I have a Denon 3802 with Paradigm monitors (9's up front, cc-370, & mini's back) and have recently added a DVD-A/SACD player. My question is what can I do to improve the quality of the sound. I am considering upgrades to rear speakers (wish I could do all) or maybe adding a 2 channel amp (which being a novice I don't really understand) but it sounds like it may improve the seperation of instruments, etc. I really like the 5 channel music as well as stereo. Please help is an amp the way to go or should I be looking somewhere else. I have good cables and have been tinkering with the set up, but the fact the 3802's manual stinks does not help. Any tricks on this receiver also?
As a Denon owner myself, I share your frustration. When you spend that much on a receiver, you expect more from the sound than what the Denon delivers. I suspect your 3802 and my 3803 are identical in the amp section, which simply doesn't have the clarity that I expect or want. You have a very tough budget to meet, however.
Here is an outboard five channel amp from Parasound that is very close to your budget. You may try it to see if it helps, using your Denon as a front end only:
Although rated at only 85 wpc x 5, it is an honest 85 wpc, unlike the Denon, which probably does no more than 70 wpc on a good day. Simply connect it to the Denon through the receiver's pre-outs (using RCA type cables) and you will also need a cable to connect the 12v trigger so that this amp turns on whenever you turn on the receiver.
I hope this helps!
Thanks for the response. Would it be better to wait till I could spend a bit more? Is there a large jump in sonic quality if I went with a bit more expensive model? If so any suggestions (with approx. $). Also any other opinions on what is the weakest link on my systems?
Would bi-amping make it even more of a difference? Also would $500-600 on amp be better investment than upgrading fronts only maybe? I am actually happy with the sound out of sub, rears and center, it is the fronts that are not providing enough separation on instruments, if that is the right way to describe it (is that what they call soundstage?).