Review of 1803


Active Member
I will be critical and also complimental. I'll point out this is my first AV-Reciever, but I have done loads of research into buying my first reciever and I will state my level of technical ability later in the review, but just as a helper I don't class my self as the average jo on the street when it comes to technical ability but one should note that my sector is not in the audio/visual/media/electronic industry.

The denon is huge, but don't worry about that most recievers that are goor are big. From out the box the denon will work, there is no on screen setup (on ur TV). Just some optioins in some sub-menues on the screen of the denon. Nothing to tickle your taste buds. You will probably only play with a few of the options before you find your setup. I was very dissapointed at this, I was accpecting far more option and lots of options to keep me occupied for a long time, i'll put this initial dissapointment down to experience! (I read a preview of a new Tag reciever and all the options/settings that i want r on thier, but at a price!)

Hooking this system up in stereo (with Some Eltax Libert 5+ speakers, OK not the best but not bad) shows that the stereo image is OK, it's not going to blow ur balls away but for the price why should it (price given later).

Hooking up in DD5.1/DTS/EX (the hole flurry) then you see where this receicver excells. The sound is impressive and the only thing that I want is a bigger screen, bigger subwoofer and a bigger room!

Now I have read lots of reviews on denon and yamaha (because at the time I was going to buy a second A2 or A3090). I had a view that an AV reciever was tricky to use because it had so many settings (I was looking forward for a toy that would keep be ocuppied for a while). Well I mastered all options of the Denon 1803 in less than 2 days, that's why I wasn't impressed overly. I had done everything with my toy and new everything about it very quickly. Now some reviews say you need a Phd to master these devices. Well I have a Mathematics degree (in stats), so all though not directlly linked, that's the beauty of Mathematicians, we can apply/transfer and problem solve most of what others can not! (here i am bigin myself up, want 2 employ me, I can send you my CV)

Now the RRP price of the denon AVR 1803 is £500 (or around thier). If I paid that much I would be mad at what I got (I feel sorry for any1 that does). But I paid £300 from, so for that price I am satisfied. (sept 2002)

So I can only recommend a Denon AVR 1803 if you can pick it up for £300 or less, eitherwise buy a second hand Yamaha DSP A2 for £350/£400 (look on ebay).

don't go and buy recievers from the stores in towns, they are well overpriced. I was just in SuperHifi in manchester and they had a 180'2' for £350 (on sale), see what I mean!!

So this piece of equipment will do everything you need to do at the moment, it will probably win a load of awards in HIFI mags, but only get it if you cannot afford an amp of yester year, if you require new products or if you can get it cheap.

Please post about your experiences or anything to do with my comments.

P.S. At Denon they say that the surround back speakers can be used in another room as fronts. is this true, has any1 got this working?


Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Ian J
To summarize, it's big, easy to set up and works well with movies.
And it look's good in Gold :D


Distinguished Member
Seriously, you must check out Pro-logic II with the 1803, very good with show's like Stargate and Enterprise.
Tip... I have set my sub volume to match TV playback, I found it too low when set to match dvd for tv playback, so i set it to match tv and then turned the LFE feed down to -2 for 5.1 and 6.1 soundtracks.
My sub can't handle 0db anyway, it's only a budget sub.


Distinguished Member
Some Amp's are a bit tricky to setup, My old sony Amp took me a good week to master, especially the remote. As for the Denon, i found it quite simple to master, I would say that is a good point, after all you just want to listen to it not play with it.
I found the sound quality to be leap's ahead of my old sony amp.

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