Denon or H/K for two channel music

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Nick L, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. Nick L

    Nick L Second Unit

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    I currently have a Harman Kardon AVR 320 reciever. I have a chance to purchase a Denon 3802 for an incredible price. I know the differences in surround sound and power and the lot, but want to know if the Denon or H/K is better for two channel music. I like my current setup with the H/k powering my BA VR-M50's and sub. But if the Denon is a better two choice for two channel music then I will swap.

    Thanks,
    Nick L
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    H/K is the better of the two for 2ch, however the 3802 is a better receiver overall, IMO, if the price is really that good.
     
  3. KyleGS

    KyleGS Second Unit

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    I believe the H/K's sound amazing in two ch stereo. The denon sounds good but not as good as the HK IMHO.
     
  4. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    I dunno... my 5803 sounds darn good in two channel. The "Denon sound" is pretty sweet..
    I think alot has to do with the associated gear as well.
     
  5. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Hey Chip,
    I would guess a flagship receiver had better sound pretty darn good in two channel. Good point about the other system gear though...it's often overlooked when making shorthand posts.
    Still I think it is rather commonly accepted that lower Denons are better for HT and seemed designed that way. H/K, Marantz, on the other hand, have a distinct predilection towards 2 channel. Not meant as a knock on Denon or Kudo to H/K or Marantz...just the way a lot of people seem to size things up. But then you know what they say about opinions and A-holes? [​IMG]
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The 5803 is a very different animal than the 3802, and I would expect it to be noticably better. It is also in a completely different price class.

    Denon is very good for music, but does have a characteristic sound to it, as do all receivers in this price range. I could be happy with a 3802, but I also auditioned H/K 510 and Marantz SR6200/7200 and chose Marantz. The H/Ks were a close second for me for integrateds for music in this price range.

    I completely agree that the other gear being use can be a BIG factor.

    You could always buy the 3802 for the great price, turn around and sell it for a profit....
     
  7. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    I havent heard the 320, but I have heard the 3802, and it is pretty darn solid for 2 channel listening. I think that it would be better to compare the 3802 to the 520, which I have heard, and definately outdoes the 3802 in terms of music. I would say that the 320 is probably equal to the 3802 in 2 channel, but the 3802 is superior in movies. If you are more a 60/40 music/movies guy, then I would suggest that you send back the 320 and pick up the 520, they go for around $650 nowadays from authorized dealers onlin.
     
  8. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    I had an opportunity to pick up a 3802 for a great price a few months back, but decided to go with the 320 instead (which I also got for a very good price). The big difference for me was 2ch. performance on the 320. It was a tough decision then, but I've been pretty happy ever since. Translation: I've stopped paying attention to receivers--next stop, separates!
     
  9. matthew_rm

    matthew_rm Second Unit

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    The 320 had better 2ch sound then the 3802?
     
  10. TomMadden

    TomMadden Agent

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    I just picked up the AVR 520. I usually use it in 2 channel mode, and occasionally for home theater. The 520 has a nice, clean, warm sound. Despite h/k's smaller power claims, this unit likes to play loud!

    I considered the 3802, as a replacement to my h/k AVR 300, which I bought three years ago. I just didn't like the controls or the look. Furthermore, I wasn't impressed with the sound. Admittedly, perhaps it's just because I had gotten used to the h/k. The Logic7 mode adds an amazing amount of depth to your two channel recordings. Dolby Prologic II seems to make TV programs come alive.

    One of the most surprising features of the 520 was the Ez-Set remote. The remote has a little microphone in it. The reciever can set itself up using this microphone. You simply set the volume to -15dB and activate the Ez-Set. I thought that it worked amazingly well. I had to do very little tweaking after it had set itself up. This may or may not be a good thing for some of you. :)

    You can pick up a brand new AVR 520 at places around the web in the $650 range or lower. You may need to haggle a bit, especially with an authorized dealer (they can't post prices that differ from MSRP very much), but most places that sell h/k are willing to deal. You can also find them on h/k's website refurbished for $597. I'm not sure how much other Denon dealers are willing to deal on their products, but the ones around here wouldn't budge from the $999 that you see around the web. The $350 difference sealed the deal.
     
  11. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Tom,

    Keep in mind the H/K is a 5 channel receiver and the Denon is 7 channels. There's your price difference.
     
  12. TomMadden

    TomMadden Agent

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    The 520 can handle 7 channels - it just doesn't have the amps for two of them. You would need a seperate power amp for a seven channel setup. It doesn't have Dolby Digital 6.1, although it does handle DTS-EX.
     
  13. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    "The 520 can handle 7 channels - it just doesn't have the amps for two of them. You would need a seperate power amp for a seven channel setup."
    Understood about the additional channels. My point was the amps are there on the Denon, thus, the price difference.
    "It doesn't have Dolby Digital 6.1,"
    Dolby Digital is 5.1 not 6.1 [​IMG]
    "although it does handle DTS-EX."
    When you say DTS-"EX", i believe you mean DTS-"ES" matrix. Even with DTS-ES matrix you'd still need a sixth speaker hooked up. DTS-ES Discrete would be 6 discrete channels powered. Dolby Digital-"EX" is 7 channel's [​IMG]
     
  14. James Zubb

    James Zubb Stunt Coordinator

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    The HK 520 and 320 decode DTS-ES matrix and discrete. They do not decode DD-EX. You need a seperate amp for the 6th channel.

    I LOVE my 320s 2 channel. I presonally don't like the musical sound of the Denon's that I have heard (3300 and 3802).
     
  15. DonJ

    DonJ Second Unit

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    H/K uses the alot of the same electronics between recievers the main difference is the power rating and features other wise they basically sound the same. That one of the great thing about H/K.
     
  16. BrianDD

    BrianDD Agent

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    "It doesn't have Dolby Digital 6.1,"
    "Dolby Digital is 5.1 not 6.1"
    "although it does handle DTS-EX."

    "When you say DTS-"EX", i believe you mean DTS-"ES" matrix. Even with DTS-ES matrix you'd still need a sixth speaker hooked up. DTS-ES Discrete would be 6 discrete channels powered. Dolby Digital-"EX" is 7 channel's"

    Just a little clarification on the formats:
    Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES Matrix are technically 5.1 formats. The surround back channel is matrixed from the surround left and right. The matrix modes some recievers use to decode these is sometimes called 6.1 mode. DTS ES Discrete is the only true 6.1 format. Aside from Logic 7, there are no 7 channel consumer formats. Although all of these can use two back surrounds, they both play the same material. But two actually answer the original poster's question, after hearing both, I agree with the some of others that the HK is slightly better for 2 channel listening.
     
  17. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    H/K
    They sound more like seperates than a receiver to me.
     
  18. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I saw the HK 520 for 599 at Cosco.

    Quite a good buy if you ask me. I'm sorta leaning more towards the HK over the 3802 now.
     
  19. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    I don't know if the 3802 has the same feature but with the 510/520 and higher models you get to use the amp any way you darn well please...now and in the future. With Pre-outs & Main-ins you essentially have the best in flexibility and an assignable 5 channel quality amp that never goes to waste.

    A classic no-brainer...unless you just have to have more than 5 channel power and want it built in.

    My $.02

    Edit: Just checked Crutchfield photo---nope, 3802 has no amp-ins. Very nice receiver otherwise.
     

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