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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally got my new Denon AVR-2803, to replace my beloved Carver HTR-885.1, which got fried by lightning a few weeks ago.


I like the rear panel-- pretty easy to hook everything up. Except the speaker connectors-- they're spaced too far apart for easy "bare wire" connection, and banana plugs don't fit.


It relatively painless to set up-- easy to assign the digital inputs to specific sources. I'm doing digital coax in from my DVD player, and optical digital in from my DirecTivo.


Let me get this out of the way-- the remote SUX. Honestly, I'm no dummy about this kind of stuff, but I simply couldn't figure out how to switch input sources on the remote. (e.g., I'm watching DirecTivo and I want to watch a DVD.) This is after reading the manual five times, and playing with the remote for quite some time. I could do it on the receiver, but not on the remote. I thought I was going crazy, handed the remote to my wife, and she figured it out after 10 minutes or so. Still, it's asinine.


The thing sounds great. I have NHT 1.5s fronts, NHT SuperZero rears, and a Velodyne F-1200 sub. What really strikes me coming from the Carver is how amazingly clean the thing is. By comparison, the Carver sounded like butter. Very smooth and fat, but the Denon has a sparkling clarity that I was missing. And the Denon isn't harsh or steely-- just remarkably clear. Imaging is still deep and accurate, as my 1.5s have always been.


The 24/96 DACs (16 of 'em!) sound great. Even makes music on my old first-gen Toshiba DVD player sound good. Like I said above, incredible detail without being harsh.


The Dolby Pro Logic II Music mode surprises me. I've always been a 2-channel "purist" when listening to music, but this mode actually makes some music CDs sound great. Pleasantly surprised.


Dolby Digital mode is great-- very enveloping, very detailed, lotsa power. I've never heard my Velodyne sound this good, either.


All in all, I recommend it. I picked it over Onkyo and H/K, and I have no regrets. Especially for the ~$600 I paid for it.
 

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Hey Cheep,


Thanks for a very helpful review on the 2803.. reviews are still kind of scarce so far for this model. The 2803 is a finalist on my short list of receivers. So I have a few questions for you.


Speaker connectors: Hard to believe the 2803 won’t take banana plugs. Some receivers have inserts that must be removed for banana plugs to fit. Might that be the case here?


Sound: I listened to the 2803 vs. a Yamaha RXV-1300, both running flat and no processing. The Yamaha had almost too much bass for my taste. A bit too heavy. The Denon on the other hand sounded a bit too light on the bass. Not enough bottom end. (A/B comparison with same source and speakers.) Really surprised me. Of course store setups can be misleading. So what do you think about the 2803 in the bass department?


Competition: You chose the 2803 over the Onkyo (700?) and HK (325?). Did you do side-by-side listening comparisons? What did you like better about the Denon? What else swayed you to it?


Price: Are you able to share where you found it for ~$600!?


Thanks!

Denis
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm, let's see. Sorry for my terminology-- it's the "double" banana plugs that the 2803 doesn't accept. The positive and negative are too far apart. The "single" banana plugs (which I don't have) would work fine.


I picked the Denon from reading a LOT of reviews. It had the features that I wanted (good DACs, Dolby PLII, DTS, component video switching) at a good price. I have heard some Onkyos and some H/Ks, but like you say, store setups are not all that useful for comparison receiver shopping. And I don't have dealer around here that loans these out for home listening. Plus, I've heard about lots of quality control issues (on this forum and from salesmen) with newer Onkyos and H/Ks. Not that Denons have a perfect track record, but still...


As far as the bass goes, I think it's very solid. The bass is a bit more defined and more solid than through my Carver. That's my Velodyne, though. To tell you the truth, I haven't listened to the 2803 without my sub, so I can't really speak to bass performance running full-range.


Finally, search e-bay for the 2803. I got it for a bit under $600 from some guys called Sound Professionals. Probably not an authorized dealer, but it was brand new in the box, and they shipped quickly. I rolled to dice to save $200 ($799 was the best price I could find online from "authorized" dealers.)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Cheep
I rolled to dice to save $200 ($799 was the best price I could find online from "authorized" dealers.)



Yea I just ordered it for friend from a local dealer for 700 two days ago. He needed a receiver with component switching for the single component input 42 pany plasma . They claim its 100 KHz, better suited for hdtv. He’s going to be switching the zenith sat520 & Denon 1600 dvd. Also ordered him 5 M&K K15's satellites (with wall mounts) and one of their subs , I forgot which . He wanted a cute little Bose lifestyle 28 sprinkled around his new plasma he heard at pcrichards, he said it sounded great ..lol , I couldn’t let him do it. I made him buy all this stuff un-auditioned with a bello av rack all for basically the same price of the Bose setup lol, I hope it works out, ill know next Saturday when this stuff arrives.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Denis K
Sound: I listened to the 2803 vs. a Yamaha RXV-1300, both running flat and no processing. The Yamaha had almost too much bass for my taste. A bit too heavy. The Denon on the other hand sounded a bit too light on the bass. Not enough bottom end. (A/B comparison with same source and speakers.) Really surprised me. Of course store setups can be misleading.
Denis,

If you were to go back to that store, I'd make sure the "bass extention" button wasn't pressed on the RX-V1300. That might've been the cause the heavy bass you experienced.


GP
 

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Thanks for the tip GP. The sales guy helping me seemed to be much more on top of things than most, but ya never know. Supposedly everything was disabled but I'll give it another try.


Regards,

Denis
 

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I am almost ready to buy this puppy but I had one question because this reciever has 3 component video inputs. I usually go directly into the TV with any video outputs, is it better going through the reciever or does it make a difference in quality?
 

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Harleyguy,

I run all my video through my 3803 and haven't noticed any less video quality. But I am also taking advantage of the upconversion of the 3803 .
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I run S-Video in from my DirecTivo and my DVD player, and S-Video monitor out from the 2803. I don't notice any difference-- looks fine.
 

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Gai Pan,

What did you pay for the M&K K15s?? I am in the same boat right now - looking for a good set of satellites - bose does sound good, but they are pricy. Also, looked at OmniSats from Mirage - any more suggestions you may offer - I know it is the wrong thread, but..

Thanks a lot,

Steven
 

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Cheep,

have you looked at all at 1803?? or at least read anything about it - it seems to be a good amp, one step down from 2803. My room is not very big, so 1803 has enough power for me - am I missing anything else??

Thank you,

Steven
 

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Scarab33,

I mean to address you in this posting...


What did you pay for the M&K K15s?? I am in the same boat right now - looking for a good set of satellites - bose does sound good, but they are pricy. Also, looked at OmniSats from Mirage - any more suggestions you may offer - I know it is the wrong thread, but..

Thanks a lot,

Steven
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ladislav_1969
Scarab33,

I mean to address you in this posting...


What did you pay for the M&K K15s?? I am in the same boat right now - looking for a good set of satellites - bose does sound good, but they are pricy. Also, looked at OmniSats from Mirage - any more suggestions you may offer - I know it is the wrong thread, but..

Thanks a lot,

Steven
I changed the order at the last second on the K15's, I ordered 5 M&K LCR-25 Xenon's & V76 sub. On a side note, bose do not sound good. They aren’t in the same stratosphere as the K series or Xenon. Anything would be a better choice, paradigm, def tech, energy, Mirage. Don’t even consider bose. If you need any more info, pm me


Anybody wondering if the component switching on the 2803 is good as advertised, I would say yes. Using silver serpents I couldn’t tell any difference between HDTV (hdnet) or progressive dvd going straight into the 42 PTHD panny or through the 2803. Ill judge the rest when the speakers arrive.
 

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JeffC and all,


Thanks for the input, do you use the upconversion because your plugged into the composites and/or s-video so it upconverts to component video standards.


Because I use component video and plug direct to TV, so I unless it "enhances" the output of the component video in the switching it would do nothing for me.


Am I correct in that assumption.


Thanks to all
 

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The upconversion does nothing with the signal. It only allows it to be carried over the component cables. There is no benefit from using the upconversion except to reduce inputs into your TV thereby allowing you to use the receiver to switch all video sources. This works out great for me since my TV (toshiba TW 56x81) has no discrete codes to be used in macros for switching sources.
 

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I see Jamey, thanks.

So my TV which is the new 50" Samsung DLP has plenty of component in/outputs so if I go direct I would be just fine. Appreciate it.
 

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What are the differences between the 2803 and 3803? Is it just the amplification?


Thanks for the review Cheep. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sho nuff, dive. As far as I could tell, the big advantages of the 3803 over the 2803 are the video upconversion, higher quality (presumably) Burr-Brown DACs instead of the Analog Devices ones in the 2803, and slightly more power (100 wpc v. 90). All of which I would like to have, but I just couldn't afford the extra cheese.
 
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