I just ordered a Denon DVD-3800 DVD-Audio player!

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by KeithH, Mar 25, 2003.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    The upgrade bug bit me! I hadn't bought a new component since April of last year, but the abstinence ([​IMG] ) ended today. Over my lunch hour, I wandered into a Tweeter store to check out the Denon DVD-3800 DVD-Audio player, a component I have had my eye on for awhile now. I was all ready to buy one, but Tweeter had no sealed units. The salesman checked the computer system and told me there were no sealed units in the entire chain because the player is being phased out. He then offered me the demo unit for $1080 (10% off).

    I pondered the purchase of the demo unit for awhile, but passed on it. Unfortunately, Tweeter did not have the box (though they had the owner's manual and remote). Also, as a demo unit, it had fingerprints on the front panel, which is a pet peeve of mine, especially when it comes to expensive components. Futhermore, the unit was turned on and felt quite hot to the touch. It was on a shelf mounted on the wall, so there was no breathing room in the back, and there was limited headspace. I was concerned about the future of a component that was probably running for hours each day while sitting in an enclosed space. This was just all wrong for me.

    In the end, I bit the bullet and paid full price for the '3800 through Crutchfield. I should have it by Thursday or Friday. It will replace a Technics DVD-A10. I realize the the Denon '2900 univeral player will be out in the coming months for less money than the '3800, but I was not looking for SACD. I have plenty of SACD players. [​IMG] Rather, I was simply looking to upgrade my DVD-Audio player. Also, I love the build quality of the '3800 and was afraid that the '2900 might not be as well endowed in this department. Although I am not looking to use the '3800 much for CD playback (perhaps its performance with CDs will surprise me), I like the fact that it has HDCD decoding capability. That suggests that Denon put some serious thought into the design of the audio section. I know the '2900 will not offer HDCD.

    I will post some initial thoughts on the '3800 as soon as possible. I can't wait to give this thing a whirl. [​IMG]

    For those who own or are familiar with the '3800, how do I determine whether I have one with the chroma-bug "fix" (firmware upgrade)? I will not be using the player for movies too often, but I would like to have the fix installed. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Congrats on your purchase Keith. I think you'll like it if it has the latest updates. Besides the firmware update, the newer ones are supposed to have a fix for some laser pickup problems. Check this page for more info: http://www.geocities.com/denon3800/

    Some additional info. According to Denon Jeff serial numbers starting with 210, 211, 212 and so on have the new lasers. If yours starts with "3", even better. Since the chroma bug problem is even older, I believe all the new players have the fix.
     
  3. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2000
    Messages:
    4,186
    Likes Received:
    714
    Real Name:
    Doug
    Keith - Don't mean to burst your bubble, but as of 3 weeks ago the only 3800s that Crutchfield had in stock were manufactured in September 2002. All of them. This means that they have the chroma bug firmware fix but not the corrected laser pickup. I purchased from them about 6 weeks ago, got a 9/02 build, and was hanging onto my unit in hopes that they'd get in some more recent stock so I could do an exchange. My sales rep called 2 weeks ago to inform me that they would not get any more in and that the September builds were it. He even called their Denon rep and couldn't make any headway. I ended up returning mine (which was exhibiting some of the skipping and freezing problems) for a refund and grabbed a December 2002 build 3800 from a local Tweeter.

    All that said, the 3800 *is* a fantastic player. I love mine. Perhaps Crutchfield has corrected their stock situation. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mike, thanks for the information. I had read about the laser pick-up problem awhile back. The first thing I will do when the '3800 arrives is check the serial number. On the one hand, Crutchfield being a large mail-order dealer might have received a huge shipment of '3800s when it was first released, so they might be sitting on older units. On the other hand, they move a lot of components, so they might be continually receiving new merchandise and might have received the upgraded versions at some point. I can worry about it for a few days until mine arrives. [​IMG]
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Doug, thanks. That's bad news for sure. I'll post what I receive.
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    O.K., I just called Crutchfield and was patched through to their tech. support line. The person I spoke with said he did have some information from Denon regarding serial numbers of bad units (chroma bug and laser pick-up problem). He checked with a stock person who told him that all '3800s they currently have fall outside the bad serial number range. In other words, he claims that all units they have in stock have the fixes in place. I hope he is correct, despite what Doug said. I'll know within a couple of days. I'm just hoping that Crutchfield is really on top of things and would not hold onto bad stock.
     
  7. J.C. Hall

    J.C. Hall Extra

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 1999
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just to make you feel better about your purchase from Crutchfield I'll add the following. I received my 3800 from them two weeks ago and its build date was Dec 02. No problems at all so far. Best picture I've seen yet or at least compared to my RP-91 and Sony 9000es. Hope this makes you feel better.

    J.C.
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    J.C., that certainly makes me feel better. Thanks! I just tracked my shipment online, and the '3800 will arrive today! Crutchfield is amazing. I ordered the player yesterday at about 4:15 p.m. According to crutchfield.com, it shipped yesterday at 4:41 p.m. UPS tracking says it will arrive today. Granted, Crutchfield is in Virginia and I am in Delaware, so I'm not that far away, but I figured the player would arrive tomorrow or Friday. Now I just hope to get a December '02 unit.
     
  9. TanD

    TanD Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2001
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Keith

    In case you didn't read this tips for setting up the 3800 for DVD-A

    http://www.usa.denon.com/catalog/pdf...TUP%20TIPS.pdf

    you must set it up acordingly for DVD-A to work properly, otherwise you won't be able to hear multichannel at all.

    when i get my 3800 back in July that tips is not including or in the manual. May be it is included now.

    Tan
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tan, thanks for the tip. I will print out that .pdf and clip it to the owner's manual if that part was left out. Thanks again.
     
  11. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2000
    Messages:
    4,186
    Likes Received:
    714
    Real Name:
    Doug
    Looks like J.C. has some good news for you Keith. Cool! Hopefully you'll get a 212 serial number. I'm wondering why my Crutchfield sales rep told me what he did, as it cost them a sale. He knew his stuff and worked on the problem for a couple of weeks with both Denon and his own purchasing department before giving me the "bad" news.

    Well, I'm happy to hear that you'll probably be getting a good 3800. It's a wonderful player. Let us know how it works out for you.
     
  12. TanD

    TanD Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2001
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Keith, no problem,

    one more tips, if you have some dvd other than region 1, and you want to use it with the 3800, download the firmware from http://www.geocities.com/denon3800/ to make it multiregion and pal progressive (the firmware origional for other region than 1). But i know it can be used with a U.S 3800. That's what i am using.

    if you want let me know i can send you the original firmware (just in case you want to go back, or for warranty work), and the multiregion firmware.

    I have been going back and forth between firmware to test it out to see it doesn't mess up any thing for the U.S machine and finally leave it with multiregion.
     
  13. Sach

    Sach Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2002
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  14. TanD

    TanD Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2001
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  15. TanD

    TanD Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2001
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Procedure to check the firmware.

    1. Power the unit off.

    2. While pressing together the "Play" and "Open/Close" buttons, press "Power".

    3. In the display you will see the Play and Pause symbols.

    4. Now, using the remote control, press the "Display" button. Pressing DISPLAY on the
    remote will show the ESS version.

    4. Now, using the remote control, press the "Menu" button. With each press of the button,
    you will scroll thru the different versions of the the unit. First is the "DRV", followed
    by the "ESS" and finally the "Panel".

    Using the front panel button, power the unit off to return to normal operation.
     
  16. Sach

    Sach Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2002
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have the Region 1 player, and that's the firmware I have.
     
  17. TanD

    TanD Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2001
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
  18. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2000
    Messages:
    2,149
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very nice purchase Keith. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this unit. Let us know how the DVD-A performance compares to your older Technics.

    J
     
  19. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    congrats keith!

    color me green with jealousy!
     
  20. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all the helpful information and the kind words, everyone.

    The '3800 arrived today, and I have bad news. The build date is September 2002, and the serial number starts with 209. I have set up the player for stereo playback (just RCA cables to a pair of front-speaker analog outputs) and I connected a video cable to help with DVD-Audio playback. I'll get to surround sound later. So far, I am having no problems with the player. I've played portions of a CD-R, a DVD-Audio disc, and a DVD-Video disc. The picture looks great, and the audio is just fine.

    Here is the $64,000,000 question. For those of you who experienced laser problems with the '3800, how quickly did the problems arise? I am wondering if the problems arose immediately or some time after purchase.

    I have spoken to folks in the the Technical Support department at Crutchfield twice. Both times, they claimed that the information they have from Denon says that bad units (chroma bug and laser problem) are those with a serial number having the last four digits of 1935 or below. That doesn't make sense to me. Anyway, the last four digits of my serial number are greater than 1935.

    All I can do for now is continue to try out my player and hope for the best.
     

Share This Page