Harman Kardon 525 or Denon 3803

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Mike Barto, May 14, 2003.

  1. Mike Barto

    Mike Barto Extra

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    I want to get one of these but I havent had any experiece with either and I was wondering if you guys could help I really like what I have heard about the 525 but I only have 1 back surround speaker due to room restraints and I don't think the 525 lets you only configure it for 1 back surround speaker. On the other hand the Denon 3803 does allow this and it also has the conversion of all video inputs to component and it has 100 Mhz bandwidth if someone could please help that would be great
     
  2. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Doesn't the 3803 cost a fair amount more than the 525?

    The 525 does allow for 6.1. The sound that comes from the two back surrounds in a 7.1 system is is the same for each channel. Hooking up one back surround is not a problem.....many people have done just that with the 525.

    The 100mhz bandwith I think is a moot point, both units switch HD/component video just fine.

    The upconversion, that is nice feature on the 3803.

    Logic 7 is real nice. You got to hear it to appreciate it.

    The 525 also supports HDCD and MP3 decoding, if those are "nice to have" for you.

    The 525 has 192kHz/24-Bit DACS.

    3803 has more inputs.

    Some people hate the fan on the 525.

    FWIW, the 525 weighs 8lbs. more, and a little deeper in size.
     
  3. Joe Ku

    Joe Ku Stunt Coordinator

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    Remember... 9 out of 10 spouses prefer the looks of the AVR525... at least my wife did, I was facing a similar decision (525 vs 2803)and to decide I told my wife to pick the one that she would rather see in our living room. She felt included and I got a cool toy either way.

    OneCall.com has referb 525's for half of retail with full 2 year factory warrenties if that makes the decision easier
     
  4. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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  5. ThomasTu

    ThomasTu Extra

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    I own a HK 525 and I love it. The fan on the HK 525 is noticable however it doesn't detract from a movie. The upconversion of the Denon is a nice feature. The Denon also has preout-main ins, I believe, which allow the Denon to be a little more configurable and accomadate more extras. The HK for the money is my choice though, becuase many of the Denon features are features that I can definitely live without happily. Also the HK has alot better sound quality when coupled to speakers that are themselves known to be "bright", "harsh", and/or have a upper end hump in the frequency range. I like my HK 525.

    The only problem I have with it is when I put the DVD in pause and its in the DTS mode, the receiver doesnt properly go back into DTS mode, the sound skips. I have to change the "audio" on the DVD to Dolby Digital then back to DTS then everything is ok.
     
  6. Mike Barto

    Mike Barto Extra

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    I really like these two receivers My speakers are D.I.Y. Audax speakers I Built the A652's that are on the secrets of home theater site as well as the center speaker and I built 3 of the A651's that are on the Audax site slightly modified. These are lower Impedence speaker's will either of these Receiver's have trouble moving lower impedence speaker's also If you had any other recommendations I would be open to them But I like these 2 and my wife allowed a thousand dollars spending for the purchase. Fan noise will not be a problem all equipment will be in a closet with infared repeaters. I have a sony STRDB930 right now and I find it does not have much bass and seems a bit bright I would really like some more warmth to my sound
     
  7. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Mike,

    Is your closet well ventilated? I have a 525, and before the fan comes on, it gets pretty warm....I would almost call it hot.

    curtis
     
  8. Mike Barto

    Mike Barto Extra

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    Hi chris,
    The closet will have shelves 22" wide by 22" deep and I will have 2 computer fans moving air in the closet and it will have a heavy curtin for a door I am building this closet just for this equipment just off the main theater area
    Thanks, Mike
     
  9. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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  10. ThomasTu

    ThomasTu Extra

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    Yes, Make sure you have at least 4 inches of side and top space for the receiver to vent, because it does get hotter than heck.
     
  11. Jamey F

    Jamey F Stunt Coordinator

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    I would recommend 6". The difference in 3" and 6" for my gear was easily 10 degrees at the top of the recevier.
     
  12. ThomasTu

    ThomasTu Extra

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    I now went from 1 inch to 4 inches and the difference was substantial. 6 inches should would probably be optimal. Jamey F what did you use to measure the temperture.
     
  13. MikeMcGrew

    MikeMcGrew Stunt Coordinator

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    I demoed the H/K for about three weeks. I really liked the sound and look of this receiver but I really disliked the fan and the remote. I had the receiver on an open top shelf with plenty of room (more than six inches) on each side. The receiver ran pretty warm but I wouldn't call it "hot" and the fan came on like every 30 minutes or so when it was in use. I recall the fan coming on once when I hadn't even used the receiver in like two hours (if one can imagine such a thing). Most people have no problem with the sound of the fan, maybe I got an extra loud one or something. The remote thing is easily fixed if you don't mind dropping a little extra $$ for a decent one. I'm sorry I don't have anything to offer in the way of the 3803. It was out of my price range so I never demoed it. All considered, I'm very happy with what I bought but IMHO, I think I would have been just as happy with the H/K. I did like it. MM
     
  14. Mike Barto

    Mike Barto Extra

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    Thanks everyone for your help the remote issue is not really a problem I received a sony 3000 lcd remote for Christmas. Thanks for all the info and experience with both receivers I think I am going to go with the denon 3803 I like the flexibility ,the upconversion and the multi room with audio and video as well as the huge a mount of inputs. The Heat from the H/K does not sound like something I want to deal with, I mean if it takes 6 inch on each side to keep it at a some what sane temp you are talking about shelves nearly 32 inchs wide and deep.
    Thanks again for all the help

    Hopefully I will be able to post some pictures in the home theater construction thread when I am all done

    Mike
     
  15. Jamey F

    Jamey F Stunt Coordinator

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    Thomas...my hand. I know it isn't accurate at all, but I couldn't comfortably leave my hand on top of my 3803 with only 3" of clearance after running it for an hour or so. At 6", the receiver is just barely past warm to the touch. It would be a great pain to switch back and forth with a thermometer, and I didn't think to use one before I moved it. I don't even know if I have one. I knew it was too hot before to leave it with only 3" of clearance, so I moved it without any more thought.
     
  16. Ben Stern

    Ben Stern Stunt Coordinator

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    Between those 2 receivers, get the Denon, because H/K has had continual quality control problems, with their receivers for the past few years. It's a shame, as they were one of the great names in hi-fi, 20 and more years ago.[​IMG]
     
  17. ThomasTu

    ThomasTu Extra

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    To be fair the quality control problems are at least shared by the Denon 3803. To be honest I own a HK 525, and have in the past owned a Denon 3803. The Denon 3803 in the past had problems with units being shipped with no output to the speakers terminals out of the box. The problem was that Denon did not modify the packaging i.e. the box and accompanying styofoam to accomadate the larger and thus heavy internal components of the Denon 3803, this lead to the Denon 3803 not being shielded adequately from shipping. I like both receivers, but for my important purpose (music) the HK 525 sounds better.
     

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