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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys......Well, im in a quandry....I dont need 7.1 6.1.....just 5.1 with all the bells...so I dont need a flagship receiver,but I do want some quality wattage to accompany my divas and hsu3. The question is..couldnt I buy say, a denon 3802 and use the preouts to power a good 5 channel amp?

what are the pro/cons of using this type of setup?........Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Thanks Code.....I am on the 950 wait list,but ive read the reports on the 950

and when you add up all the little problems that people are having with the 950..Ive decided the 950 isnt for me....the Rotel might be a good pre ,

but it doesnt have a tuner.....
 

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Just curious, what "little" problems are folks having with the 950? From what I've read here and at the Outlaw forum, it seems like the 950 is a winner...
 

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Unless you just want to throw more money at it, the 3802 should power your Divas very nicely on it's own. I'm of the opinion that if you're going to buy a nice receiver like the 3802, why waste the amps.
 

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WG, and Mad Dog,

The problems with the 950 are more like hypercritical issues than problems. The hiss issue and the cross talk issue are inherent in all receivers/prepros. If you think about the cross talk issue in particular, you'll realize that while you may hear some cross talk, there is no scenario where the unit can be used that it can be heard when it is being used. The 950 has just been hyped up so much, that people's expectations have become unrealistic. If you want a pre/pro, I would jump at the Outlaw.
 

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washguy: I can recommend using the 3802 as a pre-pro. I use mine with a Carver 705 THX amp in a 5.1 configuration and have been very pleased. You retain ALL of the 3802's features except for the switchable rear speakers (not talking about the rear centers.)


Like you, I have seriously looked at the Outlaw 950. And, like you, I find it wanting. After some fairly serious thought, I have decided I won't be buying one. (FWIW, I am an Outlaw supporter. I use an ICBM between my 3802 and amp and am VERY pleased. I received one of the 1st ICBM's shipped and it has worked flawlessly from the start.) My specific reasons for not buying a 950 are: 1) No separate LFE adjustment. 2) Only one memory for all channel level adjustments (they must be the same for all modes) 3) Too many quality control issues (This piece of gear is infinitely more complex than the ICBM & is obviously much harder to make with consistant quality.) (BTW, I sincerely hope Outlaw can get their quality issues worked out. But even when they do, I still feel that it would be going backwards technology-wise from my 3802. **It's important that everyone understand that I'm not criticizing anyone for owning or buying the 950. But it's just as important to understand that each of us looks for certain things in what we buy and that we're not all the same. If they address some of my wants and needs, it's quite likely that when Outlaw decides to come out with a flagship pre-pro (which they have mentioned here and there) that I will buy one**)


Hope this helps a little...
 

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Dont let anyone talk you out of your idea. As far as a pre/pro the features of the denon are going to be hard to beat. Especially at the price you can get the 3802 for. I have a 4802 and was not at all impressed with the sound quality. Sort of a recessed dark midrange. I added an adcom 7500 that I got at a great price and wow did it come to life. All the good things you can think of. And so many of the high priced units with only a mediocre representation of the newest formats. Very disappointing. I can hardly think of a processor out there with all the features I already have that would be worthy of replacing it. GOOD LUCK

drptpcpe
 

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Don't let anyone "minimize" the possible hiss issue with the Outlaw

preamp. If you are even remotely used to the dead silence that most

digital gear now has when no signal is going through it's channels,

then any noticeable hiss (and so far 6-7 people have reported it with

their Outlaws) will drive you crazy. Whether this is confined to a small

number of defective units, or if it's due to variations in component quality

or if they all have this problem, we'll find that out soon enough.
 

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I've been using a Denon AVR-3300 as a pre-pro for a few years and I'm very impressed with it. I'd like to have DPL-II so I've been looking at the Outlaw and the Rotel 1066 as well, but I may end up going with another Denon AVR (3802) for the convenience features that HAN mentioned. IMO the Denons have excellent pre-pro sections and I'm not convinced that the Outlaw or Rotel 1066 would provide any sonic improvement. Due to the economy of scale at work here I don't think there's any reason to presume a difference in quality or audible superiority. A blind comparison might prove otherwise, but I'd be surprised.


To answer your question, I think what you propose is a very viable option. If it helps, think of it as buying a very good pre-pro with a free amplifier section you choose not to use. :) The 80Hz crossover works for me but if you'd like more flexible bass management you could add an ICBM for $250 and still be in the ballpark with the Outlaw as the street price on the AVR-3802 seems to be in the $700-800 range. This would also give you flexible bass management settings for SACD and DVD-A sources which you won't have with the Outlaw or Rotel.


HAN said: "You retain ALL of the 3802's features except for the switchable rear speakers (not talking about the rear centers.)"


In my last house where I had room for two sets of surrounds, (bipoles for movies and monopoles for music) I used the A and B surround feature by hooking up one pair to the external amplifier, and the other pair to the Denon's "B surrounds" binding posts and let the Denon's amp power them. It worked very well. In this same fashion one could use a good 5ch amplifier with the AVR and used the Denon's amp section for 6.1/7.1 formats later on. One would only need to add the extra speakers.
 

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A couple of points to clarify...


bigwally is absolutely correct that you can indeed use the Denon's on-board amps for the B surrounds (for that manner, you could go full 6.1/7.1 too.) For the sake of trying to keep a long reply from being any longer, I meant that if you use a 5 channel external amp (and don't use the Denon's amps at all) you can't run more than 5 speakers.


The other thing that bigwally brought up involves the ICBM. Again, to keep things brief, I didn't mention one thing that is fairly important to keep in mind when placing an ICBM between a pre-pro and an amp. And that is level matching. In order to have consistent bass (when using different speakers) with an ICBM, it is important that ALL of the input signals be at the same level when setting your primary system reference.


What does that mean? Well, that means that for my main DD/DTS levels, I have all 5 speakers and my sub set at the same decibel level from the 3802. Any variations I have for speaker sensitivity are compensated for with my Carver amp's input level controls. This translates to consistent bass from channel to channel as the ICBM reroutes each channel's bass to the subwoofer. (I'm not bothered by using different 3802 levels for other modes such as Matrix, 5 Channel Stereo and such. With those, I want an overall reduction of volume for certain channels (i.e. lower rear volume, bass and all, for the rears.) ( I also run my 2 channel Direct mode levels lower for my CD player and the Tuner since those sources are always louder than others. BTW, my Denon sub output is switched off for the Direct mode. Which also brings up another 950 "thing". Everyone was bummed that the 950 played the sub when in direct mode, so Outlaw "fixed" it by defaulting to sub to off in 2 channel bypass mode. Which IS good, except for the fact that some might still want it on. 3802 users can have it either way, on OR off.)
 

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I have the 3802 and a Diva 4.1/C3/R3 setup and I am very happy with it. The Denon's amp section is fine to power the Diva's. Of course I live in an apartment, If you have a house you might want more power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Guys........Thanks to all of you that replied! Using a Denon3802, or for that matter, any comparable receiver...and then using an amp ...seems like head over heels better than true separates. I just couldnt find a separate

pro. in my price range. The outlaw boy's are trying,but not there yet..IMHO

and the Rotel numbskulls didnt see fit to put a tuner in theirs.....Looks like a Denon 3802 driving a 5 channel amp is the way to go! Btw the HSU 3

Rocks ! Divas should be here in 'bout 10 days....Thanks again......Washguy
 
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