Arcam AVR350 vs Denon AVR-3808 - which is the better receiver?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Hades, Jan 12, 2008.

Tags:
  1. Hades

    Hades
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    11,914
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Yorkshire Dales
    Ratings:
    +1,184
    Hi,

    I was thinking of getting the Denon 3808, but have been sort of side tracked into thinking about the Arcam 350 as being a better receiver for sound on both movies and music.

    After doing some comparisons I am struggling to understand how the Arcam 350 can be better than the Denon 3808. The Arcam has no support for Dolby Digital TrueHD or DTS HD... so surely this is going to be a problem when I eventually buy a Blu-ray player towards the end of the year. Also the Denon has 4 HDMI inputs whereas the Arcam only has 2. I don't think the Arcam does any form of upscaling either with the picture.

    Very confused...can anyone help repair my current headache please?

    Thanks,

    Gazza.
     
  2. Helicon

    Helicon
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    5,016
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +261
    As far as music reproduction goes, the Arcam will win hands down over the Denon. It will also have the upper hand if you have slightly brighter sounding speakers. The Denon, depending on the speaker package, will generally sound sharper and cleaner, suiting the movie enthusiast. And as you say, the Denon is better equipped.
     
  3. Hades

    Hades
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    11,914
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Yorkshire Dales
    Ratings:
    +1,184
    Thanks for that reply as its really helped me out here :smashin:

    I am not interested in music on my system as I hardly listen to any... its movies all the way for me. So in theory then the Arcam would not be the right route to go down for an avid movie enthusiast?
     
  4. Helicon

    Helicon
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    5,016
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +261
    Nope, stick to the Denon! You'll just be kicking yourself 6 months down the line that you didn't make the heart of your system HD ready. Plus, the Denon's have a higher crossover adjustment - ideal for smaller satellites if you take that route.
     
  5. Hades

    Hades
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    11,914
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Yorkshire Dales
    Ratings:
    +1,184
    My room is 4.3M x 3.7M and was going to audition the KEF 3005SE but not sure if that is going to be better than my current speakers.

    The Arcam is defo not for me then... why the dealer has tried to send me down this route is a tad confusing now :confused:
     
  6. Helicon

    Helicon
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    5,016
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +261
    Change your amp first, then see how you feel about the speakers. Swings and roundabouts changing to the 3005's really. You're probably better off building or upgrading on the KEF's you already have.
     
  7. Hades

    Hades
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    11,914
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Yorkshire Dales
    Ratings:
    +1,184
    Once again thanks for your input. To be honest I am a tad confused now as to why the dealer has tried to steer me down the Arcam route when he was well aware of my love for movies and a guaranteed future purchase of a Blu-ray player.
     
  8. Helicon

    Helicon
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    5,016
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +261
    Yeah, that is a little confusing....maybe you got the Saturday guy! I've always said though, that most dealers have one good member of staff - it's a case of sniffing them out!

    By the way, i'm not saying the Arcam isn't good for movies, it is very good. But with the current situation of being on the edge of a Blu-Ray explosion, the Arcam's not the one of the two to get the most of it.
     
  9. rwniel

    rwniel
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,050
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +232
    The Arcam AVR350 does have multichannel phono inputs, so it's not quite the end of the world as far as playing back "high def" sound formats like TrueHD, Dolby Digital plus or uncompressed PCM. That is providing you have a player with an built-in decoder and that has corresponding separate phono outputs.

    I do agree though that for your particular requirements out of the two receivers listed the Denon AVR-3808 would be the better option.

    Robert
     
  10. brad

    brad
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Messages:
    839
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +77
    I have just replaced my AVR300 with a Onkyo 905. When I first purchased the AVR300 I had some floor standers with which I used to listen to 2 channel music on through the AVR300 which was very good as well as being very good with movies. I now have a seperate 2 channel system so have no need for brilliant 2 channel sound on my movie set up. The only reason for upgrading was for Hdmi connection & HD sound as well as the network function oh & greater power:cool::cool: The Arcam build quality is far superior to the Denon & Onkyo but the Onkyo 905's movie sound is very impressive indeed compared to the AVR300 which I appreciate is not a 350 but not a night & day difference in sound imo. I would recommend a demo of the Onkyo amps as well as the Denon & the Onkyo's come with a 3 year warranty:D:D
     
  11. Hades

    Hades
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    11,914
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Yorkshire Dales
    Ratings:
    +1,184
    God its head spinning is all this :(

    I think what I will do when I go for an audition of various things, is see if I can listen to:

    Arcam AVR350
    Denon AVR-3808
    Onkyo 875/905
    Marantz SR-8002

    I am taking a selection of disks with me. I suppose a good thing for me to do, is sample the HD audio done by one of the receivers that support it, then listen to it on the Arcam via the analogue connections, with the decoding done on the DVD player (have I got that bit right?).

    Then I will get a good idea of whether it sounds any better (I hope).

    I just don't want to buy a receiver that is not going to support the HD sound formats. As whatever I buy will have to do me for at least the next 5 years.

    Another killer is that the Arcam is not in my budget. Its a £1600 receiver (before trying to get anything knocked off), whereas I was looking at around £1100 for my budget. The Denon 3808 and Onkyo 875 can be had within my budget, but all the rest are above it for now (prior to possible price haggling).

    Can see me paying my doctor a visit for some tablets before this all gets too much for me :)
     
  12. brad

    brad
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Messages:
    839
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +77

    Gazza,

    I picked up my Onkyo 905 for £1099 from Creative Audio :D:D:D So try them they may have some left :rolleyes::rolleyes: Imo the reason your dealer is trying to get you to buy the AVR 350 is because it is due to be replaced shortly. Arcam are getting left well behind these days in the technology stakes. If they had a new up to date amp out then they would have had my money no questions:nono::nono: I love the their gear :clap::clap: In my opinion a lot of people are moving away from Arcam because of their lack of keeping up with the latest technology it is a great shame but you gotta move with the times. I have spoken to 3 people that have sacrificed superb 2 Channel replay on the Arcam to upgrade to the 905 because of the latest technology etc & brilliant movie sound.


    Brad.
     
  13. Hades

    Hades
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    11,914
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Yorkshire Dales
    Ratings:
    +1,184
    Trouble is because in live in the middle of nowhere so-to-speak. Getting to these places is a right royal pain in the butt for me.

    I think I need to do the demo's and come away and then make my mind up later. There is not a chance a deal will be done on the day now.

    Got to get this right or I'll be kicking myself forever more.
     
  14. True-Blue

    True-Blue
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,476
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Watching Everton
    Ratings:
    +177
    I picked up a brand new 905 for £1200 delivered with a free decent 1m HDMI lead without too much difficulty on the haggling front.

    I would agree that it is comfortably better, in my system, than my previous AVR350 for movies, whether DD, DTS or the latest sound formats through the PS3/EP35.

    I havent heard the 3808 but on the basis that the 350 was significantly better than my previous 3805 I sorta ruled out the 3808 (rightly or wrongly)

    Anyway, good luck with your decision.

    Incidentaly, my local Sevenoaks were far from complimentary about the 905, saying it was bright and thin sounding. I have no idea why, because it sounds excellent with my M&K's and is not a painfull listen at all :confused:
     
  15. brad

    brad
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Messages:
    839
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +77

    True Blue,

    I also have M&K speakers and the 905 complements them perfectly. I went to the Bristol hifi show a few years back and in the M&K demo room they used an Onkyo amp :clap::clap: to drive ....... what I think were the 650 series and it sounded brilliant:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: The sound from my M&K's and the 905 is effortless, with superb sound steering, very fast shifting sound & the PCM sound is amazing:D:D:D

    Brad.
     
  16. Hades

    Hades
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    11,914
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Yorkshire Dales
    Ratings:
    +1,184
    Well it looks like my upgrade for now is not going to happen. Sevenoaks @ Nottingham say they are no longer stocking Denon products (even though they are listed on the web site).

    The Arcam is out of my price range (unless I scrap the speaker upgrade) and it just does not support the latest technology. For the life in me I can not see why I would buy that receiver. As I just don't have the money to buy the quality speakers it would deserve.

    So I am very disappointed now :(

    I would really like to go to an A/V outlet and at least try and audition:

    Denon 3808
    Yamaha 3800
    Marantz 8002
    Onkyo 905


    But I live in Yorkshire and most decent places seem to be down South. I was going to Sevenoaks @ Nottingham as I can stay with some friends and merge the demo in with my visit (as its not far away from where they live).

    I also need to buy now pay later (paying off in full before time is up). Sevenoaks seemed to offer the best option on that front.

    Oh well had my KEF speakers and Denon receiver for 6 years now... looks like I will keeping them for longer than I thought now. Which will also mean when/if I do manage to upgrade, they will be worth next to nothing :( At the moment I can get at least £200 for my receiver and £300 for the speakers (minimum value).

    What a nice start to a depressing week (with all this bloody rain that's forecast).
     
  17. Helicon

    Helicon
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    5,016
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +261
    I'd be seriously tempted to hold on to the speakers for now as it's not a bad package, and will outperform 3005's in some respects. Concentrate on your amp first, as a better amp will make the speakers ound better for a start. You may want to keep the speakers after that!


    I can't see why Svnks in Notts are no longer stocking Denon - no dealer in their right mind would stop stocking it, it sells too well! Also, Denon is one of the core brands for Svnks stores. Maybe that store has lost their account......
     
  18. jensK

    jensK
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Messages:
    414
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +41
    I personally would give the preference to the Denon/Onkyo receivers. The Arcam receiver lacks behind in the technology and what is also important it has no auto setup which is a function that I would not like to miss on my system.

    I had a couple of auditions and I have to say that I was never impressed with the Arcams. Retrospectively I think it has to do with poor setup at the audition, but that strengthens my argument about auto setup. Not everybody likes it, but some do.

    In some ways or another you will find that some Arcam fanboys will make strong claims about Arcam products which in reality won’t materialise to the extend you expect.

    Compare the amps you have on your shortlist and take it from there.

    Good luck and have fun with your audition.
     
  19. Hades

    Hades
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    11,914
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Yorkshire Dales
    Ratings:
    +1,184
    I was wondering the other day about that. If I got a new receiver and upgraded my speaker cables... if I might get a better performance from my current speakers.
     
  20. Hades

    Hades
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    11,914
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Yorkshire Dales
    Ratings:
    +1,184
    My head is in a right spin I can tell you. I just wish I could go into one place and audition all the receivers I am interested in... on the same speakers and with my demo disks. It would then stand out by a mile I hope, which was the right one for me.
     
  21. Rom

    Rom
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,064
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Ratings:
    +746
    Depends on where you are in Yorkshire. You could try our Sheffield Sevenoaks shop. They have a demo room. There are a few high end audio retailers in sheff if you want a list.
     
  22. Hades

    Hades
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    11,914
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Yorkshire Dales
    Ratings:
    +1,184
    I am going to the Sevenoaks still @ Nottingham as I will be over that way anyway. Sheffield is a good way out for me and I am not keen on driving within big city centres. I will be getting to Nottingham via train from the station near my friends house.

    It looks like I will be auditioning the following (they have no Denon):

    Arcam 280/350
    Onkyo 875
    Yamaha 3800

    What I can say is that if I am unsure, I will just walk away from all of it and not bother. I would rather keep my money than possibly make a decision that I might regret at a later date.
     
  23. drac

    drac
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    [/QUOTE]What I can say is that if I am unsure, I will just walk away from all of it and not bother. I would rather keep my money than possibly make a decision that I might regret at a later date.[/QUOTE]


    That's an absolute definate mate! On the purchase of a receiver, it's something you need a really good think and demo about - preferably demo a couple of times (if you can't demo at home)
     
  24. John Clark

    John Clark
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    120
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +4
    I am waiting for the Marantz sr-8002. I chose it because after looking at all the other options that you have put down (except the Arcam) it has the fewest issues/problems. Problems being HDMI, heat/fire :eek: and other stuff also it is supposed to be a step up in sound from the usual suspects.
     
  25. Hades

    Hades
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    11,914
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Yorkshire Dales
    Ratings:
    +1,184
    Not long before my demo's in Feb.... I am either going to be blown away or come back home with a face like a slapped arse.
     

Share This Page

Loading...