Worth upgrading to DTS ES/DD EX (Denon 2801 to 3803)

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Robert Burkes, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. Robert Burkes

    Robert Burkes Second Unit

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    Hey, everyone! I hope you're all coping well with being back at work after the holiday. I wanted to ask everyone if you all think it's worth the upgrade to DTS ES/DD EX. I'm thinking of upgrading my Denon AVR-2801 to the AVR-3803. I'm wondering if the number of titles available containing these extended surround tracks and the sound quality of the upgrade in formats would justify my purchase. I have never heard either of these formats in a home environment, so I'm hoping some of you can let me know how significant the difference is with the back surrounds. If it matters, I have Definitive Tech Pro Monitor 200's (mains), Pro Center 200, Pro Monitor 100's (surrounds), SVS 12 in. sub (can't remember the model), and if I upgrade, I'll probably just get another pair of 100's. Thanks so much for helping me with this.
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    In a nushell yes I do.

    I'll bet you can sell the 2801 and upgrade for very little.

    Do you watch a fair amount of 2 channel Dolby Pro Logic still? I found yesterday during the NFL games, that the improvement on those lowly sources is well worth it alone.
     
  3. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Supporting Actor

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    Isn't the amount of DTS-ES/EX titles fairly limited?

    I would say that if would be worth the upgrade if you can sell your current 2801 for a decent amount and if you can also find the 3803 at discount. If the upgrade cost is fairly marginal, then it would be worth it - but if it's just to get the ES/EX - probably not. [​IMG]
     
  4. John S

    John S Producer

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    Right DTS sources are limited....

    But as I said, it is not just DTS....

    I am still watching way way to much 2 channel dolby pro-logic, and the benefit of EX, DTS Neo:6, and Denon 7.1 was amazingly obvious to me on such lowly sources, over say DPL II alone... Actually EX is post processing on top of DPLII. I plan on doing some more tests with some laserdisc via optical not AC-3 also with these modes this week.

    I also had a friend over for the games, that could not hear much if any difference in any of the different modes, even though I percieved the differences as night and day bewteen all the modes. I think DTS Neo:6 may have come out on top on this test, much much to my surprise.....
     
  5. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Supporting Actor

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    John - Neo 6 is definitely one of the better processing modes out.

    But I guess it all depends on what the additional cost would be. I mean if we had a figure to work w/ I think we could all come out w/ more definite answers.
     
  6. John S

    John S Producer

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    Ahh heck, everybody loves new HT and Audio gear.. I say just do it!!! lol

    You are totally correct, I mean that money could surely go to something else that may provide greater benefit for sure.
     
  7. Robert Burkes

    Robert Burkes Second Unit

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    I assume I can get the 3803 from 6ave.com for $650 like so many people here seem to be doing. I'm not sure how much I should ask for my 2801. I was thinking maybe $300. What do you all think? Thanks for helping me out with this. Later!

    Rob
     
  8. John S

    John S Producer

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    The extra power alone is worth $300 to $350 in my book.
    Never underestimate the benefits of additional headroom.

    So look at other benefits $300 or so dollars can buy???
    Remember we are talking sound and video here.....


    Meaner sub??
    Universal / Multi channel audio player?
    New DVD player w/progressive scan and 3:2 pulldown?
    Better wire / audio connects?
    A bunch of new media?
    Selective speaker upgrades?
    HDTV reciever?
    And any other upgrade you may think of


    I would think a Denon 3803 over the 2801 would rank very high among possible $300 to $350 upgrades. But that is really what you need to consider, I suppose.
     
  9. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    I think the jump from a 2801 to a 3803 even without using Es/EX is worth the upgrade and you can take the ES/EX as an added bonus. The 3803 has many a things in common with the 5803/4802 receivers including Burr/Brown DACs, high bandwidth HDTV switching, power, etc.
    On top of that it adds DPL-II, DTS-Neo, and the EX/ES formats which truly are worth upgrading to. Just one caveat and that is if you don't have a decent width on your back wall and if you have to "crowd" in your Back and Surround speakers, then the 6.1 is totally worthless but with a wall with decent width, it works wonders.
     
  10. Robert Burkes

    Robert Burkes Second Unit

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    Two additional questions, if you don't mind. How wide is "decent?" And regarding the up-conversion of video signals, does the receiver convert composite to s-video? I don't have component inputs on my TV...yet, so that wouldn't do me much good. Thanks so much for all of your responses.

    Rob
     
  11. John S

    John S Producer

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    HDTV is come'n on fast now, component switching will be important within the next two years.

    Well your sides should well, be on the sides, I don't see over crowding as to much of an issue.

    I believe the 3803 does upconvert video. My 4802 does not.

    If your not on HDTV with at least component video, your upgrade cash may be better spent there.

    I had all these ideas about how to next upgrade my HT, audio wise, after comming here it became quite obvious, that my TV, not being HDTV was my weakest link, so I put all my upgrade money into a new HDTV. Just something additional to think about.

    I would think the video quality / size would be a more critical upgrade for you, unless your genuinely more happy with your video than your audio as it exists.

    Ok new idea, buy the 3803 and a new HDTV!!!! lol
     
  12. George Caronan

    George Caronan Stunt Coordinator

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    Although there aren't too many titles with DTS-ES [matrix/discrete] or DD-EX out there, to have the capability to enjoy the format is well worth it. Case in point: the oft-used "Pod-race" chapter in SW1. Listening to it without the DD-EX processing seem to have the effects going over your head whereas with the DD-EX it went from right to left [vice-versa] with the fills in the middle. A friend of mine just recently bought the AVR-3803 and the sound quality is quite nice. DPL II brings a more coherent, defined surround stage than the limited DPL. If you do have two rears connected and set-up, playback of some DD/DTS 5.1 soundtracks give it a more wider, immersive feel with smoother panning effects. The only drawback is that some "old" remixed films in 5.1 [circa early 1980s or older] tend to have the surrounds collapse into the rears. To answer the video-conversion feature, it does convert composite to s-video and from s-video to component. I don't know how the image itself would benefit but its there for usage nonetheless. Best of luck to your decision.
     
  13. Robert Burkes

    Robert Burkes Second Unit

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  14. John S

    John S Producer

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    I here you, I sort of went with the consolation prize, although it was the consolation prize I chose as best for me, if I had the cash, I would have a 73" Mitsu right now.
     

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