Denon 3802 - Help, please, I'm so very disappointed.


I purchased the Denon 3802 a few months ago. The Dolby Digital blew me away. I was simply amazed. I thought I made a great purchase.

Then I played one of my audio CD's. This was my reaction...

"Huh? What the...? Yuck! OMG", I thought I must have set up the unit wrong. I went through every conceivable setting, changed it all, and nothing improved. The stereo sound completely, how do I say this, sucks.

The bass is muddy, not very distinct, the high end is too bright, the mid-range is all over the place. Yes, I changed all the settings, including bass and treble. I keep thinking I must be doing something wrong.

I'm scratching my head, because when I listen to DVD's, the bass is distinct, loud, and clear. The sound is absolutely perfect.

Has anyone else experienced this problem? I tried emailing Denon, but haven't had a response for over 2 months now. I had to hook up my old 80 watt Onkyo, and it blows the Denon away when it comes to listening to stereo CD's. How could that be?

I'm very upset and I hope someone out there may have a suggestion. Thanks for reading all this!


Phil Krewer
Hey John,

I had a 3803 and didn't have the problem you seem to be having. Now that I look back on it it did seem to be a little light on midrange response, but what you describe sounds like a different problem. There are a lot of 3802 users on I'd log on there and see if they could help.

I've never understood everyone's love for Denon

Phil Krewer
Hey John,

Here's another thought. I remember on the 3803 there's a way to reset the receiver. You should be able to find this in the manual. You may want to give this a try.

Good Luck


the denon has a diret setting which will make a huge difference, it cuts out everything from the signal path. if your using a sub put all the speaker settings on small, now when you go to direct you can still use the sub, another solution is buy a seperate poweramp which is what i did, i havent heard a reciever yet i like for 2 channel music. if you have your speaker on large the only way to get the sub to work is in stereo or the other modes which i think suck. but thats just me i dont like dsp's at all. by the way i have a denon avr 3600

Thanks for all your comments and help. I'll see what I can do.


I noticed the same thing when I auditioned several Denon receivers. I ended up going with a Marantz - incredible sound for music and can still perform great for DTS/movies. The only drawabck I've seen to marantz is that they tend to focus on sound only - their receivers are pretty light on video inputs and only their very high end models have component video switching. Personally, I don't mind this too much as you're better off with a dedicated outboard video switch/matrix from someone like Audioauthority or Keydigital anyway (both models are at


I own a denon 3801, and have a friend who has a 3802.

I still have a separate Rotel pre-amp/power-amp/CD combo. Why ? Because my 3801 sounds just as bad as the 3802 in stereo. I know that you must not compare a Rotel pre/poweramp with the Denon, but in stereo these two systemes are totally different.

I tried to use the 3801 as a pre-amp, by using the Rotel poweramp for the fronts. This makes a lot of difference. But the pre-amp in the Denon is still to weak (not balanced, no 3d sound, muddy bass) to replace my Rotel pre-amp.

So for stereo, I use my Rotel set. for Home theatre, I use the 3801. The fronts are run via the pre-out of the denon into the video input of the rotel set. A bit confusing to operate, but the best solution fot HT and Stereo.

I will audition a Rotel RSX-1055 next week. This one seems to do very well in stereo as well as DD/DTS. And I can use my power-amp to drive the front channels.

Good luck

Surround receivers tend to do badly with stereo - compared to dedicated stereo receivers.

Not true at all man, my surround reciever(vsx-05) sounds very bad in surround but amazing stereo for music. I am kinda a Pioneer Elite guy myself.

The Denon 1082/3802 installation manual sux donkey dix. It was written by incompetent geeks whose first language is obviously NOT English. It doesn't adequately cover all the features, particularly the original set-up procedure. It even lacks an index, an obvious sign of a very shoddy effort.

I am trying to decide on the Denon AVR 1082 or the AVR 3802. Some say these are identical. Are they? Thanks, DK

Hey guys,
You were saying something about not being able to record dvd-a. Would it be possible to use the 5.1 in on my current 6070(will be 43tx when I get it)and then send it to my computer via optical out? Thnks--G.DawG


These two receiver models are so identical, they have the same owner's manual (both model numbers listed on the front). The only difference is which retail channel they are sold from--3802 goes to audio specialty stores and the 1082 goes to department stores (Sears).

well, it is true, Denon is only for video.
It is a bad, bad... bad receiver for 2 ch. music.
IMHO, one who likes denon in stereo has a bad system, and did not hear H/K, Nad or Marantz.
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