I work for a custom a/v dealer and recently installed a Denon AVR 4310CI in my home. Thought you might like to see excerpts from the writeup I gave the owner.
This is the 5th AVR from 2 different manufacturers I have installed in my now 4 year old home. My room setup is far from ideal: 12 ft ceilings, hardwood floor (with a large rug and some cloth furniture), very open floor plan. The room containing the system is 18 wide x 26 deep but has a foyer and dining room separated by arches.
I have 7 ceiling mounted speakers and a floor sub. LCR are Sonance and the remainder are Klipsch. Until now I have connected them in the standard 7.1 arrangement: LCR, surround LR, and surround back LR. With the 4310 I used connected the surround back LR as surround A – LR. I connected the surround LR to the amp assign jacks and assigned them as “front wide”. I ran the Audyssey setup and allowed it to measure 8 positions, following the suggestions in the Audyssey site. I also enabled DSX through the amp.
Prior to installing the amp I had watched and recorded via DVR the HBO HD broadcast of Max Payne. Sounded great on the 3808. I watched several scenes on the 4310 and was amazed at the difference. As the DSX site mentions, now ALL of my speakers were engaged in the movie. The soundstage was indeed wider. Voices were more clear. I heard pieces of paper blowing across the screen I had not heard before. There is a scene during which Max runs through a building firing and being fired upon…..WOW. You could hear the shots and the hits with proper direction and depth. I’m not certain how to explain it except to say it was enveloping without being painful or distracting.
Last night we rented Watchmen on DVD (I loved comic books as a kid and love most of the movies now…Ironman, etc.) I will say this movie is the exception. BUT, the audio was awesome. I’m playing this on old technology – a Panasonic DMR-E80H. I don’t have a BluRay so I let the amp upscale to 1080i. It did a good job and I did not notice any artifacts. This movie is a little like Sin City…..graphic with a lot of bone crunching and head splitting. It has an aircraft in a lot of scenes. Again the sound was absolutely stunning. There is a thunderstorm in one scene, not at the forefront but as background noise. The thunder moved realistically between the various speakers including the very back ones (set up as surround A). Oddly, a real thunderstorm was approaching a little later and we could NOT tell the difference until we started to see the lightning.