Denon 2802 vs. 3802

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jerry C, Aug 27, 2001.

  1. Jerry C

    Jerry C Extra

    Nov 7, 1999
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    I'm looking to upgrade my receiver by replacing my 3-year old Sony (DE915) with a new receiver capable of DD/DTS 6.1 discrete and Dolby ProLogic II. I've pretty well narrowed my choice to one of the new Denon models--either the 2802 or 3802. My question is this: what are the major differences between these two models? Is the difference in price for the 3802 worth it for my situation? My home theater setup includes a Tosh TW40X81, Tosh 5109 progressive DVD player, and, at this point, low-end speakers--the Infinity Minuette set including center, surrounds and subwoofer.
    What's the advice from the knowledgeable people on the forum? Is the 2802 good enough, or should I shell out the extra bucks for the 3802? Any help appreciated.
  2. JohnW

    JohnW Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 22, 1998
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    Jerry, I'm no expert, but I have been looking at these same two models. Here are the major differences between 2802 and 3802:
    • Power: 90 x 6 vs. 110 x 7
    • Surround back channels: single vs. two
    • Speaker switching: Front A/B speaker switching vs. surround A/B switching
    • DSP: 24-bit vs. SHARC 32-bit
    • Remote: GLO-KEY vs. LCD
    • Weight: 25.4 lb. vs. 36.4 lbs. (does that extra 11 lb. say something? [​IMG])
    • Cost: 799 vs. 1199 list, or ~600 vs. ~800 online
    2802 will have no problems driving your Infinity Minuette speakers. If you have no plan to use (or upgrade to) two back surround speakers, or do not care about dipole surround, 2802 probably will suffice. Just my 2 cents.
  3. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

    Aug 7, 2001
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    OK - I'll chime in here. I have the 3802, and sometimes wondered what the differences were, too. From what I can tell from the Denon website, here is what I see as being IMPORTANT differences.
    The Power is not much different when looking at the numbers - 90 vs 110. But the power supply in the 3802 is bigger, and will be able to hit closer to 110 X 5 (not 7 - I don't use ES or EX anyway) than the 2802 will be able to hit 90 X 5. At least that is my opinion.
    The DDSC in the 3802 vs the 2802 24 bit to me is one of the biggest differences. If you have better circuitry doing the decoding, everything is downstream from this and it helps to start of clean. Start off with inferior decoding, and you can't make up for it. If you were to put the same external amps on both, I would bet that the 3802 still sounds better because of better decoding.
    Also, the speaker switching on the 3802 is a little more advanced. On the 2802, you have the A/B switch. I assume this then means you can have another set of speakers somewhere else, but playing at the same volume and source as the main speakers. The 3802 allows you to use the extra surround channels (what I use them for) to power them with a different source and at any volume you wish, independent of the main room. And you can still have 5.1 going at the same time. Pretty cool if you ask me.
    Now are these important to you? Maybe, maybe not. If you plan on adding external amplification, then the first item isn't an issue. If you don't have multi-zone, then the 3rd isn't an issue.
    But what about that DDSC? You may not be able to hear a difference (I may not even be able to hear a difference - I have never listened to the 2802). I would venture to say that Denon's 24 bit chip is superior to many other manufacturers chips. So it will probably still sound better than the competition. In my opinion, Denon knows digital processing, and they do it well. Some will say Yamaha - and I agree with that, but I still think Denon puts it where it matters, in the Dolby Digital and DTS decoding, not some 30 odd DSP's to make my room sound like Cathedral 1, 2 or 3.
    So you probably wouldn't go wrong with the 2802. But considering the price difference is only $200 online, I would say go with the 3802. You won't be sitting there wondering if you are missing something, and end up buying it later anyway!
    Good luck!
    [Edited last by Bryan Acevedo on August 27, 2001 at 03:28 PM]

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