Denon 3803 + vs Rotel or B&K receivers

I am close to purchasing a new 3803 Receiver to control my home theater and replace my Adcom 545 based Stereo system.
I'm estimating usage at 40:60 (stereo:theatre) & room large 25x22x18.
Speakers are all Mirage, M-7si mains, OM-C2 center and OM-R2 surrounds.
Sources are Nakamichi MusicBank CD, Phillips Q-50 DVD (both with coax digital outputs).
Video is Satellite (& Cable) on the Sony XBR 40" HDTV.

I am considering getting the Denon now and possibly adding a multichannel amp later if needed. I also very much like the sound of the Rotel 1065 and B&K 307 receivers as well but they do not compare with the Denon for features, flexibility or processing power. Also, I have not heard any of these receivers with my speakers since they have been discontinued.
So I guess the questions are:
1) how does the new Denon 3803 with it's SuperSharks & BurrBrowns stack up with the other receivers on sound and
2) can the Denon as a preamp with a decent (~$800?) outboard amp best the B&K or Rotel and
3) do my speakers dictate one receiver over another.
Any experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Showing 2 responses by au_man

Wow, what a lot of great inputs. I think it is fantastic that you all took the time to contribute to this discussion. From reading the responses there is clearly a range of opinions. To recap, it appears all agree that the 3803 is clear choice for performance and features at the 1000 mark. When in comes to the Pre/Pro section (or at least the preamp section) of the Denon, views appear to diverge.

Foreverhifi, you make a very good case with the speakers being a good match for the Denon. Since I have been annoyed by out-of-sync audio on some progressive DVDs, the audio delay feature on the 3803 is a big plus over the 2803. As for your recommendations to run the M7s on "small" and add a quality amp later, what sub and amp (5-7ch) would you recommend for my application – priced about $1k each?

JCL likes the 3803 Pre/Pro section as well. Even compared to Flagship Marantz or the B&K (although slightly older model). Also gives good results with an outboard mid-fi amp.

Truaudiophile takes things up a notch. I would have to agree that the power amp section of the Rotel 1065 is superior (the aesthetics are attractive as well). Just a few comments/questions: 1) Volume control issue: It has been discussed in a number of threads that this “variable gain” was done purposely to give higher resolution increments of adjustment -- half a dB -- since you normally do not use half the range of the vol knob anyway, on most receivers, 2) Firmware: have there actually been any useful downloadable updates to the Rotel 1065 since its introduction; for comparison I noticed that Sunfire -- notably a more expensive receiver -- appears to be actively addressing customer issues with their firmware updates as well as making them easily available, 3) Since you have both units and the Denon pre/pro looks better on paper, could you elaborate on your Denon pre/pro conclusion, with any direct comparisons you may have performed on the Denon pre/pro section compared directly to the Rotel pre/pro with perhaps the same amp? Lastly, 4) Do you have any speaker considerations you could comment on with matching Rotel & Mirage.

Sounds impressive, what DVD material did you use for autidion and did you happen to compare the Denon 3803 to the B&K receiver using only 2 channel stereo music?