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denon 3803 and power amp: does this make sense?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Ivor_Monkey, Apr 15, 2003.

  1. Ivor_Monkey

    Ivor_Monkey
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    I'm looking for either a denon 3803 (or pioneer 2011 -doesn anyone demoe 2011 nowadays). A salesman suggested that for improved stereo sound I combine the denon 3803 with a Rotel 1075 power amp.

    Does this sound like a sensible combination? And can it be bettered?

    Thanks
     
  2. Ivor_Monkey

    Ivor_Monkey
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    .... i.e. bettered for about the same money.

    NB: B&W601s fronts and mssion backs. dvd 737.
     
  3. sounddog

    sounddog
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    By imporoved stereo sound ... I assume you are talking about music? If so, just adding a power amp won't do much for you as most of the limitations in AV amps for music is in the pre-amp section not the power amp section (IMO).

    As for alternatives at similar money ... the NAD T752 and T762 are reportedly very good in both stereo and cinema sound ... maybe not quite as good as 3803 / 2011 for cinema but better for stereo. Then there is the Arcam AVR200 - lacking in facilities (only 5.1, not THX, etc) compared witht eh 3803 / 2011, but going to be vastly superior for music.

    Finally if you are looking at 2-box solutions, you could use a Rotel RSP1066 processor with the RMB1075 for slightly more than the cost of the 3803 or 2011 + 1075, or instead of getting a 1075, spend the same £7-800 on a stereo integrated amp instead - Arcam A85 would be the first amp to come to mind for this. Connect all your stereo music sources direct to the A85, AV kit to the 3803 / 2011, then connect the front pre-out from the AV amp into the fixed level "processor" input of the A85.

    Hope this helps for ideas.

    Vikki
     
  4. Ivor_Monkey

    Ivor_Monkey
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    Vikki
    Thanks.
    I mentioned to the sealesman about getting an stereo amp for music for about £400, but he said that it would be a waste of money compared with the power amp (£850) option. He said a power amp would improve both music and movie.
    I'm unsure about the merits of recommending a power amp set up.
    I'm minded to go with the 3803 and wonder about the music option later, if I'm dissatisfied with the denon.

    I haven't found anywhere to demoe the 2011 in London.

    Vikki (a long shot). Is there any difference between 3803 and 2011?
     
  5. sounddog

    sounddog
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    There's lots of differences in the 3803 and the 2011, the main ones in functionality is that the 3803 will do video upconversion and the 2011 has it's MCACC auto setup feature.

    As for sound quality from the two, I've not actually heard either myself ... but from what I read I don't think there's much to choose between them. Demoing the 2011 is still difficult at the moment due to supply problems that Pioneer were having.

    As I said before ... my personal opinion is that adding a power amp won't do much if anything to improve stereo music, and with the speakers you say you have the RMB1075 won't alter the quality of movies either. I think your best option would be to buy the 3803 (or 2011) now, then at a later date add a stereo integrated amp or power amp after demoing the differences with both. That £400 may be better spent buying a new set of front speakers if better music is your goal - look at £300-400, maybe even higher.

    Vikki
     
  6. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    The question, i guess, to ask is what you found disappointing with the 3803 in stereo.
    In some cases a power amp will improve things but if you just don't like the 3803 stereo sound then, as Vikki says, this probably reflects the pre-amp to a greater extent than power amp. If so it might then be the time to look at other AV amps to see if you can find one you like in both stereo and multi-channel...or start looking at pre/processor-power combos.
     
  7. jhjerpe

    jhjerpe
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    I have been very suprised by the stero perofrmance of the 2011 to date. Never really bothered listening to music with my previous AV amp but with the 2011 I am happy with the sound. I got my 2011 from Hi-Fi city in Watford, they have a 2011 set-up for demos, tel number 01923 226169, only 15 minute up the M1. They have the B&W speakers you have in the show room so you might be able to demo a similare set-up to your own.
     
  8. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    To be fair though i preferred the 2011 to the 3803, there was a 3:3 split in the room where we did the demo. While both would be out shone by a 900UKP stereo only amp neither are what i'd call poor stereo performers. I made the point a week or two back that while i've got, what might be considered, a better system upstairs i've rarely felt compelled to go upstairs to listen to a CD because the 2011, or Sony1080 that preceded it, was making such a bad job of the task.
    As for deciding between a 2011 and 3803 it's something best done by your own ears.
     
  9. Ivor_Monkey

    Ivor_Monkey
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    Thanks everyone.
    I'm back to my original plan of a 3803 or 2011, with other options later. The red herrring of the power amp option was caused by the salesman. It sounded odd, but I didn't know enough to deal with it. I do now.
    Thanks again. But do I have to zoom up to the north of england (watford) to demo a pioneer?
     
  10. 337GUS

    337GUS
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    Ivor

    If stereo is at least as important or more so than movies consider a hifi integrated amp/receiver or go processor/power amp now (imho both would sound better than a receiver/power amp).

    2011 or 3803 pre out to A85 or Rotel 1066/1075.

    What HiFi have a good mag out at the moment with lots of systems in it - give you an idea of what's possible. Gold cover Ultimate Guide (I think).

    I run the system in my sig for movies but also in the same room have a stereo only system - turntable / cd etc into the A85 using ProAc speakers.

    FTR I am not that impressed with the 2011 in stereo - it sounds a bit bright. The movie performance however is superb, better than my Yamaha 3090.

    If you get a chance have a listen to Harman Kardon (I think the models are 5550, 7500) - heard a HK system with Dynaudio speakers while waiting for another dem to be set up for me and it sounded really impressive all round.

    Agree with Vikki that new front speakers would be a very good upgrade.

    Regards

    Gus
     
  11. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Hi,

    I know my one of my better bits has already answered, but... to me I cannot see any point in a 3803 and a power amp. If you were upgrading an older amp say 3802 with the power amp then fine. I can understand that. Buying a new amp and a power amp seems silly to me either buy the Rotel seperates or try the better denon/pioneer kit, or that level of kit with a stereo amp if that is what you want.

    Yes I know you don't get 7.1 with the Rotel but the 1066, a 1075 and maybe a 1070 for the front two would sound georgous.

    Or just buy the better denon for less price then the denon and the power amp.

    Try the choices in stereo mode and see what you think. Try and get a demo of the rotel. Our RSP1066 with power amps is so darn close to our Rotel 1060 stereo amp that was a £550 stereo only amp that it does make that sort of thing a difficult choice.

    hehe, ok I admit it i'm trying to say go and buy Rotel kit :devil: Seriously take more time and listen to some more combinations and then you will be more informed when you take your decision.


    Steph

    Edit: OK so i've just NOW read the post two up that says about power amp red herring... ok so I should read more before I post :zonked:
     
  12. mick23

    mick23
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    i myself have 3802 and have tried various power amps,
    linn lk85, denon poat10,rotel 985mk1 and rotel 981 and have cdm1nt for fronts, as regards sterio using 3802 direct mode with any of the above powers i have not found a great deal of differance, in av 985+981 and 3802 driving rears seems to be slightly better,

    if however using my old m/shorts large standmounts which have 2 mid/bass drivers in sterio ,and using 985 biamping m'shorts this does make a much larger differance for sterio, than just using 3802 alone.

    i would suggest demoing 2011 and 3803 to see which you prefer first
     
  13. Sheks

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    Hi,

    I have a 3802 and tried a power amp to improve stereo replay, it did not make much difference at all, so I swapped the power amp and now use a stereo integrated amp for stereo replay (soooooo much better in stereo now:clap: ) and have the stereo integrated amp plugged into the pre-outs on the 3802 for movie playback.

    In conclusion it would seem, as stated by others above, that the pre-amp section in the denon is the weakest link and that a power amp would therefore not help (although mine is the older 3802 receiver, it may be much improved in the 3803 model??)

    Just thought I would add my experiences with this.

    Good luck with your quest.

    Colin
     
  14. 337GUS

    337GUS
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    Sorry this is a bit OT.

    Sheks

    I see you use a Dac 20.

    Do you think it would be worth me getting one (£450) and using my DV88P as a transport, or would a £1K ish player such as the FMJ, Meridian 207, Caspian be a better move?

    I use an Arcam A85 fed from the 2011 pre outs.

    Just curious to hear if you have had any experience / dems etc as I would like to improve cd playback.

    Regards

    Gus
     
  15. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    The good thing with a DAC20- is you can use it for several digital devices, say CD burner, PC, MD, DAT, Digital Radio, Digital TV audio, CD, DVD and you don't have to buy a high quality source (with decent sound quality) every time.

    Worth the money I'll say.
     
  16. Ivor_Monkey

    Ivor_Monkey
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    Thanks everyone. I've now heard the 3803 and compared it with A75 and A85 for stereo combined with a Yamaha 630 for movies.

    For movies it didn't sound much different from the 3803, but (no surprises here) the A75 and (especially) the A85 sounded brilliant with music.

    I'm now minded to go down the separates route, perhaps with the A85. I think a 3803 and a A85 might not be the most effective combination (in terms of sounds and VFM). Can anyone suggest a av amp that would be at least as good with movies as the 3803 and would combine nicely with the A85?

    Vikki, I haven't forgotten your helpful comments. But how would your rotel combination (1066 and 1075?) likely compare with a combination comprising the A85 and the Yamaha? (or an upgrade to say another Yamaha av amp?).

    Comments appreciated.
     
  17. wilber

    wilber
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    Denon's 2803 should be in the UK soon - should be worth checking out. Pioneer's vsx1011 is sonically a match for the 2011 (but lacks the auto set up & a few other features). Top of the range Onkyos are excellent movie performers but IMHO are terrible with stereo so might be worth checking out (the lower spec ones don't have pre outs so should be avoided)
     
  18. Ivor_Monkey

    Ivor_Monkey
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    Thanks, are there any other suggestions please for provding excellent AV sound for movies with an arcam A85 (for music)?

    Package preferably under £1,200 (for amp/rec)
     
  19. sounddog

    sounddog
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    The RSP1066 with RB985MkII is very close in terms of music quality than an RA1060 (£550 Rotel stereo amp - was tested against NAD C370, Rotel RA-02 and Tag 60i) and vastly superior to a Marantz SR5200 for movies - all in my / our opinion.

    Might be worth waiting a little and checking out the new Arcam A80 (announced in the press last month I think - can't remember if there was a due date for it - see http://www.arcam.co.uk/downloads/DiVAA80Flier.PDF) which is a cut down A85 and use that with the Pioneer 1011, Denon 2803, etc (£4-500 AV reciever).

    Vikki

    PS. also worth adding that for good stereo performance from CDs you also need to have a dedicated CD player - or use a DAC - rather than just using the DVD player.
     
  20. Ivor_Monkey

    Ivor_Monkey
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    Vikki
    Thanks.
    1) I'm interested in checking out the rotel 1075 and 1066. Any idea about cost and availability?

    2) You quesitons my pioneer DV737. This has lots of gadgets (some of which I don't fully understand), but I got it because it was exceptionally good at playing CD.

    The features apparently include video/audio DACs and CD-R and CD-RW playback. It says on osme link that its "higher- resolution digital audio circuitry, sound is superb for Dolby Digital, DTS or Pro Logic home theater, and for music CDs the DACs delivers a faithful sound comparable to Audio-phile CD players".

    I hope I haven't misunderstood something. Anyway, you've already got me looking suspiciously at my speakers and choice of replacement amp. Surely not the dvd player as well. Is nothing safe? At this rate I'll be changing the furniture next.
     
  21. sounddog

    sounddog
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    The 1066 is avaliable around £900 and the 1075 around £800 (list is £995 and £850 I think).

    I've not heard that DV737 ... but generally a DVD player will never be as good at playing CDs as a dedicated CD player. e.g. the Pillips 963 is rated as the best £400 DVD player at playing CDs, but is still not rated as good as the NAD C521i @ £200 for playing CDs. The internal DACs of the 1066 do a good job though ... very similar to the Arcam CD72 that I used it with for a short time.

    Vikki
     

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