Denon AVR-3803 Sound Qualty vs. 3802

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JohnKings, Nov 26, 2002.

  1. JohnKings

    JohnKings Stunt Coordinator

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    Has anyone noticed any difference in the sound quality between the 3802 and the 3803? (Particularly when using 3803 DACs for CD Audio). Are the DACs being used in 3803 significantly better than those used in the 3802?

    Thanks!

    JK
     
  2. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    On paper the 3803 should be better, but my listening comparisons didn't yield much sonic difference(YMMV). Of course, the 3803 has some features that might be of use over the 3802.

    DJ
     
  3. JohnKings

    JohnKings Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave:

    Did you do a side-by-side comparison? The sound quality is really the key factor in my decision to upgrade or not. If there is a significant difference in its HT performance or CD Audio (DAC) performance, I will upgrade. Otherwise, I am staying with the 3802.

    John
     
  4. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Yes, I did a side by side(same room, same speakers, same source with a switcher)comparison using CDs. Like I said, I think it would be an upgrade for features, not sonics.

    If you want an upgrade sonically, I think you'd have to move into the next echelon of receivers to the flagships or move into seperates.

    Good luck,

    DJ
     
  5. Tom_Mack

    Tom_Mack Stunt Coordinator

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    I was disappointed in the sound of digital sources with the Denon 3802 last year. Analog sounded great! I was hoping to hear that the DAC change would be a bigger difference.
     
  6. Jeff Ery

    Jeff Ery Stunt Coordinator

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    So far my feeling is that the 2 are very similiar...same speakers,sources demo material: but I have been more impressed with the RXV2300 which my brother told me was a little livelier and had more control and BALLS.I have had the chance lately to agree with him!
     
  7. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Jeff,
    Which shop in Northern Va does your brother work at? You can E-mail me the info. if you don't want to post it. Thanks! My E-mail
     
  8. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    I ran the 3802 as a pre/pro and now run the 3803 the same way. I'm not hearing huge differences either, although I agree that the 3803 easily wins on paper.

    I upgraded for several reasons. I'll admit the temptation of upgrade fever, but the 3803 cleaned up a few user friendliness issues I had with the 3802 (two eg. are the 3803 can switch now be switched between DPL II Music and Cinema mode without the TV being on and DPL II Music is now considered a separate mode from DPL II Cinema (meaning you can have DPL II Cinema on the DVD input and DPL II Music on the Tuner without additionally switching the modes.))

    While these (and several others) may be trivial things, they all add up to a better unit, day-in, day-out. If the 3803 had variable crossovers for the fronts, center and rear speakers, it would, IMO, be nearly (dare I say it!) perfect??!!
     
  9. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    Chuck,

    Have you tried the PureDirect mode on the 3803? I found it significantly better than Direct or DPL2, but that was with a Sat spdif source. Will have to give CD and SACD a try. Note that I have the sub on and set 60Hz xover.

    I'm not sure that the 3803 sounds better than the 02 for the rest of the modes. The 3802 may have sounded as good or even better in stereo but it's been along awhile since I've had the 3802 hooked up.

    One thing I am noticing on the 3803 is that I have to turn up the sub alot higher than previously. Are you seeing the same thing?

    Does the 3803 have the hybrid analog/digital crossover like the 3802 for Analog sources w/ sub on? I am curious what the the analog hi-pass frequency is - probably 80Hz I am guessing.
     
  10. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Gil: Yes I have tried the Pure Direct Mode but I haven't noticed much of a difference between it and regular Direct mode with either digital or analog material. I do plan to test it more.

    As for subwoofer volume levels, mine is set the same as before and, bass-wise, I can't tell any difference.

    I have not read any Denon information regarding the analog crossovers for the 3803 but in the past they have always provided a complete analog path, including the highpass crossovers. I assume the 3803 is no different (even though there are 5 frequencies to cover)??

    One thing that does have me scratching my head a bit is the 2 channel AL24 processing. It is supposed to be PCM digital to analog conversion at it's best. And tonally, it does sound very good. If fact, it seems as though I'm hearing some things I've not heard before. But soundstage-wise, I'm not as happy. Things just seem a bit out of phase. I finally pulled out some mono recordings and sure enough, instead of a rock solid center image, I have what I can only describe as a stereo effect-like soundstage. I even put on my Roger Waters Amused to Death CD that is encoded with Q-Sound. Needless to say, it just doesn't work quite right.

    I have read that some find AL24 to have better separation than typical digital to analog conversion. Are they hearing this as an improvement, where I hear it as a less cohesive presentation?

    In the end, I guess I can always let my CD player do the conversion. It's just too bad the Denon doesn't let you turn the AL24 off when in digital 2 channel Direct, Pure Direct or Stereo modes...
     
  11. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    Chuck,
    I set the sub crossover back to 80Hz and finding the bass more cohesive with the mains. Adjusting the sub distance with respect to the fronts correctly made a difference in the bass level and now it's more like I remembered. Watched Attack of the Clones and the sub got one heck of a workout.

    Something is definitely different about the soundstage/imaging and I think overall tone. I'm not 100% sure I like it over the 3802 (or 3801 or 3200) but I'd have to do a side by side comparison to really know. I've been using the Sony DA-5ES for some time so it's a very difficult call. I am missing the ability of the Sony to control mostly everything from the remote and also from the front panel.

    On another note,the audio sync delay feature came in handy for a poorly synced OTA HDTV program I was watching the other night.
     
  12. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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  13. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    It looks like 80Hz it is from the press release.
    http://www.dba-pr.com/clients/denon/...03,%201803.htm
     
  14. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Gil: Good find on the 80 Hz analog bypass! I agree that it certainly makes sense that 5 frequency points would be costlier to implement. And 80 Hz is a good place to have one for most users. Denon has always been a proponent of 80 Hz anyway.

    If you get a chance, I would be interested in what you think about the 2 channel digital conversion the AL24 processing does. As I said above, it's easy enough to let my 20-bit Adcom Cd player handle the conversion but I kinda felt like the 24/192 DACs in the Denon should be superior. But the soundstage issue has me wondering. (I'm fairly convinced that there isn't anything wrong with my 3803. Everything else works wonderfully...)
     

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