New Denon 3803, initial reactions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Paquette, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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    I just finished spending a few hours with my new Denon 3803. First I got everything hooked up and then calibrated with my trusty old Radio Shack SPL meter. So far I'm a bit disappointed. The Denon is replacing a 3 year old Pioneer Elite 26TX. The S-Video to Component conversion works as advertised and I saw no evidence of any problems as some here have suggested. My first listening experience was with a dozen CD tracks, everything from rock to country. This is the area I'm most disappointed in so far. Everything sounds very flat and lifeless. I tried regular stereo, direct and pure direct. Something in the mid range just doesn't sound quite right. The more I listened, the more I noticed everything sounded kind of blah, almost cheap sounding. Next I spun a few DVD's and things seemed quite good in this department. Slightly better than my old Pioneer. I think the remote is very confusing and cumbersome. Maybe it just will take some getting used to. Also, the owners manual is pretty poor as well. I'm going to re-connect my Pioneer and listen to some 2 channel stereo just to compare. I should mention that I'm running Paradigm Studio 40's and Studio CC up front and Studio ADP's in the rear; all paired with a Velodyne SPL1200. I guess my initial reaction would be that I'm feeling a bit underwhelmed by the Denon so far.
     
  2. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Maybe you're just not used to the different sonic signature of the Denon compared to the Pioneer that you were very accustomed to.

    Give it a week or so and if you're still underwhelmed, then exchange it for something else.

    Good luck,

    DJ
     
  3. Tom Grooms

    Tom Grooms Second Unit

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    IMHO, Unless you really feel the need for DPLII or DTS-EX and have some extra cash burning a hole in the pocket, I would put the 26TX back in the rack. Or maybe have a look at the 45TX if you like the Elite series.

    I have never been a fan of the Denon 3xxx line up. The 4802 is a great piece but if I were to chose between the 45TX and the 3803......[​IMG]

    $0.02
     
  4. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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    Well I hooked up my 26TX again and realized I'm not nuts. I guess I don't like the sound of the Denon. I think I understand what people mean when they say a component sounds "bright." My old Pioneer Elite seems to be much smoother and produces a nice soundstage where the Denon sound very flat and bright with little sound stage. The Denon goes back tomorrow. The quest for the perfect receiver continues [​IMG]
     
  5. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    You might want to try the 45TX, as Tom mentioned. The MCACC does wonders for imaging even when placement is not ideal and it appears you like that Pioneer sound.

    DJ
     
  6. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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    The dealer that I purchased the Denon from is also a Pioneer Elite dealer. I plan on checking out the Elites when I stop in after work tonight to return the Denon.
     
  7. Scott_Jua

    Scott_Jua Stunt Coordinator

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    I personally didn't prefer the sound of the Denon either. I found the Denon lacking a sort of tonal characteristic, although I'm not sure exactly what it was, but the Denon sounded weak in the mid to low freq range to me. It had nice crisp and accurate lows and highs, but in comparison to the Elites and ES were missing some definition in the mid to low range. Nice, but not my cup of tea. The Denon also seemed to have a more bright and balanced sound over the Kenwood Soveriegn series, but seemed to lack some mid range punch and depth when compared to the Pioneer Elite and SONY ES lines.

    I preferred the SONY DA4ES more than I did the Denon as well. Even the SONY sounded more balanced and accurate to me. In the end I am waiting for my 45TX Elite to arrive (authorixed and cheaper online...yes, I said authorized)...and this was after a good couple of months of listening. Tastes vary, but other than the Denon 3803's video upconversion it did little else for me. Chances are, if you liked the Pioneer sound...you'll probably like the new models as well. Check the Sony as well if you're looking for a different sound than the Pioneer, but don't like the Denon. Just a thought. [​IMG]
     
  8. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I have found the newer Denon series are losing their warm denon sound and are tending towards more forward sounding and bright. Just my feeling. If you can get a used 3801 or a closeout 3802 it is a much better sounding peice, IMHO.
     
  9. Andrew_B

    Andrew_B Stunt Coordinator

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    If any unsatisfied 3803 owner would like to trade straight up for my 3802, drop me a PM. [​IMG]
     
  10. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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  11. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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  12. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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  13. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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  14. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    This talk of "sound" in this context is debatable, folks.
     
  15. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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  16. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

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    This is exactly why I like to use an EQ as it will give me the "sound" I am looking for. I only have experience with Denon and Onkyo and I have an EQ on both set-ups. Without them I have been HIGHLY dissapointed. My main system is an Onkyo with Klipsch Reference speakers and my bedroom system is Denon with Polk Audio speakers.

    I will say I have never had the privilage of listening to Tube amps.
     

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