Sony 4ES or Denon 3802 + Pronto?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Stephen Hopkins, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I've been researching my next receiver purchase for the past few weeks and will be making in the next few days. I was pretty much set on picking up a Sony DA4ES and adding a pronto remote on down the road, perhaps in a few months. I've compared the 4ES to the Denon 3802 and Pioneer Elite 43TX. I found the 4ES to sound noticeably better than the 43TX and couldn't here much difference in the 4ES and the 3802. The 3802 sounded a bit warmer and the 4ES was more neutral, maybe leaning towards the bright side.

    That said, I'd pretty much decided on the 4ES because I could pick it up for around $600 shipped from an authorized dealer. That was until I found a Denon 3802 open box w/out remote from an authorized dealer fro $480. Now my question is should I go with the new 4ES and pick up a Pronto in a few months if the 4ES remote doesn't work out (didn't seem so bad at the store but I haven't heard good things about it), or should I get the open box 3802 and a Pronto now?

    For background, I'll be powering Paradigm 3SE MK3s (predecessor to the current Monitor 3s) in the front, Titans as surrounds, and Atoms as back surrounds w/ a Shiva EBS DIY sub in a 12'x12' apartment living room until May and a 16'x20' Bonus room this summer.

    Thanks in advance [​IMG]
     
  2. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    I think the 4ES sounds bright because it is neutral. Live bands/orchestras always sound bright to me. Playing DVD movies with 5.1 or 6.1, the dynamic range of the 4ES is incredible. Some people are concerned about its inability to drive all 5 channels at rated power, but if you test this receiver with the LOTR DVD at a very loud level, say -30 dB, you would not worry about its power output any more. I have never listen to the 3802 but based on the specifications I thought the 4ES gives more value for the money. This is of course based on the assumption that they are both true to their specifications.
     
  3. Sebastien David

    Sebastien David Second Unit

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    3802 = composite/svideo upconverting to component...
    might turn out to be VERY useful down the road.
    OTOH, open box... means that 3802 could have an ugly background story (i.e. return from repair, etc...)
    I think I'd go with the Denon if I was able to clear up the uncertainty of its backstory, but the 4ES is an equally valid choice if you don't need the Denon's superior video handling capabilities and 5/6/7 channel stereo mode.

    remember that the 4ES's remote is NOT learning, contrary to some specs published erroneously early on. so even though it's a cool remote, you might have to replace it for a Pronto earlier than you think if you're demanding on that aspect.
     
  4. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    I think the remote does not matter since he is getting a Pronto. I had the 3801 with the same learning remote as the 3802 and couldn't find real use for it. I too have the Pronto currently.
    The 4ES can be customized in a number of different ways and I would also consider the fact that it is future upgradable, the same cannot be said of the 3802.
     
  5. DonT

    DonT Stunt Coordinator

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    i dont think the 3802 has component upconversion. i think you need the 3803 for that.
     
  6. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

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  7. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    If anyone could give a recommendation to which receiver would pair better w/ my Paradigm 3SE MK3s, Titans, Atoms, and Shiva EBS, that would probably sway my opinion the most. My current 1803 sounded a bit muffled w/ my 3SE MK3s. That's another reason I'm leaning toward the 4ES

    The remote issue is probably a wash since even if I get the 4ES I'll probably be adding a Pronto on down the line a few months. Worst case I order the 4ES and don't like the remote immediately I'll just order the Pronto then and chalk it up to necessity [​IMG]

    All that said, I'm going to be ordering tomorrow morning, so if anyone has any last thoughts please let me know.

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  8. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    I posted this before, put your ears on the left hand side of the chassis where the transformer is, with the receiver plugged in and power on but with nothing else connected to it. My hums a little louder than normal. Most other owners don't seem to have this problem, but just in case. Again the 4ES sounds bright because it sounds live like. Good luck with your purchase.
     
  9. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    As for the Denon remote issue, if i went that route i would probably pick up a denon remote on ebay... they pop up from time to time and usually go around $30. Also, there are PLENTY of very complete CCF files available for the 3802 at remote central.

    That said, I've pretty much decided to go with the new 4ES, mainly because of waranty reasons, and pick up a Pronto if i feel the sony remote lacking.
     
  10. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Stephen,

    I wouldn't let the 3802's remote factor into this -- it's such a bad remote the first thing you should do is remove the batteries and hide it where no one will accidentally point it at your equipment. Now before that sounds like too much of a knock, I think the 3802 is a great piece, and I personally prefer its sound to the Sony's (of course, you need to decide that for yourself with your paradigms).

    -Robb
     

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