Anyone have the Denon AVR-2803


I read some great reviews on this receiver tonight, one gave it it's Editor's Choice Award. Funny all the talk here of Denon having bright/cold sound is quite the opposite of these reviews.
Reviewer's words exactly:
"The sound was so weighty and full that we thought the bass level had been accidentally bumped up a notch or two. It was flat, but it proved that the AVR-2803 is just richer-sounding than most receivers. This is an audiophile-grade receiver, and we love it." Popeye would says "Hmm I thinks Denon's recent bashings here are unwarranted"..

Was MaranztFan now DENONFAN
That's because this is a Marantz/Nad,Pioneer Elite/ NHT speaker board.

TOO BRIGHT? NO WAY! I auditioned NAD, Marantz, Yamaha Pioneer Elite and Sony AVR's (all in the same price/performance range. I auditioned Tannoy, Mission, Definitive Technology (DEFTECH), KEF, M&K and a few other brands.

Was the Yamaha a "Bright receiver" not to my ears. Neither was the Denon too dry/bright etc.

I speakers I liked were the KEF, DEFTECH, and Klipsch. The ones that really blew me away (this is my opinion so don't get upset) were the KLIPSCH. The dogs of the bunch were the missions and tannoys. I really did not like the Missions with the Denon and only liked them a little with the Yamaha and Sony avr's.

The Tannoys were nothing spectacular nice but boring.

The KEF's were really good. That classic KEF (NAD) sound but for the price not any reason to get them over the KLIPSCH. The NAD receiver was way over priced and I did not like it when the salesman said there were some initial problems with the units and NAD was working on them. NAD is the store's premiere line so it was not in his best interest to mention it. But they are a very reputable store known for their uncompromising approach. We spent a good hour going over my music preferences, current set up etc before demoing any equipment.

The M&K (NAD) were amazing but I could not listen to them very long An extrememly accurate speaker that reproduced every flaw in the recording. Also very expensive.

The DEFTECH's were good but way overpriced. I also did not care for the Pioneer AVR. Could have been the salesman as he was constantly futzing with it. I actually had to kick him out of the sound room so that I could set it up and listen. He also wouldn't shut up. This could have contributed to my
negative view of the Pioneer (Sorry Elitefan no slag intended here-just a bad experience and they were the only dealer in the area).

What it really came down to was how I was going to use the speakers (% music to movies) price/features
and to a degree, esthetics.

There has been definite bias against Denon and Klipsch on this forum. Klipsch are known for a certain sound. You either like or you don't.

Apparently the Denon is a "dry" and/or bright receiver same with the Yamaha's. Well The shops that sell Denon/Klipsch and Yamaha/Klipsch ahd no problem showcasing both set ups. When I asked about using Yamaha withe Klipsch I was not talked out of it.

I even ran this combo by the NAD/KEF salesman. His response is that it was a good combination. Not as good as his NAD/KEF .

What does this mean.

I purchased the Denon 2803 and Klipsch RF-15 home theatre package.

Had it for 3 weeks now. Haven't watch alot of movies but have had the cd player going constantly. Fatigue because of a bright speaker and reciever? No! The only fatigue I have is with some of the posters (poseurs) on this board - which include those who are really pushing NAD and NHT speakers every chance they get when someone mentions Denon or Klipsch.

My experience with Denon was mixed . I had a 2802 and really liked it with my older DEF TECH's. It was not bright and was a good match with the speakers. I "upgraded" to the 3803 and it was terrible. Incredibly bright and the vocal sibilance was overwhelming even with the mellow DEF TECH's. I was shocked at the diference between the two and got rid of the 3803 ASAP. I also wanted to upgrade speakers and my current system of the Elite 45 with Monitor Audio speakers is pure sonic heaven. If you like the 2803 that's fine. Just be careful what you match it with. Good luck.

Interesting thread here, I just happened upon another review after reading this post at Sound and Vision and it gave the Denon 2803 great marks and even complimented it's power rating and I quote "In any case, the AVR-2803 ably surpassed its 90-watt power rating, which is based on one channel being driven: my one-channel-driven measurement was 124 watts. The results with five and six channels driven were also impressive (see "in the lab," at the bottom of this page)". Maybe the culprit to this Denon bashing is due to the 2803's big brother the 3803, seems the 3803 hasn't got good reviews here..


I matched the Denon 2803 with Klipsch rf-15, rc-25,rs-25 and a rw10 sub.

I love this set up. I listened to alot of speakers recievers etc. The klipsch Denon match was the only one that made me go WOW when I heard it.

Its the first thing I switch on when I get home. Pop a cd on go about the place.

My TV viewing has almost dimninshed.

Go to there are 64 reviews of the 3803. Mostly positive. What does this mean?

As you have stated before listening pleasure depends on the listener. What one person likes another may dislike.

All the reviews and comments here are merely starting and reference points.

There probably are certain set ups that should be avoided but again that rests with the listener.

It is the constant bashing of one brand over the other that is annoying.

I'll let you know in about a month or two if the speaker/avr combo still works for me.

There is a shop near me who will let me take home some receivers to audition them in my house.

I plan to take them up on this when my speakers are
"burnt in". Then I will have a much better reference on my current set up.

Was MarantzFan now DenonFan

Hey DenonFan, there actually is a Denon fan on this board. I've noticed too that Denon gets bashed alot on this board in comparison to the editorial reviews it gets. At least someone is trying to stand up for Denon. I'm still trying to decide between the HK 525 and the Denon 2803. So I guess you haven't experienced the "dry" sound that alot of people have talked about? Do you feel like the Denon has enough power? A couple of editorial reviews have talked about the Denon's warm sound and then you get on this board and it's all dry and bright sound. I guess I'll just have to listen myself to resolve the conflicts.


I do not even know what a dry sound is . I do not find the sound bright. and what I take for bright, is clarity in the upper registers - something Klipsch speakers are known for due to the horn tweeters.

It really depends what you are looking for and perceive to be getting.

The JVC Xv709 I had before would not be considered bright. In fact coupled with my KEF speakers it was downright dull or muddy or bland whatever.

When I heard the Klipsch with the Denon I went WOW just what I wanted. Didn't happen with any other combination I listened to.

It is really based on the music you listen to
( I like jazz, rock blues, gospel, old style country none of this young country crap and yes that dam rap music) I am really all over the map when it comes to music. Right now Tony Bennett is playing on the CD.

Would I recommend the Denon to you? No. Would I say it is better than a NAD or HK or Pioneer or.... No.

Consider your application. More movie than music or vice versa. 2 channel. 5.1 6.1 or 7.1 speaker set up. What subwoofer if any.

I started with speakers first. Once I had a reference point to start from I went through receivers. I originally had the Denon 1404. That lasted a week .

From the time I stared with the Klipsch rf-15. I added the center, surrounds and sub. the 1404 was overmatched. My local shop gladly took back the 1404 and replaced it with the 2803 (a great deal as well, didn't even ask for a deal). They expected me to be back.

Its been one month and I am still quite happy with it.

If someone can explain what a dry sound is versus a wet one I would be happy and can then report back.

As for power the Klipsch are very effecient speakers. The denon has plenty of wall shaking power if you want to annoy the neighbors.

It also depends on the features you are looking /comparing. Price and availability
Go with what sounds good to you.

Your tastes may change with time as well
Good luck. Let us know what you went with

I second (third, whatever) that this board is NAD, Marantz biased. I listened specifically to Denon v Harman Kardan (same speakers, etc) and Denon sounded much better & fuller.

Azhar Khamis
I listen to progressive metal and Denon is really suitable. Metal music requires a delicate balance else your years will bleed. It is the best form of sound to test for equipments IMO. Get Dream Theater's Awake and use it for test. You must be able to listen to every single instrument and note those guys were playing. That is how I settled for the Denon. Its warm sound is clearly evident.

I am currently using Mission speakers with Denon and it is the best setup I have ever had. I can listen for hours without getting tired. Harman is too bright IMO. So does the KEF speakers that I tried, can't even listen for 5 minutes.

If you already have a set of speakers, then it is much easier to work with. Whatever it is, if it is bright for you, then it is bright. Your ears is always correct.
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