Denon AVR-2801 A/V Receivers

AVR-2801

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

User Reviews (117)

Showing 1-10 of 117  
ELIER BRAVO   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 29, 2015]

Tengo este amplificador, tiene una excelente calidad de materiales, la perilla de volumen es de metal se siente excelente y luce muy bien, es potente y la salida de audio es limpia y cristalina, a pesar del tiempo de uso que ya tiene, funcionan todas las entradas y salidas, además la salida de subwoofer está activa en todas las modalidades, es decir usando las entradas digitales y también las análogas, algunos otros sólo activan esta salida al usar entradas digitales, lo recomiendo y le doy 5 estrellas por que es excelente.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Duncan Simpson   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 06, 2003]
Strength:

5 channel performance, OSD menu is simple and straight forward, very good learning remote (once you get used to it), heaps of video switching (for the model year), good build quality.

Weakness:

2-channel (music) performance, bright sound, but not a lot else.

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

Similar Products Used: Marantz SR5200, NAD T761
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
kelsey4law   Casual Listener [Aug 12, 2002]
Strength:

many, many functions.

Weakness:

very poor controls and remote. Complicated to use. OK sound. OK tuner.

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.

Similar Products Used: Old Sony receiver, Jolida JD1501A (no remote) Kenwood KT8300 AM/FM tuner
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
4
pe3046   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 05, 2002]
Strength:

Clean front panel, not overly burdened with 75 surround modes that sound like putting coke cans to your ears.

Weakness:

For me the only weakness is 1 coaxial digital input.

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)

Similar Products Used: Sony DB-940 (detailed but tinny and bright sounding) and Outlaw Audio 1050 (very good)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
A1b2c3686   Audio Enthusiast [May 27, 2002]
Strength:

Clean sound, appearance, remote and 5 channel stereo.

Weakness:

Instruction manuel. If you read it several times things will make sence that are not clear the first time. However, the hookup instructions are good

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.

Similar Products Used: Luxman R1040 stereo reciever. A Pioneer AV reciever I bought my son.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jim   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 07, 2002]
Strength:

Easy set up. Clean and uncluttered looking. Clean sound crisp highs and bass but of course a lot of this has to do with the Arcam player as well as the speakers. 90W X 5 is plenty of power for mid size rooms such as mine. I don''t think you can go wrong with this receiver if you can get it around $500

Weakness:

None. If you want component video switching like others have mentioned as a weekness, go get a 2802. If you don''t understand the manual or it takes you hours to set up, I suggest this... http://www.rowtex.co.uk/sony/my_first_sony_1.html

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

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Peter James   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 05, 2000]
Strength:

This is a well designed, quality product... it's packed full of value... More than enough power for my medium sized family room (16X17X10) ...Very clean sound...On screen display made set up easy... front A/B speaker switching

Weakness:

None found yet and I've been enjoying this receiver every day for six weeks.

I've been enjoying DVD's like Eric Clapton & Friends In Concert in both DD and 5 channel stereo. The DTS sounds great on the Eagles hell freezes over. I watch my cable TV programming in the 5 channel stereo mode.

I watch lots of Disney DVD's with my family. This receiver has added to the enjoyment as it picks up details in the sound tracks my Onkyo Pro Logic could'nt. We all love the sound effects in the opening scene of Toy Story 2.

I viewed portions of the movie Twister in DTS and the sound was fantastic.... Very exciting stuff.

The A/B speaker switching is used to connect a second pair of speakers on my patio. I love this receiver!

Similar Products Used: This is my second Home Theater receiver. My first was an Onkyo Pro Logic purchased in '94. Considered Onkyo DTR-6, Marantz SR 7000, and Pioneer Elite line. The Denon 2801 had the quality and features I wanted... No need to spend more.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mark Anderson   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 19, 2000]
Strength:

High Current, Assignable Digital Inputs, Sound Settings Memory, Crystal Clear DD & DTS

Weakness:

None, I even figured out the remote, well, except for the other brands programing function. Total brain freeze.

Well, my Sony 915 popped & fizzled this last Friday & I didn't want to mess with getting it fixed, since I wanted to upgrade to a higher end unit with DTS anyway. I was also tired of my boss coming by my office on a fairly regular basis & poking his head in with a thunbs up & giving me the usual "DTS Baby!" Just watched somethingorother last night & you've got to upgrade man!

I had already decided that I would probably shy away from Sony before I even went out on Saturday, because I've been splitting my listening to about 75% stereo & 25% movie for a while now, unlike the other way around before. I wanted a unit that would give me excellent stereo performance as well as 5.1 performance, and Sony is not the best as far as stereo goes, unless you go to their very top end equipment.

I hit the Good Guys first since I knew their selection was the best & the prices at local stores are pretty much the same & didn't have time to order online. Besides, I like to get hands on & play with them before I buy. I don't mind paying more to buy local for stuff like this in case I have warranty issues.

Anyway, I immediately started looking at the Yamaha & Denon models. My Dad has a high end Denon & I've always been very impressed with it's quality when I've heard it. The Yamaha's were nice, but I had heard stories about harshness & the layout & look of the units didn't really float my boat. So after a fairly short time of looking, I went with the 2801. I briefly looked at the 1801, but the power output did not look like it would suit me. I was pretty confident in the high current Denon's 90Wpc abilities to be able to outperform standard receivers at 100Wpc.

I got the thing home & immediately climbed behind my video center & started transferring cables to the new unit. The first thing that got my attention was the way the binding posts were separated. They were not all lined up together but spaced a bit apart to aid in installation. A nice touch to say the least. I found it odd though that the sub-out was grouped into the 6 RCA inputs above & not more clearly labeled on it's own as the correct subwoofer output. I had to double check the manual to make sure I was connecting to the proper port. And finally I've got more than one optical digital input so I can hook up my CD player in full digital. Even better sounding there now too.

Got the thing running & I immediately noticed a more realistic sound image. As somebody put it, the audio sounded more real, instead of just, there. 5-Channel Stereo is wonderful! That's the exact function that I could never get with the Sony in any of the myriad of DSP modes they provide without some sort of cheesy effect. Audio Nirvana!! And what's more, you can adjust the level of each speaker independantly for a more taylor made sound. Less is definitely more with Denon. They give you a few modes to do what the receiver does best & nothing else. Of the 44 DSP modes on the Sony, I used a total of 2. It feels more like something that belongs in a decent home theater setup. I'm still discovering little things that make me realize more and more that I got the perfect receiver for me. Personal Memory Plus is a great thing too. I can't tell you how many times I've come home & the wife or daughter are listening to a CD in Dolby mode. Now, just select CD and it automatically switches back to 5-Channel Stereo. Aahhhhh.. Life is good. I noticed a distinct improvement in each familiar DVD that I tested & the DTS did indeed sound more spacious on the one test that I was able to do. Today, I bought the Monster HTS1000ci Theatre Reference PowerCenter & I'll see what that can do to improve things even further.

Similar Products Used: Sony STR-DE915, Dolby Digital, 100Wpc
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Scott   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 26, 2000]
Strength:

Solid construction, great sound, all the right inputs

Weakness:

S-video switching has a little problem (see review)

This is a very nice unit for someone who needs all the basics without the bells and whistles of the higher end units.

I am very happy with the sound quality in stereo, 5 channel stereo, and Dolby Digital modes. The 5 channel stereo is especially nice for audio CD's. I haven't played with the five or six sound fields because you don't need to!

My only gripe is in the S-video switching portion, which is one reason why I had purchased this receiver. The connections you use for output (either S-video or composite) must match ALL your inputs, which is a pain. In other words, you must go ALL composite or ALL S-video if you want to route everything to the receiver and do the switching there. Still, this isn't enough to trash the receiver, it's just something you live with.

The real problem is that the S-video output of the unit has small, alternating horizontal bands (one dark, one light) for all S-video input sources (dish, DVD, PS2). This is not in evidence when using composite signals.

As long as I don't point it out to anyone, they usually don't notice...but I do, and it's mildly annoying.

Nevertheless, this receiver kicks butt in the 450-500 dollar range and does everything I could expect it to do. This is my first Denon product. If I can get the S-video worked out, it will not be my last! Happy shopping!

Similar Products Used: Various older pro logic Sony, Technics, blah blah blah
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Ben Peal   Casual Listener [Dec 27, 2000]
Strength:

DOLBY DIGITAL and DTS DECODING, 5 CHAN STEREO, POWER TO ALL 5 CHANNELS.

Weakness:

NONE THAT I CAN FIND

EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, I love this receiver. Thanks to this site and other advice, I believe that have purchased the best receiver for the price. Great sound and power . 5 Channel Stereo is excellent. I am very pleased with Denon for making such a fine product at a price the average Joe can afford but not sacrifice quality.

My system consist of
DENON 2801
Energy Encore Speaker System
Sharp 32" Cinima Select 4:3 ratio
Pioneer 414 DVD
Dish Network 4000 AC-3 DD

Similar Products Used: JVC 8000
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 117  

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