Summary: As this is a Denon it probably sounds good IF you can get it to work. The setup is a nightmare, but it till the end of this review before you make a judgment. I am no expert but I have set up four AV receivers before, two of them, and this one defied all my efforts. The owner's manual is an atrocity. Even to experienced people it's frustrating. I called in a favor from a friend who installs AV systems and he also failed to make it work. He was scornful of this model.
Summary: I have been amazed by the sound of this low cost receiver in both stereo and surround sound modes. I have a good collection of good receivers such as NAD T-753, Reotel RSX-965, Carver HT885. I have never thought of Denon when it comes to stereo. I bought a used Denon AVR-589 because it is so cheap but now I am surprised by its sound quality. I set the AVR-589 audio mode to "direct" and turn off the display to get the best possible sound and this receiver sounds amaziing.
Summary: Bought this at your local Big Box recently that is going out of business (CC). Works very well. Setup is a breeze. Although the manual and all reviews tell you that HDMI does not do audio, it does. However, you cannot hear the audio through the Denon unless you use another connection (RCA analog or SPDIF digital). The Denon will pass-through any audio being output by your device via HDMI, but it cannot output it to your speakers.
Summary: The Denon AVR-589 even though it was a scratch and dent, I can't see any scratches or marks on the unit. You have to run audio through a separate set of cables and not through the HDMI, but it seems to work fine. Audyssey balances out the 5.1 speakers.
Summary: it was a pain in the ass to connect. it was so senitive, that it eventually lock up so i could not even get it to turn on, even after i disconnected all wires and other units. so i sent it back to where it came from. i have yet to recrieve my return reciept, or refund. so i would say i don't like this product. i would like to also add that i sent the unit back to where it came from and two weeks later i recieved it back on my door step, with no explanation whatsoever.
Summary: I have owned this unit for about 2 years now. It works fine and the sound quality is excellent. The only negative is that it is tricky to set up. Also, I've found that after using the automated speaker setup I need to adjust the center speaker level manually. Only I keep getting reset back to the default (from automated setup) without warning every once in a while. Can't find any documentation on how to make my manual setting permanent.
Summary: Overall this is a great unit for the money. I had a bit of trouble figuring out what the display on the unit was indicating while I did have the manual in hand at all times. I also had some trouble understanding how to use the Audyssey auto-config. Once I got over those minor hurdles, the system automatically sets levels equalization and cross-over frequency. Sounds great!
Summary: I was looking for a fairly inexpensive unit to drive a 5.1 system in my home away from home work abode. I was wary of the "refurbished" tag but decided that I couldn't lose at the purchase price. I was not disappointed. The unit arrived in a timely fashion and appeared new. All functionality was op tested immediately and it was a "go" right across the board. The on-board DTS is "NEO" only though so beware if you are looking for a fully DTS capable receiver.