Denon 5803 or separates?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by BrianKR, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. BrianKR

    BrianKR Second Unit

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    I had a friend offer to sell me his 6 month old Denon 5803 for $2,000! I was going to purchase separates next year but this is an "awesome" deal on one beast of a receiver.
    From what I have read about the Denon 5803 I don't see me needing ever needing more than what it offers. Am I wrong?
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Not if the 5803 has what you want when it comes to processing and power. It is regarded widely as the finest A/V receiver on the market, and if the unit is in pristine shape and you like the thing go for it.
     
  3. Samuel J

    Samuel J Auditioning

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    You may want to consider the upgrade factor into your decision. The 5803 is a fantastic unit and it will make you quite happy. When it's time to retire the receiver (new technology requires upgrades every so often), you lose out on the money you put toward the amplification inside the receiver. If you bought a separate 200 watt amp and a processor to go along with it, you will always and forever have your 200 watts per channel and you would only have to upgrade the processor (much cheaper than buying a new flagship receiver).

    This is just an example (there are many brands from which to choose): If you want 7 channels, you could buy a Rotel 1055 Receiver which has 5 channels of amplification and does extremely well as a processor for $1300. Connect a separate 2 channel amp(for the main speakers) for $1000. This will allow you to have 7 channels (since the Rotel allows you to convert the 2 front channels to the back). In my opinion, this will sound better than the Denon and you will only need to upgrade the processor in the future.

    The Denon will sound great, but I just can't imaging having to throw away the amps in the receiver and spending $5000 on another Flagship receiver just because you want new processing technology.

    By the way, this is just one guy's opinion and I am by no means an expert or authority in this matter.
     
  4. Donnie Eldridge

    Donnie Eldridge Supporting Actor

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    I'd say hold out, especially if you weren't going to buy until next year. You will find that many more purchasing options will become available to you.
     
  5. BrianKR

    BrianKR Second Unit

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    I was almost set to pull the trigger too[​IMG]
    I see your point Samuel. It was the biggest factor I was weighing while thinking this over. I don't think the Rotel 1055 has enough power to drive my speakers (it's only 75watts a channel right?) I could pick up a Rotel 1095 or a Sherbourn for under 2,000 and always upgrade my processor when needed. I am going to go to the audio store in my area tomorrow and audition a few amps and the Denon 5803 before I make a definitive decision.
     
  6. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    You could always use the 5803 as a multichannel power amp in the future with a new processor..
     
  7. Mike OConnell

    Mike OConnell Second Unit

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    Brian:

    I own an upgraded Denon 5800 and it more than serves my needs. However, if I was to do it again for the same price I paid for the original 5800, plus the upgrade (around $3,400), I would go for separates. For around $3000 I could get a new Sherbourn 7-channel amp and a used Lexicon MC-1 with the latest upgrades and interconnects.

    Not because I believe the separates would give me an upgrade in performance. I have tried separates (a Rotel setup) up against my 5800 in my home and the performance difference was minimal. Yes the separates were very marginally better, but not worth the difference in the cost to upgrade at the time.

    That being said - you will not find a set of separates, plus interonnects, for $2000 that can compete with the 5803 for the combination of flexibility and power. If you keep your eye on the used market, you might be able to get a decent pre-pro, plus an good amp for around $2500, maybe less that would give you a possible marginal performance gain over the 5803.

    One plus, if you are buying this from a friend, you should be able to take advantage of the remainder fo the two-year warrranty on the Denon.

    Basically, for $2000 you will be hard pressed to beat the Denon 5803. If you are willing to look at spending just a little bit more, you can get an Outlaw 950/770/7-PCA's for around $2600 deliverd. This combination might sound better than the 5803 - I would have my doubts, but it would give you more options in the future in regards to processor upgrade while keeping the amp.

    Good luck. Either way you can't go wrong.

    Mike
     
  8. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    Denon has offered upgrades for their receivers and I definitely see them doing it for the 5803 also theres no new formats that are going to come out so not much need for an upgrade. Another point for that price range Rotel and Outlaw that I know of have never offered an upgrade so once you get it you're stuck with it you have to send another $1000 for a new pre/pro that doesn't have all the features of the 5803. The 5803 has dual Analog Devices Hammerhead Sharc processors that have an upgradable architecture and has more processing power than any other processor on the market especially ones in a Rotel or Outlaw preamp. What that means is that ability to add new features like i.Link or some sortof room correction or whatever. So when Denon offers an upgrade you get to keep the amps and get new features. Also in the 5800 upgrade it included a processor upgrade where they took out the old processors and stuck in new ones I think they also added new DACs. I'd definitely take the Denon if you could get it for $2000. What kind of separate did you plan on getting?

    Daniel Smith
     
  9. Samuel J

    Samuel J Auditioning

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    Please allow me to make a correction to the above post.

    Rotel is constistently offering firmware updates. There is a computer port on each of the Rotel processors and Rotel receivers that allows you to download software updates on your home computer; you could also take it to your dealer and they will do it for you.

    The best part about the Rotel updates is that they are FREE. No charge for upgrades.

    Oh, you also get a 5 year warranty with Rotel.
     
  10. DarrylM

    DarrylM Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Samuel J

    Samuel J Auditioning

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    Here is an example of firmware upgrades for the Rotel 1065 receiver(This upgrade was a while back since there are not many new formats recently)

    - Added dts Neo:6 feature.
    - Added Pro Logic II Music Panorama, Dimension, and Center Width settings.
    - Added Dolby Digital EX feature.
     

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