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.
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.
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.
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.
on July 20, 2015
Picked this up for $104, (plus shipping), refurbed and can't get over the quality to price ratio. Out of the box it looked nearly mint. It included the remote only which is a must as every setting must be made through the remote. This unit is replacing a Kenwood receiver I had for many years. While my Kenwood served me well there's no comparison in terms of sound quality. The Denon blows it away, (and my Kenwood had a separate multi-band graphic equalizer). Right now I'm using only two JBL tower speakers that I rebuilt about a year ago. I have the receiver set to "Virtual" surround sound for watching BlueRay/TV, and "Direct" for FM stations. The FM antenna input is coax, so I made an 6' jumper and stripped about 18" of it bare towards the top. It works well enough to pull in a few stations, (the built-in radio will not play static... it's all or nothing). Sounds incredible. The Denon on-line owner's manual was a huge help during set up and tweaking afterwards. I will be adding to this system little by little. My first time around I bought a Samsung home theater package... what a waste of money. Buying used/refurbed can be a great alternative if you're on a budget, but want quality components. Buy through Amazon and you can't go wrong.
Note: An earlier review mentioned not being able to get audio through HDMI on a Sony Bravia. The Bravia is a fairly common model and is what I own. Set up was a little tricky without having a manual right in front of me. But I was able to work it out, and I'm very impressed with the results so far.
on October 25, 2013
1. Stylish Look- The knob is a designed well and gives you satisfactory clicks when you operate the dial.
2. Inputs- I had the older Denon model before this one and I can say that having the HDMI port in the front has been a great great help and good design thought. The back is well marked and easy to operate. Only clip-ons, no banana plugs though.
1. Interface, only a small part but the interface is not as beautiful as the whole package. I have a HDTV and the interface being lower quality and rather large is a little sore on the eyes.
2. Setup: easy, but doesn't have a lot of calibration settings
on March 25, 2015
After having this unit for a few days I can say it is a great product for the price. I love my sound, I enjoying movies/tv/music much much more when the sound quality is good but I'm far from an audiophile who needs the latest greatest sound processor and speaker setup. I had a Sony receiver with Sony surrounds and sub but the receiver finally died after about 13 years. Wanted a replacement that wouldn't break the bank and this one was it. Setup was simple, took a little tweaking in the settings to get optimal sound, but so far I'm very happy. Been using for streaming video, tv, Pandora, and Xbox with no issues. (One thing to note is that it appeared to have free shipping direct from the seller as opposed to a charge through Amazon. No big deal as I like how Amazon handles transactions.)