Denon AVR-2801 A/V Receivers

4.64/5 (116 Reviews) MSRP : $700.00


Product Description

Dolby Digital/DTS receiver 90 watts per channel. 6.1 channel inputs.


Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 5 (116 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Duncan Simpson a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 6, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I bought this unit after having originally purchased a Marantz SR5200. I got the Marantz home, only to find it didn't really have the warmth and grunt to fill my listening room (large volume). I demo'd the Denon and preferred it over the Marantz, and so bought it at a discounted price (The 2802 had just come out).

With 5-channel DVD as the source this thing is awesome, but music in 2-channel stereo just doesn't have the warmth and punch I'm used to. It is a 'bright' sounding receiver, and I wondered if perhaps my speakers made this worse because they're already bright-ish (PSB Image 5T). I experimented with both the 'Direct' mode and the 'Stereo' mode, adjusting the treble/bass in the latter, with speaker placement, and speaker cables, but with limited success. So I demo'd a NAD T761 AV receiver, which was better in stereo, but not quite as good in 5 channel mode. The NAD also had other build quality problems, so I returned it.

I've recently pulled my old NAD 306 stereo amp (60W/channel) out of storage and even without warming it up, it sounded a lot better than the 2801 with music (after warming it up, it sounded even better still). With all the music I listen to (Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop, House, Lounge, Jazz and a little Classical) the NAD's sound was more natural, and balanced between the bass and treble, ie, more punchy bass, not as bright, even with the 5Ts. So I've put the bright, somewhat lifeless sound I hear with the 2801 down to the 2801 itself, because when listening to the NAD, all the other equipment (interconnects, cables, etc) was the same.

At the moment I'm using the 2801 for everything except 2-channel stereo, swapping to my old NAD setup whenever I want to listen to 2 channel music. Yes this is anoying. I tried using the NAD as a power amp, with the 2801 as a pre/pro, but the problem returned. Therefore, I'm currently looking for an AV receiver that can match the 2-channel performance of my NAD stereo amp, but also the 5-channel performance, and build quality of the Denon - probably an Arcam, or Rotel. Even then I'm not expecting miracles...

If you're looking for a good second-hand AV receiver, and don't want to use it for music (or don't care so much), I'd highly recommend it. However, if you also want decent music performance, I'd have to say that while this is better than most AV receivers in this price range, it doesn't match the NAD T761, or even a less expensive stereo amp.

Current equipment:

Pioneer DV535 DVD player
NAD 502 CD player
NAD 306 Stereo Amp (for music)
Denon AVR2801 (for DVD, TV, X-Box, tuner, and VCR)
PSB Image 5T (Front L/R)
PSB Image 9C (Centre)
PSB Image 2B (Surround L/R)
Monitor Audio ASW-100 powered sub
Straight Wire Rhythm bi-wire speaker cable
Straight Wire Chorus II analogue interconnect
AudioQuest coax digital interconnect

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by kelsey4law a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: August 12, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I researched this to replace a 20 year old Sony receiver. I guess it works well for AV purposes; but I really only wanted 2 channel stereo for CD's and AM/FM. I should have known better than to get something that has so much more capacity than I needed. The problems lie mainly in the controls. There are two knobs that each do about 5 different things. Over all, it is very difficult to operate. To make it worse, all the lettering was beige; very poor visual contrast with the black face and difficult to read. The remote control is impossible! It has about 50 small buttons. Technogeeks would love it. My wife hated it. To top it all off the receiver sounded just like my 20 y/o Sony, just a little tinny. I sold it after a year in perfect condition for what I paid. So I am happy. After some more research I got a Jolida 1501 hybred tube integrated amp. Much better sound quality, my old speakers have new life. But, it's limited to 2 channel audio into one set of speakers. On the advice of others I also bought a 20+ year old analog Kenwood tuner in new condition. It blows away the tuner section of the Denon. All in all, AV receivers are ok for AV stuff but they really don't do any of the audio functions particularly well.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   on-line somewhere



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by pe3046 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I have had this unit for more than a year, and used it both with Klipsch and B&W speakers. I listen to music 90% of the time (4 to 5 hours a day) but I like to watch movies too. I did a lot of research when I was buying my receiver, but much to my chagrin ended up buying a Sony DB-940 receiver. This unit was much more detailed
than the Denon, but gave you a headache after 10 minutes of listening. So back to Good Guys it went. I came into some more cash, so I thought the Denon 3801 would do the trick for me. I looked online at pricing and found moreaudiovideo.com and there price was much better. But I went back to goodguys and listened to the 3801. It sounded good with movies, but musically
it was not that good. So my decesion was made to get the 2801 and invest the difference in price in a good 3 channel amp. I First bought a Acurus A100X3. The difference was night and day. The 2801/Acurus combination easily bested the 3801. I paid $480 for the acurus costing me around $900 for both. I then switched the Acurus to a Rotel 150X3 amp. My current line up is as follows-

Denon 2801 as pre
Rotel RB976 150X3 bridged
MIT 330si II interconnects (Front)
MIT T2 IC (Center)
MIT T2 speaker cable (Front)
Klipsch KG4 speaker on 11" stands (Front)
MIT T4 speaker cable (Center)
Klipsch KV3 speaker on cones to decouple from tv (Center)
Klipsch KG 1.2 speaker on 30" stands (rear)
Denon DCM-560 cd player
Apature digital cable to
Audio Alchemy DTI jitter filter
MIT T3 digital cable to dac on receiver
Proscan DVD with apature toslink cable

After I spent about $300 on all of my cables (USED not new) the sound is much more musical and much easier to listen too. The MIT cables increased the soundstage and decreased the brightness of the horns. The 3801 cannot even come close to the sound that this combination produces. Adding the amp with quality cables made the biggest difference, I would recommend to anybody looking at receivers to think about buying a good used amp that can be found for under $200 on ebay/audiogon. The only other receiver that I really considered was the Outlaw 1050. The denon is a very simple unit (not as simple as the comparable NAD's but much better built) with enough video switching bandwidth to work fine for most systems and the system was a breeze to setup (I use the radio shack analog sound meter helps a lot and is cheap)

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $525.00

Purchased At:   Moreaudiovideo.com



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by A1b2c3686 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 27, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I was looking for a good midrange AV reciever. I looked at Harmon Kardon, Onkyo, Yamaha and Denon. The Denon had the best features for me. I had to have a reciever with a phono input. I have a DVD, CD player, phonograph, satellite, cassette player and VCR hooked into it and I still have open input jacks. The Denon has very clean sound. I replaced a Luxman R 1040 stereo reciever and wanted something as good or better. The 5 channel stereo is great. To me music is more important than movies and I really enjoy this feature. My surrond speakers are KEF Q15.2 and I am using the same speaker for the center channel. The unit is attractive to look at. The face is not cluttered with an overabudnance of buttons. The remote works everything I have.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $525.00

Purchased At:   Audio Vision



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jim a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 7, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Great value for the price I paid. Right out of the box, the set up was very intuitive. I did not need the manual at all for the set up although you will need it for the remote. I'm not too sure how other reviewers could be confused about the set-up/manual. If you have any background whatsoever with home audio/home theater, set up will be a breeze even withouth the manual. Front of the system is clean and uncluttered. Basically, I could not have asked for more.

System:
B&W DM303 fronts and rears
B&W LCR3 Center
Velodyne SPL-800 Sub
Kimber for all interconnects and Speaker cable.
Denon DVD-800 DVD player
Arcam Diva-CD62 CD player

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Charos




Reviews 1 - 5 (116 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating



CSB 1206 BLK:



Award-Winning Axiom: