- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 23 November 2009
I tested the 3310 with various bookshelf speakers that I have on hand, and again, I want to make it clear that you should only use 8 ohm speakers with this receiver. There are plenty of them out there to choose from. One upgrade might be to purchase an outboard three-channel power amplifier to use with the three front channels. There are some very nice ones out there for not very much money, and this will allow the Denon to focus its power on the side and rear channels. I used a Velodyne subwoofer for the bass.
The source was an OPPO BDP-83 Blu-ray player connected to the 3310 via HDMI. Cables were Emotiva.
I ran the Audyssey room correction program, and got out some movies and music. Here is a photo of the included microphone that you use when running the Audyssey setup.
Disney/Pixar's latest animated release is UP, which uses 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The movie is delightful, and the 3310 did a remarkable job of delivering the power required by intense scenes. I used 8 ohm speakers, but they are not very efficient, so I had to crank the volume control to get the SPL I wanted, and there is a bit of brightness in the sound when it's cranked like this. The bench tests will show you why this occurs. So, not only should you use 8 ohm speakers with this receiver, you will need high efficiency as well (> 90 dB/w/m).
I imagine everyone loves Rocky and (nearly) all of the sequels. The Undisputed Collection has just been released in Blu-ray, so I watched all five with the 3310 setup. Of course, in all the fight scenes, the crowd noise is deafening (depending on your volume control setting). The 3310 didn't flinch an inch. From the crushing blows to the jaws, to the screaming of the fans, I didn't miss any of the audio action.
I have mentioned in numerous movie reviews the lack of using the surround channels. It really does infuriate me that I spent all this money on so many speakers and I hardly ever get the chance to hear them on the sides and rear. Fortunately, 7.1 is a different story. When a producer opts for the 7.1 soundtrack, all seven channels are used extensively.
Such is the case for The Punisher: War Zone. It not only uses all seven channels, well . . . take a look at the cover art. You can imagine what's going on in those seven channels. Again, the 3310 handled everything. Note that I set the speaker size to Small and the subwoofer crossover to 60 Hz. This is one way to make the receiver's amplifiers more efficient, as they are not delivering current-hungry low frequencies. You will be able to get more volume from the main speakers this way.
Now to music. I really enjoy high resolution surround sound music discs, and a company in Norway, called 2L, produces Blu-ray music discs using 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio at 24/96 sampling. The example shown below played on the OPPO through HDMI to the Denon receiver, and it worked perfectly. The sound at high resolution is simply astounding, and having it in surround format trumps stereo, regardless of the resolution.
Although SACD and DVD-A are having a tough time, Blu-ray may step in to save the day for those of us who want high resolution audio. The other alternative is such Internet sites as HD Tracks, which have high resolution music for download. The same music is available on conventional CDs, but high resolution discs were not produced. So, to get the high resolution versions, you simply pay for the download.
In keeping with the approaching holiday season, I put on a new SACD, also from 2L, with a Christmas choir. The combination of the high resolution of SACD and having the choir in surround sound made for very enjoyable listening.