Yamaha RX-V1 vs Denon AVR-3803, which one to keep?


Hello, I must let one of them go so please help me...

Please give me good advice with my selection.

I own the RX-V1 w/ 5 years full warranty from GoodGuys which is great. It has 3 Component Video Input which I might need all 3 soon.

Things I don't like about my current setup (rx-v1 w/ M&K 750THX L/R/C and RL/RR/RC and M&K Sub):
1. No all-channel stereo mode on the V1
2. The center sound is not warm and high enough (maybe because of my speaker? M&K 750THX)
3. The quality of sound is not real enough. Too much processing

Things I like about the Denon AVR-3803:
1. All-Channel stereo for playing stereo sources
2. Cleaner sound at higher volume
3. Video Up-Conversion
4. PureDirect mode
Things I might NOT like about the Denon AVR-3803:
1. Only 2 Component Video Input, what if I need 3 component inputs from DVD/DirecTV/off-air HDTV receiver ?
2. I only have one center back speaker, can I use one only one center back for the AVR-3803? How's it gonna sound like?
3. Denon is very hard to setup
4. Tech support does not exist for Denon? I don't by extended warranty, just MFG basic...
5. No front AV input.

I already purchased the AVR-3803 and waiting for the item to arrive. However I do not know whether to keep the Denon or the Yamaha?
Any advice would be very much appreciated.


Sorry, I can't help, but only say I'm having similar questions, so I am anxious to hear the responses you get.

I can't decide between Yamaha and Denon altogether, let alone which model. Two people I know swear by Yamaha's, but I've also heard really good (and not so good) things about the Denon's. Also I can get better deals on Denon products. I have a large living room, all carpeted and upholstered. I would like a 6 channel, mainly for future possibilities (also maybe HDTV compatible?) I would like to stay under $800, and the lesser the better, but don't want to sacrifice quality. Please don't recommend other manufacturers, or I'll be too confused to do anything! Thanks for whatever help you can supply. Also, I'm planning on getting Jamo speakers. Oh, I almost forget...the receiver needs to be able to play cassettes also.

Oh, I forgot...I would also consider a HK.

I heard mixed review from diff sources...

It is funny that I ran into your review on audioreview.com. It so happens that I was comparing 3 receivers today for purchase. One was a Pioneer Elite vsx-43TX (they didn't have the 45tx on display), the Denon 3803, and the Yamaha RX-V1. I started off comparing the Pioneer to the Denon, head to head, both for 2 channel stereo and surround theater. In my comparison, I have to say, the Pioneer blew the doors off the Denon. The Pioneer was so much better in 2 channel. The music sounded so real, like the person was in the room playing their guitar. The Denon sounded good also, but a little more muddled. The mids just didn't seem to be as sharp as I hoped. You have to remember, I walked in fully prepared to purchase the Denon, just not from them. (Ecost has the Denon 3903 as a refur for about $650.00.
Being disappointed in the Denon, I went back to the Drawing board. I saw the RX-V1 on display as a close out, (at it's size, it is imposible to miss). It is also attractive, so I thought, what the hell!

I spent the next half hour comparing the Pioneer, (the one that out shined the Denon) and this big gun. I thought this did better with the music. Since I'm not big into bass in my music (for clarity sake), and for the fact that my old ears have a harder time processing musice with too much bass, I liked the sound even better on the Yamaha over the Pioneer. I purposely had the salesman switch off from one to the other without telling me which one I was listening to until the end. I did this because I have always liked the Elite line, so I didn't want to poison the well, so to speak.

I had to listen back and forth about 5 times before I could make a decision, and be a small about, again the Yamaha came out on top. It split the signal quite well. But so did the Pioneer.

Bottom line, the Yamaha seemed to be the best,and by a wide margin over the Denon. I am now a proud ower of the Yamaha. It didn't hurt that with a warranty, it was around $1000.00.

So, for what it is worth, I could have purchased the Pioneer elite vsx-43tx for $850.00 from them, or less on the internet, I could have purchase a refurb Denon 3803 for $660.00, but since a fool and his money soon part ways, I purchased the Yamaha for $950.00. Was it worth it? You bet.

Bottom line, if I had your receiver, I wouldn't replace it, but, if I did, I would look seriously into ecost.com for the refurbished Denon 3803, and buy an extended warranty.

I hope this helped.
Happy Easter,


Another nice email... Thanks

hi,i will to try & answer your questions, firstly i only use one surround back channel( there happens to be an option for it) & i found it to be more focused than two, with the regard to an extra component input, i would suggest using the poorest quality source
through s video instead i know thats not much comfort for you using best quality inputs are a must but i don't think the top models supply more than two in, as for set up it v v easy if you know your way round ht & judging by you list of components you do so you will find it easy, sound wise the denon will absolutly slay the yammy, the sound has be refined from my previous 3801 & not just subtley absolutly, don't worry about denons c/s if you get a good one it will last years,
keep it kid!!

Here's another nice email. Thanks again

First of all he RXV1 is two years old. (Not up to date). For music I'm more of a 2 channel guy because I want to hear how it was recorded, not how well I can manipulate it into 5 speakers. Let me tell you a little secret about the both companies (Denon, Yamaha). They both rate their power output at 1khz !! Whats up with that? They really emphasize the mid to hi frequencies. Well unfortunately the humans' audible bandwidth is 20hz -almost 50khz. What I am saying is that your buying a product that is for one, not telling you the exact truth on what you're paying for, and two, rating it starting out at the midrange frequencies. I believe in the full bandwidth tests on the Denon it came in at about 74 watts per channel with all channels of current. 2 channels it came in at about 80 watts. The yamaha tends to be a bit more musical than the Denon. ( I used to work at the Good Guys by the way ). If you have to choose between those two Recievers only, I'd take the Yamaha. It uses better front channel DAC's. The upconversion is a small bi-product of the reciever. Not to mention I sell some really hi-end gear like the Lexicon MC-12 which also does upconversion. It doesn't add anything except the convenience of OSD using on run of component video. IT DOES NOT make your composite and S-video signals better. If it thinks it can in any way, all it does is add more artifacting to the picture! (Which sucks). You are probably thinking that I don't really care for either product. Well not when I know that you can get much better product for the same amount of money. Do you live in Washington? IF you do, I work for Definitive Audio. www.definitive.com and we have products that will fit your needs. Check out Rotel. www.rotel.co.uk Models RSX-1065($1300) or RSX-1055($2000). One of the few companies that have similar priced products, but are engineered in the UK, and are rated at full bandwidth!! They have less bells and whistles and they put the emphasis on the core components, such as the power supply, transistors, and capacitors! Who cares about the 100 different DSP modes on a reciever! No one uses them. Much better products! And they already come with a mfg 3 year warranty. Why buy a warranty? Becuase the mfg isn't good enough to support their product longer than a year? Anyway, food for thought!

Matt Brush

systems designer

Another email... just updated...

I own the Denon 2802 and it is kick a*s. I am
actually trading for the 3803 next week. As far as
the setup goes, everyone talked about it being
difficult for the 2802 also, it was easy. I didn't
have any problems at all. Why wouldn't you just buy
another center channel speaker for your rear so that
you would have true 7 channel surround? That's what
I'm gonna do.

Kevin Lavender

Hey HTF keep the denon 3803!!! It is better that the yamaha rxv1. But honestly try the yamaha rxv3300. It is sooo much better than the rxv1.

Hey rich why were you comapring the 43TX to the V1?Thats top of the line to just about bottom. I am sure a much better comparison would have been the 55TX.

bob sacco
I have to agree with Home Theater Foo. I am currently researching purchase for an AV receiver. I have done plenty of listening in stores and in homes. All situations included speakers from Klipsch to paradigm studio 100's and many others. When it comes down to it, if you want a combo that does 5.1 for movies ect...without going to seperates, you'll find yourself with just a few choices. None are perfect. None are 100& intuitive. But, you settle on just one by process of elimination. For me Denon sounds flat, muddled and non-musical, no sparkle. Pioneer just a hair too thin. HK and Onkyo not lively enough. Yamaha seems to be clear, clean and musical.

Plain and simple, the Yamaha rxv1 is tha bomb, if you could afford it get the rx Z1. Even better... Also why would you be lazy and need a receiver to do component when you degrade signal integrity??? just connect hdtv to and from your HD tv to your dish or source?/
As for the Denon versus Yamaha drama, It is simple. Compare the two and you will find out something important: Yamaha sounds better
First off in a theatre any high end receiver will sound great because of the dimensions and what not in the theatre itself. Since your house slash livingroom does not replicate the natural theatre experience SOMETHING HAS TOO!!!!

enuff said, the yamaha rxv1 has a spectacle mode , when tweeked right will sound LIKE a real theatre, this is where DSP actually is a vital tool you need. Denon is high quality, noce internals BUT I am telling you you need the right speakers for a proper demo to determine.

I know we all don't have access to a high-end store that sells us GREAT speakers, goodguys has , well good speakers but not great.
If you want the best speakers (money or, your money can buy) then I will help you. I had the bostons vr lynnfield series from center to surround..... After finding out that aluminized tweeters are not a good cnoice I decided to switch brands.... Bostons have aluminized tweets.
THE brand to get for the money is found in the most UN-likely place, kinda like friggin Bilbo who finds the ring of power. Go to best buy check out the new athena "audition series"
these bad boys are usually carried in high-end stores are found in crap city... best buy!!!!!!!! get them hells cheap, better than klipsche, boston, yamaha, bose, ma audio and polk!!!! http://www.athenaspeakers.com

I personally would take them both back and get some good separates for the prices paid for just one of these receivers. Much better sound.

I personally own Denon AVR 3803 and Yamaha RX-V1.
I choose Yamaha over Denon any time,(Yamaha so much beter then Denon in two channel). now my Denon is on the way to ebay auction. BYE BYE Sorry Denon.

hello everyone I am back! I wanted to check with HOME THEATRE FOO to see what he decided. I just received not too long ago the NEW RX-Z9, the new TOTL receiver..... coupled with all the whole line of the Athena "audition" series I have a true HOME THEATRE. ''

To: SARAH, you are wrong, the rxv1 and rxZ1 are both better than the 3803, how in the world could you compare the two to the lower end DENON???????????? Did you do your homework, because I hope you did some conclusive research regarding clipping levels as I did, not to mention the bass, mids and highs sound reproduction versus each other.
Take the Yamaha, there is a reason why they have tuning forks for a logo!! they know music, though ironically the YaMAHA's are better for home theatre than music, but both are subjective. I play music, love music. I know what sounds good subjective or not. If you like mid, flat sound get the denon, then go out and buy a pair of European speakers which are always "traditionally " made FLAT and LINEAR.

Me, I like full bandwidth sound all across the spectrum. Sure you want the most linear sund BUT @ a price you will not get crisp highs and a higher sensitivity level. Simply put, get the Athena's with a Yamaha high end receiver and you will hear all the magical panning, efects,and PURE distribution of sound to each speaker, all timbre matched. For those with a keen sense of audio Buy the center channel you like best , best for vocality then Build around that. all Athenas :
asf2 600.00 main
asb1 260.00 effect front
asc1 180.00 frontcenter
asf1 179.00 rear surround
asc1 179.00 rear center
subwoofer 8nch 299.99
I recommend VELODYNE if you got the money, thank you get time correct wiring for all and thank me later. I wish I could give every one a demo to show you the INexpensive way to get a high end for low price!~

John Frank Bennicelli--Good to see your appreciation of the Yamahas. I have a rxv-3300, a step just below flagship. I was amazed at the clarity of the sound, and the musicality. I wonder how many who bash Yamaha in favor of more elite brands have really listened hard to the upper level Yamaha models?

I am looking for the denon if you have one FS let me know. I was here because a friend wanted to sell me his V1 for 1200 a bit high.


Look Johnny I know that the RX-Z1 is better than the Denon AVR-3803 but notice I did not mentioned the RX-Z1. I only said the Denon Avr-3803 and the Yamaha RX-V1. You forget that I too am a Yamaha Fan. I just simply said that the Denon has more of what I want. And please don't think that I am bashing Yamaha. Because I am not!!!!!!

And Jason lam get the new Yamaha RX-V2400. It retails for $999 and it does all the formats as well as THX Certification and has a power rating of 120x7!! And can do the New Dolby Pro Logic IIx which turns any two channel into 5.1 or 6.1 or 7.1 surround!! But you either have to wait for the new 2400's come out in mid December or you can buy one now and send the unit to Yamaha. If you have any questions about this, call Yamaha. you can find their customer service number at their website.

audiophile from CA
Glad to see some folks did their homework comparing Yamaha and Denon. I am a happy Yamaha owner (a very low end receiver) and have not completely decided which one to upgrade to D or Y. Never heard Denon in a controlled environment against Yamaha. Heard lots of good words about Denon so I have been tempted to give it a try. But NO MORE. will stay in the Yamaha route!

I listen 90% musci and %10 movie so sound quality is the only thing I am looking for. The sound from my $399 Yamaha receiver is not shy from my dedicated 2 channel where DAC and power amp cost over $5500. I use Dynaudio Special 25 speakers ($4800 list) which are extremely revealing so I deem my comparsion legit.

I am selling all these hi-end 2channel toys and will go for either V1 or Z1. Bravo Yamaha!

Well, listen, you know, one of the reasons I like the YYZ-RU is because of the mid sublevel range in its distric reviser. Nothing can match that.
Now, to corroborate that one simply needs to hook a DoBeDu up the YYZ and you'll get nothing but a squicky clean quality no where matched.

Unregistered guest
---From Home_Theater_foo---

Thanks everyone.
Here's my final decision:
I sold the rx-v1. The Denon sounds better for me.
I can't live without 7 channel stereo!
The denon avr-3803 is now used as pre/pro for a separate amp (B&K 6125). The sound is much better!

I just upgraded the separate amp to the Cinepro 3k6II (375 watt x 6) and the sound is in heaven! Thanks god.

I am thinking about changing the denon avr-3803 for a true pre/pro. The order for the Outlaw 950 pre/pro is on the way. Will see how it performs against my Denon avr-3803.

I am also thinking about the new Yamaha RX-V2400 which has all the features I like but don't know if the sound is better than my denon avr-3803...

Thanks everyone again.
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