Denon AVR-3805 Digital Surround Receiver

Many of us yearn to own a glistening flagship receiver: the prestige . . . the state-of-the-art performance . . . the vast array of features . . . the satisfaction of knowing that you own the very best. But flagships can be prohibitively expensive, as well as awkwardly large and extremely heavy. Ask any admiral. And then there's the complexity issue. Some of these behemoths are so versatile and have so many connection and setup options that you almost need a professional installer just to open the box! Fortunately, you can get most of what a flagship receiver offers - and save a couple thousand bucks - by checking out receivers hovering just below the top of the line, receivers like Denon's AVR-3805.

Fast Facts
RATED POWER 120 watts x 7 into 8 ohms with maximum 0.05% THD (channels driven individually or in pairs) DIMENSIONS 17 1/8 x 6 3/4 x 16 3/8 inches WEIGHT 37 1/2 pounds PRICE $1,199; setup microphone, $65 MANUFACTURER Denon Electronics USA, www.usa.denon.com, 973-396-0810

It has everything required in an up-to- date digital A/V receiver, including the latest 6.1/7.1-channel Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES decoding as well as Dolby Pro Logic IIx (DPL IIx) and DTS Neo:6 processing for multichannel playback of stereo program material or rechanneling four-channel Dolby Surround programs. Power amps are provided for the usual five main channels plus two back surround channels. And you get a nicely varied array of additional digital ambience modes as well as a virtual surround mode if you can't fit or don't want surround speakers in your listening room.

On the other hand, in case you want to install and switch between two pairs of surround speakers - one optimized for multichannel music (monopole speakers at ear level) and the other for movie soundtracks (high-mounted dipoles) - the AVR-3805 has Denon's usual second set of surround speaker connectors and internal switching. Having two sets of surround outputs is such an excellent idea for playback of DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD, and even multichannel music video that it's surprising more companies don't offer this feature.

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