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Topic # 30631 16-Feb-2009 10:26
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I have been considering updating my HT Receiver to obtain the goodness of the new HD sound formats and get proper 1080p functionality that my current receiver doesn't do.  I have already looked at Yamaha, Pioneer and Onkyo boxes.
My question is to do with the two Denon models featured in the topic title.

From what I can tell the only thing that separates the 789 from the 1909 is the retailer that is marketing them.  The 789 is an international 'big chain model' and sold here exclusively by Harvey Norman.  The 1909 is the 'specialist' retailer model and as such is available from proper AV stores.

Just looking at the specs I don't see any difference.  Can anyone who has experience with, or has purchased, one of these new models
a.    comment on any differences,
b.    comment on how good a HT Receiver they are.

My HT setup is modest so power output isn't a huge concern.  I believe 90W will be more than sufficient.




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  Reply # 196118 16-Feb-2009 18:39
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You are correct, the only difference is the marketing aspect. I have recently purchased a AVR-789 and I am in the process of hooking it up to my HT set-up. I am just waiting on 2 HDMI cables to arrive in the next few days so I can finish connecting everything.

There is a very good thread on the 1909/789 here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1050097

I suggest you have a look at that as it explains a lot of the features etc and it rewally helped me make up my mind to purchase this receiver over others that I was looking at.

I personally think that 90W is more than enough output as well.

Once I have it hooked up I will let you know what my impressions are of the unit.








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  Reply # 196249 17-Feb-2009 12:17
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Thanks for the link.

When you get it operating I would be interested to know if the 789 does hdmi pass-through when in standby mode.  The thread you quoted sort of suggested it but I can't find any reference to it in owner's manual.

I look forward to hearing what you think of it.  If you don't want to post it publicly, I would appreciate a PM.




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  Reply # 196260 17-Feb-2009 12:56
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I'm sure you've covered it but just thought I'd mention the Onkyo again for similar price.  576 is basic model but can work with decoded HD audio via lpcm over hdmi (so good match for PS3 for instance), and 606 is more fully featured receiver with HD decoding and propoer switching and all on board.  Denon 1909 was around $1000 from memory vs 576 $700 and 606 $1200 I think.  Just thought I'd mention it.



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  Reply # 196278 17-Feb-2009 13:48
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Jaxson: I'm sure you've covered it but just thought I'd mention the Onkyo again for similar price.  576 is basic model but can work with decoded HD audio via lpcm over hdmi (so good match for PS3 for instance), and 606 is more fully featured receiver with HD decoding and propoer switching and all on board.  Denon 1909 was around $1000 from memory vs 576 $700 and 606 $1200 I think.  Just thought I'd mention it.


I don't know much about Onkyo, they do seem good value at the moment.  Do the Onkyos have discrete on and off IR codes?  It didn't look like it when I examined the remote (and the salesperson at HN didn't know).  My equipment is in a cupboard and I use a programmable remote so separate codes for on and off (Yamaha and Denon) is preferrable.  It is a frustrating function of my current Pioneer Receiver (stby/on same code).




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  Reply # 196390 17-Feb-2009 21:33
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I purchased my 789 for $1360 at HN 3 weeks ago when they were having their audio sale, at which point the Onkyo 606 was selling for $1125 if I remember correctly. I primarily bought the 789 over the 606 as it features upscales non HDMI signals up to 1080P which is my Sky and standard DVD.

I received my HDMI cables today from RapalloAV so i will be hooking up my system probably tomorrow. Hopefully it wont be as difficult as most users overseas have made it out to be. I'm quite patient so I hope that will help haha.

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  Reply # 196465 18-Feb-2009 10:58
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Yeah Onkyo 606 does upscale, but only to 1080i not p.  576 doesn't do any of this and is mildly frustrating as it doesn't output anlogue inputs over hdmi, where as the 606 does.  576 seriously cheaper and ideal for me as I only have the one device (PS3) plugged into it.

Not sure if it applies to you, but Eastern Hifi have Denon 1908 for $999 I think it is at the mo?



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  Reply # 196526 18-Feb-2009 15:30
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Jaxson: Yeah Onkyo 606 does upscale, but only to 1080i not p.  576 doesn't do any of this and is mildly frustrating as it doesn't output anlogue inputs over hdmi, where as the 606 does.  576 seriously cheaper and ideal for me as I only have the one device (PS3) plugged into it.

Not sure if it applies to you, but Eastern Hifi have Denon 1908 for $999 I think it is at the mo?


No, you have to go to the 2808 in the 08 models to get the features I want (HD Audio etc) and that only has 2 hdmi ins.  I did get keen on a Sony 5300ES at one stage (6 hdmi !) but it just wasn't configurable enough for me i.e. things like the audio hierarchy always defaulting to hdmi - which is no good for MySkyHDi.  That's why I was looking at the Denon 1909/789 as that is the lowest model that meets my requirements.  They are currently around $1300-$1700 depending who you ask.

My sources are all hdmi so upconversion isn't a high priority, neither is upscaling 'cause the players do that.

Edit: Does the Onkyo 606 pass through 1080p?




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  Reply # 196534 18-Feb-2009 16:13
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Yeah even the 576 onkyo passes through 1080p no problem there. 
576 can't take any analogue, including component vid in, and output over hdmi.
Zone 2 capability

Not sure of any units that will do pass through whilst in standby like you said, I mean how would it know which one of the possible sources you wanted to pass through?

I went with 576 as PS3 can only decode HD audio itself and output the raw lpcm, so there's no need for me to have a receiver to do this as well.  Of course if I sell the PS3 and move to a standard bluray player that only bitstreams and doesn't decode the HD audio then I'm screwed.



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  Reply # 196592 18-Feb-2009 20:12
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Jaxson: Yeah even the 576 onkyo passes through 1080p no problem there. 
576 can't take any analogue, including component vid in, and output over hdmi.
Zone 2 capability

Not sure of any units that will do pass through whilst in standby like you said, I mean how would it know which one of the possible sources you wanted to pass through?

I went with 576 as PS3 can only decode HD audio itself and output the raw lpcm, so there's no need for me to have a receiver to do this as well.  Of course if I sell the PS3 and move to a standard bluray player that only bitstreams and doesn't decode the HD audio then I'm screwed.


Yes I was a little skeptical about the passthrough in standby so I may have misunderstood the thread comment.  However the Receiver draws 30W in a standby mode which made me wonder if it will passthrough an active hdmi link.  It definitely has a on/off switching capability via hdmi with the universal caveat that it is for equipment that is compatible with hdmi control.  Maybe I'll pop in to HN and see if they have one hooked up.  Ten minutes with the remote will probably yield more info than hours scanning the owner's manual.




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  Reply # 197074 21-Feb-2009 03:12
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Yes I was a little skeptical about the passthrough in standby so I may have misunderstood the thread comment.  However the Receiver draws 30W in a standby mode which made me wonder if it will passthrough an active hdmi link.  It definitely has a on/off switching capability via hdmi with the universal caveat that it is for equipment that is compatible with hdmi control.  Maybe I'll pop in to HN and see if they have one hooked up.  Ten minutes with the remote will probably yield more info than hours scanning the owner's manual.


i've just picked up some interest in all these receiver discussion and may prematurely get one myself!
anyway, read the very long forum linked at the beginning and it says this beast WILL do HDMI passthru in standby as long as the last hdmi channel selected prior to standby is the channel to be passed thru.

but the forum says it does not do 'volume overlay' - does the 789 not put analogue sound into the hdmi cable? if i am only using the ps3 as my all-in-1 thingy will that be a problem?

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  Reply # 197102 21-Feb-2009 13:27
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joker97:


Yes I was a little skeptical about the passthrough in standby so I may have misunderstood the thread comment.  However the Receiver draws 30W in a standby mode which made me wonder if it will passthrough an active hdmi link.  It definitely has a on/off switching capability via hdmi with the universal caveat that it is for equipment that is compatible with hdmi control.  Maybe I'll pop in to HN and see if they have one hooked up.  Ten minutes with the remote will probably yield more info than hours scanning the owner's manual.


i've just picked up some interest in all these receiver discussion and may prematurely get one myself!
anyway, read the very long forum linked at the beginning and it says this beast WILL do HDMI passthru in standby as long as the last hdmi channel selected prior to standby is the channel to be passed thru.

but the forum says it does not do 'volume overlay' - does the 789 not put analogue sound into the hdmi cable? if i am only using the ps3 as my all-in-1 thingy will that be a problem?

If it's anything like my 2308, this will just mean that when watching via HDMI, there is no volume display overlay.  The only way to tell the volume is  to look at the front display on the unit.  Also, the menus are only shown on a black screen, not overlaid on the current video.  Audio comes through OK though.



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  Reply # 197256 22-Feb-2009 12:44
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Well any salespeople I talked to were no use at all beyond offering that they didn't see how it could do pass thru.  So I guess it's up to MCONZ and his brand new toy to fill us in on the detail. 
I'm glad that someone else read the thread etc the same way I did, thanks Joker97.
Might have to do a visit to The Big E (Eastern HiFi) where they tend to know their product. Edit: Disregard going to Eastern HiFi, they don't stock this year's Denon range (no longer a Denon dealer) and are just running out last year's models.




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Reply # 197358 22-Feb-2009 21:17
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Well, I have finally set it all up last night and surprisingly it only took me around an hour, of which about 20 minutes was plugging in cables etc. I assigned the inputs for the BD and Sky pretty easily, and it definitely wasn't as difficult as others make it out to be. Patience is the key and it will then work out just fine I found.
The sound and picture quality is far better than I imagined and I haven't even played with the Audyssey EQ yet, but nonetheless, the sound quality is outstanding. Sky Digital looks much better too after being upscaled by the amp. It was rather fuzzy when plugged straight into the inputs on the tv, whereas now it is a crisp clear picture and I think it can still be improved as I am now only using their supplied Scart - RCA cable, but am going to upgrade to a Scart - Component

And yes, it does do HDMI pass through, which is setup in the HDMI control menu. So now I can put my amp on standby and still play BD/DVD's without resorting to the amp to provide the sound, so thats a good thing I guess for some people. But personally I will still use the Receiver for sound, which is why I purchased it after all.

Tomorrow night the girlfriend and I are going to sit and watch Wall-E on BD so then I will really know how great it is haha. I was hoping to do it tonight but she's at work and I promised her we'd watch it together.

So first impressions? Definitely very very good and once I figure out all the commands and tweaks etc, it can only get better.

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  Reply # 197375 22-Feb-2009 22:45
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how is the upscaling by the so-called 'farouja' software? would you care (if you have plenty of time, and have a decent camera! of course) to show us unscaled, and upscaled shot of some decent dvd eg pirates of caribbean - or just let us know what you think ... also what speakers and how did you decide which speakers set to buy? hmm sorry if a little off topic, but speakers are the only link between the unit and how it sounds!



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  Reply # 198017 25-Feb-2009 15:48
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MCONZ: Well, I have finally set it all up last night and surprisingly it only took me around an hour, of which about 20 minutes was plugging in cables etc. I assigned the inputs for the BD and Sky pretty easily, and it definitely wasn't as difficult as others make it out to be. Patience is the key and it will then work out just fine I found.
The sound and picture quality is far better than I imagined and I haven't even played with the Audyssey EQ yet, but nonetheless, the sound quality is outstanding. Sky Digital looks much better too after being upscaled by the amp. It was rather fuzzy when plugged straight into the inputs on the tv, whereas now it is a crisp clear picture and I think it can still be improved as I am now only using their supplied Scart - RCA cable, but am going to upgrade to a Scart - Component

And yes, it does do HDMI pass through, which is setup in the HDMI control menu. So now I can put my amp on standby and still play BD/DVD's without resorting to the amp to provide the sound, so thats a good thing I guess for some people. But personally I will still use the Receiver for sound, which is why I purchased it after all.

Tomorrow night the girlfriend and I are going to sit and watch Wall-E on BD so then I will really know how great it is haha. I was hoping to do it tonight but she's at work and I promised her we'd watch it together.

So first impressions? Definitely very very good and once I figure out all the commands and tweaks etc, it can only get better.


Thanks for your confirmation.  This Receiver is looking more and more like what I'm after, so I look forward to any future reports you can give on its performance/operation. 

The pass through is of use because I have an HDMI switch prior to the Receiver which has some sources that I really only need the TV speakers for.  So for simplicity if the Receiver is in standby the sources will still feed the TV.  But I do understand what you mean about using the quality sound if you have it.  Sometimes the Prologic processing just sounds wrong, but I guess in that case you just put it to stereo and you're no worse off than listening to the little TV speakers.
Incidentally, what speakers is it driving?




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