Denon AVR-2800 A/V Receivers

AVR-2800

Dolby Digital & DTS A/V Receiver • DDSC-Digital Dual DSP Surround Processor • DTS decoding • 85 watts X 5 channels power amplifier • 4 digital inputs, 1 coaxial, 3 optical • Cinema EQ function • 5 Channel Stereo • "S" and Composite video switching • 24 bit, 96 kHz D/A converters on all channels • 24 bit, 96 kHz Digital Interface Receiver

User Reviews (167)

Showing 1-10 of 167  
jorgillo   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 29, 2004]
Strength:

BRIGHT AND CLEAR SOUND WITH GOOD CHANNEL SEPARATRION ,GOOD WITH BOTH MUSIC AND MOVIES, ON SCREEN DISPLAY ,GOOD FINISH

Weakness:

SOMETIMES A LITTLE TOO BRIGHT.

WITH THE DENON REPUTATION IN THE HI FI WORLD THE ONLY THING YOU CAN EXPECT IS A GOOD RECEIVER LIKE THIS, REAL 85 WATTS P/CHANNEL (5 CHANNELS) ,BRIGHTNESS SOUND SPECIALLY WORKS WITH ROCK AND ALTERNATIVE MUSIC(THE ELECTRIC GUITARS AND PERCUSSIONS SOUND REALLY GOOD),THIS RECEIVER HASNT THE CLARITY OR THE WARMESS OF THE SR4200 AND 6200 FROM MARANTZ BUT IF YOU LIKE THE BRIGHT SOUND DENON IS A GOOD CHOICE ,I BOUGHT THE RECEIVER 3 YEARS AGO IN 2001, NOW I HAVE THE RECEIVER IN MY PARENTS HOME, AT MEXICO(I HAVE THE MARANTZ 4200 WITH ME).

Similar Products Used: MARANTZ SR 4200 NAD 751
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Mike   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 17, 2000]
Strength:

Great sound, excellent surround effects, good low-volume full-range reproduction, superior FM reception, **learning remote**!

Weakness:

Inablility to program speaker and surround parameters without OSD (on-screen display) -- I don't have a capable TV yet, and had to do the speaker setups completely blindly just by pressing the right sequence of buttons on the remote and hoping I got it right.

I wanted to look a little further than my JVC RX-888 (before my 30-day return window was up at Circuit City) so I picked up an AVR-2800 to audition for a couple of nights, at home on my speakers, side by side with the JVC. I am on a budget, and the receiver had to be no more than $400-450 (the JVC was $399). I could have the Denon for $640 from a local place. After comparing them, I said screw the budget and kept the Denon.

These JVC and Denon have the same essential feature set, though the Denon is of course a higher-quality unit with 5-channel, high-current discrete amp (vs. the JVC's single-chip IC amp) with a lower but probably more conservative power rating of 85W x 5 @ 0.05% THD (vs. the JVC's 120W x 2 @ 0.02% or 100W x 5 @ 0.8%). Here's my synopsis after about 8 hours of comparing the two on my pair of Infinity RS-5s:
- the Denon has a subtly better sound than the JVC. I know, lots of people are going to think I'm nuts for saying only "subtly" (as in how could the JVC sound anywhere near as good as the Denon) but it's true, for the RX-888 at least, at the same relative volume levels. I will admit, even with the JVC's 3-bad SEA (EQ), it needed its loudness switch on to sound as good as the Denon at lower volumes.
- the Denon has vastly better surround sound processing quality and effects. Even on just two speakers for now, surround effects processing is much quieter and more detailed than the JVC, and the modes are more interesting, especially Mono Movie, which also actually makes FM Stereo reproduction sound really cool. Which brings me to my next point...
- the Denon has way better FM reception even though the sensitivity rating is lower than the JVC. It is picking up FM stations clearly in stereo that I was having trouble getting in Mono on the JVC (used the same antenna on both
units). In fact, it is picking up FM stations in stereo that I didn't even know existed before now in my area!
- the Denon AVR-2800's remote kicks ass. The JVC one sucks, and can only control off-brand video equipment (no non-JVC audio equipment) -- and doesn't even do very well at that. The Denon one is initially not much better until you take into account the fact that it has learning capability. I was able to program all the remote functions for both sides of my dual-well Philips CD recorder and lots of advanced functions for my TV and VCR that didn't have dedicated buttons on the remote! Sweet! Plus, the VCR/DVD controls glow softly so they're easy to find when watching home theater in a darkened room. Which brings up another
point...
- the front-panel display can be dimmed on the Denon. Another cool feature while watching in a darkened room, or just to make it look consistent with your other stereo components in terms of display brightness.

If all that is worth the extra $240-$300 to you, there is no contest. However, you could also get the Denon AVR-87 for as low as $420 + S/H on the internet, and it is basically identical to the AVR-2800 except that it lacks S-Video inputs (for HT video source switching), no on-screen setup/display, and it doesn't have the learning remote (replaced by a pre-programmed multi-brand with LCD display -- presumably for system setup since there is no OSD). Actually, that brings up my one real gripe with the Denon where the JVC is better -- it is nearly impossible to set up the Denon speaker and surround parameters if you don't have a compatible TV (direct video inputs). I managed to get through it OK since I only have my front pair of speakers right now (I'll be putting my HT system together in stages, and I only have a basic, older 25" TV with no inputs until that time comes), but otherwise I'd have been screwed to set it up completely since the front panel display doesn't have any "menu" capability.

So, in case you missed the "tip" I was referring to, you can get a great mid-range Denon DD/DTS A/V receiver (the AVR-87) in the same budget price range as the JVC, Sony, and Technics high-end (or at least upper-mid) receivers.

My only other gripes are very minor:
- it has a plain, drab look to it. I don't want something flashy and gimicky, and realize that "real" equipment like Denon (and HK, Yamaha, Carver, etc.) focuses on the sound and not the look, but it's still dull-looking. Maybe if they just made the lettering white instead of the mustard-yellow color that it is...
- when you have to go into "modes" to set/select things, such as selecting AM/FM presets or changing surround effect parameters, it only gives you 3 or 4 seconds before it switches back out of the mode, which is usually not enough time to set/select something and hear whether you like it or not. Then you have to press the buttons again to get back into the mode and start over.
- the manual leaves something to be desired.

I give it 4 Stars for Value. Initially I was thinking 3, since you can get something *almost* as good for a lot less, but if you add in the learning remote (which will cost you at least $100 for a decent generic one) it easily becomes a 4. And for Overall, 5 Stars is appropriate. Not only is it an above-average Value, it is a top-notch receiver with excellent sound and a full set of features.

Similar Products Used: JVC RX-888V
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Todd   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 18, 2000]
Strength:

Features, Build Quality, 5 Channel Stereo

Weakness:

None yet

I bought this receiver after extensive research on this site and others and recommendation from my brother (has has an AVR-3200). So far I have been totally happy with sound quality for both DVD's and music.

The 5 channel stereo is a great feature (this (and the poor remote) is the reason I didn't buy a Yamaha). The Yamaha salesman also pushed the DSP modes but I would rather listen to music without the processing and effects.

The Denon remote is large and takes a little getting used to but it has all of the functions necessary.

I was able to get my local dealer to match a internet price of $599 which makes this receiver a great value

My system:
Denon AVR-2800
Panasonic DVDA-120
Polk RT-35's (Front)
Polk RT-25's (rear)
Polk CS-245 (center)
Boston Acoustics PV-800 Sub

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ken Scott   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 15, 2000]
Strength:

Very clean sound, learning remote, multi-room/source (through REC OUT), S-Video switching, On-screen display

Weakness:

Remote is a bit confusing, but you get use to it after a while.

The Denon AVR-1800 is a nice unit, but no S-Video switching. The Marantz SR-7000 is great and should definately get an audition because it is the goods, but it was too new an the saleman (Douglas TV & Appliances) couldn't didn't know the product well enough. But it did sound damn good.

Backt to the matter at hand, I am VERY pleased with this receiver. It holds it own against more expensive receivers such as the Marantz SR-7000 ($799) and Denon AVR-3300 ($999). I got it for a great price ($636.00 total, another reason why I chose it) from United Audio Center (great place to shop). The was please that this receiver is very quiet, no hissing what so every (like some reviews of the Marantz SR-7000 and the Onkyo DS5755). The 5 channel stereo feature is a must have, it puts watching regular television broadcasts an adventure (especially sporting events). Setup was a breeze, even thought the manual wasn't much help. The remote worked well with me Toshiba 3109 DVD player, all of the basic/setup functions were already preprogrammed. I used the learning feature to program the advance functions (such as zoom, etc). In home theater mode this receiver rocks. "The Matrix" scene #29. Nuf' said.

Similar Products Used: Onkyo TS575, Denon AVR-1800, Marantx SR7000
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
corbey   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 15, 2000]
Strength:

Excellent Dolby 5.1 reproduction
Clean styling
On-screen programming
Very "smart"

Weakness:

Clunky Remote
Limited front panel controls and display

This receiver's real strength is its flawless, crystal-clear Dolby 5.1 reproduction. It takes a little bit of work to get everything set up correctly (the on-screen display helps), but the sound you get is worth the effort. It's also excellent for 2-channel stereo music.

This receiver has a lot of functionality, but you might not guess that from looking at the front panel contols which are rather limited. Most features are easier to access and set up using the remote control. It's also very smart. It automatically detects the type of input signal and has multiple memories that retain most settings for its different playback modes.

The remote is another story. With more than 60 buttons, it won't even control all the receiver's own functions (Video Select, for example). And even though it has a learning function, it still won't control your satellite system or cable box. If you have a lot of components, you'll still need to buy a good real universal remote. (Why do manufacturers keep making us pay for these inferior remotes? I've got a huge stack of them I never use.)

But in general I love this receiver and would recommend it to anyone looking for a moderately priced Dolby 5.1 system.

Similar Products Used: Pioneer Dolby surround receiver (can't remember the model)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jon   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 28, 2000]
Strength:

Good sound; loud and clear.

Weakness:

Abysmal design; horrid remote.

Enough has been said about the Denon's high quality componentry, so I'll skip it. But almost nothing has been said about how horribly designed the thing is.

The remote control was designed by someone who clearly never had to use it. In order to choose which component you'd like to control you must slide two detented switches into position. This is difficult at best, but if the lights are low, forget about it.

If you're intrepid enough to attempt to use the front panel, you'll have to spin three poorly labelled black knobs to run through a menu system at least as annoying as anything you've encountered in a phone call to technical service. You cannot use the radio tuner via the front panel. All switches are miniscule with labelling to match. The front panel in no way reflects the state of the machine, and you must spin knobs to find out "at what setting is the bass tone control?".

I regret my purchase of the AVR-2800, for $600. Sure, it sounds terrific, but good sound is meaningless if the thing causes anxiety just to turn on and control. I'll never buy another Denon product again. Usability testing, anyone?

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Aaron Seals   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 16, 2000]
Strength:

Very clean face, great CD reproduction, well balanced 5.1, very quiet for a receiver of its caliber, 5.1 stereo actually works well, no hiss, I could go on and on...

Weakness:

No bass and treble knobs on face. The remote was fine for the initial set-up. Everyone wines about the remote, did they consider stepping up to the plate and buying a remote commander such as the Phillips or the Harman Kardon.

After owning several AVR's I just got tired of always needing another input for this or that. Not anymore, 3-Digital opticals, S-video for everybody and then some. It has all that the average enthusiast would ever need. As far as price goes, you get what you pay for! All of you who bought on-line and saved a hun or two, that's great as long as nothing goes wrong with your unit. Keep telling yourselves that www.soundcity.com and some of the other net guys are authorized dealers. I went to my local Denon authorized dealer. I won't mention any names other than he's the only good audio/video dealer in the Chico,Ca. area. It really helps when you have guys that have a reputation and actually know what they're talking about. For instance, I bought into the Circuit City HK-High-Amperage Game. Since then I grew out of my diapers and bought the Denon and have never been happier. The Good Guys are really the small guys in most cases. Thanks Bruce and Dave for steering me in the right direction. I felt obligated to vent because I can't take anymore of this HK hype I keep hearing. Getting back to the review I'm glad I decided to go with the Denon. It's always Denon, Yamaha or Harman Kardon.. I think I'm done being disatisfied with my receiver's a month after I get them. I'll have this one for more than a year as long as my Klipsch keep doing their thing.

Similar Products Used: Harman Kardon AVR20, Onkyo TXD555, Onkyo TS575,Yamaha RX-V795a
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Scott   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 02, 2000]
Strength:

Sound quality, looks, signal processing, 5 channel stereo.

Weakness:

Remote is a little hard to like.

I've only had this unit for about a month, but it is so much above any I have brought home to audition. Looks great, sounds unbelievable and 5 channel stereo is a must (you gotta have it). This thing even processes my crappy cable signal, none have been able to do that yet. I have this receiver hooked to NHT SuperOne Ci (in walls) fro front, NHT SuperZero XU for center and NHT CS 6.3 (3 tweeter round inwalls) for surrounds - this setup is very very clean, realistic sound. Bought all from Keifs and they were great as usual. Keifs will give you great service and a good price.

If anyone can recommend a remote to control my Sony32", HK cd changer, Toshiba DVD and Mitsubishi VCR, let me know scott_shamblin@hotmail.com

Similar Products Used: HKAVR65, Onkyo575
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Scott   Casual Listener [Mar 05, 2000]
Strength:

5-channel stereo, simulated surround for TV, learning remote (sort of), clean/full sound, and Denon quality

Weakness:

Learning Remote (sort of), Manual, Non-intuitive layout

I share some of the criticisms of the recent posters, but it doesn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the unit. I originally purchased an Onkyo 575 receiver for $375 from jandr.com (they’re good about matching prices). I loved everything about it except for two things: no s-video switching and the DSP’s did not create a rear surround simulation for broadcast TV/DSS audio.

Upon reading the reviews of the AVR-1800, a poster commented on its ability to create surround from non-digital sources. Based on such information and the generally positive reviews on this site, I decided to spend the extra $200+ for the 2800 (I wanted the s-video and the learning remote). I bought it from the local Home Theater Store (Tweeter owned?) since they would match the $625 Internet price of Sound Distributors (or was it Best Stop Digital). Here’s how I rate the unit.

Sound and Features (5 Stars): It offers everything that I want. Most important (since 75% of my receiver use is for TV), the 2800 really creates a good simulated surround sound for broadcast TV/DSS audio through its Matrix and DPL modes, particularly when I increased the volume to the rear speakers (a great feature of the 2800 is its ability to memorize the sound settings of its individual listening modes). Also, the 5-Channel stereo is a good mode for watching sports broadcasts (not so much for non-sports TV, though, as the voice comes from all speakers). 5-channel stereo is awesome. From a full sound standpoint, 5 channel’s closest comparison is to my infinity car stereo system. For general music, the 2800 creates a clear and large sound field through my Atlantic CT-1 speakers. My only minor complaint is that I preferred the “brighter” sound of the Onkyo line. For HT, the Denon delivers. Private Ryan in DTS is indescribable. At the end of the movie you are worn out emotionally and physically.

Usability (3 1/2 Stars): The receiver does take some getting used to. Even my wife was able to figure out the Onkyo, but not the Denon. System set-up is very difficult at first. While its operations are not intuitive, once learned they are a breeze. The same can be said for the remote. The biggest problem with the remote is that all of the buttons are not programmable. I am able to get most of the functions of my TV, DSS, DVD, and VCR programmed, but only in a roundabout way (this really needs improvement). I’m also not a big fan of the slide switches. Overall, remote operation is a bit confusing. Again though, I can get it to work and now need only 1 remote (for the most part). I have the same criticism of the unit’s front panel: not intuitive but easy enough to use with time. The manual is lousy, since it only lists features without explaining them. If you’re a newbie like me, you’ll want to use Audio Reviews Home Theater Tech Talk to understand some of the features.

I would like to rate the receiver a 4.5, since it is not perfect. Since that’s not an option, I’ll give it a 5 for the 5-channel stereo, simulated surround, learning remote (mostly), clean/full sound, and Denon quality.

Similar Products Used: Onkyo 575 and 676
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Brad Mirakian   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 08, 2000]
Strength:

Great Sound, Nice OSD, S-Video Switching, 5-Channel Stereo, All Banana Plug Speaker Connections

Weakness:

no pre-outs for surrounds

I just got this receiver today to replace the Yamaha 1105 I bought a couple of weeks ago. The Yamaha was a real lemon. No S-Video switching and there was an annoying hiss present at high volumes.

Ths Denon, however, is fantastic! No matter how high I crank the volume there is no hiss coming from the speakers. The S-Video switching is very convenient. The On Screen Display is nice and very easy to use. I also enjoy the 5-Channel Stereo mode. I like having banana plug connections for all the speakers. And...

I LIKE THE REMOTE! I don't understand why everyone complains about this remote. It is way better than the Yamaha. It is very simple, easy to understand, and the major buttons are easily recognizable. I also think the manual is easy to follow, way better than Yamaha's.

About the only thing bad about this receiver is the lack of pre-outs for the surrounds. I personally have no need for this, so I don't care. Besides, if you've got surrounds that use pre-outs, you can probably afford the Denon 3300!

Value depends on how much you pay for it, of course. I paid around $600 and I consider this receiver to be a great value for that price.

Bottom line: This is a beautiful machine, in its appearance, quality, and features.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha R-V1105
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 167  

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