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I'm slowly putting together my new home theater system, and I received my Denon 3803 yesterday. I hooked it up to my current (but old) speakers (only have 4 at the moment, 2 mains and two surrounds) and it *seems* to be seriously lacking power. I've triple checked all the connections, polarity, etc. I've tried banana clips and just using the bare wire to the speaker wire post. I've tried different cables. I've been though the setup menu, and set the subwoofer and center channel off, because I don't have any. Mains are set to LARGE and rears are set to SMALL.


When playing a CD, DVD, or just listening to TV, I need to crank it to -20db for an average listening volume. If I want to listen to it a little loud I need to bring it all the way to -10db!


For testing purposes I hooked the speakers and CD up to my previous JVC receiver. When the volume was at -30db it was VERY loud. Then for kicks I hooked the speakers and the CD to an old 120watt per channel Yamaha receiver. It was a BIG difference also. Lots more bass, much fuller sound, and 1/3 of a turn of the volume knob and the volume was very loud.


I know loud doesn't equal quality, but something really seems wrong. Did I miss something in the configuration or could there be something wrong with it?


Thanks for any help.
 

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I also have the denon 3803 my normal listening level is also at -20 db so I don't think your having a problem there. You might want to adjust the channel levels using a sound meter and see if that helps. Also you said the speakers were old what kind are they and what is there spl sensitivity?
 

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I too listen to my 3803 at about -20. I don't think you can compare volume scales on different brands of receivers because they may not be using the same "zero" level, nor the same scale. Note also that the 3803 goes up to +18 (I'm not positive on this number). When I've tried turning the volume to near zero, it is way to loud to listen to comfortably. So I don't think there is anything wrong with your unit, just the scale is different from whet you were used to.
 

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I am getting the same basic settings for my level, although with background music listening I can be at -30 or so. What you are experiencing it seems is normal for a 3803.
 

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My normal listening level varies from -22 to -17 depending on the source, but hovers around -20 like others have been saying. It was about the same on my previous Denon receiver (the 1801), so I would assume that is just Denon's scale.


Nothing to worry about. If I want to play something really loud, it's not as though the receiver lacks power when turning it up to -08 or so. I can't imagine what kind of damage it would do to my speakers if I cranked it up into the positive numbers.
 

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Yo Momma: IMO, everything is fine. I run my Denon 3803 from around -18 or so as high as -5, depending on the source's volume. Don't forget the the 3803 tops out at +18 (not 00.)


I wouldn't be concerned with how your 3803 compares to other units for apparent volume settings. I'd hazard a guess that the JVC ends way before +18.


And it's worth pointing out that the Yamaha's potentiometer type volume control has a logarithmic taper, not a linear one (like the Denon uses.) IOW, the Yamaha reaches full volume MUCH sooner than the end of it's travel. Most of these older receivers were at full volume by the 12:00 or 1:00 position.
 
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