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  1. #1
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    Just Purchased Denon 3801 Receiver for $450 & HKardon 31 DVD Player for $245

    I welcome anyones comments, good, bad or indifferent on the Denon 3801 Receiver I just purchased on Ebay for $450 including Federal Express Shipping & Harmon Kardon 31 DVD player for $245 with UPS shipping using the buy it now option. The person who I bought the Denon from had a very good feedback record & said the condition of it was outstanding and that he only used it for a short time & everything is in tip top shape. The only thing I don't have with this, if it was a perfect world, is a warranty. I believe this model has been discontinued by Denon. I figure if I'm not happy with it, I can always sell it for around what I paid for on Ebay, right or did you think I got a bad deal? Oh, is this an integrated receiver and if its not, what does that mean? The seller of the Harmon Kardon is a huge Ebay seller who sells these and other products multiple times and also has great feedback. As an aside, I almost never bid/purchase anything over $50 on Ebay unless the seller is well established with good feedback as Ebay does not protect the customer no matter what BS propoganda it puts out.

    I decided to go with the Harmon Kardon 31 progressive scan DVD player because it got great reviews for sound and picture quality and plays DVD-A.

    I think the Denon 3801 retailed for $1200 new & the Harmon Kardon retails for $350.

    Any advice, other than I'm out of my mind and don't know what I want until I hear it, would be appreciated. I promise if this doesn't do the trick for me not to post that I like my JVC DVD Receiver better even if its true.
    Last edited by hershon; 03-16-2005 at 12:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    The only bad thing I see is that the DVD player does not play SACD..you'll kick yourself for not getting it.

  3. #3
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Wholy crap, Hershon, where'd that come from?

    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    Any advice, other than I'm out of my mind and don't know what I want until I hear it, would be appreciated. I promise if this doesn't do the trick for me not to post that I like my JVC DVD Receiver better even if its true.
    I don't think anybody would doubt you if you said your JVC unit sounds as good or better than another receiver in your apartment setup, sometimes better components don't prove their worth until pushed harder, if you get my drift. That being said, I remember that Denon well, and it was one helluva unit back when it hit the market in 2001. I almost bought one, then scaled down and went with a 5.1 Yamaha instead. 2001 sounds like a long time ago, but truth be told, there's very little your receiver can't do that a $600-$800 Denon today can do. The only knock on it (if I have one) is its lack of a 192 kHz/24-Bit DAC, but good luck finding many digital sources that even will use that potential anytime soon... I believe this unit also has a fixed crossover point that isn't adjustable (80 or 90 Hz probably), but with your Orbs that's not an issue anyway, and with future speakers it won't be a huge deal.
    That's a beast of a unit, the power supply in that is huge. Check out its specs here:
    http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Holl...1/ratevsac.htm

    92 watts/channel with 5 channels driven, and a respectable 82 watts/channel with 6 driven!!!
    I can see you getting evicted pretty soon!

    I think you got a good deal at about $400 (plus shipping)...a B-stock 3802 would run you about $580 with limited warranty, and an a newer Yamaha RX-V1500 or something equivalent would set you back as much too. The only thing the newer units have in additioin to the variable LFE crossover and 192 kHz DAC's that might be worth the upgrade is the auto-calibration and setup with Parametric Eq...

    That being said, I'd sooner have a better performing unit that covers the basics (good sound, big power supply, strong build quality) than something less that has these features.

    The H/K DVD player is probably fine too, not familiar with it. Yamaha and a few others offer decent universal players that can be had for about $250 new as well, so it's probably a fair deal.

    If you ignore all the latest techno-gizmo's and fads and concentrate on the fundamentals, that receiver will give you top notch performance for a few years at least, and then you shouldn't have a problem selling it to recover some of your investment.

    What are you doing with the JVC unit? Bedroom system?
    And when are you buying the new speakers?

    Enjoy your new toys!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your comments. I wish I knew what you and some of the other people here know about specs as that would probably save me alot of aggravation and frustration in getting a rough idea of knowing what to look for. The plan is now to hook this system up using my extra set of Orb speakers I have in my bedroom & leaving my current JVC system still attached in the living room as well, for about a week or so, as this way I can have a pretty immediate comparison. I'm hoping I can get Paul who lives about 20 minutes away to help me set this up as I'm basically clueless on the settings, controls, etc. This way I'll also have a totally independent set of ears evaluate if there is an improvement in regards to sound quality or not. If after a week I'm not impressed, then it goes on Ebay unless ayone here wants first dibs on this stuff. What you said about crossover- I currently have my sub set at a 120 crossover which Orb recommends. Are you saying I'll have to use a different number?

    If somehow there is a Santa Claus and I think this setup is an improvement in terms of sound quality, I'll probably sell my JVC on Ebay. Thanks again for your comments.

  5. #5
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Question

    What? I thought we gave you so many ideas but you always came back to nothing sounded as good as what you already had and then without hearing or i guess doing enough research,you get something off e-bay. Geez,i dont get you. Man i hope your happy but i get a feeling ypu'll be back on with problems. I really hope it works out.
    Look & Listen

  6. #6
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Each receiver has a different crossover frequency, some are adjustable, some aren't. If Orb recommends 120 Hz, don't worry, there's probably different ways to connect to the receiver to achieve this...I don't know the exact features your current sub has so I can't comment right now, but I assume it has an adjustable crossover? Can it accept inputs straight from the speaker outputs of the receiver?

  7. #7
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    I think if you are using the crossover on your receiver, you don't need to use the crossover on the sub. Isn't that duplicative?

  8. #8
    Tyler Acoustics Fan drseid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuartlittle
    I think if you are using the crossover on your receiver, you don't need to use the crossover on the sub. Isn't that duplicative?
    Right... But I think Kexodusc is referring to Hershon being able to cross over to the sub at 120 HZ (as Orb recommends)... If the receiver has a fixed crossover of 85-90 hz (I believe my old Denon 3300 used that fixed crossover point as well), then to get a 120 hz crossover, he would not be able to use the crossover at the receiver level (having to go through the sub and use it's crossover instead)...

    ---Dave
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  9. #9
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Yep, Dave, that's exactly what I meant

    Higher xo's are bad, mmmkay. You shouldn't have higher xo's, mmmkay.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular anamorphic96's Avatar
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    That is one of the biggest problems I have with Hershon's system. The ORB speakers. The speakers cant handle any bass. Especially with a 120hz crossover point. This in turn makes the sub harder to blend and also becomes directional. Speakers with a much lower crossover are point are needed to get a more accurate sense of HT and music. Because in the current scenario it will not matter what type of receiver you use. The sound will only have SUBTLE changes.

    Hershon this is not meant as an attack. But you really need to change speakers. I dont mean to sound harsh. Just want to be clear. The Denon is great receiver and should work great.

    Another suggestion is take a poll on the forums and list your system and see what the most popular suggestion to change is. I would be willing to put money down that speakers are the #1 choice of things to change in your system.

    Cheers,
    Glenn

  11. #11
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Good luck on getting him to change. Just about everbody has suggested that. Small speakers,small sound.
    Look & Listen

  12. #12
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    You're entitled to Your Opinion But with a Big But

    If you've actually heard the speakers and then feel exactly the way you do, it would mean more to me. Personally, I'm not a great bass fan in any case and the Orb Supereight sub gives more than enough bass. I actually as I mentioned previously, connected my Orb Speakers (albeit not sub) to Paul's $1500 Yamaha Receiver which also was connected to a pair of B&A Bookshelf speakers & his sub. We listened to several different CD's and compared the sound on each of the speakers. The modern one, the Foo Fighters sounded way superior on the B&A's to the Orbs. The next 2, the Beatles Rubber Soul and Revolver sounded way superior on my Orbs than the B&A's (in my opinion). The last one, Brian Auger's 1970's keyboard recordings sounded better on the B&A's. End result,
    different albums sound differently with different speakers. There was not enough of one speakers sounding better than the Orbs or vice versa for me to form a clear cut decision. As I said, I am very happy with the Orb Speakers. If this 3801 receiver & a Harmon Kardon DVD 31 receiver don't improve the sound to justify my (on sale $700) investment then its back to the glue factory again, LOL, and I'm just going to be content with what I have and quit whining on this board.



    Quote Originally Posted by anamorphic96
    That is one of the biggest problems I have with Hershon's system. The ORB speakers. The speakers cant handle any bass. Especially with a 120hz crossover point. This in turn makes the sub harder to blend and also becomes directional. Speakers with a much lower crossover are point are needed to get a more accurate sense of HT and music. Because in the current scenario it will not matter what type of receiver you use. The sound will only have SUBTLE changes.

    Hershon this is not meant as an attack. But you really need to change speakers. I dont mean to sound harsh. Just want to be clear. The Denon is great receiver and should work great.

    Another suggestion is take a poll on the forums and list your system and see what the most popular suggestion to change is. I would be willing to put money down that speakers are the #1 choice of things to change in your system.

    Cheers,
    Glenn

  13. #13
    Forum Regular anamorphic96's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    If you've actually heard the speakers and then feel exactly the way you do, it would mean more to me. Personally, I'm not a great bass fan in any case and the Orb Supereight sub gives more than enough bass. I actually as I mentioned previously, connected my Orb Speakers (albeit not sub) to Paul's $1500 Yamaha Receiver which also was connected to a pair of B&A Bookshelf speakers & his sub. We listened to several different CD's and compared the sound on each of the speakers. The modern one, the Foo Fighters sounded way superior on the B&A's to the Orbs. The next 2, the Beatles Rubber Soul and Revolver sounded way superior on my Orbs than the B&A's (in my opinion). The last one, Brian Auger's 1970's keyboard recordings sounded better on the B&A's. End result,
    different albums sound differently with different speakers. There was not enough of one speakers sounding better than the Orbs or vice versa for me to form a clear cut decision. As I said, I am very happy with the Orb Speakers. If this 3801 receiver & a Harmon Kardon DVD 31 receiver don't improve the sound to justify my (on sale $700) investment then its back to the glue factory again, LOL, and I'm just going to be content with what I have and quit whining on this board.
    Nobody argues this point. I dont even argue the fact that your Orbs probably sound ok. But you keep telling us that your looking for more from your system and we keep telling you to replace the speakers. You friend Paul states you like a brighter more detailed speaker. Why not try some speakers that offer this. Why do you seem so against changing speakers but will change your other componets ? Yes you can point out that alot of us have not heard your speakers, and might change are minds if we did hear them. But it still begs the question why are so against getting rid of the Orbs ? Why not take are advice and listen to some more speakers. Not just one or two but 20 or so different speakers. Or better yet post the question I asked earlier about starting a poll to see what componet should be changed. My money is still on speakers.

    As I stated before. Please dont take this as an attack just trying to be helpful. I hope you find what your looking for.

  14. #14
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    All of this has got me pooped out. Not liking bass is fine. I'm not big on treble but i want enough to hear the highs thats in all music just like bass.
    Look & Listen

  15. #15
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    I'm not taking anything as a personal attack and I actually welcome your criticism/comments as they'll ultimately be helpful to me in the long run. From what I've gathered from this new found obsession of mine is, you're not going to find the perfect system overnight, especially if you're budget is somewhat limited, and if this process is a multi step process- as Al Pacino says "first you get the money, then you get the power then you get the woman" in Scarface, LOL, I need to start with something: receiver, DVD player/compact disc player, speakers, etc., so I'd rather start with my Orb speakers as my foundation, if that makes any sense to you guys.

    I wish, and I'm not being sarcastic here, there was a way to hear various systems of board members here & believe me if one knocked me totally out and I had the money, I'd dupilicate theirs right away.












    Quote Originally Posted by anamorphic96
    Nobody argues this point. I dont even argue the fact that your Orbs probably sound ok. But you keep telling us that your looking for more from your system and we keep telling you to replace the speakers. You friend Paul states you like a brighter more detailed speaker. Why not try some speakers that offer this. Why do you seem so against changing speakers but will change your other componets ? Yes you can point out that alot of us have not heard your speakers, and might change are minds if we did hear them. But it still begs the question why are so against getting rid of the Orbs ? Why not take are advice and listen to some more speakers. Not just one or two but 20 or so different speakers. Or better yet post the question I asked earlier about starting a poll to see what componet should be changed. My money is still on speakers.

    As I stated before. Please dont take this as an attack just trying to be helpful. I hope you find what your looking for.
    Last edited by hershon; 03-19-2005 at 07:17 PM.

  16. #16
    cam
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    You like your orbs and space is at a premium. Lets try and find some solutions so that you can get closer to the promise land of sound that you are ever so trying to get to. Your orbs recommend a crossover setting at 120 hz. They recommend a high crossover setting like this because they suck with a signal less then 120. If you could get a similar small speaker set up that would allow a setting of 80 hz I gaurantee you will notice a vast improvement in depth, soundstaging, and integration between your mains, center, and surrounds and your sub. You will notice right away what you have been missing and looking for this whole time. You need speakers that sound good to you while being flat to 80 hz. To be flat to 80 hz I recommend speakers that are flat to 60 - 70 hz therefore you have no holes in your sound. I will recommend to you my first system I had which sounded very good and impressed many of my friends all the while it was a very basic simple speaker set up. I had 4 Paradigm Atoms, 2 for mains and 2 for surrounds rated to 70 hz and a cc170 for the center also rated to 70 hz. All five speakers cost me 500 CAN. To improve on this recommended system for a couple dollars more, exchange 1 set of atoms for a pair of Titans to use as your mains. All these speakers are small and for the money they sound very good and can collectively reach ear damaging levels while being crossed over at 80 hz. Don't get mad at me like you have to others, I'm just trying to give you an other option while keeping your speakers small and not spending alot of money to get a good sounding system.

  17. #17
    Forum Regular anamorphic96's Avatar
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    It's the speakers man ....It's the speakers !!!

    I think its great you want start somewhere. But I think some of the issues people might have including myself are the Orbs go against the grain in some key areas of speaker design. First and foremost the size. Its really hard to create a realistic and full soundstage with tiny little sats that only goto 120hz. Even with the sub, the crossover point makes it nearly impossible to get a seamless blend with the sub. The other big issue is the Orbs are not two way speakers. If you want the detailed and transparent presentation, you are going to need a two way design. These are the biggest issues I have against these speakers. I also think these would be at the top of most peoples lists as well and are the reason you will not get that detailed and transparent sound you are looking for unless you switch speakers.

    Cheers,
    Glenn

  18. #18
    Forum Regular anamorphic96's Avatar
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    Hershon,

    Cam's recommendation on the Pardigms is absolutley right on target. That 3801 will make the Paradigms sound wonderful and give you what I think your looking for without breaking the bank.

  19. #19
    cam
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    Need more power Registered Member cam's Avatar
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    The 3801 is way more then the paradigm set up I recommended can handle but will sound great. While with the orb set up, the lowest receiver in the Denon line up, the 1505 is more amp then the orbs can handle. Having said that, any denon receiver above the 1505 will give minimal if any improvement to the sound of your orbs. The orbs are the limiting factor to get to the next level.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cam
    You like your orbs and space is at a premium. Lets try and find some solutions so that you can get closer to the promise land of sound that you are ever so trying to get to. Don't get mad at me like you have to others, I'm just trying to give you an other option while keeping your speakers small and not spending alot of money to get a good sounding system.
    Thanks I'll keep that in mind during this maddening journey. I'm not mad at you or anything, if I sounded at times a little ticked off at some comments, it had more to do with both the tone of how they were written & my general mood when I was responding back than to their actual content.

    In a way this almost feels like my search for the perfect woman. I always try to improve physically on the next girlfriend I have which I prefer without accessories such as kids. When I thought I had reached my "Holy Speaker Grail"- she looked like a young Sophia Loren, she was such primo high end material- I had to spend my entire time looking after her kissing her butt rather than vice versa, and just simply couldn't enjoy her without having to put in major effort, I said after a while "nah", and am still looking for that high end "model" but without the high maintenance part. As my mother once said, "good luck"!

  21. #21
    cam
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    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    Thanks I'll keep that in mind during this maddening journey. I'm not mad at you or anything, if I sounded at times a little ticked off at some comments, it had more to do with both the tone of how they were written & my general mood when I was responding back than to their actual content.

    In a way this almost feels like my search for the perfect woman. I always try to improve physically on the next girlfriend I have which I prefer without accessories such as kids. When I thought I had reached my "Holy Speaker Grail"- she looked like a young Sophia Loren, she was such primo high end material- I had to spend my entire time looking after her kissing her butt rather than vice versa, and just simply couldn't enjoy her without having to put in major effort, I said after a while "nah", and am still looking for that high end "model" but without the high maintenance part. As my mother once said, "good luck"!
    Speakers are kinda like a women, you want your speakers to dip low and so do you want your women to dip low. If your orbs were a women she wouldn't be kissing anything lower than your cheek brother.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    I need to start with something: receiver, DVD player/compact disc player, speakers, etc., so I'd rather start with my Orb speakers as my foundation, if that makes any sense to you guys.
    Lets get down to brass tacks here. A new receiver, a new DVD/CD player etc, will not impact the sound of your system at all. Nadda, zip, ziltch. The bottom line is that if want a different sound from your system it's new speakers or nothing. Nothing else really matters except room acoustics which you could play around with.

  23. #23
    Forum Regular anamorphic96's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with stepping up to bigger set of woofers. Just make sure they have a nice tweeter as well.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick250
    Lets get down to brass tacks here. A new receiver, a new DVD/CD player etc, will not impact the sound of your system at all. Nadda, zip, ziltch. The bottom line is that if want a different sound from your system it's new speakers or nothing. Nothing else really matters except room acoustics which you could play around with.
    So if, room acoustics being excellent and the same, I have a $20,000 set of speakers and a $100 receiver and DVD player it will sound better than a $800 set of speakers and a $1500 receiver and DVD player. I don't think so.

  25. #25
    SuperPoser Rock789's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cam
    If your orbs were a women she wouldn't be kissing anything lower than your cheek brother.
    that is too much!
    good one cam!

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