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  1. #1
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    Yeah Baby the Denon 3801 Receiver Rules with the HarmonKardon 31DVD player! A Winner!

    This was the ultimate shock. The Denon 3801 Receiver with a Harmon Kardon 31 DVD player I just got, rocked my universe, a total night and day difference in sound improvement, and I didn't have to replace my Orb Audio Mod 1 Speakers & sub to get such fantastic sound. Paul from this board who helped me greatly in setting up this system, is witness in case you doubt me.
    Specifically, CD's from the 60/70's like the Beatles Rubber Soul and Revolver that originally sounded mediocore to crappy on every high end system I heard/tried out like the Denon 2105, a Rotell and NAD receiver, Marantz and Onkyo CD players, Denon DVD player & my own JVC DVD receiver, sounded absolutely great on the 3801 & HK DVD player as did DVD's I sampled (which also looked great as well). This combination gave the sound absolute presence, crispness, much added clarity & soundstage/imaging. I don't know what part was due to the Harmon Kardon and what part was due to the receiver. It also, maybe because I think there are 135 true watts per channel, made the sound louder/powerful without sounding loud, if that makes any sense.

    It looks like the Cambridge Audio Azur 640C CD player I just ordered because I was convinced the CD sound wouldn't be that good based on hearing the HK on my JVC DVD receiver, was a totally unnecessary expense that I'll probably be selling it on Ebay if it doesn't improve the great sound I'm already getting on the HK, which I can't see it doing. If anyone is interested in it from me, totally new with a warranty, contact me.

    Oh I also played DVD-A's on this system and again I heard fireworks! I'm having some problems with the remote I should note and there are a couple of things I don't quite understand on the Denon that I may be asking some owners on like what is Matrix Sound, etc.
    Last edited by hershon; 03-26-2005 at 12:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular anamorphic96's Avatar
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    Hey Hershon why would you put the cd player on e-bay. Return and get your money back. Glad things worked out for you. The power from the Denon is far superior to the JVC in every way. This probably made the difference along with the better processing the Denon offers.

    Happy Listening !!!

  3. #3
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    The only reason I'd put the Cambridge Audio Azur 640 C CD Player on Ebay or sell it to someone else here is if it doesn't improve the already fantastic CD sound of my Harmon Kardon 31 DVD player, which I can't see it doing, but if it does, of course I'll keep it. I acted in haste when I got the 640 CD player before I had even heard CD's on the Harmon Kardon 31 DVD player through the Denon 3801 receiver, because when I heard CD's on the HK via my JVC receiver, they sounded mediocore at best (DVD's sounded & looked great however). The place I got this for new, gave me a good deal and basically if I return it there, I have to pay a 10% restocking fee and refund their shipping/packaging costs, which was reasonable to me. What's insane about Ebay is alot of these numbskulls pay when you include shipping, close to retail for products that are currently available in most markets! Unless something is a one of a kind item or is available as a Buy it Now at a good price, I seldom bid on Ebay now. Alot of the bidders, as if you didn't already know this, are shill friends of the sellers. Ever wonder why items that haven't gotten a bid with 4 days remaining on the auction suddenly get bid on within a few hours of the initial bid by someone without much feedback. Ebay's customer service is terrible to virtually nonexistant.


    QUOTE=anamorphic96]Hey Hershon why would you put the cd player on e-bay. Return and get your money back. Glad things worked out for you. The power from the Denon is far superior to the JVC in every way. This probably made the difference along with the better processing the Denon offers.

  4. #4
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    matrix means it is producing a rear center channel from information sent to the rear channels. You only use this if you have a 6+.1 sound system
    Definitive Technology Fan, Owner and Advocate!!!!! never paying retail IS half the fun of buying audio products!!!! Good shopping!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by chimera128
    matrix means it is producing a rear center channel from information sent to the rear channels. You only use this if you have a 6+.1 sound system
    Thanks for info

  6. #6
    Indifferentist Slosh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chimera128
    matrix means it is producing a rear center channel from information sent to the rear channels. You only use this if you have a 6+.1 sound system
    Not in this case. You're describing DTS matrix which is completely different from Denon's "Matrix" DSP. My circa 1997 Denon pre/pro has their music DSP called "Matrix" and eight years later it's still the best music DSP I've heard when set up properly. I prefer this DSP with the surrounds -3 dB relative to the front speakers and the DSP delay effect turned completely off. I only use this Matrix DSP with stereo music. For movies I stick with straight DD/DTS/DPL. Nice thing about Denon (at least with the unit I have) is different DSPs can be set and stored independently of each other. The Marantz AV receiver in my daughter's room and a Sony ES pre/pro I have (for example) make these adjustments global, thus any tweeking to make their DSPs sound decent screws up DD, DTS, etc.
    Last edited by Slosh; 03-26-2005 at 05:07 AM.
    Originally Posted by Troy: She has that same kind of cleft-pallet, slightly retarded way of singing that so many other people find endearing.


  7. #7
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slosh
    My circa 1997 Denon pre/pro has their music DSP called "Matrix" and eight years later it's still the best music DSP I've heard when set up properly.
    Wow, what a shock...personally I found it "faked up" the sound and much prefer the DPIIx and DTS Neo modes, or most of Yamaha's music DSP's or H/K's processing...and to tell you the truth I wasn't fond of any of them that much eitehr.
    I remember being involved in threads complaining about that DSP... so much negative feedback that I'm absolutely floored...8 years later I find someone who did in fact like it.

    That's great, I think the world is usually too hard on DSP's which can add a bit of fun sometimes...

    Hershon: Enjoy your purchases...I knew that Denon would be a winner, I spent a week or so with it back in the day and came darn close to buying it myself...it's STILL a A+ unit.

  8. #8
    Indifferentist Slosh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Wow, what a shock...personally I found it "faked up" the sound and much prefer the DPIIx and DTS Neo modes, or most of Yamaha's music DSP's or H/K's processing...and to tell you the truth I wasn't fond of any of them that much eitehr.
    I remember being involved in threads complaining about that DSP... so much negative feedback that I'm absolutely floored...8 years later I find someone who did in fact like it.

    That's great, I think the world is usually too hard on DSP's which can add a bit of fun sometimes...

    Hershon: Enjoy your purchases...I knew that Denon would be a winner, I spent a week or so with it back in the day and came darn close to buying it myself...it's STILL a A+ unit.
    Well, actually I usually listen to music in plain ol' stereo. I have an integrated stereo amp that is used independently for stereo sources and as my front L/R amp for 5.1 so I don't even bother turning on the AV stuff when listening to music most of the time (unless, of course, I'm listening to multi-channel SACD, DVD-A, or DTS CDs). I find PLII Music to be too heavy-handed with its surround steering and as I mentioned above the Marantz receiver I have that has PLII doesn't allow you to make adjustments independent of the main channel level/delay/bass management settings.

    My friend has an Onkyo receiver and its "Studio Mix" can be set up to sound pretty decent (again, I'm talking about DSPs for stereo music only). I know another person with a Lexicon pre/pro and their "Logic 7" mode can work quite well. OTOH, I once owned a Yamaha pre/pro/3 channel amp and its DSPs were absolutely awful. Go figure
    Originally Posted by Troy: She has that same kind of cleft-pallet, slightly retarded way of singing that so many other people find endearing.


  9. #9
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    I got that definition from their website lol more or less. But I may have been confused about exactly what dsp he was talking about.
    Definitive Technology Fan, Owner and Advocate!!!!! never paying retail IS half the fun of buying audio products!!!! Good shopping!

  10. #10
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Hershon,hershon,hershon. The 2105,set up right will sound every bit as good as the 3801. But how could this be as the JVC and Orbs are like bread and butter. How many times did you say the one was recommended by the other? How many? Now this. I think you will go to the grave with the orbs. To bad as the selection of speakers out there is so great but alas,you and your orbs are happy{for a minute at least} so now enjoy your old stuff. Advice,any older cd's you might try to buy remastered as it will make a difference. 20th century masters collection is pretty good and a nice price. Try Lynyrd Skynyrd.
    Look & Listen

  11. #11
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I hear you Slosh, after my NAD or Rotel, the a/v receiver doesn't quite sound the same...I've only fiddled with the PLIIx a few times on my receiver...I was moderately impressed. I tend to prefer the Jazz, or Rock settings on the Yamaha's DSP programs more than anything else...I think it's been a year or so since I've used either of them...

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=shokhead]Hershon,hershon,hershon. The 2105,set up right will sound every bit as good as the 3801. But how could this be as the JVC and Orbs are like bread and butter. How many times did you say the one was recommended by the other? How many? "

    As I've previously stated elsewhere which no one seems to believe, maybe I ought to know what I heard- no the 2105 doesn't/didn't sound as good as the 3801, I know what my ears hear and in this case, the 2105 sucked when hearing it with a Denon DVD player over some Beatles CD's. As to the JVC receiver and the Orbs, well until I heard the Denon 3801 receiver& the Harmon Kardon 31 DVD player which is a retail investment of over $1500 (albeit I paid $700), the JVC receiver with its built in DVD player sounded better than any other set up I heard and was recommended by the designer/owner of Orb Audio, so I'll stand by my remarks. What I'm shocked is that when I heard some expensive high end receivers CD/DVD players at some high end stores, the sound of them (such as Rotell, Denon etc,) over the Beatles Rubber Soul CD was mediocore at best. For all I know maybe these stores didn't have their set up very good in terms of bass treble speakers etc. as the demonstrations I heard, were really bad.

    Anyway, for anyone who's in or has been in the same boat as me, when you can get a receiver such as the 3801 for $450 & $250 for the HD 31 DVD player, its worth taking a risk on.

  13. #13
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
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    As you've heard by now, I was witness to Hershon's latest upgrade, transfromation. As I was not witness to his all to quick audition of the 2805(?), I cannot comment on a comparison to that receiver.

    The Denon/HK setup sounds much better, to be sure. As would be expected, Hershon has a different definition for "night and day difference" than I do, but that's not to say there is no substantial improvement here, as there is. As he suggested, it's hard to account for the improvements, but I suspect that it's a combination of better circuitry in the HK, Denon and better power in the Denon than with the JVC, as would be expected. We played the opening minutes of Master and Commander and it sounded great, the sound effects for all the channels were clear, precise, and has a stronger presence than with the JVC.

    I have to say that I did not like working with the Denon, in terms of setting it up and trying to get it to do certain basic tasks. I found that this receiver is not intuitive as my Yamaha is. One thing I found frustrating is that although I had him set up on componenet video switching (Cable and DVD), the set up menu for the receiver would not display throught the component input. I had to hook up the receiver through a composite input, which proved especially stupid and frustrating when playing the calibration disc on the DVD. I had to take measurements during the tone playbacks, stop it, change the tv input and engage the setup menu to change the channel levels. Equally stupid, in my opinion is that you can't seem to change the levels without starting the receivers own test tones. On my Yamaha, for instance, I can change the channel levels right from the remote, test tone, not needed. Of course, then I had to switch back to the DVD and play it all over again to measure the changes. There's all these lights on the display face of the receiver, that if you don't know already what there are, are pointless to the user sitting 9 feet away. There's no speaker read out (the little boxes representing which speakers the source material is recorded in).

    All in all, I think the Denon produces a solid sound, but the user interface on this model sucks in an inexcuseable way.

  14. #14
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    The Denon that I thought sucked was the 2105 not the 2805 unless I am getting the numbers confused, which is possible.

    Thanks again Paul for all your help. Everything Paul said was true about setting up- I guess I was so greatful about the sound quality I didn't feel the need to bring that up other than mentioning problems with the remote.


    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    As you've heard by now, I was witness to Hershon's latest upgrade, transfromation. As I was not witness to his all to quick audition of the 2805(?), I cannot comment on a comparison to that receiver.

    The Denon/HK setup sounds much better, to be sure. As would be expected, Hershon has a different definition for "night and day difference" than I do, but that's not to say there is no substantial improvement here, as there is. As he suggested, it's hard to account for the improvements, but I suspect that it's a combination of better circuitry in the HK, Denon and better power in the Denon than with the JVC, as would be expected. We played the opening minutes of Master and Commander and it sounded great, the sound effects for all the channels were clear, precise, and has a stronger presence than with the JVC.

    I have to say that I did not like working with the Denon, in terms of setting it up and trying to get it to do certain basic tasks. I found that this receiver is not intuitive as my Yamaha is. One thing I found frustrating is that although I had him set up on componenet video switching (Cable and DVD), the set up menu for the receiver would not display throught the component input. I had to hook up the receiver through a composite input, which proved especially stupid and frustrating when playing the calibration disc on the DVD. I had to take measurements during the tone playbacks, stop it, change the tv input and engage the setup menu to change the channel levels. Equally stupid, in my opinion is that you can't seem to change the levels without starting the receivers own test tones. On my Yamaha, for instance, I can change the channel levels right from the remote, test tone, not needed. Of course, then I had to switch back to the DVD and play it all over again to measure the changes. There's all these lights on the display face of the receiver, that if you don't know already what there are, are pointless to the user sitting 9 feet away. There's no speaker read out (the little boxes representing which speakers the source material is recorded in).

    All in all, I think the Denon produces a solid sound, but the user interface on this model sucks in an inexcuseable way.

  15. #15
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Talking

    Well the 3801 isnt the newest model,what 2000? We can all rest easy now and Herson can enjoy his older cd's and who knows, maybe some newer stuff. I expect a full review in a week or so.
    Look & Listen

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