Denon AVR-3805 7.1 Receiver with Auto Setup Room EQ
- Seven Channels plus LFE (120 Watts x
- Weight: 37 Pounds
I found out there are cars with manual transmissions that work like automatics and vise versa. So if you want to shift you can, but if youÕd prefer one day to set it in drive, you can do that too. They have features galore, most IÕd probably never use and some nice to have just in case.
ThatÕs what I think of the Denon AVR-3805, plenty of features and options, and with the new Auto EQ, you can set it on auto, or you can do it the old fashioned way, set it manually.
I know Denon has a dedicated following, and quite frankly over the years, IÕve been an enthusiast myself. Not to say there arenÕt other manufactures that also have repeat buyers, but in my experience, the first question from friends is, ÒWhat do you think of the Denon?Ó
I was thrilled to find out Denon was sending me the much anticipated Denon AVR-3805 receiver. Just like all of you, IÕm a fan first, and I was anxious to get my hands on one.
This receiver replaces the highly regarded AVR-3803. As I reviewed
the specifications of this unit prior to receiving it, I was curious to know
(always with price in mind), what other receivers offered this impressive
array of features. My first reaction as I read down the list is I think
there are a lot of home theater and music enthusiasts who are going to love
the 3805. Now that IÕve spent some time with it, I can only agree with my
Press on the Denon Link logo and most controls are behind a flip-down trap door, including all the setup features.
Click on the photos below to see larger versions of
individual sections of the receiver front panel.
The logos that catch your eye are the exciting features of this receiver.
The first is the Dolby Digital EX and Pro Logic IIx (DPL-IIx), the latest from
Dolby Labs. Dolby Pro Logic IIx has the ability to decode audio signals
recorded on 2 channel and 5.1 channel sources and play them with up to 7.1
channels. Secondly, from DTS, there aer Neo:6, DTS-ES, and DTS 96/24 decoding.
Impressed yet? Hold on, because itÕs all good. As a side note, what is
conspicuously missing is the THX logo, but for those who are shopping in
range, that may or may not be an issue.
The Rear Panel
Click on the photo above to see a larger version.
Besides the removable power cord, two additional outlets are provided for
other components. There is the usual array of audio/video inputs: 11 analog audio
inputs one of which is on the front, 5 Digital (Optical) inputs (again one
on the front), 2 Digital (Coaxial) inputs and 1 Denon Link, (more on that
later). Also provided are 8-channel analog external inputs (pre-ins) for multi-channel
The great features though are plentiful. Besides all the Denon equipment, it
is universal for other non-Denon products. I easily used it to control my
RCA monitor and Pioneer DVD player. From the source menu, all three zones can
be controlled, as well as 10 components. Once a source is chosen, a new
lower screen activates specific functions to that unit. For example,
activating the DVD player gives you pause, play, skip, etc.
With Dolby Pro Logic IIx and DTS-ES (extended surround) 5.1 channel, or DTS
Neo:6, 2-channel becomes 6.1 or 7.1. DTS-ES is further decoded as Discrete
6.1 which is an independent channel recording, or Matrix 6.1 which undergoes
encoding to the SL or SR channels. Of course, the AVR-3805 set on auto will
detect either and play back for optimum performance.
Auto Setup Room EQ
Speaker Setup Options
DSP Surround simulation in the AVR-3805 uses digital
processing to alter the sound field. There are 10 preset surround modes that can be
used with material not recorded in Dolby or DTS surround, ranging from
WIDESCREEN - movie atmosphere, SUPER STADIUM - like in sporting events, ROCK
ARENA - for live concert, JAZZ CLUB - for small club realism, CLASSIC CONCERT
- for concert hall reverberation, MONO MOVIE, VIDEO GAME, MATRIX for improving
stereo recording, VIRTUAL, and lastly, my favorite, 5CH/7CH STEREO, which
simulates multi-channel audio like DVD Audio and SACD.
Naturally, I really wanted to listen to a lot of two-channel music. Switching
through Pure Direct mode, Direct and Stereo produced very subtle differences
if any. I donÕt think of this as negative, but an indication that even in stereo mode, this receiver was very musical.
So what about that 7.1 configuration? The first
DVD down my rack was Gladiator in DTS ES. I truly enjoyed the additional
rear speaker. My preference for multi-channel music is to have the
rear speakers behind me, rather than to the side as in movie watching.
Having the extra channel(s) behind you during the movie further engulfs you,
simply filling in the details. I truly endorse the rears, and my home
theater is now permanently upgraded. I give the 3805 credit for delivering a
stellar surround experience.
- Piero Gabucci -
© Copyright 2004 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity