Denon DVD-3800 August buid date review.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Levesque, Sep 29, 2002.

  1. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    I just receive my new Denon DVD-3800, with a built date of August, and a serial number over xxx2000. So no firmware update needed. I was using a "old" JVC SA-XV70BK progessive scan player. My TV is a Toshiba 65HDX82 (no hiss, no ghosting, an incredible TV...don't listen to everything bad you ear about this TV. This set is one of the best out there).

    I've first listen to Panic Room (Super Bit) and Lord of the Ring (again...). Was able to listen to The Thing (one of my favorite horror movie). 3 film in a row, 6 hours straight. With father-in-law and wife.

    It's not a review. Only my first impression. My wife ("19inches TV is more then enough" type) didn't believe the difference between the picture of the Denon and my "old" JVC XV-SA70BK. The PQ is in a completely different league. I always tought that a DVD player is a DVD player, but I was wrong.

    I'm flying on my 150 hours with my new Toshiba 65HDX82 and I was really dissappointed with the "focus" of the background (everything in "front" was in focus, but the background was "blurred") when listening to any DVD, and I was tweaking the TV like hell...but the weak link was my JVC DVD player, even after hours of tweaking with AVIA, etc)! With the Denon, everything, even the smallest thing in the background is incredibly clear and I now see all the details I was missing...

    So for people out there that think that a source is a source, you are WRONG. If my wife can clearly see a difference without me pointing out to it, it's because it's a HUGE difference. He, she didn't see a difference in sound between Radio Shack speakers for the computer and the new Studio-40!!! so imagine...

    I am really trying hard to see any chroma bug, listening to Toy Story 1 and 2 (podium scene), Monster Inc, but I don't see any bug here. For the Y/C delay I don't even know what to look for!!! Can someone point me to the good AVIA test? PQ is really that much better then my JVC, and this player had receive good reviews everywhere.
    Layer change are so fast, and menu surfing is REALLY fast. I was having a hard time surfing the Dinosaur DVD menu (was really really slow).
    Out of the box, the Denon, without any tweaking, gives an incredible picture. After tweaking, it's like I just change my TV to!!
    I was seeing a big difference between my HD channels and film on my JVC, but with the Denon, the gap is a lot smaller between DVD and HD.
    The Denon was open for around 6 hours, non stop playing, 3 films in a row, and the disks where normally warm, like in the JVC. So not a single freezing, and normal temp. Maybe this new batch got the freezing under control with a cooler temp? I don't know. But it is to soon to say that my player is freezing free...

    On the audio side, the Denon is making my Rotel RMB-1095 really shine. Better channel separation. I'm hearing things that my JVC was not at all revealing. The voices are smoother, female voices are a real improvement, no sibilance anymore on high pitch female voices. Gladiator on DTS-ES glory is really impressive on the Denon. The background music in LOTR is different, more "scary", more "moody" and really different then with the JVC. It's sounding more "theater-like" for lack of a better descriptive term. More "around me". Even my father in law is able to ear the difference, so no placebo brain adjustment here.
    DVD-Audio is finally what I was searching for. With the JVC, DVD-Audio was good, that's it. I was not really liking it. The "bah, it's a little bit better than CD-ROM" attitude. But Riding with the King, A night at the opera (Queen), Hotel California are simply INCREDIBLE now. Now I understand the buzz around the new format.

    Sorry for the long review. I'm an average Joe-Six-Pack, and I didn't compare the DVD-3800 with any Arcam, Krell or even Panasonic player. It's my humble opinion. But I think that Denon deserve recognition for this kind of quality build, picture quality and sound quality. I think that the new August units are really improved. No firmware update to do. Just a beautiful picture.

    If someone could tell me how to check the Y/C dealy with AVIA I could post the result. I'm really surprise at how my unit run cools. I tought DVDs where burning in this player from what I have read on different forums. After 6 hours of playing non-stop, The Thing was only a bit warm to the touch, like my computer DVD-player or my JVC.

    Now I'm a "buy a better source" believer.
     
  2. Navid

    Navid Agent

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    Where did you buy your Denon from?


    I am looking for one... but all my local dealers have old units.
     
  3. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    Lévesque,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Similar to the previous question, were you able to hand-pick an August unit or were you simply lucky?

    Re heat issue: how is your unit situated relative to the rack and other components, i.e., can it breathe? Was the Denon display on during your viewing? The display has been reported by some to affect the heat produced.

    Audio curiosity: When listening to redbook and DVD material (not DVD-A), did you use the digital or analog output of the 3800?

    I hope there's more good news like yours on the 3800 August build. I don't think I'd have any hesitation to buying this once all these issues have been addressed.

    Thanks.

    Doug
     
  4. Navid

    Navid Agent

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    I talked to a local dealer (Ultimate Electronics) yesterday about getting a new Denon DVD-3800.

    They had plenty in stock at their warehouses around the country, but I explained the issues with the older 3800's and I got a freshly manufactured unit special ordered from Denon themselves. I am not taking any risks with internet sales or warehouse products that might have been shipped a while ago. So, you might want to ask your dealer to put in a special order factory direct from Denon.

    I am so surprised that all these dealers don't know anything about their products.. No one has ever heard of chroma bug or lock ups or anything else. I almost looked like an ass going in there causing fits about a stupid serial number.
     
  5. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    Doug. My dealer ordered a new one directly from Denon. I asked for an August build.

    My Denon is alone on a shelf in a big wood unit I build myself. So a lot of breathing. I always listen with the display off, because I hate seeing any light open around the TV when it's completely dark in the room (dedicated room). I try to hide any distracting light, so I really like the idea of closing the display.

    When listening to Redbook CD, I use the digital (optical) cable. I use analog only for DVD-Audio.

    Update. I just check the Y/C delay on AVIA and all 3 colors are DEAD-ON! 0 everywhere. So, in respect to AVIA, my august build DVD-3800 don't have any Y/C delay, nor any chroma bug. NO Y/C DELAY. So the Q chip is perfect for me.

    After 5 DVD rentals (with a lot of smudge on it, I didn't clean them): NO FREEZING... And they were really dirty.
     
  6. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    I really wasn't going to buy a new player... but you had to compare my current player to the player I was considering. If it's that much better I'll be on the list. Thanks for the review.
     
  7. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    Sorry Adil, I feel your pain! I hate it to when someone compare one of my component that way.[​IMG]
    But I'm not exagerating. Believe me here. I was the "a DVD-player is a DVD-Player" type. I'm not anymore. The picture quality is incredible. Even my mother-in-law is seeing a difference!! Imagine!!.
    The JVC was tweak to the death, Avia, etc. The Denon is not even tweak, and look already incredible out of the box!
    But, like always, it's my personal humble opinion. Don't just believe me on words, and try to do a in-house comparison before jumping in the wagon!
     
  8. Jeff Peake

    Jeff Peake Supporting Actor

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    I am going to upgrade my DVD player this year, and the Denon is high on my list.

    I bought a Pioneer 64" HDTV a few months ago, and still feed it with my Sony 500D dvd player (2nd generation player....5 years old!).

    I am hoping the new Yamaha player due out this fall will review well.

    Right now Denon 3800, Yamaha or Phillips 963 are on my list.

    Thanks for the review.

    Jeff
     
  9. Joe e h

    Joe e h Stunt Coordinator

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    Nice review. I was considering the 3800, but held off. I became interested in the Marantz DVD-8300 because of the DVD A & SACD format.

    I see you have the same amp I am using Rotel-1095. What are you using for a Pre/Pro? I have an Anthem AVM-20. How are you handling the bass management? Have you tried any .JPEG pictures on the Denon yet? What about DVD's burned off a computer?

    Thanks
    Joe
     
  10. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    I'm using a Yamaha RX-V3200 for my pre/pro. I'm using the ICBM between my pre-pro and my amp. All my speakers are equidistant from the listening place (so no time dealy issues). The Yammie got a fix cross-over, so the ICBM gives me versatility.

    I didn't tried any .JPEG or burned DVD yet.
     
  11. Joe e h

    Joe e h Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for answering. I got a website not responding message yesterday so I did not know if my post went though. My AOL sucks but I get it for $3 a month so I can't complain to much.

    I bought 3 more DVD A titles today so I need to get a player one day soon.

    Joe
     
  12. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    Sorry dudes. Update!

    Arrghh. I tought I was ok, but after around 15 DVD's, it just started. Freezing for 3 or 4 sec then the film continue. It happens in the 3 last DVD's that were brand new (not rentals). Strangely, it always happen 3 times in each movies... No lock-up, but freezing for 3 sec and skipping. It's random, and I can't do it 2 times in the same place.

    I just notice that the DVD's are now burning hot after normal watching (the first 10 dvd's were ok!! and almost at room temp!!). So Collateral damage, LOTR and Jurassic Park III all did it for me. 3 film in a row. But I tought any movie would have done it...Sigh... I thought I was bless with my August build unit.

    So I'm going to exchange it right now!
     

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