Test Bench for Shootout: Three Mid-Price A/V Receivers

Denon AVR-3806

DOLBY DIGITAL PERFORMANCE All data were obtained from various test DVDs using 16-bit dithered test signals, which set limits on measured distortion and noise performance. Reference input level is -20 dBFS, and reference output is 1 watt into 8 ohms. Volume setting for reference level was -3.5. All level trims were at zero, except for subwoofer-related tests; all speakers were set to "large," subwoofer on. All are worst-case figures where applicable.

Output at clipping (1 kHz into 8/4 ohms) 1 channel driven: 166/260 W (22.2/24.2* dBW) 5 channels driven (8 ohms): 108 W (20.3 dBW) 6 channels driven (8 ohms): 108 W (20.3 dBW) Distortion at 1 watt (THD+N, 1 kHz) 8/4 ohms: 0.02/0.03% Noise level (A-wtd): -75.8 dB Excess noise (with sine tone) 16-bit (EN16): +0.4 dB Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz +0, -0.1 dB

MULTICHANNEL PERFORMANCE, ANALOG INPUT Reference input and output level is 200 mV; volume setting for reference output level was -19. Distortion (THD+N, 1 kHz, 8 ohms): 0.02% Noise level (A-wtd): -92.7 dB Frequency response: <10 Hz to 96 kHz +0, -3 dB

STEREO PERFORMANCE, DIGITAL INPUT Reference level is -20 dBFS; all level trims at zero. Volume setting for reference level was -4. Output at clipping (1 kHz, 8/4 ohms, both channels driven): 153/224 W (21.8/23.5 dBW) Distortion at reference level: 0.02% Linearity error (at -90 dBFS): 0.02 dB Noise level (A-wtd): -75.7 dB with 96-kHz/24-bit signals: -89.3 dB Excess noise (with/without sine tone) 16-bit (EN16): 0.15/0.2 dB quasi-20-bit (EN20): 7/6.9 dB Noise modulation: 0.2 dB Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz +0, -0.2 dB with 96-kHz/24-bit signals: 20 Hz to 44.3 kHz +0, -0.2 dB

BASS-MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE Measured results obtained with Dolby Digital test signals. Subwoofer-output frequency response (crossover set to 80 Hz): 24 dB/octave above -6-dB rolloff point of 80 Hz High-pass-filter frequency response (crossover set to 80 Hz): 12 dB/octave below -3-dB rolloff point of 80 Hz Maximum unclipped subwoofer output (trim at 0): 10.1 volts Subwoofer distortion (from 6-channel, 30-Hz, 0-dBFS signal; subwoofer trim set to 0): 0.2% Crossover consistency: bass crossover frequency and slope same for all signal formats that receive bass management Signal-format consistency: consistent for all applicable formats; bass management not available for multichannel analog signals Speaker size selection: all channels can be set to "small." Speaker-distance compensation: available for all main channels.

Denon's AVR-3806 aced every bench test I ran, with lots of power, near-perfect noise and linearity, and unusually good performance on our 24-bit/96 kHz PCM tests. Five- and 6-channel power were particularly impressive, remaining above 100 watts before clipping any channel.

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