Denon 4802 reaction

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JimH, Sep 18, 2001.

  1. JimH

    JimH Auditioning

    Nov 16, 1999
    Likes Received:
    I ran out of time to wait for the Outlaw pre/pro option and the Onkyo 898 and went ahead and purchased the 4802. My previous system consisted of a Caver 705x 5 channel amp and the Carver 5.2 speaker system (this is the setup with two subs in the towers driven by a 300watt amp that is inside the center channel speaker--a very good set for film soundtracks, and quite respectable for music as well--at least in my opinion.) I was using a Sony ES receiver as a pre/pro. I considered, as many of you have, using the Denon 3802 as a preamp, keeping the 705 and adding a two-channel amp for the additional 2 rear speakers. However, for me this was not an option as I needed full bandwidth support for HDTV (the 3802 does not provide this) and I just got tired and weary of the clutter and effort needed to install and/or shift so many wires, etc., to support all the units or just to integrate a new piece.
    I have found the Denon's sound production remarkably close to the results from the Carver amp. This amp was reviewed quite extensively when it was originally available with an assessment of excellent for film, acceptable for music, with the usual reviewers terms along the lines of not as "warm" as competitors, very good but soundstage somewhat limited, etc. I have read reviews, comments here about how the Marantz amps are "warmer" compared to Denon and others but I must say the soundstage is well defined and I am quite pleased with this new receiver. If possible, you ought to do some A/B comparisons with with separates versus a receiver like the 4802 before rejecting a receiver based option over the usually much higher expenditures needed for separates.
    The setup for the Denon is not that intuitive (at least for me), and the remote's extensive multiple pages are not all that easy to work through (I actually have to read the manual!) and takes some getting used to. You must be hooked up to a monitor to complete the setup--confined to on-screen selections. However, the complexity is matched by enormous flexibility in configuring your system (assigning inputs, etc.) and when I finish I will have a very accessible and flexible system, both for multi-room applications and all the various inputs and sound options I am setting up. Also, not that this is unique with the Denon, but the DPLII actually achieves the hype, an excellent process for two-channel input (especially cable based films.)
    Overall, the Denon 4802 is quite a piece, a bit pricey given its' competition (e.g., the new Sherwood Newcastle 963 is more than $500 cheaper), but providing about every sound/video output option I could consider and with a receiver based amp that rivals (sonically) what I came to expect from a good amp ( I know, coupled with somewhat of a compromise in a receiver based pre/pro.)
    Now, how to afford that Kenwood 5900m DVD changer to complete the upgrade?
  2. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

    Jan 7, 1998
    Likes Received:
    Congrats on a fine purchase. I have nothing but praise for this receiver myself. DPLII shocked me again, even though I have heard it a number of times already. I personally found the setting up the Denon fairly easy, although this is my fifth (!) Denon receiver. I am a little puzzled by the MSRP of the 4802, it is a pretty expensive mid-line between the 3802 and the 5800.
    Sound InSight Audio Video
    My Home Theater Pics
    My Equipment List
    My DVD Collection
    My LD Collection
  3. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 10, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I spent all of last weekend playing with my 4802 and I love every bit of it. Besides DPL II, Neo 6 is really cool...
    I was warned about Denon's non user friendly setup, and I must admit that manual is pretty horrible and setup took a lot longer than it did on my previous Pioneer Elite model, but I got through it eventually. The remote is cool looking but performance falls short... I'll have to get it hooked up to my computer and spend another weekend customizing my remote before I have a full opinion about it.
    On the sound front...
    in DTS ES Discrete and Matrix this receiver absolutely rocks. I'm a multichannel freak so I set the channel levels on the surround backs up about 8 bars and the surrounds up about 5 bars... then I popped in Gladiator and had arrows flying in great detail all around me as hell was unleashed...
    I thought that was great until I popped in Saving Private Ryan to hear THX EX, forget what dts tells you about es discrete, cuz THX EX is awesome!!!! the arrows flying around me were nothing compared to the bullets and water spray and depth charges. the surround back channels added a new level of realism that I've never experienced before to home theater.
    I haven't had enough time to completely tune and tweak this puppy, but so far it has been the best sounding setup I have ever had.
    My only complaint is that I have canton ergo 90's as my mains and they are rated at 170/300 watts into 4...8 ohms, the 4802 is 125 watts into 8 ohms and 150 watts into 6 ohms... but just from my initial impressions on my setup at home... it couldn't quote push the canton's to my satisfaction... they sounded a little sufficated and lacking some dynamic character. while it's a big improvement over my old setup, I know there is definite room for improvement in the 2 channel music department...
    Somebody has to pay for retail businesses to let us walk in and audition high quality equipment side by side with our own dvd's and movies. I don't mind paying a premium to support this kind of service and convenience, I wish others would consider this when buying discounted b-stock merchandise from shady internet dealers.
  4. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

    Aug 26, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Congratulations on your purchase [​IMG]
    However, you can't compare DTS-ES or DD-EX directly unless its for the same movie. It's possible Saving Private Ryan had a more aggressive back surround mix.

Share This Page