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Denon AVR-X3800H Review

Rate this AVR

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 71 20.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 188 55.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 66 19.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 16 4.7%

  • Total voters
    341

hmt

Senior Member
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Apr 11, 2020
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Doesn’t DLBC do more than just align and EQ the subs? Doesn’t do some “magic” with the subs and the mains?

If so, what specifically does it do? I use MSO right now. But I’m considering a MiniDSP flex to monkey with my mains
DLBC uses all pass filters on the mains and sats ensure a good summation with the subs in the crossover region. With the MiniDSP for the subs you can only us all pass filters for the subs (with a DDRC88A they are also possible on the sats). Wethere this makes any difference depends on your setup. When you have summation problems that cannot be solved by a delay on the subs DLBC has the potential to improve results.
 
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tjcinnamon

Active Member
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Mar 20, 2021
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DLBC uses all pass filters on the mains and sats ensure a good summation with the subs in the crossover region. With the MiniDSP for the subs you can only us all pass filters for the subs (with a DDRC88A they are also possible on the sats). Wethere this makes any difference depends on your setup. When you have summation problems that cannot be solved by a delay on the subs DLBC has the potential to improve results.
interesting you phrase it that way. It can improve results if there are summation problems but if there are no problems there's not much to fix. How would summation problems exhibit themselves visually in REW?
 

Galz

Senior Member
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Aug 8, 2021
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I couldn't find any clear explanation of what exactly the DLBC algorithm does. Have anyone actually measured said all pass filters? That would be interesting.
From what I understand it is, in principal, similar to MSO by running some kind of algorithm to individually eq/delay each sub to reach best summation, but can also apply filters to main speakers to improve integration.

Theoretically, could it also apply different filters to each signal that arrives from a crossover of a different speaker before summing it into the subwoofers? Would that have a useful benefit? Does it actually happen?

Anyway, maybe we should have a separate DLBC thread. I've yet to see detailed measurements showing what it actually did. Those kinds of tests/reviews are unfortunately pretty rare.
 

onion

Active Member
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Mar 5, 2019
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I received a Purifi power amp today (Nord Acoustics) and am now running the base layer using this and a Lyngdorf. Subjectively speaking, this has significantly improved atmos performance and dialogue. The X3800H is now powering just the atmos layer.
 

hmt

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
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386
interesting you phrase it that way. It can improve results if there are summation problems but if there are no problems there's not much to fix. How would summation problems exhibit themselves visually in REW?
I would say the problems exhibit themselves as some sort of dips in the crossover region that are not present in the frequency response of the sub or sats pre bass management. In the ends thos dips are cancellations due to different phase response of subs and sats.
For example: In some cases things like the sub distance tweak are sufficient. In some cases one altering the subs delay would only result in better summation of the L and R OR the C so you would have to make a compromise like go with the delay that is optimal for C+subs and trade in sub optimal response of LR+subs. All pass filters for each channel can help out here (they have their own downsides however).
 

beaRA

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Apr 16, 2021
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The issue from my understanding is that once I enable Audyssey, the X3800H will take my analog 2 channel input and redigitize it, process and then output it thought is lower quality DAC
This is not an "issue" because the benefits from bass management and room correction enabled by redigitizing the input far outweigh the SINAD reduction. These benefits are not content specific to only movie soundtracks.
 

RF Air

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Oct 7, 2022
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I'm in need of a new 9 channel receiver to replace my 20 year old Yamaha 1500, and ordered the 3800. Basically I want to add 4 ceiling Atmos speakers to my fairly state of the art laser projector/MadVR setup. However I do listen to a fair amount of 2 channel music. I may also add some transducers to the couch. I've also been thinking of tinkering with Dirac even though my attic home theater is quite neutral and Audyssey may be sufficient. Although I prefer Dirac included, don't mind upgrading in next year's budget. Currently I use a HDMI switch (Vertex2) to extract audio for my Yamaha receiver and a WIIM mini and Topping AKM DAC (115 SINAD) to play 2 channel music into the Yamaha in Pure Direct through Audirvana (for DSD and other hires support). I do listen to some Multichannel DSD and currently use a Panasonic UB-820's 5.1 analog out (AKM DAC) to the Yamaha multichannel analog input.

Am having some doubts after reading all the negative comments on the DAC of the 3800. However, I don't seem to have much choice:

1. I cannot get an Onkyo RZ50 here or any Pioneers. Seems like they only sell in certain countries
2. The Marantz Cinema 50 is much more expensive and may have the same issue with the TI DACs
3. The Yamaha A6A and especially Anthems are much more expensive.

For 2 channel music, I think I should be ok as I probably will continue to use the WIIM/Topping in Direct mode since no receiver has 115 SINAD and I like the WIIM interface. Amir's measurements of the amplifier section seem to be ok.

So the concern on the internal DAC would be:

1. Multichannel DSD since I don't see a multichannel analog input, and would have to convert to 5.1 PCM (Denons don't accept Multichannel DSD directly) and use the internal TI DAC.
2. Atmos soundtracks being decoded internally and run though the TI DAC. Supposedly explosions and other loud sounds may distort

Would appreciate opinions on my concerns over the internal DAC especially real life experiences of Atmos movie soundtracks being affected by a lower SINAD DAC. Also what alternatives do I have in new AVRs? Am reluctant to buy an older model as I want to future proof with HDMI 2.1 given I don't change receivers often.
I am in a similar boat as you. My Denon Legacy AVR just popped a Cap and is in Protection Mode. I run outboard McIntosh Amps for the 5 of my 5.1 System and have new REL S Series Subs (Pair) that have added greater depth to my Kef Ref Speakers (LCR & SR, SL). The REL's use Amp Line output signal at high impedance to draw a low level signal for driving the powered subs, plus an input for the .1 LFE.

At this point, with the disappointment of the 3800H and expected 4800H, I may opt to repair my Legacy Denon AVR, and wait another production cycle. The recent release of new performance DAC's on the market may come with later productions in the future Denon, that is my hope. The A1H Flagship due out soon is not as impressive as I would expect in performance, based on what I am seeing to be specified for the product release. The A1H may surprise us, but still not expecting the numbers to be worthy of the price and I don't want to leave money on the table when I can't justify the price/features/build/performance.

I like the Denon AVR's because I have had reliable and outstanding performance with their products for over 35 years. In view of the recent changes with Video (8K) and IC market with availability, I felt the 2020 Denon AVR's were just a little behind the curve for Video and Multichannel UI, so I pinned my hopes on the 2022 production. With the test results from @amirm , still feeling the Denon is behind the curve with the performance, but I am excited by the new DSP, UI and the new features and onboards like future Dirac which include the 4 Subs and new Amplifier design that was applied in the Flagship AVR.

Willing to wait and want to be wowed by the investment for the AVR. As someone mentioned earlier (maybe @peng or @amirm ), we vote with our dollars to support a company and their products. I believe the 4800H Amp class and Power would be sufficient for the Atmos, but may wait out for the 4900 or whatever comes in the next production cycle, probable 2024 is my guess. The Dirac multiple Bass is not scheduled until 2024, according to the 2800H/3800H Youtube Video that Denon released which was posted earlier in this thread. By then, the products "may" be ready and not quite "half-baked" with pending upgrades and regressive performance specifications, as tested here on ASR.

Meanwhile, the door is open for anyone that can offer a better product that rewards a serious investment in a SOTA that competitively fits the performance-feature-price-reliability metrics. "Is there anybody out there?" :confused:
 

Narnian

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30 days into my 60 day evaluation period and so far I really like my X3800H. If there was a better option I would have taken it but the other AVRs I looked at actually tested worse or did not have the feature set I wanted. Plus I gave all of my Sonos stuff to my kids so I needed something immediately.
 

gew55

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Dec 11, 2020
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After 2 weekends listening to the x3800 I did some straight forward comparing with my smsl su-9 in stereo after 5 of my best recordings I was very disappointed about the inside elektronics/DAC of the Denon. I missed musicality, air, depth and nuance :confused:
The week after I saw a RSP-1576 mkII demo model with a big discount. So I changed the denon for this Rotel :eek:
OMG what a difference, musicality, air depth everything sounded amazing and my speakers never ever sounded this great.
Next thing to try is the dirac live, because that's for free on this amazing machine :cool:
 

da Choge

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After 2 weekends listening to the x3800 I did some straight forward comparing with my smsl su-9 in stereo after 5 of my best recordings I was very disappointed about the inside elektronics/DAC of the Denon. I missed musicality, air, depth and nuance :confused:
The week after I saw a RSP-1576 mkII demo model with a big discount. So I changed the denon for this Rotel :eek:
OMG what a difference, musicality, air depth everything sounded amazing and my speakers never ever sounded this great.
Next thing to try is the dirac live, because that's for free on this amazing machine :cool:
I don't know how they would compare (the Denon AVR-X3800 vs. Rotel RSP-1576 MKII), but the Rotel has a few features that I really like. It is one of the few AV units that still retains the 7.1 multi-channel analog inputs (I have lots of ripped multichannel music discs and a ROON setup for multichannel music streaming), has a balanced stereo input, has Dirac already included, and it comes in silver, which is ideal for my bedroom setup. I knew it had a reputation of being a "musical" preamp, but good to hear that you really like this component. It is either between this Rotel AVP or one of the legacy Sound United AVRs that still has the 7.1 multi-channel inputs.
 
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Descartes

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Dec 27, 2020
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They call it “A Game Changer”

Looking forward to seeing the review from Gene!
 

Rockman2

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Aug 8, 2022
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I received a Purifi power amp today (Nord Acoustics) and am now running the base layer using this and a Lyngdorf. Subjectively speaking, this has significantly improved atmos performance and dialogue. The X3800H is now powering just the atmos layer.
Can you tell me where to find these Purifi amplifiers? Some have mentioned other Class D amps in these threads that are low cost but good sounding. Can't remember their names.

Thanks
 

Rockman2

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Aug 8, 2022
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Can I also ask if the Marantz AV7706 has better DAC's than the 3800 or 4800? I read Reviews saying it had better separation in movies for the different surround channels. As well as better sound musically but that is very subjective to everyone's taste. But input would help.
 

Fidji

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Feb 17, 2019
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Firenze, I
Can you tell me where to find these Purifi amplifiers? Some have mentioned other Class D amps in these threads that are low cost but good sounding. Can't remember their names.

Thanks
Is very regional - in EU you would probably end here -
https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/power-amplifier-c-6306.html you can also go for ICE power modules https://www.soundimports.eu/en/home-audio/amplifiers/?mode=grid&limit=24&sort=popular&max=2000&min=0&filter[]=828597&min=0&max=2000

shipping costs across the continents makes it probably prohibitive in US or Asia/Australia, but there you have local assemblers from Hypex/Purifi/ICEPower. Each has its own pros/cons

purifi for LCR and 2x 4CH Hypex 250W for the rest of 7.x.4 seems like sweet spot from value-for-money perspective (or you can run height plane from your AVR.
 

armoured_bear

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Jun 21, 2022
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Disappointing to read.
I'd like to upgrade my TV and Receiver to take advantage of the new gaming advantages with HDMI 2.1 (VRR etc.), I currently use a Denon AVR-X4400H with pre-outs for the front channels to my 2 channel amps (Musical Fidelity A5CR Pre Amp and 2xA3CR Power Amps bi-amping) so I have the best of both worlds for music and HT/Gaming.
However, to replace my receiver I need a new model that has multiple inputs that support 4K 120Hz Passthrough, I'll only be amplifying the centre and 2 rear channels.
I've no idea what to look at with the new Denons being disappointing, maybe the Maranbtz Cinema 50 will be better?
Also the cost of receivers in Europe now is crazy, the starting price of the Denon 3700 here in Switzerland was around 1700, the 3800 starts at 2700!!
So many receivers from a few years ago have barely dropped in price.
I bought my 4400 for 849, 4 years ago.
 

gew55

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Dec 11, 2020
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I don't know how they would compare (the Denon AVR-X3800 vs. Rotel RSP-1576 MKII), but the Rotel has a few features that I really like. It is one of the few AV units that still retains the 7.1 multi-channel analog inputs (I have lots of ripped multichannel music discs and a ROON setup for multichannel music streaming), has a balanced stereo input, has Dirac already included, and it comes in silver, which is ideal for my bedroom setup. I knew it had a reputation of being a "musical" preamp, but good to hear that you really like this component. It is either between this Rotel AVP or one of the legacy Sound United AVRs that still has the 7.1 multi-channel inputs.
I am afraid if you want one you have to be quick !
The Rotel website doesn't offer any surround processor's anymore :eek:
And because of the huge discount I got on the 1576 that makes sense.
They probably will stop building surround equipment and that's really a pity :confused:
 

buz

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Dec 17, 2020
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Disappointing to read.
I'd like to upgrade my TV and Receiver to take advantage of the new gaming advantages with HDMI 2.1 (VRR etc.), I currently use a Denon AVR-X4400H with pre-outs for the front channels to my 2 channel amps (Musical Fidelity A5CR Pre Amp and 2xA3CR Power Amps bi-amping) so I have the best of both worlds for music and HT/Gaming.
However, to replace my receiver I need a new model that has multiple inputs that support 4K 120Hz Passthrough, I'll only be amplifying the centre and 2 rear channels.
I've no idea what to look at with the new Denons being disappointing, maybe the Maranbtz Cinema 50 will be better?
Also the cost of receivers in Europe now is crazy, the starting price of the Denon 3700 here in Switzerland was around 1700, the 3800 starts at 2700!!
So many receivers from a few years ago have barely dropped in price.
I bought my 4400 for 849, 4 years ago.
Uh the 3800 sells for 1700? I think that's overpriced already when lx505 go for 1000 but 2700 would be ridiculous
 

Frontino

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Jul 15, 2022
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Could anyone please verify if this X3800H lets you disconnect all amp channels except Center and amplify that alone?

Thanks.
 
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