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Denon 3800 or A1?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by godzilla, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. godzilla

    godzilla
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    Beginning to narrow down the choices now Pioneer have confirmed via email that they have no plans to release a Pal prog upgrade for the 757.
    Was almost certain to get a latest 3800 to go with the A1SR, but was thrown a long ball by Ben from Discount Tv who could do a good deal on the A1 (still over a grand more than the 3800) and who informs me that the latest Denon Link allows digital transfer of ENCRYPTED dvd-a data.
    But, I have no desperate need to buy any dvd-audios and will mainly use it as a dvd-video player.

    So what I want to know is:

    Has anyone demoed the 2 Denon players and is there a worthwhile difference between the 2, i.e. in your opinion is the A1 worth over £1000 more than the 3800 on video performance?

    The picture will be via a Sim2 HT300 onto a 7ft screen, using Pal prog component.
     
  2. infomatique

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    I have the A1 and it is excellent but I have heard from others who have seen both in action that when it comes to video performance there is very little difference between the A1 and the 3800 (when it comes to sound the A1 is superior).

    Depending on how old your Amp is you may need to have it upgraded to use the DLINK but in my opinion this feature offers very little.

    Save the £1000 and get the 3800.
     
  3. ian_guinan

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    If it is the idea of the digital link that is swaying you then I would discount it. The technology for digitally linking DVD-A players is too much in a state of flux, and has a number of competing proprietary formats from different manufacturers (meridian, Denon and Pioneer just off the top of my head).

    From what I read there seems to be a lot of effort to standardise on a more universal format, so I would not invest in one particular digital link format at the moment unless it is a 'must have' feature for you. In 12 to 18 months we should hopefully have a possibly firewire based link that will pass DVD-A so I would hold fire.

    I've not heard an A-1 but they seem quite a bit sturdier than a 3800. The 3800 is however still very good at both DVD and Audio playback and would make a very enjoyable stopgap whilst you waited for the digital link format to settle down.

    Personally I'm trying not to invest any more money on DVD players until we have DVI out, digital DVD-A output and hopefully scaling to 720p and 1080i built into the player...and still less than £500. From the talk on AVS this might not be too far away with the pace the technology is moving.

    Regards,

    Ian Guinan
     
  4. godzilla

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    Thanks Ian, but as I said, I'm not that interested in dvd-a, just video performance. Can it possibly be worth £1000 more just on picture quality and movie sound?
     
  5. The Nightfly

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    If you take a look at the TAG website and find the reviews section for the DVD32R, they publish the results of a magazine comparison between the DVD32R, Denon 3800, Denon DVD-A1 and Toshiba 9500.

    The TAG comes first (obviously), followed by the 3800, followed very closely by the DVD-A1. Tends to imply that as far as DVD-V playback is concerned the 3800 and A1 are probably identical under the skin.

    I can't remember the name of the magazine the review results came from but it might provide a lead to find the full review on-line somewhere.

    Allan
     
  6. installer09

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    Ive got a 3800 and a A1SR , I demoed both players and to tell you truth I couldnt see any difference , in a German review of both players (and the toshiba ) the 3800 came out on top in terms of pic quality!
     
  7. Jasonjo

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    I did the same as installer09 with my AVC-10SE amp and a pioneer plasma - couldn't see a lot in it with video performance - maybe with your projector though???

    DVD-Video sound - couldn't tell the diff.

    Thought the DVD-A1 was better when connected to a decent stereo amp for pure CD...but a £1000 better, not really...

    A1 is also better built (as said by Ian)

    For info and reviews on the 3800 check out:

    www.geocities.com/denon3800

    As I remember, the Area DVD site which is linked has reviews of both players and may even make comments about comparison...

    HTH :)

    JJ
     
  8. camlogan

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    just a thought, but the arcam dv88+ seems to be the best value to me....its just under a 1000 and that includes the mods and delivery if you get it from the right place.

    In theory it has better viusals than the 3800 and much better cd sound.

    just a thought

    CaM
     
  9. installer09

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    I prefered the Denon with cd over the Arcam and the pic was much better imo , plus the 3800 has dvd audio and can be had for cheaper , also better build quality , I was very dissapointed in the Arcam and the fmj 27 , used to have an Arcam cd player which was excelent.
     
  10. godzilla

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    I know it's not the most important factor, but I really like the look of the Denons especially when paired with an A1SR!
    On that subject has anyone found a rack fat enough to accomodate an A1SR?
    Ben from Discount tv says all the ones he's seen have had the DVD A1s resting directly on top of the A1SRs.
    Would that not lead to heat problems particularly as, certainly the 3800 was famed for overheating early on?

    Regarding the new Denon Link, is that for the dvd-video sound as well as dvd-audio?
    I'm going to arrange for a demo, if I can find a place nearby (west or central london), but the A1 is going to have to be amazingly better to prise me from a further £1000!
     
  11. installer09

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    The Denon link is only for dvd audio , my A1SR is on a rack , this is an old pic , I know have the A1 where the A10SE is and the dvd player is moved to the centre on top. The rack is an Apollo.
     

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  12. eyerish

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    I bought the Denon 3800 a couple of months ago and I have to say that it is a fantastic machine. Prog. scan doesn`t matter if you are using the projector as I beliieve the Sim300 has built in faroujda dcdi scaler and doubler, so you will only be usung the interlace output via component. I have a Barco Graphics 808s and the picture is simply stunning. The weakest link in the chain is the iscan pro video scaler and I can see its limitations clearly.

    On the audio side, I`ve coupled the player with a pair of b&w cdm 1nts and a AVR3802 amp which is a stop gap while the cash builds up again. But the sound is brilliant. If I had the dosh to buy the A1, I wouldn`t as its price compared to the 3800 just doesn`t become justified. I paid £800 multi region for it and it really is a steal. Great build quality and lovely gold finish tops it off as a display piece. You really need to compare the two though if your decision is so finely balanced. As for DVD audio, I have no discs yet but the fact that the 3800 is software upgradeable is a definite advantage for whatever formats are likely to raise their heads
     
  13. infomatique

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    Are you sure about this?

    If my memory serves me correctly ... when I first got my A1 I only connected the DLINK and all sound sources passed through it except for protected DVD-Audio (both my A1 and A1SR have the older version).
     
  14. godzilla

    godzilla
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    Surely, if upgradability was top priority, then Tag or Arcam would be the main choices.
    However, I did read somewhere that the A1 was capable of playing SACDs, but that company politics was preventing the software upgrade. The 3800 wasn't mentioned, but maybe that applies too.
    However, looking through www.play.com's SACD and DVD-a listings there is nothing that tempts me!
    If all recent 3800 owners are happy, then it is looking increasingly likely that is the way I'm heading...
     
  15. Guest

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    This must be for display purposes!!!! as you'd have to be an olive short of a pizza to have your DVD player on top of your amp.

    Dont go there!

    Adzman.

    PS...I've heard both the A1 & 3800 and the A1 is better with CD's (well to my ears anyway)
     
  16. Sgt.Colon

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    Why, what is wrong with having your DVD player on top of your AMP? :confused:
     
  17. godzilla

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    "This must be for display purposes!!!! as you'd have to be an olive short of a pizza to have your DVD player on top of your amp."

    Actually, Ben was talking about a customer's set up and it was run quite hard for a few hours.

    I agree though that it can't be ideal from a heat and interference point of view.
    I'll look into Apollo stands.
     
  18. installer09

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    Maybe I got it wrong on the Denon link then , must be someone here that knows for sure.
     
  19. Blaz

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    Denon presented their new 2900 on CES which will replace the 2800 MK/2800 MKII. It is chroma bug free and it will play DVD-A and SACD. Prog. Scan will also be featured. From the picture I've seen it looks pretty good and solid built, looks like the 3800.
     
  20. Jasonjo

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  21. Lowrider

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    I am looking forward to have a digital link for DVD-audio, as i think discs are the weakest link in my system, so I would defenetely go for the A1...
     
  22. Guest

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    Lowrider.


    What's TAG got in mind for DVD-Audio?
    Anything lined up in the near future?...

    Adzman
     
  23. infomatique

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    According to Denon you require a minimum of 10cm clearance to avoid overheating ... believe me both units get very hot.
     
  24. Lowrider

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    The AV192R will have DVI input, wich will allow for DVD-audio, the DVD192, not so near future, will have the matching output if standard at the time...

    I hope it becomes standard, so Arcam will add it to the FMj, or I will have to replace it...
     
  25. perka

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    According to the german magasine Audiovision, they were very surprised to mesure a better video frequency signal with the 3800 than the A1 and hence better picture. More expensive is not always better.
     
  26. infomatique

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    I checked this on my system and I can confirm that you did get it wrong ... I have disconnected everything except the DLINK connector and am getting sound transfer for ordinary DVDs
     
  27. installer09

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    Thats cool then , is there an audible improvement over coaxial / optical connection?
     
  28. infomatique

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    It is very difficult to be objective about this.

    For various reasons I have used the A1 more as an audio source rather than playing back videos ... the performance from ordinary CDs and HDCDs is amazing.

    I have spent a lot of time trying to decide if the A1 was as good as or better than the Sony XA777ES SACD player ... CD performance is similar but much to my surprise I now prefer DVD-Audio to SACD (this may be a reflection on what software is available).

    In the case of DVD playback on the A1 there is an improvement when using DLINK rather than the standard digital connectors however in the case of DVD-Audio (those that are not protected) I prefer using the discreet EXE connections which may come as a surprise to most people.

    My conclusions ...
    If your main interest is Audio then the A1 is hard to beat.
    If your main interest is Video then it would appear that the 3800 is every bit as good and it is not worth paying extra for the DLINK.

    To find out more about the DLINK and Denon in general you should visit
    www.avsforum.com
    http://pub106.ezboard.com/faussiedvdandhtforumfrm38
    http://pub106.ezboard.com/faussiedvdandhtforumfrm37
     
  29. alpha10

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    I'm sure the A1 is a better CD player than the 3800, but to me the 3800 is still a very good music machine (whatever the flavour..) and is comparable to some quite expensive CDPs

    Video wise I could 'see' no difference between the players.............

    £1000 buys and awful lot of now discs!

    Cheers
     
  30. Jasonjo

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