Denon AVR-2808CI or Onkyo TX-SR805?

Hi. I'm putting together my first home theater setup and so far have purchased a Samsung LN46A650 and the KEF KHT 3005 SE 5.1 speaker system. I'm leaning toward an Oppo 981 as the source and am weighing the Denon vs. the Onkyo receiver. The setup will be in a 15x18 foot family room that opens up to a kitchen around the same dimensions. I'll need a second zone because I plan to eventually run a pair of speakers to an adjoining patio. I'm a newbie, so I'd like to have a receiver that's fairly easy to set up and operate. Any opinions as to the best receiver for me?
I can't speak to the Denon, although I have an older model. I absolutely love my 805. All the processing I need, easy to operate menus, lit remote, 3 zones. That said, I am not using the amps. I will try the amps for my surround speakers this week just to try them. Many online retailers let you try for 30 days without penalty, such as JR.
I'm leaning toward the 805 myself. Seems like it has some very good features for a competitive price (including three HDMI inputs, vs. two on the 2808). I've read some threads about how it runs very hot and some occasional complaints about a popping noise, but mine would be on an open shelf, so I'm not that worried about it. One other thing: the Onkyo has HDMI 1.3 while the Denon has 1.3a. I guess the difference is deeper color with the 1.3a. I was wondering whether it's that big a factor.
I cannot speak to the HDMI issue since I only have component input on my older HDTV. It runs somewhat hot, but not excessively so in my rack. I have had no popping noise, no need to unplug or reset, no failure of any kind. I was told that this 805 is made in Japan, and the models below are made in China. I don't know if it matters, but I feel better about the quality.
And, another thing, the Multi-EQ XT Audyssey really does make a difference for surround sound.

How is the 805 as a 2 channel preamp, and what amps are you running with it?
I currently pass the 2 channel signal from the CD->DAC->Modwright pre-amp and bypass the Onkyo. I use the Onkyo for multi-channel SACD and DVD-A from the Oppo->-HDMI->Onkyo->Bel Canto monoblocks for the main left and right(via a HT bypass on the pre-amp) and Outlaw amps from the channels other than the main left and right. The front speakers are Von Schweikert VR-4JRs. In pure audio mode it is extremely quiet with excellent S/N ratio. It is not quite as realistic using the other 2 channel set-up but very close. I A/B compared the two when I first got the Onkyo and was very pleased. I may send the Modwright in for upgrades and will use the Onkyo in the interim. I won't be missing much. It is well built, quiet, dynamic and has good separation of channels. I highly recommend it.
I'm sold. I ordered an 805 today from Crutchfield. Now, all I need is a well cared for Oppo 981 to finish my quest (for now).
Just for fun this afternoon I was moving gear for better accessibility and hooked up the Oppo 980 and the Onkyo 805 on Pure Audio. Simply, it sounds great and almost as good as my dedicated CD playback route. You will enjoy it! Have fun!
I'll put it on the "audition list". Thanks!
Hi Newsman.
I have an 805 - no popping but it does run hot. I remedied this with a small $9 desk fan (at Office Depot)that has a large clip instead of a base. I fastened togehter 2 angle irons to form a big "Z". I attached the fan's clamp to one arm of the Z and slipped the other arm under the right rear side of the 805 and pointed the fan down at the hot spot. The fan's plug is plugged into the 805's outlet so the fan turns on/off whenever the 805 does.

This worked like a charm. The fan cools down the 805 to room temp. It looks like hell but its a lot cheaper than a pro amp fan that sits on top of the amp. has pro fans starting at $55. I've been told by "experts" not to worry about the heat, but I believe the heat will have an adverse effect on the operational efficiency of the 805's amps.

Unless you have a Blu Ray or HD-DVD player and a 1080p TV, I wouldn't worry about HDMI v.1.3a/deep color.

I love my 805. It has more bells and whistles than the Swiss Army Marching Band.
Go to You can get a refurbed 805 for $549.
Caution: I bought an inexpensive refurbished 605 through the onkyo website. they were very helpful, friendly and prompt. It failed the first day. I guess that's why it was a refurb to begin with. Also, it was made in China, the 805 was made in Japan. Was it just bad luck? Probably, but I ended up spending the extra to get a new 605. Just like with the 805, never a problem. The 605 is not as powerful, nor is it as advanced, but for a small room with old cheap components, its fine. The refurb saves you over $400 and comes with a 30 day return policy and a full warranty. Either way, it's an amazing piece of equipment, and not just for the money, it's just amazing as a pre-pro or a receiver. I only wish I could turn off the amps, since I'm not using them. It would save electricity and eliminate the heat. By the way, the heat is not an issue in a well ventilated rack.