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Denon PMA-1500II

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Comments to date: 2. Page 1 of 1. Average Rating:
Petrone 12:05am on Sunday, October 3rd, 2010 
Splendid dedicated cd player, competes in the "best for less than a grand" category with ease, a massive improvement over the £200 pack.
madtuxy 2:52pm on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 
Allround excellent performer, with solid build quality The tray will stay open if you power off with it open. Sound ; hard to fault. Detailed and extended Very slow to read disc and start playing (~10s). Control buttons a bit small It clearly and unobtrusively makes avaiable all that is in the recording. In otherwords you listen to the music and not the equipment.

Comments posted on www.ps2netdrivers.net are solely the views and opinions of the people posting them and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of us.

 

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AudioEnz

Denon DCD-1500AE CD/SACD player ($1799) and PMA-1500 amplifier ($2299) April 2006 You have to hand it to Denon of Japan for continuing to expend effort on two-channel audio when so many manufacturers have been distracted by multichannel applications. Denon have always been a name to respect in the stereo game, though in my experience value for money in Denon gear is at the expensive end in their digital sources and the cheap end for their amplifiers. In order to foil me, Ive been commissioned to review two solid middle rankers in Denons current two-channel line up. The performers Ill start by telling you this pair consists of the strictly stereo DCD-1500AE CD/SACD player, a couple of steps down from the range-topping DCDSA1, and the 70-watt per channel PMA1500AE. They look like they Source and amp dont play for the same just look good together. team, finished in brushed silver They are impressive in and similarly diterms of timing and drive, mensioned from and detail levels are also the front. Their faceplates feature noteworthy a horizontal swell that is certainly distinctive, although it gives the units a strangely old-fashioned look. I wasnt too excited about the rotary input selector switch on the PMA1500AE: it indicates position with a rotating light that only makes sense if youre looking squarely at the knob. Other than that its nicely put together and well equipped. It is amply provisioned for inputs, including two tape loops and a decent phono-stage. There are tone controls, but unless your system is somehow amiss, bypass these with the source direct switch for a purer sound. The performance Source and amp dont just look good together. They are impressive in terms of timing and drive, and detail levels are also noteworthy. In terms of revelation,
New Zealands hi-fi magazine www.audioenz.co.nz

Denon DCD-1500/PMA-1500

I didnt find new instrumental lines rising from the mix, but the spatial placement of instruments and voices stood out as well above average. This was true not only in the case of SACD playback, where a more palpable sense of air around performers is to be expected, but even in CD playback. This suggests the latest incarnation of Denons proprietary Alpha signal processing is still up to snuff. My only concern is that I couldnt shake the slight tilt toward the upper frequencies. Its not that the system wont do bass, indeed all the thumping and throbbing seems present and accounted for. Rather its as though the bass is set to 100 and the treble to 101. I lay this quirk at the doorstep of the CD player, which is extremely competent, but invests just a smidgeon too much energy to high frequencies. This might be a Japanese thing, as there seems to be a cultural preference for zing over there. I recall the European designed Denon stuff of a decade ago had a more neutral balance, and that is retained in the amp. For its part, the PMA-1500AE plays not only with neutrality, but goes nice and loud unfazed by the multi-tracked madness of the big finale on Mike Oldfields Tubular Bells 3 with the volume knob set at 12 oclock. Its a very competent machine, devoid of serious foibles.
Reformatted If pushed, Id maintain the DCD1500AE is a better CD player than it is an SACD player. I say this on the assumption that the SACD format offers improvements across the board (well, it should), although I confess Ive yet to be sold on the format. When played on the 1500AE spinner, the improvements are only partial: things may sound different, but not necessarily better. However, this player wont be bought on the strength of its CD playback skills, good though they are, rather its potential to play the higher specd format that will draw credit cards from their leathery dens. The 1500AE pairing perfectly demonstrate Denons long experience in the hi-fi stereo game. These products are entirely worth their asking prices, without giving away the farm. If carefully partnered with speakers and cables, the source will prove a fine CD player and a more than adequate SACD spinner. The amplifier is a subtle charmer, but it faces strong competition, and some have more obvious virtues, such as power output, or upgradability. Id go for this duo if equipment-rack presence ran a close second to sound-quality on my shopping list, and I didnt want to be left high and dry if the world suddenly decides the future is SACD.Brent Burmester

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Denon DCD-1500AE CD/SACD Player and PMA 1500

By Brent Burmester

April 2006
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Denon DCD-1500AE CD/SACD player ($1799) and PMA-1500 amplifier ($2299)

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You have to hand it to Denon of Japan for continuing to expend effort on two-channel audio when so many manufacturers have been distracted by multichannel applications. Denon have always been a name to respect in the stereo game, though in my experience value for money in Denon gear is at the expensive end in their digital sources and the cheap end for their amplifiers. In order to foil me, I've been commissioned to review two solid middle rankers in Denon's current two-channel line up.

The performers

http://www.audioenz.co.nz/2006/denon_1500.shtml (1 of 3)06.04.2006 20:54:08
I'll start by telling you this pair consists of the strictly stereo DCD-1500AE CD/SACD player, a couple of steps down from the range-topping DCD-SA1, and the 70-watt per channel PMA1500AE. They look like they play for the same team, finished in brushed silver and similarly dimensioned from the front. Their faceplates feature a horizontal swell that is certainly distinctive, although it gives the units a strangely old-fashioned look. I wasn't too excited about the rotary input selector switch on the PMA-1500AE: it indicates position with a rotating light that only makes sense if you're looking squarely at the knob. Other than that it's nicely put together and well equipped. It is amply provisioned for inputs, including two tape loops and a decent phono-stage. There are tone controls, but unless your system is somehow amiss, bypass these with the 'source direct' switch for a purer sound.

The performance

Source and amp don't just look good together. They are impressive in terms of timing and drive, and detail levels are also noteworthy. In terms of revelation, I didn't find new instrumental lines rising from the mix, but the spatial placement of instruments and voices stood out as well above average. This was true not only in the case of SACD playback, where a more palpable sense of air around performers is to be expected, but even in CD playback. This suggests the latest incarnation of Denon's proprietary 'Alpha' signal processing is still up to snuff. My only concern is that I couldn't shake the slight tilt toward the upper frequencies. It's not that the system won't do bass, indeed all the thumping and throbbing seems present and accounted for. Rather it's as though the bass is set to 100 and the treble to 101. I lay this quirk at the doorstep of the CD player, which is extremely competent, but invests just a smidgeon too much energy to high frequencies. This might be a Japanese thing, as there seems to be a cultural preference for zing over there. I recall the European designed Denon stuff of a decade ago had a more neutral balance, and that is retained in the amp. For its part, the PMA-1500AE plays not only with neutrality, but goes nice and loud unfazed by the multi-tracked madness of the big finale on Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells 3 with the volume knob set at 12 o'clock. It's a very competent machine, devoid of serious foibles.

Reformatted

If pushed, I'd maintain the DCD-1500AE is a better CD player than it is an SACD player. I say this on the assumption that the SACD format offers improvements across the board (well, it should), although I confess I've yet to be sold on the format. When played on the 1500AE spinner, the improvements are only partial: things may sound different, but not necessarily better. However, this player won't be bought on the strength of its CD playback skills, good though they are, rather it's potential to play the higher spec'd format that will draw
http://www.audioenz.co.nz/2006/denon_1500.shtml (2 of 3)06.04.2006 20:54:08
credit cards from their leathery dens. The 1500AE pairing perfectly demonstrate Denon's long experience in the hi-fi stereo game. These products are entirely worth their asking prices, without giving away the farm. If carefully partnered with speakers and cables, the source will prove a fine CD player and a more than adequate SACD spinner. The amplifier is a subtle charmer, but it faces strong competition, and some have more obvious virtues, such as power output, or upgradability. I'd go for this duo if equipment-rack presence ran a close second to sound-quality on my shopping list, and I didn't want to be left high and dry if the world suddenly decides the future is SACD.
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http://www.audioenz.co.nz/2006/denon_1500.shtml (3 of 3)06.04.2006 20:54:08

 

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