Replacing Pioneer 811S with Denon 3801?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Stephen Hopkins, Sep 16, 2002.

  1. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    A good friend of mine is willing to give me $300 for my 3 month old Pioneer VSX-D811S. I really like my receiver, but after hearing some higher end stuff, and purchasing some new speakers (after selling my old ones to another friend) i feel that now would be a good time to upgrade my receiver as well. Only problem is $$.

    I've been looking around and i'm pretty sure i can pick up a used Denon 3801 for around $500. I'm pretty sure this would be a solid step up, especially for $200.

    What would i be missing out on by getting a 3801 as opposed to a 3802? My other option would be waiting awhile and getting a Pioneer Elite 43TX.

    I know the 43TX and 3802 are pretty comparable, so i assume the 3801 is pretty comparable too, and a steal at $500.

    Also, it would be atleast 4 months efore i could get the 43TX because of $$, and by that time my friend may not want to buy my 811S.

    I'm pretty sure that a 3801 for $500 would be a great deal and i wouldn't regret it, and wouldn't feel the need to move on up (up might be subjective) to the 43TX.

    Any General comments? I'll be matching what ever receiver i buy / keep w/ JBL N28 mains, N-Center, and N24 surround and back surrounds.
     
  2. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    Steven,

    i saw an HK 520 in the HTF classifieds a day or two ago. You would lose out on DD EX but you would gain Logic 7 processing. Either way i'm certain the 520 is a big step up from your 811s, especially for music. Good luck!
     
  3. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Problem with the 520 is it doesn't have 7ch of amplification. To use my 7.1 speaker setup i'd have to add external amplification, which would drive the cost up even more, and $$$ is the limiting factor for me.

    Thanks anyway.
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Any opinions? my posts never seem to get the number of responses other people's do :/. Do you guys not like me? What did i do to deserve this??? HELP!!
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    Steven,
    i'll tell you what. I just bought a Denon 2802 receiver that is on it's way. If for some reason i don't like it as a pre, i will contact you first. That is if you want me too[​IMG] I expect to keep this unit though unless i get 2 week upgraditis and purchase one of the 3802's posted in the classifieds for a couple hundred more[​IMG]
     
  6. Juan_R

    Juan_R Supporting Actor

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    I would keep the Pioneer and add and external 3 channel amp for the front stage, you can even find some nice 5 channel amps (Parasound) in the $300.00 range.
     
  7. Jean_Hendrickx

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    I've a Pioneer VSX-810D (an older model) since 1.5 years ago and I'm very satified with the sound (both for movies and music), if money is a concern, why to change it? Almost every friend liked the sound, including those with expensier receivers.

    Of course, isn't perfect (the DTS modes are almost unusable, the remote control isn't iluminated and there's not on screen display), but I think this is a great piece of hardware. I've heard the 3801 (using a similar JBL N38II speakers) and I prefer the Pioneer's sound.
     
  8. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Serge,

    Thanks for the offer, but i'd really rather have the full 7 channels of amplification. I'm not sure that the 2802 would be as big a step up as i want to make, even though it does look to be a great receiver. I could get it online for around $450 new, so since that would be in my price range, i would probably get one new instead of used.

    Juan,

    There are 2 problems with adding external amplification to my setup. One, stepping up is contingent of selling my 811S to a friend for $300 and adding around $200 of my own money to that. Two, i really want 7 channels of amplification since i'm running a 7.1 speaker setup. If the 811S had assignable amps, then it would be possible to use some of the unused amps for the backs, but it doesn't so i can't.

    Can anyone give me some comparison/contrast w/ the 3801, the 3802, and the 43TX. I really like both the 43TX and the 3802, and if the 3801 is extremely similar to the 3802 (i've read it is, and has a better amplification section), then i would probably go with the 3801 used.

    Only thing that bothers me right off is that the 3801 doesn't have DPLII (or it's not listed on any of the spec sheets). This isn't a deal buster though since i mainly use NEO:6, which the 3801 does have.
     
  9. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    Steven,
    i was just kidding, i don't expect to get rid of my 2802 anytime soon. I was just catering to your request to add some replies to your thread[​IMG]
    The 3801 does not have DD EX does it?
     
  10. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Stephen,

    I personally would rather have a receiver that sounded really good for music and add a separate 2 channel amp than to buy the Denon you're referring to. In other words, I'd get the HK.

    Brian
     
  11. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Stephen, First of all the 3801 is in a different league of receivers than the 811S but that in itself does not make the 811S bad. With that said, the 3801 IMHO sounds slightly warmer than the 3802 for 2 channel music. If I were you I'd definitely make that switch but you will loose DPL-II.
    Serge,
    The Denon 3801 will do DD-EX decoding.
     
  12. Chess Martin

    Chess Martin Agent

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    7 channels of amplification? aren't 7.1 setups 6 channel, just with the rear split up into two outputs. the 811 for instance has 7 sets of binding posts but not 7 channels of amplification.

    and if you did have 7 channels wouldn't the rear soundstage overpower the front?

    anyway, unless you're unhappy with it, i'd just keep the 811 and point your friend in the direction of one of the 50 places he can get it online for $310-$325 shipped.

    but that's just me.
     
  13. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Loosing DPLII doesn't really concern me because the 3801 does have NEO:6, which is what i use for 2ch decoding.
    As for sounding warmer or just lacking in performance for 2ch music, this doesn't bother me for 2 reasons. 1, i listen to 95% HT/DVD/TV. 2, my speakers are JBL N-Series, which i've read are a bit on the bright side, so a warm receiver would be a good match.
    I am happy with my 811S. That doesn't mean i couldn't be made happier [​IMG]. I've heard so many good reviews of the 3802 that i thought the 3801 would be a solid move up and worth the $200 out of pocket i would be spending, especially since it would be a long way down the road before i would have the $$$ to get a 43TX, 45TX, or 3802.
    Are there any feature differences in the 3801 and 3802 other than the 3801's lack of DPLII (which i've already decided isn't important)?
     

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