Question about Denon AVR-3801 Receiver

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Second zone not working

I bought a 3801 when we moved into a new house in March 2001. I have the family room set up for 5.1 surround and the other two amps driving stereo in the study and master bedroom. Several months ago the study and bedroom stopped receiving sound. I had the system checked and after charging me an exhorbitant fee they proclaimed there was no problem with the house wiring or speakers but that they "thought" the amps had blown and expressed surprise that they had been able to do the job at all and offered to install power amps to protect the replacement receiver they expected I would have to buy.

How likely is their diagnosis to be correct and is there any hope of getting an economical repair of my current beautiful amp? Otherwise (in desperation) what is the most economical replacement I could get to provide similar sound. I use the radio, cable TV input, a DVD player, a turntable and a TV. No plans for HDTV anytime soon.


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Re: Second zone not working

This amp allows you to pick a secondary source for those other rooms. Did you by chance accidentally change it from the "SOURCE" designation that makes room 2 listen to same thing as room 1? Just a thought.

Posted on Jan 20, 2008

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Denon AVR-3801 lights up,makes rapid clicking noises when amp tries to turn on. Clicking stops but unit doesn't play & sometimes the unit turns off. Occurred after lightning storm. What to do to fix?

Probably damaged by power surge. If you do not have experience diagnosing and repairing electronic circuits as well as having access to schematic diagrams then this is not a repair for you. Failure to replace all damaged components may result in damaging new parts.

Aug 16, 2016 | Denon Avr-3801 7.1 Home Theater Surround 7...

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Not outputting to all speakers from CD, but does from DVD


With the indulgence of the others...
If I understand your problem right:
1. CD works only in Speaker A (but not in Speaker B);
2. DVD works on either or both A/B;
3. CD will work if plug into to VCR input but selector must be of another source (not VCR).

A couple of suggestions:
a. pls try doing again the reset as ginko has suggested but make it a bit longer, i.e. unplug it from the mains for a couple of hours;
b. since you have remove most of the wiring, why dont you try switch A & B. make the family room speakers the B while the speaker selector the A;
c. hook the CD (only) using the RCA cables (red/white) nothing else;
d. play any CD music and go through the paces of selecting source, speakers, surround/hall/theater/etc as troylove11 has suggested.

This would be now a simple setup, 1 source (CD) to 1 output/speaker (the family room) via the Denon. Try different settings. If the CD plays normally then, without changing any setting nor powering it off (but with volume level all the way down), remove the family room speaker wiring and replace it with the wires to/from the speaker selector.

the idea is to determine which is the real issue, the Sony, the Denon settings/hardware or the speaker selector.

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Thank you for using FixYa.

Apr 15, 2008 | Denon AVR-3801 Receiver

1 Answer

Zone front and Zone B?

A and B is for two sets of front speakers. Which one you choose for surround sound depends on which terminals for front speakers included in a surround sound setup that you actually plugged your speakers into.

Terminal B is designated for the output of sound to a second "zone" ie; another room for example, if you have another set of front speakers connected to it.

Apr 16, 2010 | Yamaha HTR-6030 Receiver

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I have the Onkyo HT-S5100, the 5 speaker are set

also, you might have to search through the menu of the receiver, and set the surround back speakers to be zone 2 instead of using the 7.1 configuration that is probably default.

i think zone 2 will only play sources that are hooked up with analog connects, ie. red/white cables. try using the radio to see if it works. you might have to hook up your cable/sat box, cd player, dvd player, whatever you have that you want to listen to with both digital and analog cables to get everything to work right.

Jun 12, 2009 | Onkyo TX-SR503 Receiver

1 Answer

Poor DTS/DD5.1 from the AVR-3801

I also run 2 AVR 3801`s in my home, These are nice receivers, excellent build quality, about the DTS and DD 5.1 not up to par, I would check the Menu speaker set-up, be sure and make sure you have rear surrounds set up at surround speakers, NOT the rear speakers, they are for a 7.1 configuration, then set up the white noise test signal to balance all 6 channels, you need to have the powered subwoofer balanced properely, if no results of improvement then check your digital connections, I would recomment the fibre-optic, but the coaxial works also with great seperation signal, last I would investigate the playback unit of the DVD or DTS CD player, something in your set-up is amiss and you can acheive outstanding surround with this model of Denon, I can attest to this for my past experience setting up HT systems even with High End Outboard processors I always am amazed at the 3801 output quality, remember the 5 ch stereo is a Matrix DSP not even close to a true digital sound, and as for more amp power sure it always helps to have extra but the 3801 are true 105w @ 8 ohm 0.05 THD and are real, should power you Missions, the next level are denons 4800`s and 5800`s at 125 and 175 but I would stick with the 3800 and be content. Hope you have some better results after tweaking your settings.

Feb 17, 2009 | Denon AVR-3801 Receiver

1 Answer

I have a Denon 2308CI. I use the 7.1 suround. I have my sony STR DE995 to use as a second amp for zone two hook up. My goal is to watch a movie in the living room and listen to the radio or any other audio...

the mani surround room should be connected to the front speakers A, Center, sub pre-out and surround.
for the other two rooms connect them to surround/back, go into settings and in power amp assignment assign the surround back speakers to the multi room.
once this is complete with your remote in the zone2 control mode you can play your sources in zone2 and control the volume also, if you have inwall volume controls set the zone2 volume to -10 and use the room controls.
To listen to the same source in both zones you will have to select that source in both zones

Nov 16, 2008 | Denon Audio & Video Receivers

1 Answer

Center speaker

When you turn on zone 2 you are in stereo mode. The center speaker and the rear speakers will not function in stereo mode.

Try turning on zone 2 and then switch the surround mode after that and see if it helps. If it turns the zone 2 speakers off when you do that, then your unit does not support what you want it to do. Center speakers only work in listening modes other than stereo.

Most A/V receivers are designed for watching movies and they did not take this use into consideration because zone 2 would normally be in another room such as the way you have yours set up. If somebody is watching a movie in one room they would not need to hear it in another room. You would think that the designers, who are very talented to be able to come up with these type of units, would have just a little more imagination on how people would be using the equipment. Go figure!

If your receiver has a 5 or 7 channel stereo mode, it may work then. You can try, but I don't think it will help.

I have even seen some receivers that have the center channel amp being used for the zone 2 output as well. It just switches what speaker output jacks it goes to with a couple of relays which makes it impossible to use the center and zone 2 at the same time.

I guess they are just being cheap by not putting another output channel in the unit and sharing the one they have.

Why would anybody want to use the center and the zone 2 at the same time???? Sad, isn't it.

Hard to believe that such a nice receiver would have such a rediculous limit designed right into it. But they really do design them like that.

Let me know if you need more help.


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Is the signal set to "ANALOG" or "DIGITAL"?

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