First Receiver - Denon 1603?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Colin Walmsley, Sep 23, 2002.

  1. Colin Walmsley

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    I was thinking of getting a Denon 1603. Its pretty cheap on eBay (like $300), and thats my biggest concern. Does anyone have this, or has anyone heard it? Also for speakers.. I was thinking maybe some JBL S38II. Again, anyone heard these, or have these? Any help at all would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    I don't think you can go wrong with Denon. They have an excellent reputation for build quality and performance. The 1603 is the newest model, and retails somewhere in the $500.00 range, so it would be very unlikely to be that deeply discounted this early in the model year. The Ebay sellers are almost certainly not authorized dealers, and Denon won't honor their warranty unless you buy through one of their dealers. It is more likely that the 1602 is being offered at that price. It too is a very nice little receiver.
    Good Luck,
     
  3. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    If you like the 1603, it can be had for as low as $315. I did a search on yahoo shopping, and crazy eddie (who i'm pretty sure is a authorized dealer) had it for this price.

    In the $300 price range, you might also want to look at the Pioneer VSX-D811S. It's a great receiver for HT. It has everything the 1603 has, as well as DTS-ES, DD-EX, and support for 6.1 and 7.1 speaker setups. For HT, this receiver offers the most bang for the buck. It is, however, a little lacking in 2ch music reproduction (in some peoples opinions). I've found that 2ch music sounds just fine if you use the "Loudness" feature that re-enforces the highs and lows. Without "Loudness" enabled, 2ch music can sound a bit thin. So if 2ch music is a big priority for you, and you don't want 6.1, DTS-ES and DD-EX, you may want to stick with the 1603. If you're mainly interested in HT and want a very solid receiver with all the features, look at the 811S.

    As for speakers, S38s would sound great. If you're looking to save money, go with the S38s instead of the S38IIs. They are exactly the same, the only reason series II was released was because they redesigned the ports as part of a copyright infringement lawsuit settlement with Bose. You would want to match these up with an S-Center and some other speaker from the S series for surrounds. If you plan on doing SACD or DVD-A, you would probably want S38s all the way around. If not, then S38 mains, S-Center, and S-26 surrounds would do just fine. If you go with a 6.1 setup, add another S-Center to the back. If you go with a 7.1 setup, make sure all 4 back speakers are the same.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Colin,

    The 1603 retails for 399.00 brand new. Crazy Eddie's IS NOT an authorized Denon dealer for the record. Denon lists their authorized internet dealers on their official site. If you want a great deal on the 1603, call 6th Avenue who is an authorized Denon dealer, and will probably let it go in the 350.00 range, or if you are on the West Coast, the Good Guys has a 10 percent off special going with FREE SHIPPING, and they are also an authorized Denon dealer. Buying authorized will only cost a little more at this price point, and should be well worth it for the piece of mind and customer service.

    Good luck,

    Reg
     
  5. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Sorry for saying Crazy Eddie was an authorized dealer when evidently they aren't. I would also recomend sticking with an authorized dealer when buying new. If buying used, then it's less to worry with since unless the original owner bought from an authorized dealer with cash or check and kept the receipt, you wouldn't be able to make a warranty claim regardless.

    I know pioneer is rather lax with enforcement of authorized dealer when dealing with warranty. I've been able to get them to do warranty service on an item purchased open box from ebay. They simply verified that it was assembled in the past year (by the serial number), and it therefore must have been purchased in the last year, and was still under warranty.

    Just some things to keep in mind.
     
  6. Jason Hammerly

    Jason Hammerly Supporting Actor

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    You may also try reliableaudiovideo.com . They aren't authorized, but I've heard good things about them and they honor the full manufature warranty through their store and arrange for shippingand everythingif you have problems. They have it for $312 and the 1602 for like $268. Later.
     
  7. BrianS

    BrianS Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought it retailed for $499.00. If not then I got screwed.

    ***My mistake. I was confused with the 1803.***
     
  8. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    I would certainly recommend the 1803 over the 1603 since you get both of the DD/DTS 6.1 formats, a stereo direct mode, and Neo 6 for just 100.00 more. You should be able to get the 1803 at 6th avenue for under 450.00.

    Reg
     
  9. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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    check out goodguys.com

    They have 10% off, free shipping, and are authorized. I just picked up a 1803 for $450 shipped with full warranty.

    I guess the 1603 would work out to $360. Certainly worth the extra $60 (in my book) to buy from here.

    Aaron
     
  10. Colin Walmsley

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    Thanks for all the replys. I think im going to go with the Denon 1603. But I dont think goodguys.com has it for 10% off though. It says it's $399, with free shipping. I'll keep looking around. Thanks again.
     
  11. JohnBrianW.

    JohnBrianW. Stunt Coordinator

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    What improvements were made on the 1603 over the 1602?
     
  12. Juan M

    Juan M Stunt Coordinator

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    GoodGuys.com has their 10% discount offer every few weeks. If you sign up on their mailing list you will get an e-mail. It is fairly frequent, so it wouldn't be too long until they are running that promotion again.
     
  13. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

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    Hi Colin,

    First of all, if you are considering the purchase of a Denon, I would suggest making their very informative Web site your first stop.

    There, you will find comprehensive information on all of their 2002 models (ending in 02, and now in the process of being discontinued) as well as the latest models (ending in 03, such as the 1603).

    While you are at the site, you can read for yourself their policy on units purchased through dealers whom are not authorized. Or you can just take my word for it: they make it very explicit that they will not, under any conditions, provide warranty coverage on Denon product purchased through any but an authorized dealer.

    Since the two-year warranty (well in excess of what you will get from many A/V gear makers) is, in my opinion, one of the chief Denon selling points, buying from a non-authorized dealer obviates one of Denon's best features.

    There are non-authorized dealers like Sound Pros who some people like. Sound Pros say they scratch off the serial number, replace it with their own number, and provide any needed repairs themselves. Well, if you like to gamble, go for it. You probably will save money.

    The Denon site has a list of authorized dealers. Crazy Eddie is not on it. Also, before making a purchase from Crazy Eddie you should check out some of the sites, like audiosurvey and Epinions, that have ratings of online merchants.

    As for the receiver itself, I just got an AVR-1602 and I am deeply in love with it. I have had a lot of electronic products over the years, and I'm pretty sure that, even though my 1602 and have been together less than two weeks, this is more than just a crush.

    I must qualify my statement by saying that the 1602, for now, is only driving a pair of Boston Acoustic A60s, meaning I am not able to personally attest to how much oomph it has when driving a full five-speaker array, but so far I really like the receiver. I had something of an attitude, before getting it, that Denon was one of these companies that is very good at marketing and that, because of the phenomenon of self-fulfilling prophecy, people were going on about the Denons when they were not really all that much better than other brands.

    Also, the Denons are pricey, and that turned me off. However, when I A/B'd the Denon against an Onkyo TX-SR500. Well, I can't even say how much better the Denon was. I don't want to tick off the SR500 owners (to be fair, the SR500 lists for $330 while the 1602 lists for $400, so Denon, assuming a similar wholesale markup for both receivers, had a substantially greater amount of financial freeboard in designing and manufacturing the 1602).

    In any case, I got a chance to pick up a 1602 for $250, in-store at J&R (they were getting rid of their last few units).

    However, you can get all the performance of the 1602 for $300 list in the form of their new AVR-1403 (yes, that's right, just call Crutchfield, add in ten bucks or whatever they charge for shipping, and a 1403 will soon be winging its way to you).

    The 1403 has excellent specs (same guts as the 1602) and all you really give up is a few peripheral features like S-Video or component-video switching (most people just do their video switching in their TV's, which theoretically provides better signal quality in many cases) and you do not get a bunch of digital-audio inputs (let's face it, most people only need one, or maybe two, which is exactly how many the 1403, like the 1602, has: one coaxial, one optical).

    I am starting to sound like a Denon salesguy, but if Charlton Heston comes to my house and tries to take away my 1602, he'll pry it out of my cold dead fingers!

    If you are in the New York area, make sure to visit J&R Music World in lower Manhattan. The WTC-area businesses really took a hit after 9/11 and they can use all the support they can get (J&R is a couple of blocks from Ground Zero, the site formerly known as the World Trade Center). They have excellent prices, in-store, on Denon receivers. Unfortunately for folks outside the Tri-State area, I don't think they offer such good deals on Denon on their Web site, but they will at least beat a place like Crutchfield that just sells for full list.

    Good luck and happy shopping.

    Iver
     
  14. StephenP

    StephenP Stunt Coordinator

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    Just a personal note, I got my 1801 from Crazy Eddie and got excellent service and the lowest price around at the time. Other's experiences may be different, but I thought the benefit (low price) outweighed the risk (problems in the warranty time frame) at the time. In my experience most electronics either fail very quickly, or will last many years if treated with respect. Would I buy from Crazy Eddie again? Probably, unless the price difference with an authorized dealer was very small ($50 or so in this range).

    Anyway, not trying to influence you to buy from unauthorized places, just relaying my views! Good luck!
     
  15. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Colin:

    Have heard the 1603, but I've demoed the 1803 and liked it very much for theater purpose (not bad in 2-channel stereo either). The S38/S38IIs are terrific speakers; I use a pair in my office for 2-channel music and am very impressed with them. They'd match well with a 1603, from what I can glean having heard them with the 1803.

    --AM
     
  16. Curt Gilker

    Curt Gilker Agent

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    Colin -
    I have been monitoring this thread because I am pretty much set on the Denon 160x series myself. Here are some recent prices (including shipping) for the Denon series:
    Denon ShippingTotal
    AVR-180380x6$365$29$394www.reliableaudiovideo.com10/4/2002
    AVR-180380x6$410?#VALUE!www.federalstereo.com9/30/2002
    AVR-180380x6$410?#VALUE!www.soundpros.com
    AVR-180380x6$405$40$445www.sounddistributors.com9/27/2002
    AVR-160380x5$295$25$320www.ebay.com9/30/2002
    AVR-160380x5$313$29$342www.reliableaudiovideo.com10/4/2002
    AVR-160380x5$329$19$348www.lgdsuperstore,com8/27/2002
    AVR-160380x5$327$41$368www.federalstereo.com10/4/2002
    AVR-160380x5$399$0$399www.goodguys.com8/19/2002
    AVR-140370x5$248$0$248www.ebay.com8/19/2002
    AVR-140370x5$300$0$300www.goodguys.com8/19/2002
    AVR-140370x5$286$34$320www.federalstereo.com9/30/2002
    AVR-140370x5$295$27$322www.reliableaudiovideo.com10/4/2002
    AVR-140370x5$299?#VALUE!www.abtelectronics.com8/19/2002
    I hope this formats reasonably well. Aslo, I'm not sure which are Denon authorized or not.
     
  17. Curt Gilker

    Curt Gilker Agent

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    OK, it didn't format very well. Here is how to read it:

    Model, Rated Power, Price, Shipping Cost, Total (of Price + Shipping Cost), Website of Dealer, Date I Last Checked Prices
     

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