Denon - 3803 or 4802?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin_Welch, Jan 30, 2003.

  1. Kevin_Welch

    Kevin_Welch Agent

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    I need some help deciding

    Denon 3803 or 4802

    it is in my opinion that the 3803 is a better buy.
    seems like your paying extra for a not so good remote
    and with the money you save you could buy a pronto remote

    What is your opinion?
    what is another brand/ model i should look at before i make the purchase?

    what do you have?
    TY,
    kevin
     
  2. Jamey F

    Jamey F Stunt Coordinator

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    If you do a search, this has been recently asked. The person who started the thread ended up deciding against the 4802 but adding the Pioneer Elite 45tx as a possible choice to the 3803.
     
  3. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    IMO, the big differences are the remote and a better amp section (I do not consider the THX rating important.)

    If the remote is not an issue and you have a speaker setup that is not particularly hard to drive (or you don't play your system at lease breaking levels), then IMO, the 3803 should be more than competitive.

    I recently bought a 3803 to use as a pre-amp/processor and am very happy with it. I did not consider the 4802 at all...
     
  4. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    I would get the 3803 and later upgrade to a separate amp. This will be better than the 4802.

    Also, the Atkis remote is really not that bad, but if the 4802 doesn't come with the charger base then it's probably a battery eater.

    I have the Denon 5800 and have had most of the 380x receivers for a time in my home. With my speakers (4-6ohms and 86-87dB SPL) the 380x amps just don't cut it. The 4802 is OK and the 5800 is better than some separate amps.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Chuck hit the nail on the head - what speakers? Could make a big difference.

    I haven't had a chance to check out the 3803 in person, but I heard tell from someone who's opinion I trust, that it was not bad. I auditioned the 3802 and was not entirely impressed with the sound or the amp section (for the price at the time) (stereo, full range, no sub). A friend has a 4801, and I have been quite impressed with it however. There is a possibility that this has at least a little to do with the better amp section, but it just sounds cleaner.

    Between the two, I would likely opt for the 4802. If you want the features offered by the 3803, I would agree with Gil - add external amplification.

    In this price range, I would give the Marantz SR7300 and 8200, and Harman Kardon AVR525 a listen.
     
  6. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    The 3803 is a big step up from the 3802. It inherited a lot of the DACs and features of the 5802. So the pre-processor stage in the 3803 is actually better than the 4802. The only thing better in the 4802 is the amps and the THX processing (if you call that better!). I have the 3803 and love it. So it really depends on your other equipment.
     
  7. jeff_coil

    jeff_coil Stunt Coordinator

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    Chuck I would like to hear about the 3803 as a Pre/Pro. I am going to do the same very soon what amp do you have? Have you A/B'd it to the internal amps, I'm sure it sounds way better but just curious what "way" means [​IMG]
    Jeff
     
  8. Dan Stone

    Dan Stone Stunt Coordinator

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    I also have a question about using the 3803 as a Pre/Pro. When doing so, are you still able to use the A/B surround speaker switching (including retaining different output levels, crossover settings, etc.) capabilities or is this lost when using the preouts?
     
  9. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I would do exactly what Gil D Says. Get the 3803 and for the difference in price get a separate amp (used perhaps) in the 125W range and blow the standalone 4802 in sound and performance. Also with the 3803+amp approach you have the ability to somewhat tailor the sound from your speakers to your liking. For example you might like a more forward snappier presentation in which case all you have to do is to hook up the 3803 to a forward amp like the ATI. If you like more of a rolled off laidback warmer presentation you might tie it to a warmer amp like the B&K or the Parasound. With the 4802 you wouldnt have this flexibility.

    Best of luck.
     
  10. Bruce R.

    Bruce R. Auditioning

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    I bought a 3803 and paired it with a Rotel RMB-1075 power amp (120 Watts x 5). I didn't audition a 4802, but I'm quite certain that the Rotel amp will probably even outperform the amp built into the 5803. The sound is extremely smooth, clean and dynamic. Read all the reviews of the Rotel amp (check out ecoustics.com for reviews) and you'll see that it offers outstanding value and performance for the money (you can buy it new for about $900). BTW, call ABT electronics for the Denon and tell them to give you preferred customer pricing. You may be able to purchase it for under $900. I'm a very loyal customer there (I live in the area) and they sold it to me new for under $850 (sorry, I can't give you the name of the person I dealt with so as to not get him po'd at me). If they tell you that they can't go that low, then find any authorized internet retailer with a low price and try to get them to beat it. Their customer service is second to none. BTW, I had a manager at Tweeter ready to sell it to me for $900 (just haggle with them) but instead I wanted to purchase it at ABT.

    The ergonomics and features of the 3803 are great. I didn't love the remote so I replaced it with a Home Theater Master MX-500 which is absolutely superb. It learned every single operation of the receiver and my other components without a hitch and is extremely legible in all lighting conditions, highly recommended (around $120). Good luck with your decision, but I definitely recommend buying the 3803 with it's better pre-amp section (than the 4802)and upgrading to a separate power amp.
     
  11. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Jeff: Sorry but no, I haven't compared the 3803's internal amps to my Carver 705x 5 channel amp. Would it sound "way" better? I have no idea. I subscribe to the idea that differences in sound between decently designed amps, driven within their limits is subtle at best. (I'm not saying that others aren't hearing "what" they hear. I'm saying I don't hear those "differences".)

    The reason I went with a separate power amp and still support that idea is power and heat dissipation. Separate power amps can handle heat buildup much better (bigger/more efficient heat sinks &/or fans) and often provide more power into lower impedence loads. Each channel of my 705x has it's own heat sink and it can deliver up to 180 watts per channel into 2 channels (or 125 watts/ch into 5 channels). And since it's THX rated, it is rated to be stable down to 3.2 ohm loads.

    In the end, I feel these things mean longer amp life and lower risk of distortion and clipping. IMO, both worthy goals.

    Dan: To my knowledge, the only thing you give up if you go strictly 3803 and separate amps is the A/B surround speaker switching. Everything else functions as it would if you were using the receiver out of the box. All the the level balances, crossover settings, etc. work the same for everything else. (Don't forget that the 3803's crossover setting is universal for all speakers set as "Small".)

    If you use the 3803 as a pre/pro for the front 3 channels and then use the 3803's amps to drive the surrounds, then you would have the benefits of using bigger/beefier amps up front and could still use the 3803's amp section for the A & B surrounds (along with the rear center(s) too.) Since the 3803's power supply would only be driving the surround/back amps, there is a good chance they might perform a bit better (output wattage-wise.)
     

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