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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Anthony Moore, Aug 3, 2001.
Ive heard the Denon 3300 is good for movies, but not stereo music. Is this true?
I drive Paradigm Ref 20s and an SV Sub with a 3300 for music and HT and I love the sound for both. The newer 3801/3802 models have two extra amps and more decoding bells and whistles, but for two-channel music I think the 3300 stacks up to any receiver short of the flagships. For a mass-market brand, Denon puts out some very musical equipment, IMHO.
I've owned the 3300 for two years now, and I find it to be exceptional with two channel music. The true analog bypass mode is very "clean."
I think the performance with two channel is more about the speakers than the receiver. For reference, I use DCM Time Windows, which are truly remarkable in the midrange and with voices, extend down to 33Hz at -3db (this is measured performance in my room), and have a laid back treble (what could be called a "warm" sound). I can listen for hours and hours without fatigue. Their triangular-shaped front creates a wide soundstage, and yet I can still pinpoint the sound in front of me. The 3300 doesn't hold these speakers back- it lets them "do their thing."
IMO, You won't be disappointed by the two channel performance.
Well, in my case I didn't like it for music at all. I lived with it for a week in my system using ACI Opals. While listening to Sarah McLachlan the sound was cold and totally lifeless. It was clean, but sterile. When I went back to my old Sherwood Newcastle DPL receiver the nice warm, raspy sound of Sarah's voice was back. So I replaced the 3300 with the Sherwood Newcastle R-945 MKII and haven't looked back since.
Denon makes great equipment but for 2 channel audio with my speakers I just didn't like it. That's not to say that other people shouldn't like it. The only way to really know is to try it in your system and decide for yourself.
Ive heard the opposite. That denon is slightly stronger on 2 channel than others and slightly weaker on movies.
I never heard one though
I've owned a 3300 for two years, and listened extensively to other receivers in the $1000-2800 range before I bought. The 3300 is above average in it's price range, in fact I thought it sounded better than any Yamaha, Sony ES, Pioneer Elite or Onkyo receivers for less than $1500 list. The $1200 Rotel 965 and Nakimichi AV10 were the cheapest receivers that sounded better in 2 channel than the 3300, but lacked features that the 3300 had. I wasn't able to listen to the Marantz SR7000 and SR8000, which are cited as excellent stereo units as well.
The Denon 5700 definitely sounded better than the 3300, with more depth to the sound. The 3300 has a nice wide soundstage, but not much front-to-back depth.
Since the 3300 came out, there has been a LOT of new models around this price range, including the 3801 and new 3802. You can pick up a used or closeout 3300 in the $400-500 range, and it would be a excellent buy at that price.
I moved to another receiver because I found the 3300 wasn't up to par for music. I love Denon but it fell short here.
The Mischievous Rogue Strikes Again! The Humble Hanson Theater
I'm very happy with the 3300 for both music and HT. I've since upgraded my primary HT with the 5800, but still have a 3300 in the bedroom, and another on order from ecost for my office....$350. At this price point, the 3300 is a gem.
IMHO, the 3300 outperforms the 3801 in 2 channel music listening...seems a bit warmer, but maybe that's because my 3300 is 2 years old and the 3801 I've listened to was right out of the box.
You could always add a 2 channel amp to the fronts down the road to give yourself even more headroom. The 3300 is a phenomenal HT perfomer, again, IMO.
I went though a sony db 930 ,HK something or tother, Rotel pre amp and finally settled on a 3300 as my pre amp...with stereo being the major selling point. I am now using an external DAC which greatly improved things and using external amps certianly helps too but its pre amp section was a lot cleaner then the above mentioned models. I haveno doubts that a real channel pre amp would sound better but for now its a bargin.
I also went through a couple different setups and was very disappointed with the 3300's stereo performance on my PSB speakers (lifeless sound, poor imaging, no impact). Once I hooked my old NAD amp back up to the 3300's main speaker outputs stereo, performance was as good as ever.
As others have said, the performance of this unit really seems to depend on the speakers you are using. As a pre-amp it does a decent job but it can't pump out the current required by low impedance speakers.
What kind of speakers are you using?