This post will be long so bare with me. I'm not a technical specialist, but I will describe this the best way I know how. As many of you may/may not know, I recently upgraded my two main pieces in my H/T, my receiver and my DVD/SACD player. I replaced my Sony STR-DA4ES (Doro should be enjoying it soon) receiver and my Sony DVP-NC685V (5-disc) DVD/SACD player with the new Denon AVR-3805 receiver and the Denon DVD-2900. This is probally one decision I'll never look back on again. Keep in effect that I have been a loyal fan of Sony for years. To be completely honest with you, at first I had thought I had made a mistake with the AVR. The first 3805 I received, with the first 2 days of owning it, I had to take the remote back, was not working properly, and 2 days later, I had to return the unit itself, the power supply started to hum badly. But once swapped out with a new unit, everything had worked flawlessly since. So, this is basically going to be my review of the 3805. I'll do my review on the 2900 sometime within the next week.
The 3805 is slightly lighter than the Sony (by 5lbs. +/-), but the first thing you notice once unboxing the 3805 is the massive power supply. I really liked the layout of the connections on the back of the Sony more so then the Denon, Sonys seemed more organized. As far as user friendly, they seem to be about the same. Forgot to mention, if placing the Denon above shoulder height, be careful, with the massive power supply, the weight is very off centered. The other feature I really like is the flip down face on the front of the receiver. With 2 small kids and family members that can't keep there hands to themselves, it makes it nice that they can't see any buttons that they can play with. So as far as the build quality of the Denon, very well built in my opinion.
Once I got used to how Denon's menus worked, everything went fine. The one thing I really like about the Denon is everything can be done onscreen or on the display of the receiver. The one thing I found that is extremely nice is the Auto Room/Auto EQ feature of the 3805. Basically, I just placed the optional DMS-305 mic at my sweet spot, started the test, and walking upstairs until it was done. As far as accuracy, dead on. I thought it was to good to be true so what I did was after the Denon had finished calulating everything, I measured my distances with a tape measure, sure enough, within the inch. This is my first time using such feature so I'm pretty sure the other manufactures are just as accurate.
With the room EQ, when the receiver is measureing the distances to your speakers, I'm guessing it also runs at a certain frequency so you don't have to run the test again to setup the room EQ, you just have to select the EQ setting you prefer and its done. The only problems I ran into was, when it sets the speaker size, it set the fronts to large and everything else to small. Well beings I'm using a PB2+, I run my fronts on small also as do many others on this forum. Secondly, the sub was way to HOT for my taste. So once the auto portion was done, I swapped out the Denon mic with the trusty old Radio Shack SPL meter to see how accurate it was, seemed pretty on to me other than the sub that is so I adjusted that manually. So, as far as setup, very well thought out in my opinion.
No matter what I throw at it, it sounds amazing. The Sony receiver just seemed so bright compared to the Denon. As far as watching movies now, Denon took it to a whole new level in my H/T. The first movie the wife and I watched was T3. My wife never says a word about how nice it sounds until hearing the Denon for the first time. She had forgotten that I had replaced the AVR and DVD player and the first thing she asked, what on earth did you do. Every single noise was heard and even some things I had not heard before. I thought the house was going to fall down around us we where listening to it so loud. I know that the Denon is only 10 watts more per channel compaired to the Sony, but it just seemed like there was more ass behind it. Now I have to start watching all my favorite movies all over again, I'm sure the neighbors will enjoy that. As far as SACD/DVD Audio, I'll cover that when I do my review of the 2900.
Well, I'd better get back to work. These treaded Fridays seem like they will never end. Thanks to all that either reply or just take the time to read my review. Happy Easter!!!!