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Denon 3805 or used A10

MysteryMan

Active Member
I thought I was pretty settled on getting a Denon 3805 when I started having a look at a list of second hand items and noticed a few high-end Receivers for sale for less money.

These were things like the A1SE and A10SE, which are at least one generation old now in terms of technology.

Can anyone say how these stack up against the latest models (i.e. 3805) in terms of sound quality. Are they good buys or should I stick with Plan A?
 

Flimber

Distinguished Member
Any of the A1s are awesome, particularly the lush-sounding A1D. Technically, there isn't much the A1SE/A10SE can do which the 3805 can't whilst there's plenty the 3805 can offer which the A10 can't. In pure sound quality terms the priority probably goes A1SE/A10SE/3805 but the differences will be so negligible as you'll possibly wonder why you cared :)

Mike.
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
It's worth trying to track down an upgraded A1SE as they can be got for around 800-1000 depending on condition/age. This will certainly be more than a match for a 3805.
 
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tpc3416

Guest
Mystery Man...

I was in the same boat you are. I was looking at Denon 5800's as well as Harman Kardon 7200's. More bang for the buck but old technology. Consider what you are really spending your money on. I finally decided on a Denon 3805 "B" model that was discounted 25% (remanufactured) so I went for it. It arrived perfect, not a scratch on it, and wow did it sound good. I play standard cable broadcast in 5 channel stereo and it's amazing. I have a 7 speaker setup but decided to bi amp the front towers, to take advantage of the audio. It's like a separate hi fi amp. 280 watts to each tower. Amazing quality. Brought my power hungry Polk RTi10's to life. I like the Pro Logic IIx, but for some reason, the processing on the 5 channel stereo is better-actually amazing. It's not all "center channel" with surround popping up here and there. It cris-crosses the rear channels so you get a super stereo effect and mixes the two for the center channel. Worth its price for that feature alone. If you can get a deal on the 3805 and like to use your system for more than 60% tv, go with the 3805. You can always add a separate 2 channel "old school" amp for the towers for audio. Just my 2 cents.
 

MysteryMan

Active Member
tpc3416.....

Interesting name!!!!

Anyway, thanks for your input - that's what I wanted to hear and has swung me back to the 3805. Just need to look out for a bargain, now!

Where/how did your hear about yours? A 25% discount sounds just the job!!!
 

Flimber

Distinguished Member
I think that's US-only, MM. Best Buy and similar outlets often have refurbs. Hardly ever see any over here though.

Mike.
 
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tpc3416

Guest
"B" models are refurb, but after checking up on this, I found out Denon actually does the refurb, replaces any bad parts-even scratched items. Shipping may be a little high, but they have an 800# they actually answer to find out what your shipping would be. And they answer emails. www.ubid.com The retail price on this unit in US dollars is $1200. I found it for $721 plus $22 shipping in the states. I'm guessing you may pay up to $80 for shipping, but it would still be under $800 us. Ubid usually has a set price on these units, so bidding is unnecessary. Large company with lots of reviews. Having the unit, I would have bought it again and again, and even paid more. Best Buy and Circuit City don't sell Denon. You have to go to a high end audio store to buy Denon. Denon is very limited in the states (and very expensive). Yamaha (inexpensive versions), Harman Kardon (never the 7000 line), Onkyo (not the high end and never their Integra line), Pioneer (not Elite), and Sony (low end) are about all we see at Best Buy and Circuit City. It's a shame. That's why I'm on this site and not an av forum run in the US. Much better info here. Have you found something yet?
 

MysteryMan

Active Member
Would a model bought in the US be OK for use in the UK? Any issues with different electricity supply or things like that?
 

Andywilliams

Active Member
Hi
What speakers will you be using with the receiver.The power amps in the old denon a1se will be far superior to the 3805.I have to agree with jase if sound quality is what your after go with one of the old flagship amps especially if you listen to movies at high volume.
Cheers Gonzo. :)
 
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tpc3416

Guest
Good point. You may be opening up a can of worms with a US version. Voltage is different. You may get a better amp with the a1se, but the processors are outdated. This is one of Denon's top of the line models. What if the a1se takes a dump? No warranty? My only advice is to listen to both if you can. You cannot tolerate the 3805 at high volume with movies. It has way more than enough clean power. Plus your sub will have its own power supply. The 3805 is not cheap, but you are buying technology along with a good supply of power.
 

MysteryMan

Active Member
The speakers I have are the Velodyne Deco system.
 
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tpc3416

Guest
I did some research and reviews on your speakers. Nice choice. That subwoofer is killer! That setup is primarily used for surround sound. Thus the matching 5 speakers. You probably want the best decoding processors for dts and thx dvd's. That's where your system will shine. Not with an outdated amp. What model year is the a1se? I seriously looked at the Denon 5803. My speakers consist of Polk RTi10's in the front, CSi5 center, FXi3 surrounds, and RTi4's for the rear center surrounds. They are all rated at 89db - power hungry, like yours at 88db. I just got off the Denon website and was comparing the US site to the UK site. I am amazed they don't offer the new 5805 in the UK, and they don't offer the AVC amps in the US. They look very similar, so I'm willing to bet they are the same with different model no's. If this is true, the Denon 5803 (us model) is 3 years old and still retails used for over $2600 US compared to the 3805 which I got for $740 US. It was a no brainer for me. Now if the technology is the same for the a1se as the 5803, jump on the a1se at that price. You'll need to flip back and forth at the Denon website and compare models in pdf files (or print them out). The 5803s technology is good. An older version which is outdated but still a good amp here is the 4802 (I passed because of old technology and being 5 yrs old). The 4802 was much closer in price to the 3805, and THX rated but not updated. (I've reviewed THX in depth too-it's overrated, just check out all the Onkyo products with the THX logo).
 

stevefish69

Well-known Member
I havn't heard any of the new Denon's but can certainly vouch for the sound and build quality of the A10SE which i bought second hand, used for a year and then re-sold for just under what i paid for it.

I've just upgraded to the A11SR, which again is top notch, has all the latest formats and is definantly better the A10 sound wise.

My advice would be to buy second hand model, because you will be getting a bigger bang for your bucks. :thumbsup:
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
tpc3416 said:
I What model year is the a1se? I seriously looked at the Denon 5803. I just got off the Denon website and was comparing the US site to the UK site. I am amazed they don't offer the new 5805 in the UK, and they don't offer the AVC amps in the US. They look very similar, so I'm willing to bet they are the same with different model no's.

We have basically the same models, just different numbers. :)

A1SE = AVR5800
KA1SE = Upgraded AVR5800 - almost 5803 spec.
A1SR = AVR5803
A1SRA = AVR5803A
A1XV = AVR5805

A10SE = AVR4800
A11SR = AVR4802 - there was also the updated 4802R which got THX Ultra 2 etc.
 

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