Denon AVR-3805: Test and Review

It is a habit in the industry. input products and midrange always end up benefiting from technological innovations developed on the high end. The AVR-3805 is no exception to the rule. Thus, the Denon amplifier offers a lot of virtually absolute novelties in devices in its class.

Innovations are everywhere, starting with the design, even if it is more accurate to refer new finish. Because of this view, the changes remain small: very dull dark gray color, more discreet swinging gate, plethora of controls and inputs on the front and a large fluorescent display. The rounded edges of his predecessors have given way to bevels, looks like two drops of water to the latest model Yamaha. The “trend” of the moment for the Japanese electronics, like Dark Silver finish (dark silver) that appears next to the classic black. Production is particularly neat with aluminum prime finely brushed, potentiometers machined to perfection and a central display decorated with a Plexiglas plate that passes easily to the glass.

However, the unit behind does not reach the “no fault” on the front panel. Besides the burst of conventional audio and video inputs, Denon has thought of all those who accumulate quality sources (YUV components) with three entries of this type, but completely neglected the digital connections. It has two coaxial inputs Optical against five! Another mess, which ignores 95% of users: the speaker terminals. Impractical and rather poor quality, these outlets do not allow the use of cables terminated with forks. To use banana plugs handy, it is necessary to remove a small plastic cover with a sharp, pointed tool (screwdriver, for example). Awkward but essential not to fall back on simple bare wire. In return, the Japanese engineers have unleashed a wave of 12V relay (trigger) configurable perfectly, allowing the ignition of one or more device from a given source. The RS-232 control interface (for automation) is in the game, still compatible AMX and Crestron. Welcome to the Denon Link data bus for inputting a signal CD, Dolby Digital, DTS, DVD Audio or SACD now directly in digital amplifier, without any data loss.

The interior boasts very standard components, even if they are higher than for the AVR-3803. The electronic architecture is very dense, many cards are securely fixed in a rigid frame but not too heavy. Amplification is announced 7×120 W into 8 ohms. An increased power transformer, rectifier circuits consolidated and enhanced filtering capabilities are beneficial but does not everything. The specifications state a maximum power consumption of 400 W close: it is this value that you can build. 2×120 W stereo is not a problem, but the 120 W will not be available on seven channels at a time (which happens very rarely). Our advice is simple: choose the recognized speakers as easy to control. A yield of 93 dB is recommended (minimum 90 dB) with a curve point too turbulent impedance.

A single entry for everything

The AVR-3805 incorporates a feature that although apparently innocuous proves so vital and unfortunately little widespread. Ended the string of cables in the direction of projection, farewell puzzles to connect the correct video input on the plasma screen, for example. The amplifier can transform any composite or S-Video YUV component: a single cable, one entry providing the best image quality possible.

But the real novelty of this Audio Video Integrated is called Room EQ. This feature allows the parametric equalizer of each speaker according to the listening room. To get a true omnidirectional microphone (read heavy metal) supplied plugs into the AVR-3805. The amplifier calibrates automatically. It emits some sounds to measure the distance between each speaker and the listening point, the frequency response curve to the room and only after long parameter calculations. And are applied to each speaker corrections for adapting to the listening room, weak link 95% of the general public home theater systems. The Room EQ is used very simply. Depending on your tastes or the type of listened content, select a flat response (perfectly faithful, often boring), normal (a little more flattering recommended to take pleasure), manual (yourself equalize each speaker) or disabled (no treatment acoustic). It is possible to switch from one mode to another with a simple button press. Unlike DSP modes supposed to recreate silly moods – who actually want to watch a movie as if it were a stage, a cave or a church? – These settings are effective and justified. Denon and offers the public a technology once reserved for prestigious electronic, without major functional or qualitative degradation.

The specific remote control to the AVR-3805 is the last major innovation. No unsightly button or LCD screen adorns this metallic gray zapper. Very flexible in use, the LCD screens are fragile, expensive to buy as the implementation and large energy consumers. Denon has chosen the technology EL (Electro Luminescent), a light emitting surface resembling both the paper that plastic. Placed on a pressure sensor bed, this emissive surface requires an infinitesimal amount of energy compared to conventional backlights, allowing an autonomy of several months with a single of batteries. EL screens combine the flexibility of a touch flat screen (depending on the selected source, each button has its own role and its own descriptive text, designating one and only one function for a given instrument) with firmness, resistance and production costs reduced plastic keys. A very efficient motion sensor automatically illuminates the remote from his grip. The two touch areas, along the top and bottom of the remote, there are the most used keys (channel change, volume and navigation cross) as a very sturdy plastic buttons. All of the same gray as the body of the remote control does not reach the heights of aesthetics but remains high above average. The ergonomics and ease of use are more than good, taking convincing hand, after a little time to adapt. Access to the various functions is obvious and clearly put forward for each monitored device. After some trial and familiarization, this is one of the most enjoyable remote control that we have been proposed with an integrated amplifier in recent years.

Excellent restitution soundscapes

Other valuable features include the audio delay / video to compensate the processing time for video broadcasters, the volume control – 80 to +18 dB in 0.5 dB, management multizone delirious thrust three areas completely independent, the oversampling and interpolation algorithm AL24, the Pure Direct function that deactivates all superflux processing circuits, etc.

If configured easily through well illustrated graphical menus, the AVR-3805 is not still a low-end product that works best when connecting to a power outlet. Any novice should bone up the instruction manual or get help from a professional or amateur for the initial setup to make the most of this beautiful product. After the setting, the useful keys are reduced in volume, choice of source and possibly listening mode.

Technically (almost) perfect on paper, the AVR-3805 is also doing very well when it comes to sound the bugle, pluck the strings and snort the bass drum. Reproduction is powerful nature, alive but without the aspect of “loudness” (serious and oversized treble) that is found on many integrated multichannel. The low end is supported with a bit of roundness and a hint of lack of light if one really goes down. Loaded musical passages are supported by major quagmire without amplification but still feels a loss of consistency in the medium. Low volume, tapping remain attractive, the level of attenuation modestly reduces the dynamic. Thanks to a quality digital electronics, the AVR-3805 restores many details. Internal converters are more than respectable and we will have no remorse to use for listening to audio CDs.

The soundtracks of films are the last flicker jewel of Denon. Decoding fully developed restores full dynamic, transitional marked with excellent channel separation. In fact, the spatial actually convinces the audience that will pass quickly on some sizes of the worst impulses. The smallest movements or microinformations are noticeable: exactly what it takes to listen again and again his favorite work and say “I did not hear that little noise.”

The Room EQ off, the AVR-3805 found a relative of his predecessors behavior: much clearer and precise in acute, it is also more transparent, which is reflected on analog sources in Pure Direct mode. We can not have everything !