First DSX Receiver Arrives from Denon
In addition, all of Denon's new receivers will include height-enhanced Dolby Pro Logic IIz.
The announcement came yesterday at a Denon line show. It follows Onkyo's debut of the first receiver with Dolby Pro Logic IIz by a few months.
DSX adds width and height channels to the standard 5.1-channel surround array. Both are 45 degrees off-center; the height channels are also 45 degrees upward. Audyssey says its research shows listeners are most likely to appreciate the addition of width, followed by the addition of height, followed by the addition of back-surrounds.
In a comical note, Denon said 75 to 80 percent of listeners with 7.1-channel receivers don't bother to connect back-surrounds, which indicates that 75 to 80 percent of listeners are very sensible.
The AVR-4310CI has seven amp channels, so users will have the choice of activating only one of the following: the width channels, the heights, or the back-surrounds. What about 9.1-channel models with enough amps to support two out of three, say both width and height? Maybe before CEDIA, said Jeff Talmadge, Denon's ace director of product development (pictured). Since the new bunch doesn't include a model above the $2000 mark, we're guessing that may be where 9.1 amplification emerges.
The AVR-4310CI, shipping this month at $1999, is one of nine new Denon receivers with pricing down to $349 for the AVR-590. All have onboard lossless surround decoding and HDMI repeaters. As an alternative to jitter-prone HDMI audio signals, Denon Link 4 has the receiver take over the clocking function from the player (both must have the proprietary connection to work). Anchor Bay video processing with improved cadence detection has replaced the Faroudja used in previous models. All are shipping between now and July.
Denon's two new Blu-ray players include the DBP-2020CI ($699) and DBP-1610CI ($499). Both are BD Live compatible, though on the pricey side compared to other major brands on the market. They join the existing DVD-A1 BD/SACD/DVD player ($4500).
Denon noted that this year is its 99th anniversary, portending a big celebration next year with the centenary. With the disappearance of retailers big (Circuit City) and small, the company is redoubling its efforts to support remaining dealers. For the first time, it expects to sell more receivers via e-commerce than through brick-and mortar stores this year.