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The AVR65 delivers knock-out dynamics, delicate imaging, deep bass, and clear, extended high frequencies, showing sincere consideration for stereo devotees and home-theater enthusiasts alike. And with nearly every known home-theater convenience on board--from Dolby Digital and DTS surround processing to bass-management and six-channel analog inputs for current and future surround formats--the AVR65 ranks among the best available surround receivers.
Setup, ever an issue with home theater, proved relatively painless with the AVR65. Rear-panel inputs and outputs are all clearly marked, and--unlike some surround receivers--most essential functions can be accessed through front-panel controls rather than merely through the remote. The remote can control many other non-Harman products in addition to the AVR65, but it takes a careful reading of the well-written manual to set this up.
The AVR65 automatically senses the type of digital surround encoding in use and adjusts to accommodate it. One caveat about the digital processing is the 48kHz limitation on the digital input. If your DVD player can output sampling rates up to 96kHz (the DVD-video maximum), this output will not be usable with the AVR65. However, the AVR65 does offer six-channel analog inputs to accept decoded digital signals from DVD-video or the coming 192kHz, 24-bit DVD-audio format.
To further "future-proof" the AVR65, Harman has designed the model with two other unique analog features: High Current Capability ( /- 40 Amps) and Ultrawide Bandwidth (8Hz - 80kHz). Because loudspeaker impedance (the inherent resistance to the incoming voltage) varies with frequency, the amplifier may need to deliver, at moments, up to six times the current load required for the speaker's impedance rating; the AVR65's High Current Capability does just that. Harman's Ultrawide Bandwidth offers linear frequency response to around 80kHz, well beyond the range of human hearing. This reduces undesirable phase shifts within the audible spectrum and increases "headroom," the amplifier's ability to reproduce complex, dynamic transients (such as cymbal crashes) with greater accuracy. The benefits of these features came through clearly in our testing.
Other features of the AVR65 include a bass-management system, six-channel analog preamp outputs, an Advanced Crystal DSP circuit with additional fancy surround processing, an on-screen control system, multiple AV inputs (including S-Video), a multiroom control system, and all-discrete amplifier circuitry.
The best value in audio/video receiver technology available. The AVR 65 utilizes the Crystal Circuit for the most advanced digital signal processing, including Dolby Digital and DTS. The AVR 65 provides a combination of power, performance, and control unmatched by any other brand.