Denon 3803 bass management for multichannel analog inputs

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JonStern, Dec 5, 2002.

  1. JonStern

    JonStern Agent

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    Hi all,

    Just set up my new 3803 (replaces an Onkyo 787). My primary source is a Sony 222ES SACD player which has only rudimentary bass management for its 6 analog SACD channels, and I was looking for something that would do a better job with bass management on the receiver end until the next generation of (hopefully improved) SACD players comes along.

    I bought the 3803 because its description on Crutchfield's site said that its 6 194/24 A/D converters can work on the 6-channel analog input to implement bass management, etc. However, the manual is mysteriously silent on this point (except for mentioning a configurable subwoofer crossover for the analog inputs, so I guess that's at least 1 channel that's A/D'd). There's also a simple ON/OFF setting for something called AUTO SURROUND for various inputs including the 6 analog channels, but I haven't experimented with that yet.

    I'd like to hear from anyone who can shed some light on this. Thanks!
     
  2. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Jon: I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Crutchfield info is in error. No bass management on the 7.1 inputs for the 3803.
     
  3. WesleyHester

    WesleyHester Stunt Coordinator

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    I've already notified Denon regarding Crutchfield's error.
     
  4. JonStern

    JonStern Agent

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    Chuck--thanks for the reply. I guess it was too good to be true, especially as Denon's site didn't mention anything about analog bass management (except the subwoofer--I'm going to have to check if the crossover's implemented digitally).

    Do you own a 3803? I would like to know where you got your information as I'm sure I'm going to have other questions (the manual is not bad but there are the usual ambiguities and omissions).

    Thanks.
     
  5. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    Jon,

    You can use the 6 channel input on the Denon and use the 120Hz crossover in the Sony for multichannel SACD. JT Hourglass is impressive (at least last I listened using the 3802)

    For CD and stereo SACD, connect the Sony's stereo outputs to the CD input on the Denon and use the 80Hz crossover setting in the Denon. Adjust the level of the sub while in Analog Pure Direct mode and you have an analog hi pass filter for the mains and digital low pass filter for the sub. It works well. I have done this using my Sony 555ES with the Denon 3801, 3802 and now 3803.

    The only problem is that I am not totally happy with the new sound of the 3803. It sounds clean but a little thin and brighter compared to the 3802 on stereo. I am using it as a preamp only. How does the 3803 compare to your Onkyo?
     
  6. JonStern

    JonStern Agent

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    Hi Gil--

    Thanks for the info. I'm actually not too concerned about the "bass" part of bass management, as I have full-range front speakers and a Velodyne powered sub hooked up to the receiver's front channel preamp outputs handling the bottom octave (as in a traditional stereo where you blend the sub with the mains by adjusting the former's low pass crossover). I always select "no sub" in the surround setup. The Sony SACD player does allow turning the sub off in its bass management and setting the fronts to large and that's what I do.

    What I really wanted to do is set the delays for my center and surround speakers (each of which is at a different distance) for the multichannel analog inputs, and the Sony SACD player doesn't do this. Unfortunately, it seems the 3803 won't be any help there, either.

    I'm not sure I understand your point about "...you have an analog hi pass filter for the mains and digital low pass filter for the sub." Why is the hi pass filter analog? Are you saying the Denon always has a high pass filter switched in for analog inputs?

    Regardng the sound, I got new speakers at the same time as the 3803 so I can't comment on how it sounds compared to the Onkyo. The speakers are Polk LSi15 (front) + LSi9 (surrounds + rear). I'm still dialing in all the parameters and moving stuff around so it will be a while before I can do any serious listening.

    I'm new to home theater but I gather that will all the variables regarding bass management, surround modes, crossovers, etc., the only way to be sure of what your particular equipment is doing is to experiment. It sounds like that's what you did.
     
  7. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Jon: Yes, I just bought a 3803 last week and I am running it as a pre-amp/processor into a 5 channel amp.
    If you're up to it, here is a link to a thread (with a link inside of it) that talks about Denon's 2 channel bass management and the analog highpass filters that are in all Denons.
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=37455
    Also, here is Denon's press release for the 3803 at this fall's CEDIA show. It also mentions Denon stereo analog bypass feature. (It's important to note that no mention is made concerning any bass management on the 7.1 inputs.)
    http://www.dba-pr.com/clients/denon/...03,%201803.htm
    To my knowledge, the only receivers in the 3803's price class that have bass management on the multi-channel inputs are the new Harman Kardons and the Sherwoods.
    P.S.
    The Denon 5803 CAN apply bass management to the 7.1 inputs. But there is a setup choice in the main setup menu for Analog or DSP. The 3803 has no setting like this. (Unfortunately, the 5803 retails for over $4000.)
     
  8. JonStern

    JonStern Agent

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    Thanks Chuck. I took a quick look at the threads you mentioned and there's a lot of information there so I'll spend some time going over it carefully.

    BTW, what kind of amp are you using? I started my home theater shopping a few months ago by looking only at separates. Ultimately I decided to go with a receiver and then add a power amp a little later. Right now I'm considering the Outlaw 770.
     
  9. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    I'm using a Carver 705x which is a 5 channel THX rated amp (125 watts/ch.) It's around 3 years old and like a Timex, it's taken a licking but it keeps ticking. I think the Outlaw stuff represents very good value. I own an Outlaw ICBM that I run between my 3803 and my amp for more customized bass management.

    I do have a couple of updates to make to the bass management threads I noted above.
    1st, the 3803 nows appears to allow you to turn off the sub via each mode. IOW, you can have it on in Direct mode but off in Mono Movie mode (or visa-versa.) The 3802 would only allow one to turn off the sub in Direct mode (if you wanted it on in all of the others.)

    2nd, if you use the 2 channel digital input for PCM (CD audio), the 3803 automatically go into the AL24 processing mode. While it sounds great to me from a tonal standpoint, I'm not so sure I like what it does soundstage-wise. The good thing is that one can always go 2 channel analog and avoid the AL24 stuff if one wants...
     
  10. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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  11. JonStern

    JonStern Agent

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    Chuck, even though I currently have my Velodyne sub hooked up to the receiver's preamp out jacks for the front L/R speakers (thus working in parallel with them), I'm going to see if I can't move it over to the sub out jack once I fully understand the implications with various sources and also how much control I have over its operation. I want to avoid "double bass," misdirected or missing bass ranges, etc. It's an old sub and doesn't have a direct (crossover-less) input, but I gather that since the 3803 uses a digital low pass filter I won't have a double crossover problem (2 crossovers in series) if I connect it to the sub out jack. It seems these days the sub out is the way to go (assuming the above problems are solved).

    Gil, thanks for the additional info. I listen at moderate levels and the Denon got somewhat warm driving 2 LSi15s and 4 LSi9s for about 3 hours last night. I can't comment too critically on the sound as the speakers aren't positioned properly yet. I did notice, though, that the treble produced by the LSi tweeters is cleaner than my reference Verity Audio Parsifals.

    I still plan on getting a separate amp eventually as the Polks are only 4 ohms all around. I'll check out the amps you mentioned.
     
  12. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Jon: Yeah, I agree that Denon's digital sub lowpass would help avoid the potential phase troubles 2 analog filters have when in series. But don't forget (and I'm sure you haven't [​IMG] ) that the Denon sub out will always have the filter on. The frequency that it is fed is based on the choice of the crossover frequency you choose when you go thru the setup menu.
     
  13. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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