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Today’s Show:

Denon AVR-2313CI and HSU Research VTF-3 MK4 Subwoofer

If you have been listening to the show for the last few weeks you probably know that Ara added some new gear to his home. In the family room he added a Denon AVR-2313CI 7.2 AVR ($600) and in the media room he added a HSU Research VTF-3 MK4 Subwoofer ($649). This episode gets into Ara’s impression of both products.

Denon AVR-2313CI 7.2 AVR

From Denon:

  • Seven discrete 105-watt channels of equal power for dynamic sound
  • 3D pass-through technology for watching the latest 3D movies
  • Advanced circuitry to convert all video signals to 4K
  • Networking functions to play Internet radio or digital music files
  • Wireless streaming of your iTunes music with Apple’s AirPlay technology
  • Audyssey MultEQ XT creates an optimal acoustic profile for your home theater
  • Play separate audio in two areas at once with multi-room capability
  • Six HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs to connect a variety of devices
  • Intuitive user interface with Setup Assistant and Denon Remote App

Build quality is first rate and looks great. But to be honest all AVRs has the same basic look. A couple of knobs, some buttons, and a flip down panel exposing even more buttons.

The 2313 set up was straightforward and the onscreen wizard will really help anyone who does not do this sort of thing very often. You pretty much connect everything up and follow the onscreen instruction.

The Audyssey calibration is just as easy and when its done Ara felt no reason to tweak it. It sounded fantastic! It will take a bit longer because it requires the mic to be placed in six different locations of the room. That may be the key for such a great job.

If you have a good TV turn the video processing off. The Denon does a decent job but we have learned that you really can’t expect much from mid-tier receivers in the way of video processing.

Full IP and RS-232 control which allows for this unit to be integrated into your home theater and automation packages. Ara had no issues using it with both the iRule and Roomie Controllers.

The receiver has Internet radio, Pandora, and Satellite Radio. Other than checking them out one we never really use them. Its easier to stream it from a mobile phone quite frankly.

What’s to like

  • First and foremost, the sound! It produces great sound.
  • Audyssey MultEQ XT, run the calibration then forget about it.
  • Remote App for Android and iOS, Airplay Integration.
  • IP control

What’s not to like

  • Video processing was not as good as the letting the signal go through to the TV (Panasonic VT25)

HSU Research VTF-3 MK4 Subwoofer

Ara was looking for a subwoofer for his family room but when he took look at the VTF-3 MK4 he decided to play musical chairs with the subwoofer that was currently in the media room opting to move that to the family room and replace it with the MK4. The MK4 is about the size of a small end table (22.25 H X 17.75 W X 25.75 D all in inches) and barely fits on the Auralex GRAMMA ($55 Buy Now). Its a heavy beast weighing in at 74 pounds (33.5Kgs).

HSU Research began as a specialized deep bass research company in 1991.  Dr. Hsu started the business shortly after receiving a PhD in engineering from MIT. He moved to Orange County, California with the dream of making the world’s best subwoofers.

Once the MK4 was placed on the GRAMMA and connected to the receiver a series of test tones were played on the receiver. The biggest kick Ara got was “hearing” a 16Hz tone. It was more like feeling the tone. Ara’s wife came upstairs and asked him what was going on? HSU Research provided Ara the CD with test tones and other musical content that demonstrates the subwoofers capabilities.

To calibrate the unit Ara adjusted volume, phase and Q Control until it sounded good to his ears. You can do quite a bit about the quality of the sound by removing rattles and buzzes simply by putting felt in between objects that may vibrate against each other and we always recommend sound absorption materials on the walls. Would Ara say he got the sub at the perfect setting? The answer is no. But it sounds so incredible it doesn’t bother him enough to continue to tweak.

The MK4 has two foam port plugs on the backside which are removable. You can get different performance based on what combination you choose. I ended up with both foam plugs removed and the mode switch set to EQ2. That mode is ideal for medium-to-large room sizes with high playback levels. In this mode you can’t get down to 16Hz but not many movies have content down there anyway. According to the manual this results with strongest mid-bass possible. The manual is quite good at walking you through the calibration process. Here is a link to VTF-3 MK4 Manual.

The sound was phenomenal! As was stated earlier HSU provided a CD with all kinds of musical material. The first track was from the Boston Philharmonic and they had a pipe organ that actually creates sound down to 16Hz. Again, you don’t really hear this as much as you feel it. Talk about material that will find rattles in your theater! But since Ara uses the room watching movies that what was tested next. First up was main event boxing match in Real Steel. When Zeus was introduced and jumped into the ring you felt it! We mean you really felt it.

What’s to like

  • Full control of what you are looking for in a sub via the port plugs on the back of the unit
  • Clean Bass Reproduction
  • Price!

What’s not to like

  • Nothing at all

Download Episode #586

Posted by The HT Guys, June 6, 2013 10:58 PM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.