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Denon AVR-591 5.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver with HDMI 1.4a (Black)
- 5.1-channel home theater receiver/amplifier with 375 watts of total power (5 x 75W)
- 3D-enabled HDMI pass-through technology (HDMI 1.4a); all sources are up-converted to HDMI
- High-definition audio support--Dolby TruHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and Dolby Pro Logic IIz for front height effects channels
- Audyssey MultEQ dynamic room acoustic correction system with included microphone
- Measures 17-3/32 x 6-47/64 x 15 inches (WxHxD); weighs 20 pounds, 4.5 ounces
Performance, technology and affordability are the hallmarks of the AVR-591. A powerful 5 channel x 75W amplifier section delivers detail and dynamics to music and movie soundtracks. It’s equipped with HDMI 1.4a Repeating technology, compatible with 1080p (24fps) and 3D (all formats) allowing delivery of both audio and video to your HDTV with single HDMI cable. HDMI connectivity supports the latest generation surround sound formats available on Blu-ray disc, including Dolby TrueHD and DD+, dts-HD and dts-HR. Also included is Dolby Laboratories new Pro Logic IIz Matrix decoding featuring front height effects channels to dramatically increase the front soundstage for the ultimate surround sound experience. The AVR-591 boasts a number of Audyssey technologies. Advanced Audyssey MultEQ analyzes a speaker systems interaction with the listening room at up to six measurement points (microphone included), and then automatically corrects the response to optimize clarity and tonal balance. Audyssey Dynamic Volume is an automatic volume-leveling system that tracks audio dynamics to eliminate the irritating volume swings between TV shows and commercials. Audyssey Dynamic EQ is also on board to ensure rich bass and smooth tonal balance at low volume listening levels. In addition to enhanced HDMI 1.4a repeating (4 in, 1 out), the AVR-591 features, analog to HDMI conversion (480i to 480p) and five analog inputs. A front-panel audio/video input allows quick and easy connection of camcorders and game systems. System setup is simplified by a new, enhanced icon-based on-screen display that is delivered over HDMI. You can also connect and control your iPod/touch or iPhone using one of Denon’s available iPod/iPhone docks, which provides on-screen artist, album and song information. When connecting iPod and other MP3 players, the AVR-591 features Denon’s exclusive Compressed Audio Restorer to improve sound quality and dynamics.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I also appreciate the analog-to-digital video conversion (the kid's composite-video Click Start game is converted to HDMI) as it allows me to leave the TV on one input and never need to change it; this also makes the system simpler and more predictable.
The Denon configuration menus are relatively easy to use though I do have to keep the manual around to help me find some of the 'advanced' settings. You are required to run their Audessey speaker-test before you can adjust a lot of things, e.g. speaker levels (the center speaker needs to be louder), or 'Night Mode' volume compression.
The one problem I've had is that I sometimes lose the audio signal/sync, e.g. when I pause my Tivo S3. Switching to/from another input or program always fixes it, though, so I'm only knocking 1 'star' off my score for the unit: I give it 4 Stars.
- HDMI on-screen Audyssey eq and assignment functions. This helps a lot because the small screen on the unit won't suffice. Using the same technology as the Alpine imprint system (which works great in the car), you can tune to your environment. Not unique, but well done all the same
- HDMI repeater for all inputs. This is a pro and con, read more to find out why.
- HDMI 1.4 for future 3D capability. Plan for that future 3D screen (Especially good if you already own a PS3)
- Denon reputation and audio quality compared to similar priced Pioneer/Sony units
- Price, very reasonable for the feature set
- Power rated at 6 ohms, which, as you might expect means that it doesn't have quite the juice of its rivals (70w/channel at 8ohm). I definitely notice the lack of power with many inputs more than my previous Sony unit
- HDMI repeater is not particularly good with component inputs. Using the component inputs on the Wii, direct connection to the TV is vastly superior visually to the HDMI conversion the Denon performs
- Relatively steep learning curve. You will find a little frustration with some of the advanced functions as the manual is a bit tedious. This is par for the course though, so nothing specific to Denon.
The Denon AVR 591 is a great receiver/switcher for a home theater system arrayed within a relatively small listening/viewing area and one that uses smaller less power-hungry speakers. However, due to the relatively low power output of this nonetheless very high quality receiver I would not personally suggest using it with large power sucking speakers and would further suggest it is best suited for a listening/viewing distance of no more than about 10-12 feet, otherwise you will find a volume setting of 90% of max is often needed to get decent sound out of a 5.1 home theater system. We use the Denon AVR 591 with smaller and very efficient and high-quality 8 ohm NHT bookshelf speakers and that works great in our small condo living room. Also be aware that while the Denon AVR 591 is advertised on the box and in newpaper ads by the big-box retail sellers as providing 120 watts of power per channel with a five speaker system, this power rating is misleading because it's the power output only when 4 ohm speakers are used and not the 8 ohm speakers that most of us actually use in real life. It actually only provides 75 watts per channel with a five-channel speaker setup using 8 ohm speakers, and that is how Denon rates the AVR 591 power output on their website vs the 4-6 ohm speaker power rating of 600 total watts (120 watts per channel) used by retail advertisers (although Denon strangely uses the 600 watt number on the shipping box for the AVR 591 vs the more standard 75 watt per channel specification number for 8 ohm speakers that they show on their website). If it were not for this strange and very misleading power output specification I would have given this hig-quality and feature-rich Denon product a five-star rating.
A few words of caution that are not necessarily a fault of the receiver but can affect your overall experience:
1. Lip sync was a problem at first. There is an option to automatically handle it with the TV, but apparently my TV does not have this feature. I had to manually delay the audio about 40 ms to get it right (and it drove me crazy until I finally got the right delay).
2. I use the rocketfish wireless surround kit for the rear speakers. There is a delay inherent to that product, and after running Audyssey I had to manually change the distance to the rear speakers - due to the delay it calculated they were 28 feet away, instead of about 8. Easy fix, however just make sure you double-check.
3. I started playing with the surround features while playing Xbox360, and noticed it stopped outputting Dolby 5.1 and was only recognizing 2 channels of input. After driving myself crazy trying to fix it through the menu options (which are not always intuitive), I went into the Xbox settings and de-selected Dolby Digital, then re-selected it. This fixed it but again, other Xbox users take note. It took me days to figure it out and completely by accident.
4. After running Audyssey the subwoofer was way too loud, at least for an apartment. Easy fix, just turned the sub down.
Overall I recommend this product, and suggest that once you do the initial setup don't fiddle with it!