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.
AEG 1, I am in the same situation that you are in. In fact, my current system is based on the Adcom 545 and two 535s. I use paradigm speakers all the way around. With a 100" Stewart screen the emphasis in my home theatre is on video. I have a separate room for my audio.

I am considering the following receivers as a replacement/upgrade of my theater:

Outlaw Audio
Rotel 1065
Denon AVR-3803
Denon AVR-4803 (not available yet)

I agree with you that the Denon offers significantly more flexibility and the fact that it can convert video signals to component (with switching) is particularly attractive. I have owned several Denon components in the past and can vouch for their reliabilty and quality.

The Rotel has high current amplifiers and can be used with my Adcom 545 for 7.1. I have heard goood things about the audio quality and the 5 year warranty.

Outlaw has also been rated highly and offer (i believe) a thirty day money back guarantee but I am not too impressed with the looks or the build quality.

Right now, I am waiting for the Denon AVR-4803 to become available. If the 4803 is built to the same standards as their previous products and continues to offer video conversion and HDTV switching, then I will not hesitate to buy it.

My suggestion is wait and see.
Tonally, if you're looking for a sonic match for your Mirage 7Si's speakers, and are mostly into movies, for the price range the Denon is going to make a fine match overall. HOWEVER, speaking as someone who'e sold Denon and Mirage both since '95, and has extensive experience with both brands, I strongly recommend you run your speakers as "small" on your receiver for sure! I think the 3803 is going to match the slightly veiled and rolled off sound of the 7si's. The 3803 is crisp and clear, and soundstages very well for a receiver, has good processing, and is clean. INfact, better than most any other receiver in the price range. BUT, like most any receiver, they're CURRENT LIMITED compared to even modest separates power amps!
You won't lose on the sonics of the B&K either, as it's sonically excellent for a receiver as well.
Still, I once did a comparison with the old Denon AVR5600(when it was king of receivers) running some Mirage M7's and M5's playing full range for both music and HT, back when DVD was just coming out. I compared the amp section in this big receiver(and the Yamaha DSPA3090) to the modest Denon POA8300 3 ch power amp to driver the same speakers(Mirage). The receivers could not properly drive the speakers!!! Using the receivers "pre-out's" feeding the Denon 125 w/ch power amp WAS FAR MORE POWERFULL, DYNAMIC, and CONVINCING! At the very least, the separates power amp seemed to have 3x's the power on tap to control the speakers over what the receivers internal amps possesed!..this has largely been my experience with receivers in general on most speakers systems of modest sensitivity.
Anyway, My suggestion would be to possibly consider finding a deal on the receiver if you can used, or even going down to the AVR2803! Then you can add a better amp for the mains at least! hope this helps. Good luck
You can't beat the Denon 3803 with all its bells and whistles. I am currently using the Denon 3803 in conjunction with a Harman Kardon Signature 2.1 Amp. I have my Paradigms biamped to the Signatures. I think my Paradigm's needed more power than the Denon could provide. Having been a previous owner of various receivers and amps (B&K 202, Marantz SR18EX,19EX, 7200, MA500, Yamaha 2095) I have been really impressed with new Denon's features. As a pre-amp it has been wonderful for both movies and 2 channel listening. For 2 channel listening, the pure direct mode is the the best.

I own the Denon 3803 and the Rotel 1065. The 3803 is an excellent processor/HT unit. Has all of the current bells and whistles. However,the pre-amp section is average and as such I would not recommend it as a pre-amp for a separate high quality amp. Please note the role of the pre-amp is greatly underestimated by many people. In fact, the pre-amp is more important than the amps. The amp can only work with the signal its given. If the pre-amp signal suffers from noise, low gain, restricted frequncy range, etc the map will only "amplify" those same qualities. A great amp will not hide the flaws or inadequacies of a poor pre amp signal. The typical reciever has so many things that are drawing on the same power source (tuner, video components, speakers, even flourescent displays that are part of the receiver, etc) that it can't possibly do all of that and provide a great pre-amp signal to boot. I've also noticed that you have to really turn up the knob on the 3803 very far to get a very loud sound. In my mind that indicates weaker amps. Ask yourself this question...anytime you start adding 2-3 more amps for 7.1 capability and the weight of the receiver is not appreciably greater than say the denon 3300 (which by the way was a great receiver with great amps)what is suffering? The quality of the amps. But again, its a good HT reciever and the 2 channel audio sound in pure direct mode is the best you can get from a reciever in this price range.

Now...the Rotel 1065. Plenty of power and in 2 channel stereo the best receiver I have heard..even better than the 5803 or 49TX. Additionally, the amp's are incredible. Rotel's 100 watts per channel are equal to other mfg's 130-140. Although it doesn't have the amount opf processing that the 3803 has...the processing it does have is equal to if not better than the denon. Actually, I would say better since when I listen to DD and DTS movies the separation and processing of the sound is clear, convincing and authoritative. The DSP chips are very good.

Finally, don't forget the 1065 is upgradeable (port on the back of the unit) whereas the Denon is not. You already know that Denon has a new receiver on the drwaing board that's going to make the 3803 obsolete within 6 mos.

Hope this helps!

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.