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Upgrading 3803 for better stereo - suggestions?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Ugly JC, May 12, 2005.

  1. Ugly JC

    Ugly JC
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    I'm thinking of upgrading my Denon 3803 for an amp that gives a bit more oomph with stereo sources as music is my main use. Sounds great for films and certain music but find for my preferred music (heavy rock stuff) it just doesn't give it any drive - even thinking of hooking up my old 20 Watt NAD 310 amp. Have been out of the "av loop" for a little while and was wondering which amps are worth a look for what I'm after. Many thanks if you can give me any pointers. Speakers I am using are B&W 600's all round if that's any use.
    Ta for reading this
     
  2. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    If you are looking for one amp that does AV and music really well then you should audition the Arcam AVR250 and AVR300, particularly when biamping the fronts. If you can stretch your budget a little then the new AVP700 and P1000 processor and power amp combinaton should be very good too, should retail for about £3000 for the pair.
     
  3. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    Hi Ugly,

    I agree with Crusty that the Arcam are very musical.

    However, it is not clear in my mind the rest of your setup.

    Firstly, when you say B&W 600’s, are you referring the AV speaker package of the 602’s or 603’s, or do you have a set of 5 DM600S3 all around. Additionally, is there a sub in the mix as well.

    I am only asking that, while I am not a huge fan of the pre-amp section of the 3803 for stereo duties, you have identified its only weakness in the presentation of Heavy Rock .

    I have made the assumption that you will be listening to Heavy Rock “loud” (I know I do). At this stage, if you are using some of the bigger B&W’s, perhaps a power amp could give you the drive you are looking for. If it is the smaller B&W, then perhaps we should be looking at the sub or your front speakers.
     
  4. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    how about adding somethin like a Marantz PM7200 to act as CD pre amp and power amp for streo and let the denon process no stereo sources only (sounds complex but isnt)
     
  5. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    Hi Horny,

    I agree that adding a stereo amp is certainly something a lot of us with AV amp should be looking at when trying to get better stereo performance out of our system.

    However, I thought about a dedicated stereo amp for Ugly’s situation, but dismissed it as he is satisfied by the stereo performance in most situations. It should be something he should also consider (provided he has the room in his rack).
     
  6. fordster

    fordster
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    Try the Rotel RSX1056. It blows most other AV amps away for both movies and music IMHO
     
  7. Ugly JC

    Ugly JC
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    Firstly thanks very much for all the input. Am checking out all the suggestions people have kindly made. Hadn't real considered any other options apart from a straight switch of the receiver so it's great to have input from people who know (much) more than I do about possible upgrade options. BTW Harry the speakers I am using are 602's front, 601's rear, LCR 600 centre and an ASW 650 woofer.
     
  8. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    adding a suitable stereo amp or power amp will do the "business" so to speak also adds alot of flexibitly to the system, by releasing your denon from driving those hungary fronts, it can send even more ooomph to the centre and rears..... the PM7200 can be picked up from RS etc for £250 ish
     
  9. Ugly JC

    Ugly JC
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    Thanks, will certainly check out the amp, and is also a good cost effective solution. Out of interest, what are people opinions on NAD amps these days? Had a real soft spot for my old one and the quality and power from just a 20Watt rated unit was simply unbelievable. Their receivers seem to go pretty much unnoticed. I also had a friend tell me that Pioneers have quite a good rep for power delivery though lose out in some peoples opinion to the Denons due to their "harshness".
     
  10. tom_nieto

    tom_nieto
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    I use the pre out connectors on my 3802 to connect to a cyrus 3 integrated stereo amp. It's been the best upgrade that I've made so far. If you buy an integrated amp, you can connect your stereo sources directly to it to skip out the receiver altogether. I wouldn't bother replacing your amp completely, there's no point, as all you'll really gain out of it is extra features that you might not use. You might change the sound, but the best way to get more stereo musicality is definitely to add a stereo power amp or integrated amp.
     
  11. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    OK, I am happy that it is not the speakers.

    As Horny says, the biggest improvement you will make will be releasing some of the load from the Denon. Whether that is done by a dedicated integrated or power amp will be for you to decide. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

    Brands like the NAD, while quoted with a modest pawer rating, have a more than adequate power supply to deliver up to its maximum. Their AV receivers also don't have all the latest features, but what they miss out on in features is made up by doing the "basics" extremely well.
     
  12. Ugly JC

    Ugly JC
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    Thanks Harry. Am doing some further investigating into getting a stereo amp to power the fronts, though I will have to admit to my ignorance in not actually knowing the difference between an integrated amp and power amp. Will I be able to bypass these amps when using full surround to retain a consistent surround sound using just the Denon? I will go and check out some amps soon and listen to some of my music through the fronts to see what tickles my pickle. Many thanks, simon
     
  13. FaxFan2002

    FaxFan2002
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    I always found the Denon PMA stereo amp's really good for rock, the cyrus I have now even better. The Denon PMA *may* even integrate well with the Denon AV amp?
     
  14. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    An integrated amp is a pre amp and power amp in the one box.

    Having a set of speakers connected to 2 amps is not the best idea. Unless you want to add a switcher box.

    Ideally a power amp should be "neutral" in sound. Any differences across your front soundstage would be minimal if using different amplification. This can be solved by a 3 channel power amp. If it is still a concern, Denon do make some excellent power amps that will have the same sonic signiture as the 3803.

    Kazman in this thread has "played" with few variations with a power amp and different brand receiver.
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=204701
     
  15. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Or unless you are Bi-AMPing...............
     
  16. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    Yes. A gross over-generalisation on my part. Thanks for the correction. :smashin:
     

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