I found a store today that had the Denon 3805, Elite VSX52tx and VSX54tx side by side for a comparison. I had been to another store and they were not in the same room so by the time I got to the next store I did not have a lot of time. I used a Diana Krall cd that I am very familiar with. There was a problem, when we switched from the Denon to the Pioneer it shut the Pioneer down most of the time but a few times it did not. It made it a little more difficult and I also tried to compare the 52tx to the 54tx but they both kept shutting down when we switched from one to the other so it made it impossible to compare against each other. Going from the Pioneer to the Denon worked fine although it still was a delay. Here are my observations although this was only for music and not movies. I also would like a chance to compare again when the receivers did not cut off when being switched and I can spend more time. Not only that someone came in and interrupted us and that made the time even shorter.
I thought they both sounded very good, they were different however. Both were used in direct mode. I did not find the Denon to be bright. I thought the Denon was more laid back although very detailed very good sound. I would say the Elite sounded fuller and also the cymbal clashes were more emphasized and when she ended a word like dance the s like sound lingers and it was more emphasized on the Pioneer but the Pioneer still sounded warm also. I am unsure how I would classify what I heard. I don!t know if the Pioneer was more forward or brighter on certain sounds or what. As previously stated the Denon did not lack detail. I liked them both very much, I will have to go back when I can spend more time because I want to see which has a more overall balance from top to bottom and determine exactly what the differences are that I am hearing. Volume levels could vary also between the two, he had them set the same but a slight difference could make a difference too.
The 3805 does not come with a microphone for auto adjust you have to buy it seperately. I believe that is included with the Pioneer. Also the Pioneer is cheaper.