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Denon AVR-3806

7-channel home theater receiver with HDMI digital video switching (Black)

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Item #: 033AV3806B
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Denon AVR-3806

by Barry Montgomery
Denon

Receivers: Your ticket to sensational sound

Your receiver powers your speakers and lets you connect and select your entertainment sources. But a great receiver does a lot more — it ignites your emotions. From the passion of a favorite musical artist, to the crossfire of a super-charged movie soundtrack, to the intensity and immersion of a fast-paced video game, your receiver is the key to experiencing and enjoying it in full.

Outstanding home theater performance is a sure bet with the AVR-3806. Denon started with all of the the features that made their AVR-3805 reciever a huge hit and added exciting new technologies like HDMI digital video switching, XM Satellite Radio capability, and Audyssey Laboratories' MultEQ XT auto setup and room calibration system.

At the '3806's heart is a high-current amplifier that delivers 120 watts of power to each of your home theater speakers, plus advanced surround sound processing that you can use with every entertainment option in your system. You'll enjoy all of your movies, music, TV shows, and video games in sweepingly cinematic sound.

This receiver boasts some remarkably advanced digital video switching, too. You can hook up two high-resolution video components via HDMI connections for the best possible picture quality (HDMI is a digital output available on many HDTV tuners and high-end DVD players). Analog-to-HDMI video conversion lets you send all of your video sources to an HDMI-capable TV using only a single digital cable. This greatly streamlines video switching and preserves maximum picture quality for every source in your system.

XM Satellite Radio fans will love the fact that the '3806 is "XM Ready" — it can tune in XM broadcasts as easily as regular receivers tune in AM and FM stations. Add an optional XM Mini-Tuner package and enjoy access to more than 170 XM Satellite Radio channels. You can even change channels using the '3806's remote.

The AVR-3806 also includes a new auto setup and room calibration system called "MultEQ XT," developed by Audyssey Laboratories. All you need to do is place the included microphone in each seat in your home theater — up to eight seats total — and the '3806 takes care of the rest, fine-tuning the level, delay setting, and EQ for each speaker in your system. Thanks to MultEQ XT, precise response isn't limited to a single "sweet spot," but available across a wide listening area, so everyone in the room can enjoy perfect home theater sound.

There are loads of cool convenience features, too. The '3806's learning/multibrand touchscreen remote enables easy control of your whole system. Hard buttons on the bottom half give you easy access to your most used functions, while the touchscreen on the upper half offers a specialized set of "virtual buttons" for the component you're currently controlling. Three-room/three-source audio/video flexibility lets you enjoy home theater in your main room while a housemate watches a different video source in a second room, and another housemate listens to stereo music in a third room.

Learn about the ins and outs of HDMI connections at CrutchfieldAdvisor.com.
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Highlights:

  • 120 watts x 7 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.05% THD
  • Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, Pro Logic IIx, and DTS Neo:6 processing
  • 1080p-compatible HDMI switching (2 in, 1 out)
  • analog-to-HDMI video conversion
  • HDMI version 1.1
  • XM Satellite Radio Ready (requires XM subscription and optional XM Mini-Tuner package)
  • Audessey Laboratories' MultEQ XT eight-point auto setup and room calibration system (microphone included)
  • triple-room/triple-source output:
    • composite video and preamp-level stereo audio output for 2nd room
    • fixed line-level stereo audio output for 3rd room
    • powered stereo audio output option for either 2nd room or 3rd room allows 5.1 home theater in main room
  • learning/multibrand touchscreen electro-luminescent remote
  • sixteen Burr-Brown 192kHz/24-bit DACs
  • ALPHA 24 Plus upsampling for stereo and multichannel digital sources
  • Denon Link input for digital transfer of stereo or multichannel DVD-Audio and SACD signals from compatible components
  • Pure Direct modes switch off all unused circuitry for the cleanest possible sound
  • HDCD® decoding
  • 7.1-channel input
  • 7.1-channel preamp output
  • component video switching: 3 in, 2 out (100MHz bandwidth)
  • component video conversion (composite to S-video, or composite and S-video to component)
  • digital inputs: 5 optical, 2 coaxial
  • 2 optical digital outputs
  • 3 audio (including phono) and 7 audio/video (including 7 S-video) inputs
  • on-screen display (requires TV with audio/video input)
  • DDSC-Digital design isolates each type of digital processing in its own block to preserve the purity of audio and video signals
  • variable low-pass crossover
  • high-current, low-impedance amp design
  • 1 set of main speaker outputs
  • 56 AM/FM presets
  • 17-1/8"W x 6-3/4"H x 17-1/2"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

XM Radio service requires a subscription, and is available only within the lower 48 states — not available in Alaska, Hawaii, or U.S. territories.

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Number Of Channels
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N/A
Stereo RMS Power (watts)
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THD in Stereo
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Frequency Bandwidth (stereo)
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FM Sensitivity
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11.2 dBf
HD Radio Tuner
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No
On-Screen Display
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Auto Speaker Calibration
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---
HDMI Standby Pass-through
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---
Composite Video Conversion
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S-Video Conversion
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Component Video Conversion
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HDMI to HDMI Upconversion
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Internet-ready
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Apple AirPlay
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App Remote Control
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No
Bluetooth-compatible
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USB port for iPod/iPhone
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No
DLNA Certified
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MHL-compatible
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Multibrand Remote Control
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Learning Remote
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Yes
LCD Remote
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No
Width (inches)
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17-1/8
Height (inches)
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6-3/4
Depth (inches)
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17-1/2
Weight (pounds)
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Parts Warranty
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2 Years
Labor Warranty
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2 Years
Multi-room Audio--Video
Powered Multi-room Audio Output
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No
Preamp Multi-room Audio Output
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No
Multi-room Video
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No
Multi-room HDMI Output
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No
Surround Processing
Dolby Digital
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Yes
DTS
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Yes
Inputs & Outputs
Phono Input
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1
Audio-Video Inputs
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7
Audio-only Inputs
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3
S-Video Inputs
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7
S-Video Outputs
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2
S-Video Monitor Outputs
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1
Component Video Inputs
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3
Component Video Monitor Outputs
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2
Optical Digital Inputs
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5
Coaxial Digital Inputs
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2
Optical Digital Outputs
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2
Coaxial Digital Outputs
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None
HDMI Inputs
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2
HDMI Monitor Outputs
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1
Subwoofer Outputs
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1
Multi-Channel Analog Input
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No
Multi-channel Preamp Output
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Yes
Main Speaker Output Pairs
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1
Main Speaker Terminals
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Posts
Ethernet Port
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---
USB Connections
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None
Removable Power Cord
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Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Black AM/FM/Dolby Digital/DTS receiver
  • DM-S205 setup microphone with attached 19.75' cord (has a minijack mono connector)
  • RC-1024 Wireless remote control
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 6' AC power cord
  • AM loop antenna
  • FM wire antenna
  • Operating Instructions
  • Instructions for adding XM Satellite Connect & Play antenna
  • Warranty sheet
  • Denon Service Network sheet

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Remote Control
Inputs And Outputs Notes

Features

DDSC-Digital (Dynamic Discrete Surround Circuit): The Denon AVR-3806 is equipped with the latest technology in surround audio performance, DDSC-Digital, featuring Analog Devices Hammerhead SHARC 32-bit floating point DSP processor. All elements of the Surround Processor are optimized to the highest standards by the use of selected high performance and discrete components, particularly the A/D and D/A converters and the sophisticated DSP surround decoder.

Surround Modes: This receiver incorporates a wide variety of surround modes to bring you maximum enjoyment from your audio and video software. The surround modes include:

  • Dolby Digital
  • Dolby Digital Surround EX
  • Dolby Pro Logic
  • Dolby Pro Logic II
    • Cinema
    • Music
    • Game
  • Dolby Pro Logic IIx
    • Cinema
    • Music
    • Game (2-channel sources only)
  • DTS Digital Surround
  • DTS-ES Extended Surround
    • DTS-ES Discrete 6.1
    • DTS-ES Matrix 6.1
    • DTS Neo:6 Surround
      • Neo:6 Cinema
      • Neo:6 Music
  • DTS 96/24
  • Combined Surround Modes: The receiver features several combined modes using existing Dolby and Digital Theater Systems (DTS) surround modes:
    • Dolby Digital+Dolby Pro Logic IIx (Cinema and Music)
    • DTS+Neo:6
    • DTS+Dolby Pro Logic IIx (Cinema and Music)
  • Denon Original Surround Modes (DSP)
    • Wide Screen
    • Super Stadium
    • Rock Arena
    • Jazz Club
    • Classic Concert
    • Mono Movie
    • Video game
    • Matrix
    • Virtual
    • 7CH Stereo

Surround Parameters: You can adjust the following surround mode parameters:

  • Effect: Turns the effect signals with multi-surround mode speaker effects on and off in the Wide Screen mode. When turned off, the surround back channel signals are equivalent to the surround channels
  • Level: Sets the strength of the effect signals in the Wide Screen mode. It can be set in 15 steps, from 1 to 15. Set to a low level if the positioning or phase of the surround signals sounds unnatural.
  • SB Ch Out: Indicates whether or not you are using surround back speaker(s)
  • Room Size: Sets the size of the sound field among five settings: Small, Med.S (medium-small), Medium, Med.L (medium-large) and Large
  • Effect Level: Sets the strength of the surround effect, the level can be set in 15 steps from 1 to 15
  • Delay Time: In the matrix mode only, the delay time can be set within the range of 0 to 300 ms
  • SW ATT: Reduces the subwoofer level when using the 7.1 Channel analog input
  • SW On/Off: Sub output is controlled directly

Dialogue Normalization: The dialogue normalization function is activated automatically when playing Dolby Digital program sources. Dialogue normalization is a basic function of Dolby Digital, which automatically normalizes the dialog level (standard level) of the signals that are recorded at different levels for different program sources, such as DVD, DTV and other future formats that will use Dolby Digital.

CINEMA EQ (Cinema Equalizer): The Cinema EQ function gently decreases the level of the extreme high frequencies, compensating for overly-bright sounding motion picture soundtracks. Select this function if the sound from the front speakers is too bright. This function only works in the Dolby Pro Logic (including PL II and PL IIx), Dolby Digital, DTS Surround, DTS Neo:6, and Wide Screen modes.

D.COMP (Dynamic Range Compression): Motion picture soundtracks have tremendous dynamic range (the contrast between very soft and very loud sounds). For listening late at night, or whenever the maximum sound level is lower than usual, the Dynamic Range Compression allows you to hear all of the sounds in the soundtrack (but with reduced dynamic range). This only works when playing program sources recorded in Dolby Digital or DTS. You can select one of the four settings: "OFF", "LOW", "MID" (middle), or "HI" (high).

Personal Memory Plus: The receiver has a personal memorize function that automatically memorizes the surround modes and input modes selected for the different input sources. When the input source is switched, the modes set for that source last time it was used are automatically recalled. The surround parameters, tone control settings, and playback level balance for the different output channels are memorized for each surround mode.

Two-channel Music Modes: There are three 2-channel playback modes exclusively for music:

  • Pure Direct: plays back music with an extremely high level of sound quality. All the video-related circuits are turned off so that music signals are reproduced with high quality. When an analog mode is selected, the digital processing circuits are also turned off to achieve the highest purity.
  • Direct: audio signals bypass the tone control circuits, and are transmitted directly, resulting in good quality sound.
  • Stereo: allows you to adjust the tone to achieve the desired sound.

HDCD Decoding: The AVR-3806 automatically detects and decodes the digital bitstream from a CD that has been encoded through the special High Definition Compatible Digital (HDCD) process. HDCD discs use 20-bit encoding and other proprietary processing to provide the ultimate in CD listening.

Video Conversion: The AVR-3806 is equipped with a flexible video switching system that converts video signals in an effort to only require one video connection from receiver to TV. Unlike most other conversion circuits, this receiver will convert analog signals from composite video, S-Video, and component video to HDMI.

  • Composite Video: can be converted to S-Video, component video, or HDMI
  • S-Video: can be converted to composite video, component video, or HDMI
  • Component Video: can be converted to composite video, S-Video, or HDMI (480i signals only when down converting)

Denon Link: This receiver features the Denon Link (3rd edition), an RJ-45 jack on the back panel, which allows a one-cable connection to a compatible Denon DVD player equipped with a Denon Link connector. This digital connection allows the input of uncompressed Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio digital signals with jitter-less data transfer and ultra-low noise.

24-Bit, 192 kHz D/A Converters: The AVR-3806 uses highly accurate Burr Brown PCM-1791 Digital-to-Analog converters, two for each channel, for a total of 16. The 192kHz sampling and 24-bit word length capabilities of the DACs allows you to play high-resolution recordings and hear the increased clarity, detail and dynamic range of those recordings.

AL24 Processing Plus: Denon has further developed its propriety AL24 Processing to support the 192 kHz sampling frequency of DVD-Audio. AL24 Processing Plus thoroughly suppresses quantization noise associated with D/A conversion of LPCM signals to reproduce the low-level signals with optimum clarity that will bring out all the nuances of the music. AL24 Processing Plus is applied to not only the front left and right channels, but also the surround left and right, center and subwoofer channels.

Auto Setup: The receiver is equipped with an Auto Setup and Room Equalization function, to achieve the most ideal sound field for your room. The AVR-3806's Audyssey MultEQ XT function is designed to optimize the sound quality at each listening position in the room. The included DM-S205 microphone is used to measure test tones at each listening position. This measured data is then analyzed using a program to improve acoustic characteristics in the listening area. For best results at least six positions should be measured, including a main position. The main position is given more weight in the calculations. The Audyssey function adjusts the following measurements automatically: Speaker Configuration, Distance, Channel Level, Crossover Frequency, and Room EQ.

Room EQ: The Room EQ function offers three correction curves:

  • Audyssey: adjusts the frequency response of all speakers to correct the effects of room acoustics
  • Front: adjusts the characteristics of each speaker to match the front speakers
  • Flat: frequency response of all speakers are flat

Subwoofer Crossover Frequency: You can adjust the cutoff frequency of the subwoofer output from 40Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz, 90Hz, 100Hz, 110Hz, 120Hz, 150Hz, 200Hz or 250Hz.

Audio Delay: The audio signal can be delayed, from 0-200ms, to match the video signal.

Muting Level Adjustment: You can set the amount of attenuation for the audio muting circuit from -40dB or -20dB from the present volume level.

XM Ready: With the optional XM Mini Tuner and Mini Tuner Home Dock, you can enjoy the variety and sound quality of XM Satellite radio. XM offers over 150 channels of music, news, sports, and talk radio and even has weather and traffic information in several major markets. The channel number, channel name, artist name, and song title are listed on the AVR-3806's display and on the connected TV monitor. XM stations are stored as presets and recalled in the same way AM and FM stations are. A subscription to XM Satellite Radio is required.

Amplifier Assign: There are seven amplifier channels built into the receiver. These channels are typically used for 7.1 channel surround in the main room, but the amplifier assign function gives you the option of configuring the system differently if you prefer (see the descriptions of bi-amp, dual surround, and multi-zone).

Bi-Amp: Four of the seven amplifier channels can be used to bi-amp the front speakers, leaving three to power other channels.

Dual Surround Speaker Mode: The AVR-3806 provides the ability to connect two different sets of surround speakers, and place them in the appropriate locations in your home theater room, so that you can enjoy both movie soundtracks and music listening, with optimum results and no compromise. If you play one pair of surround speakers at a time (Surround A or B), the minimum impedance of the connected speakers is 6 ohms. If you play both pairs of speakers simultaneously (Surround A + B), the minimum impedance of the connected speakers is 8 ohms.

Multi Zone/Multi Source Operation: This unit provides a Multi-Zone Output function and a Select function that let you output different sources to multiple zones. Multi-room Zone 2 can have a pre-amp output along with a composite video and an S-video feed. You can make the Zone 2 Pre-amp output variable or set to -40dB or 0dB. Multi-room Zone 3 can have an independently selected audio source output with a fixed pre-amp output. The receiver's Power Amplifier Assign function lets you assign the 2 Surround Back amplifier channels to instead drive a pair of speakers in Multi-room Zone 2 or 3 with 120 watts per channel. When the amplifier channels are assigned to Zone 2 or 3, the receiver can still provide 5 discrete amplifier channels to drive all speakers in a 5.1-channel surround configuration.

Last Function Memory: This unit is equipped with a last function memory, which stores the input and output setting conditions as they were immediately before the power was switched off.

Back-Up Memory: The unit is also equipped with a back-up memory. This function provides approximately one week of memory storage when the main unit's power switch is off and the power cord is disconnected.

On-Screen Display (OSD): An OSD can be displayed on your television for easy system setup. The OSD is sent through all monitor outputs (composite video, S-video, component video, and HDMI).

Remote Control

RC-1024 Remote Control: The AVR-3806 comes with a unique EL backlight touch panel remote control that can operate the receiver as well as other remote control capable Denon components. In addition, the remote is pre-programmed with control signals for other brands of products, including CD players, CD recorders, Cassette decks, DVD players, DVD recorders, satellite tuners, cable boxes, VCRs, and TVs. The RC-1024 is also a learning remote. The remote features a large touch panel with Electro-Luminescent backlit touch buttons.

System Call: The remote control is equipped with "System Call" functions, allowing a series of remote control signals to be transmitted by pressing a single button. Up to 32 sequential signals can be stored in each of the 3 System Call buttons.

Inputs And Outputs Notes

XM: This proprietary terminal allows you to connect an optional XM Mini Tuner and Mini Tuner Home Dock.

HDMI Inputs/Output: This unit has 2 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output. The HDMI inputs are assignable to different input sources. The HDMI jacks support HDCP copyright protection.

Assignable Digital Inputs: The AVR-3806 features 5 optical digital (Toslink) inputs and 2 coaxial digital inputs. Each input can be assigned to any of the different input sources except Phono and Tuner. Optical Digital Inputs 3 and 4 also have corresponding Optical Digital outputs for use with a CD, MD or other digital recording device.

7.1 Multi-Channel Input: The AVR-3806 is equipped with a 7.1-channel input to accommodate present and future multi-channel formats.

Speaker Terminals: All of the receiver's speaker terminals are binding posts. They are not 5-way binding posts because a plastic collar prevents their use with spade lugs and they are positioned too far apart to be used with dual banana plugs.

RS-232C Port: The AVR-3806 includes an RS-232C port for connection to external whole-house control systems, from companies such as AMX, Crestron, and others, and provides a software/firmware upgrade pathway.

Room-to-Room Remote Jacks: The receiver has a mini-jack input for use with an optional Denon RC-616, 617, or 618 IR re-transmitter. The adjacent room-to-room output is for future use.

12V Trigger Outputs: The AVR-3806 has 2 mini-jack outputs to send a 12-Volt DC "turn-on" signal to another component that accepts a 12V trigger, such as a power amplifier. These trigger outputs can be assigned to the Main Zone, Zone 2 or Zone 3.

Front Panel Inputs: This unit features stereo audio, composite video and S-Video, and an optical digital input on the front panel for conveniently connecting a game console or camcorder. These inputs are covered by a fold-down panel.

Headphone Jack: The receiver has a standard 1/4" headphone jack on the front panel, positioned behind the fold-down panel.

 
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Denon AVR-3806 Reviews

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5 out of 5

Echoing other's comments

Written By Eric, Blue Bell, PA on Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have to agree with many of the other reviewers that this is an amazing receiver that is very well thought out and has every feature you could want. I am thrilled with its performance and expect many years to enjoyment.

Like others, my only complaint is that the manual is one of the worst I've ever seen and the auto-setup routine is very poorly programmed. It tooks several days to figure out some important details that aren't in the manual, but once I got past some set up issues, everything is working great. Thank goodness Crutchfield has such excellent support; trust me you'll need it.
7 out of 8 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Denon AVR-3806

Written By Gene, Royse City, TX on Monday, September 18, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I made my DENON 3806 decision on Features, Power, Quality/Pricing. I wanted to go totally Digital and HD so the HDMI, Optical Audio input was most important to me since I will be driving a 1080P HD TV and 5.1 Home Theater. Im filling a 25 X 17 family room with sound so 100+ watts/channel was needed. Qaulity/price decision was based on all the reviews and comments I could surf through. DENON was more pricey than the other players (Yamaha, Harmon Kardon, Pioneer) but Im glad I spent the extra $ to get a product made in JAPAN.

The GOODS. The receiver FAR EXCEEDED my expectations/needs. Its driving Polk Audio RTi8 fronts, CS2 center, PWS12 sub, and Monitor 50 rears. It has AMPLE POWER. I cant stay in the plus volume dbs for very long without waking the neigborhood-and I live in the COUNTRY! It has an incredible amount of ins/outs so you can hook vertually ANYTHING AV up to it. The UP CONVERSIONS of Component Video, S-Video, and Analog to HDMI are great. It makes the output of my 3yr old SONY DVD player shine a bit more.

The NOT-SO-GOODS. The CRUTCHFIELD reviews were spot-on in respect to the DENON instructions-they stink. I thought I had educated myself enough to get over the learning curve, but it took patience and 2-3 nights of working through the setup to get ANYTHING out of the receiver. Hey, DENON! How about a simple how-to-get-started set of instructions especially for us audio old-timers who only know L-R channels and RCA plugs. The remote like the instructions takes time to understand and program. Best advice READ-REREAD INSTRUCTIONS.

Ill be calling CRUTCHFIELD TECH in the future to fine tune-they've been great.
9 out of 12 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great receiver for upconverting video, and great sound.

Written By Benjamin, Hampden, ME on Thursday, August 17, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
After much debate with myself I finally chose this model over the Yamaha RX-V2600 for several reasons: First Denon is known for making top quality high end products, but also for a high end prices. Also this receiver is made in Japan and the Yamaha in Malaysia. And the Denon has a lot of good feed back from several different sources. So Ive had it for a few weeks and have noticed a great improvement in sound quality over my old Panasonic SA-HE100S. The auto setup is a bit different, but seems quite accurate. The best description of this process is by the Crutchfield technical reviewers. The on screen display is very handy since there are A LOT of options and ports to configure. If you have a fair amount of experience in A/V components setup, getting this unit up and running wont be too bad. Just make sure everything is plugged in correctly before playing with the feature and you will save a lot of time troubleshooting. The video upconverting feature is great through the HDMI port. My only complaints about this unit are:
1.The lack of boomy bass, even when configured properly it wont shake my house like my previous unit during music with heavy bass. My subwoofer is turned up all the way and the setting is boosted to the max on the receiver. Its almost as if it only allows for perfect sound quality and not high SPL. Im temped to run the wires through the high pass filter on the sub instead of the low pass to see if it helps, but for watching movies its adequate for now.
2. And a somewhat confusing remote. It takes a while to get all your components programmed in and working.

This unit has a lot of features jammed into it and the remote, so be prep
2 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Outstanding!

Written By William, Southern CA on Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This receiver has amazing sound! There are nuances in music and sound tracks that I have never heard before. For music I have wanted an HDCD decoder for a long time. Now that I have it and can hear it, I wish more CDs were encoded using HDCD. And no, you don't need a special CD player. If it has a digital output (like all DVD players), it will send the HDCD data to the receiver for decoding. Video processing is also excellent. In my opinion, it ties with another brand for the best image quality when using HDMI upconversion at this price.

On some AV web sites I have seen a few reviews of this and other brands of receivers complaining that the HDMI doesn't work well, or that it isn't compatible with certain devices. With all such receivers that I've seen, including Denon's, it is documented that your HDMI device(s) must be HDCP compatible. For me, it all works without a hitch, including my DirecTV HD DVR. I understand that many cable boxes are not HDCP compatible, but don't quote me! You always have the component video inputs, which handle HD signals beautifully.

The remote looks slick and works well, but it isn't useful for teaching every little command from your other remotes. However, it works very well for basic commands (play, pause, stop, etc). Even though it has almost no tactile feedback in the top half, I find it rather simple to use without having to look every time. You just get used to it.

After lots of research and a few disappointing trials of other brands, I am SOOO glad I chose this unit.
8 out of 8 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Good receiver, but...

Written By vanyel, Corvallis, OR on Sunday, March 19, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
...I wish Id read mcrodgers review before I bought it: I have a Sharp XV-Z10000U projector and the main reason I bought the receiver was for the video conversion feature. Unfortunately, its useless for the most part, because the Sharp does not accept interlaced input (except 1080i) on the DVI input. Crutchfield tech support was very helpful in tracking down the problem, and I appreciate that --- it would have taken me forever to figure it out.

I almost sent the receiver back, as that feature was the primary reason I bought it, but the digital audio inputs work much better than the ones on my older 3300 (I dont remember what the trick is to get them to work, but I remember having trouble when I first set it up and they didnt work when I switched back to it), plus I got an HD Tivo, and can use the switching between my progressive DVD player and the HDMI from the Tivo, so I went ahead and kept it. Ive had no trouble with the HDMI from the HD Tivo, which is a Direct TV receiver, so not sure what Jesus problem with the H-20 receiver was...

I didnt find the setup confusing, except the audio setup with the microphone didnt act like the manual said, so Im not sure it actually did it. Im not an audio extremophile though, and it sounds great however it set itself up. Im about to move it all into a new theater room, and will probably work with Crutchfield tech support to work through that at the time even so.

The remote, however, is another story. I like the lightup touch screen, but it doesnt make much sense. Ive got a Pronto however, so its irrelevant, and the touchscreen part isnt needed for the basic functions of switching inputs and volume ctrl
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4 out of 5

Awesome Sound, Complicated to Use.

Written By ROB, Fort Rucker Alabama on Tuesday, February 21, 2006
 
I got this Reciever to replace my Onkyo 803. I have to say that one was great but it had some problems with sound so I decided to get something else instead of another 803. I have to say it dose sound a littel better then the Onkyo 803. It's hooked up to an Infinity beta set. I have no Problems with it except one. It's extreamly confusing and dificalt to use. the preveouse reveiw (Hardest to use Receiver ever
Written by Rodger, CA on January 27, 2006) Is dead on. I miss the Onkyo's Useability and ease of use. My wife and Kids dont know how to get even the sound to work for TV let alone Movies or anything else. I love the sound though. Its the best I have ever heard. If you have to have the best sound get this Receiver. If the Spouse isnt as Home theater orientated as you or you are a begineer stay clear of this one and get something like the Onkyo.
P.S. crutchfeild has the best service ever. life long custemer
1 out of 4 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Henson

Written By Jesus, Haymarket,VA on Monday, February 13, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 

This receiver is great to upgrade home theater but the
there are serious issues with HDMI connections.It appear to be incompatible with Direct TV receivers.

When connected to a Direct TV H-20 HD receiver, it set up the Direct TV receiver to re- set itself nonstop.

Dennon claims is an issue with the HDMI cables, eventhough Im using HDMI certified monster cables.

One way I have noticed to avoid this , is by turning on first the Dennon, wait until boot up, then turning on Direct TV box.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Immensely Capable Beautiful Product

Written By mcrodgers, Washington, DC on Monday, January 30, 2006
 
Recently finished my basement for a home theater and needed a powerful receiver to act as control center. I searched for a receiver that would allow me to use HDMI from the receiver to projector. Denon offered HDMI switching from any source (composite, component or s-video) up to HDMI.

Unfortunately, once hooked up, the projector did not display a picture. Upon calling Crutchfield tech support, was informed (incorrectly) that the AVR-3806 did not support composite to HDMI switching. No solution was offered by tech support (disappointing). I continued to troubleshoot on my own and determined that my projector did not support non-HD interlaced video through HDMI. I don't know how common this is but the Denon is great in that a simple push of the "STATUS" button showed my projector accepting 525p, 720p and 1080i. The solution now is to have an analog (s-video) and a digital (HDMI) cable from the Denon to my projector. As the Denon has many outputs, this will no longer be a problem.

The audio was a breeze to set up and I have had zero issues with it. Sound is amazing and the 7-channel stereo is great for normal TV and stereo music.
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Hardest to use Receiver ever

Written By Rodger, CA on Friday, January 27, 2006
 
Every positive thing people say about this unit is correct.

However this is the most difficult receiver to use ever built. I'm a network engineer who loves reading operating manuals and home theater is my passion. Forget about the casual user (wife, baby sitter, etc) getting the hang of this thing. How to change an option when I'm looking right at it is a challenge. The whole interface is inconsistant. It's like each section was programmed by different engineers in different countries.

Want more examples?
To control the reciever (the most common use) you have to click some hard button on the remote to get the soft buttons to light up. Then you have to click the "amp" soft button. But you better not click it twice because then you are in a different mode and then you have to click it three more times to cycle back to the regular amp control mode. How do you know you are in a different mode? Only by subtle differences in what buttons are enabled. Try telling your wife, "you've clicked the amp button too many times and accidently entered 'system call' mode and erased all of the programmed frequencies and macros". This is a very real possibility with this remote.

I could go on and on with the speaker binding posts being way to close together (too close for even my banana plugs), to the labeling of the inputs on the back, to the way you change the soundfield. This thing is user hostile.
10 out of 10 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Denon AVR 3806

Written By Gil, California on Tuesday, January 17, 2006
 
I bought Denon 3806 after reviewing its specs. I just spent solid 1 wknd to connect this recvr to my sp sys.
Manual: It is not written for a layman & it is difficult to follow. The flow of info is not logically laid out. The descrip of the various function are not very clear. It took a considerable time to decipher all the functns & features. It appears to be written by an eng who already knew the interworkg of the sys.
Remote: It is not very intuitive & logical. You need to get used to it.
AMP SECTION: First, I used the stereo mode to listen to tuner, CD and LPs. This product has 3 modes, Stereo, Direct and Pure direct (was excellent). I heard the notes which was obscure with my 20 yrs Yamaha. The amp is very clean. I am not a fan of synthetic sound fields. I tried them all and did not like it. Later, I put on my ref DVD 5th Element, in DTS mode it sounded great. Again, I used the W screen sound field to open up the sound stage. Try to experiment with all the fields for movies. The 7 Ch is also good.
Auto Setup: It is a bit tricky to use. Finally when I was done I used manual methods to verify the Audisey calculated values and they were pretty close. The recvr kept telling me that I had a L/R Phase issue with my front spks. I rechkd the wirings and ignored the warning.
V CONV & HDMI: This was the real reason I chose this model. This recvr has the HDMI 1.1 v and this v does not support the 5.1 ch sound. This means that surr chs info is not routed thru the DTS/DOLBY decoder. Only 2 Ch. ANALOG is supported. Make sure you select TV for correct routing. Y need HDMI v 2 to have surr sound.
5 out of 6 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

HDMI ISSUES

Written By James, ROCKLEDGE FLORIDA on Monday, January 09, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Receiever sounds great but so far have been unable to get HDMI signals to pass through to my new Samsung Plasma TV. I puchased this reciever with the intent of using all HDMI components. Well right now neither of my sources Denon DVD player or Sat. HDMA reciever will pass through the 3806. Tech support sent me another reciever, but it has the same problem: ( mode not supported message on tv). After receiving my replacement reciever tech support told me that Denon acknowledged there were issue, but they had no other response. Maybe the 3805 will work better?
6 out of 8 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

No more separates for me...

Written By Michael, Calumet, Michigan on Sunday, October 23, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
When it came time to upgrade my home theater setup, I decided to go with a Denon receiver to replace my separates system, which was a Lexicon DC-1 driving two Acurus power amps. I had tweaked and re-calibrated this setup for 9 years, but it never quite satisfied me. Certain movie soundtracks (parts of the LOTR trilogy, particularly) weren't being decoded correctly, no matter how I played with the Lex's complex settings. (My speakers weren't the problem, if that's what you're thinking)
After using the Denon's Audyssey setup routine in my listening room, I played sections of the films that had presented problems before, and wow! An incredible difference, especially in the bass; the boominess was gone, and it was deep and smooth. Imaging and separation were much improved.
My old 5 channel system put out 250x2 and 200x3, and even though the Denon's power is quite a bit less, my rather large listening room is filled with effortless, airy sound. A couple of my favorite reference audio CDs have new clarity and detail, as well.
Needless to say I'm very pleased with this unit; it's build quality, and the fit and finish of it are top notch. Between switching from separates, and using some of the digital connections on this unit, I have been able to remove a huge amount of cable from the rear of my entertainment center, also.
I was about to purchase the 3805 when I saw the price drop, but I'm glad I waited for the 3806, because of the HDMI connections, and the Audyssey room setup. You may have to work a little to get through the manual, but it will be worth it. If you're looking for a top notch receiver, this is the one!
35 out of 40 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Awesome receiver in all aspects

Written By Roy, Goochland, VA on Tuesday, October 11, 2005
 
First off, this receiver has plenty of power for home theater use. Since most people into home theater have a powered subwoofer that takes care of the low frequencies (which eat power), 120 wpc is all you need, unless you have an enormous room. Highlights:
1) The remote. It controls my Denon DVD-2910 handily, and even gives me sufficient control over my sat box. It is a great remote for being included with a receiver of this price.
2) The HDMI connections are v1.1 compatible. This means you can pass hi-def video and hi-res audio using one cable. Im doing this between my DVD-2910 and the 3806 (but at std-def video). The receiver has awesome processing power, so let it do the processing and use your HDMI-capable DVD player as a transport. Dolby Digital, DTS, HDCD, PCM, DVD-Audio...it decodes them all and does a great job. Since HDMI v1.2 just came out, Im sure Denon will release a firmware upgrade soon to allow the HDMI connection to carry the DSD signals of SACD as well, allowing me then to pack away my 6-channel analog cables that I still have to keep around for now.
3) Multi-zone capability and power amp assignment. This is where Denon puts Sony and other names to shame. They allow great flexibility in speaker set-ups, allowing you to assign the "surround back" channels to another zone, to the 6 and 7 channels of a 7.1 setup, to copy the front channels, etc. No other receiver anywheres near this price has this sort of flexibility (minus its own predecessor).
4) Audyssey set up is awesome. I cant live without it in my room. It did wonders to "tone down" the effects of my room. Imaging is nothing short of amazing.

Highly recommended!!!
115 out of 129 people found this helpful
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