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Amp advice.. Denon 3801 or something else

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Dave Jones, Jan 5, 2001.

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  1. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones
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    Hello all,

    Can anyone offer any advice on the following. I currently have a Pioneer 636 DVD player connected to stereo hifi. I was a cats whisker today from buying a Pioneer E07 (I dont know why the price just seemed right £599) anyway I pulled out and decided to look around.

    I have come across the Denon 3801 for £599 is this a good price? Is it a good amp, will it do the extra Discreet channel? Does it have the ability to flash upgrade, similar to (i believe) the higher priced models?. What speakers should I buy I wont have much left after the amp purchase possibly about £400. Should I buy a speaker package or buy some extra speakers to add to my existing two. I actually dont mind waiting an extra few weeks for the speakers if there are some available that are out of my budget.

    If I sound confused its because I am, then again should I get a Yammy A5 and spend the rest on speakers....

    any advice appreciated.

    Thanks

    Dave
     
  2. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Yes buy this amp!

    Yes for dts-ES. It supports all current comercially avilable surround sound formats, bar THX stuff.

    Buy a matching center channel speaker and surroud speakers for your current front stereo speakers. £400 shopuld be about right for this amp. Buy a sub. and the extra surround later, and maybe upgrade your fronts. You could buy new fronts and put your current stereo pair to the surround sides.

    Which speakers do you currently have?

    Rick



    ------------------
    'I am just a figment of your imagination.'
    MiB 1997

    Work Site: The Sound Gallery
    Home Site: WD A.V.
     
  3. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones
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    Thanks.

    My speakers at the moment are Sony's. My System is getting old now about 8 years. (I bought a Sony CD, AMPand speakers after being burgled many years ago). My burgled system was Mission, Denon and Marantz.

    I am not really bothered about a tuner, and have read (on this board) that a dedicated Amp is better than one with a built in tuner. So I am just worried that im paying for a tuner in the 3801 when something like the Yam A5 may do the job. Obviously the price difference a5=£250 3801=£600. Would leave me more money for speakers initially, but I really want to build the system over several months to get the best possible sound at my budget.

    I was thinking of getting a speaker package (eg Mission). But am sure that I would get more value buying 2 floor standing speakers and a centre, and eventually doing away with my old speakers. I like the Mission speaker packs but I dont think I can talk my wife into having "black boxes" scattered all over the room.

    You say £400 can I get a 3801 for £400, or was that a typo, i hope not [​IMG]

    Ill probably go and get the 3801, and then go from there unless anyone says otherwise.

    Dave
     
  4. Mad Max

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    Hi,

    I bought a 3801 about 2 months ago, and this machine is AWESOME !

    It's got all the latest goodies, and I even suspect it has the THX capable circuitry. DENON just didn't bother to pass certification, because it conts a fortune, and they want to keep the price competitive.

    Yamaha is OK, I guess, but they keep having bad opinions in Stereo sound. The price difference isn't only for the tuner. The Denon has 7X150W capability, DTS-ES descrete and Matrix, DD 5.1 Matrix (This is the compatible THX-EX mode), and a very easy setup. (I also tend to think the Yammy is getting a little outdated ).

    If you're on a budget, and not in a hurry, you will get better equipment if you but slowly. Start with the 3 fronts. L+R+Center. They should be from the same series, because tonal matching over the front is important. Imagine a Center speaker different from the mains. When a guy is talking on the left, then move to the center of the screen, if the center speaker is very different, his voice changes... argh !

    Move your main speakers to the surround position. Don't hurry out to buy the backs. Get a Sub-woofer instead. The difference will be unbeleivable. Then, later, when a lot more titles are available in THX-EX and DTS-ES, buy the 2 or 4 back speakers (again, they should be very similar to eachother for tonal matching) acording to your budget. I tend to think that tonal matching is important over the front, and over the back, but not as important all around the room, so you could get cheaper speakers for the back.

    As for the WAF (Wife aproval factor) buy her something expensive... It works for me [​IMG].

    And beleive me... It's a lot more fun building a system over time, than spending a fortune in one go ! And over time, you will learn a lot, and avoid the mistakes done by people that buy all in one go.

    Have fun...

    ------------------
    An adult is just a kid with expensive toys.

    Rui
     
  5. pauld

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    Dave,

    I own a Denon 3801 and I must agree with Retro and Mad Max that this amp is outstanding. I owned a Yamaha DSPA595a (replaced buy the A5) and the Denon blows it out the water!!! Stereo sound is good and the DTS and Dolby 5.1 are excellent. I have yet to get the centre rear channel speakers but won't be able to wait alot longer!!

    Paul.
     
  6. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones
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    Thanks.

    I have got some prices today, of the Denon, and it all fits in (plus the wife appears to be happy). I will probably get the speakers as well, so Ill be out for a listen on Tuesday.

    I really cant wait [​IMG]

    I would rather build it up slowly, so Ill start making a shortlist on the speakers, (not sure about floor standers yet) and a centre. Initial thoughts are a pair of Mission 771's and a 771c. Or the 701's (cheaper and i could get them now rather than waiting til feb). Would I be ok to get the 771's and add the 771c later. These get great reviews but as my budget for the speakers will only be about £250 a pair of 771's at £149 and the centre £179. Or could I mix a pair of the new budget M71's with a 771C? Best keep them all the same right?

    Then again what about Tannoys (mX2 + mXC)? there is just too much choice, whats everyone else using with theirs?

    Dave

     
  7. pauld

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    Dave,

    I am using B&W's consisting of:-


    Fronts 602's
    Centre CC6
    Rear surround 601's
    Sub Yamaha YST 160

    Whatever you buy you should keep them all the same brand, maybe except the sub, so they have the same tone. I can highly recommend the B&W's but I have read that the mission speakers in that series are a reasonable budget system.

    Hope this helps.

    Paul.
     
  8. Matt F

    Matt F
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    Dave, I think the AVR3801 would be a great choice. As for speaker packages for £400, I've done a bit of digging and have come up with a couple of options:

    Tannoy MXC centre £76.99
    Tannoy MX1 front £83.99
    Tannoy MX1 rear £83.99
    Tannoy MXSub 10 £199.99
    TOTAL £443.97

    Or, if you wanted to do without a sub for now and get a better one (RELQ50 or something) a bit later you could get:

    Tannoy MXC centre £76.99
    Tannoy MX3 front £159.96
    Tannoy MX1 rear £83.99
    TOTAL £320.94

    If you took this option then your next step should be to get a sub before thinking about getting "surround back" speakers for EX/ES duties. However, when you do eventually want some "surround back" then another pair of MX1s would do nicely.

    Which would I go for?, I think probably the MX1s all round with a sub straight away and then another pair of MX1s (for EX/ES) when funds allow.

    By the way, I got the prices from unbeatable.co.uk.

    Hope this helps.

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    This is a local shop for local people - there's nothing for you here!
     
  9. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones
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    Thanks.

    I really apreciate all this help....

    Got Tuesday off to have a listen [​IMG]

    Dave
     
  10. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones
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    I have just been for my first demo. With the B&W 601s and Kefs. I have to say that the difference in sound detail between the kefs and 601's was incredible (B&W much much more detailed). Which is a pity 'cause I really liked the look of the Kefs and they are much easier to get hold of at a discount. I may go for the 601's with a centre now.

    The only thing here is magnetic shielding the Kefs have this across the range, the B&W's dont, this is the only downside as I see it.

    Dave
     
  11. Timoth

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    RE Matt F's comments,
    another option for the "surround back" would be a pair of Tannoy MXR for £79.89 (also from www.unbeatable.co.uk).

    The MXR seem to be smaller than the MX1 ideal for the back wall(about the only way I'll ever convince my fiance to let me have them) [​IMG]

    I've had a look at the Tannoy site but they only got info on the MX1, MX2, MX3.
     
  12. PaulBoy

    PaulBoy
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    Sorry to butt in but I too am keen to get a 3801 to replace my ageing Yamaha ...
    Apart from the odd dissenter the feedback on the 3801 is very positive ...
    I am not really in a position to buy off the 'net for cash so can anyone suggest a Hifi dealer who is selling it at a sensible price (the only place in Woking, Surrey - where I work) wants £799! (unbeatable have it for £599)
    TIA - Paul

    ------------------
    "Hi my names Paul and I'm a dvdaholic ..."
     
  13. YJ

    YJ
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    Paul,

    Look at www.hotkit.co.uk/ they are selling the AVR 3801 for £580 including p&p. They have the black version, but you'll have to wait to about 10 days for the Gold version.
    (Go to the Speaker & Subwoofer section of the forum and look at my post 'Where can I buy Mission m71's?'
     
  14. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones
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    Got mine from sound and vision Bolton for £599. Just received it today, they do free next day delivery and its a UK model with the two yesr Denon gurantee....I wish I had seen it for £580 though...still

    te;: 01204 707079 no web site....but I notice they also do interest free credit.

    Dave
     
  15. Big Jim

    Big Jim
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    You annoying so and so! [​IMG]

    I've just gone and ordered one from them too!

    [​IMG]

    The wife is going to murder me when I tell her... oh well

    Jim
     
  16. LV426

    LV426
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    If you want to buy from a shop rather than the web, try Sevenoaks Hifi. Last time I looked they were doing it for £699 (£100 off) in their Leeds store.
     
  17. cyberdudelion

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    PaulBoy - Why don't you try a local John Lewis store? They'll price-match Hotkit. Not sure if JL do 3801 though.

    Or try Sound and Vision (look at Dave Jones' post above) for 599
     
  18. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones
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    I dont think John Lewis do them. Well the nearest one to me Nottingham dont. But they are the best and they throw in a 5 year guarantee I got them to price match a TV that was on Lets Buy it.

    On the wife, I find if I talk about nothing but AMPS, Speakers etc etc then eventually she gets so fed up with it she lets me buy it. Also she doesnt keep mentioning it as she doesnt want me to talk too much about it.

    One other thing www.superfi.co.uk say they price match and they have a branches all over the country if anyone does fancy trying them.

    I can't say enough about this amp. Its just awesome.

    Dave
     
  19. dvdbrowser.com

    dvdbrowser.com
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    I've just joined the 3801 club.
    Arrives from Bolton on Tuesday.
    S**t, i have no speakers! oh well will have to go into town tomorrow to have a look.
     
  20. PaulBoy

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    Having not used "hotkit" B4 can anyone vouch for them ?
    I will use a credit card of course but it would be nice to have someone say something nice about them first [​IMG]
    PS My wife has also threatened to kill me Perhaps we could have a "group burial" ...

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    "Hi my names Paul and I'm a dvdaholic ..."
     
  21. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones
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    Just an Update.

    I got my 3801 Last Thursday, and after changing my mind twice (Thu and Fri) Just as I was about to pay for the speakers (a toss up between the Mission 771's and B&W 601 S2) I finally dragged the wife into the shop on Saturday and purchased the 601's.

    Anyway, All this kit and I my only problem has been to get a coax cable for my digital output from my DVD to AMP. Im using a Phono at the moment (about as good as a piece of string) and even with this its mindblowing. I didnt really think that I was missing so much from films. In fact the start of Saving private Ryan and Gladiator is awesome, of course as soon as I get my proper coax It'll hopefully take it to another plane, but I just cant imagine its going to be that much better can it??? I cant wait

    Dave
     
  22. PaulBoy

    PaulBoy
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    Well done Dave I'm glad you like it as I am going for a demo & hopefully will leave my local emporium with a 3801 later today !!! [​IMG]
    I might pick your brains for some tips on how best to connect it all as my present system does not route ANYTHING through the amp -except phonos & 5.1 stuff ...
    I cant wait to listen to it - How much better with music do you think it is ? My present amp cant use the sub on ordinary stereo stuff so I am looking forward to listening to CD's again (especially if the 5 speaker mode for stereo is as good as they say) ... Paul

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  23. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    The 5 Channel Stereo mode is brilliant, don't know why other companys don't use it as well!

    7 Channel Sereo should be even better!

    Rick



    ------------------
    'I am just a figment of your imagination.'
    MiB 1997

    Work Site: The Sound Gallery
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  24. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones
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    How Much better on music.

    Well I think the difference from my old AMP is incredible, and I used to think that that was good.

    I just cant believe what ive been missing literally.

    I would like to know what you think when you listen to it. For me I actually want to replay all my CD's just to see what I have been missing. They sound so good. I am going to have to connect my old amp up again...just to see if there is some sort of problem with it.

    I am a novice on this myself...if i can help i will.

    Trouble is I want to get rid of my old speakers (I have 3 knew ones 2 old ones), but with so many channels, even if I go and get 2 more, Ill just end up using my old 2 as more surrounds....there are just so many options.

    At this rate, Im going to need to get the house checked for structural damage, im sure Im going to blow the windows out or something [​IMG]

    Dave
     

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