Denon AVR-2311 AV-receiver

The most recent in a long line of Denon winners, this model is more an evolution of the heavy hitting 2310. Having said that, the predecessor had a lot going for it, including an exciting and fast-paced sound, along with a feature list that had much of the competition whimpering inside their various corners.

At the center of the AVR-2311 you get exactly the same center processing chipset and station amplification offering a very respectable 135W into 6omega, on paper at least. It's completely kitted out with all the latest HD audio decoding, and guarantees 1080p pictures from nearly every source. Upgrades, tweaks and the changes of last year's model are subtle, but bring the layout more up so far.

The HDMI in and outs are now v1.4a specification, although the selection of six inputs and a single output on the 2311 would have been better configured five/two in my opinion. They provide Sound Return Channel from your TV in the event you want to amplify Jeremy Kyle in the morning and are 3DTV compatible for switching. The new video scaling engine relies around Anchor Bay's fourth-generation chipset and its own five-field motion-adaptive processing. It's not ABT's top-spec chipset, but nonetheless, it definitely packages in a lot of the good stuff.

The rear panel is comprehensively equipped making the 2311 a natural step up from the rather frugal 1911 for those with plenty of sources. The multichannel output signal package comes with double sub output signals and, with Dolby Pro-Logic IIz on board, there's an extra pair of speaker terminals for front height channels. It is a 7-channel amplifier, nevertheless, so you have to choose between rear-back or height loudspeakers - a subject that always begins a bun fight in the HCC office.

On the missing list are four significant connections, yet. The first is that the MM phono input signal has gone from the prior model, which will be no big matter. More seriously, there aren't any multichannel inputs for all those of us who own multichannel SACD players; there's only just one USB terminal on the front panel, not hide nor hair of an Ethernet connection. On a machine costing this much, I'd have believed the latter was damn close compulsory these days , not only for streaming internet radio, and NAS-established media, but in addition for firmware upgrades.

In a comeback that would have George Foreman nodding sympathetically, however, the leading USB input could be connected to iPhone or an iPod . Most docks or USB-based Apple connectors allow player or the phone to convert the digital files to analogue music (through arguably the worst DACs in the world - Apple) before going to your own amp.

The AVR-2311 interrogates streams a PCM digital signal and the inner functioning of these devices in the apparatus to its onboard decoders. Load your iPod up with high- lossless music or bitrate and you have got yourself a high-end music server that is very wonderful.

Cosmetically, the AVR-2311 is about six. Not awful but like many sixes and, rather plain, looks a whole lot better after having a bottle. I was no great enthusiast of the last generation's throw-through remote control either, with its buttons on either side, therefore i welcome the return of a single-sided remote. Interestingly, the device's bottom two buttons are labelled Slumber and Party. Now that's my kind of gadget.

Powered up, the Denon's GUI additionally dozens about six out of 10. It truly is considerably improved from some of the black text menu systems that are old, but equally it falls shy of the great thing about the brand's total phat picture GUIs. It comprises menus with a few colour and a few line drawings, basically. However, it's simple enough to navigate without referring to the manual and it offers Audyssey auto-set up having a mic supplied. The conclusion of the set up asks you in case you want to default to Audyssey Dynamic Volume or Dynamic EQ then away you go before saving the set up.

The Audyssey MultEQ room EQ system defaults to 'on' and did a decent job of balancing my room about the very first run. While experimenting with a full-range speaker system with no subs during this test, I dived into the manual EQ settings. I used to be pleasantly surprised to find you can copy within the Audyssey curves that are measured and after that tweak each band on each channel with that point: quite useful and extremely flexible really. Also, I take off my hat for including a fairly comprehensive video adapt menu, in case you would like to incorporate a bit more punch to your own image.

Sound quality is another place updated over the old 2310. Actually, said ears clarified some of the finer points of the new version over lunch when the review sample arrived.

And it doesn't take long to hear the differences: the opening sequence of Star Trek (2009) blistered into the room with speed and detail aplenty. Upper frequencies with real sparkle and a heady mixture of bass guitar effects that are big make the 2311 an amp that wows from your outset.

As Captain George Kirk (Snr) ploughs the USS Kelvin into Nero's fearsome mining boat, while his wife gives birth in an escape space shuttle, the Denon does not hold back in delivering both the emotion and the action of the scene. It's a full-on delight ride charged with poignancy and, the scene cuts to a view from space as well as as the ships collide, the silence is destroying. The effect was only just a little dampened by a fairly apparent digital 'snapping' sound through the speakers as you raise and lower the volume. This was a characteristic of some of the most early AVRs to implement DSP-based digital volume controls. I am surprised although once you might have set the volume for movie watching you are not likely to hear it, needless to say Denon let this one slip through.

The dialogue is quite intense, especially a few of the scenes in the Vulcan academy with its surrounding, eminent halls. Footsteps echo using a realistic tone on hard floors and little details like rustling garments are delivered in detail. When Spock's dad sits beside his youthful son in detention after a fight and walks down the hallway, you can really feel every bit of the cool feeling. If anything, the AVR-2311 seems just a little overly clinical with this particular excellent detailing, etching these in the space to perfection, yet falling just a bit self-conscious of the natural smoothness necessary to make them actually believable.

Despite that, it definitely steps up the sonic pace from its forerunner and is a frisky performer which will thrill with large hit action movies. The AVR's articulate equilibrium is more comprehensive and energetic than the larger, more weighty sound of Denons but I'm not sure I completely dig the shift. Add to this the, honestly, peculiar dearth of networking features, and I locate the AVR-2311 a little desiring despite it being a better overall machine compared to much-beloved, old AVR-2310. I'm lost.

Denon AVR-2311 AV-receiver photo