AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
308 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if anyone has A/B'ed these two receivers as far as audio. I know the 4802 has a little more power as far as watts per channel and is also THX Ultra2 Certified.............but does this create a drastic improvement in sound quality (as well as a $900 more justification).

Thanks all for any input!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
731 Posts
What speakers will you be using, in what size room. The short answer is yes (to me and many people) the 4802R sounds better than the 3803. As always it depends on many factors and if you do not have source components or speakers that can take advantage of the improvement OR you can't tell a difference in the demo room -save the $900. Many people do not need the 3803's video upconversion capability so they spend more for the sound quality.

I would recommend budgeting several hours and do some extensive listening to both as well as Pioneer Elite, Yamaha and Harmon Kardon. I prefer Denon, but that does not mean you will - if you do a bit of research here you will see a lot of comparisons between receivers in this price range. You will know what to look and listen for - then make an informed decision. Good luck and try not rush the process -Enjoy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
You can compare their feature sets side by side at a website like Crutchfield. In terms of what you can't see on a website... While I've never listened to them together, I have seen their guts. For what it's worth, the 4802 has a bigger power supply (toroidal versus EI), larger capacitors, better construction, better heatsinks, and what appears to be better isolation of the circuitry. While the power specs may not differ by a great deal, the larger power supply and capacitance should translate to less strain at high volumes and a better dynamic range. Consequently, at least in my opinion and specific features aside, the 4802 is a better built machine with considerably more power. But, of course, that's why it costs $900 more. ;) Whether that difference is meaningful to you will probably depend in no small part on whether dropping an extra grand on the receiver is a big deal to you or not...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,071 Posts
Shag1077,


When I purchased my 4802R I spent 2 hours in the audio room at the store A/Bing the 3803 and 4802R. I found them to be very close in many areas. One thing I did notice was the 4802R seemed to soudn a bit fuller and richer on some material. I didn;t mind spending th eextra money for the better power supply dynamics and slightly better sound. Now that said I bought my 4802R in July. Recently I went back to the same store with a friend to show him some stuff I was looking at and we decided to listen to th eMartin Logan top of the line systems ($15k for 5.1 setup). We decided to listen to them on the 3803, then I said hey wait let me show you the difference between the 4802R and 3803. We set both receivers as close to the same as possible and on the Martin logans the 4802R held a much wider advantage than the 3803 did especially compared to my A/B tests less then 2 months earlier. When I auditioned them originally I was using Mirage Omni 260 system to test, so the lessen here is 2 things, if posisble audtion them on same speakers you have or at least damn good speakers to better hear any sonic differences. Now the 3803 is a great receiver and I woudl have been just as happy withit, but I am extremely happy with my 4802R. If money is tight you will like the 3803, if you can swing the 4802R do it you will enjoy it extremely much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
Awhile back, there was a thread somewhere (don't know if it was here or not) where a similar question was asked about the 3803 vs. the 2803. My feelings were/are that they are quite similar. The 3803 does add some important technical differences and a little more power. As I read your initial post here, it reminded me of my little more power statement in the earlier thread.


Well, in this case, I believe that amp-wise, the 4802R has a good deal more guts than the 3803. As much "discussion" as there is over the THX subject (good, bad, marketing hype, real improvements, whatever...), receiver-based THX amps often outperform lesser models (note I didn't say always.) In order to pass THX tests, they have to be able to drive lower impedence loads (the kind most speakers have, no matter what the "nominal" rating is.) As dmeister noted, construction-wise, the 4802R is a great deal more refined over the 3803. IMO, if more serious power is an issue, the 4802R is the machine to get.


As for the other THX benefits, they may or may not be important to you, Both the 3803 and the 4802R have center channel re-equalization to help tame bright soundtracks. THX machines come with a subwoofer peak limiter and for stereo matrixed decoding, they can also apply some additional filtering to the rear surrounds to help present a wider rear image.


But in all fairness to the 3803, it's overall pre-amp design is newer than the 4802R. (The "R" is a revision of the original 4802 which is approaching 2 years old, design-wise.) The 3803 has the new Auto Surround Mode memory which remember you favorite mode by signal type. And the 3803 can turn off the sub in all modes (which may be handy for you depending on your setup.) I don't believe the 4802R can do this (not totally sure though.) There are a lot more differences but they aren't coming to mind at this moment.


Here's a good link to compare them. Good luck!

http://www.usa.denon.com/catalog/pdf...t%20080603.pdf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,071 Posts
To Han's comments, I woudl agree, I did NOT buy the 4802R for THX as there is so many mixed reviews on how THX procesisng sounds and I have found that either I hear no difference or a slight muted difference with THX. The power supply is by far the biggest reason I opted for the 4802R over the 3803, the extra reserves of power for those demanding requirements. The 4802R does rememebr channle settings by input, so EXT IN and Digital in can be different and it remmeebrs them. I think it might also for different surround modes as well, but not sure if it preserves them once powered off. Since I find I run with one setup for EXT IN (analog) and a different setup for the DSP modes I have not found a need to tweak much across the various surround modes. Either will be a nice receiver and oyu will be happy.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top