Denon AVR-3806 (2006): What will I gain (or lose) by buying a newer receiver?

FavouriteSongs

Novice Member
Hello all,

I am new to this forum. My name is Eric, and I am from the Netherlands.

I own a Denon AVR-3806 (2006). It is a great receiver for me: the auto-eq (Audassay) works great in my not so big livingroom, and it has (more than) enough power. It now powers two bookshelf speakers (surround), two floorstanding speakers, and a center speaker.

However, it does not support the newest formats, such as Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Atmos, and it has no ARC and Spotify Connect.

The receiver I have right now was around 1500 EUR (+- 1800 USD) when it was launched in 2006.
A new receiver I am looking at, such as the Denon AVR-X2700H, costs around 650 EUR (+- 765 USD).

My question are:

-Is buying a new receiver, which costs 650 EUR, going to 'beat' an old receiver that cost 1500 EUR 15 years ago?
-Has technology developed so much that receiver manufactorers can produce receivers with a lower price, while having the same quality as a 15 year old receiver that cost twice the prize?
-Is having newer formats important? Will I gain a lot by selling my old receiver, and buying a new one?


The more fundamental question:
What will I gain or lose by buying a newer receiver?

Thank you all in advance! No better place to ask this question than here, I guess.
 
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Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
Hi, welcome, to the forum.

First, be aware that that the 3806 was a 3rd tier model in Denon's line-up while the X2700 is only a 5th tier model hence the price difference. The current 3rd tier model is the X4700.

If you study the feature lists you'll find many differences. IMO, the main things you're going to lose from moving to a X2700 that you might care about are:

1. Amplifier power - you'll be 35W per channel down and, in practice, probably over 40W down as in those days Denon used larger power supplies so output holds up better when more channels are driven in 5.1. To get equivalent power output you'd probably have to go to the 2nd from the top X6700 model. The X2700 will likely run hotter as Denon use smaller heatsinks nowadays and rely more on fans for cooling.

2. Multi-channel analogue inputs - probably not a issue for you unless you use a SACD player.

3. Amplifier pre-outs - you wouldn't be able to add external amplification with an X2700 which start at X3700 model upwards.

You'll gain many extra features but the ones that you might care about most are:

1. Support for HD Audio Codecs such as Atmos, TrueHD, DTS HD Master. If you have a good speaker system and listen to HD sources (e.g. Blu-ray) then this is reason enough alone to upgrade - the difference is significant.

2. 4K HDMI switching - with 6 HDMI inputs the AVR can become the switching hub for all your AV source devices.

3. Networking features - App control, Internet radio, Apple Airplay

4. eARC - simplified link (with auto-switching benefits) to TV and can send HD audio

The only reason I would stick with the 3806 is if I was happy to forego the benefits of uncompressed HD audio and use my TV as the hub device. That might be the case if you only watch movies via streaming as the bit rates of these IMO currently offer very little benefit over compressed DD 5.1.
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
To add the above, if your BD player has 5.1 analogue output, and can decode HD audio to these outputs, you can simply use this to get HD audio into your Denon. Or if your BD player has HDMI decoding for audio, you can use offboard decoding and sending multi channel PCM over HDMI, just means the BD player does decoding not the AVR, so your AVR just shows PCM rather than HD audio/Atmos lights etc

I'd buy a subwoofer, seems you're lacking one?
 
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Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
Yes, I forgot about the option of multi channel PCM over HDMI. So if you got a UHD BD Player with dual HDMI outputs you could also still send 4K video to TV at the same time.

I used a Sony BD player with analogue outputs to an old AVR-3802 for a short while and it worked great. The only issue was that the BD player had limited bass management functionality. Higher end (e.g. Oppo) would have been a much better solution. Current BD players have dropped these outputs so would need to look second-hand if your current one doesn't have them.

Never a better time to find a workaround and keep your old AVR trucking as new AVR prices are still sky high at the moment.
 

FavouriteSongs

Novice Member
Hello both,

Thank you for your elaborate answers.

My situation:

-Small living room.
-I never owned a Blu-Ray disc; I stream my movies, or sometimes watch a dvd.
-I like to game.
-I use my television now as a hub device - the receiver is connected via optical, Playstation 5 via hdmi.
-I like ease of use.

This does not mean, however, that I won't watch Blu-Ray once I have a good installation for it. The PS5 can play Blu-Ray, for instance. And Dolby Atmos would be nice as well for the future.

However, Mr Wolf, you said the following:

The only reason I would stick with the 3806 is if I was happy to forego the benefits of uncompressed HD audio and use my TV as the hub device. That might be the case if you only watch movies via streaming as the bit rates of these IMO currently offer very little benefit over compressed DD 5.1.

This gave me the idea that upgrading my receiver in the short term is less necessary than upgrading my speaker system. Is this what you would advice me as well?
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
Apart from the room itself, speakers have by far the greatest influence on sound quality. Far more than having a different AVR. So a quality 5.1 speaker system powered a 3806 (which is a good unit as it has a strong amp section for an AVR) would easily outperform a weaker speaker system powered by a better AVR.

In my experience the benefits of uncompressed audio sources are only really apparent when played back through a really good speaker system. Good old Dolby Digital 5.1 may be a compressed format but it is still holds up pretty well against the newer formats and as you're streaming your content it's mostly what you'll be listening to anyway. The 3806 has you covered here.

Bottom line - I would build a quality 5.1 speaker system around the 3806 and wait a while to see what comes into the market as now it bad time to buy anyway. I think you'll be very surprised by just how good you can get your 3806 sounding.
 

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