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Discussion Starter #1
I'm replacing a couple of Denon AVRs (the 3310 and 4310) due to network card failures and am in the market for two new ones.

At that price point ($1500-2000) I know they are all going to sound great and have more features than I need.

What I'm curious to know is who has the nicest OSD and best Network Control via browser and iPhone app.

Anyone have thoughts on Yamaha vs. Pioneer vs. Onkyo along these lines?

Cheers
 

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Just be aware that you cannot generalize on the makes only - you need to go to specific models. For example the OSD of the 4310 is excellent, but the OSD on the "lesser models" is not as elegant and Audyssey for example isn't as detailed or accurate.

I've seen some pretty inelegant OSDs in my travels (hundreds of AVRs), so if that's important to you, you need to look at the specific model yourself.

I've seen some pretty elegant OSDs for iPod control on a really inexpensive HTiB, while I've seen some very poor iPod interfaces on some very expensive AVRs. I'm sure that the "control" that you're looking for would have similar variation by make/model.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Fair enough-

I agree the 4310's OSD is pretty nice, but alas, the receiver has other serious faults (has been in the shop 4 times now to replace a network card).

So lets treat that as the minimum -- Can anyone recommend a receiver (make + model) which looks better?

Thanks!
 

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The new Pioneers have nice GUIs and iPhone/iTouch control as well as web browser. The Elite SC-35 or SC-37 should fall into the price range you're looking for.
 

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Yamaha GUIs are very nice now and offer easy navigation. Check the new
RXA1000 and RX A2000. Compare the Pioneer prices to US pricing. The differential is larcenous.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks!

I've ordered the Pioneer SC-37.

I looked at the new Yamahas online but the local guy said he doesn't even have pricing yet.

The Pioneer comes with a 3 year warranty in Canada, and after my Denon experience, that is a great feature.

Much appreciated.
 

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congrats on your purchase of this brute of an AVR ..:p

hope you enjoy 100%. let us know how it goes over there for you .. feedback, review .. etc.

**remember to bend at the knees when you pick it up ..
 

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I agree the 4310's OSD is pretty nice, but alas, the receiver has other serious faults (has been in the shop 4 times now to replace a network card). Thanks!
I'm way too late, but I bet it's NOT the "network card" that's broken, if Ethernet functionality was the symptom (asterisks in some of the diagnostic). (Actually the network stuff is on a large board with HDMI/USB/etc. stuff, and all the brains.) I have "fixed" a bunch of these after Denon really didn't, many seem to come back from them with Ethernet/USB still not working properly. I know people don't like to touch stuff during warranty, but once Denon's opened it once already...it's a trivial fix, and I'll guess any shipping/jostling ruined it after it worked in the shop (typically they replace the "top" board).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well....

Denon replaced the network card to fix the problem, but you are correct, this could just have been a symptom.

My problem was that the unit stopped responding to http requests, stopped reporting an IP address, and stopped providing sub menus which had to do with network information (Firmware update, upgrade, network connecting etc.) The unit would then degrade to the point where video switching would not work, volume would not work and other major issues.

Denon is still unable to solve the issue and has admitted that some users suffer multiple failures. They were curious about other components on my network and my internet provider.

Can I ask you how you 'fixed' these units that D&M Canada could not?
 

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^ LOL, I see I forgot to mention the fix...

Multiple things might show failures because the main guts of them are all on one board, including HDMI chips and DSP. It's the connectors with wiring that go to the other boards/power supplies/etc. that are often the problem.

I could tell you which one it *always* (so far...) is for the network stuff. I presume your USB ports failed also if it was just the *one* connector that's loose. That and Net stuff failure is the symptom for that connector. Other symptoms for others. Of course there can be other causes, but that one connector always seems to be the problem for Net/USB death. Denon replaces the board, looks good in the shop, shipping the AVR back often loosens it just enough that it quickly fails again. Or it comes back with more things not working than it went in with...more connectors that came loose after main board was replaced. Best to just reseat them all VERY firmly. Believe it or not, I bet all your problems will go away then after this 10 minute job, if they put in a new main board. You'll know because of new MAC address, if it's the same MAC then they didn't replace it. I was speaking from the point of people who got new boards and still the Net stuff quickly failed again in the exact same way, which pretty much indicates it wasn't a board problem in the first place when reseating that connector restores the Net/USB.

The guys here who professionally repair stuff will tell you that connectors are a common weak point. Usually not noticed until after years of service. But the ones Denon uses off the main board seem to have a propensity to easily work loose, loose enough not to work even though they superficially seem tight and well-seated. Could it be heat that's part of the loosening problem, like the plastic connector shell softens or something? I don't know, but that main board runs damn hot.

If you open the 4310, with the front panel facing you, you'll see the main brain board at the top back. The Net/USB connector that is the problematical one is the left-most one at the front of that board. But re-seat them all, I didn't go through the schematics to re-verify and my "memory" isn't so much. Do you know how to get diagnostics from the front panel? i.e. so you don't actually need an Ethernet connection or display to test if the Net hardware works. This way you can "jiggle" the connector if necessary on a kitchen table or somewhere convenient with good light.

Edit: the part about the Net *and* USB failing for that connector is important. If they *both* did not fail, then it's something else. I don't think the diagnostic says much about the USB (I no longer have a 4310 to check) so you may have to actually plug some storage device in to try it. Also, when I said re-seat ALL the connectors from the brain board, there's really not that many involved, it's the ones with black wires you want to do, the ones without wires are (so far) fine. Multiple things affected by a "slow degradation"...I wonder if that's my "loosening up from the heat" connector theory? I know the "Net/USB" one carries power, among other things. They need new wiring connectors/shells. This discussion is usually carried out by PM. I'm sure you can figure out why. Too bad, otherwise Denon might investigate more and it would happen less in the future (I know their tech people do read some forums). So it may be hard to find info on web sites, I don't follow 4310 anymore since I don't have one (and thus don't care about talking about opening them up), people get exasperated and just want use of their AVR no matter how.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, Cfraser. I'll send that to Denon's manager in Ontario for him to read.

It very well could be the problem as the symptoms seemed to get worse with time.

That is,
- first, the unit would drop off the network
- then slowly the menu items that were menu related would stop working and sometimes hang the unit when selected
- finally other things in the unit would start to fail, like volume control or video switching etc.

Denon has finally admitted to me that I am not the only one with multiple failures, and I think I'm probably the first guy in Canada they have arranged a refund for.

I personally can not (and don't) recommend Denon to anyone anymore. The build has some obvious problems and their service, while doing the right thing in the end, took months and months of time from me.
 

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^ I would not. :) He is a very nice and knowledgable guy BTW, you want him as your friend. Try to summarize it into something like "loose wire connectors have often been the problem" LOL. Better to speak on the phone, he'll know what to do. I am very surprised they didn't automatically give you a new one way back, but a refund is good too I guess. The 4310 I had was flawless in operation (admittedly for a short time). And I'm still running the 3808, will look at the 4311 when in local stores too (I am no Denon fanboy, the 3808 was the very first Denon I'd ever bought, no particular reason either way). But like a lot of things, I guess they're sometimes never the same after they've been "repaired". AFAIK Denon farms out the service to various repair depots.

Edit: I guess it doesn't matter now, but when the main board is replaced, even though you can't read the new MAC address electronically (if the Network stuff is still broken), they put a new MAC sticker on the case back in every case I've seen. Also on the shipping box, if you used the original one. One way to tell what work was done, because if you go through a dealer they apparently don't tell you much or give you the repair paperwork.
 
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