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Denon 3800 Serial Number Question


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6 replies to this topic

#1 of 7 OFFLINE   David S

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Posted May 02 2003 - 07:43 AM

The serial number of the Denon 3800 I'm thinking of buying is 2098403108. Anyone no if this would likely be a fixed unit (laser + chroma bug)? Its new in box so I don't know the build date. I've been offered a $700 price on it, and as I have a Sony SCD 222ES for SACD, hence the SACD in the 2900 is not needed + $899 is lowest I can see it at (authorized dealer).

#2 of 7 OFFLINE   David S

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Posted May 02 2003 - 08:54 AM

As I further searched posts, was there ever a "fix" for the lockup issues/laser? Seems like I interpt this sn to be a Sept 02 mfg date (I'll know if I open/they don't want to open unless I buy - I can return it though). Maybe roll the dice at this price anyway cause appears not all units suffer lock ups. Anybody with earlier builds (sept before) not suffer this problem?

#3 of 7 OFFLINE   KeithH

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Posted May 02 2003 - 09:23 AM

David, a 209 serial number means the player was built in September 2002. The '2' means 2002, and the '09' means September. From everything I have read, this unit would not have the upgraded laser assembly. Denon upgraded the laser assembly starting with players built in October 2002.

The laser assembly issue on the '3800 has been discussed extensively on AVS Forum. You might want to do a search there. Back about a month ago, I obtained a 209 '3800 from Crutchfield, and based on everything I read about laser assembly problems, I had Crutchfield go through their inventory (just 4 units at the time) in search of a newer unit. They found a 212 unit (December 2002 serial number), and I did the exchange. I had had no problems with the 209 unit in a week of use, but I didn't want to take a chance with it skipping and freezing.

I know that some folks on AVS Forum with pre-October 2002 players have had no problems, but I wouldn't take the chance. If you cannot find a newer unit, I would pass on the '3800. I know you do not need SACD in a new player, but the '2900 still might be a good buy.
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#4 of 7 OFFLINE   David S

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Posted May 02 2003 - 09:45 AM

Keith - thanks for the reply. Decisions. I spoke with Denon service here in Los Angeles and I could buy it and simply take it to them in Torrance for the upgrade. They indicated its at no cost.

Also, it turns out this was a return to Good Guys (they claim bought/returned with out being opened. This is after I asked how/why they would still have a Sept 02 Mfg product in stock. Seems possible/likley it was returned for a reason (ie., lock-up), but who knows. Although price is good, and its fairly convienent for me to take it in to Denon for a fix, if it used then not sure how wise the buy is.

#5 of 7 OFFLINE   KeithH

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Posted May 02 2003 - 11:21 AM

David, it is possible that the 209 unit was never bought. I got the 209 '3800 from Crutchfield just last month, and I know of other members here who recently got 209 units from Crutchfield. You should be able to tell if the box was ever opened. If it looks like it never was, you might buy it and have Denon do the upgrade.
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#6 of 7 OFFLINE   David S

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Posted May 02 2003 - 02:49 PM

never one to "wait", I negotiated the 2900 down to $849 and bought it instead. Hopefully, as an early buyer of this new player, the laser issue from the 3800 wont exist in the 2900. They wanted $750 for the 3800 (not the $700 I thought he said), so for the xtra $100, the 2nd SACD player in the rack aint a bad deal. Problem is my Outlaw 950 only has one set of 5.1 in's? Salamander open back racks make changing cables a breeze, so I will do some comparisons. Off to watch Spirited Away with the little one/wife - I bet she won't even notice:>

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   KeithH

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Posted May 03 2003 - 12:30 AM

David, great! Hope the '2900 works out for you. Of course, now you have to compare SACDs in the 'C222ES and '2900 and give us a report. Posted Image Actually, I'd also like to know how they compare with CDs. Posted Image

There are switch boxes available that will allow you switch between multi-channel sources. I assume you are thinking that the 'C222ES will handle SACD duties and the '2900 will only be used for DVD-Audio. Anyway, check out the Radio Shack 15-1952 A/V switch boxes. I use two of them to switch between my DVD-Audio and SACD players, as my Sony STR-V444ES receiver has just one set of 5.1-channel inputs. The two switch boxes cost just $30, and they work great. I detect no degradation in sound quality. Do a search here for "15-1952" for more on how these switch boxes are used.
My:
Main Stereo and HT Systems ;
Second Stereo System ;
Equipment List ; DVDs, SACDs, and more ;
Planned Upgrades and Additions "You know, the tomato never took off as a handfruit."- George Costanza