Denon 3803 vs. Outlaw 950+7100

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Kieran Coghlan, May 7, 2003.

  1. Kieran Coghlan

    Kieran Coghlan Second Unit

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    I was seriously considering getting the Outlaw 950 + 7100 package recently, then I got to thinking... what does this package offer me, for $1700 or so, that a similarly priced (or even lower priced!) receiver wouldn't offer me, other than the fact that the amp and processor are seperate? I couldn't come up with any valid answers, so I'm turning to the trusty gentry here at HTF. Any thoughts on this? The Denon 3803 streets for around $1200. The Outlaw package is available for $1700. That's a big difference in price, and I can't see what features justify that. I'm open to suggestions, as I like the idea of moving to seperates, but I don't think that alone is worth $500.

    I did try to search for a thread like this but couldn't find anything.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    If you are mainly interested in HT, have a small to medium sized room with high efficiency speakers (91+db/w/m) then the Outlaw combo wouldn't offer any substantial sonic advantage for twice the price (remember the 3803 can be had from authorized dealers for less than 900). If, however, you are mainly into 2 ch music or have demanding speakers in a big room then going the Outlaw route will provide you all the benefits of a separate pre/amp architecture. Knowing more about your listening requirements and your system/room would get you better suggestions.

    Best of luck.
     
  3. Kieran Coghlan

    Kieran Coghlan Second Unit

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    First, just out of curiosity, what authorized Denon dealers are offering the 3803 for ~900?

    Next, to answer your questions: Currently I have very small, but quite efficient speakers: The old Energy Take5 satellites. I also have an SVS 20-39pci sub. My current HT room is my living room which is small/medium in footprint, but high in volume, due to the vaulted ceilings of my condo. Given that info, I am not an upgrade-aholic... My current receiver is a Yamaha rx-v995, which was my first digital receiver, bought back in January of '98 I think. My speakers are even older. So, this purchase/upgrade to something like the 3803 or the 950/7100, should last a long time, and be appropriate for a possible speaker upgrade in the next year or two. I doubt I would upgrade the speakers to anything other than medium to large-ish bookshelfs. But, that's down the road regardless. For now, I'm happy with my take5's and besides I may be moving w/in the next year.

    Finally, thanks for any and all advice, ideas, thoughts, oppinions and/or suggestions!
     
  4. Craig Woodhall

    Craig Woodhall Supporting Actor

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    that being said, i would spend the money on the seperates knowing they will be with you for a while.. especially if you are gonna one day upgrade your speakers. it is nice to have a little more power and imo, seperates are definately the way to go.. also receivers are sometimes overrated in the amplifier section, especially with all channels driven, they can drop significantly. at least you know the outlaw will put its rated specs out with all channels driven, to me, that is important.

    Craig
     
  5. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    I would go to an authorized dealer and compare the DENON against a similar seperates setup from some vendor like ROTEL. If you think the sonic quality differences that you hear (or don't hear) are worth $500 dollars than try the outlaw, if you don't stick with the receiver.
     
  6. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    http://ecoustics.pricegrabber.com/se...94bddce2576707

    Most sell the 3803 for around $900. I dont know who is authorized and who isn't. Also remember the so called authorized dealers are required to put the MSRP for online sales but will more than often negotiate a lower price over the phone so dont hesitate to call them for a better price.


    Also if you are going to upgrade your speakers in the future then you might give separates due consideration as you will have more choices in terms of speakers when you go out shopping for them as you will be assured the separate amp will be able to drive them to glorious levels without a problem. The preamp sections of the Outlaw and the 3803 should be comparable IMHO. Another option would be to get the 3803 and a used separate 5 ch amp for around $700-800 later on. This way your expenses will be spread out over longer period plus you will have the pleasure of getting into the upgrade mania two times over for the same price (once with the 3803 and once with the separate amp). Frankly some of us are into this hobby just for the fun of upgrading, although I am not sure of my purpose in this hobby.
     
  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Hold on a second. Some things to consider:

    1) The 950 has analog BM on the 5.1 inputs, the 3803 doesn't.
    2) The Outlaw has individual crossovers settings for "sets" of speakers, the Denon only has one global setting.
    3) The Outlaw has a 5 year warranty, that is transferrable.
    4) Outlaw has awesome customer support. (Re: the recent user swappable Eprom chip for the DTS-ES LFE problem.) If you are not already aware of it, the 3803 has a problem with the level of the LFE channel. There's a thread somewhere in this section. I didn't follow it long enough to see if there's a resolution or not?

    Denon makes great receivers. But I don't think there's a comparison here. There are reasons why separates are preferred by so many people.

    And, you could try the 950 for 30 days, and get your money back if it doesn't live up to your expectations. I doubt you'll find a Denon dealer that will do that. [​IMG]
     
  8. Jamey F

    Jamey F Stunt Coordinator

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    Check denon's site for authorized dealers. Then, call them. $900 is about the bottom end for authorized, but it is possible. Consider $950-$1k a fairly easy target to reach for the 3803.
     
  9. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Energy Take 5 speakers are quite easy to drive and work well with a ~ 100-120 hz crossover for HT (the drivers are ~ 3 inches). I have a pair in my bedroom; an HK 50x2 stereo receiver can drive them to deafening volumes. I seriously doubt if anything more than 80 watts continuous is audible on these speakers (and perhaps the mediumish bookshelfs you may upgrade to in 1-2 years).

    IMO, you should spend about $600 and get something like a Denon 1802 (same as 3802, gives you DPL2, $595 at www.6ave.com) or the HK AVR525 (has Logic 7 and DPL2).

    Some local dealers should also have a certain return period where you would get full credit on returns (and without shipping charges both ways).
     
  10. Kieran Coghlan

    Kieran Coghlan Second Unit

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    Ricky T,
    Thanks for the input, however, I'm not looking for rock bottom bargain HT here. I have a pretty decent HT. A Denon 1802 would be a big DOWNGRADE from my Yamaha rx-v995, IMO, except that it offers 6.1 and dpl2. Also, I'm quite familiar with my Energys, thanks. I've had them for over 5 years. You're probably right that a solid 80wpc amp is plenty for these speakers, but as I said, I'm looking at upgrading down the road. I want something that will last me, after my Take5's move to the computer room. [​IMG]
     
  11. Jamey F

    Jamey F Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin C Brown said:

     
  12. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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  13. CurtisC

    CurtisC Second Unit

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    I have had the 3803 several months,NO problems,just beautiful music and heart stopping HT.It is the best you are gonna get new for 1k imo.
     
  14. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    I would say go the seperates (Outlaw) route as well. That way if anything else come out down the road your only out the pre-amp. Amps can always find a home.

    You might also want to consider Rotel. They make excellent gear. Their receivers the 1055 and 1065 are very current and according to their website, future proof buy being software upgradable. Here is a link.
    http://rotel.com/products/surround-sound-receivers.htm

    These would be more than adequate driving your excellent Energys and if you do up-size your "speaks" they would do just fine and if not you can always add an amp as well. The point is, they are "upgradable".

    Just my thoughts, but then again, I could be dumb too.
     
  15. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Buying amps/separates before a speaker change isn't always the best process. If you upgrade your speakers in 18-24 months and buy the amps afterwards, you would be able to match the amps to the speakers. Are you doing 7.1 now? Or not sure whether you will do 5.1, 6.1, for 7.1? If you are only 5.1, then perhaps the 755 amp is better for you than the 7100 amp. Also in 18 months, the new & improved Outlaw 950 should be out.
     
  16. Mike Up

    Mike Up Second Unit

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  17. Jamey F

    Jamey F Stunt Coordinator

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    Glad you were here to hit the high points Mike [​IMG] I couldn't have said it better.
     
  18. Eric A

    Eric A Second Unit

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    I throw in my $.02. I have a separates system now but have been down this road before. I would go with the 3803 before the Outlaw and add an amp. The processing power in the 3803 is better than the Outlaw and as a preamp with Direct mode and AL24 upsampling it will outperform the Outlaw for 2-channel as well. Do not sell the Denon short on 2-channel. I had a 3802 and an Onkyo 898 in my system in the past and they are fantastic performers. As for an apples to oranges comparison, I truly believe that the this is an apples to apples comparison. The addition of the Denon 7-channels of amplification opens up huge possibilties of spending much more money on a great 2-3 channel amp (Bryston, Parasound, Aragon) for the fronts and allowing the rears to be driven by the receiver. These amps and his receiver will be hard to beat in this price class.
     
  19. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Kieran:

    I have been using the Outlaw 950 as my preamp with the 770 power amp (the big brother to the 7100) and have been nothing but happy with its overall performance with both 2 channel stereo as well as HT.

    I firmly believe that the Outlaw combo that you are looking into will meet all of your expectations. All of the afore mentioned problems with the 950 have all been addressed and resolved so they are no longer a problem.

    I would give the Outlaw combo a try in your own home. They have excellent customer support and have a very generous return policy. You owe it to yourself to at least give the Outlaw combo at try out in your own home. If you don't like the way that it sounds to your own ears then just return it.

    Parker
     
  20. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Eric A:
     

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