can anyone tell me the differences between the Denon 4802 and the 4802R? also, apparently the 4802R is an updated version of the 4802, but it comes with a "crappier" remote. anyone know why? is it possible to get the 4802 remote with the 4802R?
Trust me, you don't want the Aktis remote. Both the Aktis which comes with the 4802 (I own one) and the newer remote which comes with the 4802R and the 3803 are less than happy clickers. The Aktis requires lots of paging to operate the amp and the RC-921 is of the "lots of little buttons all the same size with labels which are impossible to read" school. Neither one is very good and which is "crappier" is a matter of taste. Since I'm a well known "Prontoholic" I would recommend a member of the Pronto family is you like touchscreens (like the Aktis which comes with the 4802) or a Home Theater Master MX-500 or MX-700 if you like hard buttons.
Other than that, the only upgrade the 4802R seems to have is THX Ultra 2 certification. This seems to be a rather minimal upgrade. If you are interested in a good deal in an upper end Denon receiver, you might take a look at the 3803. It lacks THX Ultra 2 (and garden THX) certification, but the amp is plenty powerful enough if you have reasonable efficient speakers which are easy to drive (no bad impedance drops or reactive components to the load). It does have a superior preamp to the 4802 series -- and the 4802 was no slouch. Denon did however drop the price of the 4802R by a few hundred so it is a better deal than the old one (although the 4802 was a really smokin' amp). As always, listen first, but both the 4802R (which has the same preamp and power amp sections as the 4802) and the 3803 are really nice amps.
i've been looking at all 3 of those receivers. the only reason i saw to get the 4802 over the 4802R was the remote as i would like to have an lcd remote that i can program the button names and put in macros such that it's as easy as possible for the wife. how much does a pronto cost with an lcd screen and simple macro functionality cost? i don't have to have the best, just something with programmable buttons.
A garden variety Pronto can be had for well under $300. The older TSU 1000 can be had (I understand) for around $150. The TSU 3000 (which is preferable to the 1000 or the TSU 2000) can be had for $265.
right now i'm trying to convince myself to go with the 4802R and then get a pronto TSU 3000 later. sounds like it would be a good combo. are these remotes pretty easy to program? you can do it from the pc, right?