Diff b/t the Denon 2803 & 3803?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by MichaelDDD, Oct 11, 2003.

  1. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    I took a cursory glance at the specs for both on Denon's page.

    The only thing I see different is the power output.

    110 x 7 vs. 90 x 7.

    What else is different? There's a $200+ price difference. [​IMG] Thanks.

    [L=Here's a comparo at Crutchfield's site]http://www.crutchfield.com/S-yOR6rreFxKC/cgi-bin/ProdComp.asp?g=10420&c=4&s=0&cc=01&ITM033AVR2803=on&ITM033AVR3803=on&CompareButton.x=25&CompareButton.y=6[/L] The 3803 has an LCD remote and no A/B main speaker out.

    That looks like it's it. Did I miss anything? Is it worth the extra $200 for another 20 WPC?
     
  2. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Michael: Here is a comparison chart from Denon. http://www.usa.denon.com/catalog/pdf...t%20080603.pdf

    As you can see, there are more differences than just the power. The 3803 has 2 DACs per channel vs. the 2803's one. 3803 has a Pure Direct mode, 2803 doesn't. And so forth. Most of these differences aren't huge but they all add up to better signal handling. Are they too subtle for most of us to hear? That's a call I can't make...

    Going by the ratings, the power difference would yield a volume increase of only .87 decibels. But IMO, it's very likely that the majority of the weight difference between the 2 boxes is directly related to the power supply and amplifier section. So, while the wattage difference isn't big by any measure, IMO, it's real.

    I bought a 3803 last fall and use it with an external 5 channel amp. I've been very happy with it. The 2803 wasn't out when I bought it. Like you, I would have compared the two and considered both. Since I use my receiver as a pre/pro, the amp differences don't mean anything to me. It's likely I would have still bought the 3803 just because I do believe that the better the incoming signal is handled, the better you get out on the other end. But it's also possible that the differences are so small that I wouldn't be able to hear them...

    Anyway, hope this helps you some. [​IMG]
     
  3. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    That helps a lot, Chuck. Thanks. [​IMG] The thought of going the pre-pro/sep amps route has crossed my mind, but being that you truly get what you pay for when it comes to electronics...the thought left quickly.

    Outlaw 950/770 combo would be a small step up. *wink-wink-nudge-nudge* [​IMG] but no way I could afford it.

    I need to do a bit more research into what $800-$1K can buy AFA an integrated receiver goes.

    Lots of folks have H/K receivers...their appearance doesn't particularly appeal to me, but I'm sure it grows on you. What concerns me is their track record the past few years.

    I've read that lately, their QC is excellent...but you hate to be an "early adopter" if you will.

    As inexpensive as Kenwood receivers may be, I've had my 409 for about 18 months and before that I had a Kenwood Dobly Pro Logic reciever for years. I beat the crap out of both of them (not physically...I baby and clean them weekly!) and they just run and run. [​IMG]

    The new Axioms I bought are 6 ohms. The center and surrounds are. I don't know if the VR-409 is going to like the 6 ohm load very much. I could care less if I smoke the receiver...it's probably worth about $125 at this point, but I'd hate to damage my new expensive (for me) speakers.

    Kenwood does not recommend anything but an 8-ohm load. Whatever. It's not under warranty any more anyway. [​IMG]
     
  4. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    Mike,

    The 3803 Upconverts all (S and Comp) of the video inputs to the one Component Video output. You also get the Onscreen through that input...
     
  5. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Hi Steve,

    Yep, I've been reading more in-depth on both. The 3803 is clearly the better piece and well-worth an extra $200 IMO.

    The two things you pointed out alone make the 3803 far superior, in my book.

    Though with my current TV (no component inputs [​IMG]) the upconversion is "wasted" for now.

    Time to start saving the pennies.

    /turns pockets inside out
    /pulls out copious amounts of lint and not much else

    Sheesh. Time to start looking for pennies to save. [​IMG] This is not a cheap habit...er...hobby! [​IMG]
     
  6. Rick Lyon

    Rick Lyon Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve,
    I was under the impression there was no up conversion for component, or at least not a real good one.

    Here is an example of what I've read-

     
  7. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    Rick,

    I am running 2 S-Video sources through the receiver, one is an LD player, which looks fine on the upconvert, and 2nd is a Malata DVd player, which also looks very good. So I have had no issues as per what you posted above. As far as Bass management, it's very straight foward. You can setup from 40Hz to 120Hz , and I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary.
     
  8. Rick Lyon

    Rick Lyon Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve,
    The issue was setting the surrounds to small still had significant bass sent to them which distorted sometimes.

    However, that point is moot as the review was on the 3802 and not the 3803 which may have fixed that issue. Good to know about the upconversion, as now I might consider the Denon again. I'm torn between the Denon 3803, Marantz 7800, Yamaha 1400 or the NAD T752 to power my Paradigm Titan system 3. So I'm comparing features as well as best match for Paradigms.
     
  9. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    I am also always matching the Denon with my Paradigm Reference. Something I have always done. My first Denon was the 4800 matched with Paradigm Studio 100's, and them I had the 3801 matched with the Studio 40's.... I switched the bedroom 3801 to a HK 525. But I'm not back to the 3803 [​IMG]
     
  10. Rick Lyon

    Rick Lyon Stunt Coordinator

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    So, would you recommend the Denon over the Marantz, NAD and Yamaha for the Paradigms? I'm about 80% HT and 20% music. But I know good music makes better HT sound. So I want a great musical receiver with all the HT connections, de-coders and features.
     
  11. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    I have no experience with Marantz, but have heard the others, and have found the Denon match with Paradigm is by far the best match out there... To my ears [​IMG]
     
  12. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Just to clarify a couple of things...

    The bass management on the 3802 (and now the 3803) is fine. I was never sure what the reviewer heard but this has been the one and only report of anything like this for 3802's. (IMO, either that particular receiver was defective or the microprocessor needed resetting.) In fact, one of Denon's strong points has been decent bass management. (Now if they would only give us separate, individual speaker crossovers...)

    The 1st couple of production runs of 3803's did indeed have some video conversion troubles under "some" (my word) situations. Denon acknowledged the problem fairly early and to my knowledge, corrected it in runs made after the 1st of '03 or so. It's also worth noting that the Denon 3803 manual states that video conversion may still have issues under certain circumstances. They mention that a time base correction circuit might be needed during some of these times. I would assume that talking to a dealer would be very worthwhile if one has specific questions in this area.

    Remote-wise, the 3803's is better than what came with the 3802. And I have read some good comments about it from some. But in general, IMO, if your budget can stand it, a good universal remote like a Pronto or a Home Theater Master would be money well spent.

    Hope this helps. [​IMG]
     
  13. Rick Lyon

    Rick Lyon Stunt Coordinator

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    Cool, good info. My local Paradigm dealer has Pioneer and Marantz, not sure if they stock Denon or not. But it's good to hear from Paradigm owners because some receivers won't make a good match no matter how highly acclaimed they are. I know the ultimate would be an audition, but I don't want to buy and return and replace, etc until I've gone through them all. Plus, if my local dealer doesn't carry Denon, I will have to buy un-auditoned, so I want to make sure all my options have necessary features/connections.

    Do the Denons have the automatic input selection where one channel is Digital 5.1 and changing it to a channel with Pro Logic ll, the receiver automatically switches like my Onkyo?
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Here we go, spending your money again...[​IMG]

    Always go for the most amplification you can >comfortably< afford, which would mean 3803 between those two.

    I'm a Marantz guy. My dealer pairs Marantz with Paradigm Ref, and it has always sounded like an excellent match to me. The 'digms tend to be a forward speaker, and Marantz is on the warm, smooth side, so they blend well. I tried out a pair of v3 40s with my 8300 and I was impressed, though I did not end up buying them.

    My recommendation is to listen to receivers in your price range and choose based on features and sound. Recently, I've listened to Pioneer Elite (49tx), Marantz (8300, 9300) and Denon, and liked them all.
     
  15. Rick Lyon

    Rick Lyon Stunt Coordinator

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    John- That's the root of my problems, you described the 'digms as 'forward', yet I've read and then assumed the 'digms were 'laidback and warm'. Because of that, the conclusion was that a Marantz was a bad match for 'digms, same with Pioneer. Maybe that was because the guy was basing his opinion on a certain type of music?

    So, even tho laid back, warm, forward have one meaning, how would a newbie such as myself arrive to an understanding of the type of sound my 'digms have? Do you have to listen to particular genre of music? I'm lost how people can have such opposite views concerning the same speaker. I'm not brushing off your assertion, I would just like to know how one formulates how a speaker sounds?

    What makes the 'digms warm, laid back or forward?


    (I'm upgrading because of a slight faint crackle I get on the center channel during digital 5.1 broadcast on DVD and cable TV. So I assume the Onkyo is maxing out or simply has a poor center channel output. Also, at 80 wpc, (who knows what real RMS) getting more wpc would mean a more realistic 80-100 wpc RMS which the Titans can handle according to Paradigm. Am I correct in my assumption about the Onkyo's weak center channel output or that I'm maxing it?
     
  16. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    This is one thing that Denon really improved with the xx03's generation receivers. The 3803 (and it's xx03 brothers) can remember the last playback mode for up to 4 different signal types. So, this means that for 5.1 DD you could decode as 5.1, for 2 channel analog you could decode as Direct mode, for 2 channel PCM you could decode as DPL II Music. (BTW, the 3803 treats DPL II Cinema as a separate mode from DPL II Music mode. The 3802 did not. DPL II was DPL II for it...)
     
  17. Rick Lyon

    Rick Lyon Stunt Coordinator

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    Chuck,
    But does it automatically detect the signal and make the correct decoding? My Onkyo will switch automatically to DD 5.1 or to DPL ll depending on the broadcast so I don't have to grab the remote and click.

    So it seems to be between the Denon 3803 and the Marantz 7300. Any more pros or cons between those? I assume they sound well with 'digm.
     
  18. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Yes. I was in a rush to reply and left out that this is for each input.

    As an eg., on the DVD input, you could get 5.1 from 5.1 DD and DPL II Cinema for the menus or DD 2.0. If you throw a 2 channel PCM CD in the DVD player, you could have it so that it plays as Direct. Of course, if you want it to normally play as DPL II Music, set it that way the 1st time and from then on it will do it without further intervention from you. This is really a great feature.

    BTW, if you like your 2 channel played back as 2 channel but don't want the sub on, you can set (and then forget) the sub to be off in Direct or Stereo mode and still have the sub for surround. Another neat trick...
     
  19. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  20. Rick Lyon

    Rick Lyon Stunt Coordinator

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    Chuck- Cool, thanks.

    John- I have wall to wall carpet, and thick curtains on a side wall covering a glass door. I just hung a single curtain on either side of my TV, each behind my fronts. I looked at a lot os speakers and I really didn't see many equals in sound and price for the Paradigm set up I got. My DVD is a Pioneer Elite 45a for movies and SACD.

    Which would you choose (Denon or Marantz) for 80% HT and 20% music?
     

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