappointment and the icing on the cake of disappointment, It dies just 2 months after the guarantee from Crutchfield ends and they had no consideration at all with replacing or repairing. Person I spoke to said it would cost more than what I paid for it to have the power supply which he suspected was the cause to be replaced/repaired. Never will buy from Crutchfield again, no consideration.
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