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Denon AVR-3805 Receiver Review

by June 08, 2004
Denon AVR-3805

Denon AVR-3805

  • Product Name: AVR-3805
  • Manufacturer: Denon
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Review Date: June 08, 2004 19:00
  • MSRP: $ 1200

Surround Formats: Dolby Digital Surround EX, Pro Logic IIx (Cinema, Music and Game Modes), dts ES Discrete 6.1 and Matrix 6.1, dts Neo:6, dts ES 96/24, HDCD

DSP: Analog Devices HammerHead SHARC 32 bit floating point DSP processor

Power Ratings
120 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, <.05%THD)
160 watts per channel (6 ohms, 1 kHz, <.7%THD)

Audio DACs: 16 Burr-Brown PCM-1791 24-bit/192 kHz on all eight channels, in differential configuration

Audio ADCs: 24-bit/192 kHz Burr-Brown PCM-1804 on all Stereo analog inputs (Not EXT. Inputs)

Crossover: 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 150, 200, 250Hz

Remote: EL backlighting pre-programmed/learning remote

Video Inputs: 3 (assignable) 100MHz Component Video, 7 sets composite and s-video inputs

Video Outputs: 100MHz Component video output, 3 composite and s-video outputs, Multi-Zone composite video output

Audio Inputs: 7.1 external wide bandwidth (100 kHz) multi-channel inputs, 5/7 Channel Stereo, DENON Link 3rd (SACD & DVD-Audio compatible), 7 assignable digital inputs (5 optical, 2 coaxial), 10 analog inputs

Audio Outputs: 2 optical digital outputs, 2 multi-zone stereo pre-amp level audio outputs, fixed or variable level

Additional Connections: RS-232C port for third party control Systems, remote I/O ports, 2 assignable +12V triggers, detachable power cord

Dimensions: 17.1" W   x 6.7" H x 16.4" D


  • DENON Link 3rd Edition
  • Component video up-conversion with OSD
  • Three (3) HDTV-compatible component video inputs
  • Can bi-amp front speakers for 240 wpc (5.1 only)
  • Bass output in 2-channel direct mode!
  • Lip Sync delay
  • Can monitor video other than audio source


  • Auto Setup doesn’t set crossover point
  • No IEEE 1394/Firewire interface
  • Aggressive Room EQ (boosts up to +9 dB)
  • No digital sources output to Zone 2/3


denon_AVR3805_door_lgDenon AVR-3805 Introduction

Ever since agreeing to take on the review of the Denon AVR-3805 I couldn't go a day (much less an hour) without getting an email or a forum post requesting info on the unit or a deadline for my review (you know who you are!) I hadn't experienced this level of anticipation on Audioholics for quite some time and wondered if the new receiver would hold up to everyone's preconceived expectations. As is typical with Audioholics, the AVR-3805 receiver would receive a thorough workout, with all of its functions dissected and exposited for all to see. Suffice it to say, at the time of this writing this review, the AVR-3805 is the most feature-rich receiver in its price class... and not by a small margin. Some of its more notable features include:

  • DENON Link 3rd Edition for "one-cable" SACD and DVD-Audio decoding from compatible Denon DVD players.
  • 16 Burr Brown 192 kHz/24-bit DACs in differential configuration on all 8 channels (Note: Upon having Gene review the schematics for the AVR-5803 and this receiver, he discovered that Denon counts the + and - of each differential DAC as a separate DAC. In reality, this is still one DAC. Hence, there are really 8 DACs all configured differentially, with paralleling two DACs per channel for noise averaging in "direct stereo mode.")
  •  Dolby Pro Logic IIx
  • HDCD decoding
  • Auto Setup and Room EQ feature (optional Denon DM-S305 or compatible mic)
  • 100MHz component video inputs/output (with component video up-conversion and monitor out via component video overlay)
  • 120W x 7-channels (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, < .05%THD; FTC spec rates with 2-channels driven)
  • Lip Sync delay (up to 200ms)
About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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