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My 3805 review...

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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Rob Grim

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Posted April 12 2004 - 12:38 AM

I could not figure out why I had no responces to this thread then I relized I posted it in the wrong spot. This has been posted on many other forums so if you've read it, no need to read again. This post will be long so bare with me. I'm not a technical specialist, but I will describe this the best way I know how. As many of you may/may not know, I recently upgraded my two main pieces in my H/T, my receiver and my DVD/SACD player. I replaced my Sony STR-DA4ES (Doro should be enjoying it soon) receiver and my Sony DVP-NC685V (5-disc) DVD/SACD player with the new Denon AVR-3805 receiver and the Denon DVD-2900. This is probally one decision I'll never look back on again. Keep in effect that I have been a loyal fan of Sony for years. To be completely honest with you, at first I had thought I had made a mistake with the AVR. The first 3805 I received, with the first 2 days of owning it, I had to take the remote back, was not working properly, and 2 days later, I had to return the unit itself, the power supply started to hum badly. But once swapped out with a new unit, everything had worked flawlessly since. So, this is basically going to be my review of the 3805. I'll do my review on the 2900 sometime within the next week. Denon AVR-3805 Build quality: The 3805 is slightly lighter than the Sony (by 5lbs. +/-), but the first thing you notice once unboxing the 3805 is the massive power supply. I really liked the layout of the connections on the back of the Sony more so then the Denon, Sonys seemed more organized. As far as user friendly, they seem to be about the same. Forgot to mention, if placing the Denon above shoulder height, be careful, with the massive power supply, the weight is very off centered. The other feature I really like is the flip down face on the front of the receiver. With 2 small kids and family members that can't keep there hands to themselves, it makes it nice that they can't see any buttons that they can play with. So as far as the build quality of the Denon, very well built in my opinion. Setup: Once I got used to how Denon's menus worked, everything went fine. The one thing I really like about the Denon is everything can be done onscreen or on the display of the receiver. The one thing I found that is extremely nice is the Auto Room/Auto EQ feature of the 3805. Basically, I just placed the optional DMS-305 mic at my sweet spot, started the test, and walking upstairs until it was done. As far as accuracy, dead on. I thought it was to good to be true so what I did was after the Denon had finished calulating everything, I measured my distances with a tape measure, sure enough, within the inch. This is my first time using such feature so I'm pretty sure the other manufactures are just as accurate. With the room EQ, when the receiver is measureing the distances to your speakers, I'm guessing it also runs at a certain frequency so you don't have to run the test again to setup the room EQ, you just have to select the EQ setting you prefer and its done. The only problems I ran into was, when it sets the speaker size, it set the fronts to large and everything else to small. Well beings I'm using a PB2+, I run my fronts on small also as do many others on this forum. Secondly, the sub was way to HOT for my taste. So once the auto portion was done, I swapped out the Denon mic with the trusty old Radio Shack SPL meter to see how accurate it was, seemed pretty on to me other than the sub that is so I adjusted that manually. So, as far as setup, very well thought out in my opinion. Sound quality: No matter what I throw at it, it sounds amazing. The Sony receiver just seemed so bright compared to the Denon. As far as watching movies now, Denon took it to a whole new level in my H/T. The first movie the wife and I watched was T3. My wife never says a word about how nice it sounds until hearing the Denon for the first time. She had forgotten that I had replaced the AVR and DVD player and the first thing she asked, what on earth did you do. Every single noise was heard and even some things I had not heard before. I thought the house was going to fall down around us we where listening to it so loud. I know that the Denon is only 10 watts more per channel compaired to the Sony, but it just seemed like there was more ass behind it. Now I have to start watching all my favorite movies all over again, I'm sure the neighbors will enjoy that. As far as SACD/DVD Audio, I'll cover that when I do my review of the 2900. Well, I'd better get back to work. These treaded Mondays seem like they will never end. Thanks to all that either reply or just take the time to read my review. Hope everyone had a Happy Easter!!!!

#2 of 12 OFFLINE   John Zfan

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Posted April 12 2004 - 02:33 AM

Congrats on the Denon purchase. I am starting to really did my 3805. I watched Matrix 3 last night and wow. I didn't know it could sound so good. here is my modest newbie review of the denon 3805. For those thinking about buying the Denon, The sound is much better than with my yami (Rxv 1300/htr 5990). I love my yami but it can be a bit bright with my speakers. JBL S312 II (fronts), JBL S-Center II or Infinity Alpha 37C (center) not sure which I like best yet, JBL S26II (rears and rear backs), and 2 inifinty 1200s subs. The Jbl studio series speakers are great for movies. absolutely wonderful! The remote on the Denon is great. the switching from tv to dvd just by clicking one remote is awesome. I have a Mitsubishi XD300 projector hooked up to the 3805. I only have to have one line going to the projector. wonderful! I don't have the Denon mic (I'm too cheap)so I did a manual set-up. I think I like the yami set-up better (may be biased b/c I have had the yami for 2yrs). I may also like the auto mode better. just not sure yet. I have only had the Denon for about 10 days. The Denon is also much warmer than the yami. great since both of my center channels (I think I will end up using the infinity Center) are bright and need to be lowered for the best sound. For music, the 7 channel stereo mode is nice. fills the room with clean sound. the tuner seems a bit weak. most of my channels are static. not that bad with the yami. I may need to hook it up to my house antenna. Overall so far, I love the Denon. I am not sure if I would have had the set-up issues with the yami vr 2400 (was about to buy this) but that just may be my learning curve.

#3 of 12 OFFLINE   mike caronia

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Posted April 15 2004 - 01:35 PM

Thanks guys. I'm thinking of upgrading to this unit. My buddy who owns an AV joint is recommending a Yamaha. I've owned Denon receivers for the last 10 years and grown accustomed to the great sound. Currently using a 2700 with the Milenium decoder. It's more than time... If you guys don't mind me asking, what price did you pay?

#4 of 12 OFFLINE   Nathan Porteous

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Posted April 15 2004 - 02:57 PM

I recently also tested a 3805 and my 4es to see if it was worth the upgrade. And i think after 5 days of messing with both I think you have "New product must be betteritis"
There was me and 6 friends all concidering a mass purchase for a sweet deal but none of us were all that impressed with the 3805 over the 4es if at all. We calabrated same volume levels and tried to match eq's as close as possible, on lotr 1st and 2nd, u571, matrix and black hawk down and we couldn't hear much of a difference if any between the 2, really the only difference i noticed was the denon looked cooler. But hey as long as your happy all the power to you. but thats just my opion. I'm sure all the denon fans will tell me we're all crazyPosted Image

#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted April 16 2004 - 01:40 PM

Nathan, Did you let the Denon do it's auto-calibration eq? If not then you missed out on the main thing that sets it apart from the Sony. Not saying the 4es is not an excellent receiver. I don't own the Denon, and am not a big fan of Denon in particular. I did have a Sony 333ES with all the adjustment features of the 4es and similar power rating. I replaced it with a Pioneer VSX45TX, with an auto calibration eq feature similar to Denon's. Many long evenings of manual eq experimentation with the Sony didn't get me as good sound as the Pioneer was able to do in about 5 minutes. My guess would be the Denon is at least as good as the Pioneer at doing this auto calibration, being a newer design.
Steve S.
I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Nathan Porteous

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Posted April 17 2004 - 10:21 AM

Yes i did use the auto calabration but i also had my 4es set up by someone who knows how to set up everything properly with the setup disc and the a spl, figuring out all the eq stuff, maybe thats why we didn't hear much difference but then i guess it shows how good a properly setup system can sound but thats just our opinion.

#7 of 12 OFFLINE   Stephen M

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Posted May 08 2004 - 12:59 AM

Well, your friend can't do a parametric eq with the Sony since it does not have this feature. Therefore, you did not hear the main advantage of the Denon over the Sony

#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Kevin Alexander

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Posted May 08 2004 - 10:47 AM

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
"What does God want with a Starship?" - Captain Kirk from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

"For the first few minutes of the film, I had accidently listened to the Dolby Digital track." - Ron Epstein (HTF)

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Alan Wise

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Posted May 10 2004 - 07:08 AM

After almost buying seperates, then a floor model Denon 5803, I settled on the 3805. I went with the 3805 over the others becuase I wanted the Pro Logic IIx, and the auto calibration system. Also, my room is only 12'X12', so the 120 Watts per channel is plenty powerful. If, and when, I get another bout of upgraditis I will add that B&K 200.7 amp that I was considering and use the 3805 as a pre-pro. I combined this purchase with the addition of the DVD-2900 universal player. My previous receiver was a Yamaha RX-V640, that I had absolutely no complaints with. But, my four month purchase price towards uprade deal with Tweeter Etc. was about to expire so I jumped. I did buy the microphone for the 3805, and it could not have been easier to use. I am using six Boston CR-75's (wall mounted on bracket) as mains and surrounds along with a VR-C center and my trusty AR-PR1212 250 Watt downfire subwoofer (soon to be replaced with an SVS 20-39). The auto calibration with the mic. was fast and easy. I must say though that I find the Denon manuals to be difficult compared to that of Yamaha. Denon jumps around alot in their documentation instead of following a start to finish linear flow. I have only gotten to spend a couple of hours with my new system, but the sound quality has me quite pleased. One thing that my wife and I both noticed was an improved quality of cable TV video. As with the Yamaha, I am running the Comcast/Motorola 6200/2005 HDCATV into the reciever (along with all other equipment)and then running one set of componet cables to my Sony KP-57WS510 HD-RPTV. The quality and clarity of the picture is arguably better when switching through the Denon as opposed to the Yamaha (same cables used for both). Bottom line is that I am happy with my decision, and I feel that Denon has a winner in the new AVR-3805. I look forward to hearing more from others on this receiver. Al. Wise
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#10 of 12 OFFLINE   KrishnaS


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Posted May 10 2004 - 10:55 AM

What does the Denon 3805 add above the 3803?

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   ericanthonE


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Posted May 10 2004 - 01:41 PM

for one it adds the denon link, and more wattage, i think those are the main big differences.

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Tom Grooms

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Posted May 10 2004 - 02:30 PM

I think the big differences are DPL IIx, Auto Set-up and Room EQ.