Denon 3803 Volume

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by JohnSap, Oct 10, 2003.

  1. JohnSap

    JohnSap Auditioning

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    I just purchased a Denon 3803, Paradigm Monitor 7 fronts, waiting for the OTW-cc370 (center) and ADP-370 (rear). The speakers are great. The Denon 3803 is great. The two together don't produce the volume I would expect. I would never have expected to be able to turn the volume all the way. The speaker cables are just OK 16 gauge monster until the other speakers arrive then prob. Canare star quad.

    The source is a Denon 1600 (soon to be upgraded to a Denon 2200) or a HD SA cable box (set to fixed volume). Again all w/ just OK temporary interconnects.

    Any advice?
     
  2. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    John: When you're saying all the way up, what do you mean? All the way to +18db?

    From both my own experiences and others I've read, -20db to -5db or so seem to be average...
     
  3. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    my 3803 is deafening at -9
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  5. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    From the sounds of it, your system will vastly improve once you've installed the additional speakers and possibly a sub-woofer. I remember when I got my JVC 5-channel receiver a few years back. I initially had it connected to two Infinity speakers with a sensitivity rating of 88dB. To get some volume out of the system, I had to really crank it up -- to the point I could overload the receiver. However, now that I have 5 speakers with good sensitivity ratings (91dB) and a 15" subwoofer, my volume level stays at lower levels of the receiver -- and the room is filled with very good sound. [​IMG]
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Many very accurate speakers have low sensitivity ratings.

    That is mostly due to: heavy coatings on woofers, mids & tweeters to damp out unwanted resonances; heavy materials like felt or thick cellulose (paper) used in woofers and mids to do the same thing; or complicated crossovers that individually adjust each driver's response so it is flat as possible.

    So low sensitivity is not an indicator of a speaker's quality.

    LJ
     
  7. JohnSap

    JohnSap Auditioning

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    Answers to all and Thanks to all.

    All the way is sometimes +18dB and sometimes +8.5dB. I'm not sure what make the top end change maybe the logic setting.

    Yes I know it's posted twice. Once in the HT section and once in the speaker section. I figured that it involves both.

    I do have a 15" sub. Not a great one audiosource but it works well for HT at a great price. The room is rather large (12x35) so maybe the answer is to wait for the surrounds. This is all new so I didn't want to wait too long before I complained to the dealer.
     
  8. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    John: Have you calibrated/balanced your channel levels? What are they set at?

    If memory serves, you may be the 1st I've heard of to have this issue. +18 would rip my setup to pieces...no matter what the source.
     
  9. JohnSap

    JohnSap Auditioning

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    I have been away for a while but here is the run down. I upgraded my DVD1600 to a DVD2200 and love it. Much better build and layer changes. When I added my new Monitor 7s , I changed the speaker size from small to large for the fronts and center in the 3803. The sub was set to LFE only. So the real problem was no bass from the sub. Changing the sub to LFE + main solved the problem. Or changing all the speakers to small. I chose the latter and have much better volume.

    That doesn't change the fact that I don't believe the 3803 can deliver 770W (110W x 7) total power. I am happier but still might move the fronts to a separate amp sometime in the further but for now the AVR3803 + DVD2200 are working fine. Thanks Everyone.
     
  10. John S

    John S Producer

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    What is the efficiency rating on those speakers????

    Seems amazing to me, but my only experience is with the Denon 4802. With the Denon's the power supply starts to strain at absolute full output, but it generally doesn't come into play at anything but absolute full output, in other words, generally a non issue. Makes a good case for going with the venerable 5800 though, as the power supply is the most major upgrade on the unit, from the power supply schemes both of us have, or that was my understanding when I ordered my 4802 anyways.

    Interesting to say the least though, your experience with it.
     
  11. rob-socal

    rob-socal Agent

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    You're right the 3803 doesn't output 110x7. It's spec'd for 110x2. YRMV.
     
  12. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    FWIW, I have Monitor 7's with a Yamaha RX-V795. I think it is rated at 80 W per channel, but I get plenty of volume without turning the volume dial up very much.
     
  13. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    "All the way is sometimes +18dB and sometimes +8.5dB. "

    That happens because the channel level of one or more speakers must be set at +6.5. Here is how it works. The receiver has a maximum gain of +15. If you have set the gain on an individual speaker to +10, that it is starting out louder, the the main volume only goes to +5, giving you the maximum +15 gain.

    Something is wrong. I have Mini Monitors and my the sound levels get unbearable at about -10 to 00, even in stereo. I have never been past 00. I usually listen to movies at about -10 to -5.

    Have you told the receiver that you only have 2 speakers? Make sure in the menu that you have all the rest set to none. otherwise it may think you have speakers and send sound to non-existant speakers. What sound mode is the receiver in? It should be in stereo. Anything else would be impossible with 2 speakers.
     
  14. JohnSap

    JohnSap Auditioning

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    I actually have 5 speakers + a 200w sub. The rears are temp. a pair of Boston bookshelf. When I first posted this, the Bostons were acting as a center. The problem was really only w/ dolby digital or DTS. The 5 channel stereo was much better. The sound now is decent.

    Thanks fot the info. about the max db level. I had read somewhere that the 3803 puts out around 385 total watts.
     
  15. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    After re-reading this thread, I agree with Brian. Something is amiss. The receiver, the wiring, the speakers, the setup, something...

    I dug up the specs on your Paradigm speakers and the lowest sensitivity rating is 93db/watt/meter. If Paradigm is not inflating the numbers, you should reach 99db (fairly loud by anyone's standards) at a distance of one meter with only 4 watts. Well within any receiver's reach. So even though your room is on the larger side, you should be getting ooodles of volume when you really turn it up.

    The receiver has lots of setup options and several could affect the output in a negative way. The speaker size choices, the crossover frequency choice, the individual channel levels and so forth all play a role. (BTW, the LFE+MAIN is a subwoofer mode. If the Main speakers are set as Large, any bass sent to them is also sent to the sub (which is also receiving it's own signal.) So the Main's bass is duplicated (again, only if they are set to Large.) The sub's bass is not.) BTW, Denon receivers have the ability to be re-booted. The micro-processor reset procedure is detailed toward the back of the 3803 manual. The reset have been known to cure some unusual quirks. Maybe this volume thing is one???

    The speaker wiring should be checked for polarity. If one lead is reversed, the bass output would be compromised and the resulting sound would likely sound kinda "weak".

    I doubt the speakers are all bad but if it is possible, it might be worth checking them to be sure.

    System setup can have big effects on sound quality and volume. But as long as the speakers have an unobstructed position, they should at least play reasonably loud, even if not necessarily at their best.

    I'm not saying that I have a complete checklist but I do know that you should be getting more volume...

    John: I just posted after you did. You say that you are now happier with the volume you're getting. Where is it at now?
     
  16. Cagri

    Cagri Second Unit

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    I recently discovered on my Denon 1802 that the receiver remembers different individual channel settings for each input. I was thinking that once you'd set, it would stay fixed for all inputs. How I discovered this is a bit wird, there was no sound coming from one channel and when I checked the setting it was at -12. Sub setting was also changed to -10. I have never changed the settings, they somehow changed themselves [​IMG] It may help to check the settings for each input.
     
  17. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Cagri: Denon's remember different levels by mode (for most modes) but not by input. (BTW, it treats DD, DTS and DPL II as the same mode.)

    As an example, if you're set on Direct for CD and Pro Logic II for DVD, each can have it's own channel volume levels. But if you have Direct on CD and Direct on Tuner, they should be the same for both...
     
  18. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    Not necessarily true Chuck. My 3803 has a master channel level in the menu setup, but you can also then adjust the channel levels individually by input. It is very handy. I have the reference calibrated in the menu, and then I kicked up the sub a few notches for DVD, and down a few for CDs to my personal preference.
     
  19. John S

    John S Producer

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    Thanks for that tip Brian!!! I have had my 4802 for quite a while now, I am going to check into what you just posted.

    My largest issue is going from any other source to laser disc, the sub just gets to bassy/ boomy if I don't adjust the volume when playing laser discs.
     
  20. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Brian: I don't know if we are talking about the same thing or not...

    What I'm saying is that if you have say Direct mode set on CD, Tuner and the Tape input, adjust the Direct mode on one of them to be -2db on each left and right channel and set the sub to Off, then when you switch from CD to Tuner to Tape, they are all -2 db for each speaker (and the sub will be off.) At the same time, if you set VCR 1 as DPL II Cinema and set DBS also as DPL II Cinema, and then adjust the VCR 1 to +1 db for the front three channels, 0db for the back channels and the sub to +1db, it will be the same for both VCR 1 and DBS. The level is stored by mode, not input. This has been tested by lots of users and is the same no matter what the mode (DPL II, Mono Movie, Wide Screen etc.)

    This has been discussed from time to time that while the mode memory is better than nothing (and I do make use of it), channel level memory by input would be preferable. But for now, no Denon receiver will do it...

    On page 62, in the Personal Memory Plus box, the 3803 manual notes that the receiver remembers the last mode it was in (when it last received the signal the user is playing) and that channel level, surround parameters and tone settings are recalled by mode.
     

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