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Denon 3801 vs Denon 3803


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#1 of 47 KrishnaS

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Posted May 10 2004 - 10:47 AM

Can someone help me understand what the additioanl features of the 3803 over the 3801 one are. I have a chance to pick up a used 3801 from a forum member priced in the $300's. Ecost has a refurbed 3803 for $525. Does it have enough additional features to justify the increase in price?

#2 of 47 Mike Up

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Posted May 10 2004 - 11:50 AM

I believe you can get very close to the performance of the AVR-3801 with the newer AVR-2803. While it may not have as much power, it certainly makes up for it in the preamp section.

You should be able to buy an AVR-2803 from an authorized dealer for around $550, I wouldn't pay over $600 for it though.

As far as refurbished items go, when I see them, I run away in the opposite direction. I've never had a refurbished product EVER WORK CORRECTLY. Most refurbs just replace the burnt out part without correcting the problem that caused it to burn out in the first place.

IMO, a Brand, Spanking New AVR-2803 would be your best bet.

Have a good one.

#3 of 47 Mike Up

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Posted May 10 2004 - 11:52 AM

BTW, I've only knew one person named Krish. You're not from Highland,IN are you?Posted Image

#4 of 47 KrishnaS

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Posted May 10 2004 - 12:00 PM

No, I'm from Indianapolis, IN. And my name is Krishna. Do you know me? I went to Purdue and then lived in Chicago for 6 years working for IBM. I'm back in Indy now.

Thanks for the advice. Color me confused on what to do right now. I really am just looking for a receiver with GREAT prepro features and so so amps. So so amps can drive my current setup - Energy Take 5. My plan , grand plan Posted Image, is to replace the front two speakers with high end speakers in a year and then add an outboard amp to drive these high end speakers with the Denon running the sides and surrounds.

I would jump on the 2801 but it is only 5 channels. I want my receiver to last quite a while running as a good prepro while I do my slow upgrade. The 1804 seems perfect but I can't add outboard amps. The 3803 might be overkill in the amps department since I plan on adding outboard amps anyway.

I think you might be right - the 2803 might be the way to go. It offers all the preamp features of the 38 series AND lets me add outboard amps.

Thanks for letting me ramble. This probably shows you how confused I am Posted Image

#5 of 47 Mike Up

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Posted May 10 2004 - 12:59 PM

That's funny, my buddy Krish went to Purdue also but he's never been to Indy although he did live in London for a while working for an internet company.

The World is smaller than we really know.Posted Image

The AVR-3803 does offer Video upconversion, DDSC circuits, Alpha 24 processing, Pure Direct mode, higher end DACs, and other features. However, the AVR-2803 is a killer on it's own for a cheap price.

The AVR-2803 does seem a good fit for your needs but here's information on both to better help you decide. If you deem it's worth it, you'll be able to get the AVR-3803 for about $200 more than the AVR-2803.

Denon AVR-3803 information. Posted Image
Denon AVR-2803 information. Posted Image

As you can see, they both use the same chassis so the only way to tell them apart is really by the model number label.

Hope this helps and good luck on your decision.

Have a good one.

#6 of 47 KrishnaS

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Posted May 10 2004 - 01:03 PM

I lived in London too. A long time ago. What a small world. Thanks for the info. I will research them both. I think I'm leaning toward the 3803. If my plan is correct and I plan on using it as a prepro - the more features the better. And $200 is not a bank breaker. Might be worth the investment. The only complication now is a comparison of the 3801 to the 3803. I have another thread open asking about the features of the 3803 above the 3801. If they aren't significant I will go with the 3801 used for about $300. That's a steal!

Thanks again. I appreciate the detailed response!

KS

#7 of 47 Yogi

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Posted May 10 2004 - 04:57 PM

If you want plain vanilla features but a great sound your best bet is the 3801. Its cheaper, warmer sounding (to my ears) than the 3803 and more powerful compared to the 3803 or the 2803 (in real bench tests).

I would go with the 3801 cos, IMHO sound comes above all other features...YMMV

Cheers,
The truth is not out there but within you.

#8 of 47 Stephen M

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Posted May 11 2004 - 06:58 AM

Yogi, where is there documentation regarding amp changes from the 3801 to 3803? Is the 3805 using the same amps as the 3803?

#9 of 47 JeremySt

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Posted May 11 2004 - 08:02 AM

The 3805 has a larger amp section than previous models at that price point. The 3805 also has room EQ. As an owner of the 3802, 3803, and now 3805, and can say that the 3805 is far better than all previous versions.

Some people actually prefer the sound of the 3802/1 to the 3803.

Compare them all here. http://www.usa.denon.com/home/

#10 of 47 Yogi

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Posted May 11 2004 - 08:29 AM

Quote:
Yogi, where is there documentation regarding amp changes from the 3801 to 3803? Is the 3805 using the same amps as the 3803?


I think Denon has them on their site. If you look in the information brochure of these models you will see a mention of capacitor upgrades in the powersupply of the newer models. I think Hi-fi mag did actual measurements of these two models and the 3801 had a more powerful amp section (around 90Wx5) compared to the 3803s (50Wx5) amps. I think the 3801 and the 3802 were the most powerful (perhaps because the test results of the 3805 are yet to come out) and best sounding (to my ears) models of the 38xx series IMHO. They had the characteristic warm/full Denon sound. The later models got a little thin (AKA detailed/neutral/focussed by some) and analytical sounding. But that again is my own experience. IMO for the $200 difference the 3801 is a better value. The remaining $200 can be put to buying more DVDs.
The truth is not out there but within you.

#11 of 47 Mike Up

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Posted May 11 2004 - 09:46 AM

I wouldn't put to much concern in power test results from a generic internet on-line magazine. S&V tested the AVR-2803, which has an inferior amp section to the AVR-3803, at 83 watts driven into 5 channels and 75 watts driven into 6 channels. That's a very good result from a receiver rated for 90 watts/ch with 2 channels driven.Posted Image The AVR-3803 would fair better judging by common sense. The AVR-3801 was rated 15 watts/ch more than the AVR-2803 but only bettered it by 9 watts with 5 channels driven and 10 watts with 6 channels driven according to S&V's test results.

As far as quality goes, I hated the sound of the Denon AVR-3300. It sounded muddy and compressed to me and is the reason I bought a Yamaha RX-V2095 at the time. I've heard that the AVR-3801 has that same sonic characteristic. Rumors were that the AVR-3802 was much better in the SQ department further refined on with the AVR-3803. This is all opinion from others but I know that the AVR-3803 sounds stellar and blows away my $1700 Yamaha RX-V2095. Read my review here.

Have a good one.

#12 of 47 KrishnaS

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Posted May 11 2004 - 10:02 AM

You guys are hell bent on confusing me even more right? I seem to be changing my mind every second. The only thing I know for sure is that the 2801 is out. My choices are between the 3801 used, the 3803 refurbed, or the 2803 refurbed. They are all in a similar price range.

Man , this is frigging tough!!

#13 of 47 KrishnaS

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Posted May 11 2004 - 10:28 AM

Do any of you guys know if the new Denon 1805 will have pre amp outputs? The more I think about this the more I feel that I just want a good basic receiver with an above average pre amp section. I won't need much power to drive my current Energy Take 5 system. And when I upgrade the mains later this year I plan on buying an outboard amp anyway. The 1804 at 280 refurbed is erfect for my needs. It'll drive my current speakers and has a decent preamp section so that I can use seperates in the future. Everything else almost seems like overkill for what I want to use it for and my upgrade plan.

Thoughts?

KS

#14 of 47 Yogi

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Posted May 11 2004 - 11:13 AM

Quote:
Rumors were that the AVR-3802 was much better in the SQ department further refined on with the AVR-3803.


You might add that 'better' is a subjective term.

The 3801 was my choice only for its sound esp. with your Energy's with the metallic tweeters and esp. for the price of $300. But my choice of sound is warm/laidback type (AKA muddy dull etc etc) so take that with a grain of salt. If you like sizzling/ sparkling performance then the later 3803/3805 will suit you better.

Best of luck with your search.
The truth is not out there but within you.

#15 of 47 KrishnaS

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Posted May 11 2004 - 02:10 PM

I prefer warm music too. One of my complains with my stolen Sony ES was that it was too bright. It just didn't sound right.

Oh well. I should make up my mind here in the next couple of days. Will keeo you all posted!

#16 of 47 Yogi

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Posted May 12 2004 - 03:41 AM

Quote:
I prefer warm music too. One of my complains with my stolen Sony ES was that it was too bright. It just didn't sound right.


Then the 3803 is not your type. Go 3801. Its got a very nice preamp section too (they all do). For the $200 difference you could also buy a separate amp (for about $50 more) on A'gon and have a kickass system, far better then the 3803 could ever dream of touching, IMHO.
The truth is not out there but within you.

#17 of 47 Lee Bailey

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Posted May 12 2004 - 08:17 AM

Krishna, are there no local dealers near you that carry the Denon line? If so, try to get a demo of the models you are looking at. The 3803's are disappearing fast.
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#18 of 47 KrishnaS

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Posted May 12 2004 - 09:59 AM

I'm waiting to hear back from the guy selling the 3801. He now wants $400 for it. At $400 I would rather pick up the 2803 at 460. If he agrees to sell it for $300 I'm going with the 3801. Another option I could conder is to wait for the 2805 to come up and then pick up the 2803 when it's discontinued.

#19 of 47 Lewis Besze

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Posted May 12 2004 - 05:48 PM

Yogi,
I used to owned the 3801,and when the 02 came out many people jumped on the bandwagon saying it sounds warmer and more refined,and all the usuall adjectives[the works].I guess you going the opposite way.
I never heard the 02 side by side to the 01,but I wonder how I would have decide as far as SQ
I guess we'll never know.Posted Image

#20 of 47 Yogi

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Posted May 13 2004 - 03:43 AM

Quote:
I guess we'll never know.


I guess so.
The truth is not out there but within you.


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