Denon AVR-3802 Stereo improvement


Standard Member
Hi gents,
I've just registered so hopefully this will be my first post of many.
Like so many posts have mentioned before, I am not entirely happy with the stereo performance of my Denon 3802. IMO it sounds harsh and bright at high volumes and quickly becomes tiresome. I added a NAD c521i to help matters and there was improvement but not enough to satisfy. I am now looking at the powering the front two channels some other way and would appreciate any feedback from people who have taken this route and the improvements they have encountered. Options I have in mind are:
Add 2ch Pwr Amp ie Arcam P75
Add 6ch Pwr Amp ie Rotel 976
Add 2 ch integrated with AV function ie Arcam A75+ and bypass the Denon for 2 channel completely.
Change leads/cables ie haven't a clue what to but system is far too bright at the mo.

I know this has been done to death but I am not looking for advice, i'm looking for opinions from people who have made the change and what they encountered. I also am considering selling/swapping my REL Q-50. It's an excellent sub but in a semi detached huse with a baby imminent I just don't get to use it - I feel the money would be better spent improving the 2 channel performance.

Denon AVR-3802
NAD C521i
Pioneer DV-606D
Front: Mission M73
Centre: Tannoy MC
Side Rear: Mission M7DS
Rear: Mission 70s
Sub - REL Q-50
CD-Amp - IXOS connect (years old)
Front spkr cable - QED Micro Bi-wire

Many Thanks



Welcome to the Forums.

I recently posted a thread (please click below to read) regarding the improvement to sound when I added an Arcam three channel power amp to my front three M&K S85 speakers. It doesn’t talk about music (moreover just Home Theatre) but I can say that it has done the sound for music a huge favour as well.

Click here

I am convinced by the power amp method. Have a read of my little post if you want. I also have a 3802 so it’s pretty close. I am sure there are far better 2 channel power amps out there (really dedicated to music) but the Arcam has done a fantastic all round job for me so far.

By the way, getting rid of the sub is a criminal offence. Keep it quiet. :)


Ian J

My experience of babies is much greater than my experience of two channel power amps and I would recommend that from day one, no concession (noise wise) is made to the baby and he/she will very quickly become used to the level of household noise and you can carry on life as normal.

My method has worked well with mine and my two year old who sleeps directly above a REL Storm, sometimes playing at reference level never wakes up.

Your amp question - sorry I haven't a clue :)


Yep - Ians got the right idea. Thats settled then; the bass has to remain....... :D


Active Member
Hi, Andy

I also have a denon 3802 and was unhappy with stereo replay. I have tried both the power amp route and stereo integrated route (bypassing the 3802 althogether). The power amp (a denon PTA10 THX) did add some more control and authority, but was no more musical IMO, movies sounded good though. I then tried a Roksan Kandy integrated amplifier and bypassed the denon althogether, the result is much more "musical" IMO, and I am at last happy with stereo replay. In my experience it is the pre-amp stage in the denon that nobbles the stereo replay, adding a power amp will not help this IMO.

Good luck.


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