Denon 3803/ 1600 Dvd Hook Up ?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by tom heinisch, Dec 7, 2002.

  1. tom heinisch

    tom heinisch Auditioning

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    I have a question regarding the hook up from the denon 1600 dvd player to the denon 3803.The dvd has a optical out that I use to the 3803 ,for dvd. I was told for a audio cd I need to hook up analog. Do I need to hookup audio channels for all 5.1 speakers to listen to a audio cd? I thoght the digital out would do this like it does on a dvd. thanks for your help.
     
  2. JonStern

    JonStern Agent

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    You should be able to play CDs on your 1600 using the same optical out as for DVDs. On the 3803's remote, select "DVD" (not "CD") as the input source and make sure that the input mode is set to "AUTO" (this makes the receiver look for a digital input from a particular source before looking for an analog one). To set this input mode, press the "MODE" button at the lower right of the remote until the receiver's display shows "AUTO." I think this is the default setting so it's probably already set to AUTO.

    If you wish, you can also connect your DVD player's analog audio outs. You have both stereo (L/R) outputs and multichannel (for DVD-A). Usually the stereo outputs are also fed to the front L/R multichannel outs, so you need connect only the latter to enjoy both DVD-A and stereo CDs. You HAVE to have the multichannel analog outs connected to listen to multichannel DVD-A as there is no digital alternative.

    You would press the 3803 remote's "ANALOG" or "EXT IN" buttons to make the receiver switch from the DVD player's digital output to the analog ones. "EXT IN" is used for the multichannel input.
     
  3. tom heinisch

    tom heinisch Auditioning

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    Thnks so much for the info, if I understand properly for me to play dvd audio it must be in the analog mode. I only need to hook up the 2 channel out from the dvd to the reciever and the reciever will perform the surrond to the other channels is this correct? thanks again
     
  4. JonStern

    JonStern Agent

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    Tom, I believe you CAN play back DVD-A (DVD Audio) over the optical connection BUT you'll only get a down-sampled (dumbed-down) signal because of the industry's concern over piracy. So, you should connect the analog outs for the best possible DVD-A sound. I'm assuming you're aware that DVD-A is a format in its own right and has nothing to do with the soundtracks of the movies you watch on DVD (which are usually in either 5.1 channel Dolby Digital or DTS).

    To summarize:

    For movies on DVD, use your optical out for audio and either the S-Video (preferred) or composite outs for video.

    For music CDs, use the optical out.

    For DVD-A, use the multichannel analog outs (set the input on the 3803 to "EXT IN").
     
  5. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Tom: My advice is to try both the digital input for 2 channel CDs and also try the analog input. My reason for suggesting this is that the 3803 runs 2 channel 44.1kHz/16bit PCM digital (which is what CDs are) through their AL24 processing circuitry. When in 2 channel digital mode, the AL24 circuits cannot be bypassed. (This means Stereo, Direct and Pure Direct.) Denon promotes AL24 as better CD decoding (more analog-like) but to my ears, it seems to mess with the soundstage.

    I've been asking around for the last couple of weeks for other's opinions are on AL24 but haven't heard anything yet.

    One test I'd suggest trying is mono material, if you have any (the first few Beatles Cds are all mono.) On my 3803, while in AL24 mode, mono sounds like reprocessed stereo. There is no solid, center image.

    Just curious what you hear when you get the chance...
     
  6. Eric_Barkle

    Eric_Barkle Extra

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    I have a 3803 also and use optical for my cd audio (sony ES changer). i still prefer the sound of the denon DACS, which will probably be better than most dvd/cd players out there.
     
  7. tom heinisch

    tom heinisch Auditioning

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    Well I guess I need to spend more money on cables. Here I go again any recommendations on a brand or type. Thanks for all the input on the post.
     
  8. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Tom: Don't spend much on my account! [​IMG] The difference between the analog CD in and the AL24 digital in is pretty big to my ears. Any ole pair of RCA interconnects lying around would work well enough to see if you hear what I'm hearing...
     
  9. JonStern

    JonStern Agent

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    Chuck,

    I prefer the analog CD connection from my Sony 222ES to the Denon 3803, too. I didn't necessarily notice a smearing of mono signals but there was increased coarseness when the Denon did the D/A. When I say "necessarily," I'm hedging a bit because I was sure I heard some bloating of my mono source AT LOWER MIDRANGE FREQUENCIES only, while the highs were fine. I'm going to try this again. I was listening in pure direct mode over Polk LSi15s.

    I've pretty much finished going over the manual for my new 3803 and am still scratching my head over the "Auto Surround" feature, especially how it applies to EXT IN, which I use for the 6 analog channels coming in from the Sony SACD player. I thought that, with the exception of level adjustment for the subwoofer channel, EXT IN bypassed all digital manipulation? On the other hand, Crutchfield's page for the 3803 did mention that its 192/24 A/Ds could be used on all analog inputs?

    Anyway, the Auto Surround is described on the bottom of page 29 of the manual. It specifically mentions that it applies to EXT IN. I'd appreciate hearing what you have to say about this. Thanks.
     
  10. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Jon: Hopefully, I can explain it ok...

    The Auto Surround Mode is an enhancement to the Personal Memory Plus feature. IOW, based on the signal types broken down on page 29, the 3803 will remember (by input) what mode it was in the last time it received that type of signal(which is broken down into the 4 categories.)

    An example would be the CD input. For 2 channel analog and 2 channel PCM signals, the 3803 will remember the last mode used (say Direct) and go to it the next time you play 2 channel analog or 2 channel PCM (which is the regular Personal Memory Plus feature.) But if you use your CD player to also play DTS CDs, it can store a different mode for DTS signals on the CD input (say DPL II Music) and revert to it automatically. Then, if you go back to a PCM CD, it senses the different signal and switches back to the 2 channel Direct mode. It accomplishes this automatic mode switching by detecting the incoming signal type. You can verify what modes are stored for what signal (while an input is being used) by going thru the onscreen display menus until you come to the Auto Surround Mode screen (NOT the setup menu.)

    As for the External Input, the manual says it remembers it the same as the other surround modes. I'm not saying it doesn't but it seems it would be a bit different since it bypasses the regular signal input pathway. I don't use the 7.1 input so I can't test it. Denon manuals aren't known for being the clearest or always correct, so it may be a boo boo.

    FWIW, the Crutchfield info is wrong. The 3803 cannot digitize the 7.1 inputs. This is still a feature that only the 5803 has. It (the 5803) has a setting in the main setup screen to choose Analog or DSP for each 7.1 input. The 3803 does not have this choice. The subwoofer level setting in the menu of the 3803 is strictly a volume adjustment, not an analog to digital to analog conversion choice.


    P.S. One caveat is that if you are locked into analog mode (IOW you are NOT in the Auto signal detect mode), then I don't believe the Auto Surround Mode will work. Also, if you ARE locked in analog mode, don't play a DTS CD. NOISE...BAD!!!!
     
  11. JonStern

    JonStern Agent

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    Thanks, Chuck. Looks like I'll have to experiment some more to sort out what's going on with EXT IN. In the meantime, after a few days listening to the Denon 3803, I've concluded that it's brighter sounding than my old Onkyo 787. Whether it's too bright to be enjoyable in the long run I can't tell yet. However, it does drive 6 Polks (4 ohms each) at reasonable volumes without getting hot.
     
  12. Donnie Clark

    Donnie Clark Agent

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    I couldn't get DVD-audio to work on my 3803 through the optical input. May be something between the receiver and my JVC DVD player. Optical works great on movies and composite works great on DVD-A's. Just choose the EXT-in for DVD-A's.

    If you haven't had the chance, buy the Eagle's-Hell Freezes Over on DTS 5.1. The song Seven Bridges Road had a different member of the band singing from each speaker. If you get the distance and delays set up on your DVD player, it sounds great.

    Donnie
     
  13. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Donnie: With very rare exception (the 3 I know of are Denon's best receiver and DVD-Audio player, the best Pioneer receiver and DVD-Audio player and Meridian's DVD-Audio link for their own branded stuff) no receiver can accept DVD-Audio through a digital connection. The same goes for SACDs too. This is due to copyright concerns for record companies. So, for most of us, if we want DVD-Audio or SACD sound, it's analog only...
     
  14. JonStern

    JonStern Agent

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    Chuck, I know little about DVD-Audio as I chose to go with SACD, but I thought that even Tom's Denon 1600 (see above) provides a digital DVD-A out, although the catch is that it's downsampled to 48k?

    Also, as you have the Denon 3803 receiver like me, I'd like to know if you considered the 4802 (will that be updated to "3" status soon?), and the 5803. I like the 3803 enough to be thinking about upgrading already:b
     
  15. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Jon: Nope, if one want true DVD-Audio, you're stuck with analog (with exceptions as I noted.)

    You may be confusing 2 channel 96kHz audio discs that have been released on a few DVD-Video discs. Again, with a couple of exceptions (Pioneer DVD players being one), most of those discs are downconverted (in the player) to 48kHz.

    No, I'm not tempted to go to the 3803's bigger brothers. Since I use mine as a pre/pro, I'm not convinced that I would hear big enough differences. (While there are clear differences, the 2 bigger boys are much beefier in the amp section. Something I'd never use...)
     
  16. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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  17. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Gil: With the exception of what AL24 is doing to the soundstage, I could not be happier with my 3803. I have found it to be very faithful to the source when in analog mode...
     
  18. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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  19. Jason Brent

    Jason Brent Second Unit

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    Hello all,

    New to the forum.....seems like a great place.

    I thought I'd ask this question in this thread. I'm needing to upgrade receivers, and have been looking at the 3803 and the onkyo tx-nr900. Have any of you with the denon auditioned the onkyo? If so, what are your opinions?

    My equipment: Paradigm studio 60's and studio CC; Atlantic Tech 374 surrounds. I'm also hunting for a new DVD player, and am considering the toshiba 4800.

    I can get just over dealer cost on the onkyo from an authorized dealer, but would have to buy online to get anything close to that deal for the denon. I also get cost on H/K from a relative. Maybe I should look at their new recievers. I like the denon's video upconvert feature a lot. Does it work good?

    Thanks for any input you all can provide.

    Jason
     
  20. JonStern

    JonStern Agent

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    Jason: I had looked seriously at the Onkyo 900 and Denon 3803. I previously had the Onkyo 787 and liked it very much. I then realized that the 900 seems to be pretty much the same as the TX-SR800 model except for all the networking stuff, for which the premium was about $500. I didn't need that so it came down to the 3803 and 800. I ended up buying the 3803 a few weeks ago and have had no regrets, although I'm sure the Onkyo would have been fine, too. I chose the Denon because Crutchfield's site said that its A/D converters could be applied to the multichannel analog inputs to perform bass management, but that turned out not to be the case. The 5803 does it, though.
     

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