Denon AVR-1803 A/V Receivers

AVR-1803

User Reviews (37)

Showing 1-10 of 37  
DPman   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 29, 2003]
Strength:

Versatile functionality Great sound for the price Build seems solid Ample power, unless your room is very large

Weakness:

FM tuner Speaker connections are difficult unless you use banana plugs These 2 are not weaknesses at this price level: poor phono stage (use a separate preamp to a line input to fix) stereo mode is somewhat bright

An excellent A/V reciever - a generous helping of Denon quality at reasonable price. I compared this to Yamaha, H/K,and sony ES and found the H/k to be the only one close in sound quality. I prefered the dynamic and muscular sound of this piece to the smoothness of the H/k. For multichannel sound, this reciever is a treat. I use an optical input for both DVD video and audio (dont have a DVD-audio capable player) and the soundstage is excellent. Presentation is upfront but not overly aggresive (I admit, I am better at judging that in stereo than in multichannel). The reserve power levels are more than adequate as it has never struggled with even the most demanding soundtracks/DVD audio albums. I was shocked to hear the level of airiness in the upper and middle frequencies - though not up to stereo hi-fi standards it is good for a surround reciever at this price. Bass is precise and not over-weighty. The detail in the low frequencies is excellent. This unit does well with female vocals and male tenor. Some strings can be a little harsh, but it is very rare. Percussion is crisp and explosions expansive yet precise and taut sounding (not boomy and muddy). Overall, instrumental music is warm. The coordination and all round effect of Dolby Digital and DTS sound fields is excellent. The preamp out to the sub is well synced to the rest of the speaker ouputs - something I found a slight weakness in a couple of other recievers at this price range. A good convenience is the ability to switch the surround back off since Dolby Digital EX sounds better in 5 channel mode than in 6. Stereo mode for this reciever is not its strongest point. I use an optical digital connection from my CD changer to the reciever. Detail is very good and the high mid and low frequencies have many of the characteristics dsecribed in surround modes above. Stereo imaging and separation are much better through the digital input. However, it does sound bright and this can be uncomfortable for prolonged stereo listening. The brightness is there whether I use the the line level or digital inputs. This is not bad for this price range and certainly not a major weakness for a surround reciever. I found the digital decodong and amplification of this reciever wonderful. It is a joy to use for digital sources and a great all round performer. The amplifier is excellent and does well with the line level multichannel input when I tested SACD on it - the brightness of CD and DVD 2 channel line was not apparent. Decoding is as clear clear and precise as I have from anytype of unit under $700. The weaknesses in function are the FM tuner and the phono stage. FM recetion is inconsistent. It is good sometimes but very spotty at others. The phono stage is mediocre. I use a cheap cartridge (sumiko oyster) but it can sound better than the phono stage makes it out to be. It is hum-prone and unclear. I rectified that problem with a Sumiko phono box and by using another line level input. The seaker connectors are tight and close together - I think banana plugs are a must in this case. All in all, I think this reciever is unbeatable in its price range. Great decoder and amplifier rolled into one. My partners in crime: H/K DVD 101 Yamaha CD changer Infinity Entra 3 fronts Infinity EntraCenter2 center and 6th channel Boston Acoustics CR series surrounds DEF Tech 8" sub Pro-Ject 1.2/Sumiko oyster/Sumiko phono box Monster interconnects Cambridge sound works 12 ga speaker wire

Similar Products Used: Harman/Kardon, Marantz, Yamaha, Sony ES and Pioneer Recievers in this price range ($400 to $600)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
pimpvache   AudioPhile [Sep 25, 2003]
Strength:

Power, Sound, Price

Weakness:

The Manual and Remote COULD be confusing, but if you are familiar with Home Theatre and various electronics, then you shouldn't even need the maual to set it up. I didn't use it and had everything set up in about 20 mins.

Great Product. Denon has long been one of the more respected companies in AVR's, and they did not dissapoint. I looked at many Receivers in this price range, including the Yamaha, Marantz and Harman Kardon units, but this one seemed the best fit. The sound comes through clear and punchy. I like the fact that the remote is complicated, because no one else will screw around with my system. I have a DVD player, Record Player, Computer, VCR, Xbox and PS2 all hooked up to this thing and it really has become the heart of my system. The Pro Logic, Digital Sound and and simulations is great, and I love the Dual speaker option. Great Value and overall a great AVR.

Similar Products Used: Before this, I had an older Sony AVR which was garbage compared to this. I also used a Yamaha AVR which was decent as well.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
xela   Casual Listener [Aug 15, 2003]
Strength:

6.1 capability equal power on all 6 channels easy set up

Weakness:

none so far

this product is really great, just keep getting better everytime i use it.

Similar Products Used: pioneer, kenwood
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
sven_sol   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 14, 2003]
Strength:

Fantastic Introductory AV Amp!! Everything you could possible need in a 6.1 box!

Weakness:

Remote could do with a learning/upgrade facility. STILL can't get the radio running properly. Remote Control... a fair few things. CD Quality not that punchy or as clear as it could be.

I've been looking around and was settled on the Pioneer 2011 for about 900 pound, but this one came up for less than a third of the price! Couldnt turn it down really!! Denon have a good reputation, and I thought that this would be a nice starter for me. After an afternoon of setting up and playing around I had it doing everything I needed. PS2, DVD, Cable, Video... perfect! The only problems I've had is that the remote cannot handle the Digital Cable box and the TV setting is a little buggy. Sound fields are fairly decent, and handling of Pro-Logic II is really well done! CD Sound is not as good as the Marantz PM-66 SE, but the Amp does need a little running in. (Maybe I'm used the the Sound of the Marantz?!)

Similar Products Used: Pioneer VSX D2011
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Pat   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 11, 2003]
Strength:

beautiful, pure sound

Weakness:

manual, remote, mode switching time

The remote is a brain-cell-killer, the manual is a poorly written waste of time, the different audio modes take WAY too long to switch (at least 3 or 4 seconds,) but once you figure out these quirks this sucker KICKS BUTT! It truly puts to shame mass market crap like Sony and really doesn't cost a whole lot more. I don't have "golden ears" by any means, at least not after 40 years of Rock and Roll, but there is a huge difference that is immediately noticeable.

Similar Products Used: Sony, JVC, Yamaha
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Martin T   AudioPhile [Aug 09, 2003]
Strength:

-Value for money -sound -settings All together a really nice amp, and probably a surce for great joy!

Weakness:

-The remote drives me insane! -the manual -impedance limits -the speakercable connectors are REALLY tight! All except for impedance problems is "small potatoes" and won´t lower the ratings, and at this price i don´t think that not beeing great at 4ohms and lower is that a big problem!

As i only have two speakers connecteted to the amp this is a review only based on how the amp is in stereo mode! This is a pure beauty, the design is awesome! But, beeing used to Rotel and NAD i felt like i was going to brake it when i took it out from the box, i could feel how my hands made the steelcase bend and i hade to put it down before attempting to lift it again... When i looked at the manual, Freaking 200 pages, atleast! Thought, well... probably the same manual for every country, But theer was only 5 languges that means over 50 pages of info... Blah! Well, as i always do when i purchase something, i read the manual, took me 20 minutes to read and another hour to understand... They could have made it more comprehensible. Well up with the thing to the TV-room, cant bare myself and i have to listen to it, Not having purchased the sattelitesystem that it was bought to drive i connected my usual frontspeakers to it, they run at 4 Ohms and are pretty wattage thirsty, needless to say, the denon didnt really make magic when the volume was high, at low levels it could controll them somewhat, but as the levels rise the amplifier seemed more and more ill... I shut the amp down and it had gotten pretty hot! So i went up to the attic to get down my pair of old JBL speakers, they were made for 8 ohms... when i connected them the amp felt more at home, and it had a firm yet gentle grip of the sound, it was exact, but not forced. Even if i heard somethings i didnt like, i had to remind myself that it only costs $500 and as soon as i did that i was able to enjoy this little amp! It has a warm and cousy sound that i think will go GREAT with the surround!

Similar Products Used: NAD-752, Yamaha 640RDS, H/K 3550, Rotel.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
raycor   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 01, 2003]
Strength:

Dolby digital. dts, prologic II, direct and stereo mode are excellent

Weakness:

a lit harsh in ordinary music cd's. maybe its the player that could not neutralize the brighness sound, slow switching between dsp modes and surround simulation, volume knob it wiggles when you turn it up/down. remote could not control my onkyo dvd player coz denon dont have a list code for onkyo dvd player. and lastly, poor fm reception even when i used outdoor antenna, but those are only minor. But overall, its a great revilling receiver

great in music dvd's and dvd-audio sourse, sacd'd. excellent in movies, smooth and detailed

Similar Products Used: onkyo tx-sr600, yamaha rx-v630
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
tolginator   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 25, 2003]
Strength:

Most bang for the price Front inputs: S/Vid,optical, and composite A/V

Weakness:

Same input, same output: If you input composite Video from your DVD, don't expect an output from composite, only from the composite. I'm not sure how big of a concern this is, but it got me for a good 20 minutes. RTFM helps.

Thanks to everyone on this site, I made my decision based on the reviews here, and audition at a few stores. Frankly, Ultimate if much better than CircuitCity and-the-like stores, anyhow. I listened to Sony, Pieneer, Yamaha, and HK, in the same price range. Sony was a waste of time. The closest was Yamaha RX-V640, but it was somewhat mechanical. Pioneer has some distortion and looses some clarity, very minor, though. Now I coupled this with AR HC6 speakers, and this is very good for both music (more important for me) and video.

Similar Products Used: Kenwood, JVC, Sony, Pioneer
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
ryanhabs   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 10, 2003]
Strength:

price, 6 channels, 80 full-bandwidth watts, simple functions and set-up.

Weakness:

only down-fall i found is the minimal amount of optical digital inputs and outputs. (i needed 3in and 3 out) nothing else comes to mind.

i am fully satisfied with this receiver. i have had numerous home theater receivers in the past 2yrs but dont think i'll be chaning any time soon! the 6 channels i s real plus, 80 full bandwidth watts is just right for my full energy system.(minus the sub.... yamaha 150x2 8") i have a small den where when the 1803 is on seems to flood with either movie soundtrack or music. over all the most compelling receiver i had due to price and features.

Similar Products Used: onkyo 575, pioneer 810s, sony 845, sony 945, sony es 2, harman kardon 225, i know i have tried more than this but i think you all get the point.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Joseph   Casual Listener [May 15, 2003]
Strength:

Clarity, sound distribution - you can increase/decrease each of the 5 channels by itself. Amazing options.

Weakness:

None for this price.

For home theater, you can't go wrong at this price. The 5 channels are produced with such clarity that I almost kept my old speakers.

Similar Products Used: Fisher, NAD.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 37  

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