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Denon 3910/3805.

raytom

Standard Member
As anyone got the following gear DVD 3910,AVR 3805 and what is there thoughts on the stereo performance musically and home cinema?
I am after something to compliment my Pioneer 436 plasma at the higher end of the market.
Does anyone know the best prices and retailers in the uk these items are going for?
Thanks in advance :smashin:
Ray.
PS This will be my first time using the Denon brand!
 

spl23

Well-known Member
I have a 3910 and 3805, which I bought to replace an Arcam stereo and Pioneer/ Yamaha AV system (Arcam A8SE CD, A9 amp, A8 tuner, Yamaha DSP-A595a amp, Pioneer DV-565 DVD).

I've not been disappointed - leaving aside the convenience of Denon Link between the two boxes, the sound and picture quality of any disc you put in the 3910 is excellent, and the amp has ample power for both stereo and 5.1. The only quibble I have with the Denon stuff is that you really do need to read the manual to understand how to set it all up properly, and the manuals are very poorly written. That said, I am getting movie performance which is noticeably better than with the Pioneer / Yamaha, and stereo performance which is close enough to the Arcam system for it not to be an issue. If you are after a 2-box do-it-all system from one manufacturer, I don't think you'll do much better for the money. Denon are not perhaps the most helpful manufacturer if you have problems, but get them through a decent dealer and you shouldn't go far wrong.

Incidentally, both the 3910 and the 3805 are worth paying the extra for over the next models down (2910 and 2805) - I had those originally, and rapidly upgraded to the 3910/3805 - there is a noticeable improvement for the extra cash.
 

MPK

Novice Member
I'd go for the new 3806 if I were you, also check out the 4306 which is coming out in November. However, not sure if the price difference between the two is justified. Denon gear you'd normally go for if you use it for movies >50%. If you're a stereo buff and use it mainly for music, try the Arcam AVR300 and DV79
 

Cable Monkey

Novice Member
No complaints from me, and rather than leave aside the DL3 issue, I would say it was an excellent reason to choose Denon. It simplifies matters no end and changed my opinion of the 3805 from good to excellent once mated to my recently aquired 3910. I can't comment on the 3806 issue other than I don't think you will hear a difference, but HDMI switching is a nice thing to have if you are likely to use it.
I would urge you to listen to similarly placed Arcam and Marantz gear also, and perhaps Pioneer too. They have their fans too and not without reason. Buy the one you like the most.
 

Timbo21

Well-known Member
I wasn't that impressed by stereo CD with this combo, but SACD & DVD-A is noticeably better via denon-link. Some like the CD playback on 3910, others don't. I ended up getting a second hand Sony NS 900V for £90 (originally £500). I think it does a great job with CD & a better SACD performance than 3910. However, I think 3910 is more of an aggressive sound, whereas the Sony's more of a natural audiophile type sound. I think via denon-link the 3910 gives a pretty up-front sound. You hear a lot more detail than via analogue.

Probably best to demo as Cable Monkey suggests.

For Cinema I think it's great, giving an exciting natural soundstage with Quad 11L's & Strata 5 sub IMO.

T.

p.s. when demoing make sure they hook up denon-link, because it does make a big difference.
 

spl23

Well-known Member
Cable Monkey said:
I can't comment on the 3806 issue other than I don't think you will hear a difference, but HDMI switching is a nice thing to have if you are likely to use it.
Bear in mind that the 3806 will switch between HDMI sources and then output to HDMI, but it won't convert analogue video to HDMI. Useful therefore if you have multiple HDMI sources, but won't enable you to get rid of separate digital and analogue cables to your screen if you still have both analogue and digital sources. This was why I decided to get a cheap(ish) 3805 rather than wait for the 3806 - one of the more expensive Denon receivers does do conversion to digital video, but I couldn't afford the enormous jump in price!

I did look at other solutions (Marantz, Yamaha etc) in this price bracket, but Denon are the only manufacturer (or at least, were at the time) who did all of DVD-A, SACD and HDCD at this price - HDCD is the decider, as not many manufacturers support it any more, but I have rather a lot of HDCD discs.

And just to clarify - when I said "leaving aside DL3", I didn't mean to ignore it! It was the main reason I upgraded from the 2805 to the 3805, and it makes a huge difference to the flexibility of the system. Not convinced about the sound quality difference either way, but just not having to set up speakers on both the DVD player and the AVR makes it worthwhile.
 

MPK

Novice Member
Of course there is analog upconversion to HDMI in the 3806. It also has Audyssey MultEQ processing, which I find rather impressive. Price is pretty much the same between the two (apart from expected discounting when they get rid of final 3805 stock) I would definitely wait a few weeks for the 3806.
 

Timbo21

Well-known Member
MPK said:
I would definitely wait a few weeks for the 3806.
Then you can try one out & see if it's worth the extra over the 3805. However, it's often hard to wait, but it'll save any regrets :)
 

spl23

Well-known Member
pingu said:
Actually, I believe it will - the german website has a manual (in English & German) that explicitly says it does.
That's interesting - that manual does indeed say that it will. The specs listed on Denon's US website, however, explicitly say that it won't, and you need a 4806 for that. Perhaps this is only on the European model? (Either that, or the US website is wrong...wouldn't be the first time!)

In that case, please ignore my first point above! Note though that the manual does state that the 3806 is only compatible with monitors accepting 480i and 576i signals. Does this mean that it isn't going to show HDTV at its best?
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
spl23 said:
Note though that the manual does state that the 3806 is only compatible with monitors accepting 480i and 576i signals. Does this mean that it isn't going to show HDTV at its best?
It will pass HDTV signals etc without a problem. I believe you need a display capable of accepting 480i and 576i to be able to see the OSD via HDMI.
 

MPK

Novice Member
Interesting with the US version, that makes the price difference between the US versions of the 3806 and 4306 more explainable. Tbh I don't see why anyone would go for the 4306 in Europe as the only difference seems to be a bit more power, an ipod port and an ethernet port and about £400.

The RRP price difference between the 3805 and 3806 will be about £50, so definitely worth it. The only issue is when the 3806 will be available in the UK. It's released in Germany and the rest of Europe in October, but as with everything we get things last and have to pay more. It's not even on the UK website yet.
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
The 4306 also has Firewire as well as PC setup and control and more HDMI inputs. :)
 

Eddy Boy

Novice Member
If you have a display with HDMI it shouldn't be a problem with 480/576i, if you have a DVI-D display you may have some problems with the anlogue to digital picture conversion as the amps have no scaling or deinterlacing.
 

MPK

Novice Member
Jase said:
The 4306 also has Firewire as well as PC setup and control and more HDMI inputs. :)
I agree on Firewire and the PC setup (possible due to the ethernet port), but from what I found out the 4306 only has 2 HDMI inputs and no DVI input, just like the 3806.
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
MPK said:
I agree on Firewire and the PC setup (possible due to the ethernet port), but from what I found out the 4306 only has 2 HDMI inputs and no DVI input, just like the 3806.
Yeah, you're right, same amount of HDMI inputs. I'm losing the plot! LOL
 

rszee

Active Member
I have the 3805/3910 combo stepping up from a 2803/pio 575a DVD
This is a very good combo for multichannel/DVD but in my opinion Stereo isn't up with the multichannel on the 3910, I have an arcam cd192 (CD73 upgraded) and it blows it away completely (saying that it does cost £850) even the cd73 there is a good difference in detail. I am not saying the 3910 is bad but average.
This is just my opinion and you and others might find it good enough (demo it)
 

MPK

Novice Member
I must say I kept my Arcam Alpha 8SE and use it in Pure Direct mode with the Denon amp (analog out). I do prefer the resulting sound for detailed music listening to the 3910 (not saying it's "better" as I am sure technologically, the sound of the 3910 with DL3 to my amp is probably superior). However, for certain types of music or things like parties I use the 3910 to play CDs with either DTS Neo 6 or PLIIx (or even 9 channel stereo).
 

raytom

Standard Member
Hi All,
Thanks for posts and input :thumbsup:
Still not sure after reading the different views on the stereo side if the 3910 is the one to choose :suicide:
Cheers Ray.
 

Cable Monkey

Novice Member
The comparisons made above have all been comparing the 3910 to relatively high end cd only players. Could any universal player compete with that sort of competition?
 

MPK

Novice Member
Cable Monkey's right, all I meant to say was that I prefer the sound of my CD only player to the 3910, but that does not mean there is any better DVD player out there in that price range. I guess the only one that might have an edge on music is the Arcam DV79, but in my opinion the 3910 definitely has an edge with movies. There are probably thousands of posts in this forum debating this and comparing the DV79 to the 3910. In the end it's down to you. There are clear benefits in coupling the 3910 with a Denon amp (DL3, etc.), so you have to decide whether your focus is more movies or music. I would wait a few weeks for the 3806 to come out and go demo the 3910/3806 vs. the DV79/AVR300 and decide for yourself.
 

cjohnson6

Novice Member
Interesting note from rszee....

I have a 3910 and Arcam AVR300. I'm happy with the SACD and DVD-A quality of the 3910 and am slowly coming to terms with the CD end of things. I'm still not sure sure if I prefer the analogue out of 3910 or the digital output. Perhaps I should take a look at the CD192.... rszee thanks for the tip....

Of course, if you want a player that does everything well but nothing superbly, then the 3910 is a great piece of kit... I gather the Pioneer 868 is pretty good too...
 

MPK

Novice Member
cjohnson6: It basically means you're using either the DACs of the 3910 or the AVR300 and I could imagine that for CD use they are very close in terms of quality. However, the DACs in a mid to high end CD player are will definitely blow away the AVR300 DACs, so an analog connection (with good interconnects) will be better.
 

rszee

Active Member
I agree that the 3910 is a very capable all round player for the money and is the choice for DVD at this price range. I know you can't compare a high end CD player to the 3910 as it a dedicated unit designed for playing CD's! and the 3910 plays a wide range of formats. I would recommend the 3910 any day. I just wanted more from stereo playback.
 

Timbo21

Well-known Member
Additionally, when comparing the 3910 to the Arcam DV79 you have to take into account that the Arcam is £280 more!

So you would want it to be better in some ways.
 

Timbo21

Well-known Member
rszee said:
I agree that the 3910 is a very capable all round player for the money and is the choice for DVD at this price range. I know you can't compare a high end CD player to the 3910 as it a dedicated unit designed for playing CD's! and the 3910 plays a wide range of formats. I would recommend the 3910 any day. I just wanted more from stereo playback.
A second hand Sony DVP NS 900V sounds superb going into the 3805 on pure direct for CD & SACD. And for £90 it was a steal, immaculate too. The pq isn't as good as the 3910 tho, & it doesn't have progressive or HDMI/DVI. It got great reviews for sound when it came out & was about £500 originally. They say the Philips 963SA is meant to be good also for CD (£120 from play.com) & it can be modded for SDI.
 

cjohnson6

Novice Member
MKP, Yes, comparing the DACs in the AVR300 to the 3910 is exactly what what I was referring to... Burr Brown vs Wolfson.. Problem with the AVR300 is there's no direct path using the DACs.. it all goes through the DSP... The characteristics are different and it really depends on what music you're playing... Rock and roll is better through the AVR300 digital, classical and vocals are better through the 3910 DACs and analogue... that's my opinion anyway.. Also the picture from the 3910 looks pretty good on my grotty old Philips 28"... but that's soon to change into something more exotic.... Yep, I like the 3910...but would love to try the CD192....
 

MPK

Novice Member
Hilarious, they keep changing the specs until the very last minute. But 3 HDMI inputs are definitely a good idea. Loosing the iLink just means they want people to buy Denon DVD players and go via DL. Can't blame them...
 

Thekop

Novice Member
I'm a recent DVD 3910 owner and as a movie source it's quite superb in my view. I've found CD replay to be very good ( using standard analog or standard digital output ) through my Yamaha RXV 630 reciever. But on the whole it's not a match against my modest NAD C541i for CD replay. Again i agree the Denon is more aggressive and less natural and controlled, well compared to my NAD anyway. But it's still very good none the less. SACD is a different matter, as that's quite brilliant. I haven't tried the DVD audio side of it yet though.

I've listened to quite a few DVD players over the past few months before purchasing the Denon and it's a belief of mine that if you've got the room and serious about both home cinema and hi/fi equally then a seperate Hi/fi and Home cinema is the ideal way to go. No matter how much manufacturers claim their AV systems are the Jack of all trades. ;)

I'm due to upgrade to either the Denon 3805 or 3806 soon, although the 4806 does look very interesting. The HDMI output only uploads analog signals to standard resolution and not to HD though. I'm only aware that the more expensive Denons scales analog to higher resolutions, hence the huge price differences :smashin:
 

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