46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2013
Any review has to be based on price points. Are there better receivers? Sure. Are there better 5.1 receivers for the money. None that I know of; hence my 5 star rating.
Guard against "wattage" wars. This receiver is rated 75 watts L & R channels w/ independent amps to the sub, center and rear surround.
The power is used efficiently and sounds very clean to my ear. Other's will make bold claims of 500 watts for a $200 receiver. Don't believe it.
My room is 16x20 cathedral ceiling. The Denon has no problem filling the room with sound.
If the user is unfamiliar with surround sound set ups; the pdf manual can be a little daunting if not confusing.
I had no problem with it, but I come from a engineering background. If you are unsure how to set up a surround system,
you have (2) choices. 1) Get experienced help or 2) Experiment. The latter can be fun & educational.
There are many ways to configure & customize the sound with the Denon. Proper understanding of speaker placement, crossover frequencies for each individual speaker, specific channel levels and knowing the differences between source inputs
such as DTS encoding. In other words, trying to produce a (TRUE) surround experience with a DVD or Blu-Ray that is not encoded will not give a true surround sound.
While one can (simulate) surround sound with a 2 channel source, it is a faux only output.
Music CD's sounded great when played via my Blu-ray. Here again, proper settings with this amp are key.
This is not a speaker review, but great speakers are paramount to great sound.
I've heard a few complaints about lip sync problems. I've not noticed this, but the unit has the ability to delay audio if this is encountered.
The Denon runs warm though not hot by any stretch.
Pros: Cost, audio quality, multiple configurations.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2013
Let's be clear, this is meant to be Denon's barebones home theater system. It comes with a fair number of useful features such as Dolby PLII and DTS Neo 6 processing, but it is missing some of the more advanced options (Audyssey, etc.) You'll also notice some cheaper materials too: spring plugs in the back, a lack of interface buttons on the weirdly vacant, oversized, and cheap-plastic front panel (the receiver remains attractive regardless of the panel, but still, really Denon? This panel is on even your expensive receivers!)
But again, this is a system for people who don't need extra frills, but want a well-built and good-sounding 5.1 system. And that's what this is. It really does sound fantastic.
My only final complaint is true for nearly all of Denon's receivers: the user interface and manual are both atrociously hard to understand. It took me an hour to deduce that I needed to reassign the optical input to the AUX source to enable the use of Neo 6 Music processing for that input. And I had other, smaller problems along the way as I tried to set up the system. But after awhile, I became acclimated to the system, and it sounded great, so no big deal.
18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2013
This is a very nice uncomplicated home theater receiver. It'll handle just about any chore required for the typical A/V center. I replaced an older Yokohama unit that finally died. I use it in a small den, so raw power wasn't a requirement, yet the AVR-1513 drives four Polk TL2 speakers and a 10" powered Polk woofer with ease. The quality of sound reproduction is first class, especially for an inexpensive receiver. Most of your controls are housed in the remote, providing a clean and uncluttered receiver panel. It took a bit of practice working out the optimum output settings for speakers...bass, treble, crossover, etc..., as the instruction manual leaves something to be desired in that respect. The setup is relatively intuitive for those having decent knowledge of A/V functions and basic controls. However, once set the sound system is now adjusted to perfection for my listening preferences and enjoyment. I might mention that the AM/FM tuner is the finest I've encountered over numerous other brands. It is extremely sensitive and stable and no fancy antenna arrays are necessary. I highly recommend the AVR-1513.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2013
Setup was easy. Have been using it in our family room with built-in surround speakers for about a month and everything works as desired. The Denon replaced an a brand new Onkyo that we could never get to work properly (returned it). Bottom line-very happy with the Denon.
21 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2012
This model was my first choice when I decided to a buy a new, entry-level receiver. Although it is quite basic, it has everything I need, and I hold the Denon brand in high regard. Unfortunately, this receiver could not maintain a reliable HDMI link with my other components and the TV. It would work for a minute and then the audio and video would drop, and the only "solution" was to turn the receiver off and on again. So, I had to return it and bought a Pioneer VSX-522-K instead. This new receiver does not support OSD (on-screen display) over HDMI, but, at least, it works like it's supposed to. Furthermore, the Denon made me think that "they don't make them like they used to". The plasticky front panel felt a little cheap, the volume knob had little weight, and the OSD, when it worked, looked very primitive. However, the HDMI problems that I experienced are not unheard of, so you may have better luck hooking up this receiver to your devices.
16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2013
After researching multiple Home Theater Receivers I selected this Denon AVR-1513 over an Onkyo 5.1 system. Onkyo had so many bad reviews reporting quality issues with the HDMI so I chose the Denon AVR-1513. I'M NOT PLEASED WITH MY DECISION TO BUY THE DENON AVR-1513. After spending much time attempting to set it up including phone calls to Denon tech support I learned that the Denon AVR-1513 does not allow me to get audio via the HDMI from my Sony Bravia TV. Tech support said I would have to use my old optical audio cable for sound. They also informed me that in addition to the HDMI not functioning as a true HDMI, that ARC was not possible on the AVR-1513. I wish I had known about these issues before buying it. I decided to suck it up and just get used to my old setup using optical audio. Another huge issue with this Denon AVR-1513 is that the volume level control is very non-responsive. By that I mean that when I press the volume up or down button on the remote there is no noticible change in the volume until it reaches a threshold then the sound increases exponentially. This is extremely aggravating and a huge annoyance. My old Pioneer home theater receiver was very responsive. I called Denon tech support, who told me it was designed that way and there was nothing I could do to adjust it to improve the volume response. He said that it was unique to Denon. His answer was "just turn up the volume past the threshold". If I did the neighbors would complain. I bought a Denon because I mistakenly thought it would produce quality sound at low volume as well as at high volume levels. I would definitely not buy another Denon if this is representative of their engineering capability. Why would a company intentionally design the volume control to be non-responsive and annoying to the end user. I also asked if a firmware update would remedy the HDMI or volume issues and was told that the Denon AVR-1513 does not allow me to upload firmware updates; it requires me to send it back to Denon or to an authorized Denon repair station to update the firmware, and at what cost?? My goal in replacing my Pioneer was to improve my entertainment experience by buying a receiver, which would incorporate improved technology over my 10-year-old Pioneer. In my opinion and experience so far Denon did not deliver.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2014
Had 2 Onkyo 5.1 receivers very similar to Denon. Both onkyos(same model) would completely shut down when switching HDMI inputs. Replaced all HDMI cables, etc.(I am a professional A/V installer). Replaced with this Denon and it worked perfectly, needless to say I was very pleased. I did contact Onkyo and they could not assist me besides telling me to replace the unit which I did try. Denon is nicely laid out and simple for the user to select their device.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2015
This is my first surround sound reciever, but I've always been big into audio growing up, so I guess you could say I am a noobie audiophile.
Down to business, my first impression of this reciever I was just blown away, the sound this little beast can push out is suburb. I watched godlizza in bluray, and WOW. I'll just leave it at that. it has every thing I need as well. Of course it may seem nice to have all the newest and top fratures, bluetooth, 10 hdmi ports, networking capabilities, calibration mic.. and so on. But if you know even the least about adjusting, playing with equalizers and tuning, then it's no sweat.
I got this for a steal, refurbished from amazon warehouse deals, for $130. Packaging was very neat, came with remote, antenna and reciever, I could not find a single scratch on anything looked new from the factory, but this is a discontinued item, if you get it refurbished one you're taking a bit of a chance if it's in good condition or not. But that's why I honestly always try to buy straight from amazon, or atleast their warehouse deals.
Setup was very easy, you'll have to play with the menus a bit to figure it all out unless you've used similar recievers then it would probably be fimilar, but after a day or two of using it I had it all dowm. You can adjust everything from the crossover levels of your front, center, surround, and subwoofer, the distance of every individual speaker, the size of all speakers, for small or large. And the db of every individual channel. d comp is also a nice little feature I suppose, basically you use it at night so when you're watching an action movie and that overwhelmingly loud fight scene comes on it will even out the sound, and you can adjust the -db for that to whatever you want to set it when you turn it on. I've ran it probably for about 12 hours at medium-high levels, and it just gets warm, hasn't gotten hot with me using it at all.
The remote has a pretty good feel to it, nothing too special but it works good. everything is there to adjust it down to the T. One gripe is that all of your setting have to be done through the remote, you can't adjust anything from the front of the reciever.
I have everything running through the hdmi ports, cable, xbox, and Blu-Ray player. What's very nice is the menu overlay on the screen, so you don't have to squint at the reciever to adjust everything.
This is a bit of a irritation though, when using the hdmi passthrough with the xbox 360, the menu doesn't overlay the image through the xbox, the screen goes black, and then the menu comes up, I'm not sure why it's like this, and it only does that with the xbox, it works fine with cable and Blu-ray. But it's not a deal breaker for me at all. I haven't had any problems with the hdmi passthroughs either, they all work flawlessly.
So to sum all this up I love it, very well worth the investment. Just pair it up with some good speakers, and a nice subwoofer and you'll be set. you have to remember that's where all your sound is coming from.
Hope this helped everyone out who is interested in this unit, I say if all you're wanting is a smiple setup, and true 5.1 surround sound, at a very good price. Then go with this. I'll definitely be going back to denon in the future.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2012
The one thing that I didn't notice about this unit before buying is that it doesn't support HDMI ARC. Had I known that I wouldn't have bought it. Also, it can be a little flaky when changing inputs to a device that's asleep. It doesn't seem to wake up the device and you have to manually wake it before you switch the channel back or you won't get the video and you have to switch it back.
Overall, for the price this is a good Denon unit.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2013
I purchased this to replace a dead Onkyo receiver. The onkyo had a few more bells and whistles, but I am not an audiophile and all I care about is getting audio that sounds better than what comes out of my TV so this was all I needed.
The old Onkyo was a package deal that came with a receiver plus 7 speakers and a sub. I reused the sub and speakers with this receiver.
The only thing I have hooked up to the receiver is an Xbox. I use that for games, Netflix and also for streaming music and movies from my PC to my TV.
Cost - I did not expect to find a receiver from a quality name brand such as Denon at this price point. I purchased this at Best Buy where it was on sale for $199. I consider this a great deal.
Simplicity - it has three HDMI inputs on the back. It also has a couple stereo inputs. For my purposes, everything I have connects by HDMI so it's nice to have a back panel that's not cluttered with too many superfluous inputs like component video. It makes setup easy.
Front HDMI port - this is really nice if you want to plug something in temporarily. With all the smartphones and cameras that can output HDMI these days, it's nice to be able to hook them up without having to fuss with plugging them into the side of a TV that might not be easily accessible, or worse, having to reach around behind the receiver to find an open HDMI port.
OSD - It works, but it's a bit basic. It can also be difficult to see because it's just projected as text over whatever image happens to be on the TV. It would be much easier to read if they put some kind of semi-opaque background behind the text so it stands out a bit better.
Only 5.1 - 7.1 is nice, but I didn't really care about it because I only had 5 speakers setup anyway. If you care about 7.1 then this receiver probably isn't a good fit for you.
Limited inputs - Above I praised this receiver for using HDMI as it's only HD video input type. That's great for most folks that have newer components, but if you have an older device that uses component video you'll have to upgrade it or buy a receiver with component inputs.
Overall I am satisfied with this receiver and I would recommend it to a friend if they were looking for a basic surround sound receiver for watching movies, playing games or listening to music.