attributes for av receiver? denon 3805 vs. others?

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  • palmetto
    • Nov 2003
    • 36

    attributes for av receiver? denon 3805 vs. others?


    I am about to buy all the components for my media room with a 5.1 set-up. My wish list below reflects my general budget. My focus is on the receiver but other observations or comments on the other components are appreciated.

    Denon 3805 A/V Receiver 120 W x 7 (list: $1200, sale: $1000)
    Pioneer Elite DV-45A single disc universal DVD player (list: $600, sale: $350)
    Technics SL-1300 turntable (already purchased)
    Yamaha MusicCast (music server system using 802.11b wireless for clients)
    Samsung 61" HLN617W DLP television ($4300 -- already purchased)
    Sony HD200 HDTV DirecTV Receiver with DVI output (sale: $679)
    Panamax Max 4300 surge protector (list: $200, sale: $130)
    Paradigm 5.1 speaker system: 2 studio 40s, 1 cc-570, 2 sa10rs and 1 pw-2100 (list: $3200, sale: ? )

    The room is 15’ W by 20’ D by 9’ H and has two open walls (it is a loft). Rock music is my primary interest over home theater, maybe 80/20, and I am not need to rock the entire house with action DVDs. I have a turntable.

    And I love-love-love the Paradigm Studio 40s as front right and left speakers, and will use the CC-570 in the Center, 2 SA-10RS in-ceiling speakers for rear surrounds, and 1 PW-2100 subwoofer.

    Contenders for the receiver:

    Denon 3803 (110W x7)
    Denon 3805 (120W x 7)
    NAD T762 (100W x 6, 120W x 2)
    Marantz SR7400 (105W x 7)

    (The HK AVR-7200 is too deep for my space.)

    Check out this checklist of attributes for a receiver in the under/slightly over $1000 price range. Am I missing anything?

    Abundant wattage
    High current
    DVD-A and SACD compatibility (wide freq. response and digital in / outs)
    High Definition Compatible Digital processing (not clear on what this is?)
    Phono input (so I do not have to buy another amp?)
    Latest sound processing features (Pro Logic II and IIX, DTS 96/24?)
    Good connectivity options (component, composite, etc.)
    Video up conversion
    Suitable number of subwoofer cross-over selects
    “Auto Surround” setting
    Digital audio in / out for DirecTV box
    RS-232 for updates
    User friendly OSD and in general use
    7.1 capability (for future implementation)
    Good speaker connections (binding posts)
    Good remote (although I may use the Home Theatre MX500)

    Denon boasts about its “pure direct” which turns off the video processing and anything unnecessary when listening to stereo. HK has Logic 7 and front panel ins AND outs on its AVR-7200, which is a great feature for me.

    I do not need dual source/dual zone capability.

    So, what receiver? I had always heard good things about Denon and their product is discounted. I was set to get the DENON 3803 A/V receiver with 100W x 7 for $850, but it is being replaced with the more powerful and supposedly better Denon 3805 with 120W x 7. If I can get a more “updated” piece of equipment (with 10W more per channel) for another $150, I suppose I will.

    Denon says: “The new ultimate-performance 7.1-channel surround sound receiver replaces the acclaimed AVR-3803 receiver… and provides users with features and technologies traditionally found in receivers costing many hundreds of dollars more.”

  • aud19
    Twin Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2003
    • 16706

    Well there really is no definitive answer as all of this is subject to an individuals opinion...but I'll give you mine...

    That's a pretty darn nice list of components :P The Denon 3803 was a good receiver and I'm sure the 3805 will be too. Based on your preference for music over movies I'd recommend looking at the Nad and Rotel 1056 coming out (Phono amps are cheap from what I've heard) and IMO you'll get better musical performance than from Denon, HK or Yamaha. (All of which make fine receivers..but not as fine )

    I'd also check out Denon's line of universal players especially if you go for the 3805. Though the Pioneer players are good too.

    Nice TV :P

    Panamax are good but you might want to look in to these: (some folks swear by them) or these: (a less expensive solution with power conditioning. I own two 1200VA units myself.)

    Paradigms are wonderful speakers, they were on my short list. There are some other brands to look at but I figure you've probably already heard them and picked these because you liked them.

    For your future 7.1, the Rotel with a nice 2-channel amp would be SWEET and would really kick ass for 2-channel music. Better option than a receiver with all 7 channels plus processing crammed in to one box IMO.


    Need a new display? Questions about new display technologies? Visit RPTVs, plasmas, and other monitors @ HTguide


    • palmetto
      • Nov 2003
      • 36

      Thanks for the response, Jason.

      << Based on your preference for music over movies I'd recommend looking at the Nad and Rotel 1056 coming out

      I am aware of the discussions about matching speakers with receivers for personal sound preferences. And I had been flirting with Rotel but could not find them discounted. They also do not have the phono input, which adds more expense. But I am interested.

      The Rotel 1056 lists for $1299 and carries lower power ratings than the Denon 3805. However, I’ve heard that Rotel is conservative and mostly everyone else is deceptive when it comes to power. Nonetheless, based on the size of my room, the 75 W x 7 / 100 W x 2 rating for the Rotel concerns me as not enough.

      << (Phono amps are cheap from what I've heard)

      At the moment, I know nothing about them because I have only been looking at receivers with a phono input. There are many posts from vinyl enthusiasts that complain about the quality of the OEM phono input on many receivers, saying the manufacturer skimps.

      My first search shows that phono preamps range from $30 up to thousands! The Thorens MM001 costs $188. And that’s a name I remember as commanding respect in the vinyl world. What price point/quality level is appropriate for the rest of my system?

      What do you make of those many posts about Rotel and QC issues? (I know this may have been beaten to death before.) NAD has a few unsatisfied customers out there, too.



      • aud19
        Twin Moderator Emeritus
        • Aug 2003
        • 16706

        They don't tend do discount much, that's true, but you should be able to get 10-15% . But IMO you'll be better off spending a few hundred extra and being happy with what you bought rather than the other option.... Plus that extra money does buy you a few things like a 5 year warranty and better sound quality especially for music. Also the fact that they don't discount much help keep resale value high if you decide to sell it in a couple years.

        As you mentioned Rotel's don't have phono inputs but also as you mentioned you'll get better sound quality out of a seperate one as the ones that come in receivers tend to be not as high quality. I don't know much about phono preamps so you might want to do another post here and maybe ask folks in Club Rotel what they're using too.

        The 1056 will have no trouble powering your speakers. Sure more power is almost always better but I would bet Rotel's 75W is pretty comparable to Denon's 120W. Plus when you make the jump to 7.1 you can get a nice 2-channel external amp to power your mains and re-direct the 1056's power to the rears. That will definitely sound awesome, especially with stereo recordings.

        I actually don't recall many posts about Rotel QC other than good comments (there are always a few people who get a bad unit , from any company). Most complaints have been about things like bass doubling on the old models etc. That's not a quality complaint that's a function/design complaint. Issues which Rotel has quickly addressed and I believe have been corrected on the new models. I'd say they are probably one of the best companies I've ever dealt with in regards to customer service and the firware upgrades are better than any company I've heard of. Not to mention the support at Club Rotel. Nad has had some difficulties over the past few years which they seem to mostly have corrected. To be be fair to Nad, any company is going to have the odd bad piece that gets out (though they may have had a little problem there for a bit) You're still far more likely to get a good one than a bad one IMO.


        Need a new display? Questions about new display technologies? Visit RPTVs, plasmas, and other monitors @ HTguide


        • gd
          Senior Member
          • Jan 2003
          • 583

          Don't let the phono-in be a deal-breaker... almost no current receivers have them (except Denon, I guess)... you'll do yourself a favor by getting an outboard pho-pre.

          Here are a few reasonably-priced phono pre's at a good online dealer:

          Here's a whole bunch more, including some with insane pricing:

          I've got the Parasound... it's a real overachiever at $120... in your system you might also check the highly-regarded Lehman Black Cube at $500.

          You're assembling a great rig... be willing to go the extra mile for the receiver, one that you can live with for a long time... with your preference for music, the new Rotel is the one to get, whether they discount it or not... another good musical receiver is the Marantz, but I'd recommend moving up one model to the forthcoming SR8400, just to obtain that extra measure of power and build quality.

          Happy hunting.
          greg (gd to you)
          Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring
          production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.

          Frank Zappa


          • David Meek
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Aug 2000
            • 8938

            Hi Myles. :later:

            You've obviously spent some quality up-front time considering the various issues involved in your upcoming plunge. Smart, fella. Very smart. This will save you some headaches/heartburn down the road.

            The one thing I'll chime in on is the phono stage portion. . . . Some high-end-model receivers, in my case - Yamahas, have an integral phono input that can produce some decent-to-good results especially when coupled with their analog "bypass" circuitry. Even though my RX-V1 sounded good, when I upgraded my TT I also upgraded to an external phono stage. Specifically, to the Musical Fidelity X-LPS, which made a very substantial difference in vinyl-based sound quality, especially considering the $300 price tag. Even though phono stage(s) performance will vary as much as anything else you can purchase, they can make a substantial difference in the sound you hear from your records. I recommend purchasing one.

            If you've never used an external phono stage, they are really rather simple to set up. Run the two leads from the TT into the phono stage inputs and then run the two output leads from the phono stage into any unused 2-channel input set on the receiver. Select that input set - VCR1, VCR2, tape, MD, whatever - and you're listening to vinyl. Tuning possibilities will vary from brand/model to brand/model, but the basic choices are for MM (moving magnet) or MC (moving coil) cartridges.

            As always, YMMV. Good luck, and keep us posted, okay? :yesnod:

            David - HTGuide flunky
            Our "Theater"
            Our DVDs on DVD Tracker


            David - Trigger-happy HTGuide Admin


            • LCSeminole
              Junior Member
              • Apr 2003
              • 9

              Myles, the NAD 762 is a discontinued model and has been replaced by the 763. Not really sure what changes NAD made but I know it does have an RS-232 port for upgrades.


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