Audio big gun Denon is looking to hit rivals where it hurts in 2012 with a range of feature-packed but performance-driven amps. One of these is the 5.1-channel Denon AVR-1713, which sits one step up from the entry level AVR-1513 and is the cheapest model in the range to feature network functionality (AirPlay, internet radio and DLNA). Competition is fierce in the midrange market, with the Yamaha RX-V473 and Onkyo TX-NR515 already dazzling us with impressive features and performance, so let’s find out what Denon can bring to the table.
Denon AVR-1713 Design
Cosmetically, the Denon AVR-1713 has received a subtle but effective refresh. The 2012 front panel is cleaner and less busy than last year’s range, with a lower button count and improved finish. All the buttons and front connections are clustered together in the centre below the wide display panel, which has also been improved – it spells out format names and other words in a less cryptic way. The buttons (which control source and radio presets, status and dimmer) are discreetly lined up along the bottom edge of the LED panel so you hardly notice them.
In the space below are a headphone jack, HDMI input, USB port and input for the auto setup microphone. These are flanked by large dials for input selection and volume. In terms of styling, it might not make your jaw drop (few AV receivers do) but its elegant, understated black finish and compact dimensions allow it to slip into your system with minimal fuss.
Denon AVR-1713 Connectivity
On the rear panel, the Denon AVR-1713 hosts a modest array of sockets, but one that’s commensurate with the price. There are four more HDMI inputs that support 3D passthrough, ARC and CEC, which covers the standard trio of Blu-ray deck, games console and TV receiver, leaving one for future expansion.
The lack of multichannel inputs, pre-outs or zone 2 outputs might make old-school audiophiles and multi-roomers look elsewhere, but you do get two sets of analogue stereo inputs and two digital audio inputs (one coaxial, one optical). Two composite video inputs and one output, a subwoofer pre-out, FM antenna input and Ethernet complete the line-up. This network connection is crucial to many of the Denon AVR-1713’s key features.