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#253055 - 03/22/09 11:29 AM Re: 3808 owners: have u purchased your feature upgrade [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10965
Loc: Central NH
OK, I promised a few people an update on the update to the 3808. That sentence sounds like a drinking game...

Anyway, I updated to the new feature pack and am very impressed.

When I got the receiver and ran Audyssey, I wasn't particularly thrilled with any of the EQ options. It did fine with speaker distances, but I don't think it did anything to really improve the sound in my case. After you download the update / feature pack, you have to run Audyssey again, which I did Thursday night.

After going back and forth between "off", "Audyssey", "Audyssey Flat" and "Audyssey Bypass L/R", I can't say that I have any real preference. I went through a few well-recorded CDs and concert DVDs and as I've read from others, sometimes I'd prefer one setting for one song, but prefer a different setting for another. I didn't really expect miracles in my troublesome room (though it would have been a pleasant surprise!) so I'm not necessarily disappointed in those results, and think everyone else's results will be different.

I am LOVING the new Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Audyssey Dynamic Volume though and would never buy another receiver without this or similar technology. I've written before about my missing the old "loudness" buttons on older equipment. I know that they were a little sledgehammer-like in their execution, but they still helped to solve what I always consider a fundamental flaw in receivers without it: How music becomes much thinner and less involving at lower volumes. Funny enough, my very first post here involved questioning whether or not Axioms played nice at a softer volumes or required lots of power and volume before coming to life. Well, I've been happy in my M60s except in the loss of bass at lower volumes...and that's not the speakers fault.

Audyssey Dynamic EQ not only increases the bass output as the volume gets lower, but intelligently raises the level of surrounds as well. This morning, as every Sunday morning, I read through the Sunday paper in front of the system and I had a couple of episodes of HD Soundstage available from the TiVo. When I do this Sunday morning thing, I keep the volume relatively low (~70dB) so as to not wake Joyce and I usually manually turn up the sub to keep a "full sound".

I have been keeping the Audyssey Dynamic EQ engaged at all times, but this morning was the first time it really, really strutted it's stuff. As I was watching well-recorded concerts in 5.1, I took a bit of time to engage/disengage the feature and found it dramatic. I know it's a bit of cliché, but with the feature off, the sound just literally collapsed to the front, sounding so thin in comparison that it was as if I only had the TVs built-in speakers on. The "crowd" sounds in the rear channels weren't there anymore, and the bass lessening just made it sound weak. Again, I don't and never have blamed the Axioms for this, it's just the natural way we hear things. The bass thing I expected, though it's so very nice not to have to keep readjusting the subs' output depending upon the volume level! The difference in the surround channels was at least as dramatic to me, though. For all practical purposes, at these softer volumes, it was like I was switching between 3.0 channels and 5.1 channels!

Audyssey Dynamic Volume is impressive as well, but, without sounding cocky about it, I'm pretty used to dealing with good compressors in some of my music and voiceover recording so it doesn't jump out at me quite as much. Maybe part of that is also that I haven't had a night or morning yet where I was looking to watch TV without waking Joyce. This morning, since I was watching music-based programming, I left Audyssey Dynamic Volume off / bypassed. If I were watching an episode of Family Guy, I would have engaged it. It does what it's supposed to do and looks like it'll serve it's purpose well. I'm just pretty used to that technology and haven't really made use of it yet. Actually, I have an Alesis 3630 compressor

that's been unused for a few years, and I've wondered in the past about incorporating it into the rack but I think the lack of remote capability would drive me up the wall. (As an aside, I've still wondered about incorporating it in the sub's chain before or after my Feedback Destroyer to see how a little compression of lower frequencies might help some of my bass issues).

Anyway, I've got to say, I haven't even touched the Rhapsody or Sirius aspects of the feature upgrade, but I think the Audyssey changes are easily worth $100 as it simply allows so much more programming to sound it's best under real-world (non-reference) levels.

Further, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I'm officially thrilled with the 3808 purchase. I started off feeling pretty good about it, but over the last several months, I've been continually more and more impressed with it. From little features such as it's GUI and on-screen displays, renaming inputs, variable crossovers, it's network connection allowing firmware updates, discovering internet radio and now it's implementation (and network updated) feature package, I really don't see being happier or ever buying a lesser receiver if I can afford it.

If you're on the fence, get one while you can get the feature pack and 6th Avenues' pricing!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#253056 - 03/22/09 11:48 AM Re: 3808 owners: have u purchased your feature upgrade [Re: MarkSJohnson]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7413
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Very nice, Mark! Thanks for taking the time and sharing your experiences with the upgrade pack. I can see myself purchasing it in the near future.
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#253065 - 03/22/09 12:40 PM Re: 3808 owners: have u purchased your feature upgrade [Re: St_PatGuy]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10965
Loc: Central NH
Well, hurry, dammit.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#253066 - 03/22/09 12:41 PM Re: 3808 owners: have u purchased your feature upgrade [Re: MarkSJohnson]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11271
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Yeah, Sean, hurry, before Mark feels his post was inadequate and he makes a second Mother.

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#253067 - 03/22/09 12:41 PM Re: 3808 owners: have u purchased your feature upgrade [Re: CV]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10965
Loc: Central NH

_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#253068 - 03/22/09 12:52 PM Re: 3808 owners: have u purchased your feature upgrade [Re: MarkSJohnson]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7413
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Talk about peer pressure!!!
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#253073 - 03/22/09 01:09 PM Re: 3808 owners: have u purchased your feature upgrade [Re: MarkSJohnson]
davekro Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/12/09
Posts: 562
Loc: Discovery Bay, CA
 Originally Posted By: Mark 'PEER PRESSURE' Johnson
3808.....If you're on the fence, get one while you can get the feature pack and 6th Avenues' pricing!


Being a sale lover, the 6ave price was looking awesome until I heard a 3810 was around the corner (June my dealer says). Though I'd love to wait ans see what new features IT has, My 'saleiness'(OK cheapness and lack of discretionary funds!) would scoff (read choke) at the thought of paying actual MSRP! Pfhhhht!

So the allure of the 3810's arrival is strictly on how fr!@@!n soon the 3808 price hopefully drops off a cliff like the 2808 did when the 2809 came around! Yes, I am greedy, I time the market, and all bad things like that! I am new to this HT lunacy,... er strong appreciation thereof ;o) so I don't have a 'Spider Sense' of how much lower the 3808 price might go in the next month or so. If it was only expected to drop $100 (from curr. 6Ave price) and not until the 3810 actually hit the shelves, I would buy it now. So fellow frugalites, what say ye? Jump now or lay low ready to spring on an assuredly reeeeeaaaaalllly awesome 3808 price. \:\)

PS. I currently have a 1909 which should keep me plenty happy when my new Axioms arrive in a few weeks, so the trigger finger is not 'too' itchy yet... But that could change. ;\)


Edited by davekro (03/22/09 01:10 PM)
_________________________
Dave

"In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice they're not."

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#253074 - 03/22/09 01:15 PM Re: 3808 owners: have u purchased your feature upgrade [Re: MarkSJohnson]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11271
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
I am LOVING the new Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Audyssey Dynamic Volume though and would never buy another receiver without this or similar technology.


This is one of the points that will make me hesitate on the new Outlaw Model 997. The Trinnov is very compelling, but I'm interested in these new Audyssey features as well.

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#253081 - 03/22/09 03:16 PM Re: 3808 owners: have u purchased your feature upgrade [Re: CV]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
Oh Dave, I didn't need to hear that. Now I'm going to have to think about a new receiver. Well, at least my sanity/common sense/wife will put a stop to that. ;\)
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#253083 - 03/22/09 03:29 PM Re: 3808 owners: have u purchased your feature upgrade [Re: Ken.C]
davekro Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/12/09
Posts: 562
Loc: Discovery Bay, CA
 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Oh Dave, I didn't need to hear that. Now I'm going to have to think about a new receiver. Well, at least my sanity/common sense/wife will put a stop to that. ;\)


Ken,
Well, for your personal safety, I hope that you are not 'Home Alone' long enough to let the 'itis' make you (as we have no control of these things, really sweetie) buy a new receiver while unsupervised. Having a 3808 hit you by surprise in the head, could really do some damage! We'd hate to lose you around here.

Turn about is ONLY fair play. You guys have cost me mucho denaro showing me I NEEDED so much HT upgrades. I'm not complainin' mind you. I'm just sayin'...
_________________________
Dave

"In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice they're not."

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