Second thoughts: is a 3802 too much for me?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Richard Harvey, Feb 16, 2002.

  1. Richard Harvey

    Richard Harvey Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm on the verge of a purchase, and after reading and re-reading specs and features I'm wondering if I'm going overkill on my new receiver. I had pretty much made up my mind on the Denon 3802, and I'm very impressed with it, but I'm wondering if it is simply too fancy for my needs.
    As far as speakers are concerned, I'm running Infinity RS-5's for the mains (15-200W power), Infinity 100W powered sub, and Infinity Minuettes (15-80W power) for the center and surrounds. The center will be upgraded within a month or two to a much better speaker, probably a Paradigm, Boston Acoustics, or Klipsch. But, for the time being, I have no plans on upgrading the surrounds or adding a rear center channel (though I do want my new receiver to give me that option just in case.) Although the surrounds are small, even with titles such as Das Boot I find they deliver ample rear effects.
    My main concerns are being able to have DD/DTS, DPLII, 5-channel surround (for music), and a receiver with good bass management, and one smart enough to remember my settings based on playback device (DVD, CD, etc.) The 3802 has all this and more, though I obviously fear it might overdrive my smaller speakers and damage them. I was hoping to get a high-current amp that could more easily deliver extra "oomph" when needed, and one that had 6.1 inputs for future compatibility.
    So, my question boils down to this: would it be reasonable to step down to a Denon 2802 instead, and possibly use the saved money hasten my center channel upgrade? Or, do I take the computer purchase approach and buy all I can afford now? I can't see much difference in them by just reading the spec sheets, with the exception on watts per channel and a couple of other performance numbers that I have no clue about. If you would recommend something other than a Denon, please keep other choices limited to Sony, Yamaha, and Onkyo, because I'm getting a special purchase price from a particular dealer, and these and Denon are the only brands they carry.
    It already took a miracle to convince my wife to let me buy a HT setup in the first place (my current receiver is the Sony STR-DE915, which was one of the first consumer DD receivers from Sony), so whatever I buy now I'm going to have to be happy with for many, many years. Thanks for any advice -- I'm hoping to commit and purchase this week!
    Rich
     
  2. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    If you are not planning on going with a 7 speaker setup system anytime within say the next year, go with the 2802. If you think that the 3802 may be overkill, you are probably right. Take the money difference and put it into speakers. Denons have fairly good resale value, so you can sell the 2802 in a year or so if you need to upgrade to additional features. You can also add an amp because the 2802 has preouts. There is no persuasive reason to pick the 3802 over the 2802 unless you want to have a 6.1 system with 2 rear surrounds.

    BTW, it is important to match your center with your front mains. Very important.
     
  3. Richard Harvey

    Richard Harvey Stunt Coordinator

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    Eric,

    Thanks for the thoughts. Yep, picking the center is going to be tricky. The "matching" center is no longer produced by Infinity, and I'm wary of buying one on eBay since I wouldn't be able to audition it first. But, I'm also not going to be able to find a dealer where I can audition the center with my mains, so I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to pull that off yet. I've listened to a Klipsch RC-3 and really liked it; I'm not sure if it's the horn or what, but it seems to have a bright sound that makes dialogue very clear, but still sounds good with music. But, I guess that's a problem to solve AFTER I figure out this receiver situation. Also, in answer to your question, I have no intention on running dual rear centers.

    Thanks!

    Rich
     
  4. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    You may not hear a real upgrade going to a center that does not match. Buying a non-matching one is advised only if you at some point plan on upgrading your mains to match.
    Buying off Ebay is actually a good option. Used speakers, because they have no moving parts and because it is mostly audophiles who pamper their equipment selling them, generally arrive in good condition. Find a seller with a good feedback rating. And check www.audiogon.com as well. All my speakers are used and all arrived in mint condition.
    Oh, in answer to a question in your first post, you won't overdrive your speakers with either the 3802 or 2802 as long as you don't blast it to full.
     
  5. Dave Dahl

    Dave Dahl Stunt Coordinator

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    Go with the 3802. It features better processing circutry and is only $200 street higher than the 2802. Over the lifetime of the unit many things may change with your system and it's important to buy a receiver that is a little more 'future proof'.

    -Dave
     
  6. JohnDG

    JohnDG Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd also agree with getting the 3802.

    You are only going to get 80w/channel into 6 speakers without clipping on this receiver (3802), so you will most probably not overdrive the speakers by playing so loud as to get distorted sound. With the 2802, you are dropping into the ~60w range for clipping into 6 speakers -- the most probable cause of problems.

    jdg
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Not to jump on the bandwagon but, I'd have to say go with the 3802 also. You will definitely appreciate the extra power. I auditioned the 3802, and ended up going with a Marantz SR6200 because it sounded better for music and relatively the same power output (into 6ch, not 7), but the 3802 was my second choice.
     
  8. Scott Kroll

    Scott Kroll Agent

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    I originally had the 2802, but upgraded to the 3802 after 2 weeks. The main reason for my upgrade is I can run 5.1 for movies and use the 6th and 7th channel for my outdoor speakers without having to add an amp.

    I have an extra 3802 never opened if you are in the market.
     

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