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3803 or 4802R?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Spencer J

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Posted April 05 2003 - 11:52 AM

Hello, all.

I will soon replace my Sony V555ES with something that offers a more stable amplifier section. I've narrowed the field to the following candidates:

Denon 3803
Denon 4802/R
B&K AVR-307 (a $2,675 display model that lacks the processing of the first two, but dang it's a killer piece!)

My primary concerns are build quality, sound quality (duh), electronic stability, and future-proofing. I will be using the unit in a 5.1 setup, as my HT room is on the small side.

A sneaking suspicion is that the B&K is probably the best-built of the trio (best warranty, too), but I'm doubtful that it's worth a $700 premium over the 4802/R -- I'd really like to stay as close to the $2,000 mark as possible.

I tend to be be a moderately critical listener, but lack the resources to make the jump to separates. Although I realize most receivers have limitations, the value of "one-box" solutions cannot be ignored.

Any advice or suggestion of worthy alternatives will be sincerely appreciated. Happy listening!

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   John Sully

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Posted April 05 2003 - 01:20 PM

Well, I just had to make this decision and I went with the 3803. I was purchased to replace a 4802 which in a moment of stupidity I blew up (it was all my fault, can't blame Denon for this failure Posted Image ) I was so happy with the performance and features of the 4802 that of course I immediately took a look at the 4802R, but concluded that the 3803 has a better pre amp section. With only 15 watts per channel less, wider bandwidth component inputs, video upconversion and better DAC's than the 4802 and 4802R (which really only has THX 2 Ultra certification to differentiate it from the 4802 -- no changes in the amp or pre amp specification were visible on the spec sheet) the 3803 made a lot of sense especially when cost was figured into the equation.

Don't worry about the build quality of the Denon units, both have excellent build quality. The Denon remote does suck -- it has lots of little buttons with labels which are hard to read. I have a Pronto which I wouldn't trade for anything, so I just did a small amount of reprogramming on the Pronto and everything works great. I would certainly recommend replacing the stock remote with the Pronto or Home Theater Master remote of your choice.

As far as the performance of the 3803, the sound is very similar to the 4802 -- which means superb -- I don't have a thing to complain about here.
--John

Isn't Theory a great place? Everything works there.

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   CurtisC

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Posted April 06 2003 - 02:49 AM

I have the 3803 with parasound 1205a-140x5(bench 157.7) watts,about 2k.It can more than compete with any 2k set up thats new.

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Yogi

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Posted April 06 2003 - 09:16 AM

BTW the last I checked Tweeter was clearing out 307s for $1998. They might all have been sold out but would be worth a try. For the price neither the 3803 or the 4802/R could even touch it in plain stereo and 5.1 sound or performance.
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#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Lewis Besze

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Posted April 07 2003 - 08:09 AM

Bold statement as usual!

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Spencer J

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Posted April 07 2003 - 08:22 AM

Thanks for the responses.

Upon reflection, if I went the Outlaw 950/7100 route, I guess I could do what I need for under $2K. My Sony has too many (lousy) soundfields that I've never used, so the minimalist approach of the 950 appeals to me.

Why pay more for stuff I won't use?

Comments? Suggestions?

Edit: Maybe I'll just snag the Outlaw 750 or 770 and hook it to the Sony. That might do the trick...

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   CurtisC

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Posted April 07 2003 - 02:11 PM

Just wondering what units you have tried/had other than sony?

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Lewis Besze

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Posted April 07 2003 - 04:30 PM

Spencer,
I personaly come from the Denon receivers "side",and currently own the Outlaw 950,with Parasound amps[I also used the Parasounds with the Denon 3801],and I must say that while it's a better "sounding" unit it isn't a "large" difference IMO.However it's definitely worth your time to audition it at home,I think you'll like it.

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Spencer J

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Posted April 08 2003 - 12:20 AM

Curtisc -- Sad but true, the Sony ES is my first foray into "mid-fi." I owned a couple of DE-series Sony receivers, and swore I'd never buy another Sony...*sucker*

To be honest, the Sony ES does everything I need it to do, other than SACD bass management, and I've still got 2.5 years of warranty left on it. The processor is no great shakes, but it's not a total wank, either.

I think I'll pick up the Outlaw 7100 to drive with the Sony, and then be in good shape to buy the 950 (or its inevitable replacement) in a couple of years. Ahhh...separates at last!

Thanks again for your responses.