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Denon 3803 and external power amp

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Bails, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. Bails

    Bails
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    I have a Denon 3803 receiver which I really like. However, I do think it does a better job with movies than with music, and I actually listen to more music than movies. I would like to improve the music performance if possible.

    Would adding an external power amp to drive the front two speakers make a difference? I am considering the Denon POA-T10, which I can get very cheaply because it is discontinued. It puts out 160 watts into 8 ohms (200 watts into 4 ohms). I have Energy Connoisseur C-7 front speakers.

    Any thoughts on this? Will the 160 watts of separate power make a real difference from the 110 watts of onboard power? The POA-T10 was designed to accompany the Denon AVC-A10SE, so I assume it's pretty good quality (it's also THX certified).
     
  2. damtom1

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    In my experience adding the power amp is the best thing you could do.If your using a quality cd player you will definately hear the improvement ,especially with music in Stereo.
    I was amazed at the results,i am a fan of the 3803,love the performance.I think i'm right in saying it has the same proccessing board as the higher end models.By adding the power amps this allows the amp to make the most of its processing ,without the amplification,........IMO...the results were far better than i expected.
     
  3. mick23

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    hi the poat10 i thought was 125watts i tried one with 3802 did not notice any real benifit though over the 3802 internal amps, but was only using nad 540 cd player, suggest you try first if possible.
     
  4. Dimmy

    Dimmy
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    Damtom - considering what you said about the quality of the processor in the AVR3803 do you think similarly successful results would be obtained with an AVR2803 - which still uses the same processor ?
     
  5. damtom1

    damtom1
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    If it has the same board i cant see any reason why not....,but i'm no expert:confused: .but i suppose it all depends on source,power amps etc...
    Playing music using "pure direct",was one of the biggest suprises i have experienced with AV kit.I was never too worried with stereo,usually listened to music using the 5/7channel option. But now ,love it!.....listening to more music,getting more out of it,hearing so much more detail and enjoying it as much as my films!.Any future upgrades will have to perform muscically as well as with films.....
    ...speakers next:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  6. MarkE19

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    The way to improve the music sound from any AV receiver is to add an integrated amp and NOT a power amp.
    The component that lets down the quality of music from an AV receiver is the preamp, not the amp itself. So what you need to do is add an integrated amp to the preouts of the AV and then plug CD etc into the new amps internal preamp. This way you are bypassing the AV for music to get the best quality and feeding the amp from the AV for movies. Getting an integrated amp with a proccessor mode (such as my Arcam 8R) means you can bypass the volume control for the main L/R speakers on the amp and just use the AV volume when watching a movie. Not needed, but does make life easier.

    Therefore, IMHO, you will get very little, if any, advantage from a POA-T10

    Mark.
     
  7. tom_nieto

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    I'm picking up a 3802 today, and I've only got a pretty budget CD player (sony XE570, but one thing at a time ;)). My next purchase would be a new amp for the front 2 speakers, but since you posted that I'm wondering whether to save up and buy a nice CD player instead, something flashy like the rega planet, or at least something in that price range.

    I don't think the internal amps in the denon are that bad, certainly an incredible upgrade over my current amp (really budget sony receiver).

    Perhaps I should invest in some better speakers first. I'm really not sure what's going to be my best sonic upgrade right now, although I think the speakers are probably the last thing that I'll upgrade due to space confinements, and I actually quite like the sound that my missions are giving atm, although the treble is rather bright, the bass is pretty good imo.
     
  8. MarkE19

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    Tom,
    IMHO your best bet for the first upgrade is getting an integrated amp to add to the 3802.
    I got the amp first and then when I heard what could be done with my system I went on to get the CDP. As the amp came first I can't really say how much a difference just a good CDP will make, but the advise I got was amp first.

    Well it worked for me!

    Mark.
     
  9. FaxFan2002

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    I tried my rega planet with the 3803 and comparing it to it's usual amp (Cryus 5 - see list on .sig) - it was, well, rubbish - comparatively speaking that is. The sound was good and you could live with it, however it was a lot lot better via the cryus 5
     
  10. tom_nieto

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    I think an integrated amp will be my first port of call. If needs be I can connect my CDP via the optical input on my amp and run the amp out to an external amp. BTW, how is the rega planet, if it looks as good as it sounds it should be a cracking player!
     
  11. FaxFan2002

    FaxFan2002
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    I think its all down to personal preference, I would audtion it before purchase...
     
  12. mick23

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    tom i have 3802+cdm1nts nad540 cd player, i have just changed cd player for arcam cd73t in truth there is not a great deal of differance arcam is slightly better. but that could be the 3802 holding things back.
    i think you would get better results by going 2nd hand ex dem for a good integrated amp .

    i can only suggest you demo 3802 vs an integrated or try a better cd player with 3802 to see which brings most benifit. but try first do not purchase anything without really comparing first prefeably at home trial.

    ps i find the 3802 a bit flat sounding with cassette ,m /disk and its tt option , not only cd , was rather better with unico amp i tried but was not suitable to use in combo with 3802.
     
  13. tom_nieto

    tom_nieto
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    If I'm to spend serious money I would try to get a home demo, although I fear that with my price range they wouldn't let me. I'll definitely try out some things. I'm extremely impressed with the amp so far though. I was fiddling about with the surround settings and the 5.1/7.1 stereo setting is fantastic compared to my old sony amp. It certainly has a lot of meat to it. I think my next thing (once I get a TV to use the OSD) is to try the CDP through the optical input, as I reckon the transport on my player isn't too bad, but the DAC will be the weakest link. I shall see.

    Thanks for the replies
     
  14. Bails

    Bails
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    Thanks for the replies on this and sorry for my delay in responding - I've been away for a few days.

    I must say that I'm now stumped. It sounds as if adding a new integrated amp to my current Denon 3803 would be the best way to improve the stereo sound for music. However, it seems this would require me to connect my cd-player to the integrated amp with analogue interconnects.

    My cd player is a Nakamichi MB-10 and I'm not sure about the quality of its DACs. I've listened briefly to the Nak connected to the 3803 with analogue interconnects and thought it sounded better using a digital connection, using the 3803s DACs (but did not test exhaustively).

    If I keep the current cd player, do you think music will improve even if I am using the Nak's DACs and an analogue connection with a new amp?

    Alternatively, is there an integrated amp that has onboard DACs and a digital input?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  15. Epoman

    Epoman
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    I'm running a 3802 into a Naim NAP250 power amp for the front channels, a Denon T10 for the centre biwired speaker and a T10 for the rears.

    Freeing up the 3802 to work simply as a processor has worked wonders for the sound, which has really opened out. It's tonally better, more controlled, less harsh (not that it was very harsh before) and clearer at high volumes. I had planned to replace it with a dedicated processor, but have decided not to as it works well enough as it is.

    Still sounds naff for music compared to a good pre/power music setup, but the Nap250 on the front channels definately sounds better than having the 3802 or T10 there.

    For music I agree that its better to add a good integrated or pre amp. Thats why I'm gonna sell my T10's eventually and replace them with Naim power amps and add a Naim pre amp :rolleyes:

    If I were you I'd give a T10 a go for the front channels. You can always sell it if it dosn't work for you.
     

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