Denon AVR 1082 vs 3803

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by JohnMaggs, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. JohnMaggs

    JohnMaggs Auditioning

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    I recently picked up a Denon AVR 1082 at Tweeter ($600), which I am enjoying. My current source is a APEX AD 660 (gift) and the receiver is driving Cambridge Soundworks Ensemble III surround speakers (gift) and an older Toshiba TV. I plan to upgrade my system as $$$ permits around the 1082.

    Although I am happy with the 1082, I have been looking into the returning it (I still have a 2 week window) and getting a refurbished 3803 from Dakmart ($810) or a 2803 ($800 new or $520 used). However, I am still unclear as to the significane of differences between the 1082 (same as the 3802), 2803, and the 3803. Some upgraded features on the 3803 include:

    - Dolby Digital Surround EX (not tremedously important to me)
    - New DDSC-Digital featuring Analog Devices Melody 100 (HammerHead SHARC) 32 bit floating point DSP processor (Not sure of the significance)
    - DTS 96/24 (Not sure of the significance)
    - 16 Burr-Brown PCM-1791 24 bit, 192 kHz high resolution DACs on all eight channels, in differential configuration (Not sure of the significance)
    - Video Conversion of Composite to S-Video and/or to Component (Not sure of the significance)

    Do these features add significantly to the sound and picture quality?

    Will these features be valuable if I upgrade to seperate amps?

    Has anyone had good/bad/indifferent experiences buying refurbished from Dakmart?

    Thanks
     
  2. Thomas&CJ

    Thomas&CJ Agent

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    Hi John I just ordered one of these myself the 1082. Now that you've had it a while how would you describe the sound quality on two channel music? hoping I made the right decision on this one Cnet really liked it and I couldn't find one to audition so I based my decision largely on there review and a Great Price! $600.06 with shipping. Thanks

    Tom j.
     
  3. JohnMaggs

    JohnMaggs Auditioning

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    Tom j. -

    As this is my first foray into audio equipment that can't be powered with batteries, you can take my assessment with a big grain of salt. In addition, I believe my speakers (Cambridge Sound Works Ensemble III) are probably the weak point in my system.

    I have listened to a range of music over the last week or so - soundtracks(power of one), classical(mozart horn concertos), blues (keb mo, buddy guy), etc - in stereo mode and have been very happy with the sound quality. I can hear details in the upper range, and feel a bit of power in the lower range.

    IMO, the 1082 does a great job driving relatively small speakers in a not too small room.

    Hope you enjoy it as well.
     
  4. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    John: The 1082/3802 is a heck of a unit. And for the money difference, deciding between the 2 could be tough. I worked up a detailed list of the differences I'm aware of. In the end, they tipped me to the 3803.

    Here is a copy of a reply I posted on the same subject over at AVS forum (mildly edited)...


    I went from a 3802 to a 3803. I have used both as pre-pro's only...

    Most of the differences were evolutionary, not revolutionary. A quick list of the 3803's improvements:

    New, latest generation Analog Devices 32-bit SHARC surround processor

    New, 2 DACs per channel (vs. one on the 3802) Burr-Brown branded DACs

    DACs are 24bit/192MHz PCM capable

    Slightly higher rated output per channel (minimal change)

    Denon AL24 2 channel digital PCM processing

    DTS 96/24

    Ext. In Subwoofer level adjustment to allow for SACD/DVD-A .1 differences vs. DD/DTS (fairly important feature IMO)

    Added ability to separately turn off the subwoofer in each individual mode (sweet!)

    100MHz component video bandwidth

    Video up-conversion from composite to S-video to component

    No ventilation fan on the 3803 (arguably, maybe not an improvement?)

    Pure Direct Mode for 2 channel

    On-screen volume display for composite and S-video

    Volume adjustments now to the nearest half decibel

    3803 treats DPL II Cinema mode separate from DPL II Music mode. Same for DTS:Neo6

    Auto Surround Mode (this is really cool!) remembers the playback mode used for the last 4 signal types on each input and plays them the same way the next time

    Supports new Denon extended remote control codes for direct access to surround modes and 3 direct volume settings (these codes are NOT on the factory remote)

    Up to 200ms audio delay available to allow for lipsync matching when using external video processors.

    There are probably a few others I forgot but these are the main ones. For me, I like the user friendly tweaks added (separate subwoofer off, auto surround mode, DPL II flexibility, etc.) It was worth the extra to me for these reasons alone.

    Did it sound better? I didn't hear a difference that I could ever be sure of.

    Would I buy the 3803 again? In a heartbeat!
     
  5. JohnMaggs

    JohnMaggs Auditioning

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    Chuck,

    Thanks for the assessment. I went through the same process and I am very tempted by some of the 3803 features. I am trying to resist the urge to get the latest and somewhat greatest. I haven't been able to audition the 1082/3802-3803 side by side. Unless, I was completely taken by the difference in sound quality I would stick with the 1082 as it is a much better fit for my budget.

    In reality the $$$ would be better invested invested in a decent set of front speakers rather than putting all my eggs into the receiver basket. Then again - 2 burr brown dacs per channel, latest dsp, dpl II, ...
     

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