254 of 274 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2011
For the first two weeks I thought the Denon AVR3312ci was a great upgrade from my 3 year old Marantz SR7002. Sound quality was very good and the extra power was impressive. The speaker setup (Mythos One mains, Mythos Eight center, Supercube II sub, Mythos Four surrounds, and Mythos Six rears) went well but the manual is very confusing when it comes to manually selecting different sound schemes (e.g. Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD(tm) Master Audio, Dolby® Digital Plus, DTS-HD(tm) High Resolution Audio,etc.) Whoever designed the remote needs a remedial class in basic principals of "user friendly" design.
Two days ago I connected the AVR3312ci to a Linksys bridge to enable connection to my home wireless network. That process went very well. Yesterday the receiver started a 40 minute firmware update which, at first, seemed to go well. Video quality immediately after the firmware update was noticeably impaired. Within hours after that the output for both sound and video went completely out. A quick chat with Denon C/S this morning told me the receiver needed repair. Since I live 3 hours from the nearest Denon repair center, it was shipped today to a supercenter repair facility at a cost of $24.
Not sure how many others are having problems with their new $1099 receiver/paperweights but I must say I am really disappointed. It took two hours to pull out the AVR3312ci, put back in the Marantz SR7002 into my HT setup, pack up the AVR-3312ci and get it to FedEx for shipment. I'll update this review as I get more info on what the repair center finds. Right now I can only give it two stars. I can only hope it comes back from repair and works without additional problems!
UPDATE: The Service Center in So Cal did return the "repaired" receiver within 10 days. They did a firmware update checked the output and that was it. After two weeks the same problems returned. Sound would randomly drop out and HD picture quality went horrible after 10-30 minutes of watching when the receiver had warmed up - lots of high contrast ghosts/artifacts that could not be fixed with contrast or any other picture adjustments. Tried turning off HDMI Control function on both TV and receiver per Denon Support to no avail. Additional problems with function of specific remote buttons. If I plug the HDMI directly from the Cable Box or the BluRay player into the TV there are no picture or sound quality problems so I know the problem is within the receiver.
The receiver is back on it's way to Denon's So Cal Service Supercenter (I'm out another $25 in shipping) with a case opened at Denon USA on the problems I'm having. At this point I would say avoid any new Denon receiver. The quality of the product and the quality of support from Denon USA just isn't there.....
SECOND UPDATE: At the repair center for the second time the remote was repaired/replaced, the internal HDMI video board was replaced and the firmware was updated yet again. Returned within 2 weeks from my shipping date. Now, four months later, I can report that the unit has been working just fine. I've very satisfied with the current video and sound quality. But what a hassle to go through to get a new unit to work properly! Starting in December I've been getting another message from the receiver to do a firmware update but frankly I'm now too scared to do it!
LONG TERM UPDATE: Since the HDMI video board and remote control were was replaced I have not had any other issues. Getting great sound and am satisfied with my purchase. I have even successfully completed two firmware updates over the past year. IF YOU DO A FIRMWARE UPDATE YOU MUST USE A HARDWIRED ETHERNET CONNECTION TO THE INTERNET! DO NOT TRY TO USE A WIRELESS BRIDGE OR OTHER WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY TO DO A FIRMWARE UPDATE!!!
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2011
The rear panel of the AVR-3312 has a good layout, although the speaker terminals on top of each other make it more difficult than needed to get the speaker wire in place, especially when using thick high quality speaker cable, e.g. 2.5mm. Denon should take a leaf out of Onkyo's book about that. Assigning inputs is easy using a comprehensible table, but not all inputs are assignable to all devices, e.g. a Wii connected using component video should be hooked up to the DVR input because analog sound cannot be associated to GAME1/2.
Making the rear surround amp assignable is a very good idea, and that possibility should imho be extended to all but the front L/R amps. How great would it not be to have the possibility of a spouse-friendly front height and wide setup with no rear speakers?
SETUP and PERFORMANCE
Setting up the speakers/amps can be somewhat confusing, with parameters such as Large/Small speaker, LFE / LFE+Main and crossover frequencies all influencing which of the low frequencies are played through either the speakers and/or the subwoofer. Merely going through the setup wizard does not result in the best configuration, be prepared to spend some time getting familiar with the parameters.
After tweaking the system does sound great, there is not a hint of distortion even at loud playback levels. This is a fairly neutral sounding amp, which has my preference over a warmer sounding receiver such as e.g. Yamaha.
The AVR xx12 series are truly "receivers", no matter what media your songs are on (NAS, iPod, Phone, USB stick, cloud, ...) the Denon will fetch and play them. 192/24 FLAC support is a nice feature, although I don't like the way songs in general are displayed on the TV screen with text way too big and artwork too small. As if anyone with a new Denon 7.1 receiver would still hook it up to an old CRT television instead of a LED or plasma HDTV...
There were some issues with Airplay being sluggish, but iOS 5 seems to have resolved it, meaning the problem was on the Apple device end to begin with.
I like that the AVR-3312 remembers the last used DSP mode not only per source, but also per type of signal (PCM, DTS, ...). This is especially handy when using a computer like a Mac Mini as source, so height or wide speakers are automatically turned off for music (stereo) and on for video (Audyssey DSX).
The remote looks and feels like something that would come with a 50$ stereo from the 80's, not what one would expect for a 1000$ state of the art receiver... come on, Denon. Controlling the receiver with it feels snappy and range is okay but not great from angles.
Overall I'm pleased with the Denon. This is a great sounding amp packed with features.
EDIT: upgraded rating by one star now the Airplay issues are gone with iOS 5 installed on my iPhone and iPad.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2011
The Denon AVR-3312 CI is well worth the money. I'm pleased with the sound quality and features offered with the receiver. I tested the audio on my current small speakers that took from my Logitech Speaker System Z906 (67W Satellites). I was able to hear a great deal more detail to all the music, movies, and streamed music than I had before on my older Onkyo 7.1 system using the same speaker setup.
The Airplay Iphone Denon app was fun to use on the receiver. The only Con is if your music is in a deep file directory on your Iphone it does cause the app to freeze. The speaker configuration was a piece of cake with the help of Audyssey MultEQ Room Equalization. The Onscreen menu display was strait to the point and easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye.
Updating the firmware was easy as letting it check for updates. Once you click yes, it downloads the update and applies automatically rebooting the receiver and displaying the download percent and estimated time of update.
I was amazed by how easy finding online steaming stations where with the receiver. You'll have more than enough of a selection. Don't forget that it tunes in HD, FM, and AM radio. No need for a HD external tuner cost.
You are able to control the receiver via a web browser the options are not bad.
Watching blue-ray movies and playing PS31080P games looked great on my LED TV no issues with video response or refresh.
Over all it comes down to it being easy to use and great sound response. I was pleased with my purchase and can't wait to get some hi performance speakers to match the receiver.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2012
I'm the type of person who puts 160,000 miles on a new car before thinking of replacing it. So I don't upgrade stuff that often. With receivers, this new Denon replaced a Sony STR-DA555ES from 1999.
Setup took about 30 min, including wiring all the speakers. Ran the speaker calibration with the wizard and started to play a movie. The unit performed flawlessly. Wife commented that the sounds were awesome, so this thing gets a WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) of 10. She was initially bummed out that she couldn't use the built-in TV speakers (we have only DVI to the old HDTV, and I didn't want to run more cables). However, after hearing what a good job this thing does with sound imaging, she was a convert.
So guys, I highly recommend you consider this as a gift to your ladies for important days such as Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, or Kwanzaa.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2011
2 weeks ago purchased this from Best Buy at same price as amazon. It is BETTER THAN EXPECTED.The digital media interface is all the difference- using internet radio, my music collection, and Pandora. I added a WD Livebook Netwrk drive to house all my digital media, and all connect through the house wireless/ethernet netwrk. Setting the network settings got a little complicated when we added the IR/Rf remote and a IPOD touch to do remote control anywhere in the house, but all smooth now. I connect it to a second amp on the zone 3 preamp outs and have a total of 6 listening zones. They can't all be on different sources, but I can have 3 different sources going at once, and all have separate volume control through inline controllers on 3 of the zones.
Sound is great on movies, and on music- my main concern. interface is easy to use after a couple days, and the digital /internet based stuff is as good as your internet connection, i.e. the reciever doesn't have its own complexity or failures- it works flawlessly.
I replaced a previous denon w same power output and zone handling, it didnt have the netwrking. What a major upgrade in convenience and access. Pretty easy to access the features, but leave a few hours for setup.
If you are running a whole house, multizone system, this is a great choice if you access internet based or digital stored media a lot...I AM A VERY SATISFIED CUSTOMER
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2012
As a Goldbox feature the price is right--$50 cheaper than a refurb special. The 3313 just came out, and the upgrades are irrelevant to me in my setup so the clearance price of this receiver is hard to beat. The most important thing to note about this receiver is that it wants a hard line ethernet connection for its firmware updates. If you don't have that you might brick your receiver.
I went ahead and got a long piece of Cat6 and ran it from my internet switch on a different floor from the receiver, and plugged it in directly for the initial firmware update, taking advice from users in this forum. Firmware update went without a hitch and then I unplugged the long cable and plugged the receiver into its home slot on the wireless ethernet bridge. Any future firmware updates will be handled in the same manner.
As for sound, I'm a longtime Marantz enthusiast and since now Marantz and Denon are for all practical purposes the same company, I figured I could get most of the sound of a 7005 in this unit, minus 5.1 analog inputs and a few other things I don't use. The cheapest refurb Marantz 7005 right now is still a thousand bucks, so to get functionally identical audio performance for just over half that is a screamin' deal.
I like the early efforts at home network integration here. I can play my whole iTunes library, which is, ahem, extensive, using the onscreen display. I have a large CD collection that if I someday get the energy I'll put them on my 2TB network drive via iTunes. For now, 200 of them are in an old Sony 200 CD carousel, fed to analog inputs on the AVR3312CI through my Number Cruncher DAC. It sounds slightly better in stereo than the onboard DAC of the receiver. Soon receivers at this price point will contain DACs that sound BETTER than most mid-priced outboard DACs.
Game performance: Steering of advanced game audio in Xbox 360 RPGs is just perfect. I'm hearing it through a 5.1 system that uses early 90s vintage KEF RDM2 speakers at all 4 corners and a Ref200 in the center, with a single RBH 1010 sub coming through a matching RBH sub amp. Pretty good stuff really, and it works very well on games. The bass management of the receiver really helps electronic explosions thump.
Movies: best sub-$600 receiver I've ever heard, and the ONLY one to correctly drive my sub. With cheaper HT receivers you get some rumbly bass sound, but not tight, well-managed bass. This one shines in this regard, doing at least as well as my old Marantz 8002 in bass management and that thing was a $1400 beast. So budget home theater enthusiasts rejoice--you can get better performance at a lower price point than ever before. I put in a couple of my favorite "difficult bass" movies to see how the receiver would handle them. On Master and Commander when Russell Crowe hollers "Let Fly!" and the cannons roar, this thing makes the twin aluminum woofers on the RBH fairly want to jump out of the cabinet, but the bass is still fast and accurate rather than a sea of mud, which is what lesser receivers have reduced that scene to in this same setup. 5.1 performance is exemplary and dialogue is especially good. The "night" modes are very good at keeping the transient loud parts down so you can watch after bedtime.
Music: I spoke somewhat about this before. Yes, you can play your collection of ALAC tunes off your massive network drive through this thing. But you are limited to its onboard DAC when you do it that way. I still find playing music through the Number Cruncher to be better defined, punchier, and all around better sounding than playing the same files through the Denon's onboard processing, though on many tracks I just can't tell the difference. On others the difference is striking, and I've never yet heard a file I preferred through the receiver's onboard chip. But once you get the music into the amp section it's great. It's not going to sound like you sprung for a MC275 and a pair of Quads but it does sound very very fine for a home theater system. I use it as my main music listening amplifier, running a pair of vintage Celestion SL600s on heavy stands upstairs in the living room on its Zone 2, using the last 2 channels of amplification for that. I do have a very husky Niles I might use for that, and use those last two onboard channels to biamp my stereo KEFs in the main room instead. Some say that gives you a real improvement in music listening from this receiver. I'll update if I give it a try.
This is my first Denon product and for a long time I considered them a step down brand in HT receivers but not now. This mid-priced offering gives you so much good sound for the buck I can't think of anything I'd rather put in my system. Sure if you're rich you can go for Arcam or B&K or one of those other wonderful hi-fi professional outfits that none of us here on planet middle class can afford.
This Denon, for the rest of us, gets us a long way there. I like it. I think you will too.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2012
I struggled for 2 weeks trying to get this thing setup right. Running Audyssey setup was simple enough, though I wanted to tweak the channel imbalances, and the rear channels were set too high relative to the fronts, probably because of my dipolar front speakers confusing the setup algorithm. After tweaking channel levels, I chose to bypass Audyssey on the front channels, as it sounded better without the "corrrection" applied. Then, everyday, it seemed my settings had been reset to the ones that Audyssey had arrived at. Very frustrating. I suspected that the firmware update that I was told was available might fix it. But the firmware update just said "Authenticating..." forever, and never took (and still hasn't -- they evidently have a very slow, distant, low-capacity server serving up those firmware updates).
Finally, I decided to reset the microprocessor (a simple enough step of turning the unit off and on again while holding some buttons down -- clear enough from the manual). I re-ran the Audyssey setup (it came up with better results, probably because I used microphone locations which were all fairly close to the on-axis listening spot) -- still I wanted to bypass it for the front channels, and set the left/right front levels to be identical, and still needed to adjust the front/rear/sub balance to be right. Then the settings were retained, and all has been well since.
The sound of the unit is very good. Clear/clean sound is the hallmark of Denon. Onkyo's sound warmer/darker by comparison, Denon's cooler/brighter. My ears tell me that the Denon is the more accurate of the two. When fed native (or upsampled) content at 96KHz, the sounds is really really good. Interestingly, my Squeezebox feeding it internet radio sounds better than it's on-board internet radio capability -- not sure why, as it should be the other way around. Pandora works well on it, and is a joy to use.
My recommendations: do bypass audyssey for front L/R channels, do use Audyssey Dynamic EQ (a.k.a. advanced "loudness" control that adjusts per he volume level), do change the reference levels if using Audyssey EQ to reduce the amount of loudness control it applies (+10dB seems a good general setting), do NOT use Audyssey Dynamic Volume unless you like the sound of over-compressed music and "everything-the-same-volume" effect -- certainly don't use it for music, and even for theater/tv it seems annoying to me.
Bottom line: don't bother to do anything without first resetting the microprocessor. Then set it up, tweak your settings, and double check them a couple of days later, to make sure they "stuck". After that, enjoy the really good sound and feature set of this receiver.
Oh, and the web GUI is kinda cool too -- you can change settings and source and such from your web browser. Too bad it's menu is also weirdly laid out and klunky -- but it beats nothing, and after a few days, you get used to it (though it still won't make a lot of sense).
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2011
Finally after 10 1/2 years of my great Denon AVR3801, it was time to upgrade to new tech! I went with the Denon AVR 3312CI, and am absolutely blown away. Plenty of power, and every type of decoding you can imagine. Denon continues its amazing build quality, and design as usual. I have not run into any problems whatsoever, and it has been nothing short of amazing in quality with everything I throw at it. The only weakness has nothing to do with the receiver itself, it's the manual. It is very vague in how it lays things out, and describes how to do everything. If you are having a problem, it's only because the darn manual doesn't clearly explain things from time to time. Go search batpigworld and it will go over all in detail aka (plain clear english), and overview on how to set up the receiver if you have any problems. To end things I'll just say this...It's one hell of a piece of hardware, and there isn't any receiver on the market from $800-$1800 that can touch this performance, and quality. Love it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2011
It has been about 10 years since my last receiver (Denon 3802). I am very pleased with the 3312. The setup was a cinch and the sound is great. In addition to doing the things you expect a receiver to do, there are loads of nice features like internet radio and connecting to iTunes on my PC. I spent a lot of timing debating if it was overkill for my needs, but I am glad I went with it. The ease of networking is a big plus and I use it more than I expected.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2012
We recently purchased this receiver for our great room, connected it to a series of Bowers & Wilkins 600 series bookshelf speakers, and I am AMAZED at the audio quality and depth of sound that this receiver offers!
We have the sound set up in a 7.1 configuration, using the receiver's front, surround, rear surround speaker ports, and one subwoofer, a Definitive "Power Cube". I used the built-in Audyssey callibration tool and supplied microphone to gauge the location and level of my speakers-- it was so simple to use, and the end-result was breath-taking. I suggest using a tri-pod for the microphone like the instructions suggest, so that you can adjust it to various ear-levels during the callibration process for various "seating locations" in the room. The Audyssey callibration cycles through each channel for each sitting position, so, standing there holding the microphone in your hands could hinder the callibration process.
I used a DTS-HD Blu-Ray disc to sample the callibration results, and sounds I didn't realize were in the movie (even after watching it on our old 5.1 system) came popping out from every corner of the room. At one point, I thought my cats were fighting in the next room, but it was coming from the speakers!
We connected a CAT6 wired network cable running from the router to check for and download any firmware upgrades. There was a substantial one, but the whole process was done in less than 13 minutes. Very simple.
The built-in Internet Radio feature allowed access to hundreds of stations I didn't know existed. The interface is a bit clunky, but there's a "Favorites" feature that allows you to save stations for easier access the next time you activate Internet Radio on the Denon AVR3312CI. It was as easy as connecting the receiver to the internet and opening this feature's menu on the GUI that appears on our television--- instant access to almost endless channels of streaming internet music in practically every genre. I was both pleased and impressed.
I agree with some people that felt the design of the remote control unit could have used more attention, and in my opinion, some of the steps to access various features on the GUI could have been a little easier to navigate, but for all of the features packed into this receiver, I can understand why it's so complex, it offers a LOT!
This receiver was easily one of the best home entertainment investments we've made in a while. Even my husband, the less tech-savvy of the two of us, is impressed, and that's saying a lot considering I'm usually the "big audiophile" in the house. The first words out of his mouth after I called him to listen to the sound were, "Worth every penny." That works for me!